The South has made its mark on American culture. It is known for good food, beach weather, southern hospitality, and top business schools. The business schools in the South can connect students to leading industries and their future careers. Pursuing a top MBA program in the Southeast is a great choice for recent graduates and business professionals alike. The MBA has long been the pinnacle of business leadership training. The traditional on-campus MBA has so much to offer business students in the South. From West Virginia to Florida and Arkansas to South Carolina, MBA students in the southern states will thrive in an advanced business degree.
Best MBA Programs in the South
Students pursuing their MBA at one of the nation’s best business schools in the Southeast have access to excellent business training. Still, they also benefit from an exceptional network and benefits the region offers. Major southern cities like Atlanta, Georgia, and Durham, North Carolina, are home to some major corporations. These companies partner with local universities. They give business students internships and mentoring relationships with business executives. Now is a great time to consider an on-campus MBA in the South. Here is a comprehensive ranking of the nation’s best 25 MBA programs in the South.
The 2022 ranking of the best MBA programs in the South ranks the top MBA programs from the southeastern region: Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas.It is a consensus ranking. We combined data from five leading ranking systems: The Economist, The Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, and U.S. News and World Report. Each MBA’s ranking was converted to a score on a 100-point scale, weighted equally, and averaged to discover each MBA’s Consensus Score. In the event of a tie, the tuition of the MBA was used as the tie-breaking factor.
The best full-time MBA program in the South is available at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Enrolled students within this degree get the chance to hone their skills, master new knowledge, create impact, and possibly change the world. The practical business knowledge and skills available with an MBA make it one of the most potent graduate degrees business leaders can pursue. This best-of-the-South MBA will give on-campus learners a tangible competitive advantage in the job field, equipping them with the skills to add significant value and influence organizations for the better. UNC at Chapel Hill’s MBA can refocus career objectives, uncover new opportunities, and identify success paths professionals may have never thought of. Program designers understand that the right MBA can be transformative, changing how graduate students feel about themselves, their potential, and the view ahead. UNC Kenan-Flagler’s STEM-designated Full-Time MBA delivers the analytical and business, leadership experience, and relationships that take careers wherever they want them to go.
Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management features one of the best MBA programs in the South. Vanderbilt gives MBA students the flexibility to shape the program’s curriculum to meet their needs and career goals. The business school’s Mod System gives them a leg up by exposing students to the core and elective courses before they start interviewing for summer internships. Enrolled students can further customize their curriculum by adding emphases, concentrations, and specializations or by taking advantage of many independent study courses and immersion learning opportunities. The Vanderbilt MBA curriculum provides on-campus learners with the core business classes they need to succeed and the chance to develop the subject matter expertise that will catapult or change their careers. Vanderbilt MBA’s holistic approach to admissions ensures that program leaders take the time to get to know candidates and their unique goals. Admission experts are there to walk applicants through the entire application process, from test prep to their first day of class.
Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business features one of the best MBA programs in the South. The Georgia Tech Scheller Full-time MBA degree prepares graduate students to tackle demanding business issues in a digital-first, tech-driven business world in less than two years. Enrolled students learn to frame and solve complicated problems, gain analytical skills while assessing opportunities, and lead with influence as they take their careers to new heights within the two-year MBA program. The Scheller Full-time MBA program features several rounds of admissions throughout the calendar year, with an August start date for the program. Business school leaders welcome those with diverse professional backgrounds and academic experiences to apply. Full-time MBA students have access to unique opportunities and experiences found nowhere else. This program directly connects graduate students to business thought leaders, global companies, and innovative startups. Career advancement is the priority. This excellent MBA in the South is high quality.
One of the best MBA programs in the South is available at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Led by Darden’s world-class instructors, enrolled students will strengthen their communication and leadership skills as they learn to make complex, real-world business decisions with limited information. This program’s First Year of a Darden full-time MBA goes beyond simply preparing students for a Second Year. The core curriculum immerses MBA students in a rigorous, case-based educational experience that steadies them in the face of imperfect information. The Second Year allows graduate students to sharpen their professional instincts, customizing the Darden approach to career paths and in-demand knowledge and skillsets. MBAs learn to think critically in real-world situations through consulting projects, global immersions, and live-action cases. The Darden Full-Time MBA experience is transformative, delivering twenty-one months of unmatched access to over eighty of the world’s brightest business thought leaders. The stellar curriculum promotes deep engagement and develops students’ leadership voices.
