Best Online Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Programs

Degree Overview

An MBA is one of the most popular graduate degrees in the country. Many people choose this degree option because it facilitates better, more flexible career opportunities and a higher income. If you’re considering going back to school to earn an MBA but don’t know where to start, is here to help.

Get ready to learn more about what an MBA degree is, why you should earn one, how it can help your career, and which online MBA programs might fit your needs. Let’s get started.

What Is an MBA Degree?

An MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. This is a graduate-level business degree that focuses on leadership, management, decision making, analytical information, marketing, and communication skills.

Most people who pursue an MBA degree have either recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree and are current business professionals who want to move up in their career, or people looking for a field or career change.

Best Online MBA Programs

At, we help you find the right online MBA program to fit your needs. Here are some of the best online MBA programs for you to consider.


Excelsior College

Location: Online (based in Albany, NY)

Cost of attendance: $26,790.00 total (%tuition_2% per year or %tuition_3% per credit)

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education


Western Governors University

Location: Online (based in Salt Lake City, UT)

Fastest time to graduation: 19 Months

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 50%

Cost of attendance: $7,452.00 per year

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Admission requirements

  • Application form
  • Official high school/college transcripts
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $65

Unique offerings

  • Competency-based education; charges by the term rather than by the credit so students can graduate faster and control the total cost of their degree
  • Known for excellent distance learning
  • Awarded for high performance

Arizona State Online

Location: Online (based in Scottsdale, AZ)

Acceptance rate: 88%

Graduation rate: 67%

Cost of attendance: $25,214.00 total

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Admission requirements

  • High school GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Application form
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $70
  • ACT or SAT scores
  • Official transcripts

Capella University

Location: Online

Fastest time to graduation: 12 Months

Acceptance rate: 100%

Cost of attendance: $14,148.00 per year

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Admission requirements

  • Application form
  • Official high school/college transcripts
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $50
  • English proficiency
  • Must meet FlexPath requirements (talk to program advisor for details)

Unique offerings

  • The FlexPath system enables students to take as many courses as they desire in each 12-week billing session
  • Flat-rate tuition fee per session
  • No courseroom discussions
  • Students can set their own deadlines

Southern New Hampshire University

Location: Online (based in Manchester, NH)

Graduation rate: 54%

Cost of attendance: $15,380.00 per year

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education


Columbia Southern University

Location: Online (based in Orange Beach, AL)

Cost of attendance: $5,533.00 per year

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges


University of Arizona Global Campus

Location: Online (based in Chandler, AZ)

Cost of attendance: $28,824.00 total (%tuition_2% per year or %tuition_3% per credit)

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges


University of Phoenix

Location: Online (based in Phoenix, AZ)

Graduation rate: 28%

Cost of attendance: $19,282.00 total (%tuition_2% per year or %tuition_3% per credit)

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


Walden University

Location: Online (based in Minneapolis, MN)

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 27%

Cost of attendance: $24,240.00 total

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Admission requirements

  • Official transcripts
  • Applicable test scores
  • Completed online application
  • List of transfer credits

Colorado Technical University

Location: Online (based in Colorado Springs, CO)

Graduation rate: 27%

Cost of attendance: $24,143.00 total (%tuition_2% per year or %tuition_3% per credit)

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


DeVry University

Location: Online (based in Naperville, IL)

Cost of attendance: $17,808.00 total

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


Purdue University Global

Location: Online (based in West Lafayette, IN)

Graduation rate: 27%

Cost of attendance: In-State is $10,125.00 per year, Out-of-State is $14,436.00 per year

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Our MBA Degree Ranking System

Our MBA degree rankings are unbiased and strictly based on facts about the schools. We’ve ranked the above MBA programs based on the following criteria:

  • Accreditation
  • Graduation rate
  • School reputation
  • Cost
  • And more

These rankings should help you find an MBA program that fits your needs.

Why Get an MBA Degree?

Many people choose to get an MBA degree to further their education and job prospects. Here are some reasons for you to consider pursuing an MBA degree.

