Best Undergraduate Business Programs

Updated June 7, 2022 | Terrisha Buckley

Best Undergraduate Business Programs

Are you ready to discover your MBA program?

Businesses existed before currency. Historians believe that people bartered or traded goods and services before there was money to exchange.

An undergraduate degree in business teaches the theories of marketing, finance, administration, and management. This degree focuses on how to apply these theories to real-world problems.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, the number of small businesses started each year was about 400,000 from 2009-2016. In 2018, there were just over 30 million small businesses in the U.S.

Why Enroll in an Undergrad Business Program?

An undergraduate business degree gives students the knowledge to start and maintain a business or work with existing ones. This article lists some of the best undergraduate business programs to consider.

Higher demand

Small businesses alone make up about 99.9% of the U.S. businesses. New professionals could work in nearly any sector, including healthcare, finance, creative fields, or even nonprofit organizations.

High chances for impact

A degree in business could put people in impactful positions. Their skill set could promote better practices and yield a higher profit.

Versatility

Business professionals could work with varying personalities. People skills are useful in nearly every sector of the workforce.

Why You Should Get Your Business Degree Online

Remote learning benefits extend beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The right online program offers flexible schedules so students can work while earning their undergraduate business degrees.

Some programs are asynchronous, which allows you to learn at your own pace within a specific timeframe. Synchronous learning involves more traditional methods: assignment deadlines, exam dates, and a curriculum schedule.

Curriculum

A typical undergraduate business curriculum includes core courses, other degree requirements, and electives that could satisfy a concentration. Some common business courses include:

  • Business Ethics: This course is designed to prepare students for ethical issues they may face. It involves examining specific scenarios in business and exploring appropriate navigation methods. Students will also learn to develop ethical guidelines for an organization.
  • Principles of Management: This is an introductory course to the management field. Students will examine how management differs from leadership and explore the importance of communication within any business.
  • Principles of Financial and Managerial Accounting: Students will learn the difference between financial, managerial, and cost accounting. This course breaks down the fundamentals of budgeting, financial statements, and how to use spreadsheets to analyze data.
  • Principles of Economics: Learners study basic market-based economic theories. This introduction includes the fundamentals of economics, plus a deeper look at micro and macroeconomics. Students will also examine economic impacts on public policy.
  • Managing in a Global Business Environment: This course gives a general overview of business from a global perspective. Students develop personal relationships in a global environment. The class also provides an overview of U.S. federal laws that relate to global business.

Online MBA Programs for You

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

What to Expect From Online Undergrad Business Programs

Online undergraduate business programs mirror on-campus programs. Students can take the same courses, interact with professors, and participate in professional organizations.

However, online students must interact with classmates and professors virtually instead of in person. Online learners also have limited opportunities to participate in on-campus activities.

After completing your bachelor’s, you may be interested in a master of business administration (MBA). Generally, a bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete while an MBA takes two years. Some schools offer accelerated programs where a student can attain both degrees within a shorter time frame. However, these programs are often more rigorous.

An MBA often requires applicants complete their bachelor’s degree in any field prior to admission. Completing an MBA could open up more career opportunities than a bachelor's alone, along with an increased salary and promotion potential.

While a bachelor’s degree in business can allow for a specialization, an MBA provides further focus in areas such as marketing and accounting. This could allow a potential candidate to stand out when being considered for a job.

Comparing Business Bachelor’s and MBA Degrees
Bachelor's Degree MBA

Length of Study (for full-time study)

Typically 4 years

Typically 2 years

Credit Load

120 credits

30-60 credits

Entrance Requirements

ACT/SAT, High school diploma or GRE certificate

A bachelor’s degree; Some schools require the GMAT or GRE

Graduation Requirements

Completion of the core requirements, minimum GPA, possibly a senior project

Required coursework for core and concentration, capstone project

Cost

$48,000 - $80,000 total depending on residency status

$60,000 - $107,000 total depending on residency status

Career Opportunities After Graduation

A bachelor’s in business can lead to many career paths, including bookkeepers, managers, business owners, and even consultants. Graduates can pursue work in nearly any sector.

Some people also use their business degrees to work for nonprofit organizations, which could be rewarding.