The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University offers one of the best MBA programs in the South. In less than a year, Fuqua’s Accelerated Daytime MBA program builds on business students’ prior education to help them develop into transformative leaders. Having already earned their master’s degree in management, Fuqua MBAs skip the business fundamentals to immerse themselves in the electives and experiential learning opportunities that support their unique goals. Learning alongside a diverse cohort, on-campus students develop a new way of working that draws out teammates’ strengths and helps them become the leaders who can inspire organizations to do better while pursuing excellence. This full-time, top-ranked MBA program will help graduate students grow professionally and personally. Graduates of this program are equipped to change the business world and be prepared to make an impact on the world itself. This remarkable MBA is a top-five best program in the South.
One of the best MBA programs in the Southeast is available at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. The business school’s mission is to provide graduate students with every conceivable resource to fulfill their full potential as business leaders. Enrolled students can expect to be surrounded by stellar cohorts that will motivate them to be at their best. Program leaders within the business school offer exceptional career development opportunities that will put on-campus MBAs in a position to attain their dream jobs. Since cohort size is concentrated, Warrington College of Business staff can attend to students’ educational needs with a personal approach often lacking in nationally ranked business schools. UF’s MBA is more than a piece of paper. It is an experience that shapes and influences graduate students’ professional and personal development. This MBA experience may prove to be life-changing, and MBAs shouldn’t make compromises when selecting among full-time MBA programs.
One of the leading MBA programs in the South is offered at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Program leaders encourage incoming students to bring their ideas, insight, and ingenuity while preparing to learn. In this small-by-design, customizable full-time MBA program, enrolled students work side-by-side with some of the nation’s leading business strategists and thinkers, tap into a metropolitan, dynamic city, and become leaders ready to shake up the status quo. The highly-ranked Goizueta One-Year MBA provides a full MBA experience—including professional and personal development and world-class academics within one calendar year—delivered at the Goizueta Business School. This program is ideal for students continuing existing career paths who don’t need an internship to meet their professional goals. It is also great for entrepreneurial-focused and sponsored students. The Goizueta MBA offers a top-ranked MBA with world-class academics and small-by-design classes. All students receive high-quality, personalized feedback with access to Fortune 500s and emerging businesses. Program instructors at Emory University take pride in being MBA students’ partners in building successful careers.
One of the top MBA programs in the South is currently available at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Program leaders encourage candidates to join the Bulldog Nation by becoming a member of the Terry family. This elite MBA features a market-driven curriculum focusing on personal development. The business school offers a top faculty, flexible curriculum, individualized career development, and all the resources expected within a leading research institution. This program balances learning with doing. With nine concentrations, three areas of focus in FinTech, Strategy, and Social Innovation, and immersive projects with metro Atlanta’s and Athens corporate leaders, local nonprofits, and startups, MBA students have access to many opportunities for professional development. Terry College of Business’ curriculum ensures that graduates of this program will leave with business expertise. They will also gain in-depth knowledge in their chosen specialization – perfect for transforming their careers. This top-tier on-campus MBA program in the South is worth a second look.
The Haslam College of Business at UT Knoxville provides one of the best MBA programs in the South. Program designers have created an excellent program for emerging to established business leaders. From value-based management tactics to supply chain logistics, enrolled students receive a holistic business education that prepares them to make strategic decisions in any organization. These accessible and affordable MBA degree options help graduate students meet the demands of advanced leadership positions. Business students build their leadership skills while acquiring the essential leadership competencies needed to advance their careers with the Professional MBA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business. Designed for professionals across industries, the program offers a personal focus on leaders’ individual growth to master the principles they need to advance as qualified leaders. The flexible, 16-month MBA allows students to expand their networks, learn from executive mentors, and develop strategic business knowledge in applicable learning environments. This business degree is superb.
The University of Miami’s Herbert Business School provides one of the best MBA programs in the Southeast. Recognized by some as one of the world’s best MBA programs, the Miami MBA is designed to give on-campus students the hands-on opportunities they need to advance their careers or switch careers entirely. Enrolled MBAs gain an executive’s perspective with the skills and knowledge necessary to make effective decisions in all roles, organizations, and industries. With a curriculum based on modern employer desires, the Full-Time MBA integrates marketing, management, and economics knowledge with technology, finance, and business law. Students can also develop global expertise through international consulting projects and work on business cases for actual companies. The unique curriculum incorporates sustainability-oriented classes, so all students are prepared to take on 21st-century challenges. This on-campus program is ideal for MBAs with an undergraduate degree in any field and at least three years of work experience seeking advanced business expertise as a springboard to their careers. This MBA is the right program for today’s learners in the South.
