2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for MBA Programs

By the OnlineU team | Updated 3/10/2021
2020 Most Affordable MBA Masters Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 3/10/2021

With a median annual tuition rate of $7,500, the 25 colleges listed on this page offer the most affordable online MBA programs. Graduates of these programs have the opportunity to enter a growing field with a high salary potential. Of all the major occupational groups tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, management occupations have the highest median annual wage at $105,660. The bureau also expects 505,000 new management positions to emerge over the next decade. On this page, we've included information about choosing an online MBA program, the cost of an online program, and whether an MBA will be worth it for you.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our rankings of the most affordable online master's programs. View our methodology or learn more about OnlineU.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Georgia Southwestern State University $3,855
# 2 #2 Valdosta State University $4,395
# 3 #3 California Coast University $4,485
# 4 #4 Amberton University $4,770
# 5 #5 West Texas A&M University $5,037
# 6 #6 Union College - KY $5,100
# 7 #7 Albany State University $5,400
# 8 #8 Wichita State University $5,434
# 9 #9 Wayne State College $5,561
# 10 (tie) #10 (tie) Missouri State University $5,610
# 10 (tie) #10 (tie) University of Central Arkansas $5,610
# 12 #12 Columbia Southern University $5,670
# 13 #13 Western Illinois University $5,776
# 14 #14 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus $5,838
# 15 (tie) #15 (tie) Aspen University $5,850
# 15 (tie) #15 (tie) United States University $5,850
# 17 #17 Midwestern State University $5,874
# 18 #18 Alcorn State University $6,075
# 19 #19 Southeast Missouri State University $6,205
# 20 (tie) #20 (tie) Abraham Lincoln University $6,300
# 20 (tie) #20 (tie) Grantham University $6,300
# 22 #22 University of the Potomac $6,412
# 23 #23 William Woods University $6,480
# 24 #24 The University of Texas Permian Basin $6,484
# 25 #25 Clayton State University $6,545
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $3,855
Annual Tuition: $3,855
Annual Tuition: $3,855

At Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW), the online Master of Business Administration program requires 30 credits, which most students complete in two years of part-time study. Emphasizing ethics, values, and service orientation, the program is designed to help students build critical-thinking, organizational, and decision-making skills. The curriculum provides a broad foundation in business management, including global business, finance, and marketing. Students can select two electives in... topics such as human resource management, nonprofit marketing, and entrepreneurship.

SW students use the Brightspace learning management system to access course materials, complete and submit homework assignments, and engage in group projects and discussions. Graduate students may be eligible for federal financial aid, as well as some school-sponsored scholarships. The GSW website includes several informative videos on financial aid and distance learning, and online students can utilize the school’s library and IT services.

Prospective students can apply online or by mail. They must submit the application fee, official transcripts from previous bachelor’s and master’s coursework, three letters of recommendation, GRE or GMAT scores, and a medical form along with the application. Deadlines to apply are June 30 for a fall semester start, November 30 for a spring start, and April 30 for a summer start. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a non-business-related field may be required to complete four prerequisite courses in business, accounting, statistics, and finance.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1120
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 604
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 208
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: HR Management, International Business, Managerial Control, Managerial Economics, Marketing Management, Strategic Management

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $4,395
Annual Tuition: $4,395
Annual Tuition: $4,395

Valdosta State University (VSU) offers an online master’s degree in business called the Georgia WebMBA. Students begin with a two-day, on-site orientation in Atlanta, Georgia, and complete the 10 required courses (30 credits) in five consecutive semesters. Course topics explore managerial accounting, finance, information systems, decision analysis, strategy, and more. VSU also offers an online Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration (MBA-HCAD), also for working professionals.... To earn this degree, enrollees must complete a total of 12 courses—nine core courses and three electives. Core courses include Healthcare Economics, Healthcare Strategic Leadership, Marketing Strategy, and Financial Management in Healthcare. MBA-HCAD students must complete a three-credit practicum.

Asynchronous courses are delivered through the Desire2Learn learning management system. Online graduate students may be eligible for federal financial aid, internal scholarships, and employee tuition reimbursement programs. Odum Library resources are available to distance learners.

