The Best Online MBA Programs of 2023

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Updated January 10, 2024

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Business schools increasingly support online MBA options for busy learners. Use this guide to learn more about online MBA learning experience.

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Online MBA programs teach versatile business management and administration skills. Enrollees can pursue generalist and specialized options. Generalist programs focus on business essentials and offer cross-industry relevance and transferability. Specialized programs hone in on concentrated areas, guiding students to advanced expertise in subfields of business and management.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects multiple business careers open to MBA-holders will experience near-term growth. For instance, the BLS projects market research analyst careers will grow 13% from 2022 to 2032. Other business roles with faster-than-average growth projections in this same time period include:

Business Roles Growth Projections

Logistician
18%

Management Analyst
10%

Financial Analyst
8%

Online MBA programs can benefit business students seeking scheduling flexibility as well as established professionals and career-changers who want to work while they study. This guide explains the structure of MBA programs, the benefits of earning an MBA, and contains a ranked list of top online MBA degrees.

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

The Top Online MBA Programs

#1 The Best Online MBA Programs of 2023

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Gainesville Florida in proximity to beaches and theme parks, the University of Florida enrolls over 53,000 students. UF offers over 300 degree tracks, including various graduate programs. 

Hough Graduate School of Business

UF's Hough Graduate School of Business offers 1-2 year MBA program tracks for on-campus and distance learners.

UF's online MBA program features the same renowned faculty and rigorous coursework as the on-campus program. Students may pursue a 16-month accelerated track or a more traditionally paced 24-month track. The accelerated program suits learners with an undergraduate degree in business who meet specific program-eligibility requirements.

Students complete all coursework online. But, an in-person orientation in Gainesville is required, and additional on-campus residencies are encouraged. These intensive programs max out at 65 students per cohort to foster stronger connections between faculty and students.

Applying to UF

Admission to both the one- and two-year program requires an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution, a minimum of two years of professional experience, two letters of recommendation, and an entrance essay. Some applicants may be invited for an interview.

Program at a Glance 

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
  • Tuition: $49,205 total (one-year program); $59,807 total (two-year program) 
  • Required Credits: 32 (one-year); 48 (two-year)
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% Online (coursework online, on-campus orientation required)
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,770
Out-of-state
$27,335
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
31%
Students Enrolled
53,372
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 The Best Online MBA Programs of 2023

Rice University

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Situated on an 300-acre campus in the heart of Houston, Rice University enrolls students in over 50 undergraduate programs and offers many graduate degrees.

Jones Graduate School of Business

Rice University's 54-credit online MBA gives students the flexibility to tailor their learning toward their career goals. With 13.5 credits of electives built into the curriculum, students can take courses in marketing, finance, strategy, and entrepreneurship. 

The program culminates in a collaborative capstone course where students create a workable solution to a business-centered problem. They can receive help and input from real executives working at not-for-profit community organizations.

Students complete all coursework online through live, courses streamed weekly. They must also attend some on-campus "Rice Residential" events.

Rice's MBA Specializations

Corporate Strategy | Corporate Finance | Investment Management | Marketing | Entrepreneurship | Energy | Healthcare

Applying to Rice

Candidates must submit official transcripts, an online application, letters of recommendation, a detailed professional history, admissions essays, and a $150 application fee. All candidates must also sit for an interview.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
  • Tuition: $2,100 per credit 
  • Required Credits: 54 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid (online with minimal on-campus residencies), synchronous
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$50,310
Out-of-state
$50,310
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$47,306
Out-of-state
$47,306
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
7,643
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 The Best Online MBA Programs of 2023

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online

Western Governors University's student body of more than 138,000 resides across all 50 states. Excelling in distance education, WGU operates on a competency model that allows students to get credit for the skills they learn.

WGU Online Master of Business Administration

Western Governor University's fully online MBA program offers students the flexibility to complete coursework anywhere, anytime, and earn credit as they master skills. The school's competency-education model emphasizes earning credit for the experience and skills students already have, allowing learners to complete their degrees faster.

