Best Online MBA Programs in Georgia

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A master of business administration (MBA) is a popular professional degree offering pathways to managerial and executive careers. Most MBA degree-holders work in private industry or as entrepreneurs, but the degree can also lead to high-profile roles in public and nonprofit sectors.

General MBA programs teach core business management essentials in advanced detail, covering accounting, economics, finance, and marketing. Specialized and concentrated programs explore similar subject matter but shift their scope to support broad industries and niche economic sectors.

Data published in May 2019 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates excellent opportunities in Georgia for professionals working in business, financial operations, and management. These sectors combine to account for 11.9% of all employment in the state, including dozens of occupations with average annual salaries exceeding $100,000.

This guide ranks the top online MBAs in Georgia for 2021. We also cover essential information about MBA degrees, including admission requirements and available careers.

Georgia’s 10 Best MBA Programs

Rank School Location
1 Brenau University Gainesville, GA
2 Columbus State University Columbus, GA
3 Emory University Atlanta, GA
4 Georgia College and State University Milledgeville, GA
5 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
6 Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, GA
7 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
8 Mercer University Macon, GA
9 Point University West Point, GA
10 Shorter University Rome, GA
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Online MBA Programs for You

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

Why Get an Online MBA in Georgia?

Earning an MBA can unlock opportunities for lucrative, prestigious managerial and executive roles. MBA programs in Georgia also deliver quantitative and qualitative benefits that improve long-term career prospects in other ways.

Key examples include:

Recession-Proof Employability
Candidates with advanced business degrees benefit from strong, ongoing employer demand. Many employment and economics experts consider MBAs recession-proof, as MBA degree-holders tend to weather severe economic downturns better than most.
Networking Opportunities
Peer and faculty connections carry high value to students building their networks. MBA programs unite like-minded learners aspiring to succeed in the business world.
Broadly Applicable and Relevant Skills
Online MBA programs in Georgia deliver transferable skills with near-universal applicability across industries. This transferability maximizes career options and creates more choice and flexibility than most other academic disciplines.

In 2020, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that multiple Georgia business schools posted impressive finishes in competitive national MBA program rankings. The rankings focused on programs endorsed by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an internationally focused accrediting agency that evaluates business education.

Georgia also offers many lifestyle advantages. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Atlanta ranks among the most affordable major metro areas in the U.S., with the cost of living about one-third lower than Los Angeles and less than half of New York City. It also enjoys great year-round weather with thriving arts, music, and cultural scenes.

The Best Online MBA Programs in Georgia

  • Brenau University
    Location

    Gainesville, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Brenau University, a private research institution in Gainesville, launched its first online degrees in 1998. Today, the school offers over 40 online programs, including 16 specialized MBA tracks. Online students can choose either a general MBA degree or concentrated programs in areas such as conflict resolution, cybersecurity management, and nonprofit leadership.

    The general business MBA requires 12 courses totaling 36 hours of coursework. The curriculum first covers basic business topics in accounting, economics, and finance; it then delves into advanced areas of marketing, business law, and strategic management. The program also requires one course in global business. Students who choose a focus area need to take approximately 45 credits to graduate.

    The school delivers online courses asynchronously through seven-week sessions. Applicants to this online MBA in Georgia must possess a 3.0 undergraduate GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Several of the school's MBA programs hold accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

    Concentrations

  • Columbus State University
    Location

    Columbus, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Columbus State University offers nearly 50 distance undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. As a member of the Georgia WebMBA consortium, Columbus State offers an MBA program that students can complete in 1.5 years. The program boasts an accelerated format, and students can begin their studies in January or August.

    Through 10 courses that stress collaboration, ethical decision making, and international business, the program prepares students for a variety of management positions in the public and private sector. The curriculum includes a managerial decision analysis course that covers statistical techniques such as graphical analysis, forecasting, and regression. Distance learners can complete the entire curriculum online, but they must attend an in-person orientation in Atlanta.

    Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores, two recommendation letters, and a current resume showing two years of professional experience. Columbus State's college of business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  • Emory University
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Emory University, founded in 1836, is a private research institution based in Atlanta. The school offers a modular executive MBA that stresses leadership skills and helps working professionals develop their own leadership style. The program also fosters good decision-making skills by teaching students to gather information and interpret raw data.

