Best HBCU Online MBA Programs 2022


Updated October 10, 2022

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Colleges and universities across the U.S., including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) offer MBAs. During legal segregation in the U.S., HBCUs offered an education to Black Americans when most other institutions excluded them. These institutions continue providing educational experiences to Black Americans and other students.

HBCUs host at least 23 MBA programs with accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs or Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. MBA applicants can find graduate business programs at HBCUs in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and other states.

This page discusses the benefits of choosing an HBCU online MBA program. Further below, find our ranking list of the best HBCU online MBAs.

History of HBCUs

People, like the Quakers and the Episcopal church, started founding historically Black colleges and universities in the 19th century. The first three recognized HBCUs existed before the Civil War. Richard Humphreys established the first HBCU, the African Institute (later Cheyney University), in Pennsylvania in 1837.

After the Civil War, southern and border states would not admit Black students into universities.

HBCUs invited Black students and learners of other races to earn college degrees when other institutions of higher learning often denied people of color access. HBCUs became centers of Black cultural, political, and economic activity and influence.

HBCUs still play an important role in educating Black students in a supportive environment that fosters community and leadership. Historically Black colleges and universities make up 3% of all American colleges and universities, yet nearly 20% of Black graduates attend an HBCU.

Traditional programs at early HBCUs focused on basic education and training that prepared students for trades or to become teachers. Business programs started at HBCUs in the 1930s.

Historically Black colleges and universities make up 3% of all American colleges and universities, yet nearly 20% of Black graduates attend an HBCU.

The U.S. Department of Education identifies 107 HBCUs in the country, with three currently closed. Most HBCUs are located in the southern U.S. states. Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina have the highest numbers of HBCUs.

Training Diverse Business Leaders

Minority populations are underrepresented in entrepreneurship. According to the 2019 Annual Business Survey, minority-owned businesses make up only 18.3% of all businesses with paid employees in the country.

HBCU online MBA programs help increase diversity in business by preparing Black students and other people of color for business careers in a safe, supportive school environment.

By contrast, the 2020 census shows people who identified themselves as a race other than white alone made up 38.4% of the U.S. population, demonstrating a clear imbalance between populations and entrepreneurship.

Economic conditions like the racial wealth gap and discriminatory financing practices can make it harder for Black entrepreneurs to start companies. These conditions also mean Black business owners in the U.S. often operate with less capital than their white counterparts.

HBCU online MBA programs help increase diversity in business by preparing Black students and other people of color for business careers in a safe, supportive school environment. Students get valuable networking opportunities, mentorship, and access to alumni databases.

The more affordable tuition typical at HBCUs means that students may be able to graduate with less debt, another potential stumbling block for starting a career in business. A 2011 article in The Network Journal, a publication focused on Black professionals and small business, reports that 12.5% of Black CEOs attended an HBCU.

Explore some benefits of diversity in business at the link below.

Why Enroll in an HBCU MBA Program?

Enrolling in an HBCU online MBA program can be a good option for any business major, not just Black students. Attending an HBCU can expose learners to diverse perspectives. This can expand learners' understanding of the world and teach them how to work more effectively with people from different backgrounds after graduation.

Other benefits of attending an HBCU MBA program include a positive student experience, strong alumni network, and improved affordability. We explore some of these benefits below.

Diversity: Although historically created to serve Black Americans, HBCUs value diversity. Attending a diverse college offers educational benefits and prepares students for success in a multicultural, global world after graduation. Diversity is increasing at HBCUs: In 2020, non-Black students comprised 24% of HBCU enrollment, compared to 15% in 1976.

Student Experience: HBCUs offer a student experience rooted in their important role in the history and culture of Black America, and resistance to racism and inequality. Black students, and those of other races, can expect HBCUs to offer supportive, respectful learning environments.

Strong Alumni Network: HBCUs often boast robust alumni networks that offer great value to students during school and after graduation. Alumni offer mentorship, provide career assistance, and encourage their employers to recruit at HBCUs for interns and employees.

