5 Best Online MBA Programs in Georgia 2021

Are you ready to discover your MBA program?

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.

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.

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.

2021’s Five Best Online MBA Programs in Georgia

We ranked the top five online MBA programs in Georgia for 2021. Each school on our list holds regional or national accreditation. Accredited colleges and universities undergo an independent review process to demonstrate high academic quality standards. Many of the top MBA programs in Georgia also receive programmatic accreditation from industry-specific accrediting bodies. The programs in our ranking hold accreditation from the following organizations:

  • AACSB International (AACSB)
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Our Ranking Methodology

  1. Kennesaw State University
    Location

    Kennesaw, GA

    Tuition

    $17618

    KSU's 11 colleges serve more than 41,000 students annually. Two bustling campuses feature numerous student organizations, athletic opportunities, and cultural centers designed to foster the whole student's growth.

    Coles College of Business

    Housed in the Coles College of Business, KSU's WebMBA offers flexible learning opportunities for full-time professionals. The program's virtual cohort structure encourages collaboration and interaction with peers.

    The WebMBA program begins with a mandatory online orientation. While taking two courses at a time, students complete a 30-credit, 10-course curriculum targeting general business strategies. Topics include human behavior in organizations, global and international business, operations and supply chain management, and entrepreneurship.

    Applying to KSU

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and at least two years of professional experience. Prospective learners should submit two letters of recommendation and official transcripts with their application.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    Tuition: $24,470/program
    Required Credits: 30 credits
    Program Length: 20 months
    Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)

  2. Georgia Southern University
    Location

    Statesboro, GA

    Tuition

    $15435

    Founded in 1906 as an agricultural school, Georgia Southern now hosts more than 140 degree programs. The university's multicultural student body and campus life demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

    Parker College of Business

    Online MBA candidates at Georgia Southern benefit from an AACSB-certified curriculum and amenities such as library resources and career services. The program's asynchronous learning format helps enrollees work around their professional and personal commitments.

    Incoming students attend a mandatory two-day orientation in Atlanta before beginning classes. The orientation allows learners to meet faculty and peers and form collaborative student teams. Administered through the University System of Georgia consortium, the Georgia WebMBA program includes 10 courses spanning five consecutive terms.

    Applying to Georgia Southern

    Prospective learners must complete four business-related prerequisite courses before entering the program. Applicants also need two years of postbaccalaureate professional experience. Georgia Southern requires a resume, an essay, and official transcripts, along with an application.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    Tuition: $739/credit
    Required Credits: 30 credits
    Program Length: 21 months
    Delivery Format: Online (asynchronous) with some on-campus requirements

  3. University of West Georgia
    Location

    Carrollton, GA

    Tuition

    $15392

    UWG offers 87 academic programs to more than 13,400 students. The university provides enrichment opportunities through numerous student organizations, such as its management club and equestrian club.

    Richards College of Business

    A Georgia WebMBA partner, UWG provides the WebMBA curriculum through its Richards College of Business. Students can complete the 30-credit program in 18 months on an asynchronous learning schedule. Enrollees may also apply up to six previously earned credits towards their degree.

    The curriculum's 10 courses target key business topics such as entrepreneurship, strategic marketing, and human behavior in organizations. Students take all courses online after attending a two-day in-person orientation where they meet faculty and peers and learn about the program's requirements.

    Applying to UWG

    Prospective students need at least two years of professional experience and a minimum 2.8 GPA. Applicants should submit official transcripts, a $40 application fee, a resume, and optional GMAT or GRE scores with their online application.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    Tuition: $739/credit
    Required Credits: 30 credits
    Program Length: 18 months
    Delivery Format: Online (asynchronous) with some on-campus requirements

  4. Valdosta State University
    Location

    Valdosta, GA

    Tuition

    $13630

    VSU's small class sizes provide individualized academic instruction across its undergraduate and graduate programs. The university's mission emphasizes social justice, inclusion, and service.

    Harley Langdale, Jr. College of Business Administration

    VSU's MBA program uses the Georgia WebMBA curriculum. Designed for working professionals, this curriculum develops business skills on a flexible schedule. Students learn from VSU instructors and other University System of Georgia professors.

    After completing a mandatory two-day orientation in Atlanta, learners begin online coursework in domestic and global business practices, strategies, and theory. Courses in operations and supply chain management, strategic marketing, and managerial accounting teach students to make sound business decisions. MBA candidates must earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA to graduate.

    Applying to VSU

    VSU MBA applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, a minimum 2.50 GPA, and full-time professional experience. Prospective learners must submit an application fee, a resume, and GMAT or GRE scores with their online application.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    Tuition: $739/credit
    Required Credits: 30 credits
    Program Length: 5 semesters
    Delivery Format: Online (asynchronous) with some on-campus requirements

  5. Columbus State University
    Location

    Columbus, GA

    Tuition

    $11316

    A member of the University System of Georgia, CSU offers more than 100 online and on-campus degree programs. CSU designs its curricula to promote collaborative real-world problem-solving.

    D. Abbott Turner College of Business

    Students may complete the Georgia WebMBA program through CSU's D. Abbott Turner College of Business. The cohort-based program allows for online interaction and collaboration. Students meet cohort peers and faculty members during a mandatory two-day orientation in Atlanta before beginning online work.

    The MBA program includes 10, three-credit courses. Coursework explores key business concepts such as managerial decision analysis, management information systems, and managerial finance. A business strategy capstone course encourages students to implement learned strategies in simulated business situations.

    Applying to CSU

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and fulfill prerequisite requirements. Learners with a minimum 3.25 GPA, a graduate degree, or at least five years of professional experience may request a GMAT or GRE waiver. Applicants should submit official transcripts, a resume, and three recommendation letters with their application.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    Tuition: $739/credit
    Required Credits: 30 credits
    Program Length: 5 semesters
    Delivery Format: Online (asynchronous) with some on-campus requirements

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The 5 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs 2021

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