The most popular graduate degree in the U.S., a master of business administration (MBA) provides a rigorous education in business, communication, and leadership. Students commonly pursue MBAs to improve their current management skills or advance in the workplace.
MBAs offer concentrations to accommodate management goals in some of the nation’s most rapidly growing sectors, like healthcare, finance, and information security. According to PayScale data, MBA graduates earn an average of $89,330 annually.
MBAs offer concentrations to accommodate management goals in some of the nation’s most rapidly growing sectors.
Business leaders in Colorado find employment across several industries, including tourism, advanced manufacturing, finance, energy, and natural resources. Below, you can explore a ranked list of the best online MBA programs in Colorado. This guide also provides a detailed look at the MBA experience as a whole, covering admission requirements, courses, and career options.
Online MBA Programs for You
Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.
Like any major investment, graduate school has the potential for big returns. A host of professional and personal benefits often follow an MBA. Let’s look at just three reasons to consider pursuing an online master’s degree in business.
MBA programs develop students’ abilities in leadership, communication, and business. Graduates apply advanced, highly transferable skills to their current organizations or new industry pursuits.
Leading teams, managing business operations, and performing well in meetings requires confidence. The applied nature of an MBA curriculum allows students to gain self-confidence through practical business simulations.
Learners can develop these skills by completing online MBA programs in Colorado. Other benefits of studying in Colorado include diverse school choices and opportunities to network and pursue careers within the state’s major industries.
Whether you want to pursue your online MBA at a private Christian institution or a public state university, Colorado has options for you. Studying online allows learners to live and work where they want, so rural state residents do not need to relocate to Colorado Springs or Denver to earn their MBAs.
Students who can’t make it to ASU’s Alamosa, Colorado campus can still gain crucial leadership, analytical, and problem solving skills through the school's online master of business administration. The 36-credit, six-semester online MBA takes around two years to complete and offers several specialization options. Students may choose from one of five concentrations: finance, leadership, sport leadership, public administration, and health administration. The first four tracks culminate in a capstone project, while those pursuing a health administration emphasis may choose between completing a thesis or a practicum.
Prospective Colorado state online MBA candidates may apply and begin classes three times a year. Applicants must possess a 2.75 undergraduate GPA or better. Distance learners receive access to helpful resources, such as career and professional development services, support from the graduate studies office, and an online library.
ASU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
This Christian institution’s comprehensive online master of business administration presents advanced business concepts with a focus on decision-making, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Built upon core financial and management principles, the 39-credit curriculum includes four concentration options: leadership, healthcare administration, advanced accounting, or project management. CCU’s MBA also stands out among Colorado state online MBA programs for its unique certificate program. Candidates may earn a postgraduate certificate in healthcare administration, leadership, advanced accounting, or project management concurrently with their MBA. The accounting concentration prepares students to sit for the certified public accountant exam. Full-time students may complete their online MBA in as few as 18 months.
Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 GPA, and should have five years of professional experience. Applicants do not need to hold an undergraduate business degree to gain admission, although candidates pursuing the accounting emphasis must hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
CCU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Developed to provide maximum flexibility, CSU’s 42-credit online MBA features an asynchronous format and five year-round start dates. The master of business administration curriculum includes an optional data analytics specialization and the opportunity to participate in an international business trip. Most students complete the program in 21 months. MBA graduates may pursue several related postgraduate certificates in areas such as finance, marketing management, and accounting.
Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from accredited four-year institution and demonstrate a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or better. The university does not accept transfer credits. Once enrolled, students gain access to CSU's extensive student services, including career assistance and a digital library.
CSU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The university’s online MBA holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
CSU - Pueblo’s 36-credit online master of business administration introduces the advanced concepts and applied skills needed to excel in managerial and leadership roles. Featuring six annual start dates, the accelerated program allows Colorado State University online MBA candidates to earn their degree in one or two years, depending on their enrollment status. Most full-time students take two classes per eight-week session.
Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree, demonstrate strong academic performance, and achieve a minimum GMAT score of 400. Applicants who do not hold a business degree may need to complete prerequisite business courses before enrolling in online MBA classes. Students may transfer up to nine credits from other accredited master's programs. All learners must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate.
CSU - Pueblo holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The online MBA holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Both nationwide and in Colorado state, online MBA programs that feature certain concentrations can be hard to find. CTU’s 48-credit online master of business administration allows distance learners to focus their studies through one of 12 concentrations, including entrepreneurship, healthcare management, and global leadership. In addition to core coursework, students complete 12 elective credits in their chosen focus area and a four-credit management capstone, which consists of a business simulation project.
Courses start every eight weeks, and class sessions run for 5.5 weeks each. Applicants must hold at least a 2.0 undergraduate GPA. While candidates from all academic backgrounds may apply, those without a business degree must complete three MBA foundation courses. The program accepts transfer credits on a case-by-case basis, and students may transfer up to 75% of their required MBA credits.
