According to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, more than 400,000 students attend the state's colleges and universities, which confer more than 100,000 degrees each year. The office also provides tips for evaluating online programs and links to the nearly 70 postsecondary institutions that offer distance education programs.

The University of Minnesota, for example, offers 13 fully online graduate degrees, including an MBA program. The state of Minnesota supports online learning, as distance education is affordable and improves access to academic programs. The guide and rankings below explore degree and career opportunities for online business students in Minnesota.

Online MBA Programs in Minnesota

Below you will find a list of the best online MBA programs in Minnesota. These programs are fully accredited and available through reputable colleges and universities statewide. They all offer the flexibility and accelerated pace that come with distance learning. Browse this list to determine your options as you look to advance your education in the field of business.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description
Bemidji State University
Location Bemidji , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 61 Student Population 5,081 Tuition $18,000 School Type Public

The online MBA in Minnesota at Bemidji State University focuses on strategic leadership and professional development through advanced coursework and personalized enrichment experiences. Students enjoy a flexible course schedule that allows them to earn their MBA in as little as one year or spread their coursework out over a longer period.

While many colleges feature higher tuition rates for out-of-state students, Bemidji charges the same tuition rate for all students. Financial aid opportunities are available to those who qualify. The 30-credit curriculum includes 10 courses covering topics such as global business, statistical analysis, and corporate social responsibility. Bemidji offers an accelerated MBA program, too. Undergraduate students who qualify for the accelerated option take four MBA courses during their senior year as general coursework toward their bachelor's degree. Once they graduate from their bachelor's program, students can complete their final six MBA courses in the accelerated online program, finishing their degree in as little as one year.

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Bethel University
Location Saint Paul , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 66 Student Population 3,952 Tuition $29,190 School Type Private

One of the best online MBA programs in Minnesota, Bethel University's program features five concentration options that allow students to cater their degree to their career goals and interests. Students hoping to learn more about global finance trends and quantitative statistics find that the finance concentration works for them; other students intrigued by creating advanced business strategies enjoy the strategy and execution concentration. Bethel also offers MBA concentrations in management, global management, and healthcare administration.

All concentrations require students to complete 42 credits of coursework. Students can engage with local business leaders through both the alumni group and special projects. Six one-on-one coaching sessions with an experienced career coach grant students the ability to create a specialized career plan.

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Capella University
Location Minneapolis , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 50 Student Population 35,569 Tuition $20,352 School Type Private

Featuring a FlexPath option, the online MBA in Minnesota at Capella University allows students to earn their MBA in as little as one year for under $11,000. Capella offers two program options for online MBA students: the FlexPath or the GuidedPath. The FlexPath is self-paced, meaning students finish one course and move on to the next without waiting for the next term to start.

The GuidedPath allows students to complete their coursework at any time with 24/7 classroom access. Instructors pre-set the curriculum, requiring assignments at the end of the week and message board discussions in the middle of the week. The entire program features a guided curriculum with instructors assigning readings relevant to course material and providing students with help along the way.

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Concordia University - Saint Paul
Location Saint Paul , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 64 Student Population 4,380 Tuition $26,250 School Type Private

Offered fully online, Concordia University's MBA program is one of the best online MBAs in Minnesota. The 42-credit curriculum reviews a variety of topics, including managerial research methods and design, integrated marketing communication, and operations and technology management. Near the end of the program, students can choose to take a global management course or complete a study abroad.

Concordia features an MBA mentor and managerial application portfolio program that assigns a faculty mentor to each student to help guide them through their graduate degree. The managerial application portfolio is a required one-credit course students must take in six consecutive terms. Mentors act as personal business coaches to help students perfect their interpersonal skills, strengthen their resumes, and create networking strategies. Applicants must hold a 3.0 minimum GPA from an accredited undergraduate program and submit a personal statement and professional resume.

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Crown College
Location Saint Bonifacius , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 70 Student Population 1,153 Tuition $22,260 School Type Private

Crown College's online MBA in Minnesota teaches students how to lead others from a Protestant-based perspective. MBA students apply the material they learn in their courses to real work situations in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. The curriculum comprises 42 total credits, with 27 credits in core coursework and 15 concentration credits. Students choose either the general MBA path or the nonprofit management concentration. Concentration courses in the general area include topics such as business law and ethics, operations management, and international finance; those in the nonprofit management sector cover topics like fundraising and philanthropy.

A Protestant worldview remains present in every course and activity. Graduates research diverse perspectives to solve problems with high integrity and ethical awareness. Online MBA students come from various backgrounds, allowing them to collaborate with colleagues from healthcare, aviation, finance, retail management, marketing, and service industries.

