Virginia boasts a rich higher education landscape. The state is home to 15 public universities that hold regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 13 of which offer graduate degrees. Additionally, dozens of private colleges and universities are located in Virginia -- these institutions offer liberal arts programs, religious studies, and technical training.

While the majority of Virginia students complete college coursework on campus, most public and private schools offer online learning options, including popular online MBA programs. Virginia students can pursue an online MBA from one of 14 schools. The ranking below provides information about each school's available concentrations, tuition costs, and program structure.

Online MBA Programs in Virginia

For candidates interested in online MBAs, Virginia offers many quality options. Various programs offer different degree concentrations, allowing MBA students opportunities to pursue focused specializations and prepare for specific career paths. The following list of accredited MBA programs in Virginia gives potential business management students a resource to explore their choices.

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

College of William and Mary

Location Williamsburg, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $55,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 29% Student Population 8,484 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.


Regent University

Location Virginia Beach, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $27,300 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 6,950 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.


Concentrations

George Mason University

Location Fairfax, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $79,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 43% Student Population 33,929 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.


Concentrations

James Madison University

Location Harrisonburg, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $37,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 21,227 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.


Concentrations

Liberty University

Location Lynchburg, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 80,494 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.


Concentrations

Longwood University

Location Farmville, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $20,988 % Receiving Financial Aid 54% Student Population 5,087 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.


Concentrations
  • Real Estate

Marymount University

Location Arlington, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $38,610 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 3,363 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.


Old Dominion University

Location Norfolk, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $19,840 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 24,672 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.


Radford University

Location Radford, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $17,352 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 9,743 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.


Virginia Commonwealth University

Location Richmond, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $39,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 51% Student Population 30,918 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.


Averett University

Location Danville, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $25,625 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 991 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.


Concentrations

University of Virginia

Location Charlottesville, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $130,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 28% Student Population 23,883 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.


Concentrations

Stratford University

Location Fairfax, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $26,730 % Receiving Financial Aid 18% Student Population 3,303 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.


Virginia International University

Location Fairfax, VA Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $18,288 % Receiving Financial Aid - Student Population 895 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.


Concentrations

Why Consider an Online MBA in Virginia?

Virginia is home to several well-respected business schools, including the Darden School at the University of Virginia and the Mason School at the College of William and Mary.

Earning an MBA online is an attractive option for many graduate students in Virginia. Online learning allows students living in rural areas to attend many top schools -- including those in Fairfax, Virginia Beach, Lynchburg, Richmond, and Charlotte -- without commuting or relocating across the state.

Number of Students Enrolled in Distance Education (2015)

Undergraduate Graduate
Any Distance 157,425 47,212
Exclusively Distance 75,002 40,574
On-Campus 399,530 54,693

Source: Digital Learning Compass

Distance Enrollment by Institution Type (2015)

All Students Graduate Students Enrolled in Any Distance
Private for-profit 40,511 2,787
Private not-for-profit 135,078 35,705
Public 394,210 8,720

Source: Digital Learning Compass

MBA Concentrations for Virginia Students

Students who plan to live and work in Virginia after earning their online MBA should consider specializing in an area relevant to the state's top industries. Major Virginia industries include corporate services, information technology, supply chain management, food and beverage processing, and manufacturing.

Although most MBA programs provide similar learning outcomes, earning an industry-focused concentration can help graduates stand out to employers. The following concentrations are common options for learners pursuing an online MBA in Virginia.

  • Supply Chain Management This concentration focuses on operations management and supply chain management concepts. Graduates can pursue careers with several major retailers that have supply chain operations based in Virginia.
  • Corporate Innovation Ideal for aspiring strategists and consultants, a concentration in corporate innovation helps students develop the knowledge and skills required to identify and respond to areas of potential innovation in business operations and management.
  • Marketing A marketing concentration helps students understand the complexities of customer relationships. Customer-facing businesses needs skilled marketing professionals to help drive engagement and sales.

Accreditation in Virginia

Students pursuing online MBA programs in Virginia should only consider accredited institutions. Accredited schools undergo evaluation to ensure they meet certain academic and ethical standards. Institutions 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. Regionally accredited schools typically do not accept transfer credits earned at nationally accredited institutions. For individuals who want to improve their career prospects by earning an online MBA, Virginia is home to many regionally accredited institutions.

Virginia Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Virginia's central location near the Appalachian Mountains and along the eastern coastline of the U.S. provides economical advantages and diverse income sources. Located in eastern Virginia, Chesapeake Bay is one of the largest ports in the country. The area has plentiful road and rail transportation, and 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.

Additionally, healthcare is currently the fastest-growing industry in the state. The Virginia Employment Commission projects job growth for outpatient care centers and home healthcare services to increase by more than 9% from 2018-2020. 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 an online MBA have a variety of potential career opportunities in Virginia.

Company Location Main Industry Number of Employees
Heart & Vascular Institute Winchester Individual and family services 20,540
Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Ship building and repairing 20,000
University of Virginia Charlottesville State universities 20,000

Source: CareerOneStop

The top three employers in Virginia represent the variety of industries and specializations available to job seekers throughout the state. Earning an online MBA can increase a worker's employability in each of these areas. Specific positions that Virginia MBA holders can pursue include healthcare administrator for the Heart & Vascular Institute, business strategist for Huntington Ingalls Industries, and marketing director at the University of Virginia.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of Virginia

Earning an online MBA in Virginia can boost a business professional's earning potential. Employers may offer higher base salaries to individuals with a graduate degree, aligning compensation with an employee's qualifications. Additionally, a master's degree frequently leads to advanced roles and leadership positions, and management positions often come with a significant pay increase. The table below includes the median annual salaries of business graduate degree holders in Virginia in 2015.

Salary for Graduate Business Majors (2015)

Major Median Annual Salary
Business Management and Administration $96,000
General Business $106,000

Source: Center on Education and the Workforce

Careers for MBA Grads in Virginia

Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators develop goals, monitor budgets, and manage staff to direct and coordinate health services. Administrators' managerial responsibilities may relate to a select clinical area or extend to an entire multi-departmental facility. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare administrators earn a median salary of $99,730 annually.


Logistics Manager

A logistics manager's main responsibilities involve ensuring the efficient movement of goods through a company's shipping system. Tasks may include analyzing delivery times based on weight or item quantity, generating warehouse fulfillment reports, and overseeing the work of employees. According to PayScale, logistics managers earn a median annual salary of about $65,000.


Marketing Manager

Marketing managers plan and develop campaigns to generate public interest in products and services. These professionals identify potential markets, estimate consumer demand for new products and ideas, and create pricing strategies to keep customers satisfied while maximizing potential profit. According to the BLS, marketing managers earn a median salary of $134,290 annually.


Management Consultant

Management consultants work with company executives to develop, recommend, and implement improvements in areas like productivity, management, and reputation. Daily responsibilities often include intensive research and analysis of data to identify current problem areas and develop projections. PayScale reports that management consultants earn a median salary of about $87,000 annually.


Operations Manager

Operations managers are top executives responsible for overseeing the production of goods and services. Supervisory duties may include managing daily operations of multiple departments; coordinating the use of materials and workers; and ensuring compliance with policies, rules, and regulations. According to the BLS, operations managers earn a median annual salary of $100,930.

How to Choose an Online MBA in Virginia

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