Better Career Options

An MBA degree opens up numerous career opportunities in a variety of industries, including:

  • Consulting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Executive positions
  • Finance
  • Human resource management
  • International business
  • Management information systems
  • Marketing
  • Project management
  • Sustainability

Whether you earn a generalized MBA or a specialized one, your MBA degree is going to open up many new career opportunities for you.

Specialized Training

MBA programs offer various skill training in different areas, including:

  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finances
  • Human resource management
  • IT
  • Healthcare Management
  • And more

With these specialized skills, you can put your MBA degree to use in almost any field or industry.

Increased Salary Potential

Individuals with an MBA degree can earn more money than their counterparts. Salaries can range from $60,000 up to $95,000 depending on your location. MBA salaries can also vary based on degree emphasis, with some job positions earning anywhere from $120,000 to $140,000.

Management Opportunities

Many of the courses in an MBA program prepare individuals for management positions. You learn more about leadership, operations management, and more, helping put you in a better position to move up within a company.

What to Look for In an Online MBA Degree Program

If you are looking to go back to school to earn an online MBA degree, you’ll need to start by looking at potential MBA programs. As you are doing your research for the right online MBA program for your needs, you should consider the following aspects.


The online MBA program you choose will affect how much it will cost. Some schools — Harvard, for example — are more expensive because of their prestige. Additionally, some online MBA degree programs consider online students to be out-of-state students, which prompts them to charge higher tuition fees.

As you look at different MBA programs, consider the cost of each one to determine if a specific school is right for you.


The majority of online MBA programs are completely remote, meaning you can live anywhere in the country and still earn your degree. However, some programs offer a hybrid option, with in-person and online classes. If you are looking at an MBA program that has a hybrid program and you don’t live close enough to attend in-person classes, you’ll want to consider another option.

As mentioned above, online students are sometimes considered out-of-state students for tuition costs. As you consider the location of your potential school, look for an online MBA program in your current state or find a school that doesn’t have this resident requirement to avoid the higher cost.

Program Format

Do you need an MBA program that is offered completely online? Would you prefer a mix of online and in-person classes? Many MBA degree programs offer flexible options to help students earn their degrees while living the rest of their lives. As you research programs, keep these options in mind to ensure you pick a school that lets you get your degree your way.

Career Resources

One of the main reasons to get an MBA degree is to further your career opportunities. The best MBA programs offer career resources once you graduate. As you research your school options, look for one that either works directly with corporate recruiters, has a high post-MBA employment rate, or both. You’re working hard to earn this degree and you want to find an online program that helps you land a career afterward.

Program Length

The length of an MBA program can affect which school you choose to attend. If you’re looking for an accelerated program that gets you your MBA degree faster, look at schools that offer this option. If you want to do a traditional two-year program, you can search for those options as well.


Reputable MBA programs should have the proper accreditation to make them valid. Every online MBA program should have three types of accreditation: regional, national, and business.

Regional accreditations include:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education includes Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  • Higher Learning Commission includes Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges includes California, Hawaii, and multiples islands and territories in the Pacific Basin

National accreditations include:

  • Distance Education & Training Council (DETC)
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE)
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission (TRACS)
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
  • Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE)
  • Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS)
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE)
  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
  • National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCS)
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)*

Business accreditations include:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
  • The Association of MBAs (AMBA)
  • European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)

Look for an MBA degree program that is fully accredited with regional, national, and business accreditations to ensure you are choosing a reputable school.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online MBA Programs

Here are some questions that we often get asked about online MBA programs.

What courses are part of the MBA curriculum?

There are two types of MBA degrees: general and specialized. In a specialized program, most of your classes will be geared toward your specific emphasis. In a general MBA degree, these are some of the classes you will need to take.

