future of financial managers

The Best Online MBA Programs for 2024 Top Consensus Ranked Online Master's of Business Ad­min­is­tra­tion

Business & MBA Editor
Tammie Cagle is a writer, editor, entrepreneur, and certified academic life coach. Tammie received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M University-College Station and her MBA from Marylhurst University.
Founder/Senior Editor
B.A., M.Div.
Jeremy Alder has spent over a decade researching and writing about higher education to provided students with the information they need to achieve their goals. He has significant personal experience with career transitions, working as a freelance writer and editor, non-profit director, community organizer, preacher, teacher, retail manager, and carpenter prior to founding College Consensus. Homeschooled from the second grade, Jeremy is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (B.A., Philosophy) and Duke University Divinity School (M.Div.). He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, five kids, and a Labradoodle named Hank.

An online MBA program offers a greater level of flexibility than traditional top MBA programs. After spending four years or more studying to earn their bachelor’s degree, the idea of jumping back into higher education to live the student life again may sound less than ideal. And for some business professionals, it would be near impossible to move to a new city for a business school. The fact is, many business professionals have more obligations than their younger student counterparts. Therefore, many top business schools now feature online MBA programs.

Identifying The Nation’s Best Online MBA Programs

Online MBA programs allow graduate students to enroll in some of the most prestigious business schools and take coursework from virtually anywhere worldwide. Being a distance learner through an MBA program can reduce costs and enable graduate students to increase their income quicker. This ranking is designed to help future MBA students learn more about the best online MBA programs in the United States.

Recommended Online MBA Programs

Explore our featured online programs to find the right match for you today.

Ranking Methodology

College Consensus uses a consensus methodology for this ranking. We combined the results of the five most respected MBA ranking systems to create a more holistic and comprehensive evaluation of a program’s reptuation and quality than any single ranking on its own.

For our ranking of the top online MBA programs we relied on the following sources:

Each program’s ranking scores were averaged and placed on a 100-point scale to find its Consensus Score.

Summary: Top 10 Online MBA Programs

RankSchoolAccreditationLengthCostConsensus Score
1Cornell University – SC Johnson College of BusinessAACSB24 mos$214,422100
2.Duke University – Fuqua School of BusinessAACSB21 mos$163,30099.49
3.University of Virginia – Darden School of BusinessAACSB21 mos$185,70098.71
4.New York University – Leonard N. Stern School of BusinessAACSB36 mos$170,38097.08
5.University of California, Los Angeles – Anderson School of ManagementAACSB27-33 mos$183,55294.22
6.University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Kenan Flagler Business School AACSB18-36 mos$125,58989.49
7.University of Washington – Michael G. Foster School of BusinessAACSB21 mos$93,00086.80
8.Rice University – Jess H. Jones Graduate School of BusinessAACSB24 mos$115,02085.12
9.University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton SchoolAACSB22 mos$214,80085.00
10.Georgetown University – McDonough School of BusinessAACSB24-60 mos$130,63882.34
Source: Official program websites and AACSB (April 2024)

A one-year MBA program is available at Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business. The business school’s Executive MBA Americas program perfectly meets the needs of working professionals looking to advance careers without interrupting them. Commuting students can get an MBA near them with weekend classes every other weekend. What makes the EMBA Americas program unique? Its international network and classroom. MBA students connect with classmates throughout North and South America through interactive videoconferencing as they attend in-person classes at their local boardroom or remotely worldwide.

This remote degree is offered in partnership with the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. The Americas program presents a global experience that will advance careers and boost leadership potential. Cornell’s Executive MBA Americas program will prepare MBAs to respond to international business issues, adapt to markets, and lead in a constantly evolving environment. This online MBA program from Cornell is offers distance-students a degree from a top tier business school.

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Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business offers one of the most well-know MBA brands. This executive program is perfect for goal-oriented, seasoned professionals ready to master new leadership skills without interrupting their work lives or lifestyles. This prestigious program features a hybrid format. It allows students to experience Duke’s impressive campus and the collaborative environment business school leaders foster while offering excellent networking opportunities.

Classmates bring expertise from various industries and functions. Enrolled students learn as much from their peer group as they do from Duke’s world-renowned faculty. The rigorous curriculum and priority for cohort learning come together to ensure MBA students become leaders who empower teams to do the best for both the organization and the community. Worldwide, working professionals come together to pursue a world-class MBA program in this twenty-one-month program. They grow beyond their comfort zone through international residencies focusing on how culture and institutions shape commerce in North America, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. This excellent online EMBA program from Duke has got what it takes.

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The University of Virginia Darden School of Business features an excellent online MBA program. World-class instructors guide it. The intentional learning experience provides students with the skills they need to lead projects and teams forward, even in times of uncertainty. Darden’s Executive MBA program features a convenient hybrid online and in-person engagement format. The structure allows students to earn the Darden MBA program while continuing to advance their careers.

The Executive MBA program is designed with life in mind. Executive formats are more integrated than ever. EMBA and GEMBA students meet together and mix throughout the program. The difference is that EMBA students participate in at least one short-term global residency, and GEMBA students participate in four weeklong international residencies. Both programs are geared for the leaders with strategy at the forefront and have a global outlook. It can be hard to find like-minded colleagues to collaborate with and bounce ideas off of, especially at the top. But a program like the Darden EMBA and GEMBA provides space for these leaders to meet and grow.

