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2023 Best Online MBA Programs

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 2/3/2023
2023 Best Online Master's Degrees in MBA Badge

An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) is designed for students who are interested in obtaining managerial and executive positions. A business graduate program can help students develop sought-after skills and knowledge for managerial and leadership roles. Many colleges with online MBAs explore topics like finance, decision-making, and economics. Potential courses that students may encounter in an online MBA include Financial Accounting, Role of the Manager, Decision Analytics, and usually a capstone course. In addition, many online MBA programs may require online students to attend an in-person orientation and/or learning residencies. Some online schools offer accelerated MBAs, which are intensive programs that can take less than 24 months to complete. 

View our methodology for more details about our list or learn more about OnlineU.

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Online MBA Master's Degrees You May Be Interested In

2023 Best Online MBA Programs

RankSchool Salary Score Median Starting Salary
# 1 #1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 100 100 $135,965
# 2 #2 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 100 $139,794
# 3 #3 University of Southern California 100 $127,841
# 4 #4 Lehigh University 99 $122,676
# 5 #5 University of Arkansas 99 $122,450
# 6 #6 Southern Methodist University 99 $118,537
# 7 #7 University of Minnesota Online 99 $117,587
# 8 #8 Golden Gate University 99 $117,549
# 9 #9 University of Massachusetts - Amherst 98 $112,236
# 10 #10 Temple University 97 $109,345

2023 Online Colleges Offering Master's Degrees

Ranking Details

#1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Salary Score: 100
  • Median Starting Salary: $135,965
  • Locations: Chapel Hill (NC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) is a public institution offering an online Master of Business Administration totaling 62 credit hours. This master's program offers six concentrations, such as Data Analytics and Decision Making. Another option is Management and Leadership. It can take full-time students 18 to 36 months to complete the program.

UNC facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through Canvas. This program equips students with the skills and knowledge to assume leadership roles in the business sector. Sample courses include Analytical Tools for Decision Making, Financial Accounting, and Strategic Economics. Students must attend a minimum of two Summits, which are quarterly, in-person immersive experiences. Potential career options include business development executives, human resources managers, and management consultants.

#2 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

  • Salary Score: 100
  • Median Starting Salary: $139,794
  • Locations: Ann Arbor (MI)
  • Accreditation: HLC

At the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (UMICH), a public institution, prospective students can pursue an online Master of Business Administration, which requires 57 credit hours. The program can last 3.5 to 4 years. The program’s UMICH’s Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) partners students with real companies to solve business problems.

UMICH’s online students complete coursework asynchronously through the software Canvas. A master’s of business administration is designed for students who aspire to work in general management, executive leadership, and entrepreneurship. The program’s courses include Corporate Financial Reporting, Health Care Markets and Public Policies, and Entrepreneurship via Acquisitions. In-person learning residencies at UMICH’s campus are required to graduate. Prospective careers include chief executive officers, benefits administrators, and application business analysts.

#3 University of Southern California

  • Salary Score: 100
  • Median Starting Salary: $127,841
  • Locations: Los Angeles (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private nonprofit institution that offers an online Master of Business Administration totaling 51 credit hours. This flexible, accelerated program can take students 21 months to complete. It's designed for working professionals looking to advance their careers.

At USC, online students complete coursework asynchronously and synchronously through the learning management system Blackboard. This online program’s curriculum incorporates real-world scenarios to prepare students for executive leadership roles. Some of the program’s courses are Role of the Manager, Opportunity Recognition and Implementation, and Managing Outside the Firm. Students are required to attend an in-person, week-long intensive on campus. Graduates may pursue careers like senior human resources managers, senior associates, and directors of innovation.

#4 Lehigh University

  • Salary Score: 99
  • Median Starting Salary: $122,676
  • Locations: Bethlehem (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Lehigh University is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Flex Master of Business Administration that totals 36 credit hours. The program has eight concentrations, which include Business Analytics, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Marketing. It can take full-time students two years to complete this program.

Lehigh facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through a platform called Course Site. A master’s in business administration is designed for students who aspire to obtain managerial leadership roles in the business sector. Sample courses include Decision Analytics, Managing People, and Strategy for Competitive Advantage. An orientation and capstone course are both required for graduation. Potential career opportunities for graduates include marketing analysts, senior vice presidents, and account executives.

#5 University of Arkansas

  • Salary Score: 99
  • Median Starting Salary: $122,450
  • Locations: Fayetteville (AR)
  • Accreditation: HLC

University of Arkansas (UARK) is a public institution that offers an online Executive Master of Business Administration totaling 38 credit hours. The program includes tracks that students can choose from, such as Business Analytics, General Business Administration, and Retail. It can take two years for full-time students to complete the program.