Affordability: Students looking for an affordable option may want to consider an HBCU. Historically Black colleges and universities often cost less to attend than other traditional universities and colleges, with tuition 30% less on average compared to other schools. Over 70% of HBCU students qualify for federal Pell grants.

Why You Should Get Your MBA Online

Earning an MBA degree online offers convenience, especially for working professionals. Instead of committing to attend class at a specific time and place, online students can learn anytime and anywhere. Other potential benefits include flexibility, networking, affordability, and global opportunities.

Flexibility: An online MBA provides greater flexibility than an on-campus program. Instead of adjusting work schedules or family life to fit class times, online MBA candidates can complete most coursework around their other obligations from the comfort of their own home.

Networking: Many online MBA programs attract students from different states and other countries. The geographic diversity found in many online MBA cohorts makes networking opportunities particularly beneficial. Some programs offer in-person intensives that foster fast bonding with classmates and instructors.

Affordability: Students seeking an affordable MBA can sometimes save money by choosing an online degree. Distance programs that offer accelerated tracks and let students graduate more quickly sometimes cost less than in-person MBAs. Online learners can also save money by continuing to work while in school.

Global Opportunities: Online MBA programs may offer global opportunities like study abroad trips, international business internships, and fieldwork projects in foreign countries. Schools that offer MBAs through distance education sometimes enroll students from around the world, which also allows for global perspectives in class discussions.

The Top Five Online HBCU MBA Programs of 2022

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) offer some of the best online MBAs for current or aspiring business professionals.

Explore our ranking of the top online HBCU MBA programs for 2022 accredited by AACSB. Learn more about how we rank our schools below.


Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

The largest HBCU in the U.S., Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee awards more bachelor's degrees than any other historically black college or university. The school offers three online programs.

FAMU School of Business and Industry

FAMU's globally-focused online MBA program reports a job placement rate of 85%. The business school maintains relationships with more than 100 corporate partners. The career development staff offers workshops about resume building and interview preparation.

Admitted students must complete basic business assessments to ensure they meet prerequisite requirements. Designed for working professionals, the 44-credit degree incorporates lectures, team collaboration, and participation in national contests.

Tuition includes all course materials and textbooks, a laptop for the first semester, and a short international residency in countries like Chile, China, or Brazil.

Applying to FAMU

Applicants need a bachelor's from an accredited institution, a minimum 3.0 GPA in upper-division undergraduate coursework, and a GRE score of at least 300 or a GMAT score of at least 600. The program requires five years of post-bachelor's work experience, including at least two years in management.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Tuition: $792/credit
  • Required Credits: 44 credits
  • Program Length: 5 semesters
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Fayetteville State University

An HBCU founded in 1867, Fayetteville State University is one of the top three employers in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Committed to its role as a cultural resource in the region, FSU offers public concerts, music, and a distinguished speaker program.

Broadwell College of Business & Economics

FSU's Broadwell College of Business & Economics offers an AACSB-accredited, flexible online MBA degree that includes live and recorded lectures. Core courses include business and society, managerial economics, leading organizations, and modern marketing. Students choose from 12 MBA concentrations and specializations. Classes last 8-16 weeks.

Students without a business background may need to complete business foundation courses. Some specializations require learners to complete a capstone project. FSU's online MBA is the most affordable MBA program in the University of North Carolina system. Students can also take classes through other campuses.

FSU's MBA Specializations

Business Intelligence and Data Analytics | Cybersecurity Management | Digital Enterprise and Cloud Management | Entrepreneurship | Finance | General Business | Healthcare Management | Health Informatics | International Business | Management | Marketing | Project Management

Applying to FSU

Admission requirements include a bachelor's from an accredited institution and a minimum undergraduate 2.75 GPA or graduate 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores or obtain a waiver.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC; AACSB
  • Tuition: $224/credit (in state); $560/credit (outside North Carolina)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 24 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Howard University

A prestigious HBCU founded in 1867, Howard University in Washington, D.C., offers degrees in more than 140 areas of study. Over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend this institution.