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Metropolitan State University
Location Saint Paul , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 52 Student Population 8,424 Tuition $15,600 School Type Public

Located in Saint Paul, Metropolitan State University offers an online MBA in Minnesota. The curriculum serves diverse students with a globally-oriented, practical outlook. Graduates of the program leave prepared to analyze the impact of external and internal influences on organizations, communicate effectively, understand ethical considerations of policies and decisions, and work effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Faculty members boast many years of business and managerial experience in both nonprofit organizations and global companies, enabling students to learn how to apply their coursework directly to real-world situations. The college of management at Metropolitan State University uses three different metrics to track how well they serve students: graduation rates, retention rates, and enrollment trends. The college also tracks how well students absorb the skills they practice during their coursework by regularly administering assessments to evaluate how equipped students are to succeed as business practitioners and managers.

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Minnesota State University - Moorhead
Location Moorhead , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 64 Student Population 5,923 Tuition $14,393 School Type Public

Minnesota State University in Moorhead's online MBA program allows students to gain the knowledge and skills they need to become more effective leaders. The program molds students into strategic thinkers who embody analytical business approaches. The curriculum covers a variety of relevant topics, including marketing, management, investments, project management, and finance. Graduates not only increase their understanding of business fundamentals, but they also develop the tools they need to apply critical thinking when making managerial decisions.

Many online MBA in Minnesota programs require students to hold a specific undergraduate degree or prerequisites, but Minnesota State's online MBA program does not require specific undergraduate experience; students need only possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Additionally, applicants must possess a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a current resume, two letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, and GMAT scores.

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Saint Cloud State University
Location Saint Cloud , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 48 Student Population 16,096 Tuition $21,000 School Type Public

Targeting working professionals with between three and five years of professional work experience, Saint Cloud University offers one of the best online MBA programs in Minnesota. The fully online program features an asynchronous program, allowing students to finish their work anytime, anywhere. The curriculum follows a cohort in which small class sizes enable students to earn their degrees simultaneously with one another. Online MBA students at Saint Cloud earn their degree in 28 months. Though students can decide when and where they want to conduct their classwork, they must participate in small group discussions through discussion boards and online chats.

Instructors of online programs also teach on-campus classes, so online students receive the same high quality education as their on-campus counterparts. The cohort format allows students to go through their program with the same group of 20-25 students, building connections along the way. Applicants need a 3.25 minimum GPA and at least five years of recent, full-time, post-undergraduate work experience.

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Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Location Winona , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 61 Student Population 5,931 Tuition $19,500 School Type Private

Located in Winona, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's MBA online program helps students advance their careers by offering accelerated programs that learners complete in as little as 18 months. Three program tracks -- social media management and marketing, data analytics, and sustainability and environmental management -- allow students to tailor their degrees to their career goals and specific skill sets. The 30-credit curriculum includes 26 lecture series options, allowing students to choose lectures that fit their individual interests.

Seniors must complete a capstone project in which they apply the knowledge they learn to either a domestic or international business situation. The program prepares students to pursue social media strategy certification with curriculums created by the National Institute for Social Media. In addition to the three program tracks, students can opt to follow a general MBA path for an expanded study of topics like ethical leadership and organizational behavior.

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The College of Saint Scholastica
Location Duluth , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 68 Student Population 4,329 Tuition $19,080 School Type Private

The College of Saint Scholastica's Minnesota MBA online program features a unique curriculum designed both by and for business professionals focused on developing change-management and leadership skills. The college has two locations: Duluth and Saint Paul. The 36-credit curriculum allows students to choose an accelerated format and finish in as few as 12 months -- taking eight-week terms. The program focuses on the principles of organization development, experiential learning, and ethical decision-making.

Online MBA students learn how to design, analyze, and deliver effective change-based strategies and interventions in an ever-changing global environment. They can identify competing values, assumptions, and behaviors relevant to the effective implementation of different proposed change initiatives, and they display critical thinking and high-level reasoning through both written and oral skills. Three capstone options include a global capstone that allows students to travel abroad with faculty for an experiential learning opportunity, a group practicum where students apply theory to practice in a small group project with their peers, or a traditional thesis.

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University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Location Minneapolis , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 43 Student Population 50,678 Tuition $78,375 School Type Public

Dedicated to advancing students' leadership and management skills, the University of Minnesota's MBA online program mixes business fundamentals with industry-specific electives, enabling students to tailor their degrees to their skill sets and career goals. Online MBA students enjoy access to a variety of resources, including career coaches, an alumni network that covers 95 countries, and academic advisers.