CTU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Founded by Jesuits in 1877, this Denver institution’s accelerated, web-based professional master of business administration is ideal for working professionals. Students benefit from six annual start dates, and students can complete the asynchronous, eight-week online MBA courses through part-time study. Learners may pursue an optional concentration in finance, accounting, health industry leadership, strategic management, or marketing. While the basic MBA curriculum requires 39 credits, those who select a concentration must complete 42 credits.
Newly enrolled students with a bachelor's degree in a field other than business must complete three prerequisite courses. Out-of-state and Colorado state online MBA candidates may transfer in up to 90% of the required credits. Once admitted, students can receive career preparation assistance and job search help through Regis’ Center for Career and Professional Development, explore the university’s digital library, and request online academic support.
Regis holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
When UCCS’ online master of business administration debuted over 20 years ago, it was one of the first online business degrees to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This 45-credit online MBA includes three foundational courses, which may be waived for candidates with sufficient academic or professional business experience. These students need only complete 36 credits to graduate, and many do so in less than 18 months. The curriculum also includes 12 elective credits, which students may fulfill by choosing an area of emphasis, such as project management or healthcare administration.
Along with access to a large digital library, University of Colorado online MBA students enjoy resources and academic support services from UCCS’ Business Career Development Center. Applicants may transfer up to six credits from other AACSB-accredited graduate programs.
UCCS holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Part of the University of Colorado system, CU Denver is home to a thriving distance education division that offers 28 web-based degrees, including a 48-credit professional master of business administration. The flexible program encourages students to learn at their own pace, and most complete their degree between 16 months and five years. University of Colorado online MBA candidates can also customize their curriculum through one of five specialized academic tracks. The program does not require any residency components, although students may opt to pursue their degree in a hybrid format and take evening classes on campus.
CU Denver accepts applications on a rolling basis. The admissions committee prefers applicants with an undergraduate degree in business. Students who wish to gain a business foundation before pursuing an MBA can earn a graduate business certificate through CU Denver. Students can apply all of the courses in the six-month certificate program toward the MBA. Prospective students must hold a minimum GMAT score of 500.
CU Denver holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
While DU’s Daniels College of Business has offered accredited MBA programs since 1923, the university’s online master of business administration makes it possible for students nationwide to take the same courses, such as data analytics, management, and entrepreneurship, all with the added flexibility of both asynchronous and synchronous online courses.
The 60-credit general MBA takes most students 21 months to complete. By adding a concentration in either marketing or finance, students add two four-credit courses to the degree, bringing the total required credits to 68. Unlike other online MBA programs in Colorado, this program includes two residency requirements called collaborative immersions. One of these three-day immersions takes place on the Denver campus, while the other is held at one of several international locations.
The program offers four start dates per year and accepts applications on a rolling basis. Students with a bachelor's degree, a 3.2 GPA, and three years of work experience do not need to submit any test scores. Once admitted, students gain access to the institution's career services, which include professional development, networking, and career assistance.
DU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its MBA program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Every student’s college experience is unique, but most online MBA programs in Colorado share some similarities.
MBA programs require approximately 36-60 credits of coursework, depending on the school and area of concentration. When studying full time, learners can expect to graduate in about two years. Some online schools in Colorado offer accelerated MBA options, with completion possible in as little as one year.
Depending on the program, students may complete coursework entirely online or in a hybrid format, which requires limited on-campus attendance.
Along with core courses that build knowledge in business operations and leadership, the best online programs in Colorado offer concentrations that align with specific career pathways. Popular concentration options include healthcare administration, finance, marketing, and project management.
Total program cost varies depending on school type (private vs. public), state residency, and the number of required credits. Students should expect to spend anywhere from $550-$1,000 per credit in tuition.
Each applicant needs a four-year bachelor’s degree and a minimum 2.0-3.0 GPA. MBAs welcome students from any undergraduate major, but some business schools recommend or require completion of prerequisites like principles of accounting, microeconomics, or statistics.
Depending on the school, applicants may need to supply GRE or GMAT scores. Exam waivers are commonly available for individuals with a high undergraduate GPA, prior graduate degree, or extensive work experience.
Many online MBAs require 2-5 years of professional experience. Some universities do not list previous professional requirements, but candidates should ideally hold some experience before applying. According to U.S. News & World Report, accepted MBA students across the U.S. hold an average of four years of experience.
To complete an online MBA application, prospective enrollees must provide supplemental materials like a resume, personal statement, letters of reference, and a $35-$100 application fee.
MBAs continue to grow in popularity because they are so broadly applicable. In addition to core coursework, most online MBA programs offer concentrations focused on specific industries or job duties.
