Complete Guide to Getting Your MBA Online

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The online MBA programs on this page include a variety of popular MBA specialties and accelerated MBA degrees. An online MBA degree can greatly enhance your employment and promotional prospects; many career fields require it for advancement, such as banking, consulting, and finance. The 433 accredited online degrees on this page span 13 specialties and 109 schools and prepare you for a variety of career opportunities.

Prospective students should make sure that the school they are considering is accredited by the AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), which is the premier accrediting organization for business degrees. This designation signals to employers that the MBA program meets the highest academic standards. Those looking for a fast-track program should consider one year and accelerated online MBA programs. Read More

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Overview of Available Online MBA Degrees

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 94 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.

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.

One-Year Online MBA Programs from AACSB-Accredited Schools

All schools profiled in this list are regionally accredited non-profit institutions offering one-year MBA degrees online. Program information was researched in March of 2016, and all data reflects what was listed on the school's official website at that time. Those interested can explore relevant references. Here is a full list of the criteria for inclusion on this list:

  • Non-profit status
  • Regional accreditation
  • Fully Online MBA program designed to be completed in one year or less
  • School is accredited by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business)

Schools that met these criteria were ranked alphabetically.

Boise State University Program Duration: 12 months
  • Annual Tuition: $36,750
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Regional Accreditation: NWCCU

Boise State University offers a fully online Master of Business Administration in an accelerated format. While this 49-credit program is most commonly taken over a two year schedule, the fast-track option allows applicants to complete all requirements in as little as one year. MBA candidates must have two years or more of work experience in some management field in order to enroll in the fast-track program. Course titles include Legal Issues in Business, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Global Economics, and many more. Each individual course lasts seven weeks. All course materials are able to be accessed digitally. Total tuition costs, including materials, are $36,750.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

Tennessee Tech University Program Duration: 1 year
  • Annual Tuition: See School Website
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Regional Accreditation: SACS COC

Tennessee Tech University features a Master of Business Administration program with a variety of concentrations. Students may select the general MBA or specialize in accounting, finance, human resource management, international business, management information systems, or marketing. Study abroad opportunities are also available for MBA candidates. The program is fully online and offered in an accelerated format that can be completed in one year. Ten courses or 30 credit hours are required for graduation. Online students may also take advantage of The College of Business Student to Career Program for networking and job placement opportunities. Students may enroll in fall, spring, or summer sessions.

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Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Program Duration: 12 months
  • Annual Tuition: $11,820 in-state, $23,970 out-of-state
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Regional Accreditation: SACS COC

A fully-online Master of Business Administration program is offered at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. Foundational courses focus on accounting and finance, and applicants will be able to study various forms of management, economics and marketing strategies, including the use of social media. For students enrolling with a previously earned degree in business, ten courses are required for graduation. All other degrees may require up to fourteen total courses, but the accelerated format should allow students to finish the program in one year. Annual tuition is $15,668.

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Texas A & M University-Kingsville Program Duration: 12 months
  • Annual Tuition: See School Website
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Regional Accreditation: SACS COC

Texas A&M University - Kingsville offers an accelerated Master of Business Administration that can be completed fully online in 12 months. Online courses are typically limited to 30 students, and many come from different parts of the country. While foundation courses cover finance, management, and marketing, candidates can choose the following electives: energy finance & logistics, health service administration, and managing people in the global enterprise. Students finish the MBA with a capstone project that focuses on business practices in an international context. If an applicant decides to switch paths, he or she may also earn a non-accelerated dual degree combining the MBA with a Doctor of Pharmacy. Annual tuition is listed at $17,560.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

University of Cincinnati Program Duration: 12 months
  • Annual Tuition: $34,390
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Regional Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

The University of Cincinnati offers a 38-credit hour Master of Business Administration. The program can be completed entirely online. The traditional MBA also has a variety of certificate options. Students may focus on healthcare finance, healthcare administration, healthcare operations, healthcare policy, corporate taxation, or individual taxation. Regardless of concentrations, MBA candidates will take foundation courses in topics covering management, strategic marketing, and basic finance. Many students choose to finish the MBA in two years but the accelerated option allows for completion in 12 months. An undergraduate degree in some form of business is required for admission, or an applicant may take approximately 10 credit hours to fulfill the requirements. Tuition is very close between in-state and out-of-state residents with the latter listed at $34,390.

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University of Florida Program Duration: 12 months
  • Annual Tuition: $48,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Regional Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Florida features a fully online Master of Business Administration. Many students elect to complete the 48-credit program in two years, but an accelerated curriculum of 32 credits can be completed in as little as twelve months. Interested candidates can focus on one of the following specialties: finance, marketing, international, or entrepreneurship. All class terms are designed to be taken with the same group of students in order to foster networking opportunities. The university offers its signature Global Immersion Experience (GIE) for MBA students interested in studying abroad. Additionally, a student may travel to the Gainesville campus and take a one-week intensive course to satisfy the equivalent of an online course that spans four months. Please note that candidates must have earned their undergraduate degree within seven years of enrollment date in the MBA program.

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University of Michigan - Dearborn Program Duration: 12 months
  • Annual Tuition: See School Website
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Regional Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

A fully online Master of Business Administration is available at the University of Michigan - Dearborn. While many students choose a traditional two-year option, the MBA curriculum ranges from 36 - 48 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 12 months. Instructors center the program around courses in Applied Integrated Management, which incorporates a variety of business disciplines into the overall philosophy. Core topics cover economics, information systems, statistics, finance, and more. Concentrations are featured, but some of them may require a visit to the Dearborn campus. These concentrations with all or mostly online instruction include finance or international business.

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West Chester University of Pennsylvania Program Duration: 9 months
  • Annual Tuition: $14,370
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Regional Accreditation: MSCHE

West Chester University of Pennsylvania features an accelerated Master of Business Administration. Offered through the College of Business and Public Affairs, all coursework within the MBA can be completed entirely online. Each 3-credit course costs $1,437 for out-of-state applicants and less for residents of Pennsylvania. The MBA program is comprised of 7 core level courses, and 3 elective courses. Full time students can complete the MBA program in as little as nine months. To follow the nine month completion plan, students will take five courses each semester. Many students work full time while enrolled in the MBA program.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

West Texas A & M University Program Duration: 12 months
  • Annual Tuition: Varies by Program, $1,100 per course
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Regional Accreditation: SACS COC

A fully online Master of Business Administration is available at West Texas A&M University. The MBA program ranges from 31-49 credits, depending on the curriculum.  Students can either choose to complete the program in two years or the accelerated 12 month option. Topics cover strategic planning and management along with basics in finance and accounting. Specialized concentrations are also featured in management, marketing, health care administration, and computer information systems. While many MBA programs require capstones involving a comprehensive examination or thesis, West Texas A&M University has a final course centered on creating a portfolio. Courses are offered at an affordable $1,100 per 3-hour course, and fully online students can often get many fees required for campus students waived.

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Methodology: How These Schools Were Chosen

In order to compile this extensive list, researchers investigated hundreds of accredited online degree offerings by referencing school websites and in some cases, government-mandated program disclosure information to come up with this list of accelerated online degree programs. In order to meet the criteria to be included as an accelerated program, the school's website must clearly list an intended program duration of less than 2 years. You will notice variations in the types of durations listed (weeks, months, years) due to the differing approaches taken by the individual schools.

Please note that program duration depends on a variety of factors including but not limited to: transfer status, student motivation, class availability, and other issues related to school scheduling. Those interested in accelerated programs should research carefully to ensure degree satisfaction.

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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