Washington D.C., the nation's capital, is a fast-growing city brimming with opportunity. In recent years, the city’s population has risen close to 700,000, a number not seen in 40 years. The D.C. metro area, which includes some Maryland and Virginia suburbs, is the sixth-largest in the country with over six million residents. It is no surprise that Washington D.C. is a top destination for new college students every year. The District of Columbia is home to more than twenty colleges and universities, including some of the oldest and most established in the United States. Georgetown University, founded in 1789, is the oldest higher learning institution in the district and the oldest Catholic university in the country. Besides Georgetown, Washington D.C. offers a wide selection of public and private universities, and several strong online programs.

Online MBA Programs in Washington D.C.

The following list includes the top accredited MBA programs in Washington D.C.. Sifting through programs on your own can be difficult and time consuming, so use the list below to find the school which best suits you. The list contains essential information to help you narrow your search to only the best online MBA programs in Washington D.C..

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

American University

Location Washington, DC Tuition Tuition $78,816 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 13,198 School Type Private

Called MBA@American, American University offers a business master's that emphasizes the importance of private and public partnerships in the 21st century. One of the leading online MBA programs in Washington, D.C., MBA@American encourages collaborative learning through web-based and in-person learning activities while ensuring students can easily access one another, professors, and business leaders. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and consists of foundational classes in strategic thinking, accounting, marketing, and managerial statistics. Students may also opt to concentrate in one of nine areas, including international business, finance, or cybersecurity. Two in-person learning immersion experiences offer the opportunity for hands-on learning in a real-world setting. These three- to four-day experiences typically include spending time on the university's campus and at one other site, which could include Beijing, China or Madrid, Spain. In total, students must complete 48 credits to graduate and may do so in as few as 15 months. The school's Kogod School of Business delivers the program and offers four start dates throughout the year.


George Washington University

Location Washington, DC Tuition Tuition $97,957 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 26,212 School Type Private

Working professionals who want to enroll in one of the leading online MBA programs in Washington, D.C. need look no further than the School of Business at The George Washington University. Learners can pursue this online MBA studies on a part-time basis to earn the required 55.5 credits needed to graduate. With enrollment dates in the fall, spring, and summer, each semester consists of 14 weeks. Students generally complete two classes each term or four classes per semester. The fully online program emphasizes global competence through study abroad opportunities and hands-on learning experiences. In addition to learning business fundamentals, students develop abilities to work in teams, communicate effectively, and demonstrate ethical leadership. Admission requires either a GMAT or GRE score, but the university may waive this requirement for applicants with at least seven years of professional experience. Applicants must also submit letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a statement that explains their academic interests and why they stand out among those applying for admission.


Howard University

Location Washington, DC Tuition Tuition $66,475 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 10,002 School Type Private

A leader among universities offering online MBA programs in Washington, D.C., Howard University offers an online executive MBA through its School of Business. The program attracts professionals who wish to advance their careers and leverage the impressive Howard alumni network. Learners can complete their degree in 18 months through fully online classes that examine financial accounting, marketing strategy, and strategic communications. In total, they must earn 42 credits. Students can immediately apply the lessons they learn in their studies to the workplace, which better enables their opportunities for advancement. Moreover, they can engage in blended learning if they wish by marrying their online studies with on-campus presentations and global study tours. Applicants do not need to submit a GMAT score since they must possess at least seven years' experience, with five in either a management or senior-level role. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  • Executive MBA
  • Executive MBA Executive Coaching Certificate
  • Executive MBA Executive Leadership Certificate

Why Consider an Online MBA in Washington D.C.?

Washington D.C. is known for its quality colleges and universities. A wide variety of program options make the district a great place to earn an online MBA. Washington D.C.'s online MBA programs are cost-effective and generally more flexible than on-campus programs. Earning a degree online means that you avoid many of the costs that traditional on-campus students pay like room and board, textbooks, and transportation. Plus, you can still work full time while earning an online MBA in Washington D.C., which means you won’t miss out on any earnings by going to school.

Online MBA programs in Washington D.C. can take anywhere from one to three years to complete. American University's program can be completed in as little as 15 months, while George Washington University's online MBA typically takes three years. Whichever program you pursue, remember to take campus location into account. Online MBA programs in Washington D.C. sometimes require on-campus visits, so be sure to review those requirements before selecting a school. Additionally, Washington D.C. has a relatively high cost of living, so be sure to account for that, as well. Another perk of online MBA programs is they often waive the GMAT exam for students with substantial work experience.

Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education

Percentage of students enrolled at Title IV institutions in Washington D.C., by distance education enrollment status, Fall 2012

MBA Concentrations for Washington D.C. Students

Online MBA programs often encourage students to choose concentrate in a specific area of business. In other words, students can study a topic they are passionate about and also graduate with specialized knowledge valuable to employers. When choosing a concentration, take into account the largest industries in an area to give yourself a leg up on the competition and ease your post-graduation job search.


  • Global Management: This concentration prepares students for leadership roles in multinational businesses. Washington D.C. is a hub for international business and home to many global corporations, making this an advantageous concentration for anyone looking to work in the Washington D.C. area.
  • Finance: A concentration in finance prepares MBA graduates for careers including risk management and corporate finance. A number of large banks are headquartered in the district, in addition to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, so there is always demand for managers with refined finance skills.

Accreditation in Washington D.C.

When choosing one of Washington D.C.'s online MBA programs, you should verify the program is accredited. When a program holds accreditation, it has been peer-reviewed and certified to adhere to rigorous academic standards. In your program search, you may notice that there are two different types of accreditation: national accreditation is typically awarded to career-oriented colleges, while regional accreditation is reserved for more traditional institutions. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is a Council on Higher Education Accreditation-approved accrediting body for Washington D.C. and nearby states. Getting an advanced degree from an accredited school signals to employers you have a quality education, and that can translate to a boost in your earnings later throughout your career.

Washington D.C. Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Washington D.C. has an exceptionally diverse economy, partly due to its status as the nation's capital and a major business hub. Many major companies and nonprofit organizations have hubs in the district because of its proximity to the federal government and to nearby metropolitan areas. The largest employer in the district is, by far, the federal government, which employs close to 200,000 people — nearly one-third of the workforce. However, federal government employment is projected to decrease in the coming years, as industries like finance, professional and business services, education, and health services are on the rise. Financial activities employment is projected to increase by more than 13% over the next decade, and professional and business services is projected to increase close to 12% within the same timeframe, adding more than 18,000 jobs. In short, if you are looking to get an online MBA, Washington D.C. is a great place to consider.

Top Employers in Washington D.C.

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
George Washington University Education Washington D.C. 2,663
Georgetown University Education Washington D.C. 2,573

In general, larger companies are more likely to be hiring than smaller ones, but there are other ways to ensure a high salary and a successful career. Getting an advanced degree like an MBA is proven to increase earning potential for decades to come.

Earning Potential with an MBA in Washington D.C.

Earning an advanced degree leads to higher pay in nearly any field. A master's or doctorate degree in a field shows employers that you are serious about the industry, and have a deep knowledge of related subjects. An MBA is one of the most coveted advanced degrees one can get. An MBA indicates to employers that you are qualified for leadership and management roles, and that you can supervise employees, set goals, and see the big picture. Accordingly, business professionals with MBAs take home considerably more each year than those with only associate or bachelor's degrees.

Average Salary by Degree

Careers for MBAs in Washington D.C.

Management Consultant

Management consultants help businesses improve their operations and productivity, and, ultimately, increase profits. Because of the array of businesses and industries in Washington D.C., management consulting is a good career choice. Early career management consultants make about $85,000, while late career consultants can make upwards of $150,000 per year.

Executive Director (Nonprofit)

Executive directors are top-level managers at nonprofit organizations. They set long-term goals, supervise employees, and guide the whole organization. Because nonprofits advocate for legislation, many of them are headquartered in Washington D.C. in order to influence decision-makers in the federal government.

Director of Operations (Healthcare)

Health services is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Washington D.C., and there is a high demand for skilled professionals who can oversee healthcare facilities. Directors at healthcare facilities manage employees and work with other executives to oversee budgets and personnel. Directors of operations in healthcare can expect to make over $100,000 annually.

Operations Manager

Operations managers oversee all aspects of daily operations at a business. The diverse economy in Washington D.C. means that aspiring operations managers can enter nearly any industry. Late career operations managers can make close to $80,000 per year, and many in this position advance to operations directors or chief executives.

Healthcare Consultant

As one of the fastest growing sectors in Washington D.C., healthcare and health services are creating new jobs for recent MBA graduates. Healthcare consultants perform essentially the same work as management consultants, but they specialize in the healthcare field. The skills of healthcare consultants are coveted, and they generally earn more than $100,000 late in their careers.

How to Choose an Online MBA in Washington D.C.

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