Interested students should submit their online applications by July 1 for a fall semester start or November 15 for a spring semester start. Applicants will need to submit an application and fee, a separate MBA application, official transcripts, and a resume. Students may be required to complete prerequisites in accounting, financial management, and business statistics.

  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,107
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,886
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (229) 333-5800

Example Classes: Entrepreneurship, Global and International Business, Human Behavior in Organizations, Managerial Accounting, Operations and Supply Chain Management

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration - Georgia WebMBA
  • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Administration
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $4,485
Annual Tuition: $4,485
Annual Tuition: $4,485

The online Master of Business Administration degree at California Coast University is available with four optional areas of concentration: management, health care management, human resource management, and business marketing. To graduate, students must complete 13 core courses and a comprehensive final exam. The curriculum focuses on current theory and best practices in international trade, with a special emphasis on ethical conduct and social responsibility. Students practice building key skills,... such as critical thinking and decision making.

Asynchronous, self-paced coursework is delivered through the school’s learning management system. Students use the system to access course materials, submit assignments, take quizzes, and engage in class discussions. The university offers interest-free payment plans. Active duty military members, veterans, law enforcement officers, firefighters, government employees, and corporate partner employees are eligible for a 10% tuition discount. Incoming students may be able to transfer in up to six credits of master’s-level coursework from other accredited institutions. A writing lab and online library are available for distance learning students.

To apply, interested students can submit their applications, official transcripts, resumes, and other documentation online at any time. As part of the application process, California Coast will determine whether an applicant can receive earned credit for prior work or military experience and whether an applicant needs to fulfill any prerequisites.

  • Online Degrees: 5
  • School Accreditation: DEAC

Example Classes: Financial Management, Human Resource Management, International Business Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing Management, Organizational Behavior

Online Master's Degrees

  • M.B.A
  • M.B.A. Business Marketing
  • M.B.A. Health Care Management
  • M.B.A. Human Resource Management
  • M.B.A. Management
#4
#4

Amberton University

Garland (TX)
Annual Tuition: $4,770
Annual Tuition: $4,770
Annual Tuition: $4,770

Amberton University offers an online Master of Business Administration degree with six possible areas of concentration: accounting, general business, international business, management, project management, and strategic leadership. After completing foundation courses in finance, management, economics, and marketing, enrollees take additional core courses and electives that cater to their personal interests and career goals. Designed for working adults, the 36-credit curriculum builds critical-thinking,... problem-solving, leadership, and interpersonal communication skills. Coursework in the accounting specialization also helps prepare students to sit for the Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) exam in Texas.

At Amberton, graduate students use the Moodle learning management system to access course readings, lecture notes, and assignments. They also interact with peers and faculty through discussion boards. Up to 12 units of graduate work from other accredited institutions may be transferred. Payment plans and deferred payment options are available, and some students may be able to take advantage of employee tuition reimbursement programs. Veterans may be eligible for tuition assistance. Academic advising, library resources, a computer lab, IT tech support, and research assistance are among the student services offered to distance learners.

Interested students should submit their applications and official transcripts online. Accepted students may begin in the summer, fall, winter, or spring term. Students may be required to complete prerequisite courses such as accounting, management, and statistics before starting the program.

  • Online Degrees: 6
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 143
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 544
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (972) 279-6511

Example Classes: Accounting & Finance for Managers, Ethics for Decision Making, Management Processes & Information Systems, Market Structure & Competitive Analysis, Statistical Analysis, Strategic Management

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration - General Business
  • Master of Business Administration - International Business
  • Master of Business Administration - Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Project Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Strategic Leadership
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $5,037
Annual Tuition: $5,037
Annual Tuition: $5,037

The online Master of Business Administration program at West Texas A&M University is designed for working professionals. On average, students complete the program in two years, although enrollees have up to six years to finish the coursework. The curriculum includes core courses in accounting, economics, computer technology, marketing, and international business. Through the selection of electives, students can opt for one of five additional areas of specialization: general business, marketing, management,... healthcare management, and computer information systems. All students must complete 28-30 credits, including a capstone course, to graduate. The College of Business also offers several opportunities for students to gain international experience through study abroad programs.

Completely asynchronous courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, which allows students to access readings, lecture notes, and assignments. Some scholarships are available, and students may also qualify for federal loans or employee tuition assistance.

