The Commonwealth of Virginia, home to approximately eight million people, forms the geographical boundary between the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States. While most Virginians live in the eastern portion of the state in cities such as Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Richmond, the state’s overall economy is on the rise. Virginia boasts a GDP of $493.3 billion and analysts project much faster growth in 2017 and 2018. Several large higher educational institutions operate in Virginia, including Liberty University, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Many offer quality MBA programs, making the state an excellent place to explore business management education opportunities.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

  • 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.


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.


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.


Why Consider an Online MBA in Virginia?

According to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, higher education plays an increasingly important role in the state’s economy. While manufacturing remains fairly strong in the state, business and health services drive economic growth in Virginia. Because these sectors require employees with specialized skills, many public and private colleges and universities offer respected MBA programs to meet these evolving educational demands. Large public universities including George Mason University in Fairfax and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond host some of the best online MBA programs in Virginia. Private universities such as Liberty University in Lynchburg and Marymount University in Arlington also offer respected Virginia online MBA programs.

Virginia is also a cost-effective place to look for MBA programs: most institutions offer lower tuition rates to Virginia residents, but reduced tuition rates are available for online students residing in other states as well. Students increasingly choose online options to maximize their time and avoid the relatively high cost of living in cities, but note that some programs may require students to attend administrative appointments on-campus. Online MBA programs in Virginia also typically require applicants to take the GMAT exam, however some universities waive this requirement, especially for executives with extensive professional experience.

Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education

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

MBA Concentrations for Virginia Students

Although MBA programs cover many of the same core issues, they also present opportunities to focus on specific topics. Certain online MBAs in Virginia offer several degree concentrations, where students can select the program that best matches their learning interests and career goals. However, prospective students should consider state economic trends when comparing online MBA programs in Virginia. Some concentrations are particularly relevant to emerging industries in the state, such as healthcare and marketing, and therefore develop skills likely to be in high demand in future years.


  • Healthcare Management : MBA healthcare management concentrations train healthcare managers to oversee all aspects of health-related businesses. Students learn organizational structures of various health-related businesses, accounting practices, human resource issues, and legal and ethical matters.
  • Marketing: MBA marketing concentration programs prepare future marketing managers to identify and manage business opportunities. Candidates conduct market research, analyze consumer behavior, and develop promotional campaigns to sell goods and services to customers.

Accreditation in Virginia

Accreditation, the process by which outside agencies verify the quality of academic institutions, is conducted by two types of organizations in the United States. Regional accrediting agencies usually set standards for academically-focused universities, including those offering MBAs in Virginia. National accreditation normally applies to career-preparatory colleges. Specific programs can also apply for additional accreditation. For example, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) provides specialized accreditation to qualifying MBA programs.

Graduates can expect their MBA degrees to prepare them for professional advancement. Potential Virginia online MBA students should select degrees from accredited institutions, preferably with additional program-level accreditation. Businesses in various Virginia industries prefer graduates from MBA programs that adhere to rigorous quality standards.

Virginia Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Home to 64 corporations with annual revenue greater than $500 million, Virginia ranks as the twelfth largest economy in the United States with a 2016 state GDP of $494.3 billion. Virginia’s central location on the East Coast, extensive transportation infrastructure, and relatively low labor costs continue to attract investors to the state. Economic growth, modest in recent years, is poised to improve as the overall national economy improves. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports Virginia’s GDP increased by 2% in the first quarter of 2017.

Virginia’s economy, once dominated by manufacturing and resource extraction, increasingly depends on retail, real estate, business services, and healthcare sectors. Virginia currently boasts a low 3.2% unemployment rate. Unemployment rates remain lower near cities in the east of the state — especially along the Atlantic seaboard and in the northeastern corner of the state — and highest in the southwestern Appalachian region.

Virginia affords residents opportunities to achieve more comfortable lifestyles than elsewhere in the region. MBA salaries go further in Virginia than in other states on the East Coast, yet corporate jobs in abound. For candidates considering an online MBA, Virginia may be an ideal place to work and live.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of Virginia

Virginia’s economy depends on large, structurally complex corporations. These companies need highly skilled leaders to fill top management roles. MBA programs prepare managers to meet emerging economic challenges and opportunities, and demand remains strong for MBA graduates in various business sectors. As expected, management professionals with advanced degrees earn higher pay than their less qualified colleagues. In Virginia, for example, employees with MBAs earn 24.2% higher average salaries than those with bachelor’s degrees in business administration. This equates to over $15,000 more per year on average, so increased earning potential rapidly offsets potential degree costs. Certain MBA concentrations, such as finance, can offer even higher salary gains.

Average Salary by Degree

Careers for MBAs in Virginia

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager

These professionals use market research and consumer behavior analysis to plan and execute complex marketing strategies for companies in various industries. They promote goods and services to other businesses and individual consumers. The retail and business services sectors lead economic growth in Virginia, sustaining demand for marketing managers

Financial Manager

Financial managers help complex business organizations in various industries achieve their financial goals. They oversee investment strategies and produce financial reports for company executives. Rewarding opportunities for MBA-qualified financial managers increase as business services and financial sectors become more important to Virginia’s economy, and as larger, more complex corporations operate in the state.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Professionals in this role run healthcare related businesses such as hospitals, clinics, and medical practices. They must understand medical technology and law, as well as best practices in business administration. The demand for medical and health services managers is on the rise as the healthcare industry grows within the state.

Sales Managers

Sales managers direct revenue generation efforts for various kinds of businesses. They oversee business to business and business to consumer sales, using sales data to set goals and help inform marketing strategies. Retail and business services sectors continue to thrive in Virginia, driving demand for sales managers.

Top Executive

Large corporations need experienced leaders to make informed decisions about company goals and develop detailed strategies to reach them. Executives work with managers to direct all operational activities of companies. As large, complex companies increasingly dominate Virginia’s economy, executive positions for experienced management professionals become more abundant.

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