Students do not always need to complete concentrations. Most MBAs also offer general tracks where learners can choose electives from multiple study areas. However, concentrations provide valuable skills for students with fixed career goals.
Some concentrations for Colorado students include:
Leadership: Graduates can apply leadership skills to management positions in any industry or job sector.
Finance: Aspiring leaders of Colorado’s bustling financial services sector must possess a strong knowledge of finance.
Marketing: Professionals can apply marketing skills across diverse industries.
Project Management: This concentration applies to many of Colorado’s top business sectors, including technology, manufacturing, tourism, and energy.
Healthcare Administration: Healthcare professionals looking to advance into management or executive leadership positions can pursue this concentration.
MBA programs in Colorado prepare students for advanced career opportunities through courses in business operations, leadership, and finance. An MBA typically comprises core courses, elective or concentration courses, and a final capstone project. Some common MBA courses include:
This course explores how company managers analyze and use accounting data for decision-making, planning, and operational control. Coursework explores financial statements, budgeting, and the cost-volume-profit relationship. Students learn to calculate, prepare, and interpret financial reports for use in management.
Learners explore the theoretical and practical links between human resources and organizational strategy. Areas of discussion include human resources management principles, practices, and data. This course strives to develop students into successful managers who fully connect and commit to their coworkers and employees.
Coursework covers the American legal system, corporations, agency and employment law, negligence, and product liability. Enrollees explore terminology, ethical theories, and the ways in which businesses apply different legal principles.
Professionals learn how marketing principles relate to consumer and business actions. Students learn how to view the world through a marketer’s lens to identify target markets, formulate marketing strategies, and implement those strategies.
The MBA Capstone or Thesis
Before graduation, all MBA candidates must complete a final culminating experience to demonstrate mastery of key program concepts. Depending on the program, students can fulfill this requirement with a capstone or thesis project.
MBA enrollees typically complete project-based capstones. Degree-seekers may need to submit comprehensive portfolios demonstrating their knowledge and skills, complete business research projects or case studies, provide temporary consulting services for local clients, or participate in team-based simulations mimicking real-world business operations. A capstone project typically lasts one semester.
An MBA thesis asks students to focus on the design, execution, and analysis of business research through a written paper and oral defense. A thesis requires approximately two semesters to complete.
The cost of attending an online MBA program in Colorado varies depending on school type (private vs. public) and prestige, and, in some cases, whether a student resides in Colorado. Fortunately, many online schools charge in-state and out-of-state learners the same tuition. Students pursuing online MBAs in Colorado can expect to pay $550-$1,000 per credit in tuition.
According to U.S. News & World Report data, Colorado MBA prices compare favorably to other programs across the country, where the lowest rates reach $300 per credit and the highest can rise to $2,000 or more per credit.
Throughout their MBAs, students should also budget for mandatory fees, textbooks, supplies, housing, and food. Colorado’s cost of living skews higher than the national average due to housing prices. Healthcare, groceries, and utilities are in line with national averages.
Federal, private, and school-based financial aid can help reduce learners’ out-of-pocket expenses. MBA students often take advantage of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loans. Visit the link below to learn more about financing your education.
An MBA can open doors to advanced careers and high salaries across many industries. Depending on their program concentration and prior work experience, graduates may find the perfect opportunity in financial management, IT management, or marketing management. MBA graduates may also find employment as chief operating officers or other top executives to direct major activities and goals.
Colorado offers bustling manufacturing, healthcare, energy, tourism, and recreation industries for MBA graduates. Management professionals in Colorado earn top salaries, too. Some strong opportunities for individuals who earn online MBAs in Colorado include:
Top executives plan, coordinate, and direct activities within a company or organization. The scope of duties vary depending on an organization’s size, but top executives frequently establish departmental or organizational goals, oversee financial activities, develop policies and procedures, and assign work.
Required Education: At least a bachelor’s degree; MBAs common among top executives of large corporations
IT managers plan, coordinate, and direct the computer-related activities within organizations. Duties vary by position and employer but may include determining IT goals, ensuring information security, assessing costs and benefits of new projects, and making recommendations to executives.
Required Education: At least a bachelor’s degree; MBAs commonly required by employers
Marketing managers estimate consumer demand for products and services offered by organizations and their competitors. Common responsibilities include monitoring current trends, identifying potential markets, developing pricing strategies, and collaborating with sales, public relations, and product development staff.
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree; MBAs often advantageous in the competitive job environment
These professionals direct and organize the activities of an organization’s sales teams. Sales managers’ responsibilities vary depending on the size of an organization, but common duties include establishing sales goals, analyzing sales data, resolving customer complaints, assigning sales territories and quotas.
