What is an Executive MBA?

Earning an online executive MBA can help motivated professionals find work and succeed in business. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these careers pay a median yearly salary of more than $100,000. Designed for working professionals seeking career advancement, an online MBA with an executive concentration builds on your undergraduate education and career experience. The MBA curriculum will help you develop strong leadership, strategy, and management skills.

Designed for working professionals seeking career advancement, an online MBA with an executive concentration builds on your undergraduate education and career experience.

In addition to developing your leadership skills and abilities, business professionals who pursue an executive master’s degree online earn more than twice as much as professionals with bachelor’s degrees. The increased salary becomes even more pronounced as you progress in your career.

The table below highlights three different master’s programs in business. While each degree has its own value and will prepare professionals for future leadership roles, the specific curriculum, degree requirements, and salary outcomes differ between programs.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
Master’s in Executive Leadership An online executive MBA in leadership is designed to transform and grow your leadership skills by strengthening your critical thinking skills, improving your executive communication skills, and expanding your knowledge on how to lead organizational change. $75,000 2 Years
Master’s Degree in Organizational Management A master’s degree in organization management will help graduates develop the skills required to lead organizational change, address new challenges with confidence, and increase workplace effectiveness. Program specializations may be offered in areas such as global management, human resources, public administration, or project management. $53,000 2 Years
Executive Master’s of Business Administration (EMBA) From management fundamentals and corporate social responsibility to international business and innovation, an executive master’s of business administration prepares professionals to succeed in a constantly changing field. Students study management fundamentals, corporate social responsibility, and international business and learn to apply evidence-based reasoning to better understand, manage, and lead organizations. $64,000 2 Years

By earning an executive MBA online, students will develop and hone their skills in leadership, economics, data analysis, decision making, and strategy. While the curriculum varies by school, you’ll find the following classes in most programs.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Statistics for Decision Making Data collection and organization, determining outcomes and possibilities, and effective presentation of findings TITLE: Business Development Manager
Legal Environment The foundations of business law, including constitutional, environmental, and government regulation TITLE: Business Manager
Business Economics Economic analysis of business problems, the operation of markets, and concepts of macroeconomics TITLE: Business Administrator

Earning an online executive master’s opens doors to many potential careers, including jobs as CEO, COO, or executive director of professional organizations or businesses. The table below includes information relevant to each position.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Median Salary: $166,000
  • Office Headquarters
  • Large Corporation
  • Small Business
The chief executive officer of an organization makes the majority of executive decisions for the business, including performing strategic planning, managing fiscal operations, and determining goals.
Executive Director Median Salary: $77,000
  • Large Corporation
  • Small Business
  • Non-Profit Organization
Duties of executive directors vary depending on the workplace, though they typically act as senior management to develop and maintain departments, analyze operations, and supervise employees.
Chief Operations Officer (COO) Median Salary: $106,000
  • Corporate Office
  • Small Business
  • Non-Profit Organization
Chief operations officers are responsible for overseeing an organization’s operations and projects. They improve procedures to increase efficiency and/or profit, as well as implement the strategies of the CEO.

Have you worked in management?

Perhaps the most obvious question prospective students should consider before pursuing a master’s degree in this field is whether or not you have worked in management. Most executive MBA online programs have admissions requirements, which limits enrollment to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in business or those who have demonstrated their leadership capability through a considerable amount of professional experience in a business management role. If you have no experience in a management position, a master’s degree may not be the best fit for you.

Can you list the top three reasons you want an Executive MBA?

Earning a master’s degree is not easy. Before committing time and money to a graduate program, take a moment to consider your main sources of motivation. Are you eager to advance your career because you are passionate about your work, or do you feel drawn to the potential of a six-figure salary? Pursuing higher education is a personal decision, and no reason is necessarily right or wrong. You should, however, carefully consider your academic and professional objectives and know how a graduate degree will help enhance your career.

Did you take management or business-related courses during your bachelor’s degree?

