Best Online MBA Programs in North Carolina

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MBA graduates in North Carolina qualify for many job prospects in a strong state economy: According to U.S. News & World Report, North Carolina’s economy ranks fourth in the nation for fiscal stability. This state’s positive economic outlook translates to plentiful career opportunities for business professionals.

An MBA provides students with a foundation in finance, leadership, and economics, applicable across many industries. Graduates find employment as business managers and executives in diverse fields like information technology (IT), accounting, and marketing. These jobs are in demand, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting business and finance jobs to grow by 5% between 2019 and 2029.

By comparing the best online MBA programs in North Carolina, degree-seekers can make informed decisions about which schools they should consider. On this page, readers can also learn more about MBA programs in North Carolina, including curriculum expectations and potential careers.

North Carolina’s 10 Best MBA Programs

Rank School Location
1 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
2 Campbell University Buies Creek, NC
3 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
4 Fayetteville State University Fayetteville, NC
5 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
6 Montreat College Montreat, NC
7 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC
8 Pfeiffer University Misenheimer, NC
9 Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte, NC
10 University of Mount Olive Mount Olive, NC

Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

Why Get an Online MBA in North Carolina?

With an MBA, graduates enter the workforce with a background that qualifies them for a variety of job prospects. Participants in North Carolina online MBA programs gain valuable business knowledge and hands-on experience. Other benefits of completing an online MBA in North Carolina include:

Salary Potential
MBA-holders can benefit from lucrative salaries and advancement opportunities. The BLS reported a median salary of $105,660 across management positions as of 2019. These occupations include marketing managers, financial managers, and IT managers.
Expertise
By pairing business foundations with niche knowledge in areas like technology, healthcare, and finance, graduates enter the job market with the expertise required to land management positions.
Flexibility
MBA graduates can apply their skills to careers in management, entrepreneurship, and consulting. These opportunities abound across industries, with many positions in restaurants, wholesale merchandising, and technology.

North Carolina is home to 31 Fortune 500 companies, including banks, healthcare companies, and retail giants, all of which offer exciting job possibilities for MBA graduates. U.S. News & World Report also names Charlotte the country’s second-largest banking hub.

By pursuing an online MBA in North Carolina, students study with professional faculty and gain access to alumni networks. Learners can also connect with employers from prominent corporations through hands-on capstone projects and internships. With such strong networking opportunities, online MBA programs in North Carolina help students secure excellent jobs after graduation.

The Best Online MBA Programs in North Carolina

  • Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Appalachian State offers an online MBA degree through its full-time program in Boone and part-time programs in two locations. Students may concentrate in business analytics, economics, human resources, interdisciplinary business, international business, supply chain management, or sustainable business. Full-time learners can complete the program in as few as 12 months, and part-time learners finish in two years. Not all courses are available online; students should check with an admissions adviser when creating their degree plan.

    To apply, prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and submit their GRE or GMAT scores. Candidates also must present evidence of knowledge in accounting, corporate finance, economics, marketing, organizational behavior, and statistics. All students have access to academic advising and help securing internships through the Walker College of Business.

    This 36-credit North Carolina online MBA program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  • Campbell University
    Location

    Buies Creek, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Campbell University's online MBA program features courses that last eight weeks, with accelerated options available for those who want to finish within one year. Students who wish to attend part-time must complete coursework within 60 months. Core courses in the MBA program include advanced negotiation, project management, human resource management, and marketing research. The school offers concentrations in financial services and healthcare management. All students complete a 200-hour work experience through an internship or professional employment.

    Eligible applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum 2.8 undergraduate GPA. They also must score at least 450 on the GMAT or 298 on the GRE General Test. Additionally, the program requires incoming students to possess at least two years of professional experience.

    Campbell's Lundy-Fetterman School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  • East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Greenville, East Carolina University delivers an online MBA program that features a hands-on format, with students taking part in projects in order to develop a firm understanding of how concepts learned in class apply to the business world. Of the program's 33-54 credits, seven foundational courses and eight "common body of knowledge courses" prepare the next generation of business leaders. Students also take three elective classes customized to their interests and career goals.

    This North Carolina online MBA requires all incoming students to have a minimum 2.7 undergraduate GPA and a score of at least 450 on the GMAT. Those who fall short of these requirements may still secure admission, but they will need to meet strict GPA requirements as they progress through the program.

