West Virginia ranks 41st in size and 38th in population in the United States. Despite its relatively small area and sparse population, this Appalachian state offers a lot to its college students. The state is home to 45 higher education institutions, half of which are four-year colleges and universities, with 13 offering graduate school options.

MBAs are one of the most popular graduate-level degrees in West Virginia, and several schools offer online programs to better serve the needs of students across the state.

Online MBA Programs in West Virginia

Online MBA programs in West Virginia provide students with options for synchronous or asynchronous programs, and several schools offer hybrid programs, as well. All of the West Virginia online MBA programs in the state are offered through HLC accredited schools, and several hold additional professional accreditation. Online MBA programs at West Virginia University and Salem International University, specifically, provide students with options to focus on fields and industries tailored to career and job success in West Virginia.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description
West Liberty University
Location West Liberty , WV Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 60 Student Population 2,341 Tuition $13,500 School Type Public

Located in West Liberty, West Virginia, West Liberty University offers a 30-credit master’s degree in business administration to students who want to develop business competencies while advancing personal and professional goals. Students can specialize in management or accounting, completing the former in as little as one year and the latter in 20 months.

West Liberty’s MBA program includes core coursework on social responsibility and business ethics, global economics, information technology management, and strategic human resource management. Management-focused students complete additional work in finance, and public and nonprofit management while accounting students study auditing, forensic accounting, and fraud detection.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or above. Upon admission, students complete a placement exam to identify business proficiencies. In-state and out-of-state students pay a $460 flat tuition rate with no additional fees.

Concentrations
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West Virginia University
Location Morgantown , WV Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 52 Student Population 28,776 Tuition $25,200 School Type Public

West Virginia University’s online MBA offers learners a two-year, 48-credit hybrid program to advance their business careers. With two start dates per year, learners can specialize in forensic accounting and fraud examination, energy finance, or integrated marketing communications. In addition to online coursework, students participate in four residencies, including one in District of Columbia.

Core coursework in WVU’s program includes coursework in managerial and team skills, financial statement analysis, and integrated global business. Students also complete an executive project during which they prepare and submit a feasibility study and implement a business plan. Forensic-focused students compete courses in fraud investigation and criminology; energy finance students take classes on energy law and energy accounting; and integrated marketing students study audience insights, media and the market, and brand equity.

Applicants to WVU’s program must submit an online application with up to three letters of recommendation, a resume, a statement of purpose, and GRE or GMAT scores.

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Salem International University
Location Salem , WV Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 83 Student Population 681 Tuition $51,480 School Type Private

Salem International University offers online MBA degrees with concentrations in areas such as accounting and management. An MBA in management provides students with advanced coursework in leadership, organizational behavior, and project management; while an MBA in accounting trains students in auditing, forensics, and accounting ethics. Management students study business law, global challenges to communication, and management technology.

Accounting students complete 36-credits of coursework, providing them with expertise on accounting documentation, supervision, and decision-making. This program prepares business leaders to understand management and accounting principles and practices, Salem’s curriculum also includes practical exercises for students to apply what they've learned and develop problem-solving expertise.

Salem admits students monthly on a rolling basis. Applicants to Salem’s graduate business program must provide transcripts of their regionally-accredited undergraduate degree that demonstrates a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.

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American Public University
Location Charles Town , WV Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 82 Student Population 52,361 Tuition $13,650 School Type Private

American Public University online master’s degree in business administration offers advanced coursework in entrepreneurship, accounting, finance, and management to cultivate future executives and entrepreneurs. APU’s 39-credit program offers rolling start dates each month and can be completed in two years.

Students learn to assess business documentation, develop business strategies, and analyze business laws and regulations as they apply to real-world scenarios. The program's various specializations, including sports management, homeland security, healthcare administration, and government contracting, give learners the opportunity to pursue personal interests and goals as they develop the professional knowledge and skills needed for successful careers.

Applicants to APU’s MBA program must hold a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field or have completed prerequisite coursework in managerial analysis, quantitative analysis, and global management perspective. There is no fee to submit APU’s online graduate school application.

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University of Charleston
Location Charleston , WV Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 65 Student Population 2,425 Tuition $25,000 School Type Private

An online MBA degree from the University of Charleston includes synchronous coursework that students can complete in as few as 16 months to develop the problem-solving, analytical, and writing techniques applicable to business. Available as an online or hybrid program, the UC’s cohort-based degree provides learners with the knowledge and skills needed to advance their personal and professional business goals.

Through group activities and team-building exercises, students cultivate professional relationships and business communication skills. Core coursework includes managerial accounting and finance, quantitative methods, and applied marketing. Students also participate in an international business practicum, a ten-day experiential learning activity during which learners observe business practices in a foreign country.

Admission to the University of Charleston’s program includes a formal interview after students submit their application, official undergraduate and graduate transcripts, a resume, and three letters of recommendation.

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Why Consider an Online MBA in West Virginia?

Students seeking an online MBA in West Virginia can choose from five different program options at public or private institutions. While 87% of exclusively online students enrolled in West Virginia schools live out of state, many permanent residents also find value in online studies.

West Virginia online MBA enrollment is driven by two primary factors: distance and flexibility. A student living in a rural area can pursue a degree at a major university several hours away by enrolling online. Those who live closer to campus may choose online learning to help maintain greater scheduling freedom for work and family obligations.

