Alabama is home to 37 four-year universities, including 14 public institutions and 20 nonprofit private schools. As in many jurisdictions, state funding for higher education dropped dramatically in recent years, and tuition rose as a result. However, data from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association found that Alabama remains one of the few states which grew its higher education enrollment numbers between 2013 and 2018. As online education continues to grow, particularly for public universities, more students can access the colleges in the Heart of Dixie, including Alabama residents in rural areas of the state.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Location Birmingham , AL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 52 Student Population 18,333 Tuition $39,168 School Type Public

With more than 20,000 enrolled students, UAB serves as the only public university in the state's largest city. UAB offers 162 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs both online and on campus. Within two years, students in the MBA program at UAB can earn their degree entirely online through the eLearning department.

MBA students can specialize their degree with a variety of concentrations, including finance and health services. Students complete a minimum of 35 credit hours, 39 if pursuing a specialization. Applicants with related work experience may qualify for a GMAT score waiver. The Alabama online MBA program at UAB holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

View School Profile
Auburn University
Location Auburn , AL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 35 Student Population 27,287 Tuition $34,125 School Type Public

Originally founded in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, Auburn University now serves nearly 30,000 students pursuing degrees in 140 major areas. The school's home campus in Auburn spans more than 1,800 acres, but many students also take classes online through Auburn's distance-learning program. The online MBA program at Auburn consists of 13 required classes, with students often completing coursework in two years. The core curriculum includes courses in quantitative analysis, marketing and consumer theory, and organizational leadership.

Students may livestream campus classes or watch recordings on their own time. Program participants can also pursue a dual degree, earning a master of science in finance, industrial and systems engineering, or information systems. A three-day, on-campus residency takes place for online students the week before graduation. UAB holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

View School Profile
Faulkner University
Location Montgomery , AL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 73 Student Population 3,262 Tuition $17,400 School Type Private

Faulkner University, located in Montgomery, offers more than 70 different academic programs. With just over 3,000 enrolled students, the private, Christian liberal arts university maintains small class sizes, with an average of 10-15 students per class. In addition to courses and degrees offered at Faulkner's campuses, the university also offers 23 fully online degrees for distance learners. Students interested in Alabama online MBA programs can earn their degree at Faulkner within one year.

Faulkner's online MBA consists of 30 required credit hours and a comprehensive examination. The ten required courses include managerial economics, organizational behavior, and marketing management. Applicants must submit GMAT scores for admission. Those without scores may still enroll but must take the GMAT during the first semester to remain in the program. Faulkner University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.

View School Profile
Jacksonville State University
Location Jacksonville , AL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 68 Student Population 8,314 Tuition $11,460 School Type Public

Students looking for Alabama online MBA programs can earn their degree at Jacksonville State University. Located in Jacksonville, JSU serves a student body of over 8,000 enrollees. Originally established in 1883, JSU now offers 45 different program options at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The fully online MBA program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours for completion. Those without a bachelor's degree in business or a related field may need to take up to 24 hours of foundational courses along with the master's curriculum. An adviser examines each student's transcripts to determine which classes the student needs to take to meet this requirement.

Students can pursue a concentration in accounting or follow the general MBA path. Applicants must submit GMAT scores with a minimum acceptable score of 400 for admission. The online MBA program at JSU holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the main campus holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

View School Profile
University of West Alabama
Location Livingston , AL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 67 Student Population 4,032 Tuition $14,157 School Type Public

Located in the city of Livingston, the University of West Alabama serves students both at their home campus and online. Founded in 1835 as an all-female, church-based school, UWA now offers more than 50 programs to more than 2,000 online students. Learners seeking an Alabama online MBA can earn their degree at UWA in about one year. The fully accredited program offers eight concentration options, including accounting, finance, and sports management. Students complete a minimum of 33 credits, including 24 in the core curriculum and nine within their chosen concentration.

Courses take place in eight-week sessions and cover business law and ethics, marketing management, and economics. Students may transfer up to nine hours of graduate credit towards the degree. An admissions counselor guides applicants through each step of the application process. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs provides specialized accreditation for the MBA program at UWA, and the university itself holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

View School Profile
University of North Alabama
Location Florence , AL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 67 Student Population 7,078 Tuition $15,450 School Type Public

Located just south of the Tennessee border in Florence, the University of North Alabama remains the state's oldest public, four-year university. The university serves more than 7,000 students in over 140 different majors and fields, and it offers a variety of degrees, programs, and courses entirely online -- including an Alabama online MBA program.