    ECU's online MBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

    Concentrations

  • Fayetteville State University
    Location

    Fayetteville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Fayetteville State University students interested in pursuing an MBA may take classes through UNC Online, a statewide network of online courses. For this degree, students may concentrate in entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare management, international business, management, marketing, or project management.

    Once enrolled in this North Carolina online MBA, students take nine core courses and three to four electives focused on their interests and career goals. Learners also also complete a capstone project, where they implement concepts learned throughout the program. Most students graduate in one to two years.

    Eligible applicants to FSU's online MBA program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution with a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA. They also must score at least 400 on the GMAT. Those who don't meet these requirements may take up to four classes to demonstrate their ability to succeed in an MBA program. Applicants also must provide two letters of recommendation.

    Concentrations

  • Gardner-Webb University
    Location

    Boiling Springs, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Boiling Springs, Gardner-Webb offers an online MBA program that emphasizes leadership, preparing students for a variety of careers in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. The program includes 30 credits of core courses in accounting, finance, logistics, marketing, and administration, along with six credits of electives. Students also must complete a capstone course focused on strategic management.

    Once enrolled, students may select from concentrations in 12 areas, including forensic accounting, healthcare management, human resource management, international business, information systems management, and sports management. While students may take classes online, the program offers some in-person and hybrid courses.

    The North Carolina online MBA program requires all incoming students to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution with a minimum 2.25 undergraduate GPA. Applicants also provide their GRE or GMAT scores, a professional resume, and two recommendation letters.

    Concentrations

  • Montreat College
    Location

    Montreat, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Through its School of Adult & Graduate Studies, Montreat College offers an online MBA that prepares students with the skills and knowledge they need to serve as effective business leaders. The 30-credit program enables students to concentrate their studies in innovation and entrepreneurship or cybersecurity management. The curriculum also builds communication and critical thinking skills.

    Montreat's admission process requires two letters of recommendation; official GMAT scores; a current resume; and the completion of a graduate course in accounting, economics, finance, or statistics. Applicants also must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75.

    Enrolled students engage in a variety of academic experiences, including courses in quality operations, leadership and communication, financial management, marketing strategy, and applied economics. In addition to distance learning, the MBA program offers in-person courses at the school’s Asheville and Charlotte campuses.

  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    North Carolina State's Jenkins professional online MBA program allows students to access all learning content through its WolfWare platform. The platform gives learners opportunities to interact with instructors and their peers in ways similar to a traditional classroom. The program offers both accelerated and flexible options, enabling students to complete their requirements in as few as 21 months or as many as six years.

    While most classes take place online, the 40-credit North Carolina online MBA requires students to attend two, three-day residencies at the school's main campus in Raleigh. Distance learners have access to various resources, including a career management center, technical support, and a digital library.

    Prerequisites for admission to NC State's online MBA include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, two years of professional experience, and a C grade or higher in a qualifying statistics course. Applicants also must provide their GRE or GMAT scores, a resume, and evidence of leadership and teamwork skills.

    Concentrations

  • Pfeiffer University
    Location

    Misenheimer, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Pfeiffer University's 36-credit online MBA allows full-time students to complete their degree in less than two years. The program's core courses focus on economics, organizational communication, managerial accounting, and strategic management. Students may concentrate in human resources management, international studies, leadership, or financial fraud investigations. In addition to the distance learning format, the program offers study abroad opportunities in Canada and Europe.

    Eligible applicants to Pfeiffer's online MBA must possess a bachelor's degree from a four-year postsecondary institution and satisfactory GRE, GMAT, or MAT scores. Candidates also must submit three letters of recommendation. Prerequisites include coursework or demonstrated knowledge in accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, math, and statistics. Pfeiffer's MBA students may also seek a joint master's degree in strategic leadership or health administration.

    This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

    Concentrations

  • Queens University of Charlotte
    Location

    Charlotte, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Queens University of Charlotte's 45-credit, 100% online MBA program allows students to concentrate in executive coaching, finance, healthcare management, or leadership and change. Most learners can graduate within two years, although students learn at their own pace based on their needs and schedule.

    Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, this online MBA features core courses in leadership development, managerial accounting, marketing management, and strategic planning. Students may opt for an independent study experience during which they tackle a real-world challenge and develop a solution through a self-guided project.