Earning a bachelor’s degree in business means completing a wide variety of courses. Specific courses vary depending on the type of business degree; business schools offer degrees in areas such as accounting, advertising, and human resources, along with general business degrees. Most of the curriculum of a master’s degree is based on the foundational knowledge you gained as an undergraduate. Before applying to an executive MBA program, determine how many relevant management or business courses you took during your bachelor’s program, and evaluate your level of preparation.

Where are you in your current career?

Consider the knowledge and skills you have learned or strengthened throughout your career. For more recent college graduates, spending time working before enrolling in a master’s program can provide valuable real-world experiences. Those at more advanced stages in their career may have already excelled in upper-management roles, and earning a graduate degree may not be necessary to successfully pursue executive positions.

Can you afford a graduate program?

Finally, the question of finances is basic, yet invaluable to your decision. Although online degrees are typically less expensive than traditional on-campus degrees, earning a master’s degree can cost $50,000 or more. The good news is that many financial aid options are available to students, including scholarships, subsidized loans, employer assistance programs, and reduced-tuition partnership programs. Prospective graduate students should consider their financial situations carefully before committing to a master’s program.

Ultimately, deciding to pursue an executive master’s degree online is an important decision that merits a great deal of consideration, especially if the questions listed above leave you feeling uncertain about any aspect. Take your time in determining the best course of action for your life and career. Prospective students can always reach out to schools’ advising and admissions offices for more information and assistance before applying or accepting official enrollment.

Search Programs by Concentration
Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

California State University - Monterey Bay

Location Seaside, CA Tuition Tuition $41,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 48% Student Population 7,102 School Type Public

Part of California’s state university system, CSUMB’s online executive MBA program attracts students from various disciplines, such as healthcare and technology. Students can expand their business administration knowledge and increase earning potential through the executive MBA track. Learners take courses in accounting, organization, and business.

The 48-credit online program allows students to work at their own pace to complete coursework and interact with peers through real-time discussions. Online programs host 30 students per course, with CSUMB fostering a strong online community by encouraging students to video conference and email professors. Additionally, the university offers a discounted tuition rate to first-time enrollees.


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Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Location Fort Collins, CO Tuition Tuition $39,732 % Receiving Financial Aid 45% Student Population 30,614 School Type Public

CSU-Fort Collins’ online master of business administration is the sister program to the Denver executive MBA program. Unlike the Denver program’s hybrid format, CSU-Fort Collins delivers coursework entirely online. Full-time students can complete program requirements in 21 months, but the school allows enrollees up to five years for completion.

Holding accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the program also boasts a four-credit MBA capstone course. The capstone expands on theories and principles learned throughout the curriculum’s business courses. Students interested in a specialization can enroll in the 19-credit marketing data analytics program.


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Emory University

Location Atlanta, GA Tuition Tuition $101,700 % Receiving Financial Aid 37% Student Population 13,788 School Type Private

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School boasts accolades from top magazines and critics. The modular MBA for executives program incorporates online learning into on-campus coursework. Full-time students can complete the program in 18 months. Furthermore, the school offers other incentives to enhance the learning experience.

The Leader’s Reaction Course uses Army facilities at Fort Benning to create an obstacle course for students. This leadership challenge helps promote the program’s core principles while testing leadership skills. Emory also coordinates the Global Business Practice Immersion experience that enables students to travel overseas to study international business practices.


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Faulkner University

Location Montgomery, AL Tuition Tuition $17,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 73% Student Population 3,262 School Type Private

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Faulkner University is a Christian liberal arts university that offers various online graduate programs, including an MBA online executive program that encourages students to work for nonprofit organizations. In this program, students take 10 courses and can complete degree requirements in one year.

The 30-hour curriculum includes coursework in managerial economics, international management perspectives, and organizational behavior. The program culminates in a comprehensive exam. To apply, applicants need a baccalaureate degree, a resume detailing work experience, and a completed application.


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Florida International University

Location Miami, FL Tuition Tuition $42,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 46% Student Population 49,782 School Type Public

Florida International University oversees a general online MBA program and an online MBA in healthcare program, rated as two of the best online executive MBA programs in the country. Working professionals progress through the general online MBA program by enrolling in accelerated courses. The university appoints academic coaches to monitor student performance. FIU also offers online tutoring and advisement to all students.

