Pennsylvania lies in the Northeastern United States and borders Lake Erie. The state is home to 12.8 million people. Pennsylvania’s largest cities include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education boasts the largest university system in the U.S., with 14 universities. The largest colleges include Penn State, Temple University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Many of Pennsylvania’s 250 colleges offer online programs.

In an online MBA program, learners gain skills in finance, management, economics, and administration, which can help them find careers in management, accounting, healthcare administration, human resources, and information technology.

Pennsylvania boasts the lowest cost of living in the Northeastern United States, especially in the areas with low population density, which is where most schools base their campuses. Schools in the state advertise affordable tuition rates for an online MBA, especially if the applicant lives in-state. While the majority of online MBA programs in Pennsylvania offer blended courses, which require online and face-to-face instruction, most also offer asynchronous learning.

PASSHE created an outreach network for business-minded students through small business development centers and entrepreneurial leadership centers. While certain online MBA programs require two years to complete, some use an accelerated, 11-month schedule, and other programs allow students to set their own pace of studying. Most online MBA schools require the GMAT but offer GMAT waivers based on academic achievements, professional experience, and more.

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

MBA Concentrations for Pennsylvania Students

Though most online MBA programs offer electives for more specific areas of study, certain schools offers concentrations. Taking a concentration that relates to a strong Pennsylvania industry can help you find employment in the state. These concentrations include international business, enterprise resource planning, healthcare management, healthcare and pharmaceutical business, human resources, and operations management.

 

  • Operations Management: Students learn to manage the production and distribution of products or services through efficient coordination of equipment, employees, and resources throughout different levels of an organization. This training provides relevant skills for careers in manufacturing industries, agribusiness, and plastics.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning: Learners gain technical software skills to increase the connection of data in different departments within an organization, thereby improving efficiency across all departments. This training offers advantages for potential careers in life sciences, manufacturing and agribusiness.

Accreditation in Pennsylvania

Accrediting agencies assess schools of higher education. National accrediting agencies and regional agencies have different educational standards. Generally, credits earned from nationally accredited institutions cannot transfer to regionally accredited institutions. Also, regional accreditation is generally more highly regarded, and credits from regionally accredited universities are usually accepted at other schools. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education regionally accredits schools in Pennsylvania.

The advantages of an advanced degree from an accredited university include a higher salary after graduation and more employment opportunities.

Pennsylvania’s economy ranks 6th in the nation based on GDP. The state’s top industries include manufacturing, energy, plastics, tourism, agribusiness, and life science. Philadelphia, Erie, Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Allentown are popular places for graduates to find employment.

In Philadelphia, a city of 1.6 million people that includes 14 different Fortune 500 companies, the main industries include consumer media marketing, biotechnology, higher education, oil refining, and tourism. Pittsburgh’s economy, which boasts six Fortune 500 companies, offers many positions in manufacturing, business, and financial services. Erie’s main employers include the government, manufacturers, plastics, and medical services. Scranton, where experts predict a 35% job growth over the next ten years, bases its economy in transportation and utilities. Economists expect Pennsylvania’s rate of employment, which currently lies slightly lower than the rest of the nation, to rise during the following year.

Top Employers in Pennsylvania

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Comcast Telecommunications Philadelphia 153,000
Aramark Food and Facilities Service Philadelphia 270,000

Many career opportunities in Pennsylvania offer graduates attractive salaries. All four corners of Pennsylvania provide jobs in large companies where an MBA graduate can thrive.

An MBA provides graduates with the opportunity to earn higher salaries. Companies hire MBA graduates for their ability to handle complex situations, specialized understanding of business intricacies, increased financial skills, and managerial knowledge. MBAs also give students a chance to associate with a broader group of companies and connections, therefore widening a student’s network for potential employment.

Average Salary by Degree
Search Programs by Concentration

Careers for MBAs in Pennsylvania

Healthcare Executive

A healthcare executive manages a group of physicians, a clinic, or an entire facility. Executives can make over $90,000 per year.

Administrative Service Managers

Needed in industries such as manufacturing, tourism, and energy, administrative service managers plan and coordinate the supportive services for an organization. This position is ideal for an applicant who has learned relevant organizational skills.

Training and Development Manager

This type of manager oversees the training and program development for an organization’s employees. Demand for this career grows faster than average. Some positions pay up to $105,000 per year.

