Improving your career prospects starts with obtaining the right degree. Working professionals may find it challenging to obtain an MBA degree at a traditional college or university; online programs are more flexible and allow students to satisfy their existing professional obligations while also advancing their education.
The Best Online MBA Programs
Below, find details about top online MBA programs, including expected tuition costs and application requirements.
University of Florida
Based in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida is recognized for its extensive contribution to research, biotechnology, and sustainability. In 1999, it became one of the first schools to offer an online MBA and is now considered to be one of the world’s top online MBA programs.
For students who graduated with an undergraduate degree in business within the last seven years, UF offers an accelerated online MBA that can be completed in 16 months. The traditional online program takes 20 to 21 months to complete and is the best option for students seeking more flexibility in their course schedule.
UF recently updated their online MBA program to accommodate students worldwide. The courses, coursework, and learning activities are completely based online, meaning lectures and content can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. The program’s flexibility is designed to help students who seek to work throughout their educational journey.
The University of Florida’s accelerated MBA program focuses on both online and real-time learning opportunities. The 16-month track requires weekend visits to campus every four months and offers some on-campus electives. However, the remainder of the intensive is offered through the same technology as the 20-month online course. Tuition costs for the accelerated program are $49,204, while the full online program tuition cost is $59,807.
Acceptance to UF’s online MBA program requires a minimum of two-years professional, full-time work experience. Other requirements include an undergraduate degree from an accredited 4-year university, GMAT scores, and two letters of professional recommendation. Students admitted to the program in recent years had an average GMAT score of 680 and a 3.4 GPA.
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private research university located in Los Angeles, California. The university offers programs in 21 different schools, enrolling over 27,000 students in graduate and professional programs alone. Founded in 1880, USC has since established itself as a leading private research institution.
The Marshall School of Business at USC offers one of the top online MBA programs in the country. The 21-month program uses online learning to teach students the essentials of business administration as well as the skills necessary to excel in a business world driven by digital communications and technology. USC’s online MBA program begins with a prerequisite course on management and a six-day residential intensive that takes place on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles.
After the residential intensive, students complete the remaining 21-month program completely online, benefiting from both recorded material and weekly, live sessions streamed via a webcam. Throughout the program, students study topics such as the fundamentals of business, opportunity recognition, and business leadership, learning the key skills necessary for everything from launching a start-up to communicating with stakeholders and developing strategies for organizational growth.
Admission to USC’s online MBA program requires a four-year undergraduate degree as well as at least two years of professional work experience. GRE or GMAT scores, as well as academic achievement and work history, all play a role in acceptance to the program. USC indicates that their estimated cost for tuition and fees is $106,197.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon is a private, global research university based in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. While the institute’s main campus is in PA, Carnegie Mellon has multiple other locations nationally and internationally, from Silicon Valley to Qatar. The institute’s seven schools and colleges represent a wide array of degree offerings, ranging from public policy to business administration.
The university’s MBA program, through Tepper School of Business, exists as both a full-time and an online hybrid degree program. While the majority of the hybrid program is online, the school emphasizes that both the traditional and online degrees offer the same rigorous curriculum, with a particular focus on strategic analytics and leadership development.
Over the course of the eight-semester program, online students experience the benefits and flexibility of combined asynchronous and synchronous learning. Students participate in two live, interactive online classes each week that take place in the evening to accommodate students who are working throughout their education. The remainder of the coursework is pre-recorded and can be accessed at any time. To benefit from Carnegie Mellon’s extensive network, students also attend six Access Weekends each year. Access Weekends take place at multiple locations and offer MBA students an opportunity to connect with professors, classmates, and alumni.
Because of the school’s global impact, Carnegie Mellon MBA students have an opportunity to participate in 4-week international outreaches to learn about business issues and tactics around the globe. MBA Capstones are also available with international businesses, giving students further access to a global marketplace perspective.
Tuition for Carnegie Mellon’s online MBA program is $17,000 per semester and the course lasts for eight semesters. Admission is assessed based on work experience, GMAT scores, and educational background. Most recently, students enrolled at Carnegie have an average GMAT score of 669, 6.1 years of work experience, and a 3.3 GPA.
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, founded in 1956, is a Preeminent State Research University based in Tampa, Florida. The school, while younger than many other state universities in Florida, joins just two other schools in their Preeminent status. USF boasts two additional locations apart from its Tampa campus, serving over 50,000 students across all three institutions.
USF offers a full-time and part-time online MBA program which allows students to complete the 32 credit hours in as few as 2 years. Unique to other online MBA programs, USF offers customizable coursework so students can choose electives that reinforce their career goals, or they can choose one of three concentrations, including data analysis or compliance, cybersecurity, or risk and anti-money laundering. The MBA in cybersecurity was ranked third against other online cybersecurity programs.
Applicants to USF can expect to be assessed on GPA, GRE or GMAT test scores, and prior work experience. While each category is considered for acceptance, the university boasts students from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Candidates for the program typically earned an average GPA of 3.3 in their most recent coursework, with an average GMAT score of 570.
MBA students can expect to pay $900 per credit hour for the online MBA. For those looking for flexibility in their degree program, USF’s part-time online MBA can be completed in approximately 3 years, fulfilling the same 32 credit hours as the full-time program.
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, established in 1795, was the nation’s first public university. The institute serves nearly 19,000 undergraduates and 11,000 graduate students, providing 111 different master’s degree programs. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine ranked UNC Chapel Hill first among the 100 best public colleges, while Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the school seventh overall among the best undergraduate business programs.
Matching the university’s educational acclaim, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School offers a top-ranking online MBA program. The 62-credit program focuses on a the foundations of business with a particular emphasis in strategic leadership. Courses cover topics such as finance, communication, and business strategy and can be completed in as few as 18 months or as many as 36 months.
Students of UNC’s MBA program have the opportunity to choose a concentration or customize their courses to accommodate their unique business and career interests and goals. UNC offers five different concentrations: marketing, finance, data analytics, and decision-making, entrepreneurship, and strategy and consulting.
Coursework for UNC’s online MBA can be completed from anywhere, at any time. Students benefit from the school’s mobile app, which gives them access to coursework on-the-go and when the internet is unavailable. Weekly collaborative sessions take place online, allowing students to meet face-to-face and discuss and build on coursework and team activities. For practical, hands-on training and networking opportunities, MBA students can participate in global summits, which take place at business hubs around the world.
Similar to other online MBA programs, UNC applicants are evaluated on GMAT or GRE test scores, prior education, GPA, and work experience. Tuition for the 62-credit hour program is $125,589.06. Many students cover tuition costs through scholarships, fellowships, and employer sponsorship.
Pursuing an MBA Degree Online
Obtaining an MBA degree online allows students to focus on their education while also keeping up with their professional obligations. These degree programs help business-minded individuals hone their skills in leadership, management, and their specific concentrations.
Choosing the right online MBA program is a personal process that involves reviewing your own qualifications, determining what kind of tuition you are comfortable with, and determining which school offers the best curriculum for your specific career aspirations.