    To apply to this program at Queens University of Charlotte, prospective students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Those who do not meet this GPA requirement may still qualify for admission, but must submit their GRE or GMAT scores. Applicants also provide two reference letters, two personal essays, and a resume.

  • University of Mount Olive
    Location

    Mount Olive, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Mount Olive offers a 100% online MBA that features three start dates each year. The accelerated format uses seven-week course terms. An asynchronous schedule means students do not need to log into the online platform at specific times, an ideal format for working professionals. Once enrolled, students take courses in logistics, business planning, business law, managerial decision-making, and leadership and organizational behavior.

    Admission requirements for this MBA program include a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Those who fall below this level may still apply by submitting a 500-word personal essay and a resume reflecting at least five years of relevant experience.

    The UMO online MBA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

What To Expect From MBA Programs in North Carolina

Depending on enrollment status, students pursuing online MBA programs in North Carolina can expect to complete the degree in 1-5 years. Many MBA programs offer flexible options for participants who work full time. Most programs require 35-50 credits for graduation. Specific curricular requirements depend on each student’s concentration and academic background.

While fully online options are available, some North Carolina online MBA programs require on-campus meetings, making the degree a hybrid between online and in-person learning. These meetings may take the form of orientations, weekend immersions, or longer residencies. Online courses can run asynchronously, meaning faculty upload materials for students to use on their own time, while other classes meet in real time through web conferencing.

MBA-seekers in North Carolina can choose from a wealth of specialization options, such as accounting, financial services, and project management. Core business courses generally include managerial accounting, business analytics, and applied economics.

Admission Requirements for MBAs

To apply to an online MBA in North Carolina, prospective students must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree. Many programs look for a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7.

Most schools also require applicants to take the GMAT. Minimum scores for the GMAT typically fall between 400 and 450. Some schools allow degree-seekers to substitute GMAT scores with GRE scores, in which case they look for 149 on both the verbal and quantitative sections. Students with lower scores can sometimes ask about alternative routes to acceptance.

In some instances, students with high undergraduate GPAs or who successfully completed courses at the same institution can apply for standardized test waivers.

North Carolina online MBA applicants typically submit essays/personal statements, recommendation letters, and resumes for programs that require previous work experience. Some schools accept students without a prior academic background in business. Others, particularly executive and accelerated MBA programs, require prerequisites in accounting, economics, and statistics.

Explore MBA Admissions

Specialized MBAs

Online MBA programs in North Carolina offer many potential concentrations. By specializing their degree, students can pursue areas of business that prepare them for specific careers. Because employers often prize the depth of knowledge a concentration offers, a specialization can improve a graduate’s career prospects or advancement opportunities. Popular MBA concentration options in North Carolina include:


cap

Healthcare Management


Students with a healthcare management specialization can capitalize on the plentiful pharmaceuticals job opportunities in North Carolina. Healthcare management courses focus on facility management, healthcare strategy, and marketing.

cap

Supply Chain Management


U.S. News & World Report names vehicle parts a staple of North Carolina’s economy, and three Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state focus on industrial machinery. A concentration in supply chain management focuses on plant management and logistics, preparing graduates for work in these sectors.

cap

Finance


Online MBA programs in North Carolina often provide a concentration in finance. Students in this specialization study financial theory, financial reporting, and investments. These skills allow them to take advantage of the plentiful banking jobs in North Carolina.


Popular MBA Program Courses

Online MBA programs in North Carolina usually offer similar core business courses. Students then pursue their interests by adding a concentration or choosing electives, which vary by school. Degree-seekers typically pursue a capstone project or thesis as a culmination of their studies. Popular North Carolina online MBA courses include:

A staple of the MBA business core, managerial accounting teaches students about accounting problem-solving and decision-making. The course covers areas like budgeting, risk management, and ethics in accounting. Students may engage in the material through case studies, real-life problems, and group work.
Another foundational business course, business analytics prepares students to analyze the functions of their organizations with an eye toward improvement. The course familiarizes participants with common analysis software used to make decisions about business.
Often offered as an elective or as part of a leadership concentration, business law courses emphasize business regulations. Subjects may include regulating agencies, legal case studies, and an overview of the law-making process. This course also usually includes an ethics component.
Strategic management is usually a capstone course. The class may take place as a seminar, project, or independent study. Often, students work in groups, partnering with a local business to help solve a real-world challenge. The groups develop in-depth strategies and systems, presenting them to both the client and the class.