Students work with their instructors and a program mentor to develop and follow a specialized degree plan tailored to their experience, interests, and goals. Students demonstrate competency by completing course assessments and requirements. 

The program culminates in a capstone course. Students demonstrate their skills by identifying and solving a real-world business problem. 

WGU's MBA Specializations

Management | Economics | Marketing | Accounting | Leadership | Finance | Strategy

Applying to WGU

Applicants to WGU must submit official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate program, submit an online application form, and speak with an enrollment counselor.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: NWCCU, ACBSP
  • Tuition: $4,530 per six-month term
  • Required Credits: 11 courses
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Delivery Format: 100% online, asynchronous
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,380
Out-of-state
$6,380
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,500
Out-of-state
$7,500
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
147,866
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#4 The Best Online MBA Programs of 2023

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

With an urban campus situated on the Mississippi River, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities enrolls more than 50,000 students. UMTC offers over 200 graduate and professional programs, with online, on-campus, and hybrid options.

Carlson School of Management

UMTC’s Carlson School of Management offers a 52-credit fully online MBA for students seeking both flexibility and collaboration. In addition to completing online coursework on their own time, students can participate in live, virtual interactions with peers and faculty members.

Typically requiring about two years to complete, UMTC's online MBA allows learners to tailor their coursework to their interests. The program offers foundational courses in business and industry-specific courses to help students hone their skills in various fields.

Students can benefit from services like career counseling, mock interviews, networking events, job search tools, and career fairs. 

UMTC's MBA Specializations

Financial Accounting | Data Analysis and Statistics | Managerial Economics | Marketing | Supply Chain and Operations | Financial Management | IT Management | Strategic Management | Business Ethics

Applying to UMTC

Applicants must submit a personal statement essay, GMAT, EA or GRE scores, evidence of two years of full-time work experience, two professional recommendations, a video essay, a current resume, and official undergraduate transcripts.

Program at a Glance 

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
  • Tuition: $1,605 per credit
  • Required Credits: 52 credits
  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online, asynchronous
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$13,318
Out-of-state
$31,616
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$17,580
Out-of-state
$27,204
Retention Rate
93%
Acceptance Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
52,017
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 The Best Online MBA Programs of 2023

Texas A & M International University

  • Laredo, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Part of the massive Texas A&M University system, Texas A&M International University enrolls over 8,400 students in online and on-campus programs at its home location in Laredo, Texas. Situated just near Mexico, the campus embraces a large, diverse multilingual community. 

A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business

TAMIU’s A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business offers an expansive list of fully online degree programs, including a 30-credit MBA designed with students' interests and goals in mind. Learners can choose from six specializations including management, international banking and finance, international business, and criminal justice.

Each program pathway features prep courses to prepare students without a background in business for graduate study. The two-credit prep-module courses cover foundational topics in business like finance, accounting, management, and marketing.

Online MBA students at TAMIU often complete their program within 21-24 months. Coursework is delivered fully online, asynchronously, with no on-campus requirements.

TAMIU's MBA Specializations

Management | International Banking and Finance | International Business | International Trade and Logistics | Criminal Justice | Healthcare Administration

Applying to TAMIU

For automatic admission, applicants must submit official transcripts from an undergraduate business degree with a GPA of at least 3.25 and a resume with three references. Applicants without a business degree can still gain admission after a special review of their transcripts.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
  • Tuition: $11,010 total (in-state); $30,900 total (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 21-24 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online, asynchronous
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$3,818
Out-of-state
$13,634
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$3,350
Out-of-state
$10,712
Retention Rate
74%
Acceptance Rate
59%
Students Enrolled
8,525
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

These rankings include sponsored results from our partners. We use publicly available provisional datasets from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to inform the data for these schools. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

This list, which includes details about each program in the ranking, can be an excellent resource for prospective students. The page also discusses considerations for selecting a business school, plus information about specializations and career possibilities.

Our rankings of the top online MBA programs in the United States highlights leading business schools. To learn more about the methodology used to evaluate them, follow the link below.

Why Should You Get an MBA Online?