    Emory administers the 18-month program in a hybrid format, delivering 66% of the curriculum through intensive, on-campus residencies. These in-person experiences include personal assessments and management training. Students complete the rest of the curriculum through nine-week online courses. In addition, distance learners can satisfy an elective requirement through a faculty-supervised independent study. Students can also participate in the global business practice immersion, a week-long trip abroad that introduces students to the fundamental challenges of international business.

    Those looking to earn their online MBA in Georgia through Emory's MBA program must demonstrate business experience and sit for an interview.

    Concentrations

  • Georgia College and State University
    Location

    Milledgeville, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Georgia College, a public liberal arts university based in Milledgeville, offers 21 distance graduate degrees. The college's online graduate offerings, all professionally focused, include three business degrees. Students can earn a master's in logistics and supply chain management, management information systems, or business administration.

    The online MBA at Georgia College is delivered through the Georgia WebMBA program, a consortium of several public institutions in the state accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The program offers asynchronous coursework that students can complete entirely online. While students do not need to log in at any particular time, they progress through the 1.5-year program together as a cohort. The program requires 30 credit hours of coursework, and some students must complete 12 credits of foundation courses prior to starting their studies.

    Applicants who possess a degree from an AACSB-accredited business school and hold an undergraduate GPA of 3.15 do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores.

  • Georgia Southern University
    Location

    Statesboro, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Georgia Southern University, a large public research institution in Statesboro, offers over 140 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs to more than 27,000 students. The school also offers many distance programs, including a fully online MBA accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

    The online MBA, delivered through the Georgia WebMBA program, comprises 10 courses totaling 30 credit hours. The program features coursework in global business, strategic marketing, and entrepreneurship. Students take courses asynchronously to finish the degree entirely online in as few as five semesters. Distance learners study in a cohort and meet their classmates at a required two-day orientation in Atlanta.

    Applicants to Georgia Southern's online MBA program must submit GMAT scores, academic transcripts, and a resume demonstrating at least two years of professional experience. The program accepts new students for the fall and spring terms. Both in-state and out-of-state online students pay the same tuition rate and orientation fee.

  • Georgia Southwestern State University
    Location

    Americus, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Georgia Southwestern State University, a public institution in Americus, offers bachelor's and master's programs. Students in Georgia Southwestern's School of Business Administration can complete a master's degree entirely online. The program educates students in the foundational topics of finance, ethics, management, and marketing in order to enhance their career potential and prepare them for leadership roles. The 30-credit curriculum includes unique classes such as philosophy of management, which relies on case studies to teach students how management theory developed over time. The 10-course program also includes a class on labor relations that introduces the function of unions in business.

    Georgia Southwestern State admits students to the MBA program based solely on undergraduate GPA and standardized test scores. One of the online MBA programs in Georgia with no GMAT requirement, this program allows applicants with a 3.0 GPA and five years of professional experience to apply for a GMAT waiver.

  • Kennesaw State University
    Location

    Kennesaw, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The third largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State University boasts a total enrollment of over 35,000. The school offers more than 500 online courses in over 70 online programs leading to degrees, certifications, and endorsements.

    Along with five other institutions in the state, Kennesaw State University offers the Georgia WebMBA, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The program features a fully online format, except for an initial two-day orientation in Atlanta. Students in this online MBA in Georgia take two courses per term for five consecutive terms, earning the degree in approximately 20 months. KSU's MBA students progress through the curriculum as part of a cohort, taking courses asynchronously.

    Kennesaw State University evaluates applicants based on professional work experience, official transcripts, and GMAT scores. The university may waive the GMAT requirement for applicants with an advanced degree or significant work experience.

  • Mercer University
    Location

    Macon, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Established in 1833, Mercer University is the oldest private university in Georgia. The school operates out of a main campus in Macon and enrolls over 8,600 students through its 12 colleges and schools. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Mercer's School of Business and Economics offers an online, self-paced MBA that students can complete in as little as 18 months.

    Unlike some other online MBA programs in Georgia, Mercer's online MBA lets students focus their studies in one of six areas, including healthcare management, human resources, and finance. Regardless of concentration, all students must take 21 credits of core courses, including ethical leadership, corporate responsibility, and operations management science. Students fulfill 12 credits hours through electives and complete a three-hour capstone course in which they apply the skills and principles they learned throughout the program.

    Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores, official transcripts, and a current resume. Mercer admits new students to the program five times per year.

    Concentrations

  • Point University
    Location

    West Point, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in West Point, Point University is a Christian liberal arts university founded in 1937. Point's students can choose from more than 40 online associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs. The school offers an MBA degree with two tracks.

    While the MBA in business transformation teaches students to evaluate and improve organizations. Students can complete either program in about two years through completely online, asynchronous coursework. In addition, the school enables students to transfer up to 14 credit hours toward a master's degree.

    Point University's online MBA programs list no GMAT requirement, but students may submit scores to demonstrate higher-level communication skills and critical thinking. All online MBA students pay the same tuition rate regardless of where they live.

    Concentrations

  • Shorter University
    Location

    Rome, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Shorter University, a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, offers many distance learning associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees, including a 100% online MBA program.

    Among the best online MBA programs in Georgia, Shorter's MBA allows students to study general business, healthcare management, or sport management. Each track consists of nine required courses and two electives. Required coursework for the healthcare concentration covers the ethical aspects of healthcare and healthcare informatics. Sport management students take classes in event management, sport marketing, and risk management in sport. In addition, all online students may earn three credits through a business internship.

    Shorter delivers online courses asynchronously in eight-week sessions, and students can finish the accelerated, 31-credit curriculum in 12 months. Applicants must boast at least three years of work experience and a GPA of 2.75 or higher during their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework.

    Concentrations


What To Expect From MBA Programs in Georgia

Completing an online MBA in Georgia usually requires two years. Some institutions feature accelerated programs with graduation timelines of 10-18 months.

Many MBA students come from professional backgrounds and maintain employment while studying. To meet their needs and accommodate their busy schedules, Georgia’s business schools have embraced flexible part-time program structures. Part-time learners usually complete their programs in 3-5 years.

Accelerated programs usually require 30-36 credits (or 10-12 courses), while intensive programs designed for depth can cover 60-72 credits (20-24 courses) or more. Online schools in Georgia support multiple MBA delivery options, including 100% online degrees and hybrid programs, which blend virtual and traditional classrooms. They offer general and specialized MBA programs while charging tuition rates that tend to fall below national averages.

Admission Requirements for MBAs

Online MBAs in Georgia require a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution. Most business schools also require GRE or GMAT scores, and many prefer applicants with at least three years of professional experience.

However, many exceptions apply as MBA programs continue to move toward broad, inclusive accessibility. Some business schools offer test-free admissions, while others waive test score requirements for certain applicants. While specific requirements vary among institutions, most request GPAs of around 3.0.

Even the best online MBA programs in Georgia welcome applicants from non-business backgrounds. However, these candidates may need to complete prerequisites. Finally, applicants typically submit one or more letters of recommendation, along with CVs and personal statements. Most schools also charge application fees.

Specialized MBAs

Specialized MBAs provide valuable learning opportunities for students looking to develop niche skills. Some concentrations focus on particular industries, while others build advanced proficiencies in specific areas of organizational management and operation.

Examples of industry-specific MBA specializations include agribusiness, information technology management, sports management, hospitality management, and nonprofit management. Proficiency-oriented specializations cover accounting, finance, marketing, human resource management, and big data.

A 2018 IBISWorld report identified food service, information management, and manufacturing as especially robust sectors of the Peach State’s economy. This makes specializations like hospitality, data analytics, IT, logistics, and supply chain management more relevant.

Explore MBA Specializations

Popular MBA Program Courses

MBA curricula vary in their course content, particularly regarding their electives and concentrations. However, core courses tend to emphasize a common set of concepts. Typical general MBA degrees include courses in:

  • Fundamentals of Marketing

    Marketing principles emphasize the so-called “four Ps:” product, price, place, and promotion. This course explores these concepts in detail, teaching students to apply and leverage these fundamentals to maximum benefit. It also creates a foundational knowledge base for advanced and elective marketing courses.

  • Managerial Economics

    This specialized branch of economics focuses on applying microeconomic and macroeconomic principles to managerial decision-making processes, particularly to determine price points for products and services.

  • Organizational Behavior

    Coursework examines how workplace structures and group dynamics influence individual performance and employee engagement. This course provides powerful tools for human resources managers can use to generate sustained boosts in productivity and job satisfaction.