Learners can complete the 42-credit program in as little as 18 months, though the university allows students to take up to 33 months if necessary. Likewise, the healthcare MBA program takes 18 months to complete and consists of 42 credits. Here, learners participate in three residencies. Program participants can also travel abroad to obtain an Advanced Certificate in Global Healthcare Administration.


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Friends University

Location Wichita, KS Tuition Tuition $21,111 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 1,929 School Type Private

The global MBA program at Friends University focuses on international business relations, setting it apart from some of the best online executive MBA programs. The program enhances student’s communication skills through a cross-cultural course. The core curriculum also features a global business experience capstone project.

Students interested in a concentration can choose from one of seven specializations, including accounting, healthcare leadership, and human resources. Learners must take 12-15 credits to fulfill the concentration requirements. For those traveling abroad, the university extends the Gerald E. Litherland scholarship to graduate scholars participating in a business residency.


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George Mason University

Location Fairfax, VA Tuition Tuition $79,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 43% Student Population 33,929 School Type Public

George Mason University's school of business offers an executive MBA program that caters to military personnel and veterans seeking leadership positions in civilian jobs. The school of business offers additional benefits for military personnel and their families through its office of military services.

This online executive MBA does not require GMAT scores. During the 16-month program, students take courses both onsite at the Arlington campus and online. GMU schedules onsite meetings twice a month for the program and includes breakfast and lunch for participants. The program places students into 30-member cohort groups where students work together to complete projects and assignments.


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Golden Gate University - San Francisco

Location San Francisco, CA Tuition Tuition $54,810 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 2,735 School Type Private

The master of business administration at Golden Gate University offers program concentrations in global supply chain management, entrepreneurship, business analytics, and 10 additional specializations. GGU-San Francisco’s MBA program helps develop each student’s leadership and business skills to prepare them for high-level positions.

The executive MBA program teaches the ins and outs of the current marketplace to students with at least five years of managerial experience. Students take part in cohort groups where they tackle business challenges presented by instructors. Learners complete the EMBA program in 16 months and the MBA program in two years. GGU follows a trimester schedule and allows students to take courses on campus or online.


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Howard University

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

Howard University’s online executive MBA program does not require applicants to take the GMAT or submit scores for admission. Instead, the university prefers applicants to have seven years of work experience and five years of managerial experience. The school offers an accelerated 18-month program to teach students the basics of organizational structure.

Learners begin the program by taking the mandatory MBA fundamentals course. This orientation class prepares students by improving their current skill set before they begin the standard curriculum. Students take classes in financial accounting, strategic communications, and marketing strategy. At the end of the program, learners take the strategic management capstone that tests the student’s corporate strategy knowledge.


Concentrations
  • Executive MBA
  • Executive MBA Executive Coaching Certificate
  • Executive MBA Executive Leadership Certificate
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Kansas State University

Location Manhattan, KS Tuition Tuition $32,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 24,146 School Type Public

Kansas State University developed the professional MBA online program to enrich professionals with comprehensive business knowledge. Courses take eight weeks to complete, with four start dates offered throughout the year. Students must also enroll in a business capstone course offered during the fall or spring semester.

In total, students take 36 credits to complete the degree. Students with undergraduate coursework in economics and statistics receive program credit from the university. Throughout the MBA program, students participate in orientations, international trips, and seminars. K-State also hosts recruitment events for degree candidates that encourage them to network with peers.


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Lasell College

Location Newton, MA Tuition Tuition $21,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 84% Student Population 2,160 School Type Private

With the master of business administration online program, students gain 24/7 access to online courses, allowing them to complete classes at their convenience from any distance. Accredited by the ACBSP, Lasell limits enrollment to 23 students per class to ensure every student gets the attention they need. Students can complete the program in 12-24 months depending on their enrollment status and course load.

To apply to the program, applicants need a baccalaureate degree, two years of professional work experience, two letters of recommendation, and a one-page personal statement. The school accepts applicants to the 36-credit program on a rolling basis.


