Written by Melissa Sartore
Last Updated: March 2020
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 174,000 individuals in Virginia work in management occupations. With annual mean salaries exceeding $140,000, Virginia offers the nation’s fifth-highest salary, providing lucrative opportunities for healthcare, government, and business managers in the state. Top employers in Virginia include healthcare businesses like LabCorp, government institutions such as the naval medical center at Portsmouth, and Nestle USA, Inc.
Online MBA programs in Virginia prepare entry-level workers to advance into leadership positions. An MBA builds skills in finance, accounting, and strategizing, plus competencies in marketing and management.
Unlike traditional MBA degrees, online programs allow students to complete classes on a flexible, convenient schedule. Accelerated online MBAs give students the option to earn their degrees in as little as 12 months, while part-time learners can complete classes in 3-4 years.
Top 10 Online MBA Programs in Virginia
- College of William and Mary - Williamsburg, VA
- Regent University - Virginia Beach, VA
- George Mason University - Fairfax, VA
- James Madison University - Harrisonburg, VA
- Liberty University - Lynchburg, VA
- Longwood University - Farmville, VA
- Marymount University - Arlington, VA
- Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA
- Radford University - Radford, VA
- Virginia Commonwealth University - Richmond, VA
Virginia's Online MBA Programs
The universities offering online MBAs may hold regional or national accreditation. Graduate degrees in business may also receive programmatic accreditation through a specialized organization or agency. Programmatic accreditation attests to academic rigor and excellence, confirming a degree's quality to students and employers.
Three specialized bodies accredit MBA programs: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the International Accreditation Council. You can find out more about these groups and the importance of accreditation here.
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
College of William and Mary
|Location Williamsburg , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 29||Student Population 8,484||Tuition $55,200||School Type Public||
William & Mary offers one of the best online MBA in Virginia programs through its Raymond A. Mason School of Business. The school's business programs hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Alumni work in C-level positions at companies that include Deloitte, IBM, and the U.S. Armed Forces. The online program includes a three-day residency experience on campus for students to connect with peers and faculty. This weekend-long event takes place in a professional conference style, with social networking events and lectures led by business leaders. The program hosts residency experiences twice a year, though students only need to attend one.
Throughout the program, students seek an innovative solution to a "wicked problem" -- an existing business problem with an unknown solution. Graduate students choose practical problems to solve during the first MBA course then continue to work on solutions throughout the remainder of the program.View School Profile
|Location Virginia Beach , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 76||Student Population 6,950||Tuition $27,300||School Type Private||
A private, Christian institution, Regent offers a 42-credit online MBA in Virginia. Students choose from 11 degree concentrations, including cutting-edge options in healthcare management, entrepreneurship, and innovation management. Regent graduates in the entrepreneur concentration show particular growth in exceeding assessment benchmarks once finished with the program. Courses take place over accelerated eight-week terms, with six program start dates throughout the summer, fall, and spring. Courses divide into four sessions over two weeks. Students gain access to course syllabi and assignments almost a month before the courses' start date, allowing learners to get ahead if they desire.
Regent offers online informational sessions for its MBA program, during which prospective students can ask questions about the admission process, financial aid, and related topics. MBA graduates can transfer up to nine graduate-level credits toward Regent's doctor of strategic leadership program.
George Mason University
|Location Fairfax , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 43||Student Population 33,929||Tuition $79,000||School Type Public||
The online MBA from Mason ranks among the best online MBAs in Virginia. Students receive a broad leadership and business education through a global lens. Faculty and students come from all over the world, with a global residency option available to all online students. This international residency takes place in a different location each year, with opportunities to meet business and government leaders and visit national and multinational companies within a country. Students must first finish all core requirements prior to beginning electives. Past residency locations include Beijing, China, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Students choose from one of nine concentration areas, which include international business, financial management, and real estate. Alumni of this 33-month program gain lifetime access to a career management center that offers one-on-one career consultations. Applicants need at least two years of professional experience to gain admission into Mason's MBA program.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
James Madison University
|Location Harrisonburg , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 38||Student Population 21,227||Tuition $37,800||School Type Public||
JMU's Virginia college online MBA program benefits those students looking to step into C-level positions in the Department of Defense, national intelligence agencies, or private industries. With an information security emphasis, the MBA curriculum combines business strategy with an in-depth study of data and system security, risk management, information protection and related topics. MBA students benefit from special tuition rates and professional credit transfers through JMU's external partnerships with the National Defense University and the Booz Allen Hamilton corporation. Students also receive formal (ISC)² Certified Information Systems Security Professional Common Body of Knowledge training as part of the curriculum.