Required Education: At least a bachelor’s; MBAs advantageous for securing competitive positions at large companies
Financial managers work to maintain organizations’ financial health. Primary duties include setting long-term financial goals, creating financial reports, analyzing market trends, and helping management make decisions regarding investments and spending.
Required Education: At least a bachelor’s; many employers prefer MBA candidates
Colorado tops the list for U.S. News & World Report’s overall state economy rankings, which consider employment figures, rates of new business creation, and growth of younger populations.
Approximately 207,000 Coloradans work in business and financial operations occupations, according to BLS data. An additional 118,000 professionals work in management occupations, and 51,000 work as specialists in project management and business operations.
The highest-paying MBA jobs for Colorado graduates tend to appear in high revenue industries like financial services, technology, and consulting.
Long-standing agriculture, energy, and tourism, and finance sectors bolster Colorado’s economy. The state also boasts rapidly developing science and technology scenes and a legal marijuana industry, which generated nearly $400 million in tax revenue in 2020.
The highest-paying MBA jobs for Colorado graduates tend to appear in high revenue industries like financial services, technology, and consulting. Similarly, graduates can expect large concentrations of MBA jobs in the state’s major cities, like Denver and Colorado Springs.
According to Projections Central, Colorado MBA careers with the highest growth projections from 2018-2028 include:
Market research analysts and marketing specialists (+34.6%)
Financial managers (+30.1%)
Computer and information systems managers (+25.6%)
Marketing managers (+23.2%)
Human resources managers (+21.5%)
Virtually any MBA concentration option can be applied to opportunities in the Centennial State.
Top MBA Employers in Colorado
Accenture is a global professional services provider. The Dublin-based company maintains hundreds of offices around the world, including in Denver. Accenture readily hires MBA graduates to work in consulting, strategy, and management positions. MBA degree-holders thrive in environments focused on enhancing and innovating business operations for thousands of clients.
Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, DISH provides television services to more than 12 million subscribers. DISH ranks among the top employers of MBA graduates in Colorado, offering positions such as consumer insights analyst, product manager, financial analyst, and brand manager. MBA graduates enjoy rewarding and challenging opportunities to work with investors, customers, and innovators.
Vail Resorts Management Company operates 37 premier mountain resorts around the world. Headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, Vail Resorts relies on talented MBA graduates for data analysis, financial planning, guest acquisition marketing, and human resources management.
Selecting Your Colorado MBA Program
Exploring our ranking of top programs offers a great starting point for your search, but other factors may also influence the school selection process. Consider the following factors while looking for your ideal online MBA program in Colorado.
School Prestige:Data suggests that business students from the most prestigious schools earn more than graduates who attend less prestigious institutions. However, prestigious universities often charge higher tuition costs and maintain more selective admissions processes.
Program Length: Traditionally, MBAs take around two years to complete. However, some online MBA programs in Colorado offer accelerated pacing options that allow for graduation in as little as one year.
Concentrations: Even though concentrations rarely appear on final diplomas, they provide a valuable opportunity to supplement the MBA core with career-focused classes. Consider attending a school with a concentration that aligns with your professional goals.
Why You Should You Consider Online Schools in Colorado
Distance learning continues to grow in popularity, especially among graduate students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 30.7% of U.S. post-baccalaureate learners attended classes exclusively online in fall 2018. An additional 9% enrolled in at least one remote course.
The best online schools in Colorado allow students to pursue their MBAs remotely — ideal for residents who live far from urban campus locations. While pursuing online MBAs in Colorado, learners can study from anywhere and immediately apply new knowledge and skills in their current workplaces.
Even residents of other states may want to consider enrolling at a Colorado institution. Several online MBA programs in Colorado do not charge out-of-state learners an increased tuition rate. Online students can also save money in other areas by avoiding campus-based fees, commuting costs, or relocation expenses.
While offering unparalleled convenience and flexibility, online programs require a serious commitment. Learners must possess strong self-motivation and time management skills to succeed. Many online MBAs emphasize team-based projects and coursework, making it imperative for prospective students to feel comfortable communicating in virtual spaces through discussion boards, chat rooms, or video.
Yes. When a reputable university offers both on-campus and online MBAs, students take the same coursework with the same professors. Online MBAs simply offer a more flexible, convenient learning format.
How much does an MBA cost in Colorado?
The cost of an MBA program in Colorado varies, depending on school type, student residency, and the number of required credits. Per-credit tuition prices typically range from $550-$1,000.
Is getting an MBA online worth it?
For the right candidate, an online MBA can provide an extremely worthwhile investment. Online MBAs offer a flexible pathway to an advanced business education, and graduates can earn upwards of $100,000 in management careers.
How do I choose an online MBA?
Start by finding a reputable, accredited university. Choosing the right online MBA requires careful consideration of your unique career aspirations, program preferences (format, concentrations, etc.), and budget.