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LeTourneau University

Location Longview, TX Tuition Tuition $25,550 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 2,795 School Type Private

LeTourneau University incorporates Christian values into its master of business administration online program. The 30-credit program uses a global perspective to teach students how to lead companies. Students take 10 courses, including a strategic management capstone during the program’s last semester. The strategic management capstone teaches leadership strategies through case studies and analysis.

LETU also grants provisional acceptance to undergraduate students, allowing them to enroll in the online MBA program after taking 60 hours of business-related courses. Once approved, undergraduate students take up to 12 hours of graduate coursework.


Concentrations
  • Professional MBA
  • Professional MBA Finance
  • Professional MBA General Management
  • Professional MBA Human Resource Management
  • Professional MBA Information Systems Management
  • Professional MBA Oil & Gas Management
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Lincoln Memorial University

Location Harrogate, TN Tuition Tuition $17,460 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 3,983 School Type Private

Located in Harrogate, Tennessee, Lincoln Memorial University offers multiple tracks for students interested in an MBA program. The first track includes a 30-36-credit evening program. Students take online and hybrid courses at one of LMU’s campuses. For distance education students, the 36-credit online program gives learners the option to specialize their degree in the general business concentration.

The DVM/MBA program caters to students pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. In this joint program, students take MBA and College of Veterinary Medicine classes concurrently and graduate with a co-terminal degree. Regardless of format, each curriculum includes the same learning objectives and outcomes.


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Louisiana Tech University

Location Ruston, LA Tuition Tuition $12,360 % Receiving Financial Aid 30% Student Population 12,371 School Type Public

Louisiana Tech University delivers its MBA program in five different formats with five concentration options. For the traditional MBA program, students need 15 hours of undergraduate coursework in economics; business and managerial accounting; business finance; and business statistics. Learners in the professional online MBA program complete all coursework electronically and take eight core courses and two electives.

The hybrid program combines on-campus meetings with virtual classes, focusing on computer information and technology. In 24 months, students can complete 36 hours of coursework. Students with managerial experience enroll in the executive MBA program for 30 hours of coursework pertaining to leadership and decision-making. Another option, the concurrent enrollment program, allows undergraduates with a 3.2 GPA or higher to enroll in graduate MBA courses.


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Naval Postgraduate School

Location Monterey, CA Tuition Tuition $34,000 % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population 2,665 School Type Public

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces seeking a graduate degree should look no further than the Navy Postgraduate School. NPS runs a part-time online program for students pursuing an executive MBA where learners can obtain degrees in 24 months. Learners take coursework in cohort groups synchronously for a few hours during the week.

At the program’s start, students must travel to the Monterey, California, campus for a one-week residency. While on campus, students complete orientation and a management course. Students must also visit campus once more during the program’s second year for another week-long residency.


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Pace University

Location New York, NY Tuition Tuition $78,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 12,843 School Type Private

Pace University’s executive MBA program emphasizes hands-on training through experiential learning. The 54-credit program includes hybrid courses and weekend residencies. Students meet every 10 weeks on Friday and Saturday at the school’s New York campus. The experiential learning component involves working with major well-known companies to solve business problems.

Students work in cohort groups to complete online modules and projects. The entire program takes 20 months to complete. At the end of the program, learners take a capstone course. In this class, students create a research project and participate in a business simulation exercise.


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Rochester Institute of Technology

Location Rochester, NY Tuition Tuition $69,983 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 16,639 School Type Private

RIT’s Saunders College of Business hosts the online executive MBA program created for individuals with established careers. The 47-credit program takes 17 months to complete. Learners take courses in leadership development, marketing strategy, and international finance. Accelerated courses require six weeks for completion.

Students also take two capstone consulting courses that require them to work in teams to solve operational problems. Online students receive access to librarians that can help gather research materials. The program requires two residencies: an on-site residency and an international trip. The on-site residency comprises a three-day leadership building experience.