In addition to application forms and official transcripts, prospective students should submit their goal statements and letters of recommendation through the university’s website. GMAT scores are required, though students may be eligible for a waiver. West Texas A&M employs rolling admissions, and accepted students can begin their studies with the next available class session. Newly admitted students are required to demonstrate their understanding of finance, statistics, and accounting principles before starting the program.

  • Online Degrees: 6
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Acceptance Rate: 61%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,356
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,039
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (806) 651-0000

Example Classes: Data and Information Management, Financial Management of Biotechnology and Health Care, Project Management for the Enterprise, Quantitative Analysis in Business, Seminar in Evolutionary Marketing, Seminar in Organizational Behavior

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Computer Information Systems
  • Master of Business Administration - General Business
  • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
#6
#6

Union College - KY

Barbourville (KY)
Annual Tuition: $5,100
Annual Tuition: $5,100
Annual Tuition: $5,100
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Acceptance Rate: 63%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 153
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 133
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (606) 546-4151

Example Classes: Contemporary Economic Issues, Management Information Systems, Managerial & Leadership Analysis, Marketing for Results

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $5,400
Annual Tuition: $5,400
Annual Tuition: $5,400
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 23%
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Average SATs: 740 -890
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,048
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 229
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (229) 500-3500

Example Classes: Accounting Analysis for Decision Making, Business Policy and Strategic Managment, Economics for Mangers, Municipal Accounting, Organizational Behavior and Effectiveness, Quantitative Methods for Managers

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $5,434
Annual Tuition: $5,434
Annual Tuition: $5,434
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1270
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,272
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 632
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (316) 978-3456

Example Classes: Business Decision Making and Analysis, Consumer Decision-making Process, International Business and Competitiveness, Law and Ethics for Business, Operations Management, Organizational Behavior

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Health Care Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
#9
#9

Wayne State College

Wayne (NE)
Annual Tuition: $5,561
Annual Tuition: $5,561
Annual Tuition: $5,561
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 163
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 498
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (402) 375-7000

Example Classes: Decision Science, Financial Administration, Management Accounting, Managerial Communications, Managerial Economics, Marketing Administration

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Public Accounting
#10
#10

Missouri State University

Springfield (MO)
Annual Tuition: $5,610
Annual Tuition: $5,610
Annual Tuition: $5,610
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Acceptance Rate: 84%
  • Average SATs: 1040 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,048
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,332
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (417) 836-5000

Example Classes: Advanced Financial Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing Management, Organization Strategy and Policy, Organizational Behavior, Quantitative Methods in Business Decision Making

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
#10
#10
Annual Tuition: $5,610
Annual Tuition: $5,610
Annual Tuition: $5,610
  • Online Degrees: 5
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Average SATs: 960 -1160
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 348
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 850
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (501) 450-5000

Example Classes: Accounting for Management Decisions, Financial Decision Making, Information Technology for Managers, Marketing Strategy, Operations Management, Strategic Management

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance
  • Master of Business Administration - Health Care Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Information Management
  • Master of Business Administration - International Business
#12
#12

Columbia Southern University

Orange Beach (AL)
Annual Tuition: $5,670
Annual Tuition: $5,670
Annual Tuition: $5,670
  • Online Degrees: 8
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 22%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 14,364
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 5,670
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (251) 981-3771 x1278

Example Classes: Advanced Marketing, Business Ethics, International Business, Management Information Systems, Organizational Research and Theory, Strategic Management & Business Policy

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration-Entrepreneurship
  • Master of Business Administration-Finance
  • Master of Business Administration-Health Care Management
  • Master of Business Administration-Human Resource Management
  • Master of Business Administration-Marketing
#13
#13
Annual Tuition: $5,776
Annual Tuition: $5,776
Annual Tuition: $5,776
  • Online Degrees: 12
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 589
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 472
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (309) 295-1414

Example Classes: Applied Business forecasting and Planning, Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis, Corporate Information Systems, Decision Making for Global Markets, Economics for Managers, Financial Management: Theory and Practice

Online Master's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business in Accountancy/Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Business in Economics/Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Business in Management/Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Business in Supply Chain Management/Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration/Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
#14
#14
Annual Tuition: $5,838
Annual Tuition: $5,838
Annual Tuition: $5,838
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 900 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,514
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 917
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (575) 562-1011