Many online MBA degrees make use of asynchronous coursework, where students can engage with lectures and discussion boards on less rigid schedules. Some courses may also run synchronously, with live web-conferencing sessions that more closely resemble in-person classroom experiences. Online programs may also require occasional campus visits for residencies, orientations, or immersion events.

Another benefit of online programs is cost-saving possibilities: Online programs do not require students to relocate and incur moving expenses. Additionally, many do not require an in-person presence, which eliminates commuting costs. Some schools offer reduced or in-state tuition for all learners, meaning an online degree can be more affordable than an in-person program.

What MBA Concentration Should You Choose?

While general MBAs offer versatility and transferability, business students often specialize. Concentrated MBAs build advanced expertise in targeted areas, which may lead to specific career opportunities in subfields of the industry. Employers frequently seek specialists when filling niche management roles, and a concentrated MBA can help you stand out in these job searches.

Business schools offer concentrations in dozens of areas. The following list represents some of the most popular and valuable specializations available to online MBA students:

Business Analytics

Businesses increasingly rely on "big data" to generate competitive insights, gather intelligence, and identify actionable opportunities. Online MBAs in business analytics develop valuable data-gathering and analysis skills. These programs balance technical prowess with classical management principles, leading to a forward-facing set of business careers positioned for sustainable growth.

Featured Online Master's in Business Analytics Programs

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the backbone of innovation. Specialized entrepreneurship MBAs focus on the process of transforming business concepts into profitable enterprises. Students learn to source capital, calculate the value of emerging ventures, and position new businesses within markets. Online MBAs in entrepreneurship may appeal to ambitious learners seeking to build their own companies.

Featured Online Master's in Entrepreneurship Programs

Finance

Business finance MBA programs cover concepts including capital management, financial forecasting, risk evaluation, cost control, and market-based investing. These specialized degrees benefit from strong cross-industry demand, as companies in virtually every sector of the economy have financial management needs.

Featured Online Master's in Finance Programs

Information Technology

Many modern businesses have become highly reliant on advanced computing networks and data management systems. IT-oriented MBA programs help prepare enrollees for careers managing technology teams within organizations. These degrees combine the business management aspects of traditional MBAs with a tech-centered focus.

Featured Online Master's in IT Programs

Marketing

MBAs in marketing concentrate on topics like consumer behavior and demography, market research, and the purchasing decision process. Applying these concepts to promotions and advertising, marketing MBAs equip students with advanced tools for driving the long-term growth of sales and revenue. Some degrees in this subfield offer further specialization opportunities in areas like e-commerce, brand management, and social media marketing.

Featured Online Master's in Marketing Programs

Career Opportunities After Graduating

With an MBA, degree-holders can qualify for top careers with higher-than-average salaries. For instance, the BLS reports chief executives earned a median salary of $189,520 in 2022. MBA graduates can also pursue careers in areas like accounting, healthcare management, information systems, real estate, and consulting. Each field includes a variety of roles, giving MBA graduates a host of career choices across industries.

What to Expect From Online MBA Programs

Online MBA programs typically require 30-52 credits. Students can complete many programs within two years, though requirements and timelines differ by school and in accordance with learners' academic background, as some institutions may require enrollees with a non-business degree to take additional prerequisite courses. Enrollees can also pursue part-time and accelerated MBA programs, which respectively lengthen or shorten overall time to graduation.

Online MBA tuition rates vary widely. Some schools offer reduced rates for distance learners, while others do not differentiate between online and in-person programs. Many top accredited MBA programs cost between $25,000 and $80,000 per year.

While the particulars vary by school, MBA core courses often include strategic management, financial accounting, managerial economics, and marketing. With many concentration options available, prospective students can find schools that align with their career goals.

