Rhode Island is home to some of the nation’s best on-campus and online colleges and universities. While Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Providence College represent the on-campus selection, Johnson and Wales and the New England Institute of Technology represent the online selection. More than a million residents have flooded to cities like Providence, Warwick, Cranston, and Pawtucket. These cultural hubs pique the interest of artists, foodies, and nightlife lovers. The state lies snug up against cities like New York City, Boston, and Hartford, to and even hugs the Atlantic Ocean for ocean-goers. Students hoping to attend college have a litany of reasons to consider colleges and universities in Rhode Island.

Online MBA Programs in Rhode Island

With expected growth in finance, healthcare, and computing, Rhode Island may be one of the best places to have an MBA in coming years. The accessibility of virtual education has made receiving a master's in business administration more convenient than ever. The following list includes every accredited Rhode Island online MBA program.

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

Salve Regina University

Location Newport, RI Tuition Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 2,757 School Type Private

This Catholic university in Newport, Rhode Island offers an online master's in business administration. To earn this 36-credit degree, candidates must complete 12 courses on financial, legal, and managerial concepts for international business. Program prerequisites include accounting, economics, and statistics classes. The department accepts undergraduate coursework and College Level Examination Program test scores for these prerequisites.

Learners can concentrate on cybersecurity issues in business, entrepreneurial enterprise, nonprofit management, social ventures, healthcare administration, and management. Candidates must complete a capstone in strategic management and business policy to earn this Rhode Island online MBA.

The school provides health services to students, on campus and at the Newport Hospital. Additionally, degree seekers qualify for free counseling. Students pursuing an online MBA near campus can utilize these benefits. Applicants to this Rhode Island's MBA online program must submit transcripts, personal statements, resumes, and recommendation letters.

Salve University's business programs boast accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.


Johnson & Wales University

Location Providence, RI Tuition Tuition $25,974 % Receiving Financial Aid 86% Student Population 500 School Type Private

Johnson and Wales University began in 1914, and currently offers an online MBA from Providence, Rhode Island. This master's in business administration prepares candidates to make analytical and ethical choices while leading global businesses.

Students complete 36-42 credits through courses such as corporate financial accounting, operations management, effective leadership, strategic marketing, and research and inquiry. The department also requires a business policy and strategy capstone. Each class takes eight weeks to complete, so students can finish this degree in two years.

This private university offers online tutoring through Smarthinking, which learners can access 24 hours a day. Degree seekers can also benefit from the school's professional services, including internship opportunities, resume guidance, and interview assistance. To apply to this online MBA program in Rhode Island, candidates must submit a statement of purpose and recommendation letters. All online graduate students pay the same tuition rates, regardless of residency.

The New England Commission on Higher Education is accredited by Johnson and Wales University.


Why Consider an Online MBA in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island’s growing industries – healthcare, finance, insurance, and IT – reward employees with a master’s level education, and several RI schools enable students to conveniently earn an online MBA. The Ocean State harbors multiple institutions of higher learning and is part of the New England Board of Higher Education’s Regional Student Program — which offers hundreds more business programs across New England.

Schools that offer the online MBA in Rhode Island include Johnson and Wales, Salve Regina, and Brown University — the latter being an Ivy League institution who works in partnership with the IE Business School to offer an MBA that is triple certified by the most prestigious business program accreditors: the AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS.

The advantages of studying via the web include flexibility, accelerated learning, affordability, and no GMAT requirements for students with good grades. Students work wherever they like at the pace that suits their lifestyle, all while skipping out on room and board and GMAT fees.

Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education

Percentage of students enrolled at Title IV institutions in Rhode Island, by distance education enrollment status, Fall 2012

MBA Concentrations for Rhode Island Students

Future businessmen and women tailor their educations to fit their needs using program concentrations at online MBA programs in Rhode Island. Certain concentrations bode particularly well for students hoping to work in the state. The Ocean State’s Department of Labor predicts growth in finance, IT, and healthcare over the next decade, and graduating online MBA students in Rhode Island will receive priority in the application process.