The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary provides one of the best MBA programs in the South. William & Mary’s Full-Time MBA is presented as an immersive 22-month residential experience for today’s business learners. Enrolled students progress in lockstep with cohorts, establishing life-long relationships. Working in a five-person team, MBAs learn the art of collaboration and develop collective decision-making skills that will prove invaluable when they enter the business world. Under the business school’s innovative Tomorrow’s MBA curriculum, on-campus students have the chance to concentrate on the market-driven areas of Supply Chain, Business Analytics, Finance, Consulting, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Marketing. This program also offers graduate career management support and reports a 100% internship placement rate for its employment-seeking students. Throughout their full-time MBA experience, graduate students cultivate relationships with their peers, world-class faculty, and mentors through an exclusive Executive Partners program. The quality of this best in the South degree is guaranteed to last well beyond graduation day.
The NCSU Poole College of Management currently features one of the best MBA programs in the South. Program leaders prepare on-campus students to lead at the forefront of the evolving modern marketplace. Enrolled MBA students benefit from small class sizes, flexible course formats, an award-winning curriculum, and active partnerships with over two hundred corporations. Program graduates tackle real-world business issues utilizing the latest innovation and technology. While the program is rigorous, extracurricular and social events and activities on campus and within Raleigh create a relaxing, fun atmosphere for MBA students. Through professional development opportunities and student organizations, graduate students on campus will make connections at NC State that will be invaluable long after graduation. In less than two years, all on-campus students earn this AACSB-accredited MBA program at the downtown Raleigh campus. Using comprehensive options, program leaders successfully encourage student interests and help them reach their career goals. This program’s priority is that graduate students have the confidence and know-how to transform into highly effective business leaders.
The University of South Carolina features one of the best MBA programs in the South. The Darla Moore School of Business is known worldwide for its emphasis on innovative bachelor’s and master’s programs. Experiential learning and a commitment to producing graduates who are expertly prepared to meet the current and future business needs are two more hallmarks of this program. The one-year MBA will have an immediate impact on graduate students’ careers. Students ready to elevate their careers with a short-term investment will appreciate how the one-year MBA can be completed in ten months. Program designers have packed the utmost rigor and quality into an intensive program that can be earned quickly. Students can also complete their MBAs during a leave of absence from their jobs or during the transition from the military to the civilian workforce. This best of the South MBA delivers.
Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business provides one of the best MBA programs in the South. This full-time MBA has been designed to prepare business leaders for a lifetime of career advancement. Whether their goal is the boardroom or a nonprofit, the emphasis of this degree is a hands-on experience that will prepare MBA students for the rapidly evolving business world. The innovative curriculum is designed around experiential learning, giving MBA students the skills essential to their future success. On-campus students gain an international perspective on business through Tulane’s Global Leadership Module – the only one like it in the nation. As a result, MBA students are prepared to rise to the occasion throughout their careers, giving them an edge in a highly competitive global job market. MBA students can also expect to develop the analytical and financial knowledge needed to lead in an increasingly interconnected world. Learners are deeply grounded in business principles and participate in unique learning opportunities they can only find at Freeman.
The University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business features one of the best MBA programs in the South. This on-campus MBA program is strategically designed to bridge the gap between pre-professional studies and equipping leaders in the workforce through networking, experiential learning, professional development, and service opportunities. Alabama’s business program has been recognized as one of the nation’s best by US News & World Report, which ranked Manderson’s MBA among the best for several years. Program leaders are committed to helping graduate students prepare to become business leaders ready to solve the business issues they face in the global marketplace. MBA students enrolled in the program have the chance to bring their academic experiences to new heights through national case competitions, excellent career development workshops, and engaging interactions with professors who teach based on real-world relevance. Designed to equip tomorrow’s business leaders, this ideal on-campus MBA in the South has it all.
The University of Mississippi’s School of Business Administration provides one of the best MBA programs in the South. Ole Miss’ on-campus MBA program is a highly valued business degree that allows graduate students to pursue their MBA in a traditional classroom setting. The 36-hour, comprehensive curriculum is led by world-renowned instructors. Full-time students entering the program in the summer or fall can satisfy all program requirements within twelve months. Enrolled students with full-time jobs are encouraged to take the business school’s part-time track, which allows completion in twenty-four months. This robust program encourages networking, teamwork, and professional development. The One-Year Campus MBA features a comprehensive 36-credit-hour curriculum taught by world-renowned instructors. The AACSB-International accredits the business school. Program candidates can expect a tuition rate that is competitive with comparable programs. The challenging coursework prepares students for today’s modern global workforce. This best-of-the-South on-campus MBA has a lot to offer.