Students join a small cohort that completes a total of 14 courses together over 28 months. Each course lasts eight weeks. Program cohorts meet in person two separate times during the eight weeks: the Saturday before a course begins and the Saturday after the course ends. The remaining instruction takes place entirely online, blending both synchronous and asynchronous class sessions.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
|Location Lynchburg , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 66||Student Population 80,494||Tuition $20,340||School Type Private||
Liberty's Virginia college online MBA program, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, offers two options: a 45-credit hour track with multiple specialization choices or an accelerated 36-hour general MBA degree. The 45-credit hour option offers 16 diverse specialization choices, including more traditional options like accounting and finance or unique options like public administration and international legal studies. The 36-hour program includes management courses, such as international business, business research methods, and organizational design and structure.
Each asynchronous course lasts eight weeks, with eight start dates offered throughout the year. Liberty accepts program credits from other qualifying graduate work, up to 50% of MBA requirements. Most students finish Liberty's MBA program within two years. Active-duty military members and veterans receive a per-credit tuition discount, and those who also serve as civilian emergency responders receive an additional discount. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
|Location Farmville , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 54||Student Population 5,087||Tuition $20,988||School Type Public||
The online MBA in Virginia program at Longwood offers three different degree paths: a two-year path for part-time students, an 18-month path for full-time students who enroll in spring, and a 15-month path for full-time students who enroll in summer. All programs start with students taking one seven-week course. The full-time path then builds to students completing two to three courses by the final term. Both the part- and full-time options require an extended weekend residency on campus during the summer.
Students can choose either a general business or real estate emphasis. Core courses for both degree options cover topics in accounting, marketing, and strategic decision-making. Students without an undergraduate degree in business can apply but must first complete a series of business foundation courses.
Applicants with another graduate degree, those providing evidence of at least seven years in a professional environment and growth in job responsibility, or those with other qualifying professional certifications do not need to provide GMAT or GRE scores.
|Location Arlington , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 57||Student Population 3,363||Tuition $38,610||School Type Private||
Marymount University offers what it calls an integrative MBA, as the program prepares students to apply business principles and strategies in an evolving, global business environment. This Virginia college online MBA takes place in a fully online or hybrid format and caters to both full- and part-time students. Depending on background and any relevant graduate work, students can earn the degree in as few as five semesters.
Students interested in a dual MBA degree can also earn a master's in one of five areas, such as cybersecurity, healthcare management, or information technology. Potential applicants can sign up for a one-on-one appointment with a dedicated program director to discuss degree options. Marymount accepts applications for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. All students receive access to a full-service career center, including job search assistance and career coaching.View School Profile
Old Dominion University
|Location Norfolk , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 56||Student Population 24,672||Tuition $19,840||School Type Public||
One of the leading online MBA programs in Virginia, ODU's online MBA has held accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business since 1964. The program offers four unique add-on certification options: maritime; ports and logistics management; public procurement, and contract management; modeling, simulation, and visualization; and business analytics and big data. The MBA program requires the completion of at least 40 core credits in topics like managerial economics, financial management, and marketing strategy. Students without a business background also complete five credits of introductory business courses. All students complete a final capstone that integrates international business issues and strategic management.
Students may be eligible for a GMAT or GRE waiver with evidence of another graduate degree, three years of qualifying military or professional experience, or an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5. Students can apply to the program in the spring, summer, or fall. Though tuition remains competitive for all students, in-state residents receive a per-credit discount on tuition.View School Profile
|Location Radford , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 60||Student Population 9,743||Tuition $17,352||School Type Public||
Part-time students who want to complete one of the best online MBAs in Virginia while continuing to work may find Radford's MBA program an ideal fit. Students who take two classes during each of the three semesters throughout the year can complete all requirements in about two years. The 21 credit hours of core courses cover topics like organizational behavior, operations management, and accounting for decision-making.
Students choose five elective courses, which allow learners to tailor degrees to professional interests like entrepreneurship and business consulting. The MBA curriculum includes a research thesis. Additionally, Radford offers optional experiential opportunities, such as study abroad trips during the summer, practical experience projects, and internships.
