Best Online Business Schools in Pennsylvania in 2022 (MBA)

Pennsylvania has a diverse and welcoming business climate. Advance your career within the state with one of these top online MBA programs. 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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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania skyline on a cloudy day at dusk Credit: Ken Redding / The Image Bank / Getty Images

High-quality distance education, a rapidly growing trend in Pennsylvania, allows working adults to advance their careers by pursuing online degrees during after-work hours. Home to over 5% of the nation's schools, Pennsylvania boasts 252 degree-granting higher education institutions, many of which offer online education options.

An online MBA in Pennsylvania qualifies graduates for upper-level positions with their current companies or with Pennsylvania's other major employers and growing industry sectors. The page below details the available Pennsylvania online MBA programs, outlining their accreditation standards, coursework and concentration options, and related career opportunities.

Best Online MBA Programs in Pennsylvania

The following list offers a sampling of Pennsylvania's online MBA programs. Comparing concentration options, curricula, requirements, and distance learning offerings can help prospective students choose the best program for their schedule and professional goals.

Keep in mind that the federal government only offers financial aid to students attending regionally and nationally accredited schools. Moreover, many schools do not accept transfer credits from schools with lower accreditation standards, so students who plan to continue their education beyond an MBA must attend regionally accredited institutions.

Online MBA programs in Pennsylvania at regionally accredited institutions often boast additional, programmatic accreditation from business experts, and such programs typically garner more respect from prospective employers.

  • Alvernia University

    Reading, PA



    Alvernia's program ranks among the leading online MBAs in eastern Pennsylvania and holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Students can complete the MBA entirely online, through the university's main campus in Reading, or at one of the satellite campuses in Pottsville or Pottstown.

    This online MBA in Pennsylvania encompasses 30 credits in a combination of interdisciplinary, business, and elective courses, culminating in a capstone in executive leadership. Coursework explores corporate communication, marketing, economics, and management finance, emphasizing practical and ethical business skills and practice.

    The Alvenia online MBA offers students an accelerated program that they can complete in one year. Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree and provide all transcripts from previous academic experience. Students who meet prerequisites may waive the three required basic business courses: accounting, economics and finance, and management and marketing. Though not required, students may provide scores from graduate entrance exams for admissions consideration.

  • Cairn University-Langhorne

    Langhorne, PA



    Hosting one of the most unique online MBAs in Pennsylvania, Cairn University offers a 42-credit program that features a concentration in international entrepreneurship and emphasizes a global perspective on business and the marketplace. The Cairn online MBA receives accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

    The curriculum in this MBA program combines theoretical study and hands-on experience. Coursework explores entrepreneurial sales and communications, global business and economics, and the theology of leadership and business. Students conclude the degree with an international entrepreneurship capstone course consisting of a sample business plan, a pitch to investors, or a market research project.

    Students must complete five terms (including a summer term) of 2-3 courses each, with each course lasting for 7-14 weeks. Most students complete the online MBA in 20 months. Student cohorts must travel to Asia or Europe for a week-long residency during the program's final spring term. Cairn may grant advanced standing to MBA applicants with prior learning credits, especially in Bible or seminary studies or Christian liberal arts.

  • California University of Pennsylvania

    California, PA



    The California University of Pennsylvania online MBA emphasizes broad business skills for a variety of career applications in nonprofit, industry, and government management positions. The 36-credit program emphasizes coursework in accounting, strategic management, marketing, and corporate finance. Students may choose a concentration in business analytics, healthcare management, or entrepreneurship. Cal U also offers dual MBA/MSN and MBA/nursing administration and leadership degrees.

    Students may complete the MBA entirely online or on campus. Full-time students can complete the online MBA in one year, while part-time students often graduate in 24 months. Coursework in this online MBA in Pennsylvania emphasizes the technological tools needed in today's global marketplace.

    Applicants to the Cal U online MBA should hold a bachelor's degree (in any discipline) with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Candidates who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements may receive conditional admission. Students who do not hold a business-focused bachelor's degree may need to satisfy additional prerequisites in microeconomics, financial accounting, and statistics.


  • Carlow University

    Pittsburgh, PA



    Unique among comparable Pennsylvania online MBAs, Carlow's master of business administration degree approaches business topics through the lense of social justice. The 36-credit program offers concentrations in fraud and forensics, healthcare management, human resources management, leadership and management, and project management. Students must complete a capstone course in their concentration of choice to conclude the degree. MBA candidates may complete a graduate certificate in select MBA concentrations before applying to the online MBA.

    The curriculum in the Carlow MBA emphasizes communication, ethics, collaboration, and team building skills. Students may choose to complete courses entirely online, on campus in Pittsburgh, or through a combination of both methods. MBA candidates complete online courses as a member of a cohort group.

    Online students may choose to participate in Carlow's executive-in-residence program, providing them with the opportunity to hear a visiting lecturer speak on campus or online -- and potentially meet the executive-in-residence in person. Students may begin the program in fall, spring, or summer. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA; admission does not require GMAT or GRE scores.