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New York University features one of the nation’s best online MBA programs at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business. This stellar degree has been designed for working professionals who need the knowledge and tools of an MBA program to continue to advance in their current function and industry. The highly flexible program can be completed in two years. Students can slow down or speed up as needed. Four program options mean that students can work through the curriculum on weeknights, take an accelerated Two-Year program, take Saturday classes, or take the Online/Modular route.

The Online/Modular program option fuses online courses with one-week in-person modules in New York. The new Online/Modular option allows graduate students to complete the entire program through online classes and in-person modules. This is less of an online MBA and more of a hybrid approach that combines online learning with in-person courses taught on campus in NYC. This MBA program from NYU is an excellent business program.

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An online MBA program is available at the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. For a decade, UCLA Anderson has proudly offered an innovative, hybrid scheduling option that fuses on-campus and online learning environments. The hybrid option makes it easier for actively working professionals desiring to earn an MBA but can’t visit campus weekly. Only four quarterly campus visits (one weekend every three weeks) are required.

Between the on-campus weekends, learning takes place through an online platform. It is a practical, easy-access solution for distance learners with many career or personal commitments and lengthy commutes. The hybrid schedule includes weekend visits to UCLA on Saturdays and Sundays. The format allows students living outside the Los Angeles area to drive or fly into campus on Saturday morning and return home on Sunday evening. Hybrid students commute from different states and countries outside the U.S. and across California. There is a lot to love about UCLA’s online MBA program.

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The Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill provides an excellent online MBA program. Distance learners enjoy flexibility from the start of their MBA journey. They get to choose from four annual start dates in January, April, July, and October.

UNC Kenan-Flagler’s ranked online MBA has been shaping agile leaders through distance learning for over a decade. Enrolled online students develop an approach to leadership that reflects their values, amplifies their strengths, and positions them for success. Online program designers believe professionals shouldn’t have to compromise if they want to pursue a rigorous MBA program without disrupting their lives or jobs. There is much to expect from this well-known, time-tested online MBA program.

It is a STEM-designated degree that prepares leaders to make strategic, analytical decisions in data-driven workplaces. The curriculum includes challenging coursework that equips students to bring integrity and skill to all business challenges. This high-powered online MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will aptly prepare business leaders.

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A prestigious online MBA program is currently available at the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business. The business school’s Hybrid MBA Program is a primarily top-ranked online work-compatible MBA program. Foster’s high-caliber MBA instructors teach it. The two-year, interactive program is perfect for actively working professionals needing flexibility not found in traditional MBA programs.

The Hybrid MBA program fuses the rigor and reputation of a Foster MBA with the blended schedule of distance learning and quarterly in-person sessions. Created to fit active lifestyles, the Hybrid MBA features a unique student experience enabling working parents, young professionals, and frequent business travelers to learn where they live. They can also take advantage of the region’s innovative, unique, and dynamic business community to advance their careers. A week-long on-campus quarter session facilitates networking opportunities, while online classes provide the flexibility students need to earn their MBA on their schedule. This online MBA program from Washington meets all the needs of a business professional pursuing leadership opportunities.

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Rice’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business provides an excellent online MBA program. Rice Business exists as a small business school with big ideas. MBA@Rice, the university’s online MBA program, brings its tight-knit community and modern business education to working professionals across the United States and worldwide. The online program features 54 credits and can be completed through distance learning in two years. We’re living in extraordinary times, and an increasingly complicated world. That calls for a learning experience that works for everyone. Busy professionals, multitasking parents, and military members thrive within this program. And it serves up a top-notch Rice education. Because, at Rice, business is personal.

This online degree is designed using extensive research on ways online MBA students learn best. The purpose-built digital campus creates a collaborative space to advance students’ education and connect with savvy business leaders worldwide. Enrolled students can complete all assignments—which include video simulations, collaborative projects, and real-world case studies—each week from anywhere, using any device. This online program is full of possibilities.

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The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania offers a unique online MBA program designed specifically for executives. This program is tailored to meet the needs of busy students who still want all the networking opportunities of traditional business schools. It starts with an in-person orientation week where students meet their classmates, and then it transitions to an online MBA school. For more in-person interaction, you can attend Wharton’s Global Business Weeks and travel abroad for conferences. 

Overall, the University of Pennsylvania is a 22-month program that contains 700 hours of active learning. Your classes include core courses that teach the essentials of being an executive and electives that allow you to specialize in your degree. Not only are you taught by leading international experts, but you also:

  • Listen to renowned guest speakers, 
  • Participate in leadership workshops, and 
  • Sign up for personalized career sessions. 

With this program, you get a convenient online education while also making valuable professional connections.

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The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University currently features one of the most prestigious online MBA programs around. Georgetown’s part-time Flex MBA is offered in either an in-person or online format. Enrolled students can choose the best fit for them. Whichever route they take, business leaders benefit from the same degree and professors as Flex MBA students. They have access to the resources of the MBA Career Center as they work to advance their careers. All students have the option to enroll in an online or in-person modality. They can complete the online degree between 24-60 months. It’s easy to fit career advancement into their work, life, and school balance.

The online format fuses the convenience of virtual classes with short residencies in D.C. at the start of both the first and second years. These residencies will allow MBA students to interact with classmates and professors. They reinforce the tight-knit, collaborative Georgetown community for which the MBA experience is known. Georgetown’s online MBA program would be an asset to any professional’s academic credentials.