These professionals prepare and analyze financial records, identify opportunities and risks, and provide solutions for organizations and individuals. They help ensure the accuracy of financial records for legal and tax purposes.

Required Education: At least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field

Job Outlook (2020-30): +7%

Average Annual Salary (Accountant): $52,442

Average Annual Salary (Auditor): $58,465

Financial managers oversee an organization's finances. They generate financial and activity reports, develop plans for short and long-term financial goals, and direct investments. They might answer to a chief financial officer.

Required Education: A bachelor’s degree plus experience

Job Outlook (2020-30): +17%

Average Annual Salary: $74,816

These professionals handle all marketing campaigns within an organization. They work with other departments to strategize reaching their targeted audience. Marketing managers also help plan advertising campaigns and promotions.

Required Education: Often requires a bachelor’s degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +10%

Average Annual Salary: $67,452

These C-suite professionals oversee companies' financial operations, leading finance and accounting departments. CFOs are responsible for all of the purchasing, pricing, investments, and tax activities within a company. They answer to the chief executive officer and board of directors.

Required Education: Typically, an MBA and experience are required

Job Outlook (2020-30): +8%

Average Annual Salary: $139,048

The chief marketing officer is responsible for the company's marketing and sales goals. They lead branding efforts for all products and services and manage relationships between the consumers and the company.

Required Education: An MBA is typically required plus experience

Job Outlook (2020-30): +8%

Average Annual Salary: $175,270

Common Questions About Business Programs

Does my college have a strong business program?

Strong business programs typically hold program and school accreditation. AACSB accredits bachelor's in business programs. Other indicators of a strong business program include distinguished faculty, rigorous curriculum, and opportunities for hands-on learning through internships or practicums.

Is a bachelor’s degree in business worth it?

A bachelor’s in business teaches highly transferable skills like finance, accounting, plus personnel and project management. Graduates can work in many sectors, including healthcare, technology, and human resources.

What is business management?

Business management is the organization and coordination of all business activities. Business managers oversee business operations and encourage employees to reach their potential. These managers help a business reach its operational and finance goals.

What salary should I expect with a business management degree?

According to Payscale, business managers earned an average of $63,743 per year as of March 2022. Managers with at least 20 years of experience earned $20,000 more per year on average than entry-level managers.

Top Five Online Bachelor Degree Programs in Business

To find the right program for you, explore our list of the five best undergraduate business programs of 2022. Click the link below to learn more about how we rank schools.

1

Liberty University

An evangelical Christian institution created in 1971, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers more than 700 programs, including over 450 online. The university serves more than 100,000 students globally.

BS in Business Administration

The Liberty School of Business's ACBSP-accredited, fully online BS in business administration degree typically takes about 3.5 full-time years to complete. The program can prepare graduates to apply for management and leadership positions in nearly any industry. Learners can develop practical, marketable skills in human resources, marketing, accounting, and general business.

Students choose from more than 20 specializations, including digital marketing and advertising, automotive dealership management, human resource management, and leadership. The program lets learners add up to two specializations to their degree.

Notable classes include foundations of project management, conversion and optimization, marketing and sales, and healthcare administration. Each class lasts eight weeks and takes place asynchronously.

Incoming students can transfer up to 75% of the required 120 credits of the degree from previous institutions. Business administration majors get free electronic textbooks for all courses. Current and former members of the armed forces receive a tuition discount.

Applying to Liberty

Applicants must hold a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. The program requires an admission application, application fee, and official high school and/or college transcripts.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC; ACBSP
  • Tuition: $390/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 3.5 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
2

Midway University

A private institution founded in 1847 to serve disadvantaged and orphaned women, Midway University in Midway, Kentucky, offers career-focused on-campus and accelerated online degrees. Students can participate in three honor societies and eight official student organizations.

Bachelor's in Business Administration

Midway's School of Business, Equine, and Sport Management offers a fully online bachelor's in business administration degree that focuses on core business skills like management, leadership, and quantitative analysis. The program can prepare graduates to apply for management jobs in government, business, and nonprofits.

The curriculum provides a global foundation and teaches learners to analyze international, multicultural, and economic issues of business. Required classes include business research methods, managerial accounting, and introduction to management information systems. Students also complete a capstone that includes an independent research project.

