Abutting four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan is widely considered one of the most beautiful states in the American Midwest. It has the world’s longest freshwater coastline, and about half its surface area is forested. Large cities, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Lansing, thrive amid its rugged beauty. With a population of about 9.93 million as of 2016, Michigan ranks as America’s 10th most populous state.

The University of Michigan and Michigan State University systems are the state’s two largest public higher education institutions, and both offer a wide range of highly regarded online programs. The long-serving center of the American automotive industry, Michigan’s economy is in a transitional state of diversification, making it an intriguing prospect for individuals interested in earning an online MBA in Michigan.

Michigan is home to 93 accredited colleges and universities, with Michigan State University being its largest public higher education system and Flint’s Baker College ranking as its largest private degree-granting institution. Thirteen schools currently offer a hybrid or fully online MBA in Michigan, with program lengths ranging from 12 to 36 months. Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, and Lawrence Technological University both offer highly regarded online MBA programs in Michigan. Wayne State University leads the way in terms of online MBA specializations, with 12 available degree concentrations.

For in-state students, tuition for a Michigan online MBA program can be around half the cost paid by out-of-state students, giving Michigan residents a strong incentive to study locally. Studying online also offers an overall cost benefit by eliminating many of the non-tuition costs and fees associated with traditional programs, while delivering the flexibility to attend virtual classes anytime and anywhere. Some Michigan businesses also offer tuition reimbursement packages to employees who pursue MBA degrees part-time while continuing to work.

Several Michigan online MBA programs have on-campus requirements, which candidates should research and consider when applying to business schools. Most Michigan-based MBA programs also have GMAT requirements, with some exceptions including Baker College, Spring Arbor University, Walsh College, and Kettering University.

Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education
Percentage of students enrolled at Title IV institutions in Michigan, by distance education enrollment status, Fall 2012

MBA Concentrations for Michigan Students

While many different specializations are available to students pursuing an online MBA, Michigan has particularly strong automotive and manufacturing industries, and is emerging as a regional leader in information technology. Of course, students are free to pursue any specialization they like, but MBA concentrations such as supply chain management and information systems/technology management are especially applicable. The state’s economy is continuing to diversify away from its traditional reliance on automobile production, but Detroit’s Big Three automakers remain among the state’s strongest and largest companies.

  • Supply Chain Management: This concentration examines the impacts of globalization on procurement and business supply chains while preparing students to meet rapidly changing consumer demand patterns for products and services. It leads to careers in marketing, operations, global business, strategic planning, and risk management.
  • Information Systems/Technology Management: Often pursued by experienced professionals seeking to upgrade their existing technological skills, this specialization highlights the changing and increasing roles of IT and technology in the workplace. It prepares students for careers in strategic planning, project management, and systems analysis.

Accreditation in Michigan

Accreditation is a quality assurance system that ensures higher education programs meet important professional and academic standards. Online MBA programs in Michigan are accredited on a national and/or regional level. In general, national accreditation programs apply to for-profit schools, while regional accreditation programs are oriented toward state-operated, nonprofit, and degree-focused institutions. Of the two types, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious.

Most Michigan colleges and universities received their accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accrediting body focused on the Midwest. Advanced degrees from accredited institutions are particularly valuable, as they are statistically proven to lead to higher earning potential and a wider range of career opportunities. For those with an online MBA, Michigan offers a diverse and dynamic range of opportunities thanks to recent innovation-driven changes in its economy.

After being hit hard by the economic recession of 2008, Michigan’s economy has staged a dramatic turnaround in recent years. Traditionally led by manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism, Michigan’s economy now focuses strongly on technology as part of its recovery, and is embracing innovation as it continues to diversify. Other entrenched industries, including mining, aerospace, military equipment production, and furniture production, also continue to be major drivers of the state’s economy.

The state’s Big Three automakers have returned to their longstanding roles as pillars of economic stability, and key indicators including employment rates and industry-specific data show strong, continued growth across Michigan. Data released in 2016 indicates that the state has a lower unemployment rate than the national average, with recent job growth and projected future job growth both outpacing the national averages.

Michigan’s top labor markets include Detroit-Warren-Livonia, the Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the Lansing-East Lansing MSA, the Grand Rapids-Wyoming MSA, and the Kalamazoo-Portage MSA. As of 2017, unemployment rates were declining in all 17 of the state’s regional employment markets.

Top Employers in Michigan

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
General Motors Automotive Detroit 215,000
Ford Motor Company Automotive Dearborn 201,000

Statistics reported in 2015 indicate that the median income among the 3.86 million households in Michigan was $51,084. Based on that income data, students in online MBA programs in Michigan transition into careers that pay significantly higher-than-average salaries.