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Recommended Online MBA Programs

Explore our featured online programs to find the right match for you today.

The Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis features a top-notch online MBA program. Program designers know that technology is changing the world—rapidly. Business professionals need skills and knowledge to stand up to today’s challenges and what’s on the horizon for tomorrow. Olin’s online MBA degree program is founded on core MBA fundamentals. Still, it goes further by running all courses—required and elective—through a digitally driven business landscape filter.

As advances like big data, cloud infrastructure, AI, and the Internet of Things continue to transform the delivery of products and services, a new, evolved MBA is needed. This isn’t an online degree about technical expertise. It’s a program for those who want to be digitally literate leaders. It is the perfect fit for those wishing to use technology as a strategy and want to make a substantial impact. The progressive curriculum is built around WashU Olin’s Values-Based, Data Driven™ leadership structure. Enrolled students are transformed into advanced leaders who can manage the fundamental shifts in how we work, interact, and live.

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Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business conveniently provides MBA students with two different program options. Students can join the Traditional Executive MBA program or the Executive MBA Flex program. Both programs teach the same essentials and last 20 months. Business school students get the tools they need to manage a company and advance their careers.

The main difference between the programs available at Michigan State University is their location. The traditional program meets in person every other weekend at the school’s East Lansing and Troy campuses. The Flex program is an online MBA program. Students can take classes and complete assignments on their schedule. To ensure students learn the social and professional skills needed to succeed, the online program requires students to attend monthly in-person sessions. With the ability to choose the program that’s right for you, Michigan State University makes it easy for you to get an MBA no matter how busy your schedule is.

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The University of Michigan features one of the nation’s best Online MBA programs through the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. This prestigious online MBA program is designed for maximum flexibility. It features live, interactive classes and self-guided modules. It offers different formats allowing all students a chance for success and engagement. Actively working professionals will appreciate the hands-on, in-person residencies. Program designers have infused the program with an individualized professional development and recruiting approach. No matter their goals, the rigorous, action-based curriculum — delivered by respected instructors in dynamic formats — gives MBA students the business foundation they need to succeed.

Online MBA students at Michigan receive an active, engaging education designed to help them lead in an increasingly digital world. They get the chance to connect with their professors and classmates in real-time and learn at their own pace. Online students in the state of Michigan get to enroll and gain the advantage of one of the top names in the area. But because of the virtual format, students all over the country get the chance to leverage this prestigious MBA brand on their resume. This stellar online MBA program offers a high level of excellence and accessibility.

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The University of Rochester’s Simon Business School features an excellent online MBA program. Simon’s Executive MBA program has been specifically designed to help actively working professionals, regardless of their career objectives. This online program will prepare distance learners for the next phase of their careers, help them promote change in their organizations, increase business performance, and help them redefine their personal goals. All online students learn alongside other equally ambitious business leaders from various backgrounds and industries. MBA students are taught by experienced instructors whose research findings and insights are desired by industry and the media. Enrolled students see first-hand how business is done worldwide.

The combination of in-class and online learning makes returning to school more convenient and manageable. The Executive MBA program transforms careers and helps graduate students achieve their goals. The education Simon Business School provides gives online MBA students the leadership skills to lead an organization, start a company, or help a current organization find new areas for growth. This advanced business degree from the University of Rochester is one of the nation’s best.

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USC’s Marshall School of Business offers a top MBA program. This degree has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best in the nation. The Marshall School of Business is a world-renowned business school with an influential brand in Los Angeles, California. It equips business leaders with time-tested, forward-thinking skills they can use to advance their careers. They can also advance their respective industries. Business school leaders offer a program built to give learners opportunities.

The combination of the industry-informed curriculum, expert faculty, intentional course modality, and cohort-learning model places USC Marshall’s Online MBA program among the best programs in the nation. Online MBA students experience the rigor and camaraderie one would expect of a top on-campus MBA program. Its virtual delivery is well-suited for working professionals who need flexibility without sacrificing the efficacy of their studies. Distance learners engage with real-world scenarios to strengthen abilities that today’s employers expect from business leaders. This program prepares MBA grads for success.

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The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University provides a top online MBA program. Graduate students can customize their online MBA to fit their goals. Whether they want to advance in their career or explore new career paths, the top-ranked Kelley Direct Online MBA program takes business professionals to new heights. With a business fundamentals core, seven majors, and 50% electives, this innovative curriculum enables graduate students to customize their experience and gain the specialization a master’s degree offers. Then, immersive experiences further build leadership skills and redefine perspective. Because enrolled students’ goals and schedules are just that—theirs.

Comprising 54 credits, the highly customizable Kelley Online MBA program empowers students to tailor their focus to fit their career path. Twenty-seven of the credits are core courses. Core coursework includes business fundamentals and three integrated course sets of crucial business functions, business foundations, and an exploration of the future of business. The Kelley School has designed an excellent online MBA program.

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Emory University provides an online MBA program at the Goizueta Business School. Graduate students enrolled in the Executive MBA program brush up on business foundations and go deeper into business strategy concepts that apply to many industries. When distance learners aren’t learning from experts or trading concept ideas with peers in the classroom, they are diving into learning immersions like global study trips, policy trips to D.C., or executive skills workshops in Atlanta. In just one and a half years, it all culminates in an EMBA that’ll take business professionals higher, further, and beyond.