Example Classes: Accounting for Managers, Law, Ethics and Social Responsibility, Managerial Economics, Managerial Finance, Managerial Research Analysis, Strategic Management

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration in Accounting
#15
#15

Aspen University

Denver (CO)
Annual Tuition: $5,850
Annual Tuition: $5,850
Annual Tuition: $5,850
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 0%
  • Graduation Rate: 0%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,413
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,356
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (303) 333-4224

Example Classes: Business Ethics, Business Finance, Management, Managerial Accounting, Managerial Economics, Strategies for Change

Online Master's Degrees

  • M.B.A.
  • M.B.A. in Finance
  • M.B.A. in Information Management
  • M.B.A. in Project Management
#15
#15

United States University

National City (CA)
Annual Tuition: $5,850
Annual Tuition: $5,850
Annual Tuition: $5,850
  • Online Degrees: 9
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 0%
  • Graduation Rate: 0%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 94
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,097
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Phone #: (619) 876-4250

Example Classes: Cross-Cultural Management, Managing Organizational Change and Innovation, Marketing Strategy, Operations Management and Decision Models, Project Management Essentials, Talent Acquisition, Performance, and Behavior

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Business Analytics
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance
  • Master of Business Administration - Human Resources
  • Master of Business Administration - Information Technology
  • Master of Business Administration - International Business
#17
#17

Midwestern State University

Wichita Falls (TX)
Annual Tuition: $5,874
Annual Tuition: $5,874
Annual Tuition: $5,874
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Acceptance Rate: 81%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1120
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 825
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 511
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (940) 397-4000

Example Classes: Advanced Applied Business Statistics, Cost Analysis and Control, Current Issues in Organizational Behavior, Financial Administration, Information Technology Management, Seminar in Marketing 

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration - Energy Management
#18
#18

Alcorn State University

Alcorn State (MS)
Annual Tuition: $6,075
Annual Tuition: $6,075
Annual Tuition: $6,075
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Average SATs: 800 -970
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 237
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 313
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (601) 877-6100

Example Classes: Business Policy and Strategy, Financial Institutions, Futures, Options and Other Derivative Securities, Marketing Analysis, Organizational Behavior and Development, Tax Planning for Management Decisions

Online Master's Degrees

  • Executive Master of Business Administration in Gaming and Hospitality Management
  • Master of Business Administration
#19
#19
Annual Tuition: $6,205
Annual Tuition: $6,205
Annual Tuition: $6,205
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,223
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 481
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (573) 651-2000

Example Classes: Acquiring & Compensating Talent, Improving Team Performance, Integrated Decision Information Systems, International Business Strategies, Strategic Cost Management, Topics in Entrepreneurship

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration - General Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Health Administration
#20
#20

Abraham Lincoln University

Los Angeles (CA)
Annual Tuition: $6,300
Annual Tuition: $6,300
Annual Tuition: $6,300
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 67%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 54
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 171
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (213) 252-5100

Example Classes: Business Ethics, Management, Managerial Accounting, Managerial Economics, Marketing Management, Strategies for Change

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Concentration in Coaching
#20
#20

Grantham University

Kansas City (KS)
Annual Tuition: $6,300
Annual Tuition: $6,300
Annual Tuition: $6,300
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 22%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 5,896
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,183
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (800) 955-2527

Example Classes: Business Ethics, eBusiness, Management, Marketing Management, Quantitative Analysis, Strategies for Change

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Information Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Project Management
#22
#22

University of the Potomac

Multiple Locations
Annual Tuition: $6,412
Annual Tuition: $6,412
Annual Tuition: $6,412
  • Online Degrees: 13
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 31%
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 56
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 42
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE

Example Classes: Human Capital Management, Human Resource Law, Legal Aspects of Management, Managing Change, Managing Organizational Diversity, Project Management Structure and Culture

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance
  • Master of Business Administration - Geospatial Intelligence
  • Master of Business Administration - Health Care Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Hospitality and Tourism
#23
#23
Annual Tuition: $6,480
Annual Tuition: $6,480
Annual Tuition: $6,480
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Acceptance Rate: 75%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 180
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 388
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (573) 642-2251