  • Principles of Corporate Finance

    This essential course introduces students to the techniques and analytical concepts used by financial institutions and top executives to determine valuations of corporate assets and activities. Coursework also covers risk management and organizational structures.


The MBA Capstone or Thesis

Online MBAs in Georgia commonly include culminating projects as capstones or theses. These projects share some similarities and differences. Both occur during a program’s final year or semester and prompt enrollees to perform intensive, original research.

However, they vary in their respective focuses. Capstones usually prompt students to develop practical solutions to real-world issues in business management, while theses focus more on applied theory and academic hypotheticals.

In most cases, MBA students work on capstone projects, which more closely resemble the quantitative, actionable analysis graduates perform in their careers. Similarly, business schools often structure capstone projects to include group work to reflect the collaborative realities of organizational environments.

How Much Do MBAs Cost in Georgia?

Georgia’s business schools vary in their tuition pricing. Some target budget-conscious learners with total tuition fees below $25,000. Others emphasize their prestige, networking and recruitment opportunities, and ability to attract top faculty members, charging $50,000 or more.

The National Center of Education Statistics gathers data on student loan debt among postbaccalaureate graduates. As of the 2015-16 academic year, 52.8% of master’s degree graduates had student loan debt from graduate school. Among MBA graduates specifically, only 43.8% had student loan debt from their master’s degree. This indicates that MBA-holders recover from the cost of their degrees more quickly than other master’s graduates.

On an annualized basis, the cost of a typical MBA program usually exceeds undergraduate tuition. However, candidates should remember that MBAs often lead to high-paying jobs and provide a strong return on investment. Look beyond tuition fees and consider important factors like alumni employment rates and average earnings for a more complete view of each school’s value proposition.

Many MBA students need help meeting their program costs. You can find helpful financial aid resources by following this link:

Learn More About Financial Aid Options

What Jobs Can MBAs Get You?

An MBA offers a pathway to more prestigious careers and jobs with high pay rates. Employment statistics consistently show positive correlations between career advancement, pay rates, and MBA degrees. The Graduate Management Admission Council also notes that in 2019, the average starting salary for a newly minted MBA graduate reached a new record of $115,000.

The following list profiles roles for MBA degree-holders. In many cases, their average pay rates in Georgia exceed nationwide median salaries by a significant margin.

  • Management Consultant

    These business analysis professionals can work for consulting firms or find success through self-employment. Management consultants provide expert insights into organizational structures and identify areas for efficiency improvements.

    Required Education: MBA (concentration in operations management/organizational management preferred)
    Job Outlook (2019-29): +11%
    Median Annual Salary: $85,260
    Average Annual Salary in Georgia: $94,350

  • Sales Manager

    These professionals plan and direct the activities of corporate sales departments. Sales managers establish goal targets, supervise staff, provide training and professional development programs, and track progress toward objectives.

    Required Education: Some sales managers combine bachelor’s degrees with extensive professional experience, but most hold MBAs
    Job Outlook (2019-29): +4%
    Median Annual Salary: $126,640
    Average Annual Salary in Georgia: $142,790

  • Medical and Health Services Manager

    Healthcare managers direct the administrative and human resources activities needed to optimize hospital and healthcare facility operations.

    Required Education: MBA (concentration in healthcare management preferred or required)
    Job Outlook (2019-29): +32%
    Median Annual Salary: $100,980
    Average Annual Salary in Georgia: $94,320

  • Computer and Information Systems/Information Technology Manager

    Increasingly valued in today’s digitized business environment, these management professionals identify IT needs and create plans to meet them. Computer and information systems managers also oversee system implementation, maintenance, and upgrades.

    Required Education: MBA (concentration in IT/technology), or general MBA with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field
    Job Outlook (2019-29): +10%
    Median Annual Salary: $146,360
    Average Annual Salary in Georgia: $149,080

  • Training and Development Manager

    Typically functioning as part of an organization’s human resources department, training and development managers design, implement, and administer skills enhancement programs.

    Required Education: MBA (relevant concentrations include human resource management and leadership)
    Job Outlook (2019-29): +7%
    Median Annual Salary: $113,350
    Average Annual Salary in Georgia: $115,200


Georgia’s Top MBA Employers

Georgia’s economy has been resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. From mid-March through the end of June 2020 — the peak of the pandemic’s first wave — Georgia’s job numbers grew compared to the same period in 2019. It also attracted more than $2.1 billion in new investments during that time, also outpacing the previous year.