Online MBA programs in Michigan offer the potential for students to realize outstanding returns on their education investments. Graduate-level academic credentials have direct statistical correlations with higher salaries, and MBA degrees consistently rank among the most valuable degree designations available in terms of career earning potential. Graduates of reputable MBA programs have the necessary qualifications to move directly into well-paid management positions with strong advancement prospects. Many MBA degree holders go on to secure prestigious upper-management roles with major companies, and a long list of high-powered executives and wealthy entrepreneurs are alumni of Michigan-based business schools.

Average Salary by Degree
Search Programs by Concentration

Careers for MBAs in Michigan

Given its status as a base for many major companies, a large number of Michigan-based jobs for MBA degree holders are oriented toward the management of traditional business activities, such as operations, finance, and marketing. The state’s recent embrace of technology-oriented jobs also means a strong rise in demand for candidates with tech-related MBA degrees. Below are five potential career paths for MBA graduates in Michigan.

Business Operations Manager

This career path puts the multifaceted skills of MBA graduates to excellent use in a cross-departmental organization and management capacity. Median salaries for new MBA graduates in these positions hover around $73,000.

Financial Manager

Financial managers hold major responsibilities in the administration of company finances. Key duties include profit and revenue projections, compliance assurance, and the preparation of specialized financial reports. New MBA graduates holding financial manager positions can earn about $121,750,000 per year.

Marketing Manager

These professionals devise strategies for moving into new markets, boosting market share, and improving performance in existing markets. A recent MBA graduate with no previous experience can expect a median salary of about $121,560 for this position.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

This fast-growing career path has a projected 15% growth rate between 2014 and 2024, and involves selecting, managing, and maintaining the security of the computer software and hardware used by a company. In Michigan, new MBA graduates with computer and information systems specializations currently command median salaries around $135,800.

Information Technology Director

This in-demand career focuses on acquiring and managing digital resources for companies, administering IT infrastructure, and selecting new and emerging technologies for adoption by the business. This high-paying MBA career path carries a median salary of $115,463.

This list of Michigan online MBA programs includes only accredited degree options. Costs and the number of available specializations vary from school to school, so individuals interested in pursuing a particular MBA concentration should perform additional research to compare and evaluate available opportunities.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Andrews University

Location Berrien Springs, MI Tuition Tuition $17,259 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 3,366 School Type Private View School Profile

Baker College

Location Flint, MI Tuition Tuition $26,410 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 23,790 School Type Private
View School Profile

Central Michigan University

Location Mount Pleasant, MI Tuition Tuition $21,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 78% Student Population 26,825 School Type Public
View School Profile

Cleary University

Location Howell, MI Tuition Tuition $30,360 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 545 School Type Private
View School Profile

Concordia University - Ann Arbor

Location Ann Arbor, MI Tuition Tuition $27,261 % Receiving Financial Aid 74% Student Population 899 School Type Private
View School Profile

Davenport University

Location Grand Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $22,950 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 8,142 School Type Private
View School Profile

Ferris State University

Location Big Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $27,072 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 14,715 School Type Public
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Cornerstone University

Location Grand Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $21,850 % Receiving Financial Aid 74% Student Population 2,572 School Type Private
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Lawrence Technological University

Location Southfield, MI Tuition Tuition $34,560 % Receiving Financial Aid 32% Student Population 3,516 School Type Private
View School Profile

University of Michigan - Dearborn

Location Dearborn, MI Tuition Tuition $13,572 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 9,066 School Type Public
View School Profile

Northwood University - Michigan

Location Midland, MI Tuition Tuition $37,080 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 3,337 School Type Private View School Profile

Spring Arbor University

Location Spring Arbor, MI Tuition Tuition $24,840 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 3,401 School Type Private
View School Profile

Walsh College

Location Troy, MI Tuition Tuition $32,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 2,549 School Type Private View School Profile

Wayne State University

Location Detroit, MI Tuition Tuition $10,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 27,140 School Type Public View School Profile

Kettering University

Location Flint, MI Tuition Tuition $42,720 % Receiving Financial Aid 64% Student Population 2,252 School Type Private
View School Profile

University of Michigan - Flint

Location Flint, MI Tuition Tuition $26,922 % Receiving Financial Aid 85% Student Population 8,470 School Type Public
View School Profile

Saginaw Valley State University

Location University Center, MI Tuition Tuition $24,252 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 9,633 School Type Public
View School Profile

There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Michigan. 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.