Example Classes: Entrepreneurial Planning and Design, Financial Decisions, Human Resources & Organizational Behavior, Legal Environment of Business, Goverment and Society, Management Systems, Managerial Ethics

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Global Business
  • Master of Business Administration - Small Business
#24
#24
Annual Tuition: $6,484
Annual Tuition: $6,484
Annual Tuition: $6,484
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1133
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,827
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 589
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (432) 552-2020

Example Classes: Analytical Models for Decision-Making, Business Research Methods, Financial Management, International Business, Legal Environment of Business, Strategic Management

Online Master's Degrees

  • MBA
  • MBA - Finance Concentration
#25
#25
Annual Tuition: $6,545
Annual Tuition: $6,545
Annual Tuition: $6,545
  • Online Degrees: 7
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 30%
  • Acceptance Rate: 42%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,153
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 275
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (678) 466-4000

Example Classes: Accounting for Managerial Decision Making, Corporate Finance, Decision Making Under Uncertainty, Global Strategic Management, Innovation and Design Thinking, Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration in Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration in Digital Marketing
  • Master of Business Administration in General Business
  • Master of Business Administration in Human Resource Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration in International Business

Choosing an Online MBA Program


According to the National Center for Education Statistics, an MBA is the most popular of all master’s degree programs. Recent statistics available from the 2017-2018 school year show that more than 192,000 people earned MBAs in that year alone, a number that continues to increase. Earning an MBA degree equips graduates with specialized knowledge and skills that may give them a competitive edge in the job market.


Are Online MBAs More Affordable?

In general, yes, an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) is more affordable than a traditional MBA. When looking at a school that offers both online and in-person MBA programs, the cost difference between the two may be significant or minimal, depending on the school. At Purdue University, for example, the tuition fees for an Executive MBA from the Krannert School of Business total $85,000, compared to its online MBA program at $36,860. Southern New Hampshire University’s on-campus cost per graduate credit is $700, while its online cost per graduate credit is $627, which amounts to a savings of $2,190 for a 30-credit program. Distance learning removes expenses related to transportation and living on or near campus, and it generally doesn’t require a student to quit working while pursuing a degree the way a traditional education sometimes can.


What factors should I consider when choosing an online MBA program?

Many factors go into selecting the best online MBA program for a student’s individual needs. For many, tuition is the most important consideration, but during a school search, students may also want to research each school’s financial aid options and other student resources. Additionally, students often select a school that offers the particular concentration or elective courses they are interested in pursuing to achieve their professional goals.

Students may have a preference for how their online courses are delivered. Some programs offer hybrid course delivery, with requirements completed online and in person. Other programs are fully online. In addition, students may have a preference about the style of their individual courses. Synchronous classes are live while asynchronous courses allow students to watch lectures and complete coursework on their own schedule.

Finally, accreditation is an important factor to consider. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits online MBA programs and ensures that the curriculum and faculty meet predetermined standards of excellence in higher education.


Is an Online MBA Taken Seriously?

Students may wonder whether an online MBA is worth pursuing or if they will lose any advantages that graduates of traditional programs might have.

The answer is that yes, for the most part, today’s recruiters, human resource directors, and hiring managers understand that an online degree from a reputable, accredited university is the equal of a traditional degree. If an online master’s in business program has been regionally accredited, it shows that the curriculum has been evaluated and proven to meet the same accepted standards for academic rigor as on-campus programs. It also demonstrates that courses are taught by competent, experienced instructors, and that students are reaching desired learning outcomes, such as developing specific skills and abilities relevant to the degree. Some hiring managers may even appreciate the stamina and determination that goes into earning a degree online, especially if the student maintained a full-time job in the process.


Common Online MBA Courses and Concentrations

The following are a list of common core courses for an online MBA degree. Many of these can be taken either as a standalone course or as a concentration.