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Saint Joseph's University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $33,759 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 8,625 School Type Private

Full-time students can complete the SJU master of business administration in just one year, while part-time students can finish the program in two and a half years. The school takes the student’s undergraduate coursework into consideration when finalizing course requirements. Therefore, credit requirements differ, ranging from 33-53 credit hours prior to program completion.

Delivery formats also vary. On-campus students take courses over a 15-week semester; online students take accelerated courses broken down into eight-week sessions. Learners can specialize their degree by choosing one of nine offered concentrations, such as accounting or business intelligence.


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Saint Mary's College of California

Location Moraga, CA Tuition Tuition $67,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 51% Student Population 4,030 School Type Private

SMC strives to educate the future business leaders of the world through three MBA programs. Learners enroll in the executive MBA, global executive MBA, or the professional MBA program, depending on the curriculum and focus that best suits the student’s career goals.

The 18-month executive MBA program is cohort-based, with students taking two online classes per term. Learners also meet on Saturdays for face-to-face interaction. In the global MBA program, students take two overseas trips to learn about foreign business practices and cultures. SMU’s professional MBA program offers five concentrations, such as business analytics and marketing to specialize their MBA degree. Financial aid includes scholarships, payment plans, and veteran benefits.


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Texas Southern University

Location Houston, TX Tuition Tuition $36,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 8,965 School Type Public

TSU’s online executive MBA program received accreditation from the AACSB for its innovative approach to education. In the EMBA program, students enroll in 36 credit hours with an assigned cohort group. On average, students complete this program in two years. Each semester, learners enroll in two classes at a time until all 12 courses are completed.

Enrollees can take the standard general business pathway or specialize their degree in energy finance. The energy finance concentration features courses in energy trading and energy financial valuation and modeling. Both programs include an international business trip to an economically developing country.


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The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

Location Chattanooga, TN Tuition Tuition $28,944 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 11,387 School Type Public

UTC-Chattanooga streamlines the distance education process by developing three fully online MBA degree tracks. Students can select the program that best accommodates their learning style and schedule, with tracks in business analytics, healthcare administration, or the general MBA curriculum.

Additionally, UTC administers a flexible MBA program comprised of hybrid courses where students meet during the week for multiple two and a half hour sessions on the Chattanooga campus. Online program rates for in-state and out-of-state learners remain the same. For convenience, the school offers four admission dates during the year so learners can enroll at any time.


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The University of Texas at Austin

Location Austin, TX Tuition Tuition $9,722 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 50,950 School Type Public

At UT Austin, MBA students can choose from an assortment of degree tracks, and most program entrants finish the curriculum in two and a half years. The traditional MBA track meets several times during the week for full-time students, whereas the evening MBA program offers classes during Monday and Thursday evenings for busy professionals.

The Texas executive MBA offers four different application dates during the year. The class structure emphasizes teamwork, with cohorts meeting for classes on weekends.


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The University of Texas at Dallas

Location Richardson, TX Tuition Tuition $49,531 % Receiving Financial Aid 53% Student Population 24,554 School Type Public

UT Dallas’ professional MBA curriculum tailors to the needs of working students. In each program, students take 30 credits of core coursework and 23 elective credits to complete the 53-credit requirement. Online students create their own course schedule, selecting the classes, course sequence, and concentration that best suits their needs.

Students choose one concentration from a list of 15 specializations, including information technology management and real estate. Although classes are offered completely online, students can choose to have tests proctored. UT Dallas also waives GMAT/GRE scores for applicants that meet certain criteria, such as having obtained an undergraduate degree from the school.


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University of Arkansas

Location Fayetteville, AR Tuition Tuition $40,716 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 26,754 School Type Public

The Walton executive MBA at the University of Arkansas takes 24 months to complete. In this timeframe, learners complete 38 credits geared towards workers with business experience. Online students take virtual courses and meet on the weekends for a monthly on-campus session. To specialize their degree, learners select a concentration from one of five focus areas.

One concentration, the healthcare administration specialization, merges with the U of A School for Medical Sciences to offer comprehensive coursework and instruction. The retail concentration focuses on the value of chain and consumer packaged goods. Applicants with a strong academic record and work history may qualify for GMAT/GRE waivers.