The MBA Capstone or Thesis

As a career-focused degree, an online MBA may require students to complete a hands-on capstone project before graduating. For these capstone courses, online MBA programs in North Carolina may pair students with an industry related to their concentration. Through in-depth work on capstone projects, students gain crucial experience and network with local business professionals. Students leave the MBA capstone with detailed business plans they can use in a portfolio, plus resume-worthy experience and valuable business connections.

Programs with a thesis option often require students to complete a longer written document where they research some aspect of business theory, do a case study of a specific business’s practices, or propose a solution to a business-related problem. Thesis options provide students the opportunity to deeply immerse themselves in a subject that interests them, but these options do not offer the same hands-on experience as capstone courses.

How Much Do MBAs Cost in North Carolina?

The cost of tuition for the best online MBA programs in North Carolina depends on several factors: Public schools in North Carolina are generally more affordable for North Carolina residents, while out-of-state residents and students at private institutions tend to pay higher tuition. When planning a budget for graduate school, degree-seekers must add costs like materials, travel for on-campus residencies (if applicable), and textbooks.

Students who have completed prerequisite business courses may be able to lower the total cost of tuition. By transferring these courses, they lower the number of total credits they must take to finish the MBA.

To help fund their studies, degree-seekers can complete the FAFSA to qualify for federal grants and low-interest loans. Prospective students can also seek out scholarship opportunities. Applicants working full time should ask whether their employers would cover some or all of the program’s tuition. The link below discusses financial aid options in more detail:

Learn More About Financial Aid Options

What Jobs Can MBAs Get You?

With an MBA, graduates can pursue a variety of careers. While business occupations often require workers to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, many employers seek applicants with MBAs, which signify their advanced knowledge and experience. MBA degree-holders who are already employed can secure advancement opportunities and higher salaries.

In North Carolina, demand for many business occupations well exceeds the national projections for those jobs. For example, the BLS projects a 6% national growth for human resources managers between 2019 and 2029; in North Carolina, however, jobs for these professionals are projected to increase by 9.4% between 2018 and 2028, according to Projections Central. Similar growth is projected for other North Carolina management jobs, including financial managers and management consultants.

Below are a list of common jobs for MBA graduates:

  • Financial Manager

    Highly employable in industries like insurance, technical services, and management of companies and enterprises, financial managers oversee their company’s financial strategies. Working with other executives, they set goals, implement plans, and run regular reports on monetary transactions. According to Projections Central, demand for financial managers in North Carolina is projected to grow 21.5% between 2018 and 2028.

    • Required Education: Master’s degree often preferred
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +15%
    • Median Annual U.S. Salary: $129,890
    • Average Annual Salary in North Carolina: $150,140

  • Marketing Manager

    Marketing managers study customer habits and market trends to develop marketing strategies that target ideal customers for their company’s products and services. In North Carolina, Projections Central projects 11.9% growth for marketing manager jobs between 2018 and 2028, exceeding the national outlook.

    • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +6%
    • Median Annual U.S. Salary: $136,900
    • Average Annual Salary in North Carolina: $144,750

  • Management Consultant

    Usually employed by a firm that takes on clients, management consultants assess a company’s operations to recommend improvements. They analyze financial data, systems, and staffing to improve efficiency. According to Projections Central, total management consultant jobs are projected to grow 16.4% between 2018 and 2028 in North Carolina.

    • Required Education: Master’s degree often preferred
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +11%
    • Median Annual U.S. Salary: $85,260
    • Average Annual Salary in North Carolina: $98,020

  • IT Manager

    IT managers coordinate the technology-related aspects of a company’s operations. They recommend, implement, and maintain computer systems, researching new technologies and staying abreast of developments in the field. Total IT manager positions in North Carolina are projected to grow 15.5% between 2018 and 2028, according to Projections Central.

    • Required Education: Master’s degree often preferred
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +10%
    • Median Annual U.S. Salary: $146,360
    • Average Annual Salary in North Carolina: $141,910

  • General and Operations Managers

    Often in charge of ensuring smooth day-to-day work, general and operations managers carry out plans, supervise staff, and oversee budgets. According to Projections Central, demand for general and operations managers in North Carolina is projected to grow 9% between 2018 and 2028.