U.S. News & World Report dubs this degree Georgia’s Best Executive MBA program. This online program benefits from hologram technology, three next-generation global classrooms, and augmented and virtual reality projects. The business school is poised to take digital learning to the next level by giving business professionals a genuinely immersive and dynamic experience from anywhere in the world. This online MBA checks all the boxes for creating excellent business leaders.

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Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business provides an excellent online MBA program. The Tepper Part-Time Online Hybrid MBA enables graduate students to earn a STEM-designated MBA in an online, part-time format focused on the future of business. This degree is informed by data and powered by humans. Why choose the Tepper Online MBA program? Enrolled students work in collaborative teams alongside whip-smart colleagues with diverse backgrounds and skill sets in this top-ranked online program. Guided by the same dynamic instructors who teach its Full-Time MBA program, online MBA students pursue a business analytics-focused curriculum as they learn to harness emerging technologies and use data to fuel better decisions.

In this part-time online MBA format, graduate students can count on the same rewarding and challenging core coursework taught by professors who lead the Tepper Full-Time MBA program. Distance learners will graduate with an identical STEM-designated MBA — ready to manage at the speed of change.

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The University of Georgia provides an extremely popular and convenient online MBA program through the Terry College of Business. Though the degree is quite rigorous, it’s designed to be as convenient as possible for students. You don’t have to follow a strict schedule or attend in-person meetings regularly. Instead, the program can take anywhere from 17 to 23 months and is entirely online. You work at your own pace and finish the online program when you’re ready.

The business school at the University of Georgia provides many excellent opportunities. Online classes are taught as video lectures with the occasional virtual activity where you get to know your classmates. You can further specialize by getting a certification in areas like workforce diversity while you get your MBA. There are also opportunities to take part in eight-day residency programs that provide hands-on experience. Thanks to these exciting opportunities, the University of Georgia’s MBA lets you learn at your own pace without sacrificing the quality of your business education.

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Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park has a flexible online MBA program that makes it easy to specialize in your chosen career. This MBA online program encourages students to choose from five different specializations. You can choose a general track program or specialize in finance, marketing, information systems, or supply chain management. This lets you prioritize the skills you need to meet your goals.

In addition to its helpful specializations, this online MBA program stands out for its convenience. It’s entirely online and allows students to learn at their chosen pace. Depending on the specialization you pick, your MBA will require 54 to 56 hours of coursework. Students take traditional classes alongside residency classes, where they learn independently. The University of Maryland students have access to highly experienced instructors and a huge alumni network. By choosing to study at Robert H. Smith School of Business, you can be confident that you’re getting a thorough education in business administration.

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Recommended Online MBA Programs

Explore our featured online programs to find the right match for you today.

The online MBA program from the University of Texas at Dallas’ Naveen Jindal School of Management has an extensive range of electives and concentrations to choose from. MBA students can pick from 59 electives and 11 concentrations, so it’s easy to learn the skills you need for your career path. Furthermore, the University of Texas also allows students to earn a double degree. Students can pair their MBA degree with an MS in a field like accounting or healthcare leadership.

The other key feature of this business school’s online program is its design. The University of Texas has specifically created this program for busy students juggling a career. Its classes can be done on a part-time schedule, and it’s entirely online. Students from around the world can apply, so you don’t even need to be in Texas for this program. If you want an online MBA program that you can tailor to suit your goals and lifestyle, this is the program for you.

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A highly prestigious online MBA is featured at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. This rigorous, engaging, and high-quality MBA is entirely online and completed in as little as twenty-four months. It is developed and delivered by the same world-class instructors who teach in the business school’s top-ranked on-campus MBA program. The Online MBA allows distance learners to advance critical capabilities they need to make management decisions in the complicated global business ecosystem.

Online MBA students can work with student success specialists, the BU online job board, and other university resources like the BU Library – both on-campus and online. And at the end of their program, distance learners are encouraged to join other graduates in Boston to receive their degrees while attending the Boston University and Questrom commencement ceremonies. No matter what field business leaders are in, a Questrom degree will put them ahead of the pack. With this Online MBA, you won’t have to sacrifice anything.

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The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota provides a top online MBA program. Minnesota’s Online MBA program is based on the student’s schedule. No matter where students are located or where their career is headed, they are in control of their education. All online MBA students get the flexibility they need to fit their lifestyle and career goals. The numbers speak for themselves. Eight out of ten graduates earned a promotion or switched roles/organizations/industries within four months of graduation. The business school boasts a 1:1 ratio for career support, and a GMAT waiver is available for qualified Online MBA applicants.

Today’s business leaders can add a powerful MBA from a top-ranked business school to their schedule. Online MBA students learn from internationally recognized instructors and join a robust network. Getting a distance degree is flexible with the Carlson School’s Online MBA program. Enrolled students can finish the program in two years or go at their own pace. Choices abound with this high-quality program.

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A top online MBA program is available at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. Being able to juggle work, life, and business school commitments is critical for working professional graduate students. UF’s online MBA program provides distance learners with the tools to be successful in all areas of their lives while earning their MBA. Students don’t have to travel to campus every day to get a well-rounded, rich MBA experience.

