With so many programs available, it can be hard to figure out which online MBA program is truly the best fit for you. There are many factors to consider, from looking at which schools offer the most affordable MBA programs to considering rankings, accreditation and other factors.
Ten Top Online MBA Programs
1. Indiana University
Indiana University's online MBA program has been ranked as the best in the country by U.S. News and Best College Reviews. The Kelley School of Business has been ranked as the 19th best business school in the country by Forbes and the 20th best by MBA50.
With an AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation and a prestigious business school to back it up, Indiana's program deserves the top spot. The program offers dual degree options and elective credit opportunities, so students can complete courses that suit their interests. The entire degree requires 51 credit hours and can be completed in approximately two years.
This program is a great option for professionals - 100 percent of the 2014 student body had full-time work experience prior to enrollment.
2. Arizona State University
Arizona State University's online MBA program is part of the W.P. Carey School of Business, the 44th best business school in the country according to MBA50 and the 60th best according to Forbes. As an online program, Arizona State is ranked as the 3rd best by OnlineMBA, 4th by U.S. News and 3rd by Best College Reviews. The MBA program is accredited by the AACSB and is taught by the same faculty that teach courses on-campus.
This MBA program is completed online, one course at a time over five week terms. Students also have the freedom to choose a concentration in finance, international business, marketing, or supply chain management. The entire program takes approximately 21 months to complete and can be started in either January or August.
Given the nature of the course schedule, Arizona State is another great option for working professionals who would like to further their education while staying in their respective careers.
3. University of Florida
With the MBA50's 49th best business school backing it up, the University of Florida's online MBA program has been highly acclaimed by several rankings. U.S. News and OnlineMBA both rank this program as the 4th best while Best College Reviews has it ranked 3rd. MacQuil also included the University of Florida in their online MBA rankings by placing the program in the 6th slot. With a strong presence in educational rankings and an AACSB accreditation, this program should not be overlooked.
The University of Florida offers two options: a full-time track that can be completed in two years or an accelerated, 16-month track that undergraduate business majors can enroll in. Before applying, students should have at least two years of full-time work experience.
With a 65-student limit, admission can be competitive, so applicants should aim to have a 3.2 GPA average and at least a 600 on their GMAT. Although coursework can be completed online, students are required to come to campus for one weekend every four months.
4. North Carolina State University
Move over UNC, there's another school in North Carolina that deserves this slot. Ranked as 6th best by OnlineMBA, 9th by U.S. News and 12th by Best College Reviews, North Carolina State University's online MBA is beginning to make itself known. With an AACSB accreditation and knowledgeable professors from many fields, this program is worthy of consideration.
The flexibility of this program gives it a strong selling point for why it should be #4 in this list. Students have the ability to complete this degree in as little as 21 months or as long as six years. Courses are also completed almost entirely asynchronously, meaning students can access their classroom and assignments anytime, anywhere.
North Carolina State's program is a particularly great fit for anyone interested in learning about technology in business, whether it be learning about applications, management, or operations.
5. University of North Dakota
Ranked as the 4th best in the country by College Choice, 17th by OnlineMBA, 23rd by Best College Reviews, and 32nd by U.S. News, the University of North Dakota online MBA program offers enticing flexibility and a quality education. As an AACSB accredited program, students can expect to receive their MBA from a well-evaluated business school and institution. With three start dates each year, no campus requirements and only one live class held online every week, students can continue to work while completing their degree.
If the rankings aren't enough to get prospective students excited, the costs just might. With each credit hour costing $392.72 and only 33 to 34 credits being required to complete the program, students can graduate without spending more than $13,000 to $14,000 (as of the 2014-2015 tuition costs). These low costs have given North Dakota the 9th spot in GetEducated.com's Best Buy Online MBA list.
6. Penn State University
Penn State's online MBA program offers perks that students often aren't used to seeing. Ranked as the 8th best in the country by OnlineMBA, 7th by U.S. News, and 8th by MacQuil, this program deserves a top ten spot not just for its positive reputation, but also because of the program format. With an AACSB accreditation and the 26th best business school in the country according to Forbes, Penn State makes a strong presence in the MBA world.
As for the perks, students never have to worry about getting their textbooks ordered or registering for classes because the school's staff takes care of it all. Throughout the two years it takes to complete the program, students will engage in team activities as a way to build knowledge and network. Although there are two required residencies that last for one week each, the majority of the 48 credit hour program can be completed anywhere.
7. Temple University
Temple University's Fox School of Business is ranked as the 59th best in the country by Forbes. With a solid foundation to offer a quality business degree and an AACSB accreditation, Temple's program is tied for 1st place in the U.S. News rankings and places 7th in the OnlineMBA rankings.
Individuals who enroll in this program can expect to complete the 48-credit hour degree in approximately 20 months. Although coursework can be completed asynchronously, students must attend a week-long residency. Required textbooks, software, and the residency stay are included in the program cost, so students do not have to budget additional money to pay for these things. This program would be a great fit for anyone who wants to take one course at a time since Temple students enroll in one course every four weeks.
8. University of Tennessee - Martin
With an emphasis on financial services, the online MBA program at the University of Tennessee-Martin is a great choice for professionals who currently work for or have interest in this field. Accredited by the AACSB and ranked as the 13th best program by College Choice, 14th by Best College Reviews, 18th by U.S. News and 21st by OnlineMBA, this program deserves recognition as one of the best.
For students who are looking for a good value, this program ranks as GetEducated.com's 22nd best buy. With 38 hours to complete, students can expect to pay $582 per credit hour, totaling $22,116 for the entire program. It should also be noted that no campus visits are required and students need to have at least two years of professional experience to be admitted to the program.
9. University of North Texas
The University of North Texas online MBA program provides students with the ability to choose between three concentrations: strategic management, marketing or finance. Ranked as the 16th best online program for an MBA by Best College Reviews and 18th best by OnlineMBA, this 36 credit hour program is a great fit for those who want to expand their business knowledge or develop new skills.
With no minimum work requirements, students can opt to enter this program immediately after finishing their Bachelor's degree. This also gives professionals who want to change careers or learn more about business an opportunity to obtain an MBA without working in the field first.
North Texas is ranked as the 11th best buy by GetEducated.com and has an accelerated option available for students who wish to graduate in 14 months. Both the traditional and accelerated programs are accredited by the AACSB.
10. Auburn University
Auburn's online MBA program is ranked as the 10th best by U.S. News and the 11th best by College Choice. The AACSB accreditation demonstrates the program's dedication to educating and serving students. With no required campus visits, students have full flexibility to complete their courses on their time.
In addition to a quality education, Auburn's online MBA is ranked as the 49th best buy by GetEducated.com. Total tuition costs top out just under $30,000 and financial aid is available.
Choosing the Best Program
With so many quality online MBA programs to choose from, it can be challenging to make a decision. Use these rankings as a guide to discover what you are looking for in a program and then begin narrowing down the options. Remember, deciding on an program is a personal choice, one that has no right or wrong answers.