Ready to take your business education to the next level? Earning an MBA isn’t for everyone, but if you want to build your business acumen, this degree may be a solid option. An MBA can help you advance your career or start a business.
There are hundreds of programs available, and costs and requirements vary widely. Here we’ve selected five online MBA programs that meet a variety of individual needs.
Top Rated: Temple University’s Fox School of Business
Rated by US News & World Report as the best online MBA program for three consecutive years, Temple University’s Fox School of Business earns high marks in every area, including its top-notch faculty and a perfect score of 100 on student engagement. It is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Like most online MBA programs, it’s flexible. Ambitious students can complete their degree in as little as 20 months, while those who need more time more time because they are juggling work and school can take up to five years to finish. It starts with a week-long residency at Temple University, followed by an online program recognized for its innovative technology.
This degree is not inexpensive, though. At $1,145 per credit hour, tuition will run an estimated $59,000. (The online MBA program requires 48 credit hours.) Books and fees are additional. It is also highly selective.
Very Affordable: Fitchburg State University Business Administration Department
If you want to earn an MBA without shelling out a small fortune and potentially running up student loan debt, you may want to consider a more affordable option such as the online MBA offered by Fitchburg State University, which Top Management Degrees recognized as the most affordable online MBA program. It is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
For the online accelerated MBA program, students are charged a flat fee of $12,510. The degree requires 30 credit hours which can be completed in as few as 12 months. (You have up to six years to complete your degree, however.)
Online options include an MBA in Management, an MBA in Accounting or an MBA in Human Resources Management.
High Salary: North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business
Graduates who earn an online MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business earn an average salary of $145,418 upon graduation, and 76% report receiving a promotion before graduation.
With its online MBA program, MBA@UNC, students have the flexibility to earn their degree from anywhere in the world. The program requires students to complete 66 credit hours in 18-36 months and students can choose from eight concentrations such as entrepreneurship, data analytics & decision making or sustainable enterprise. This is considered a rigorous and prestigious program that can open doors for leaders and business owners.
It’s a highly selective school, and very expensive, but students who attend see it as a worthwhile investment that will pay off over time.
Fast MBA: Southern New Hampshire University
Earn your MBA in less than a year and a half while choosing from more than 20 career-focused concentrations at Southern New Hampshire University, which ranked #174 on the US News list.
Courses last 10 weeks, and taking two courses per term will allow a student to graduate in just 15 months.
In addition to being fast, this program is also affordable (tuition has stayed the same for five years) and standardized tests (GMAT or GRE) are not required for admission. It is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Great for Veterans: Indiana University Kelley School of Business
At Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business online program, Kelley Direct, about 10% of students are active-duty military or veterans. The school earns a top ranking from US News, a Best Business School ranking from Princeton Review and is recognized by QS Intelligence Unit as first in the U.S. and third worldwide in the QS World University Rankings. This is a selective school.
Students come to the Bloomington campus for Kelley Connect weeks at the beginning of their first and second years and have 2-5 years to complete the 51 credit hours required to earn their online MBA through this program. Through a professional development program called Propel, students work with both an academic and a career coach, and are required to meet with them throughout the program.
Members of the military and veterans will want to take advantage of Veterans Support Services at IU and guidance for navigating GI Bill benefits.
Before You Apply
Think through your decision to pursue an MBA before you apply. While MBA programs generally have some of the best ROIs when it comes to higher-education degrees, if you’re not fully prepared to make the financial and time commitment, you might find yourself in debt and a bit rudder-less. There are also some things that MBA programs can’t or don’t teach you too, like how to get a good business loan or hire your first employee. Take these to heart and evaluate what you want to get out of the MBA program before you apply. You could save yourself some money and a whole lot of time.
This article was originally written on May 1, 2017 and updated on December 10, 2020.