The one-year and four-month option is an accelerated program for those with an undergraduate degree in business administration and who have completed their undergrad in the last seven years. This is one of the quickest ways to get an MBA at UF. Distance learners in UF’s Outreach Engineering Management (OEM) program are eligible for the same option. This two-year option uses course materials developed by the same respected instructors who have helped UF MBA at Warrington College of Business rise to international prominence. Business school leaders recommend this for business students seeking maximum flexibility. This online MBA program is a game-changer.

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William & Mary offers an online MBA from their Raymond A. Mason School of Business that prides itself on its attention to student satisfaction. The William & Mary MBA online program stands out due to the small classes and personalized training. To get their MBA online, students take 12 courses that last 7.5 weeks each. These courses cover leadership ethics, strategy, accounting, and other essential skills, and they prioritize teaching students logical thinking and self-motivation. Most students can complete the program in around two years.

This business school’s MBA is also an extremely convenient option for busy students. You can start throughout the year, so you don’t have to wait months to join the program. Furthermore, they don’t have any GMAT requirements for applicants. Most of the program is online, but a weekend residency lets students network and get firsthand experience. Ultimately, William & Mary is an excellent choice if you want a thorough education in a supportive and helpful environment.

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The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University provides an online MBA program . Whether they travel for work or prefer learning wherever and whenever it’s convenient, the W. P. Carey Online MBA program offers the flexibility business leaders want and the quality they need. The AACSB accredits the Online MBA program. It is the same highly ranked MBA as the business school’s full-time and part-time programs. It features the same curriculum taught by the same instructors.

Through optional concentrations, graduate students can add depth in a specific discipline to their Online MBA — and an ideal way to match a degree with strengths and career aspirations. Online program designers challenge distance learners to set themselves apart by earning two degrees at once. No matter which option they choose, MBA students maximize their time in graduate school and elevate the value of their top-ranked MBA. Online MBA highlights include three start dates each year: January, May, or August, and students can take one course at a time, five weeks per course. This online MBA is one of the nation’s best.

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University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration creates an MBA program that promotes work-life balance. This flexible business school lets people choose from in-person and online MBA classes. Both styles of courses use cohort-based learning, which encourages you to network with other people and learn from your fellow classmates. Students are allowed to work at their preferred pace, and most finish in two to three years. If desired, you can take accelerated programs that let you earn your MBA in as little as 12 months.

Their MBA program contains a helpful blend of general knowledge and specialized courses. Everyone learns basics like communication and administration that they can use at any job. You can also select specialized disciplines in fields like accounting, finance, and marketing. The school even helps students apply for internships, professional development programs, and other integrated learning options. Overall, the University of Pittsburgh has a well-rounded program that provides many opportunities to gain valuable skills.

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The Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University is designed for experienced professionals who want to take their talents to the next level. The Cox online MBA program is designed for working professionals, so it’s flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. Classes are scheduled on evenings and weekends, and students can take courses online or in person. Taking the GMAT exam is not required, so experienced students can use their professional know-how to get accepted into the program.

This business school prides itself on being able to offer cutting-edge education. Industry experts guide students through classes in leadership, problem-solving, and analytics. Students can also take advanced courses like Data Analysis and Legal Environment of Business to update their business skills further. The online program also offers a lot of immersive learning opportunities. Students can participate in team-building exercises and work with a personalized career coach. The Southern Methodist University’s business school is an excellent chance to learn alongside other dedicated professionals and enhance your skills.

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One of the nation’s best online MBA programs is delivered at the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. The UCI business school Flex MBA program teaches enrolled students to think creatively about opportunities and challenges arising from digital technologies. It helps business leaders develop a new skill set to lead with certainty and confidence.

The top-ranked MBA program is designed for early-to-mid career active professionals seeking an MBA structured in a flexible, work-friendly schedule. It features the business school’s rigorous curriculum – recently updated with specialized tracks of study, new research insights, and case studies – to hone strategic thinking capabilities. These include understanding how digital technologies can disrupt markets and impact aspects of an organization. The Merage School’s inclusive environment welcomes a diverse student body. Many military personnel are enrolled there. This degree is perfect for graduate students looking to enter new professions, enhance their current career paths, or start entrepreneurial ventures.

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The University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business offers an online MBA program taught by the same faculty as the on-campus program. Started in 2014, the online MBA program is accredited by the AACSB. Students will appreciate that the U.S. News & World Report ranked it as one of the best online MBA programs and online finance MBA programs.

Students will be exposed to world-class faculty and get one-on-one career coaching if needed. Recordings and lectures are available 24/7, and students can access their lectures through a platform optimized for various devices. Students can customize their MBA program by taking live webinars with faculty and alternating those sessions with in-person classes on campus. Online MBA students also have the chance to meet in person at the program’s networking events, held every other month. This high-ranking online program has launched the careers of many business professionals.

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The University of California, Davis offers an excellent online MBA program through their Graduate School of Management. Accredited by the AACSB, this highly acclaimed program offers live, online classes with a globally recognized staff. Students will focus on data-driven decision-making as well as quantitative analysis. The school’s track record boasts a 100% job placement six months after graduation and a starting salary of almost $100,000.

The online MBA program has a strong reputation for its faculty’s research and expertise, further boosting the program’s value. The school’s extensive alumni network offers excellent networking opportunities, opening doors to connections in various industries. Students can tap into a global network of alumni when they graduate.