  • Ethics and legalities — There are many ethical and legal aspects to business administration and it’s important to learn them all. You will learn more about making company-wide decisions, staying up-to-date with laws and regulations, and avoiding unethical business behavior.
  • Finance and accounting — Finances and accounting are ways that businesses measure performance and set growth goals. In these courses, you’ll learn about the fundamentals of accounting, international reporting standards, and industry-specific requirements and trends.
  • Information technology — Businesses use information technology in many different ways, including collecting and protecting data, creating computer networks, and making data-driven decisions. Information technology courses teach students how to use databases, read data for decision-making, and utilize digital strategies.
  • Leadership fundamentals — A big part of an MBA program is learning to be an effective leader. This includes learning how to oversee and support employees while helping companies achieve their goals. In this course, you can expect to learn helpful leadership strategies, common leadership styles, and what kind of leader you are.
  • Marketing — Businesses thrive on marketing, branding, and advertising. In a marketing course, you’ll learn helpful marketing strategies, including segmentation, targeting, pricing, promotion, brand loyalty, and distribution.
  • Human resources management — Part of business administration is human resources and talent acquisition. You’ll learn the ins and outs of hiring good employees, managing benefits programs, setting salaries, and conducting training.

What careers can I pursue with an MBA degree?

An MBA degree gives you flexible career options, which is why so many people choose to go to school for this degree. Some career options include:

  • Business operations manager
  • Chief technology officer
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Financial manager
  • Health services manager
  • Information technology director
  • Investment fund manager
  • Management analyst/consultant
  • Marketing manager
  • Operations research analyst

You can use your MBA degree to get a job in many different industries, including:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Health care management
  • Human resources
  • Information systems management
  • Information technology
  • International business
  • Marketing
  • Nonprofit management
  • Project management
  • Supply chain management
  • Sustainability

What is the average salary range for MBA jobs?

Your average MBA salary will vary based on location and the industry you go into; however, salaries can range from $60,000 up to $95,000. With specialized MBA degrees, people can be earning anywhere from $120,000 to $140,000.

What are the typical MBA program admission requirements?

Each online MBA program is going to have different admission requirements based on the school. It is also important to note that MBA programs can be extremely competitive, with some schools accepting up to 50% of applicants and others only accepting 25%.

As you prepare to apply for an online MBA program, you should put your best foot forward and ensure that your application stands out from other prospective students. Here are a few MBA admission requirements that should be the same for every program.

Test scores

Most MBA graduate programs require prospective students to take and pass the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The test assesses your readiness for an MBA program as is available year-round so you can take it before an admission deadline. Most MBA programs require a score between 650 and 700 to be considered for admission.

Letters of recommendation

You should aim to procure at least three letters of recommendation from people who know your professional and academic potential. You could ask undergraduate professors, academic advisors, managers, employers, or a mentor to write you a letter since they should have good insight into your potential. Try to ask for your recommendation letters early to ensure you have them before the application deadline.


An MBA program wants to see that you have previous work experience and skills that lend themselves well to this degree. If your work experience isn’t specifically business-related but you have managerial experience and other related skills, it can help put you ahead of other program applicants.

Personal essay

A personal essay is a chance to showcase who you are and why you want to earn an MBA degree. A program may have specific writing prompts that you need to write to, so pay attention to what you’re being asked to write about.

Official transcripts

To get an MBA degree, you need to have completed an undergraduate program. Your undergraduate degree does not need to be business-related, but it needs to be from an accredited university. Additionally, you want to make sure your undergraduate GPA is high enough to enroll in an online MBA program. Most programs have a GPA requirement of 3.0, but that can vary from school to school.

What is the average cost of getting an MBA degree?

The average cost of an MBA degree varies based on your enrollment status (full-time or part-time), program type (accelerated or standard), school type (private or public), and which online MBA program you choose to attend.

With all of those things considered, average program costs can range from $60,000 to almost $200,000.

On average, how long does it take to earn an MBA degree?

Standard MBA programs take two years to complete; however, there are also accelerated programs that take anywhere from 11 to 16 months. Most MBA students are still working full-time jobs as they attend an online program, meaning they opt for the two-year program so they can more easily balance both commitments.

Head Back to Online School to Earn Your MBA

When you earn an MBA degree, you’re opening the door to job advancement, new career opportunities, and higher earning potential. With online MBA degree programs, you can complete your degree while still working and living your life.

With our information about what to look for in an MBA program and our current rankings, you can research your own MBA programs and find the best MBA degree option for your needs.