25 Best Online MBA Programs 2020
This list highlights the best 25 colleges that offer an online MBA program, ordered by the median starting salaries of MBA graduates from each school. Carnegie Mellon University tops the list with a median starting salary of $127,600. MBA students at University of Massachusetts – Amherst graduated with the lowest median student debt on this list, at $30,750. The range of median salaries for the top 25 schools is $89,900-$127,600.
Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Median Debt||Median Salary|
|#2||Chapel Hill (NC)||$29,423||$75,576||$124,900|
|#3||Los Angeles (CA)||$45,561||$84,916||$122,100|
|#8||Lake Forest (IL)||Not Provided||$43,346||$108,200|
|#9||New Brunswick (NJ)||$31,488||$58,509||$106,800|
|#12||College Park (MD)||$29,484||$68,345||$100,600|
|#15||Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)||$6,462 - $25,888||$50,848||$97,000|
|#17||Salt Lake City (UT)||$25,828||$41,000||$96,400|
|#19||Saint Paul (MN)||$26,185||$46,482||$95,900|
|#22||West Chester (PA)||$21,583||$20,500||$90,600|
|#24||San Francisco (CA)||$18,985||$44,685||$90,300|
2020 Best Colleges Highlights
Learn more about the top colleges for an online Master's in MBA degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.
The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon offers an online MBA degree that features the same curriculum, faculty, and resources as the on-campus degree. The STEM-designated program places emphasis on analytics, strategic decision making, and leadership. The program contains the following key components: core analytics courses, required and elective courses, tracks, leadership development, concentrations, and capstone courses.
Core courses include Probability and Statistics, Statistical Decision Making, Global Economics, and Managing People and Teams. Tracks consist of 8-10 electives and a relevant capstone course and are available in business analytics, energy business, entrepreneurship, management of innovation and product development, and technology strategy and product management. Students must also complete at least one concentration (most complete three to four) from the following options: accounting, business technologies, communications, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, operations research, organizational behavior, strategy, sustainability.
The Leadership Development component includes three core leadership requirements focused on developing students' emotional intelligence. Capstone courses are immersive experiences completed at the end of the program. Some of the available capstone options include strategic leadership exercises, studying abroad, and experiential learning courses. Students will also meet up with their cohort and faculty six times a year for Access Weekends to enhance their personal and professional relationships. Online students receive access to the same services as their on-campus peers. Resources include career coaching, access to student associations, speaking events, corporate presentations, and more.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an online MBA degree through the Kenan-Flagler Business School. The rigorous program allows distance learners to pursue their MBA while balancing other responsibilities. The curriculum provides coursework that develops students' business acumen and advances their leadership skills. The degree requires 62 credits and includes 34 credits of core courses and 28 credits of electives. Core courses include Analytical Tools for Decision Making, Business Strategy, and Leading and Managing. Students can use elective credits to tailor their education to their career goals with a concentration or through a customized plan. Concentrations are available in entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, data analytics and decision making, and strategy and consulting. Students also have the option to complement their education by taking courses through other UNC programs and partner schools.
Students are required to attend at least two Summits during their program. Summits are held in cities across the nation and allow students to explore new ideas and network with peers and faculty members. Students are also able to gain hands-on experience through experiential learning options like study abroad programs or consulting opportunities with real corporations or non-profit organizations.
The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California hosts an online MBA that is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in technology-driven business environments. The comprehensive curriculum examines business fundamentals such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, and accounting. It uses real-world examples to help students develop and refine their communication, collaboration, and decision-making skills. Courses feature asynchronous self-paced work with synchronous elements like interactive classes and video teleconferencing.
The program requires the completion of five courses, beginning with Role of the Manager. This course incorporates a week-long campus residency where students connect with their cohort and faculty and begin to strengthen their managerial and communication skills. The remaining classes are Fundamentals of Business, Opportunity Recognition and Implementation, Managing Inside the Firm, Managing Outside the Firm, and Business Environment & Leadership. During the program, students compile an e-portfolio that features their completed work. Graduates can expect to develop an ethical and global mindset while enhancing their management, critical thinking, interpersonal, and communication skills. Students have access to career services, networking opportunities, optional travel abroad opportunities, and a strong alumni network.
Stevens Institute of Technology is located in Hoboken, New Jersey, directly across the river from New York City. In addition to the programs offered at the physical campus, a variety of certificate and degree programs are available through the online campus, Stevens Online. The School of Business at Stevens offers eight online graduate programs, including an online MBA. The curriculum for this program, which is identical to the one delivered on campus, features collaborative elements such as group presentations and projects and incorporates analytics, innovation, management, and marketing.
The 48-credit program includes prerequisite courses, language of business courses, leadership and innovation courses, analytical thinking courses, electives/concentration, and a capstone course. Students with a business background may be able to waive the prerequisite courses. Students interested in focusing their studies on a specific discipline can choose to apply their elective credits toward a concentration in finance, information systems, corporate innovation, or project management. Courses are delivered both synchronously and asynchronously, so students can choose the format that works best for them. The program aims to produce graduates who are able to utilize new technology and critical thinking to make decisions, solve problems, and find new opportunities. The Office of Career Development provides help with resume writing, interview preparation, and access to exclusive job opportunities.
Auburn University offers an online MBA program through its Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. The online MBA encompasses the same curriculum as the on-campus MBA and features the same professors and assignments. Students can view live class lectures online on their own schedules and collaborate with classmates on discussions and group projects through the school's online learning platform.
Online students complete the degree in two and a half years, on average, but may take up to six years to finish the degree if they wish. Course load each semester is determined by the student, but the order in which classes are taken is determined by the program. Students complete a total of 13 courses, nine of which are core classes like Integrated Business Project & Case Analysis, Financial Analysis, and Marketing & Consumer Theory. Available electives include Big Data, Financial Engineering, Project Management, and E-Commerce. Students can concentrate in either Finance or Information Systems by taking at least three electives in those subjects.
Online MBA students have the opportunity to engage with their online and on-campus classmates in various ways, including at MBA orientation on campus, through a capstone project they work on together, and through a Global Immersion trip.