One of the best Southeastern MBA programs is delivered at the University of Tampa’s Sykes College of Business. This full-time/day program is designed for accelerated completion with a group of peer graduate students. MBA students take between eight and fourteen credit hours per semester of daytime classes. All forty hours of program requirements can be completed in one calendar year. Tampa’s part-time/evening program is designed for business professionals who work full-time and must pursue the program at their own pace. Classes are scheduled weekly from 6 to 10 p.m. On-campus graduate students can complete the coursework in as little as twenty-four months. There is currently a Professional MBA and an Executive MBA. The Professional MBA is designed to help working professionals with at least five years of experience take their careers to the next level. Classes are part-time in a flexible, evening format. The business school’s Executive MBA is designed for professionals with at least seven years of work experience. Either MBA program would be an excellent asset to a business professional’s resume.
Florida International University’s Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business provides one of the best MBA programs in the South. This excellent one-year program prepares on-campus students to be influential global business leaders. Enrolled students can expect to expand their cultural understanding, learn to design global strategies, collaborate with international students, and hone professional development skills while gaining real-world experience. This MBA program is ranked among the top international business degrees in the nation. MBA students can expect to understand global business complexities and may study abroad or choose an internship experience at a multinational or international organization. FIU Business reflects diversity as students represent over 130 countries, while its faculty members come from over 40 countries. The business school’s Miami location offers MBA students all the advantages of an urban, multicultural, and ethnically rich center. It is a business hub connecting the two Americas and serves as headquarters for numerous multinational corporations. This business program in the Southeast is an excellent choice.
One of the best MBAs in the South is currently available at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. The business school’s Early Advantage MBA is perfect for career changers and recent college grads with little or no work experience. Forbes Magazine has recently called this program Florida’s #1-ranked MBA. It is an ideal supplement to an undergraduate degree in business, providing students with the desirable business skills and knowledge to help leaders quickly get ahead in their chosen fields. Rollins College’s Executive MBA exists as the cornerstone of Crummer’s renowned, comprehensive suite of executive degrees. The Executive MBA makes it possible for active professionals at the top of their fields to pursue an MBA from an elite school in less than two years. The newly redesigned curriculum emphasizes leadership and global business, with classes held one weekend a month on the Rollins Campus in Winter Park. It features two-week-long global immersions designed to provide high-level views of business in foreign markets. The school’s Professional MBA can be completed in two years. Both programs are optimal MBAs for business leaders in the Southeast.
The University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business features one of the best MBA programs in the South. The Walton MBA can be described as a transformational experience. Classroom learning is combined with professional development and global experiences that make enrolled students well-rounded and competitive graduates. Corporate mentorships and internships provide an optimal environment for on-campus students to build meaningful connections in Northwest Arkansas’ robust business community. The fifty-one-credit hour program offers symmetry between core business fundamentals, internship and career support, professional development, and the ability to build skills customized for students’ specific career paths. Program leaders understand that an MBA student’s professional development is just as important as her academic development. Each semester, all MBAs have opportunities to participate in workshops and customize their programs by choosing courses specific to their interests. They can listen to guest speakers from some of the most prominent organizations globally, take workshops to improve their technical skills, and work with image consultant experts to be aptly prepared for dream job interviews. This comprehensive MBA is one of the South’s best.
The Gatton College of Business and Economics provides one of the best MBA programs in the South. This program is the perfect fit for MBAs who have decided to transform their business education into professional success. The University of Kentucky’s MBA program provides the building blocks to enhance careers, whether graduate students are making a career shift or just starting their professional journey. This MBA program accelerates career goals. The UK Full-Time MBA is rich with quality instruction from the industry’s top researchers and faculty. In the program, on-campus MBAs are prepared to learn and apply relevant functions of a business from the start, reaping an excellent return on investment. Guided by instructors vested in program candidates’ success, this curriculum provides the tools, knowledge, and skillsets for students to be impactful leaders and managers in their chosen career paths. From problem-solving strategies and critical thinking to effective written and verbal communications, enrolled students develop the leadership skills needed to succeed in various industries and roles.