Students can complete the 52-credit program in about two years. In addition to online courses, the program offers the potential to participate in some on-campus courses and/or global experiences. The business school provides a career center that prepares students for successful job searches through resume reviews, career fairs, mock interviews, networking events, and more. Coursework covers various business-oriented topics, including business ethics, managerial economics, and marketing management.

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University of Northwestern - St Paul
Location Saint Paul , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 46 Student Population 3,447 Tuition $20,958 School Type Private

Offering both a fully online and a hybrid MBA program, the University of Northwestern's Minnesota MBA online incorporates strategic networking into every course. Students can finish the program in as little as 22-26 months. The Christian university instills faith and understanding in students as they learn from Christian professors who are experts in small business entrepreneurship, marketing, and other pertinent areas of business. The curriculum develops students' critical thinking and communication skills by covering topics such as the legal aspects of business, marketing for managers, managerial leadership, and human resource and organizational development.

The 42-credit curriculum offers core coursework that allows students to learn about business and leadership principles for global communities and prepares them to serve God by advancing their careers and accomplishing greater levels of responsibility within an organization. Class sizes feature a 14:1 ratio, giving students the chance to enjoy more one-on-one experiences with their instructors.

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University of St. Thomas
Location Saint Paul , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 57 Student Population 10,148 Tuition $72,000 School Type Private

The Minnesota MBA online program at the University of St. Thomas offers a unique, executive-style cohort learning environment where students' goals drive their learning experience. The cohort structure emphasizes teamwork and collaboration; 25-30 students in each group move through the 21-month program together. This model allows students to form strong intellectual and personal connections with their peers. The online MBA program focuses on healthcare, featuring a diverse professional network that represents the entire healthcare industry.

Students complete a global residency that focuses on universal innovation in healthcare. The program serves as one of only 14 MBA programs dually accredited by both the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit an updated resume, transcripts, essay responses, and two letters of recommendation. Applicants should also boast healthcare industry experience and five years of work experience.

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Walden University
Location Minneapolis , MN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid - Student Population 52,799 Tuition $34,200 School Type Private

Featuring three different program options, the online MBA in Minnesota at Walden University allows students to choose the format that works best for them. The course-based MBA offers an instructor-led approach where students learn on a predetermined schedule. Students complete the degree in as little as 20 months. This format requires students to complete 10 to 15 hours of coursework each week, with one course every eight weeks. Students can customize their degree to their interests and career goals by choosing one of 11 different concentration areas such as entrepreneurship and small business, project management, and social entrepreneurship and innovation.

The fast-track, course-based MBA caters to students who can devote more time to their studies, earning their degree in just 12 months. Students dedicate 30-35 hours per week with two courses every eight weeks; the program focuses on a general overview rather than offering concentrations. The competency-based program highlights a flexible schedule with no set deadlines, allowing students to work at their own pace. In this format, students can focus their degree on either healthcare management or project management.

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Why Consider an Online MBA in Minnesota?

Known for its long, cold winters and remote landscapes, Minnesota is an ideal location to pursue an online degree. The number of Minnesota students taking online courses is well above the national average. Minnesota boasts a thriving business environment and a robust economy; as of 2018, the state was home to 19 Fortune 500 companies.

Minnesota's colleges and universities offer 16 online MBA programs, including one from the University of Minnesota's top-ranked Carlson School of Management. As the tables below demonstrate, online education is a popular option for graduate students in Minnesota.

Number of Students Enrolled in Distance Education (2015)

Undergraduate Graduate
Any Distance 101,070 82,627
Exclusively Distance 47,732 78,417
On-Campus 262,658 39,141
Source: Distance Education State Almanac

Distance Enrollment by Institution Type (2015)

All Students Graduate Students Enrolled in Any Distance
Private for-profit 100,904 71,288
Private not-for-profit 70,857 7,018
Public 256,187 4,321
Source: Distance Education State Almanac

MBA Concentrations for Minnesota Students

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the state's top industries include medical devices, business and enterprise management, and wholesale trade. Minnesota's top businesses include health insurance companies such as UnitedHealth Group, major retailers such as Target and Best Buy, tech giants including 3M and Ecolab, and food manufacturers such as General Mills and Hormel.

Many Minnesota residents care about protecting farmland, lakes, and natural areas, and business priorities often reflect this concern for the responsible use of natural resources. MBA graduates can improve their career opportunities by pursuing concentrations relevant to the state's top industries, such as those below.