At UARK, online students complete coursework delivered asynchronously and synchronously on Blackboard. The program helps students develop leadership and management skills to advance or transition careers. The program’s courses include Global Business, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, and Financial Statement Analysis for Executives. Students are required to attend a multi-day orientation and monthly gatherings. Graduates of the program may pursue careers like management consultants, program managers, and investment bankers.

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Overview of Online MBA Programs with AACSB Accreditation

The standard online MBA takes two years to complete, though there are also accelerated online MBA programs you can finish in under two years. In an accelerated MBA program, you spend the first year completing general business classes and the second taking electives in your area of interest and specialization. For example, you may focus on an area, such as organizational leadership, to ensure you are competitive in the job market after graduation.

The best online MBA programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and emphasize communication and the ability to network through group projects, case competitions, and group presentations.

The best online MBA programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and emphasize communication and the ability to network through group projects, case competitions, and group presentations. These activities can help you develop interpersonal and writing skills, which can prove beneficial to your career as the ability to write and speak concisely yet comprehensively is highly coveted by prospective employers. Assignments also provide opportunities to develop your leadership abilities and confidence by introducing management techniques that can enhance your analytical and decision-making skills.

View Online MBA Programs by Specialization

MBA Program Curriculum

MBA program curriculum is designed to help you learn general business fundamentals and familiarize you with business's primary functions. This broad core curriculum includes finance, operations, marketing, and accounting classes. You'll also take courses in areas in which you'd like to specialize and hone your skills, such as investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, growth strategies, and strategic brand management. MBA programs that have earned AACSB accreditation have demonstrated that their curriculum meets established quality standards and prepares students for the workforce.

Online MBA Program Format

Online MBA programs offer convenience and affordability while delivering the same high quality of education as those on-campus. Classes are often taught by the same instructors and industry professionals as those instructing students on campus. In addition, online courses are usually asynchronous, meaning you can participate as your schedule allows, and are conducted over a learning management system (LMS), such as Canvas or Blackboard, to ensure security and privacy.

For more information about studying online, explore our Guide to Starting Your Online Education, where we cover the online learning format.

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MBA Program Admission Requirements

Applying to college for an MBA program is similar to applying for admission to any graduate degree program and typically includes:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Entrance exam scores, including the GMAT or GRE 
  • A completed application and fee of approximately $50
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • A letter or essay of intent
  • Two or more letters of recommendation
  • A resume or CV
  • An interview

Common MBA Program Courses

Common courses across MBA programs support a curriculum that builds strong leadership, effective communication, and comprehensive management skills. While course titles may vary across programs, content is similar to ensure comparable student outcomes no matter where you graduate with your degree.

Building Effective Teams

Lessons are designed to teach group and team behavior theory and processes. This knowledge about the dynamics of teams can help you successfully manage groups and work within various team settings.

Corporate Governance

This course surveys the role of culture and corporate governance as a way to maximize a business' value. Discussions may include the composition of corporate boards, director roles, shareholder rights, executive compensation, and the difficulties of balancing the demands of managers, shareholders, and other stakeholders.

Foundations of Strategy

Instruction intends to provide you with the analytical skills and tools necessary to assess the competitive landscape, build capabilities, and implement business models to create a successful business strategy and sustain competitive advantage.

Negotiations for Managers

Course content aims to give you a competitive edge in negotiations as a manager in a way that reinforces positive work relationships. In addition, opportunities to practice deal-making and conflict resolution can help you understand and apply negotiation theories and concepts.

Sustainable Operations Management

The goal of this course is to familiarize you with the language, concepts, and tools of operations and supply chain management by demonstrating principles and methods of integrating sustainability into an organization. You may analyze real-world models of sustainability for context to observe the relationship between sustainable supply chains and local and global economies in relation to environmental impact and social contribution.

MBA Degree Accreditation

A business school should be institutionally accredited if it has met or surpassed rigorous academic requirements set by a reputable evaluating agency. Additionally, an MBA program may be programmatically accredited, denoting its quality, legitimacy, and trustworthiness. If you enroll in an accredited MBA program, you should receive a quality education that adheres to the highest standards of professional practice.

AACSB Accreditation

The AACSB evaluates business degree programs based on the quality of faculty, curriculum, and academic research innovation it provides to graduate highly qualified business professionals. With approximately 950 accredited members, the AACSB represents the top 5 percent of the world's business degree programs. Companies are aware of AACSB's rigorous accreditation process, and many choose only to hire candidates who have attended a business program accredited by the AACSB.

Companies are aware of AACSB's rigorous accreditation process, and many choose only to hire candidates who have attended a business program accredited by the AACSB.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) can verify accreditation status, and we've also included a list of AACSB-accredited MBA programs below. 