Public Relations Manager

A public relations manager directs the publication of material to enhance a public image of an organization or client. All large corporations require these positions. Salaries can reach $107,000 per year.

Sales Manager

Relevant to the manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, sales managers organize sales teams, analyze data, and develop training for sales representatives. Employment in this field is projected to grow 7% in the next decade. Sales managers can earn salaries of up to $117,000 annually.

Online MBA programs train learners in management and business. This list of online MBA programs in Pennsylvania includes relevant factors for prospective applicants such as cost, length, location, and various concentrations. All of the following schools hold accreditation from accrediting agencies.

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

Alvernia University

Location Reading, PA Tuition Tuition $16,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 80% Student Population 2,856 School Type Private View School Profile

Cairn University - Langhorne

Location Langhorne, PA Tuition Tuition $28,896 % Receiving Financial Aid 84% Student Population 1,043 School Type Private View School Profile

California University of Pennsylvania

Location California, PA Tuition Tuition $18,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 74% Student Population 7,854 School Type Public
Concentrations
View School Profile

Carlow University

Location Pittsburgh, PA Tuition Tuition $29,700 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 2,272 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Carnegie Mellon University

Location Pittsburgh, PA Tuition Tuition $115,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 12,963 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Location Clarion, PA Tuition Tuition $21,284 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 5,368 School Type Public
Concentrations
View School Profile

Delaware Valley University

Location Doylestown, PA Tuition Tuition $24,060 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population 2,266 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

DeSales University

Location Center Valley, PA Tuition Tuition $30,240 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 3,136 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Drexel University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $63,994 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 25,595 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Gannon University

Location Erie, PA Tuition Tuition $29,850 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 4,416 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Geneva College

Location Beaver Falls, PA Tuition Tuition $25,560 % Receiving Financial Aid 92% Student Population 1,714 School Type Private View School Profile

Gwynedd Mercy University

Location Gwynedd Valley, PA Tuition Tuition $19,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 2,582 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Indiana University

Location Indiana, PA Tuition Tuition $53,040 % Receiving Financial Aid 80% Student Population 13,835 School Type Public View School Profile

Keystone College

Location La Plume, PA Tuition Tuition $20,700 % Receiving Financial Aid 83% Student Population 1,461 School Type Private View School Profile

La Salle University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $29,601 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 5,197 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Lehigh University

Location Bethlehem, PA Tuition Tuition $38,700 % Receiving Financial Aid 44% Student Population 7,054 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Marywood University

Location Scranton, PA Tuition Tuition $27,900 % Receiving Financial Aid 79% Student Population 3,010 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Messiah College

Location Mechanicsburg, PA Tuition Tuition $23,220 % Receiving Financial Aid 64% Student Population 3,302 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Misericordia University

Location Dallas, PA Tuition Tuition $26,640 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 2,963 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Pennsylvania State University

Location University Park, PA Tuition Tuition $56,880 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 47,307 School Type Public
Concentrations
View School Profile

Philadelphia University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $27,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 3,670 School Type Private View School Profile

Point Park University

Location Pittsburgh, PA Tuition Tuition $21,420 % Receiving Financial Aid 74% Student Population 3,844 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Robert Morris University

Location Moon Township, PA Tuition Tuition $27,750 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 5,377 School Type Private View School Profile

Rosemont College

Location Rosemont, PA Tuition Tuition $21,120 % Receiving Financial Aid 84% Student Population 887 School Type Private View School Profile

Saint Francis University

Location Loretto, PA Tuition Tuition $31,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 79% Student Population 2,742 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Saint Joseph's University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $33,759 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 8,625 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Location Shippensburg, PA Tuition Tuition $18,180 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population 7,048 School Type Public
Concentrations
View School Profile

Temple University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $59,760 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 38,007 School Type Public
Concentrations
View School Profile

University of Scranton

Location Scranton, PA Tuition Tuition $34,740 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 5,422 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

University of the Sciences

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $67,040 % Receiving Financial Aid 73% Student Population 2,664 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Villanova University

Location Villanova, PA Tuition Tuition $64,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 43% Student Population 10,711 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Waynesburg University

Location Waynesburg, PA Tuition Tuition $23,760 % Receiving Financial Aid 85% Student Population 1,805 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Location West Chester, PA Tuition Tuition $22,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 16,597 School Type Public View School Profile

Widener University

Location Chester, PA Tuition Tuition $33,132 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 5,303 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

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