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Best Online MBA Programs in Arkansas
2019 Online MBA Rankings

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College Consensus Best Online MBA programs in Arkansas

The best online MBA programs in Arkansas have lots to offer the distance learner. A degree like the online MBA prepares working professionals for fruitful careers in business by providing a solid foundational business education and wonderful networking opportunities for students.

The State

Arkansas is the birth state of the former state governor and President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Iconic country musician, Johnny Cash was also born in Arkansas, and this state is where successful entrepreneur and businessman Sam Walton headquartered the Walmart empire. Geographically, the state also contains 10,000 miles of rivers and streams and over 500,000 acres of lakes, so boating and water sports are popular there. Arkansas also contains 50 state parks, two and a half million acres spread among seven national forests, and six national park sites.    

The Online MBA

Some of Arkansas’ most well-known universities were established in the late 1800s, but those schools are anything but antiquated as some now offer cutting edge online MBA degrees that will help shape tomorrow’s business leaders.

The cost of tuition is often a factor that graduate students care a great deal for. Some graduate degrees can include tuition rates of $100,000 or more, and this can be a problem for working professionals who are still currently paying off undergraduate degrees. Nearly 45 million Americans are currently saddled with student loan debt that totals $1.47 trillion. An affordable online MBA offered in the state of Arkansas would be a welcomed reality for business graduate students.

This ranking of the very best online MBA programs in Arkansas features four programs which offer stellar programs for less than $10,000 in base tuition. These programs also provide an excellent curriculum and the reputation for academic excellence guaranteed by a business accreditation through the AACSB. Students looking for the added convenience of a GMAT waiver will find that in several of these programs. Whether you reside in Arkansas or not, these top online MBA programs Arkansas are worth taking note of.

Methodology

To find the best Online MBA programs in Arkansas, we researched over 570 online MBA programs from across the country. Once isolating the programs within the state of Arkansas, we ranked them based upon their national reputation, affordability, and overall convenience.

Reputation

Data was collected from leading national MBA ranking sources: Bloomberg Businessweek, US News and World Report, and The Economist. These rankings were evaluated and scores for each online MBA were averaged to find a balanced reputation consensus. This averaged data was placed on a 100-point scale for the Reputation Score, and attributes to 33% of the final ranking score.

Affordability

All tuition data is taken directly from each university website. The base tuition for the complete online MBA degree was collected, but this figure does not include fees, books, or lodging. To find the Affordability Score, this base tuition is placed on a 100-point scale and then inverted. This score attributes to 33% of the final ranking score.

Convenience

The MBA’s convenience is based upon if it can be completed 100% online and if the GMAT/GRE requirement is waived or omitted during the admission process. Each MBA has an online format score and GMAT score that is averaged to make the Convenience Score, which attributes to 33% of the final ranking score.

1

Southern Arkansas University David F. Rankin College of Business - Magnolia, Arkansas

southern arkansas university magnolia logo 8697Southern Arkansas University delivers Arkansas’ best online MBA degree with focus areas in Supply Chain Management and Agri-Business through the David F. Rankin College of Business. Accounting for Decision Making, Enterprise Resource Planning, Managerial Economics, Strategic Planning and Analysis, Strategic Marketing, Managerial Finance, and Human Behavior in Organizations are some of the core courses the David F. Rankin College of Business has included in this 30-credit hour program. The business school has a goal of producing effective communicators who will utilize information technology to make strong decisions that are socially responsible. Students can expect to graduate as effective business leaders that have obtained an awareness of cultural and diversity issues. Today’s global business leaders need to sharpen their business skills to make ethical decisions and be critical thinkers. They need to be able to use concepts like strategic management to utilize concepts from multiple business disciplines, understand relevant information, and practice decision-making techniques so that organizations of all types and sizes can be led well. These are the topics that SAU online MBA students will be sure to explore.

Affordability Score: 100.00
Convenience Score: 75.00
Reputation Score: 100.00

2

Arkansas Tech University College of Business - Russellville, Arkansas

virtual learning center arkansas tech university logo 129680Arkansas Tech University offers one of the state’s best online MBA programs. Students within this program have the choice of three tracks, including a Business Data Analytics emphasis, Digital Marketing specialization, or a general online MBA curriculum. All coursework within this degree is delivered 100% online. The program designers have made it a goal of the degree to equip students for a successful business career in leadership and management roles. The degree also has a specific emphasis on aiding students in their development of important data-driven, decision-making skills and analytical abilities that are a vital part of today’s fast-paced global economy. Candidates of this online MBA with an undergraduate degree from an ACBSP or AACSB accredited university, with a coinciding 3.5 GPA, are not required to submit a GMAT test score during the application process. ATU provides this online MBA for less than $10,000 in base tuition.

Affordability Score: 99.61
Convenience Score: 75.00
Reputation Score: 100.00

3

University of Central Arkansas College of Business - Conway, Arkansas

University of Central Arkansas logo from websiteAn online MBA with Finance, International Business, Health Care Administration, and Information Management concentrations is offered through the College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas. Information Technology for Managers, Operations Management, Accounting for Management Decisions, Organizational Behavior, Financial Decision Making, Marketing Strategy, and Strategic Management are just some of the exemplary courses that are included in this UCA online MBA. While admission requirements associated with this degree does include a score of at least 500 on the GMAT, students with the proper academic and professional experience may be able to waive this requirement while applying for the program. The University of Central Arkansas’ business school is accredited by the excellent AACSB-International. This accreditation should give graduate students the confidence that this program features academic transparency and integrity. For less than $10,000 in base tuition costs, a long-distance student can pursue this 30-credit hour program from virtually anywhere in the world, as there are no campus visits required.