Concentrations
  • Executive MBA
  • Executive MBA Supply Chain
  • Executive MBA Finance
  • Executive MBA Business Analytics
  • Executive MBA Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Executive MBA Retail
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University of Hawaii at Manoa

Location Honolulu, HI Tuition Tuition $44,880 % Receiving Financial Aid 37% Student Population 18,865 School Type Public

In 22 months and with 48 credits, learners can receive their distance learning executive MBA. The curriculum features core courses in marketing, finance, and business strategy. The school mandates a five-day residency that helps initiate learners into the program. During the residency, students meet the members of their cohort and work on projects together.

The school also hosts on-campus meetings throughout the program on certain weekdays and weekends. Additionally, UH Mānoa issues a travel stipend to students from neighboring islands that need to come to Mānoa to attend on-campus meetings. UH Mānoa also allows medical students to earn their doctor of nursing practice degree while enrolled in the healthcare management track.


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University of La Verne

Location La Verne, CA Tuition Tuition $27,390 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 8,334 School Type Private

La Verne has customized its MBA for experienced professionals seeking higher education to only admit applicants with at least three years of work experience and an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. In the program, applicants learn more about management and leadership theories while analyzing practical situations.

La Verne allows students to tailor their education to a specific field by selecting a concentration. The school offers eight concentrations in areas like international business and accounting. Students must complete 12 credits in their focus area to fulfill the course requirements. In the online program, students take all their classes virtually with no on-campus meetings.


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University of Mary

Location Bismarck, ND Tuition Tuition $15,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 2,872 School Type Private

The online MBA at the University of Mary teaches students management theories and leadership skills in a blended online and on-campus format. The 20-month program offers nine concentrations in disciplines like Catholic philanthropy and healthcare informatics. With accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, the online MBA program uses the Canvas learning management system to deliver online education.

Students take 13 core courses, such as ethics and human resources, to fulfill the core curriculum. Learners with a degree specialization also take select concentration courses. For instance, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students curates the Catholic philanthropy curriculum to provide three courses for students.


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University of Memphis

Location Memphis, TN Tuition Tuition $18,900 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 20,585 School Type Public

The Fogelman College of Business and Economics hosts the online MBA program at the University of Memphis. Accredited by the AACSB, the Fogelman College supervises the Cook Analytics and Trading Lab, a simulation of a Wall Street trading firm. Students also receive access to the Avron B. Fogelman Professional Development Center that connects students to employers and trains them to lead businesses.

The Complete Professional Program uses training modules to teach students business etiquette and logistics. The 33-credit online MBA program features synchronous and asynchronous courses to provide scheduling flexibility for enrollees.


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University of Missouri

Location Columbia, MO Tuition Tuition $73,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 35,424 School Type Public

The University of Missouri uses a hybrid format in its execMBA program. Students take most of their classes online but meet on campus four times a year for weekend sessions. At these sessions, students work within their cohort groups to complete assignments. They also attend two international trips for nine-day intervals.

In the 48-credit program, courses last for eight weeks, with two classes in each term. In total, learners enroll in four courses per 16-week semester. Typically, students finish the program in 21 months. ExecMBA learners join the Professional Advancement series to receive executive coaching and access to webinars and workshops.


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University of Nevada - Reno

Location Reno, NV Tuition Tuition $30,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 20,898 School Type Public

The UNR campus supervises an online executive MBA program for applicants with a minimum of five years of work experience and an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. The university extends GMAT/GRE waivers to students with a graduate/professional degree or professional licensure.

Students join cohort groups and progress through the curriculum with their peers. Learners take two courses per semester, consisting of three semesters total. Each course lasts for 12 weeks with students taking 21 core credits and 15 breadth credits. Breadth courses cover topics like personal branding and strategic management for executives.


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University of North Alabama

Location Florence, AL Tuition Tuition $15,450 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 7,078 School Type Public

The UNA College of Business partners with the IUC Global Corporation in Taipei and the Pepsons Education Consulting Co. Ltd. in Suzhou to offer the executive MBA program overseas. Students in these countries take the same courses as UNA students based in the U.S., studying under UNA-approved instructors.