  • Finance: Sometimes referred to as managerial finance, finance is a required course in most online MBA degree programs. Coursework focuses on the practical application of financial concepts, enabling future managers to make sound financial decisions. Topics covered include financial analysis, capital investment decisions, and the valuation of financial and real assets. The curriculum for an MBA with a concentration in finance might include core and elective courses in financial markets, quantitative modeling, and fintech (the application of technology to financial services).
  • Financial Accounting: At the master’s degree level, students taking this course learn to interpret numbers, evaluate the financial health of an organization, and predict likely outcomes for financial decisions. The program curriculum for a specialization in financial accounting includes courses in managerial accounting, taxation, and auditing. In some cases, the curriculum is designed to prepare students to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). According to PayScale, CPAs earn anywhere from $56,000 to $140,000 annually.
  • International Business: International business provides a broad survey of key concepts such as cultural and political forces, world economics, theoretical frameworks, and government involvement in business. Students pursuing an MBA in international business will study management, economics, finance, and marketing from the perspective of global organizations. Some programs may offer elective courses in business law, supply chain management, cultural studies, or global operations, and may require a capstone project.
  • Management Information Systems: A class in management information systems covers IT hardware and software, network administration, database administration, and telecommunications. People interested in assuming leadership roles in the field of technology may consider a concentration in this topic. The curriculum combines many elements of a general MBA program with specialized IT courses. The median annual salary for IT managers in 2019 was $146,360, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Marketing Management: The fundamentals of marketing are intertwined with many other facets of an organization’s operations, and this course offers students a broad overview of marketing management principles. Topics include strategic planning, buyer behavior, target markets, positioning, and pricing. Students pursuing an MBA in marketing may be required to take 12 or more credit hours of courses such as consumer behavior and market data analysis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, the current median annual salary for a marketing manager is about $136,000.
  • Operations Management: Operations management (OM) involves the systems and processes used to produce and deliver goods and services. Online OM courses focus on applying concepts like data analytics, lean management, and quality management to improving an organization’s operations. Students pursuing an OM concentration will also study topics such as supply chain management, forecasting, process design, and strategy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, operations managers typically earn six-figure incomes with median annual salaries near $123,000.
  • Organizational Behavior: Organizational behavior focuses on people—how they interact with each other and their work environments. In general, a class on organizational behavior will look at the impact individuals, groups, and organizational structures have on human behavior in the workplace. Among the many topics covered are motivation, conflict, leadership, and change management.

Is it too late for me to go back and earn an MBA?

The right time to return to college is entirely dependent upon a person’s goals. Looking at return on investment (ROI), however, can help. ROI compares the amount of money a person is likely to earn by getting a degree to the amount of money spent on obtaining that degree. Younger college students can typically expect a higher ROI after completing a full-time MBA program. Once they return to the workforce, they have more years to leverage a graduate degree into career advancement and increase their earnings.

Professionals who earn their MBA at a later age may consider ROI more heavily, weighing how many more years they plan to be working and factoring that into potential earnings. Nevertheless, although the average starting age for all MBA students is 28, there is evidence to suggest that students in their 30s, 40s, and beyond are choosing to earn MBAs, especially through online programs.

For this reason, prospective students interested in pursuing an MBA while continuing full-time work may consider an Executive MBA program. Enrollment is usually limited to business professionals who’ve been in the workplace for at least five years. The accelerated coursework in these programs is specifically designed to capitalize on students’ first-hand work experience and contribute to their career goals.

There are additional factors to consider beyond ROI. A later-in-life degree may allow someone to pivot their career into something more rewarding and fulfilling. Further, some individuals are motivated to earn a graduate degree for the sake of specialized knowledge, personal interest, and a sense of accomplishment.


Cost of an Online MBA Degree


The cost of an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can vary widely. For the 25 schools on our most affordable online MBAs list, the total cost of tuition for a 2-year program ranges from $7,710 to $13,090. Georgia Southerwestern State University is the most affordable school offering an online MBA program, with an annual tuition of $3,855. When students widen their search beyond the most affordable schools, they'll find online programs that can total as much as $107,000 or more.

To compare program costs, it's also helpful to consider per-credit tuition fees. In general, an MBA requires the completion of 30 semester credits (and more if the student needs to take prerequisite courses). For the most affordable online MBA programs, cost per credit ranges from $257 to $385.