Atlanta is the state’s economic engine, but Georgia also maintains a thriving agricultural industry. This makes agribusiness a viable MBA specialization for those interested in working in the state. Other relevant MBA concentrations include logistics, supply chain management, finance, information technology, and healthcare management, as these apply to economic sectors that employ significant populations in Georgia.

Georgia also boasts a dense concentration of major employers and big businesses that hire MBA graduates. In 2020, 18 Fortune 500 companies and 34 Fortune 1000 companies called Georgia home. Its Fortune 1000 performance tied with Florida for ninth place in the United States. Atlanta ranks third among U.S. cities for Fortune 500 companies and fourth for Fortune 1000 employers.

These three Georgia-based companies hire MBA graduates at considerable levels:

Top MBA Employers in Georgia

UPS


Atlanta-based UPS is a world leader in courier and delivery services. Founded in 1907, UPS has grown to include more than 335,000 employees worldwide. The company generates annual revenues nearing $62 billion. As a major multinational company, UPS regularly hires MBA graduates to direct and manage its complex international operations.

The Coca-Cola Company


The Coca-Cola Company has excellent employee retention and tenure rates, both of which suggest high job satisfaction. It also offers stable and lucrative opportunities to MBA graduates looking to make their mark with one of the planet's most recognizable brands.


Delta Air Lines


Delta Air Lines ranks among the leading commercial and freight airlines in the United States. Its workforce includes more than 86,000 members, with annual revenues totaling more than $44 billion — good for 68th place* on the 2020 Fortune 500 list. The company has navigated the COVID-19 crisis relatively well and also participated in vaccine distribution efforts.

*Fortune

Selecting Your Georgia MBA Program

While ranked school lists explore the best online MBA programs in Georgia, each student should perform their own research to identify their ideal school. Ranking methodologies only consider a select set of general factors that may not account for your preferences or professional aspirations.

Some of the criteria you may wish to consider in your own research include:

  • Student outcome data, including job placement rates and the average starting salaries of MBA alumni
  • Tuition costs and return on investment potential
  • The business school’s culture and philosophy, and the relevance of the program’s curriculum to your professional aspirations
  • Whether the program accepts students from non-business academic backgrounds or requires prerequisites

Before applying to an MBA program, ensure that the institution holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. You can also seek out endorsements from specialized agencies like AACSB, which provides programmatic accreditation to schools with reputable MBA programs.


Why You Should You Consider Online Schools in Georgia

Online MBAs in Georgia excel at providing flexible study opportunities to emerging professionals seeking degree upgrades. Most programs deliver courses asynchronously with pre-recorded lessons and lectures. This benefits students looking to balance learning with personal and professional commitments.

MBA programs translate smoothly to online learning platforms as they do not depend on interactive student participation. Recorded lectures also allow students to review complex, technical, and difficult concepts with greater ease.

However, online learning demands high levels of independence and self-discipline, as students schedule and direct their own learning. New online learners may find difficulty in adjusting to the novelty of the setting.

Some learners prefer the live interaction of the traditional classroom, while others find they perform better in classes that follow set schedules. Traditional and virtual classrooms offer specific advantages and disadvantages, which you should consider with your personal learning style.

Online MBA Programs In Nearby States


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are online MBAs legitimate?

    Yes. Online MBAs carry the same authority and value as MBAs earned in traditional classrooms. Employers make no distinction between these online and in-person degrees, and most schools do not mention the learning format on transcripts, diplomas, or other official documents.

  • How much does an MBA cost in Georgia?

    In general, the costs of higher education in Georgia fall on the slightly cheaper side of national averages. MBA programs display significant cost variations, with affordable degrees starting under the $25,000 mark and scaling up to $50,000 or more.

  • Is getting an MBA online worth it?

    Yes. MBAs are one of the most coveted and valuable educational credentials a professional can hold. Online learning offers the most versatile and flexible route to earning an MBA, as they allow you to study part time on a self-directed schedule.

  • Does Georgia have online degrees?

    Yes. Business schools across Georgia had already begun increasing their support for online learning before the COVID-19 pandemic forced much of the state’s higher education into the virtual classroom.

Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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