The school accepts applications to the online MBA program on a rolling basis. Applicants must provide two recommendation letters, including one from an employer that describes the candidate's leadership or management impact on an organization.View School Profile
Virginia Commonwealth University
|Location Richmond , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 51||Student Population 30,918||Tuition $39,500||School Type Public||
An online MBA in Virginia from the VCU School of Business includes online classes every week and includes three on-campus residency weekends over the course of two years. Each residency weekend includes a unique theme: professional development and leadership, creativity and innovation, a culminating hackathon, and graduation.
Small online classes average 23 students per course. Each semester, students take a one-credit course alongside two, three-credit courses. The three-credit courses cover core business topics like management operations, leadership, and economics. One-credit courses dive into modern business issues, such as cybersecurity and innovation in global markets.
Students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution to apply. While not required, the admissions committee prefers applicants with at least 18 months of professional experience. Interested applicants can sign up for an online MBA program informational webinar offered each month.View School Profile
|Location Danville , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 49||Student Population 991||Tuition $25,625||School Type Private||
Boasting one of the best online MBA programs in Virginia, Averett offers students three concentration options: marketing, leadership, or human resource management. The MBA program invites working professionals from different backgrounds who earned at least a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies to apply. Admission to the program does not require GRE or GMAT scores.
Students begin programs with core business courses in management, legal and ethical issues, and business research methods. Classes remain small to support better peer and faculty interaction. Each major includes a specialized set of courses, followed by a final capstone research project or case study that demonstrates students' mastery of content and skills. Students take one course every seven weeks, with a total of 40 credits required for program completion. Averett's online MBA is available to students who live in a SARA state.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
University of Virginia
|Location Charlottesville , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 28||Student Population 23,883||Tuition $130,000||School Type Public||
UVA's Darden School of Business offers an executive MBA (EMBA) and a global executive MBA (GEMBA), both leading online MBA programs in Virginia. The MBA curriculum consists of core courses and electives, with about a third of core courses offered entirely online. Remaining classes take place on campus or through global residencies. Both the EMBA and GEMBA consist of 10, two-month long quarters over approximately 21 months total. Students participate in two weekend residences on the Arlington campus each quarter and two week-long residencies at the start and end of the program. This works out to 18 weekend residencies for EMBA students and 12 weekend residences for GEMBA students.
Both programs also require students to participate in a global residency experience (GEMBA students complete four global residences, and EMBA students complete at least one global residency). A global residency offers the opportunity to learn about and interact with a country's business, social, and political institutions. Past residency locations include Brazil, South Africa, and Western Europe.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
|Location Fairfax , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 18||Student Population 3,303||Tuition $26,730||School Type Private||
The MBA from Stratford University offers an online or hybrid option. Students complete 12 classes, or 54 credits, to earn this online MBA in Virginia. The curriculum includes a global business focus and covers relationship-building and technical applications. A diverse set of class topics include global economies and markets, competitive strategy and innovation, and sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Each course lasts 5-10 weeks.
The program culminates in a capstone project. All MBA degree requirements take about 15 months to complete. Online students can access a full career services center, which offers virtual mock interviews and a local job board. Applicants may qualify for a GMAT score waiver with evidence of another accredited graduate degree, professional experience in business, or if transferring from another graduate program.View School Profile
Virginia International University
|Location Fairfax , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid -||Student Population 895||Tuition $18,288||School Type Private||
VIU offers one of the best online MBA programs in Virginia, with accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. VIU's MBA program includes a choice of 15 concentrations, such as international finance, hospitality and tourism management, and mass media and public relations. Admission does not require GMAT or GRE scores.
Students complete 12 total classes, which consists of 21 credit hours of core courses, nine credit hours of concentration courses, a three-credit-hour elective, and a three-credit-hours integration course. The integration course takes the form of an advanced business project where students work with a local company in Virginia or Washington, D.C. to solve an actual business problem.
Each course lasts eight weeks, and students can enroll in the program at six different points throughout the year. Many classes use electronic textbooks, which helps students save on overall degree costs. Full-time students can complete all course requirements in about one year.
Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Virginia
Virginia's central location near the Appalachian Mountains and along the eastern coastline of the U.S. provides economic advantages and diverse income sources. Located in eastern Virginia, Chesapeake Bay is one of the largest ports in the country. Many top retailers -- including Walmart and Target -- base their East Coast supply chain operations in this geographical hub.
In rural parts of southwestern Virginia, major industries include coal mining and agriculture, producing crops like soy, tobacco, and peanuts. In urban northern Virginia near the District of Columbia, thriving government-related industries include communication, consulting, and software development. The Virginia Employment Commission projects employment in Virginia to grow by 10.1% from 2016-2026, far exceeding the national growth rate.