The University of North Alabama's online MBA program reviews the foundations of business and finance and explores advanced subject material through the executive MBA concentration. Students pursuing the executive track need at least five years of work experience. Those in the general MBA track can choose from nine concentration options, including healthcare management and global business. Students may also create their own degree path, selecting courses from multiple concentrations. Applicants to the general MBA must submit a minimum GMAT score of 450. The University of North Alabama holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

View School Profile
Samford University
Location Birmingham , AL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 34 Student Population 5,206 Tuition $29,268 School Type Private

Samford University's campus spans 247 acres in suburban Birmingham. With a long list of notable alumni -- including congressmen, governors, and Rhodes scholars -- Samford has provided students with a higher education since 1841. A Christian university, Samford enrolls over 5,000 students and boasts a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Learners looking for an accredited online MBA program in Alabama can earn their degree at Samford. The program requires 36-45 credit hours, depending on each student's previous academic experience and background. Pursuing a concentration adds an additional three credit hours. Coursework explores human resource management, finance, and accounting. Students can opt to pursue a joint degree, such as earning a master of accountancy alongside the MBA. Applicants must submit GMAT scores for admission, with 480 as the minimum acceptable score. GRE scores may also substitute for the GMAT. Samford University holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

View School Profile
Troy University
Location Troy , AL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 65 Student Population 17,765 Tuition $15,314 School Type Public

Troy State Normal School began as a teacher preparation institution in 1887. Now Troy University, the school offers a variety of majors and degrees both at its campuses around Alabama and online. Students can complete many of Troy's available degrees in as little as one year entirely online; at the Troy, Montgomery, Dothan, or Phenix campuses; or through a hybrid option with both on-campus and online coursework.

The Alabama online MBA program at Troy consists of 31 required credit hours. Some students may need to complete more credits, depending on their educational background and completed prerequisite requirements. The program emphasizes a general management concentration, with courses in international management, investments, and organizational development. The MBA program at Troy holds specialized accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

View School Profile
University of Mobile
Location Mobile , AL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 76 Student Population 1,480 Tuition $14,250 School Type Private

Rated by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best regional colleges in the south, the University of Mobile offers students a variety of programs, all integrated with the Christian faith. Situated just outside downtown Mobile, the university serves more than 1,600 students. With a small student body, classes maintain a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio that allows for more individualized attention.

Students can earn their MBA at the University of Mobile entirely online in one to two years. The program consists of 30 required credit hours, with coursework emphasizing Christian worldviews and ethics. Students complete a capstone project and courses in global business, data analysis, and social responsibility. Applicants with at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA may waive the GMAT score requirement for admission. Some students without a bachelor's in business may need to complete undergraduate prerequisite courses.The University of Mobile holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

View School Profile

Ready to take the plunge? We've done all the hard work for you! The following online MBA programs in Alabama are offered by accredited schools that are known not only for their academic quality, but also the flexibility you've come to expect from a web-based degree.

Why Consider an Online MBA in Alabama?

Online MBAs in Alabama give more than one million Alabama residents who live in rural areas a chance to earn an accredited graduate degree from institutions in their own state without leaving their homes. In addition, urban areas near universities tend to offer higher costs of living than the surrounding suburban and rural areas. Institutions such as Auburn University's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business offer online MBAs in Alabama that welcome residents from across the state. The charts below demonstrate how many Alabama college students choose distance education.

Number of Students Enrolled in Distance Education (2015)

Undergraduate Graduate
Any Distance 84,797 26,349
Exclusively Distance 37,749 20,513
On-Campus 219,901 24,796
Source: Digital Learning Compass

Distance Enrollment by Institution Type (2015)

All Students Graduate Students Enrolled in Any Distance
Private for-profit 29,541 6,130
Private not-for-profit 25,967 1,870
Public 247,451 18,349
Source: Digital Learning Compass

MBA Concentrations for Alabama Students

Students who pursue online MBAs in Alabama benefit from gaining insight into the state's largest industries, which include aerospace, aviation, automotive, chemical, information technology, and food production. Graduates with concentrations in some areas can stand out to these major employers. For example, a few universities offer dual degrees, including MBAs and master's degrees in industrial and systems engineering, which can help applicants land jobs in the aerospace and automotive industries. Furthermore, concentrations within MBA programs, such as computer information systems, can help applicants find jobs in these high-demand fields. Learners who concentrate in entrepreneurship prepare to start their own businesses.

  • Computer Information Systems: These specializations include courses in information technology management, business intelligence, and organizational issues in information systems. Graduates can manage teams in technology-focused companies.
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Students take courses in business model design, global entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and cross-cultural innovation. These graduates start their own businesses or manage companies with startup cultures.
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering (Joint Degree): Students in these programs earn master's degrees in engineering and business. They are uniquely suited for management positions in aerospace, automotive, and technology companies.

Accreditation in Alabama

If you want to improve your career prospects with an online MBA, Alabama is home to many regionally accredited institutions. Regional accreditation is key for those looking for the best online MBA programs in Alabama. These schools have met the strict academic and ethical standards set by accrediting bodies, which are essentially quality control organizations for higher learning institutions.

A school attains regional or national accreditation based on the type of accrediting body credentialing it. Most nationally accredited schools are for-profit vocational or technical institutions, and nonprofit schools typically receive regional accreditation. Of the two types, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious, and credits earned at a nationally accredited school are less likely to transfer than those from their regionally accredited counterparts.