  • Carnegie Mellon University

    Pittsburgh, PA



    The online MBA offered through CMU's renowned Tepper School of Business ranks among not only the best online MBAs in Pennsylvania, but also in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Students may choose from 11 concentrations, including accounting, entrepreneurship, and business technologies; they may also choose from among five optional tracks, each requiring additional electives and a capstone requirement. The Tepper part-time online MBA combines online study with six required on-campus weekends per year.

    Candidates for the Tepper MBA should submit unofficial transcripts of all academic experience, a required essay, and a professional recommendation letter. Students must also submit standardized test scores; Tepper prefers the GMAT but also accepts the GRE. The average MBA candidate boasts 2-10 years of work experience.

    The online MBA at Tepper accepts applications year-round and admits students for a September start. Students can complete the program in 32 months. Courses take place both online and once weekly on campus in Pittsburgh.


  • Clarion University of Pennsylvania

    Clarion, PA



    The Clarion University of Pennsylvania online MBA offers students five concentration options: accounting, finance, innovation and entrepreneurship, healthcare, and nonprofit business. Students must complete between 30 and 33 credits, depending on their concentration of choice. The online MBA curriculum comprises core and concentration courses, culminating in a strategic management and business policy capstone.

    Candidates for the MBA program may enroll in part- or full-time study. The curriculum in the general MBA caters to students from all academic backgrounds, including those with a nonbusiness undergraduate degree. Students seeking an on-campus program may choose to complete some MBA coursework in person at the university's Clarion campus.

    The online MBA in Pennsylvania at Clarion receives accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Applicants must fulfill prerequisite course requirements for select MBA concentrations, including accounting. Students may also pursue a five-year bachelor's-to-MBA program, or a pre-MBA certificate, to prepare for the online MBA degree.


  • Delaware Valley University

    Doylestown, PA



    DelVal's master of business administration degree claims rank as one of the state's most flexible and student-focused online MBA programs. The 30-credit program combines core and concentration coursework, emphasizing career-centered leadership skills. Students may choose a concentration in accounting, food and agribusiness, general business, or supply chain management.

    MBA candidates at DelVal must complete core courses in managerial accounting, financial management, and strategic management of business enterprises. The program culminates in an executive capstone seminar. Students may also supplement required core and specialization coursework with selections from DelVal's innovative "featured elective" program.

    The DelVal online MBA offers rolling admissions and seven start dates per year. Applicants do not require GMAT scores for admissions consideration. Qualified undergraduate students may apply for DelVal's accelerated 4+1 program, enabling them to earn both a bachelor's degree and an MBA in five years.


  • DeSales University

    Center Valley, PA



    The DeSales online MBA provides a flexible format for working students at an affordable price and is among the cheapest online MBAs in Pennsylvania. The Catholic institution offers 12 concentration options, such as financial planning, data analytics, and project management. Students may concurrently pursue a graduate certificate in data analytics, financial planning, project management, or supply chain management.

    The DeSales MBA online encompasses core, concentration, and elective courses, culminating in an integrative capstone course in policy and strategy. Students may choose to complete courses online or through hybrid study, attending courses at any of DeSales' multiple Pennsylvania campus locations. Learners may enroll full- or part-time at multiple start dates throughout the year. The program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

    Applicants to the DeSales MBA must submit undergraduate transcripts showing a minimum 3.0 GPA. MBA candidates must also satisfy prerequisites in micro- and macro-economics, accounting, marketing, management, and statistics. DeSales offers dual degrees for students who wish to pursue a combined MBA/DNP or MBA/MSN.


  • Drexel University

    Philadelphia, PA



    Offered through the university's renowned LeBow School of Business, Drexel's online MBA in Pennsylvania offers five concentrations almost entirely online: business analytics, entrepreneurship and innovation management, finance, marketing, and general business/custom concentration.

    Drexel LeBow's 49-credit MBA encompasses required core, MBA residency, and elective courses, culminating in a capstone course. Although most coursework occurs asynchronously, students enrolled in the online MBA must complete a four-day campus residency at the start of the program and a mid-point residency/consulting project. Part-time MBA students may select a hybrid study plan, completing some courses online and others on campus in Philadelphia or Malvern.

    Online students pursuing the Drexel LeBow MBA may choose to incorporate an experiential learning component, which offers an optional, week-long international residency to culminate the program. Applicants to the online MBA must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and submit GMAT (preferred) or GRE (accepted) scores, preferably of at least 570 or 310, respectively.


  • Gannon University

    Erie, PA



    The Gannon online MBA in Pennsylvania emphasizes career skills for immediate employment in business and management occupations. The MBA offers specializations in human resource management, marketing, and finance. As the first business school in this region to offer accredited business programs, Gannon's Dahlkemper School of Business boasts a supportive alumni network, small class sizes, and collaborative business and engineering programs.

    Gannon's 30-credit MBA encompasses foundations, core, and free elective or concentration courses. Students may enroll in full- or part-time study. MBA candidates with previous undergraduate credits in business may qualify to waive some foundational coursework in a variety of topics, including accounting, statistical analysis, marketing, and economics.

