Best Online MBA Programs

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Contributor, Benzinga
April 13, 2020

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Are you an experienced professional or just starting out in your career? Either way, you may have pinpointed that a Master of Business Administration can help you stand out in the highly-competitive business world.

Either way, an online MBA program from a respected college or university can help you meet your goals. Plus, you can pursue your educational goals without interrupting other areas of your life. 

Let Benzinga help you find a suitable option. 

Why Choose an Online MBA Program

Demanding careers and the option to work when it’s convenient are 2 top reasons why you may opt for an online MBA program. Here are a few other perks: 

Reputable online MBAs include coursework that brings you up to speed on emerging technology, trends and the latest developments in the business world. Being privy to this information can help you be a more innovative and effective leader in your organization.

You can also increase your earning potential by completing an online MBA. Many colleges and universities spotlight the average salary increase for graduates when you complete the program. 

Another significant benefit of an online MBA is the weight it holds in the eyes of employers. If you’re seeking a leadership role, you have a far greater chance of being noticed than a candidate with a bachelor’s degree. Choose a program track that aligns with your career goals. 

How to Choose an Online MBA Program

Many top colleges and universities offer online MBA programs, but how do you know which is best? Be mindful of the following characteristics when narrowing down your options. 


The program you’re considering should be offered by a nationally or regionally accredited institution. It’s important not to overlook this vital factor as students who are enrolled in non-accredited colleges or universities are not eligible for grants or student loans. 

Employers also pay attention to accreditation. Many seek graduates of MBA programs that are AACSB-accredited since it signifies academic rigor and integrity. If the degree is from a non-accredited university, the employer has no way of knowing whether you have the necessary skills and qualifications for the role you seek. 


Some online MBA programs allow you to work at your own pace. Others follow a strict schedule that’s designed for everyone to reach the finish line at the same time.

Need an option that can get you in and out in record time? Look for accelerated MBA programs that you can finish in 18 to 24 months. 

If you want more flexibility, only consider programs that let you tailor your schedule to meet your personal life. It may take you several years to graduate, but it beats rushing through the courses and stressing yourself out to meet pressing deadlines.

Also, be mindful of the specializations offered through each track. You want to confirm that the available selections coincide with your career goals.

Cost of Attendance 

An investment in an online MBA program can pay dividends for years to come. That doesn’t mean you should overpay for tuition and fees, though. When you have your top 3 options picked out, compare tuition and fee schedules to determine which is best for your budget. Steer clear of colleges that implement steep price hikes annually. 

Jobs Waiting for You With an MBA

When you earn an online MBA, you’ll position yourself for a host of rewarding career options. Here are a few. 

Financial Manager 

In this role, you will oversee the finances of an organization and work with management to develop plans that help maximize profits. Other job duties include preparing financial projections and statements, analyzing performance to identify trends and ensuring compliance with legal standards. 

There are many types of financial managers. You can pursue a role as a cash manager, controller, credit manager, finance officer, insurance manager, risk manager or treasurer.

Financial managers earn $127,990 per year, which equates to $61.53 per hour. 

General and Operations Manager

General and operations managers work in a variety of industries in both the public and private sectors. The roles and responsibilities vary by industry and organization, but you can expect to handle the formulation of policies and management of daily operations. You may also work alongside human resources to ensure they are identifying and hiring top talent. 

In 2018, the median salary for general and operations managers was $100,930. 

Marketing Manager 

Marketing managers help organizations garner more exposure for their products and services to boost earnings. They conduct industry research, study competitors and identify ways to better serve customers. Some marketing managers also manage the product development phase and devise strategies to maximize the placement of products and services. 

The average annual salary for marketing managers is $134,290. 

Best Online Colleges for MBA Programs

We’ve taken the guesswork out of finding the best online MBA programs by compiling a list for you. 

Here are Benzinga’s top picks, along with a review of each program to help you pare down your list and make the best choice. 

1. Auburn University 


Earn a Master of Business Administration online through the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University. This popular program can help you stand out in the highly-competitive business world. 

Course instruction and material are delivered via CANVAS. Through the online student learning platform, you can watch live lectures, submit assignments, collaborate with peers on group projects, participate in relevant discussions, access valuable resources and so much more. 

Want to get the most out of your coursework? Stay for another semester to earn a second degree Master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering, information systems or finance.

Tuition for Auburn’s online MBA program is $900 per credit hour. The program requires 39 credit hours to graduate. 

2. University of Florida 


The online MBA program from the University of Florida is a good fit for individuals with demanding work schedules and busy personal lives. You won’t have to choose between your coursework and meeting a deadline at work or attending a loved one’s special event.

It’s offered by the top-ranked Warrington College of Business and comes in 2 formats: 

  • 12-month option: This track is ideal for individuals who earned an undergraduate degree in business in the last 7 years and want to work toward your MBA at an accelerated pace. 
  • 24-month option: Has it been more than 7 years since you earned your business degree? Or maybe you want a program that affords you a ton of flexibility. The 24-month online MBA option may be best. 

UF Online assesses a fee of $129.18 for tuition and fees for Florida residents. Out-of-state students pay $552.62 per credit hour. 

3. Indiana University


The online MBA program from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana is another top-ranked option. You will gain invaluable business knowledge that unlocks the door to a successful career. You won’t have to choose between school and work as the degree program allows you to also meet your career and family obligations. 