The Economist highly ranked the business school’s faculty for quality in 2021. The school ranked in the top 20 for Best Online MBA Programs and in the top 30 for U.S. Part-Time MBA Programs. This stellar online program prepares students for leadership roles in the business world.

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Howard University’s School of Business offers a top online MBA. It provides the same quality curriculum as its in-person program. The award-winning staff emphasizes an entrepreneurial spirit, decision-making strategies, and ethical management. Courses include global management consulting, entrepreneurship, economics for global business, and more. Besides preparing students to be global leaders, the school aims to broaden their perspectives by providing a global outlook. Students can also take advantage of international immersion opportunities online to further expand their cultural horizons.

The AACSB-accredited online program has maintained a top spot in The Princeton Review’s “Greatest Resources for Minority Students” list since 2004. This business school provides students with an exceptional edge when they graduate. For mid-career professionals who are looking to take the next step, Howard’s online program offers a holistic program that will prepare them for top positions in business, non-profit companies, and social economy organizations.

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A top online MBA program is delivered through the Penn State’s Smeal College of Business. Graduate students learn to strategically manage high-performance teams while solving complicated, real-world business issues. With over twenty-five concentrations to choose from, enrolled students can customize the top-ranked online MBA program to suit their unique career goals.

Students gain an in-depth understanding of how business operates as they learn to influence and work effectively on teams. Online MBA students also develop the abilities needed to manage and lead strategically for the future while acquiring marketable skills in problem-solving, business analytics, and critical thinking. The flexibility of schedule means that MBA students learn when it’s right for them, thanks to flexible, asynchronous online coursework. They can also attend optional synchronous online classes for real-time engagement.

The Penn State Online MBA applicants do not submit any GMAT or GRE test scores. While this is an on-going trend, many top business schools still require these test scores. This means that Penn State applicants get to save time and money while still putting their best foot forward with other part of their application. The Penn State Online MBA program has it all.

Online MBA Website

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A top online MBA program is available at the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students can earn their distance MBA in a program designed to reflect today’s workplace, where collaboration in diverse teams is coupled with flexible online access. Graduates of this stellar online program stand out in a modern, agile, tech-driven, and always-changing business world.

The format includes one weekend a month on campus with additional online classes. Graduate students learn from world-class instructors and top business leaders. They gain needed skills and apply them immediately to their work as they build skills to advance and gain insights for a lifetime of leadership.

The curriculum includes lessons on developing strategic management skills and technical know-how to encounter challenges at work today and in their following high-level business administration roles. Online MBA students can learn tools in class and apply them at work the next day. Enrolled students enjoy building portfolios of abilities to make them eligible for more advanced positions. Wisconsin’s online MBA equips business leaders with success.

Online MBA Website

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Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business offers an excellent online MBA program that you can do part-time. Each applicant is evaluated thoroughly, and no GMAT or GRE test results are required. Students will learn in a live, synchronous classroom and get four in-residence weekends and lectures from engaging professors. They will be able to work with real clients and manage large portfolios.

Upon graduation, the business school’s global network offers powerful connections. Students can also take advantage of the program’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where they can pitch their ideas to investors. They can also network with entrepreneurs.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Neeley School of Business among the Best Business Schools and Part-Time MBA programs. Roughly 79.3% of graduating students report employment at graduation. Besides the recognition, what separates this AACSB-accredited online program from others is its week-long international trip where students meet global executives.

Online MBA Website

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The Max M. Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University provides a top online MBA program. The Working Professional MBA (WPMBA) at the Fisher College of Business is the only part-time MBA in Central Ohio ranked as one of the nation’s best. Distance learners earn the same degree as the full-time MBA but with the flexibility to balance work, life, and educational needs. Students can attend all classes on-campus, online, or a combination of both. However they’re enrolled, MBA students won’t compromise quality for convenience. Future students are encouraged to review the program’s structure to learn how the business school has integrated distance and in-person delivery with evening and weekend courses. This gives enrolled students unparalleled curriculum flexibility.

Because it’s the perfect time for tomorrow’s leaders to step up, students all over the nation choose to transform their careers with the nationally ranked Working Professional MBA program from Ohio State. What students learn today can be applied tomorrow at work. This stellar degree builds on the foundation of the nationally ranked part-time MBA program. It delivers an educational experience shaped for distance learners — and by distance learners.

Online MBA Website

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George Washington University’s School of Business offers a unique online MBA program in healthcare. The AACSB-accredited program is designed for students looking to acquire business skills with a focus on the healthcare industry. The coursework is 100% online, though the program also offers in-person residencies. The coursework includes live classroom sessions, group activities, and case discussions.

Students will take courses in accounting, marketing, operations management, strategic management, global perspectives, and analytics. Most importantly, they will develop the skills needed to make sound decisions within the healthcare framework. Courses will be taught by world-renowned faculty who are able to blend business and the medical industry.

G.I. Jobs has distinguished the program as “military friendly,” while Military Times Edge has ranked it “Best for Vets.” The online program is a Yellow Ribbon Program participant. This highly ranked program will provide a solid knowledge of the business side of healthcare for use in both the private and public sectors.

Online MBA Website

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The University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business offers a prestigious online MBA as part of its “UH Extend” programs. Students graduating won’t have a diploma that says “online.” Their diplomas will look the same as traditional diplomas. And this flexibility doesn’t come at the cost of excellence. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked it among the Best Business Schools. 