Auburn’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business features one of the best MBA programs in the South. Harbert’s MBA program is not business as usual. This accredited program prepares on-campus students for real-world challenges and strengthens their analysis, leadership, and critical thinking skills. Graduates of the program go on to lead as globally-minded and ethically conscious professionals prepared to influence business. The Harbert College of Business offers multiple highly ranked MBA formats, including full-time, executive, physician’s executive, and online. The programs vary in structure, requirements, and duration, but all culminate in the same high-quality degree. Harbert’s on-campus Full-Time MBA allows career starters to enhance business skills and set themselves apart for corporate leadership roles. This program features an immersive campus learning experience by offering leadership training, a robust curriculum, professional and career development, and an international residency that highlights global business models. With all this program offers, you’ll discover the return is well worth the investment.
One of the best MBAs in the South is delivered at the E. J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University. This program provides learners with a flexible path to advance their careers. The nationally-ranked program offers a traditional, two-year, full-time program and a one-year, full-time program for business majors. Graduate students can also choose an Executive MBA Flex. Ourso’s Executive MBA Flex format utilizes a hybrid curriculum delivery, combining online learning with potent campus residencies. The on-campus MBA is designed to prepare full-time students for their quest to become the next wave of business leaders. In addition to an excellent application-based curriculum, the business school provides students with a solid foundation to succeed in the business world. MBAs have full access to career services through LSU’s Office of Business Student Success and the chance to regularly participate in networking opportunities with Flores MBA alums and other respected business leaders. Graduates of this MBA bring value to their organizations.
North Carolina A&T State University’s College of Business and Economics provides one of the best MBA programs in the South. This on-campus MBA degree is a professional graduate business degree designed to provide graduate students with a thorough understanding of business basics like management, economics, accounting, and finance. These core topics are followed by study in one of four business specializations: Accounting, Supply Chain Management, General Management, and Human Resource Management. These emphases represent business sectors growing in professional relevance and career opportunities. The business school’s instructors, staff, and administrators are committed to the excellence of students’ graduate studies and future success in their professional careers. MBA students who are talented, ambitious, and see opportunity in challenges will thrive in North Carolina A&T State University’s student-centric and business-mentored environment. No matter the life they may carve out for themselves, these MBA courses are designed to propel graduate students into the future with the transferable skills to excel in their careers.
One of the best Southern MBA programs is available at the College of Business at Clemson University. Program designers understand that each student is unique, so admissions counselors consider candidates’ undergraduate background, work experience, and individual goals when recommending a course of study that will help them advance their careers in whatever direction they choose. With Clemson, on-campus students can earn their MBA on their timetable in a format that best fits their learning styles. With flexible online, full-time, part-time, and hybrid schedule options, with many electives for specialized study, MBA students in the South gain the critical business knowledge to reach their goals. An MBA is a proven asset for professionals wanting to advance into management and executive-level positions. Whether they are just starting or looking to the future, program candidates can take the next step in their careers by learning new ways to look at business through all offered at Clemson University’s Corporate MBA Program.
1. An MBA in the South offers a specialization in business.
Whether you’re already actively working in business or hoping to start soon, an MBA can help you make the leap. Many of the best programs in the South let you specialize in a specific business area, like human resources, marketing, information technology, supply chain management, operations and more. For example, the University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business features concentrations in Business Analytics, Cybersecurity, Finance, Financial Risk, Real Estate, and Supply Chains Operation Management. These concentrations ensure some MBA students’ courses explore topics that interest them most while also giving them focused business training. The decision to pursue a specialized MBA can advance a career while the graduate student learns about topics they are interested in. MBA graduates use the skills they learn to improve their current teams and seek out new opportunities.
2. An MBA in the Southeast offers a well-rounded business training.
3. An MBA in the South offers a fresh perspective.
4. An MBA in the South adds career and salary advancement.
5. An MBA in the Southeast gives students experience with real-world issues.
A high-quality MBA features more than simple business theory. Classes in the South’s best programs are designed to challenge on-campus learners to solve real business issues and overcome challenges. One way some programs do this is through scenario-based learning (SBL). This method provides learners with opportunities to gain practical experience within a ‘safe’ environment. SBL allows MBA students the chance to put theory to practice by making business decisions within real-world scenarios. If expertise is gained through experience, SBL enables graduate students to experience growth by taking risks, understanding failure, and allowing business leaders to learn valuable lessons from mistakes. Many local businesses will even partner with business schools to tackle in-house issues. This not only will give students hands-on experience, but also connections to local companies in the South.