Comprehensive List of AACSB Accredited MBA Programs

Refine Your Search
School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Abilene Christian University $22,356 100% (1 review)
Adelphi University $43,420 Add Review
American University $31,113 100% (3 reviews)
American University - MBA $31,113 Add Review
Anderson University - SC $10,751 100% (1 review)
Appalachian State University $21,408 100% (2 reviews)
Arizona State University $16,820 64% (112 reviews)
Arkansas State University $11,408 75% (4 reviews)
Auburn University $31,160 100% (2 reviews)
Auburn University at Montgomery $17,308 Add Review
Augusta University $20,712 100% (2 reviews)
Babson College $89,550 Add Review
Ball State University $22,616 100% (5 reviews)
Barry University $17,910 Add Review
Baylor University $35,514 Add Review
Bentley University $39,180 Add Review
Boise State University $26,566 100% (1 review)
Boston University $55,502 75% (4 reviews)
Bowling Green State University - Main Campus $15,823 33% (3 reviews)
California State University - Chico $18,744 Add Review
California State University-San Bernardino $17,890 0% (1 review)
Canisius College $15,480 100% (2 reviews)
Carnegie Mellon University $45,909 100% (1 review)
Central Michigan University $17,150 50% (4 reviews)
Clarion University $13,862 75% (4 reviews)
Show All

How to Choose an Online MBA Program

While choosing an MBA program, remember to keep your career goals, learning style, and work-life balance in mind to pick the best option.

In general, the following criteria can help you evaluate online MBA programs you are considering:

Costs and Financial Aid

MBA programs can vary significantly in price. Shop around and make sure that you consider applicable fees, enrollment costs, and tuition.

Course Structure and Delivery

Part-time or full-time? Asynchronous or synchronous online classes? Traditional semesters or accelerated courses? All options are available online, but only you can decide which one suits your lifestyle and learning style.

Graduate Placement

If it is unavailable on the school's website, ask the admissions office for information about graduate job placement. For example, you can inquire about the percentage of students who were able to find work in their chosen field within three to six months after they graduated.

GMAT and GRE Requirements

Many of the best MBA programs require either the GMAT or GRE, so be sure to prepare for and take the necessary exams for admission to your chosen school.

Institutional and Programmatic Accreditation

It is essential to choose an accredited institution and preferably an MBA program recognized by the premier accrediting agency for business degrees, AACSB.

Other Factors To Consider When Choosing an MBA Program

Other factors you may want to consider when choosing an MBA degree program are the school, program culture, and internship opportunities. You can check student reviews or connect with alums through a platform such as LinkedIn to gain insight into the program culture to determine if it suits your nature — just like the workplace, it needs to be a good fit for you. In addition, a program advisor should be able to tell you where they typically place interns for experiential learning experiences. Learning this information is important because you'll want to make sure those are places where you'd be interested in working, and that align with your goals.

Careers for MBA Graduates

An MBA can increase your marketability and chances of meeting your professional goals and prepare you for management roles. Careers for MBA graduates span numerous industries and organizations — any place where a highly-trained skill set in leadership, strategy, change management, and analytics is in need. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 8% job growth in management occupations through 2031, which is above average for all occupations combined. The median annual salary for management jobs is $102,450 as of 2021, the highest out of all major occupational groups. Top executives with an MBA — including chief executive officers and general and operations managers — earn an annual median salary of$98,980 and expect to experience 6% job growth.

FAQs About Online MBA Programs

Which Online MBA Program Is the Best?

The best online MBA program is one that the AACSB accredits, is affordable, convenient, and has high GMAT scores. The programs on our rankings list meet those criteria. We also have information on online MBA programs with high salary scores starting at over $130,000 in the first year after graduation and those that can help you land a prestigious job after graduation.

Is an Online MBA Respected?

Online MBAs are respected as long as they come from accredited programs. While their delivery format is different from a traditional on-campus program, online programs should offer the same quality of education and are worth pursuing. While there's no need to withhold information, you don't have to disclose that you attended online to prospective employers if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Are Online MBAs Difficult?

Any degree can be challenging, especially if you have multiple obligations and responsibilities. However, it can be gratifying, especially if you focus on the future and how a graduate degree can enhance your career. The key is developing good study habits, including staying organized, managing your time well, and seeking help when needed.

Which MBA Is Most in Demand?

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council's 2022 Corporate Recruiters Survey, the top job functions that recruiters plan to hire for in the coming year include strategy/innovation, general management, consulting, marketing, and project management. So general MBAs and those with specializations in general management, marketing, or project management will be in demand. In addition, recruiters from other regions, such as the Middle East and Western Europe, plan to hire international business school graduates, so MBAs with international business specializations will also be marketable.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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