Alabama Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Graduates with online MBAs in Alabama experience strong career stability. Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that Alabama suffered higher unemployment rates than the national average during the Great Recession years of 2009 through 2011. In more recent years, the numbers in Alabama have stayed close to national unemployment rates. The BLS also reports that graduates with master's degrees experience lower unemployment rates than those with lower educational attainment. Furthermore, the broad range of skills that MBA students gain helps them find employment as the state's economy changes.

Alabama suffered higher unemployment rates than the national average during the Great Recession years of 2009 through 2011.

The Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama (CBER) projects the state's economy will continue to grow in the coming years. A robust labor market, increasing final sales, and goodwill among consumers contribute to this growth. The center projects 70% more growth in the coming year than the previous and expects these trends to continue. Organizations in all of the state's main industries need well-trained managers to oversee this expansion. CBER also finds that executives in the state believe education and workforce training are the most important issues facing Alabama employers. Job candidates can impress these employers with high-quality, online MBAs from Alabama schools.

Company Location Main Industry Number of Employees
Redstone Arsenal Huntsville Military 60,000
University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham Higher Education 30,000
1917 Clinic At UAB Birmingham Healthcare 8,184
Source: Career OneStop

Online MBAs in Alabama can help candidates land jobs at the state's largest employers, which include an Army base, university, and HIV health clinic. Candidates looking for employment at Redstone Arsenal do well with military experience, but the base hires some civilians as well. The University of Alabama Birmingham and its 1917 Clinic need managers to oversee areas such as finance, marketing, and human resources. MBA programs include courses that help applicants qualify for such positions.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of Alabama

The BLS reports that the median wage for all workers in Alabama is $43,790 annually. Data from Georgetown University shows the median salary for professionals in Alabama with a bachelor's degree in business administration is around $54,000. Professionals in the Heart of Dixie can significantly raise their earning potential with MBAs. On average, someone with an MBA in Alabama earns $74,471 per year, according to PayScale. The chart below details the earning potential for Alabama workers with graduate degrees in different areas of business. Candidates may earn more or less than these figures depending on their industries, location, and years of experience.

Salary for Graduate Business Majors (2015)

Major Median Annual Salary
Business Management and Administration $67,000
General Business $80,000
Source: Center on Education and the Workforce

Careers for MBAs in Alabama

Engineering Manager

These supervisors manage engineering teams to create products. Alabama's booming aerospace, automotive, and technology industries need these managers to troubleshoot problems, keep projects on budget, and hire qualified talent. On average, these managers earn $138,470 in Alabama and $148,970 throughout the country.

Chief Executive

This category includes top-level executive titles such as CEO, CFO, or CIO, overseeing all activities within their areas of the businesses. For example, CFOs set budgets, handle financial investments, and supervise spending. Chief executives in Alabama earn median wages of $204,590, higher than the national average of $200,140.

Industrial Production Manager

These professionals work in manufacturing and production plants in all applicable industries, including the robust automotive sector in Alabama. Industrial production managers oversee staffing, buying, quality assurance, and manufacturing at their facilities while maintaining budgets and keeping workers safe. In Alabama, these supervisors earn median annual wages of $103,430.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

As the technology industry in Alabama expands, companies need computer-savvy managers to oversee teams dealing with data processing, network security, programming, and information systems architecture. On average, computer and information systems managers in Alabama earn $126,300 per year.

Agricultural Manager

Alabama maintains a strong agricultural industry in need of well-trained managers. These professionals plan and implement ideas on farms and ranches. They must maximize yields, minimize costs, and prepare for inclement weather. The average agricultural manager in the United States earns $79,940 per year.

How to Choose an Online MBA in Alabama

There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Alabama. These include factors discussed above like cost, accreditation, and available specializations. The following list includes some key steps to follow during the program research process for MBA options in any state.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Student outcomes include graduation rate, year-to-year retention rate, the average debt for a graduate from that school, and overall student satisfaction with their degree program. Student outcomes do not guarantee you will be satisfied with a particular program, but can be useful for pinpointing a school's strengths and weaknesses.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Virtually every accredited college or university posts tuition rates online. Additionally, you should research other college-related costs like living accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to live on-campus), administrative fees, and technology fees (for online students). You should also look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of institutional financial aid that can offset some of the costs.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    Scheduling is critical for students with other important commitments, such as childcare or full-time employment. Many online programs are asynchronous, or self-paced; students in these tracks are free to complete course requirements on their own schedule. Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require weekly online meetings with teachers and fellow students.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    A large number of online MBA programs include internship and/or capstone practicum requirements ― and in many cases, students are able to gain on-the-job training and real-world office experience. You should look into the school's business partnerships, particularly in regard to the industry you plan to enter after earning your MBA.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation status should always be available and easily accessible on a school's website. In addition to regional or national accreditation, some MBA pathways receive programmatic accreditation. Recognized programmatic accreditors for MBA programs include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Counsel for Business Education (IACBE).

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    You should contact the alumni office at each school you are considering and ask to be connected with former students. These individuals can be good sources of information about education costs, life on- and off-campus, local business tips, and other important details for aspiring MBA students.

Online MBA Programs in Surrounding States

Top of Page