Complete Guide to Top Online MBA Degrees

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The 573 accredited online degrees on this page span 13 specialties and 145 schools and prepare you for a variety of career opportunities. An online MBA degree, particularly from one of our 25 top ranked colleges, can greatly enhance your employment and promotional prospects and many career fields require it for advancement. Prospective students should also make sure that the school they are considering is accredited.

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2017 Top Online Colleges Offering MBA Degrees

All 15 schools on this list offer online MBA programs with annual tuitions under $14,000. Each school has an academic strength score over 64%, with University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign taking the top spot at an impressive 83%. There are a variety of MBA programs on this list; for example, Florida State University offers online MBAs in information systems, risk management and insurance, and real estate.

View our methodology for more details.

Rank School Annual Tuition Academic Strength
#1 #1 University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign Annual Tuition $9,000 Academic Strength 83%
#2 #2 Union University Annual Tuition $10,080 Academic Strength 77%
#3 #3 Mississippi State University Annual Tuition $6,393 Academic Strength 69%
#4 #4 Franciscan University of Steubenville Annual Tuition $9,250 Academic Strength 73%
#5 #5 Florida State University Annual Tuition $11,700 Academic Strength 75%
#6 #6 Missouri State University Annual Tuition $5,610 Academic Strength 68%
#7 #7 University of Central Arkansas Annual Tuition $5,077 Academic Strength 67%
#8 #8 University of Illinois at Springfield Annual Tuition $6,520 Academic Strength 69%
#9 #9 West Chester University of Pennsylvania Annual Tuition $7,185 Academic Strength 69%
#10 #10 Kennesaw State University Annual Tuition $6,120 Academic Strength 67%
#11 #11 University of Northwestern - St. Paul Annual Tuition $10,290 Academic Strength 71%
#12 #12 John Brown University Annual Tuition $9,864 Academic Strength 71%
#13 #13 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Annual Tuition $12,744 Academic Strength 73%
#14 #14 Mercer University Annual Tuition $13,086 Academic Strength 73%
#15 #15 William Woods University Annual Tuition $5,500 Academic Strength 65%

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - MBA Degrees ( 310)

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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 93 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.

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.


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