  • Finance: This concentration prepares students to be fiscally perspicacious. Students learn how to manage money, solve economic challenges using financial theory, and interpret financial data to make wise decisions. A background in finance rewards students seeking any business career, especially executive level positions.
  • Healthcare Administration: Healthcare has enjoyed spectacular growth all across the country, including Rhode Island. This specialty combines finance, management, marketing, and health policy with basic healthcare principles to prepare students for careers in executive positions at medical centers, clinics, and healthcare-related corporations.

Accreditation in Rhode Island

Most of Rhode Island’s universities enjoy regional accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, one of the six major regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Regional accreditation covers the majority of the best public and private colleges and universities in the nation and all of the best online MBA programs in Rhode Island. Alternatively, national accreditation focuses on vocational and technical schools and industry-specific education. Whether schools carry regional or national accreditation, it’s critical that a reputable agency approves online programs. Accreditation guarantees that programs possess the quality of education sought by employers.

Rhode Island Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Rhode Island has multiple growing business sectors. The state is famous for its tourism and hospitality industries. Visitors come from all over the world to lounge on the state’s beaches and explore its historic attractions. The area’s 400 miles of coastline will likely continue to attract visitors – the state predicts the single hottest occupation in coming years will be food serving, with retail and customer service not far behind.

The state has also seen growth in healthcare, manufacturing, construction, finance, and IT. Jewelry, boats, and maritime products are taking off, and several of the state’s largest employers are Navy defense contractors. The Rhode Island Department of Labor expects the trends in healthcare and finance to continue, and it predicts strong growth in computing and construction in the coming decade. Cities like Providence will see growth in big insurance and banking sectors, the addition of new medical centers, and an influx in the IT sector. It’s an ideal time and place for someone graduating with an online MBA in Rhode Island.

Top Employers in Rhode Island

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Lifespan Healthcare Providence 12,050
Care New England Healthcare Providence 8,500

With Rhode Island’s major industry sectors booming, salaries are also likely to rise in Rhode Island. The state already boasts healthy average wages – Providence County was in the top third of the nation for weekly wages – and continues to see growth.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of Rhode Island

Education is the key to a higher salary, and earning an online MBA in Rhode Island is about the best investment any aspiring business person can make. MBA holders not only earn more than businessmen and women with bachelor’s degrees, but they also tend to advance more quickly. An MBA proves to employers that you’re serious and knowledgeable about business. MBA programs emphasize the skills that companies want in management – critical thinking, effective communication, and problem solving – while providing an advanced education in business principles. Having an MBA on the resume puts you on track to be company managers.

Average Salary by Degree

Careers for MBAs in Rhode Island

Management Analyst

These executives advise companies on ways to improve efficiency and maximize financial positioning. The Rhode Island Department of Labor expects substantial job growth for this position. According to BLS, salaries are competitive and hover around $80,000. Most management analysts have at least a bachelor’s, so a Rhode Island online MBA would certainly position you for success.

General or Operations Managers

These high-level administrators oversee finances, personnel, and the general operations of companies. MBA degree holders are standard, and positions and salaries are expected to grow. In fact, the state considers the job one of the fastest-rising in Rhode Island. with salaries averaging $150,000 according to the BLS.

Computer Systems Analyst

IT is currently a top employer in Rhode Island, and the state predicts high-tech work to boom. Computer systems analyst graduates need at least a bachelor’s to enter the field, but many companies prefer MBAs with computer specialties. Salaries are in the high $80,000s according to the BLS.

Financial Manager

Financial manager execs study and maintain a company’s financial portfolio. According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor, the finance sector expects to add jobs in the coming years. Most fiscal administrators have at least a bachelor’s, giving MBA applicants a leg up in the field and salaries to match. The BLS shows that wages of $120,000 are common.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers analyze markets and determine company strategies. The Rhode Island Department of Labor considers the position to be one of the 50 fastest-growing jobs in the state. According to the BLS, the average salary is around $70,000, making an online MBA advantageous to job seekers.

How to Choose an Online MBA in Rhode Island

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