  • Healthcare Administration: This concentration prepares MBA students for leadership positions in the healthcare industry. Students develop leadership skills in business strategy and operations and prepare to manage medical services, health insurance programs, and healthcare providers.
  • Executive MBA: Ideal for seasoned business leaders, this concentration helps professionals hone their business skills and qualify for high-level positions that involve additional responsibility and complex challenges.
  • Environmental Management: This concentration helps business leaders gain the skills necessary to guide companies toward environmentally responsible practices. Graduates often become leaders in "green" business planning and sustainability.

Accreditation in Minnesota

The best online MBA programs in Minnesota are offered through accredited institutions. Accredited schools meet strict academic and ethical standards set by quality control organizations known as accrediting bodies. Depending on the accrediting body that assesses a school, the institution may be regionally or nationally accredited.

Most nationally accredited schools are for-profit vocational or technical institutions, while nonprofit schools typically receive regional accreditation. Of the two types, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious. Credits earned from nationally accredited schools rarely transfer to regionally accredited institutions. For learners who want to improve their career prospects with an online MBA, Minnesota is home to many regionally accredited institutions.

Minnesota Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Minnesota boasts a robust economy, a tight job market, and a low unemployment rate. According to DEED, the state's unemployment rate was 3.3% in April 2019. About half the state's population lives in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) metropolitan area.

Minnesota's fastest-growing occupations include positions in healthcare, technology, finance, retail, and higher education, as well as the developing "green" economy.

Many of the state's top employers are based in the Twin Cities, including the University of Minnesota, 3M, and Target. The area is home to 56% of the state's job openings, and DEED reports significant growth in high-paying jobs in scientific, technical, and professional services in the Twin Cities. Located in Rochester, about an hour and a half south of the Twin Cities, the Mayo Clinic leads the state's booming healthcare sector and is the largest employer in Minnesota.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Minnesota's fastest-growing occupations include positions in healthcare, technology, finance, retail, and higher education, as well as the developing "green" economy. The fastest-growing jobs include positions for MBA graduates, such as operations research analyst and marketing specialist. Chief executives and marketing managers rank among the state's top 20 highest-paying professions. General and operations managers rank among the careers with the most job openings in Minnesota.

Top Employers in Minnesota

Company Location Main Industry Number of Employees
Mayo Clinic Rochester Healthcare 58,144
University of Minnesota Twin Cities Minneapolis Education 18,000
3M St. Paul Technology 11,000
Source: U.S. Deparment of Labor

Earning an online MBA in Minnesota helps students develop the broad business skills top employers look for in job candidates. Specializing in areas such as healthcare, finance, technology, marketing, and operations can lead to leadership positions with Minnesota's largest employers.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of Minnesota

According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, business majors in Minnesota earn annual median salaries of about $70,000. As the table below illustrates, earning a graduate degree in business can lead to annual salary increases of about $30,000. Employers who hire professionals with business skills in finance, management, strategic thinking, and operations often value candidates with an MBA.

Salary for Graduate Business Majors (2015)

Major Median Annual Salary
Business Management and Administration $91,000
Finance $98,000
General Business $101,000
Accounting $101,000
Source: Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce

Careers for MBAs in Minnesota

General and Operations Manager

Responsible for the day-to-day operations of organizations, these managers ensure that companies use resources efficiently and that production efforts run smoothly. In Minnesota, general and operations managers earn a mean salary of $112,120, which is above the occupation's national average of $100,930.

Chief Executive

Also referred to as a company president, chief executive officer, and executive director, chief executives run companies, large and small, and typically earn the highest salaries in their organizations. Chief executives earn a median annual wage of $189,600. These professionals often work long hours, travel, and have heavy responsibilities. Chief executives in Minnesota earn above-average mean salaries of $195,320.

Marketing Manager

These managers oversee organizations' marketing efforts. Their responsibilities include conducting market research, developing marketing plans, hiring staff, and meeting with clients. U.S. marketing managers earn median salaries of $134,290, and Minnesota professionals earn a mean salary of $139,440 per year.

Healthcare Executive

These managers hold leadership roles in healthcare companies, insurance companies, and organizations that provide medical services, devices, and technology. Healthcare executives earn a median salary of $99,730 nationally, and these professionals earn a mean salary of $110,490 in Minnesota. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 20% job growth for these executives from 2016-2026.

Financial Manager

These finance experts create and oversee the financial strategies of companies and clients. They analyze market trends, offer professional financial advice, and direct financial budgeting and reporting. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for these managers to increase 19% from 2016-2026. Financial managers earn a median salary of $127,990 in the U.S. and a mean salary of $133,970 in Minnesota.

How to Choose an Online MBA in Minnesota

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

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