In the first year, you will learn the fundamentals of business. Subsequent years of study are dedicated to your specialization and will prepare you for a successful career in the business field of your choice. 

There are 7 specializations to choose from: 

  • Business analytics
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Finance
  • Global supply chain management
  • Information technology management
  • Marketing
  • Strategic management

You can earn a second master’s degree in any of these specializations by completing 12 additional credits.  

Both Indiana residents and non-residents pay $1,380 per credit hour. It takes 2 to 4 years to finish the program. 

4. University of Southern California


Prepare to be a successful business leader in the comfort of your home. Consider an online Master of Business Administration from the Marshall School of Business to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to rise through the ranks. 

This program focuses on core disciplines and emerging topics in the business world. Instructors also delve into analytics, remote team management and virtual communication so you can work effectively in the global marketplace or as a leader in your own organization. 

Classes are led by full-time faculty that also teach in the classroom. They are knowledgeable in many facets of business with several years of valuable experience under their belts. 

The 1st week of the program is held on campus. You will meet faculty members and peers as you work through the first course, GSBA-501: The Role of the Manager. All subsequent classes are held online. 

It’s $1,980 per credit hour for in-state and out-of-state students. 

5. University of Utah


Offered by the David Eccles School of Business, the online Master of Business Administration from the University of Utah will help you flourish in your career. It’s AACSB-accredited and features rigorous courses led by distinguished faculty who know what it takes to succeed in business.

Graduates of the program earn an average salary increase of 34% and 56% land a promotion while enrolled. You could reap the benefits of the online MBA before or immediately following graduation. 

Access your courses 24/7 via your computer or mobile phone through the responsive platform. Plus, digital support is there when you need it.

The cost of attendance is $1,225 per credit hour for residents and non-residents. Tuition and fees are included in this figure. 

6. North Carolina State University 


Consider North Carolina State University if you want an online MBA program that’s extremely flexible. This 40-credit hour program is also accredited by the AACSB. 

The flexible track gives you up to 6 years to work through the program and could be more ideal for those with demanding careers and busy personal lives. It requires you to select an area of interest from the following options: 

  • Biosciences management
  • Financial management
  • Innovation management
  • Marketing management
  • Supply chain management
  • Technology entrepreneurship and commercialization

You can earn your degree in just 21 months with the accelerated track. You may not be able to complete an area of emphasis or choose electives that pique your interest. 

You’ll be required to visit the main campus twice to complete a 3-day residency. 

The cost of attendance is $1,153.88 per credit hour. This figure includes tuition and fees. 

7. Carnegie Mellon University 


The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon features a top-ranked online MBA program that’s worth considering. You will acquire the skills needed to become a more innovative leader in a world that’s continually evolving. 

Instructors also teach in the classroom, so you’ll get the same experience as your peers on campus. The core focal points of the STEM-designated Part-Time Online Hybrid MBA are analytics, strategic decision-making and leadership development. 

As an online student in this prestigious program, you will have the opportunity to connect with your professors and peers 6 times a year through Access Weekends. These events are also ripe with networking opportunities as alumni also attend. 

You will also have access to free leadership coaching through the Accelerate Leadership Center. The Master’s Career Center is there when you need it to assist with career planning, coaching, networking and interview preparation and so much more. 

8. Syracuse University


Get an MBA from a top-ranked university with a vast network of distinguished alumni. Consider the online AACSB-accredited program from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. 

Students are required to complete 54 credit hours — 36 core business credits, 15 elective credits and 3 U.S. or global residency credits. Topics covered in core business courses include accounting, data analysis, economics, finance and organizational leadership. You can choose from a host of intriguing topics for your elective credits like entrepreneurship, Lean Six Sigma, marketing research and project management. 

Also, know that you have the opportunity to choose a specialization for your MBA that fits your career interests. There are 6 options: 

  • Accounting 
  • Business analytics 
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Marketing management 
  • Supply chain management 

You also have the option to complete a few additional courses to earn one of the following dual master’s degrees:

  • Business administration and business analytics
  • Business administration and entrepreneurship
  • Business administration and professional accounting 
  • Business analytics and professional accounting
  • Entrepreneurship and business analytics 
  • Professional accounting and entrepreneurship

It’s $1,620 per credit hour for online MBA students. 

9. University of North Carolina 


You can graduate with your online MBA in just 18 months if you choose the University of North Carolina. The program caters to seasoned working professionals who want a flexible experience that doesn’t disrupt their career and personal life. 

You will complete core coursework and select an area of study for upper-level courses from the following options: 

  • Data analytics and decision making
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance 
  • Marketing
  • Strategy and consulting

Students can tap into the network of over 37,000 Kenan-Flagler alumni to forge impactful relationships and connect with decision makers to climb the corporate ladder. Completing the program can also boost your earning potential as graduates see an average salary increase of 24% at graduation and 39% after 1 year post-graduation. 

Get Started with an Online MBA Program Today 

It’s easier than ever to get started with an online MBA program. Begin your search for the perfect fit by exploring our top recommendations. Take a look at all the benefits each has to offer, narrow down your top picks and make an informed decision that meets your needs, budget and lifestyle. 

Southern New Hampshire University Online

SNHU Online Offers:

  1. Flexible schedules
  2. Affordable tuition
  3. Online tutoring
  4. Access to electronic research materials
  5. Specialized academic advising
  6. Supportive online community