The business school coursework is designed for those seeking leadership and entrepreneur positions when they graduate. With the school’s online program, students have the opportunity to either reinvent their careers or sharpen their business skills. 

Students will participate in live online classes as well as asynchronous recorded lectures, delving into subjects such as:

  • Managerial Finance, 
  • Supply Chain Management Concepts, 
  • Quantitative Analysis for Business Decisions, and 
  • Financial Accounting. 

Students can choose to specialize in addition to their MBA coursework. Elective certificates are offered in areas such as leadership, supply chain management, energy, and finance. This solid MBA program has graduates chanting the business school’s mantra: “The Future Is Our Business.”

Online MBA Website

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Pepperdine University’s online MBA program at the Graziadio Business School provides a values-driven leadership curriculum. There are seven concentrations students can choose from: 

  • Entrepreneurship, 
  • Digital innovation and information systems, 
  • Business analytics, 
  • Marketing, 
  • Finance, 
  • Leadership and managing organizational change,
  •  Business analytics, or 
  • Global business. 

Students learn applied and experiential skills through interactive modules and live online classes. The small 13:1 class ratio gives professors lots of one-on-one time with students. 

The Graziadio Business School maintains an excellent reputation because of its highly regarded immersion courses, distinguished staff, and successful E2B (education to business) program. The Princeton Review and Fortune rank the online program among the top online MBA programs. 

Students have access to an extensive alumni network when they graduate and have reported a median salary of over $100,000. With a caring staff and an easy-to-learn ePortal, the Graziadio Business School’s online program checks all the boxes.

Online MBA Website

Consensus Score

University of Massachusetts Amherst offers an AACSB-accredited online MBA program at the University’s Isenberg School of Management. Started in 2001, the program is one of the more established online programs in the country. Students can take all their courses online or mix them with in-person sessions. There are six concentrations within the MBA program: sports management, health administration, business analytics, entrepreneurship, marketing, and finance. The program offers live online classes, and student-student engagement is encouraged through online chatrooms.

Students have access to the IConnect portal, which offers job postings and business resources. Graduates of the online program will not have the word “online” on their diplomas. They will receive the same diplomas as the traditional MBA program.

The online program ranks well, listed among the Best Online Business Analytics MBA Programs with the U.S. News & World Report. What’s unique about this online program is that you can take two classes before signing up for the MBA program. It’s an excellent program for today’s leaders.

Online MBA Website

Consensus Score

Recommended Online MBA Programs

Explore our featured online programs to find the right match for you today.

The online MBA has remained a mainstay in the United States in recent years. Demand for high-quality business administration degrees has continued to grow over the past decade as U.S. business students investigate career paths and affordable options to bolster fruitful business administration careers. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, a record number of prospective business administration students consider an online MBA the most viable route for their advanced education. Online MBA programs account for just over half of AACSB-accredited Master of Business Administration programs in the nation. This is the highest percentage in a decade.

Pros and Cons of Earning an MBA Online


Flexibility: Online MBA programs offer flexibility in terms of scheduling and location. You can access course materials and lectures at your convenience, allowing you to balance your studies with work, family, and other commitments more effectively than in a traditional on-campus program.
Cost-Effectiveness: Online MBA programs often have lower tuition fees compared to on-campus programs. Additionally, you can save money on commuting, accommodation, and other expenses associated with attending classes in person, making it a more affordable option for many students.
Access to Diverse Resources: Online MBA programs provide access to a wide range of digital resources, including video lectures, interactive simulations, and online libraries. These resources can enhance your learning experience and allow you to explore topics in greater depth, regardless of your geographical location.
Networking Opportunities: Despite not being physically present on campus, online MBA students still have opportunities to network with peers, alumni, and industry professionals through virtual forums, discussion boards, and social media platforms. Building connections in this digital environment can lead to valuable career opportunities and collaborations.
Global Perspective: Online MBA programs often attract students from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, providing a global perspective on business issues and practices. Engaging with classmates and instructors from around the world can broaden your understanding of international markets and foster cross-cultural collaboration skills.


Limited Face-to-Face Interaction: One of the main drawbacks of online MBA programs is the lack of face-to-face interaction with professors and classmates. This can hinder opportunities for spontaneous discussions, networking, and collaborative learning experiences that are often integral to traditional on-campus programs.
Potential for Distractions: Studying online requires self-discipline and motivation to stay focused, especially when faced with distractions such as social media, household chores, or family responsibilities. Without the structure of regular class meetings and in-person accountability, some students may struggle to maintain productivity and engagement.
Technology Challenges: Online learning relies heavily on technology, and technical issues such as poor internet connectivity, software compatibility issues, or platform glitches can disrupt your learning experience. Overcoming these challenges may require troubleshooting skills and additional support from technical staff.
Perception by Employers: While online MBA programs have become increasingly reputable, some employers may still perceive them as less rigorous or prestigious than traditional on-campus programs. This perception can vary depending on the reputation of the institution offering the online program and the industry in which you intend to pursue employment.
Limited Hands-On Experience: Certain aspects of business education, such as team projects, case competitions, and experiential learning opportunities, may be more challenging to replicate in an online setting. Without hands-on experiences, students may miss out on valuable practical skills and networking opportunities that can enhance their employability and career advancement prospects.

Are There Disadvantages to an Online MBA?