There are various factors that are not reflected in tuition rates that students may need to consider, like:

  • Costs of books and other supplies
  • Annual and one-time-only fees charged by many schools, such as for the application, technology, and graduation fees
  • Childcare, for students who have small children at home
  • Interest that will need to be paid on a student loan, if that type of financing is needed
  • Costs associated with on-site meetings, including transportation and accommodations, as some graduate programs require students to be on campus for orientation and/or practicums, workshops, and conferences

However, MBA students may be able to offset the cost of their online degrees in several ways. For instance, some newly admitted students may be able to obtain credits from previous work experience, military service, or other professional training. They may also demonstrate their knowledge of certain subjects on assessment exams, which can reduce the number of prerequisite and required courses needed to graduate. Additionally, some online MBA students may qualify for scholarships, fellowships, grants, and tuition discounts—forms of financial assistance that don’t need to be paid back. We've provided additional information about funding an online MBA program below.


Funding an Online MBA Degree

Students returning to graduate school to enroll in online MBA programs typically have the same financial aid options available to them as students of other programs. Financial aid types that do not have to be repaid, such as grants, scholarships, fellowships, and work-study programs, are preferred. If necessary, however, online students enrolled in reputable schools can consider applying for low-interest federal or private loans.

Some MBA students may also be eligible for full or partial tuition reimbursement programs through their employers. These programs may entail meeting certain criteria, such as maintaining minimum GPA requirements or committing to remain with the organization for a specified amount of time after completing the MBA. Some individuals who are currently or were formerly employed by the U.S. armed forces may also qualify for financial aid through scholarships or tuition discounts in honor of their military service.

Among the many scholarships and fellowships available to applicants pursuing online MBA degrees are the Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award and the Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship, which are open to all MBA students. Some private and professional organizations also extend funding to applicants who fit a certain demographic profile. The Forte Foundation, for example, offers MBA scholarships to women, and the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans provides funding to immigrants and children of immigrants. Many scholarships offer awards in the range of $1,500 to $5,000, and these can be combined with other scholarships or forms of financial aid to offset the total cost of online education.


Is Getting an Online MBA Worth It?


Because pursuing a degree is a significant financial and time investment, students may wonder whether an MBA will be worth it overall.

Looking strictly at earning potential, the answer to this question seems to be a resounding yes. Data from a 2020 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reveals that newly graduated MBA holders earn average annual salaries approximately $20,000 higher than their bachelor’s-degree holding counterparts. Multiplied over a lifelong career and factoring in the potential for advancement, the increase in earnings may be alluring.

It's important to consider additional factors in order to make a more balanced and informed decision about pursuing an online MBA. The true value of a graduate degree in business has been up for debate in recent years, with both sides urging prospective students to look at the bigger picture. Critics say there are a few factors that can make an MBA a poor investment: the high cost of earning a degree, the increasing number of MBA degree holders within a limited job market, and the possibility that MBAs will be less beneficial in a post-COVID-19 workplace. While it is true that MBAs can be expensive, there are ways to make them more affordable, such as by looking for schools on our most affordable ranking list or considering options for additional funding. And while there may be downsides to earning an MBA for some, many people find them beneficial for networking and career advancement.

For those who do wish to pursue an MBA degree, there are benefits to doing so online, including:

  • Specialization Opportunities: Selecting an MBA with a concentration provides students with highly targeted, relevant understanding and expertise in some aspect of business. Because students have so many online MBA programs to choose from, they are more likely to find a program that aligns with their particular interests. Possible concentrations include health care administration, human resource management, marketing, and general business.
  • Flexible Schedules: Online graduate programs are designed specifically for working adults, which means that enrollees do not have to give up their jobs and lose several years of career traction while they earn a degree. Most programs offer primarily asynchronous courses, and students often have the option to adjust their course loads from one semester to the next to allow for other commitments in their work and personal lives.
  • Skills Gained: The coursework, as well as the challenges of going to school online while maintaining a job, help build valuable skills in critical thinking, organization, collaboration, and written and verbal communication. Studying business with a group of peers who are currently employed in a variety of industries allows students to apply theoretical knowledge to contemporary, real-world situations. In addition, the completion of an online degree demonstrates a student’s level of personal commitment and perseverance to employers.

A graduate degree in business is not the right path for everyone. The decision to pursue an advanced degree depends on many personal factors, from a student's financial situation to their obligations and career goals. Yet for those who aspire to higher-level management positions, earning an MBA, especially online, can be an effective means of obtaining the credentials, knowledge, and skills needed to land advanced jobs in the future. Perhaps this explains why the MBA is still the most popular graduate degree program, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.