4 Best Online MBA Programs in Colorado 2021

Are you ready to discover your MBA program?

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.

Why Get an Online MBA in Colorado

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.

Skill Enhancement
MBA programs develop students’ abilities in leadership, communication, and business. Graduates apply advanced, highly transferable skills to their current organizations or new industry pursuits.
Earning Potential
An MBA prepares graduates for management positions with top salaries. Median salaries for information technology (IT) managers, marketing managers, and sales managers all exceed $100,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Increased Self-Confidence
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.

Online MBA Programs for You

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

What To Expect From MBA Programs in Colorado

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.

Admission Requirements for MBAs

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.

Explore MBA Admissions

Specialized MBAs

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.

Popular MBA Program Courses

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.

How Much Do MBAs Cost in Colorado?

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.

Learn More About Financial Aid Options

What Jobs Can MBAs Get You

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 Executive

    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
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +4%
    • Median Annual Salary: $104,690
    • Average Annual Salary in Colorado: $199,500

  • Computer and Information Systems Manager

    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
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +10%
    • Median Annual Salary: $146,360
    • Average Annual Salary in Colorado: $172,810

  • Marketing Manager

    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
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +6%
    • Median Annual Salary: $135,900
    • Average Annual Salary in Colorado: $171,970

  • Sales Manager

    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
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +4%
    • Median Annual Salary: $126,640
    • Average Annual Salary in Colorado: $167,260

  • Financial Manager

    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
    • Job Outlook (2019-29): +15%
    • Median Annual Salary: $129,890
    • Average Annual Salary in Colorado: $164,370

Colorado’s Top MBA Employers

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


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.


DISH


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


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.

  • Accreditation: To become accredited, universities must meet rigorous academic quality standards developed by third-party evaluators. Online schools in Colorado can pursue regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. MBA programs in Colorado may also hold programmatic accreditation from agencies like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
  • 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.

Online MBA Programs In Nearby States

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are online MBAs legitimate?

    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.

2021’s Best Online MBA Programs in Colorado

Below, we rank the best online MBA programs in Colorado for 2021. Each profile includes information about specialization options, credit requirements, and other program highlights.

Our profiles also list accreditation information for every school. Accreditation is a crucial factor to consider in the search for an online MBA in Colorado. Every school on our list holds regional or national accreditation.

Regional and national accreditation apply to institutions as a whole, ensuring that a school meets rigorous standards of excellence. Regional accreditation, granted by agencies like the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), carries more prestige.

Prospective MBA students may also look for subject-specific accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Our Ranking Methodology
  1. Colorado State University
    Location

    Fort Collins, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Fort Collins, near the border between Colorado and Wyoming, CSU excels in sustainability, entrepreneurship, and strong academic programs. The school prioritizes a philosophy of inviting, accepting, and supporting its students and staff.

    College of Business

    CSU's online MBA program offers flexible distance learning opportunities for working professionals. The curriculum focuses on advanced concepts and allows enrollees to study on their own schedules. Though the program requires no in-person requirements, participants can participate in a weeklong international business study trip.

    Core courses at CSU include business systems and processes, managing human capital, financial principles and practice, and supply chain management. Each enrollee can complete either a capstone or final project.

    CSU alumni work for companies like Accenture, Target, Hewlett-Packard, and EnCana Oil and Gas.

    CSU's MBA Specializations

    Marketing Data Analytics

    Applying to CSU

    Each candidate needs an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, plus three years of work experience. The application requires three recommendations, a statement of purpose, and a resume.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    Tuition: $998/credit
    Required Credits: 42 credits
    Program Length: 21 months
    Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)

  2. University of Colorado Colorado Springs
    Location

    Colorado Springs, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UCCS takes pride in its status as a growing institution while emphasizing individual experiences through small class sizes. This University of Colorado satellite campus welcomes more than 12,000 students annually.

    College of Business

    Open to students of all academic and professional backgrounds, UCCS's MBA program emphasizes customization to help meet each enrollee's needs. Degree-seekers can choose online, in-person, or hybrid courses in a program with intimate class sizes. The program highlights opportunities for enrollees to engage with alumni, and graduates can join the UCCS College of Business Alumni Association.

    UCCS requires foundational courses such as introduction to accounting and fundamentals of economics, plus core courses in strategic foundations for responsible management, information systems, marketing strategy, and leading and managing in changing times.

    UCCS's MBA Specializations

    Finance | General | Healthcare Administration | Innovation Management | International Business | Management | Marketing | Operations Management | Project Management

    Applying to UCCS

    Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and submit transcripts, a goal statement, a resume, a $60 fee, and GRE or GMAT scores. Prospective students may include optional references.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    Tuition: $8,818/semester (in state); $15,634/semester (out of state)
    Required Credits: 36 credits
    Program Length: 2.5 years
    Delivery Format: 100% online, on campus, or hybrid

  3. Regis University
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    This Jesuit institution in Denver, Colorado, traces its history back to 1877. Regis' mission emphasizes social justice through supportive learning, faith, culture, and devotion to community service.

    Anderson College of Business and Computing

    At Regis, degree-seekers engage in practical learning. The program emphasizes peer-to-peer networking while encouraging strong connections among students and instructors. The curriculum centers on societal implications of business decision-making, and the Anderson College of Business and Computing operates under a practitioner model that requires faculty to demonstrate real-life experience.

    The business core at Regis includes courses in accounting for managers, ethical and legal business environments, marketing strategy, and operations management. Students choose specializations, which require nine credits. All learners complete a final capstone project for their final six credits.

    Regis' MBA Specializations

    Business and Data Analytics | Finance and Accounting | General Business | Health Industry Leadership | Human Resource Management | Marketing | Project Leadership and Management | Strategy and Innovation

    Applying to Regis

    Each applicant must hold a bachelor's degree and submit an online application, along with a resume and an essay detailing professional goals.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Private
    Accreditation: HLC
    Tuition: $990/credit
    Required Credits: 36 credits
    Program Length: 1-2 years
    Delivery Format: 100% online or on campus

  4. Colorado Christian University
    Location

    Lakewood, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    This interdenominational Christian school promotes a faith-centered mission of academic excellence, spirituality, and community engagement. CCU hosts 8,500 students annually online and on its Lakewood campus.

    College of Adult and Graduate Studies

    CCU prepares its MBA students for executive-level management careers by mastering advanced skills in business analysis, international business, entrepreneurship, and managerial functions. Degree-seekers select from six concentrations, with additional certificate options in healthcare administration, leadership, and project management.

    Core requirements of CCU's online MBA include human resource management, economic analysis and policy, values-aligned leadership, and leading in intercultural business environments. Most classes run asynchronously, allowing participants to complete weekly assignments and participate in discussions and team-based activities.

    CCU's MBA Specializations

    Advanced Accounting | Cybersecurity | Enterprise Agility | Healthcare Administration | Leadership | Project Management

    Applying to CCU

    Each candidate needs a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA and five-plus years of professional experience. Required materials include an essay and a resume, plus prerequisite courses in finance, accounting, and statistics.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Private
    Accreditation: HLC
    Tuition: $597/credit
    Required Credits: 39 credits
    Program Length: 18 months
    Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)

Accredited Online College Programs

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