The UNA executive MBA program maximizes learning potential for workers with significant business experience. Usually, UNA executive MBA applicants possess five years of experience, either managing workers or leading departments. Applicants do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores. The College of Business administers the executive MBA as an MBA concentration. Learners take 34 credits, with courses worth two credits taught in eight-week terms.


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University of the Cumberlands

Location Williamsburg, KY Tuition Tuition $9,900 % Receiving Financial Aid 51% Student Population 6,276 School Type Private

The University of the Cumberlands Hutton School of Business boasts accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. MBA students complete 21 hours of core credits and nine hours of business electives. Full-time students take at least six credits per semester. To graduate from the program, students must submit a written comprehensive exam.

If students want to specialize their degree, Hutton offers the accounting concentration. To fulfill the concentration requirements, students must take 15 hours of courses, including taxation of business entities and advanced accounting theory. Other concentrations include healthcare administration and strategic management. The school gives students four years to obtain their MBA degree.


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University of Virginia

Location Charlottesville, VA Tuition Tuition $130,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 28% Student Population 23,883 School Type Public

UVA allows students to choose their own executive MBA format. The program includes leadership residencies, which requires a weeklong stay at the Charlottesville campus during the beginning and end of the program. Weekend residencies include monthly meetings on Thursday through Saturday of the visits. The third format, global residencies, features trips to Brazil, China, Europe, and India.

Program participants enroll in learning teams that meet virtually twice a week to work on group projects. Live classes convene for two hours during the evening. Students that cannot attend live classes receive access to class recordings. Students also take online exams through the Darden School of Business portal.


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Virginia International University

Location Fairfax, VA Tuition Tuition $18,288 % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population 895 School Type Private

The VIU MBA program encourages students to select a degree concentration. Students take five prerequisite courses and seven core courses to fulfill the basic curriculum and must also select a three-credit elective course and three-credit integration course.

Additionally, students can choose a concentration from a list of 15 specializations in areas like project management or global logistics. In the integration course, students create a business project, with core courses exploring the basics of leadership, such as managerial communication and marketing management. Learners must complete a total of 36 credit hours to obtain their degree.


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Washington State University

Location Pullman, WA Tuition Tuition $27,891 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 29,686 School Type Public

Students enrolled at WSU’s Carson College of Business develop the tactical skills to lead a company or start their own business. The online executive MBA does not require GMAT scores for applicants with a graduate degree, professional degree, or several years of managerial experience. In 22-29 months, students can receive an MBA after taking courses completely online.

The online MBA program offers five concentrations in finance, hospitality management, international business, marketing, and a general MBA track. Students with a degree concentration take three courses in their specialization. To heighten the educational experience, learners interested in traveling overseas embark on a 10-day trip to Asia organized by the school.


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If you’ve decided that an executive MBA is right for you, it is time to start narrowing down the list of potential schools. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through the process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school within 100 miles of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy visiting campus. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area can help you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When viewed side-by-side, this information helps you glimpse the quality of different programs.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Multiply the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will not spend earning an income. Also compare financial aid options; different schools may offer better financial aid packages or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be aware of all time commitments, and be sure they fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your executive MBA is to find a secure job with a healthy salary, in a field you enjoy. Attending a school that is well-connected with local businesses provides a leg up upon graduation. Many of these partners offer internships that can lead to full-time employment. Regardless, these internships provide the network and experience you’ll need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program and adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess degrees from unaccredited schools. Nor will schools accept academic credentials from unaccredited programs.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    Actual students and graduates are amazing resources to help you choose an online executive MBA program. They can give unbiased, real-world perspectives on how the program has served them, what they liked, and what they disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumnus. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

Completing a graduate degree at the best online schools for executive MBA programs can be expensive. Fortunately, many scholarship opportunities can help management professionals advance in their careers. The average award amount varies depending on school location, an applicant’s merits, and whether the scholarship is granted as a one-time payment or distributed for each year of study. On average, scholarship winners can expect to receive at least $15,000.