Healthcare is Virginia's fastest-growing industry. The Virginia Employment Commission projects employment in healthcare and social assistance to grow to more than 110,000 employees from 2016-2026. For this reason, students in Virginia may want to pursue an online MBA with a concentration in healthcare administration.
Overall, the state boasts a thriving economy with positive job outlooks in many industries. Professionals with online MBAs enjoy a variety of career opportunities in Virginia.
|Company||Location||Main Industry||Number of Employees|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond||Education||52,000|
|Heart & Vascular Institute||Winchester||Individual and Family Services||20,540|
|Huntington Ingalls Industries||Newport News||Ship Building and Repairing||20,000|
Earning an online MBA increases a candidate's employability in any of Virginia's top three industries, listed above. Virginia MBA-holders may pursue positions as healthcare administrators for the Heart & Vascular Institute, business strategists for Huntington Ingalls Industries, and marketing directors at the University of Virginia.
Careers for MBA Grads in Virginia
Virginia employs the fifth-largest number of logistics managers, or logisticians, in the United States. With nearly 8,000 positions, Virginia pays logisticians an annual mean salary exceeding $86,000 -- more than $5,000 above the national mean.
Logisticians oversee the lifecycle of a good, service, or product. They analyze and coordinate supply chain processes, allocating resources to meet supply and demand.
Online MBAs facilitate supply chain acumen with coursework in business strategies, budget management, and organizational function. Logisticians build strategies to make supply chain functions more efficient and cost-effective by tracking inventory, transportation, purchasing, and warehousing practices.
Management consultants provide fresh perspectives on business and organizational processes. They help companies improve productivity, management, and public relations by working with executives and managers to assess current problems and risks. Management consultants collect data, analyze statistics, and prepare reports to generate solutions to identified challenges.
Many MBA programs offer specific classes and concentrations in consulting to help learners build additional expertise in the field. In Virginia, management consultants and general and operations managers earn an annual mean salary of $142,000. The Virginia Employment Commission projects that more than 6,000 general and operations managers will join the workforce between 2016 and 2026.
Marketing managers in Virginia enjoy an annual mean salary exceeding $171,000 -- far more than the national annual mean salary of $147,240. Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia, is the eighth-largest employer for marketing manager professionals among metropolitan areas in the United States.
Marketing managers use data to assess demand for goods and services. They identify markets based on consumer data and help establish pricing strategies to maximize profits. Marketing managers work closely with advertising and promotion managers to create interest with potential buyers and develop media campaigns.
Five of the 10 largest employers in Virginia are healthcare organizations and agencies. Healthcare administration professionals enjoy high levels of employment throughout the state, including major metropolitan areas like Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, with annual mean salaries exceeding $132,000.
Medical and health services managers work at hospitals, residential care facilities, private medical offices, and comparable healthcare settings. Healthcare administrators oversee daily business operations while also ensuring safety and efficiency among patients, clients, and medical professionals.
Healthcare administrators may focus on information management, tasked with maintaining patient data while abiding by applicable laws and regulations. Clinical managers work within a specific department or office, while nursing home administrators supervise staff, budgets, and facilities alongside the care of clients.
Operations managers' duties vary by position. With a comprehensive MBA program, graduates are well-equipped to take on diverse responsibilities in operations manager roles. According to the Virginia Employment Commission, managerial positions are among the top 10 occupations poised for growth from 2016-2026.
Operations managers plan and oversee administrative, personnel, and financial processes within business and organizations. In Virginia, operations managers can work with large employers, such as healthcare organizations, government agencies, and private companies. In Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, part of the third-largest metropolitan area for operations managers in the country, professionals earn an annual mean wage of $142,000.
MBA Concentrations for Virginia Students
Online MBA programs in Virginia offer foundational coursework, plus opportunities for specialized study. A specialized MBA builds skills applicable to a specific industry or field, boosting earning potential and career opportunities.
VCU Health Systems in Richmond and the Health and Vascular Institute in Winchester are two of Virginia's largest employers. To work for these companies, learners would benefit from a healthcare administration MBA. Additional concentrations in supply chain management, public administration, and hospitality management prepare professionals for managerial roles at companies and organizations like the Defense Logistics Agency and Sodexo.
To find out more about MBA specializations and all they have to offer, check out the MBA concentration hub.