    Online students complete seven-week courses through Blackboard. Gannon accepts applications to the online MBA on a rolling basis; students may begin the program at multiple start dates throughout the year. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, and candidates with a GPA below 3.2 must also submit GMAT scores. Candidates with a GPA between 2.7 and 3.2 may receive conditional admission into the MBA program.


Online MBA Programs for You

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Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Pennsylvania

Data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development estimates that over 72,100 people in the state work in natural gas extraction. The data also indicates that direct employment with natural gas companies has grown by over 10,600 positions, creating over 16,000 jobs in the industry for goods and services suppliers.

The manufacturing industry offers employment throughout the state. In fact, over 14,400 organizations employ at least 560,000 residents in additive and traditional manufacturing. For more than two centuries, agribusiness has thrived in Pennsylvania, employing some 579,000 people. The agribusiness industry accounts for 10% of Pennsylvania's employment.

In addition to top-ranked industries, students may want to consider Pennsylvania's fastest-growing careers. In-demand jobs include statisticians, software developers, information security analysts, and operations research analysts. Furthermore, the state's employment rates continue to rise, while long-term unemployment rates decrease.

Pennsylvania's population should grow by 1.4% from 2017-2027. However, state projections indicate that as the baby boomer generation retires, Pennsylvania may experience labor shortages through 2034.

CompanyLocationMain IndustryNumber of Employees
UPMC Tax DepartmentPittsburghHealthcare60,000
Philadelphia InternationalPhiladelphiaAirports22,000
John & Dorothy Morgan CancerAllentownCancer Treatment Center18,000

Source: Career One Stop

The careers listed in the table above reflect Pennsylvania's largest employers. These organizations need professionals who understand what businesses need to grow and thrive. They also require leaders who can prioritize company goals, enforce pertinent policies, and lead teams of employees. Earning an online MBA in Pennsylvania provides students with a scientific perspective on management, specific industry knowledge, and practical work experience that organizations need.

Careers for MBA Grads in Pennsylvania

National Sales Director

National sales directors create sales plans and communicate them to sales teams at regional and local levels. They oversee sales and account managers, communicate with customers, and collaborate with marketing teams to increase sales. Sales directors benefit from MBA coursework in supply chain management, marketing, operations management, and leadership. They work in natural gas, agribusiness, health services, and other thriving Pennsylvania industries.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Pennsylvania sales managers made an annual salary of $151,620 as of May 2018. Sales directors working at the national level could earn even higher salaries.

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Professional Service Manager

Typically employed in computer-related businesses, professional service managers oversee multiple project processes and collaborate with research and development, sales, and technology departments. These managers also communicate with clients as needed. The BLS does not provide state data for this career, but PayScale reports that professional service managers earn a median annual salary of $90,171.

Pennsylvania's growing software development and information security industries offer good employment opportunities for professional service managers.

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Operations Manager

Operations managers direct the production of goods and services by overseeing cost management, safety, product quality, and other aspects of business operations. Many operations managers hold bachelor's degrees and work their way up to this role, and candidates with work experience and a Pennsylvania online MBA in operations management often enjoy a competitive advantage.

Operations managers work in many of Pennsylvania's major industries, including manufacturing and food production. Experts project related positions in operations research analysis to grow by 25% from 2016-2026. Pennsylvania's 80,160 general and operations managers earned a mean annual salary of $133,480 last year, according to the BLS.

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Senior Budget Analyst

Tasked with budgeting and organizing finances for corporate, nonprofit, and governmental organizations, senior budget analysts perform data analysis, present findings, and guide operational changes to assist budget needs. According to PayScale, master's degrees are becoming a standard expectation for this position. MBAs focused on finance, accounting, or economics provide a relevant curriculum of skills and knowledge for senior budget analyst positions.

BLS data indicates that Pennsylvania budget analysts earned an annual mean salary of $73,220 as of May 2018. Budget analysts may find work in major Pennsylvania industries such as healthcare, higher education, manufacturing, and food services.

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Supply Chain Consultant

Like logisticians and supply chain managers, supply chain consultants improve supply chain efficiency and effectiveness. Supply chain consultants sometimes work on a contract basis, generating strategies for companies to continually monitor and improve supply chain effectiveness. Supply chain consultants often collaborate with other company teams in sales and finance, as well.

This position requires at least a bachelor's degree and relevant finance-related work experience; however, a Pennsylvania MBA in supply chain management and/or MBA coursework in accounting or budgeting substantially enriches the credentials of aspiring supply chain consultants. The BLS does not provide state salary data for this position, but PayScale estimates say supply chain consultants earn a median annual salary of $82,507. Supply chain consultants may find work with major Pennsylvania manufacturing, retail, and food services employers and industries, which produce or transport goods and services.

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MBA Concentrations for Pennsylvania Students

MBA programs often feature several concentration options, allowing students to choose the best curriculum for their industry or career of interest. They can pursue MBAs in real estate, sports management, criminal justice, healthcare, and many other industries. Alternatively, they might choose MBA programs concentrated on cross-industry skill sets in marketing, leadership, or human resources management.

When paired with relevant work experience, a Pennsylvania online MBA concentration can create the fastest route to upper-level positions with some of the highest paying MBA jobs for graduates.

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