Affordability Score: 98.53
Convenience Score: 75.00
Reputation Score: 100.00

4

Henderson State University School of Business - Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Henderson State University logo from websiteThe College of Business at Henderson State University provides an online MBA with concentrations in Public Management, Accounting, or offered as a general online MBA. Graduate students looking for an excellent value will appreciate this 32-credit hour degree’s excellent base tuition rate of less than $9,000. Accounting for Business & Finance Management, Economic Analysis for Managerial Decisions, Strategic Information Systems, Public Sector Economics, Trends in Management, Managerial Finance, and Organizational Strategy are some of the core courses provided within this online MBA. While the curriculum of this program is delivered as a distance degree, the business school does hold an MBA Bootcamp for incoming students at the beginning of the program. This orientation helps students know what to expect from their online MBA and also gives them the chance to meet faculty and other students entering the program. Candidates with the proper academic experience can waive the GMAT requirement during the application process. The GMAT waiver helps some students save time and money while pursuing an online MBA.

Affordability Score: 99.35
Convenience Score: 50.00
Reputation Score: 100.00

5

Arkansas State University College of Business - Jonesboro, Arkansas

Arkansas State University logo from websiteArkansas State University offers an online MBA with a Supply Chain Management specialization through the College of Business. The curriculum writers for this 33-credit hour long-distance degree have designed it to provide a flexible, high-quality graduate management education for distance learners coming from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. The business school staff strives to build challenging and comprehensive programs of excellence that meet the needs of an ever-changing global business environment. Graduate students of this online MBA will explore a leading-edge curriculum that emphasizes the latest technology, leadership values, social responsibility and ethics, international business, and decision tools provided by action-based learning. For just over $20,000 in tuition distance learners can take advantage of this stellar online MBA in Arkansas that is accredited by the AACSB-International. Twenty-seven credits of this degree consist of core courses and the other six credit hours are electives of the student’s choice. Arkansas State is based in Jonesboro, Arkansas and was established in 1909.

Affordability Score: 87.19
Convenience Score: 50.00
Reputation Score: 100.00

Who are the Biggest Employers Currently in the State of Arkansas?

The state of Arkansas has a lot going for it. Geographically, Arkansas is full of mountains, lakes, rivers and is home to Hot Springs National Park. The state became the 25th state to join the United States in 1836, and today it has its advantages as well as challenges to overcome. While U.S. News reports that the state struggles in the areas of health care and infrastructure, Arkansas thrives in the areas of fiscal stability and natural environment. Below are three of the top employing agencies that are thriving in Arkansas and help account for many jobs available in the state.

Arkansas State Government Employs Over 60,000 Workers

The state government realm in Arkansas includes everything from law and law enforcement to program coordinators and everything in between. The state government is an important part of any state’s leadership, and as programs are created to help people in many ways, and program specialists and coordinators make sure they all run smoothly. Many of Arkansas’ most successful government employees have received some type of business management or leadership training, like the online MBA. This degree is a business graduate program designed to train working professionals in the areas of finance, management, decision-making, and accounting.

Walmart Inc. Employs Over 50,000 Workers

Many are familiar enough with Walmart to know that the corporate store giant was founded by Sam Walton. The first Walmart opened its doors in 1962 in the city of Rogers, Arkansas. Today, Walmart is run by company President Judith McKenna and employs over one million workers worldwide. In addition to retail stores in the state of Arkansas, Walmart maintains distribution and corporate employees in Arkansas.

Tyson Foods Inc. Employs Over 22,000 Workers

Tyson Foods is the namesake of John W. Tyson who moved his family to Springdale, Arkansas in 1931 in hopes of creating opportunities in business. He began delivering chickens to market in the Midwest, and today the company is the third-largest employer of Arkansas residents in the state.

Where Can I Find the Best Online MBAs in the State of Arkansas?

While the state of Arkansas has many opportunities in business, with the founding of such successful companies as Tyson Foods and Walmart, the establishing of excellent universities also means Arkansas currently provides some top-notch online MBA programs for business professionals.

The question of the best programs available mainly depends on each person’s priorities in a graduate program. Some prospective students will research the most prominent and respected universities in the nation, hoping that a good MBA brand will help create an impact on job recruiters. Others might prioritize accessibility and convenience in order to balance current home, personal, and professional responsibilities. These students look for ways to cut down on accessory time and costs, like traveling, time out of work, and test prep. While there are other students that hold their highest priority to the cost of a program, looking for the most affordable options. With all three of these in mind, Arkansas state has multiple great options for incoming online MBA students.

Arkansas State University got its start in 1909 and today stands as one of the oldest and largest institutions of higher learning in the state. The university’s College of Business delivers an attractively priced 33-credit hour MBA program that features no residencies so all coursework can be done 100% online.  And with a base tuition rate of less than $8,500, Southern Arkansas University’s 100% online MBA degree is an incredible value for the business graduate student seeking a program in Arkansas. This 30-credit hour program also benefits from the David F. Rankin College of Business’ accreditation through the AACSB-International.

Without sacrificing affordability for reputation, or the other way around, Arkansas houses top business schools with accessible and convenient online MBA programs for the working professional.