Some may think that the online MBA, with its proximity issues, leads to a less viable network. This may be an issue at some business schools, but some safeguards help reinforce the value of distance education. While access to classmates in an online MBA may seem limited, MBA students in these programs still have the chance to build more meaningful and intentional relationships as they build a trusted network and a healthy support system. Many online MBA students are given opportunities to engage with their fellow distance learners in and outside the virtual classroom. Through common electives, co-curricular and social activities, and leadership development programming, online MBA students forge robust networks throughout their business school tenure. It’s vital to remember that distance learning often encourages a high-touch, personal experience with access to professors and business school leaders who aid in the educational experience.


Another misnomer about online MBAs suggests they offer fewer experiential learning opportunities than on-campus programs. This is categorically false, as most of the nation’s best online programs emphasize experiential learning as they practice lesson content regularly. Online MBA students take advantage of the same academic learning opportunities as traditional business students. Upon graduating from their programs, these students participate in leadership development opportunities like executive coaching, one-on-one peer, and capstone projects.


Finally, a common myth about online MBA degrees considers them watered-down MBA programs. While it may be a shorter academic responsibility, it is sometimes more intense as an experience that includes full learning options like a traditional full-time MBA. These programs may last between twelve months and twenty-four months. Online MBAs feature experiential learning, real-time client projects, international travel, leadership development, and opportunities for students to participate in student clubs and social activities. The content topics will be equal to their on-campus counterparts, exploring topics in:

  • Organizational behavior
  • Business law
  • Accounting
  • Business analytics
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • And more!


In some ways, the online MBA program will not replace the full-time, on-campus MBA when considering program options and future student demand. Online learning is not for everyone. Some potential MBA students may be discouraged by the online program’s intensity. Due to working professionals’ schedules, the high-touch nature of the online format is not the best fit for those wanting to be less social. But for business leaders interested in accelerating existing career paths or transitioning into a new field, the advantages of the online MBA make it an ideal fit. The online MBA may not be perfect for everyone interested in a business administration degree. However, many prospective business students find compelling reasons to consider it for their future.

ROI of Online MBA vs. Traditional MBA

Few will argue about the advantages students pursuing an online MBA enjoy. There is the lower cost and reduced completion time options. In some cases, satisfying all online program requirements in just twelve months to 18 months instead of two years or more reduces graduate students’ time away from their careers and a steady income. The disadvantage of professionals needing to commit precious time away from their jobs is vastly reduced. The acceleration within a career (which often results in a higher salary) presents itself quickly.

Online MBA degrees are typically less expensive than their traditional full-time MBA counterparts as many students pay in-state tuition. For example, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School features an online MBA at a fraction of the tuition of its on-campus MBA. In addition to program and tuition costs, online MBA students save on living expenses, including housing and health insurance. This can easily result in a higher return on investment for online MBA students.

An Online MBA Can Put Your Career into Overdrive

An online MBA is perfect for professionals looking to accelerate existing careers. Resources like internships are not always beneficial to those staying within their existing industries or functions due to experience already there. Whether you work in tech, marketing, finance, consulting, or any other business field, an online MBA jettisons a pathway to advanced leadership positions. It is the preferred, advanced business administration education option for students receiving financial backing from their organization and entrepreneurs needing to start a business foundation to nurture young ventures.

The intensive nature of an online MBA enables graduate students to put lessons they learn into practice as they improve their current career trajectory and prepare themselves for future leadership positions upon graduation. While online MBA programs might offer fewer electives than traditional Full-time MBAs, electives are typically used for career discovery. They are not always needed by working professionals advancing existing career fields. It would be typical for online MBA students to complete ten electives instead of more in a longer MBA program. Many graduate students with work experience appreciate the chance to expand their skill set and knowledge by diving into topics that directly relate to their industry.

An Online MBA Can Help Professionals Change Career Paths

Business leaders interested in switching careers have good reason to consider the online MBA. While it may influence the transition into some industries – on the off-chance that an organization hires exclusively from internships – it can reveal itself as a gateway for professionals with transferrable skills wanting to transition into a related career. Examples may include regulators and researchers seeking to move into healthcare administration, students transitioning from sales to marketing positions, or engineers interested in technology product management.

An online MBA is a great tool to add value to existing graduate programs. Dual-degree options include

  • MD/MBA,
  • MTS/MBA,
  • JD/MBA,
  • JM/MBA, and
  • DPT/MBA.

Healthcare and business, like law and business, fit well by providing graduates with career options and opportunities for future career paths.

Top Business & Management Careers

These are some of the top business and management careers available to online MBA graduates. We averaged the median salaries reported by Payscale and U.S. News and World Report to get a consensus view.

CareerAverage Salary
Information Technology Manager$125,145
Financial Manager$106,673
Marketing Manager$103,157
Sales Manager$97,341
Business Operations Manager$91,025
Medical Health Services Manager$87,394
Management Analyst$82,695
Operations Research Analyst$82,597
Financial Advisor$79,497
Financial Analyst$73,709
Market Research Analyst$61,508

There is a lot to like about the online MBA. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages for a myriad of business leaders. If you are interested in this business administration degree, contact admissions leaders at your favorite business school and see if they feature an online MBA.

Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs
Best Online EMBA Programs
Best EMBA Programs
Best 1-Year Online MBA Programs
The Best Undergraduate Business Schools 

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