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Campus: Glendale, Arizona

Type: Private

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost: $69,800

Per Credit Hour: $1,501

Minimum Credit Hours: 46.5

GMAT Required: Yes

Minimum Time Commitment: 19 months

Online Concentrations: Global MBA

On Campus Requirements: Yes. The program has five week-long seminars that take place at various locations.

School Site: Online MBA Overview | Tuition | Financial Aid


Established in 1946, Thunderbird School of Global Management was one of the earliest graduate institutions with a focus on international business.

A veteran in the online learning field, Thunderbird’s first distance, Web-distributed format was unveiled in 1998 and moved to its current format in 2005.

Thunderbird’s Distance Learning MBA blends 75 percent Web-based learning with 25 percent on-site business seminars to provide a hybrid learning experience.


Thunderbird is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the premier accrediting organization of business schools worldwide. Thunderbird has also been accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement since 1969.


Students must take classes in lock-step sequence, progressing through the program as part of a group. The program has 46.5 academic credit hours of classes and can be completed in 19 or 28 months.


To be considered for admission into Thunderbird’s distance learning MBA program, students must submit:

  • A completed application form
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A personal essay
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions, a resume and GMAT scores. International students are required to submit their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores.

Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Base program cost, excluding fees, is $69,800. Thunderbird participates in a variety of student loan programs from federal and private sources. Federal loan programs are options for U.S. citizens and legal residents. Private education loan programs are options for all applicants, including international students. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the Financial Aid Data forms are required to determine eligibility.


Thunderbird students have access to alumni from many corners of the world. Students are assigned a career management center adviser upon admission who works with students throughout their program. This advisement also includes career management and job search seminars. The advisers also can help find student internships or similar experiences.

Each October, Thunderbird holds a professional development week at its Glendale, Ariz., campus for MBA students.

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