Learners create a professional portfolio that demonstrates competency in human relations, teamwork, and leadership skills. Business administration majors get hands-on experience and job preparation through internships, job shadowing, mentorship, and resume preparation.

Online students can request in-person meetings with instructors. Other online learning support includes one-on-one tutoring, academic workshops, and career services.

Applying to Midway

The program requires a high school diploma or GED certificate and a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA or minimum GED score of 165 per section. Applicants must submit a completed application and fee, official transcripts, and ACT or SAT scores. The program may require recommendations and/or personal interviews.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Tuition: $395/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: [Time typically required to graduate]
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (synchronous, asynchronous, or both?)
3

Judson University

An evangelical Christian institution in Elgin, Illinois, Judson University serves more than 1,250 students from 30 countries. Each year, Judson hosts the World Leaders Forum, which brings important guests from around the globe.

BA in Business Administration

The Judson Professional Studies Division's online BA in business administration degree provides a broad foundation of business knowledge. Designed for adults with prior education or work experience, classes take place one night per week or online. This allows working students to continue their careers while earning their degree.

The program requires 48 credits in core business administration classes like leading innovation, market analytics, faith and life issues, and financial accounting and analysis. Business administration faculty consist of experienced professionals who incorporate real-world examples into assignments. Depending on previous learning experience, enrollees can complete the business major coursework in just two years.

During the program, students create business proposals and complete internships. Learners can customize their degree by adding a concentration in leadership, marketing management, human resource management, or entrepreneurship. Graduates can apply for jobs like manager, administrator, and executive director.

Applying to Judson

Applicants need a minimum of 40 transferable semester credits from a regionally accredited school to apply. The program requires official college transcripts, a minimum 2.0 GPA in previous college coursework, and at least two years of post-high school work experience.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Tuition: $580/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits (48 credits in the major)
  • Program Length: 2 years (for major coursework)
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (synchronous, asynchronous, or both?) or on campus
4

Kentucky Wesleyan College

Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Kentucky, offers 29 majors. The school boasts small class sizes with a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

BS in Business Administration

Wesleyan offers a fully online BS in business administration degree completion program through the Terry Woodward Center for Business Studies. The program requires courses like business software applications, project management, advanced business law, and training and development. Accelerated online classes last seven weeks each.

Students customize the curriculum to reflect their interests by choosing an emphasis in human resource management, general business administration, management information systems, or marketing. The IACBE-accredited program emphasizes communication and analysis, ethics, and accountability in the global business community.

Business administration majors can complete internships and other types of experiential learning. A partnership with the Gordon Ford College of Business at Western Kentucky University (WKU) helps Wesleyan students continue their education and earn a graduate-level business degree from WKU.

Applying to Wesleyan

Prospective students need a minimum 2.0 GPA and a 19 on the ACT (or equivalent). Applicants must send official high school transcripts, a GED certificate, or a certified adult high school diploma.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC; IACBE
  • Tuition: $455/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (synchronous, asynchronous, or both?)
5

William Peace University

Established in 1857, William Peace University in Raleigh, North Carolina, offers almost 30 traditional undergraduate degrees, including nine accelerated undergraduate degrees for adults. Students get study abroad and internship opportunities.

Accelerated BS in Business Administration

WPU's School of Professional Studies offers an accelerated online BS in business administration degree designed for working adults. The flexible program develops leadership, problem-solving and critical thinking skills useful for starting a new business or becoming an analyst in nearly any industry.

The curriculum explores topics like global business, supply chain management, and business operations. Students can choose between concentrations in global business or leadership and management studies. Core courses include strategic management, financial accounting, marketing management, and business communication.

Recent program graduates work for banks, financial groups, and government agencies. Financial aid opportunities may include federal grants and loans, private loans, and a need-based scholarship reserved for North Carolina residents.

Applying to WPU

Applicants must submit a completed application, an application fee, official high school transcripts, and official standardized test scores. Students can optionally submit letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Tuition: $32,550/year (full time); $1,085/credit (part time)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (synchronous, asynchronous, or both?) or hybrid

Featured Image: 10'000 Hours / DigitalVision / Getty Images

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