2018 Top AACSB Accredited Online MBA Programs

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Quick Facts
Accreditation: AACSB and IACBE
Degree Levels: Bachelor's and Master's
Avg Tuition: $23,350

Online MBA programs are available in a variety of specialties including finance, accounting, supply chain management, human resources, and executive MBAs designed for professionals with significant experience in the field. There are 574 AACSB accredited online degrees offered by 162 schools. The 10 most prestigious online schools offering online MBAs are highlighted below, in addition to the 25 top online MBAs for value.

Prospective students should also make sure that the school they are considering is regionally accredited. In addition to verifying regional accreditation, students should also look for MBAs that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the predominant programmatic accrediting agency for business schools.

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2018 Most Prestigious Online MBA Programs

MBA-Top Online Colleges-2018-Badge

These 10 schools offering online MBAs stand out for their high average GMAT scores and their competitive admissions. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks first, with an impressive GMAT academic strength score of 87.5%. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers multiple online MBA options including specializations in entrepreneurship, marketing, and global supply chain management. With an acceptance rate of 21%1 for its MBA program, University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign is a highly competitive and respected choice for prospective business students.

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  • Annual Tuition: $55,310
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 87.5%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a world-class MBA program, one of the top-ranked online programs of 2017. This online MBA offers a combination of self-paced classes and coursework as well as weekly face-to-face collaborative discussions in classes that do not exceed a 15:1 student-to-professor ratio. The small class setting provides for a more intimate and focused class environment to encourage professional networking. The online MBA program also offers global immersions in cities all over the world, allowing students to learn firsthand from world-class leaders. 

  • Annual Tuition: $64,000
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 86.6%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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The Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business offers students with high industry leadership potential with a rigorous and comprehensive online MBA, available as a part-time degree program in an intimate online class setting. The curriculum is centered on building a student's analytical and leadership skills to help them build a significant career advantage. The program currently has a 1:5 faculty-to-student ratio, making it an ideal setting for students to network and establish connections to help them later in their careers. 

  • Annual Tuition: $54,638
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 86.3%
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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The USC Marshall Online Master of Business Administration is an intense and rigorous program that combines modern and traditional learning tools to help students achieve their educational goals. The program offers short online live classroom sessions and focuses mostly on self-studying, to fit the lives of busy professionals. The program also includes a residential week to allow students and professors to meet face-to-face to network, discuss, and collaborate. 

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $9,000
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 83.8%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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The University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign's iMBA offers a "career curated" program to suit a student's individual professional goals. The program is fully online, including all group work. It also has set faculty hours to give students the opportunity to interact with and ask questions of their professors. The university has a strong alumni network of over 425,000 students and 30 Nobel Prize winners and has been consistently ranked #30 in the Times of London's Worldwide University Ranking.

  • Annual Tuition: $33,800
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 83.5%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Indiana University - Bloomington allows students to earn an online MBA on their own terms. Only 39 of the 51 credit hours of this program are required classes, allowing students to tailor their curriculum depending on their desired focus. Course topics offered include business law and ethics, economics, marketing, finance, operations, information technology, and project management. The program also offers global immersion opportunities in Brazil, India, China, Botswana, Myanmar, and South Africa. 

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $46,650
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 82.5%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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The online MBA program offered by the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland - College Park offers professionals from all fields the opportunity to earn a top-ranked MBA in as few as 24 months while allowing students to remain active in their professional roles. The program offers specializations in accounting, finance, business analytics, marketing, and supply chain management, as well as a general track. Being part of the program also opens the door to networking opportunities with 60,000 Robert H. Smith School of Business alumni all over the world.

  • Annual Tuition: $36,118
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 82.5%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of Texas at Dallas offers a flexible online Professional MBA (PMBA) program with the aim of helping working students evolve their skills in a global marketplace. The PMBA Online is specially geared toward working professionals, with the majority of enrolled students taking classes part-time to accommodate their full-time careers. MBA students at University of Texas at Dallas have significant flexibility in their degree programs; they can start in the fall, spring, or summer and they get to determine for themselves how many courses to take and when to take them.