Howard University School of Business

Howard's online MBA degree fosters cross-cultural business skills in problem-solving, decision-making, and ethical management. The applied curriculum incorporates real-world business questions and settings, including international immersion opportunities. Howard's MBA program emphasizes diversity and inclusion and welcomes minority students.

The 48-credit program includes 11 core courses and five electives. Required classes include statistics and business analysis, financial management, economics for global leaders, and a strategic management capstone. Distance learners participate in online chats and study groups, promoting connection with faculty and classmates around the world.

The business school's career center partners with nonprofits, start-ups, and corporations.

Applying to Howard

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university and two years of professional experience. Prospective students must submit a resume, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and GMAT or GRE scores.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: MSCHE; AACSB
  • Tuition: $1,896/credit
  • Required Credits: 48 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

A land-grant institution founded in 1891, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, serves more than 13,000 students.

North Carolina A&T State University College of Business and Economics

North Carolina A&T State University's College of Business and Economics offers an AACSB-accredited online MBA degree with four specializations. Students develop ethical leadership, collaborative, and analytical skills. The 36-credit curriculum includes classes in management and organizational behavior, strategic marketing, business analytics, and a corporate strategy and policy capstone.

The MBA program reports over 90% of fall 2016 and fall 2017 MBA students found relevant jobs before graduating. The career services office provides career coaching. Graduates have found work in areas like private equity, supply chain management, project management, and accounting supervision.

North Carolina A&T State University's MBA Specializations

Accounting | General Management | Human Resource Management | Supply Chain Management

Applying to North Carolina A&T State University

Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants must submit college transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a writing sample. Applicants with a minimum 3.30 undergraduate GPA receive a GRE/GMAT waiver.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC; AACSB
  • Tuition: $399/credit (in state); $1,026/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Jackson State University

Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi was established in 1877 as Natchez Seminary. This HBCU offers 45 undergraduate, 48 graduate, and 19 online programs.

JSU College of Business

JSU's 12-month, AACSB-accredited online MBA program consists of five eight-week terms. The curriculum explores accounting, management strategies, and finance. Students with prior degrees in nonrelated fields may need to complete prerequisites in general business. The program helps prepare graduates for professional management careers in business.

Designed for working professionals, the 30- to 33-credit degree requires classes in human relations and organizational behavior, managerial marketing, statistics for business decisions, and managerial economics. Students take two classes each term. JSU's College of Business employs 40 full-time faculty members and welcomes frequent guest lecturers and visitors from government, nonprofit, and business organizations.

Applying to JSU

MBA applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Application requirements include transcripts, GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation, and immunization records. Applicants can also submit evidence of professional or managerial experience.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC; AACSB
  • Tuition: $462/credit
  • Required Credits: 30-33 credits
  • Program Length: 12 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Common Questions About Online HBCU MBA Programs

Can anyone go to an HBCU?

Yes. Anyone who meets the institution's admission requirements can apply to an HBCU. Enrollment of learners from diverse backgrounds is growing. In 2020, non-Black students comprised 24% of HBCU enrollment, compared to 15% in 1976.

Do most HBCUs have online programs?

Almost one-third of HBCUs offer online degree programs. Historically Black colleges and universities with online programs include Hampton University, St. Philip's College, and North Carolina Central University.

What is unique about an HBCU?

Historically, HBCUs ensured that Black students could receive a quality education during segregation, and even before the Civil War. They contributed substantially to improving the lives of Black Americans and continue to make a lasting impact on American cultural, political, and social life.

Which HBCUs have MBA programs?

Historically Black colleges and universities offer 23 accredited MBA programs. Some HBCUs with MBA programs include Howard University, Alabama A&M University, North Carolina Central University, and Jackson State University.

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