Number of Students Enrolled in Distance Education (2015)

Undergraduate Graduate
Any Distance 68,642 13,423
Exclusively Distance 49,876 12,485
On-Campus 58,970 9,708
Source: Digital Learning Compass

Distance Enrollment by Institution Type (2015)

All Students Graduate Students Enrolled in Any Distance
Private for-profit 55,736 9,664
Private not-for-profit 8,665 551
Public 86,342 3,208
Source: Digital Learning Compass

MBA Concentrations for West Virginia Students

The popularity of MBAs can be attributed to the degree's versatility. The skills and knowledge developed in an MBA program allow job seekers to expand their search criteria to cover multiple areas of management. MBAs can also provide a straightforward way to improve hiring prospects in a single, specific business discipline.

Residents who plan to work in West Virginia after graduation may benefit from aligning their MBAs with one of the state's top industries. Consider choosing a degree concentration that translates to employment opportunities in manufacturing, chemicals and energy, healthcare, or distribution and fulfillment, or in one of the areas below.

  • Healthcare Administration Healthcare administration concentrations prepare graduates for management work in healthcare facilities, including both private and public clinics. Coursework covers administrative knowledge specific to the healthcare sector, including policy, informatics, and finance trends.
  • Energy Finance Completing an MBA concentration in energy finance prepares graduates for leadership opportunities at energy companies. Coursework covers law, ethics, finance, and risk management as they pertain to this specialized industry.
  • Human Resource Management A concentration in human resource management can prepare graduates for HR careers at any company, covering topics like acquiring talent, maintaining employer/employee relationships, and developing strategic policies and practices.

Accreditation in West Virginia

The best online MBA programs in West Virginia are offered through accredited institutions. These schools have met the strict academic and ethical standards set by quality control organizations known as accrediting bodies. Schools 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. Credits earned at a nationally accredited school are less likely to transfer than those from their regionally accredited counterparts. If you want to improve your career prospects with an online MBA, West Virginia is home to many regionally accredited institutions.

West Virginia Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

The economy of West Virginia enables an impressive variety of industries to thrive. With notable companies like DuPont, Bayer, PGG, and Dow all operating in the state, it's become a nationally and globally recognized hub for chemicals and biotechnology.

West Virginia is also one of the top U.S. energy producers. In 2017, West Virginia was second only to Wyoming in coal production, but oil, natural gas, hydroelectric power, and wind power make significant contributions in the state as well. The oil and natural gas industries in particular have seen major growth in the last decade and have positive growth projections.

West Virginia also supports thousands of jobs in other industries, including automotive and aerospace manufacturing; forestry; metals and steel; healthcare; distribution and fulfillment; and tourism. Of these, the healthcare and social services industry carries one of the highest projected growth rates between 2016-2026 -- nearly 15%, according to Workforce West Virginia.

Students who pursue MBAs with a specific industry in mind can feel confident about securing future employment in this economically diverse state. Specific MBA-related careers with moderate or high demand projections from 2016-2026 include logisticians, management analysts, and marketing specialists.

Company Location Main Industry Number of Employees
WVU Children's Hospital Morgantown General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 7,000
Ruby Day Surgery Center Morgantown Outpatient Care Centers 6,700
Charleston Area Medical Center Charleston General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 6,071
Source: CareerOneStop

Earning an MBA with a concentration in healthcare management may be especially beneficial for West Virginians, as each of the three top employers in the state are healthcare providers. Several other major employers in the state also work in the medical field. Hospitals and outpatient care centers need strong, qualified professionals to fill key leadership positions, including project managers, marketing directors, community relations specialists, and healthcare administrators.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of West Virginia

Compared to nationwide salary data, the average earning potential of an MBA graduate in West Virginia is slightly low, but pursuing an online MBA can still help provide an overall income boost. MBAs provide students with a set of transferable leadership and management skills, opening doors to managerial employment in several different industries. Pursuing an MBA with a concentration in a highly-specialized field can increase salary potential as companies scour a smaller pool of qualified applicants to fill important leadership roles.

Salary for Graduate Business Majors (2015)

Major Median Annual Salary
Business Economics $100,000
Business Management and Administration $81,000
General Business $89,000
Source: Center on Education and the Workforce

Careers for MBA Grads in West Virginia

Logistician

Typically open to undergraduate degree holders, logistician jobs are gaining popularity with MBA graduates. Logisticians analyze and coordinate company supply chains by managing goods, supplies, and people. Specific duties include overseeing purchases, transportation, and warehousing. Nationwide, logisticians take home a median annual salary of $74,600.


Management Analyst

Also known as management consultants, these professionals improve organizational efficiency by analyzing information, conducting interviews, developing solutions, and advising managers and executives. Nationwide, management analysts earn a median annual salary of $83,610.


Marketing Manager

Marketing managers help lead the promotional and advertising efforts of companies and organizations. Duties may include analyzing current and past marketing data or researching the best ways to reach key demographics. Specialists typically work on only one or two projects at a time. Nationwide, marketing managers take home a median annual salary of $132,620.


Medical and Health Services Manager

Medical health services managers complete important managerial tasks to ensure the smooth operation of entire medical facilities or individual departments. Common duties include preparing budgets, creating work schedules, developing goals, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. Nationwide, healthcare administrators earn an average annual salary of $99,730.


Top Executives

The duties of a top executive -- often called a director of operations in hospital settings -- vary according to company needs. Tasks may include ensuring adherence to set budgets and timelines, handling production purchases, evaluating current operations procedures, and helping to develop and implement improvements. Nationwide, directors of operations take home an average annual salary of $104,980.

How to Choose an Online MBA in West Virginia

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

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