  • Annual Tuition: $18,000
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 81.0%
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
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The online MBA program at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst gives students access to the same top-notch faculty and curriculum as residential students have with the added flexibility of being able to complete coursework when it fits with their busy schedules. Over 1,300 students have graduated from the online MBA program which has 13 years of experience providing professionals with quality education. The school also offers students the opportunity to get a taste of the program before applying or while their applications are being processed; prospective students can take 6 introductory credits to discover first-hand if the program fits their learning styles and career goals. 

  • Annual Tuition: $28,440
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 79.5%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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The Penn State online MBA program, led by the internationally ranked Smeal College of Business, is known for its customizable educational curriculum and top tier student and career support services. The program's online MBA concentrations were developed to prepare students for the competitive modern-day business environment, and include advanced accounting, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, and supply chain management among many others. An array of resources are available to online MBA students, including an expert full-time faculty with seasoned career advisers and highly qualified administrative staff, to ensure all online students receive the same educational support as on-campus MBA students.

  • Annual Tuition: $23,601
  • GMAT Academic Strength: 78.5%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The Professional Online MBA program at North Carolina State University is offered in two formats, accelerated and flexible, making it ideal for both full-time working professionals who may need multiple years to complete the degree and those looking to complete an MBA in as few as 21 months. The award-winning faculty keep regular virtual office hours, making them easily accessible to online students for support and collaboration. The school's MBA Career Resources staff help connect students and graduates of the online MBA program with potential employers and opportunities for networking. 

Online Master's Degrees (1)

2018 Top Online Colleges Offering MBA Programs

MBA-Top Online Colleges-2018-Badge

The 25 schools on this list offer the best value online MBA programs based on their affordability and academic strength. On the top of the list is the University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign with an impressive academic strength score of 83.8%. University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign offers eight different online MBA concentrations for students to choose from at an annual tuition rate of $9,000. The most affordable online MBA program on the list is offered by Missouri State University, offering a Master of Business Administration degree for only $4,845 a year with an academic strength rating of 63.6%.

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Rank School Annual Tuition GMAT Academic Strength
#1 #1 University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign Annual Tuition $9,000 GMAT Academic Strength 83.8%
#2 #2 Mississippi State University Annual Tuition $6,840 GMAT Academic Strength 72.5%
#3 #3 University of Massachusetts - Amherst Annual Tuition $11,700 GMAT Academic Strength 81.0%
#4 #4 University of Alaska Fairbanks Annual Tuition $6,660 GMAT Academic Strength 67.9%
#5 #5 Arkansas State University Annual Tuition $10,370 GMAT Academic Strength 75.3%
#6 #6 University of Central Arkansas Annual Tuition $4,875 GMAT Academic Strength 63.8%
#7 #7 Missouri State University Annual Tuition $4,845 GMAT Academic Strength 63.6%
#8 #8 University of South Dakota Annual Tuition $7,552 GMAT Academic Strength 68.8%
#9 #9 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Annual Tuition $8,100 GMAT Academic Strength 68.9%
#10 #10 University of Maine Annual Tuition $8,415 GMAT Academic Strength 68.8%
#11 #11 Southeast Missouri State University Annual Tuition $6,009 GMAT Academic Strength 63.8%
#12 #12 West Chester University of Pennsylvania Annual Tuition $7,650 GMAT Academic Strength 66.4%
#13 #13 University of North Dakota Annual Tuition $9,524 GMAT Academic Strength 70.0%
#14 #14 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Annual Tuition $7,650 GMAT Academic Strength 66.0%
#15 #15 Ball State University Annual Tuition $9,045 GMAT Academic Strength 68.8%
#16 #16 University of Wyoming Annual Tuition $11,250 GMAT Academic Strength 73.1%
#17 #17 Western Illinois University Annual Tuition $6,351 GMAT Academic Strength 62.6%
#18 #18 University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Annual Tuition $8,100 GMAT Academic Strength 65.5%
#19 #19 University of Louisiana-Monroe Annual Tuition $7,500 GMAT Academic Strength 62.5%
#20 #20 Lamar University Annual Tuition $7,344 GMAT Academic Strength 61.9%
#21 #21 Auburn University Annual Tuition $14,000 GMAT Academic Strength 73.9%
#22 #22 University of Massachusetts-Lowell Annual Tuition $9,600 GMAT Academic Strength 69.4%
#23 #23 Central Michigan University Annual Tuition $10,800 GMAT Academic Strength 67.3%
#24 #24 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Annual Tuition $11,473 GMAT Academic Strength 68.5%
#25 #25 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Annual Tuition $7,830 GMAT Academic Strength 60.5%