  • Admissions

    MBA applicants should research each prospective program's admission requirements. Schools may require a minimum GPA, standardized test scores, or previous work experience.
  • Cost

    The pursuit of higher education is a sizable financial investment. Degree-seekers may wish to compare program costs against the potential return on investment and look for funding opportunities like scholarships, grants, or support from their employers to help cover tuition.
  • Capstone or Thesis

    A capstone project or research thesis can be a meaningful resume-building experience for MBA students. Online students should consider what kind of culminating experience they want for their degree and learn about how the online MBA programs on their list structure this requirement.
  • Online Courses

    Some students thrive in face-to-face environments, while others enjoy the relative flexibility of online programs. When considering an online degree, students should factor learning style into their decision-making process.
  • Internships

    Students hoping to gain professional experience should consider a degree with internship opportunities. Distance learners should research how online programs structure their internships to ensure they can pursue these experiences.
  • Networking

    Networking can be a valuable benefit of earning an MBA that helps enhance career prospects. Applicants should ask how online programs handle alumni connections and networking events.

Choosing Between Top Online Business Schools

Choosing the right program depends on each student's goals. Degree-seekers should consider the following factors before committing to a program:

  • Accreditation

    In the U.S., schools obtain institutional accreditation by submitting to a thorough qualitative review of their programs, faculty, and resources. All accrediting agencies in the U.S. should hold approval from the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Business students may also seek schools with programmatic accreditation from organizations like AACSB International, which verifies that a program adequately prepares graduates for business careers.
  • Alumni Network

    Networking with other professionals is an important component of the MBA. Schools with strong alumni networks, where graduates work in a variety of industries, can also help students secure future employment.
  • Concentration Options

    The best MBA programs in the U.S. serve more than one kind of student. These schools offer specializations across multiple subfields, including healthcare administration, accounting, and supply chain management. Choosing a program with a concentration can provide valuable specialized training.
  • Robust Curriculum

    Top online MBA programs mix practical courses in areas like accounting and managerial finance with classes in leadership and ethics to facilitate professional and personal growth. These schools also typically equip students for the data-driven business world through courses in analytics, quantitative methods, and decision-making.
  • Successful Graduates

    Prospective students can identify the most successful online MBA programs using two main metrics"> graduation rate and job placement rate. High graduation rates indicate that schools provide their students with the resources to complete their degrees. Job placement demonstrates the rate at which recent graduates land full-time jobs, and can speak to the value of a school's alumni network, name recognition, and career resources.
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio

    Choosing a school with a lower student-to-teacher ratio ensures that students have ample opportunities to connect directly with faculty members. Individualized attention from professors can help students understand course materials more fully as well as connect to internship and job opportunities.
  • University Resources

    Online students should investigate which resources a school offers distance learners. Important resources can include tutoring, career centers, library assistance, and disability services.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Online MBA Programs

Can you work full-time and get an online MBA?

Yes. Many online MBA programs are purpose-built to accommodate learners balancing schooling with full-time employment. Asynchronous online courses with prerecorded lectures allow degree-seekers to study on their own schedules. Programs with synchronous real-time learning usually schedule classes on evenings and weekends to accommodate students' scheduling needs.

Do employers care about an online MBA?

Most employers draw little to no distinction between an online MBA and a traditional campus-based business degree. Online learning has become normalized in the 21st century, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, many business schools no longer specifically identify online degrees as such in diplomas or official transcripts. If you attend an accredited institution, most employers will regard your online MBA as valid.

How difficult is an online MBA program?

Compared to traditional in-person programs, online MBAs are every bit as rigorous and challenging. Coursework is functionally identical, as the same professors often teach online and in-person classes for MBA programs. The only real differences relate to pacing, information delivery, and the virtual nature of interactions with peers and faculty. Though scheduling flexibility can make an online program easier to manage for students with full-time jobs, the classes still require dedication and hard work.

How long is the average online MBA program?

Online programs tend to cover 30-52 credits, which represents about two academic years of full-time study. The actual length of time it takes to graduate depends on the intensity of your learning schedule. Students in accelerated programs can graduate in as little as one year. Part-time learners typically complete their degrees in 3-5 years.

What should I look for in an online MBA?

Beyond costs, student outcome data, and recruitment opportunities, the most important things to look for in an online MBA are a relevant, challenging curriculum and accreditation. Seek curricula that cover fundamental management topics. Look for schools with institutional accreditation, which verifies that a college or university meets standards for academic excellence.

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