    • Required Education: Master’s degree often preferred
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +4%
    • Median Annual U.S. Salary: $100,690
    • Average Annual Salary in North Carolina: $128,390

North Carolina’s Top MBA Employers

U.S. News & World Report ranks North Carolina’s economy 14th in the nation. With overall job growth at 1.7%, compared to the national average of 1.2%, North Carolina offers plentiful opportunities for business workers.

One of the state’s top industries, centered in Charlotte, is banking. Manufacturing companies in the state produce food, furniture, paper, and healthcare equipment. Prospective students hoping to work in North Carolina can find supply chain management and finance jobs in any of these fields.

The state’s cost-of-living index is 94.9 — compared to the nationwide standard score of 100, this means that North Carolina is relatively more affordable than other states. In addition to low cost-of-living, earning potential for MBA graduates often exceeds national average salaries. For example, general and operations managers in the state out-earned the median annual salary by more than $25,000 in 2019.

Top MBA Employers in North Carolina


Bank of America


Headquartered in Charlotte, Bank of America is a Fortune 500 financial institution that provides personal and business banking services. Dedicated to professional development, they value education and offer mentorship programs for employees. Bank of America employs 15,000 people in Charlotte alone. Top jobs in the area include executives, risk managers, IT managers, and human resources professionals.

Lowe's


Lowe’s began in North Carolina, and its headquarters remain in Mooresville. Known for its nationwide chain of home improvement stores, Lowe’s offers internship opportunities for MBA-seekers. Students can learn hands-on about finance, supply chain management, sales, and technology.

IBM


MBA-holders in North Carolina with an interest in technology might consider jobs with IBM. The international company sells a suite of computer-related products and leads in areas like security, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. IBM employs 10,000 workers in its Research Triangle Park location in North Carolina, regularly partnering with academic programs in the state.


Selecting Your North Carolina MBA Program

Our list of school rankings is a great starting point for prospective students considering an online MBA in North Carolina. However, degree-seekers need to follow their own career goals to select the right program. Important factors to consider before committing to a program include:

Accreditation
Students should always seek out accredited programs. Regional and national accreditation agencies ensure schools meet standards of academic excellence. Regional accreditation is considered more rigorous. North Carolina institutions are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Degree-seekers may also look for program-specific accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which evaluates how well the MBA’s curriculum prepares learners for jobs in the field.
Prerequisite Admission Requirements
Programs designed for students with undergraduate degrees in business may require learners with bachelor’s degrees in other fields to complete additional coursework for graduation. These prerequisite courses can extend the timeline and cost of an MBA.
University Resources
Particularly when pursuing an online degree, students should investigate the resources the college provides to distance learners. MBA applicants should prioritize career services and alumni networking. Other important resources can include library services and tech support.

Why You Should Consider Online Schools in North Carolina

Prospective students can choose from a remarkable variety of online MBA programs. Over the last decade, the prevalence of distance learning options has grown considerably. By looking for online schools in North Carolina, students can pursue career-relevant concentrations with renowned faculty all while studying from home.

Because distance learning is often asynchronous — not requiring students to attend live lectures — online degrees are often beneficial to MBA candidates who work full time. The flexible nature of coursework allows them to keep their jobs, thus reducing some of the financial burden of completing a degree.

When considering a North Carolina online MBA, prospective students need to factor their learning style into the decision-making process. Because distance programs require self-direction, online learners need to demonstrate excellent time management and motivation. Though group work can be a frequent requirement of online MBA programs, students also often study on their own.

Online MBA Programs In Nearby States

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are online MBAs respected?

    Yes. With rigorous, career-focused curriculum, online MBA programs merit the same respect as their in-person counterparts. Employers value the insights learned through an MBA program, regardless of the delivery method.

  • How much does an MBA cost in North Carolina?

    Per-credit tuition costs in North Carolina MBA programs range from $700 to $1,200. Tuition rates can vary based on the student’s home state and academic background in business.

  • Is an MBA worth it if you have a business degree?

    Yes. With an MBA, graduates gain more in-depth knowledge about their particular area of the business world. MBA-holders of all academic backgrounds can qualify for lucrative advancement opportunities.

  • Does North Carolina have online degrees?

    Yes. Degree-seekers can find an exciting variety of online MBA programs in North Carolina, with a wealth of concentration options that include healthcare, supply chain management, and entrepreneurship.

Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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