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - MBA Degrees ( 162)

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Online MBA Degree Overview & Career Information

The standard online MBA takes two years to complete. Students spend the first year completing general business classes and the second year taking electives in their interest area. Examples of general courses may include organizational behavior, principles of accounting, management information systems, principles of finance, or strategic management. Top MBA programs emphasize communication and the ability to network, so students will participate in group projects, case competitions, and group presentations in order to gain interpersonal skills and writing skills. The ability to write and speak concisely yet comprehensively is a highly coveted skill. Students also learn how to develop their leadership abilities through techniques that enhance their analytical and decision-making skills.

In addition to the standard two year MBA, there are 92 schools offering accelerated online MBA programs that can be completed in under two years. Impressively, West Chester University of Pennsylvania offers an online MBA that full-time students can complete in as little as nine months. Those interested in a specialized program will be pleased with Tennessee Tech University, which offers 6 different MBA degree concentrations.

In addition to acquiring general business skills, students in MBA programs typically focus on one particular aspect of business. This is an important part of the MBA, since many students already have an idea of their strengths and interests before applying to graduate school. Instead of trying to master all forms of business administration, MBA programs have found it beneficial for students to specialize in one form of business, such as organizational leadership, in order to ensure their graduates are competitive in the job market after graduation.

Pursuing an MBA is an important career and life decision, so it's important to take the time to adequately prepare before you begin a program. Be sure to get a financial plan together, and consider your funding options such as scholarships, loans, and savings. Identify your long-term goals, and choose a school that best coincides with your goals, aspirations, and interests. Many of the best MBA programs require either the GMAT or GRE, so be sure to prepare for and take the exams that are necessary for admission to your chosen school.

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AACSB Accreditation

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB, is the premier accrediting organization for business degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctorate level. With approximately 700 accredited members (as of May 2014), representing the top 5 percent of the world's business degree programs, attending an AACSB-accredited program ensures that students receive a business education of the highest caliber. AACSB evaluates business degree programs based on the quality of the faculty, the depth and breadth of the curriculum, the level of innovation involved in its academic research, and its ability to graduate highly qualified business professionals. AACSB has the most stringent requirements for both learning environments and learning outcomes. Companies are aware of AACSB's rigorous accreditation process, and many choose to only hire candidates who have attended a business program that has been accredited by the AACSB.

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Choosing a Reputable Online MBA Program

The MBA is an excellent degree for professionals to have, whether you’re an engineer moving into a supervisory role or an entrepreneurially-minded college grad looking to start your own business. While researching the top MBA programs, remember to keep your career goals, learning style, and work-life balance in mind, in order to pick the best option for you.

In general, the following criteria can help you evaluate online MBA programs you are considering:

  • Costs and Financial Aid: MBA programs can vary greatly in price. Shop around and make sure that you consider applicable fees and enrollment costs, as well as tuition.
  • Course Structure and Delivery: Part time or full time? Asynchronous or synchronous online classes? Traditional semesters or accelerated classes? All options are available online, but only you can decide which one suits your life and learning style.
  • Graduate Placement: If it is not available on the school’s website, ask the admissions office for information about graduate job placement. Inquire about the percentage of students who were able to find work in their chosen field within three to six months after they graduated.
  • Institutional and Programmatic Accreditation: It is important to choose an accredited MBA. To get accredited, a school or program is evaluated by an impartial accrediting organization. Schools that achieve accreditation have met important quality standards. Institutional accreditation applies to an entire college, while programmatic accreditation applies to individual programs. Anyone considering an MBA degree should focus on schools programatically accredited by the AACSB, which is the premier accrediting agency for business degrees.

References

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