Online MBA Programs & Concentrations in Rhode Island


Rhode Island (RI) might be the smallest state in the US, but it has a fierce independent streak. Part of the original 13 colonies, Rhode Island was founded by those fleeing religious persecution in Massachusetts. It was the first to secede from Great Britain in 1776 and was the last to ratify the Constitution, insisting that the Bill of Rights be added. They were also the only state to vote against the 18th amendment banning the sale of alcohol.

Manufacturing, fishing, agriculture and hospitality are all key industries in Rhode Island, but they are all overshadowed by the key industry in the state: financial services. Providence, the capital of the state, is the heart of the New England financial center. Leading banking and insurance companies are headquartered here including Mutual Insurance and Citizens Financial Group. The state boasts four businesses on Fortune 500’s list of largest companies.

With the cleanest air quality in the nation, and one of the least polluting states, Rhode Island has been ranked number one in the nation for its natural environment by US News & World Report (2019). Over 59 percent of the state is forest providing its residents with ample access to the clean and natural spaces.

Students who choose to complete their online MBA in Rhode Island will find numerous outstanding institutions. These universities offer completely online MBA programs, which afford students the ability to choose when and how they study allowing them to balance careers, family, and school. There are also several hybrid MBA programs that combine online learning with occasional in person courses. Hybrid programs give students the flexibility they want with the networking and community building benefits of in-person classes.

Continue reading to discover which universities offer fully online or hybrid MBA programs, what the admission requirements are, and who some of the outstanding faculty members are at these institutions.

Featured Online MBA Programs in Rhode Island

At Salve Regina University students learn to become the leaders of tomorrow. This fully online MBA program places a strong emphasis on ethics, finance, economics, organizational behavior, and strategic management. Students have the flexibility to complete courses on their own schedule with the support of world-class faculty members.

The mission of the university is to work towards a world that is just, hamonius, and merciful. The MBA program embraces this mission by emphasizing workplace humanization and social purpose as a core part of all curriculum in the program. Students are required to complete 30 core credits and six to nine elective courses depending on the chosen concentration. There are five unique concentrations, which include cybersecurity, healthcare management, social ventures, nonprofit management, and entrepreneurial enterprise.

Students need to complete prerequisite courses in accounting, economics, and math in order to be eligible for admission to the MBA program. Other admission requirements include submitting official undergraduate transcripts, a personal statement, a current resume, two letters of recommendation, and a completed graduate school application. GRE or GMAT scores are not required.

Location: Newport, RI
Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
Expected Time to Completion: Two years
Estimated Tuition: $605 per credit-hour

Bryant University’s College of Business online professional MBA program is geared towards working professionals seeking a flexible degree program. With five start-dates a year, aspiring students who have at least five years of work experience can choose the start date that best suits them. Through this program, students learn how to apply business knowledge, be effective communicators, think ethically, and evaluate decisions with a global perspective.

Prior to starting at Bryant students are required to complete a course called “Strategies for Success,” which prepares them to be successful online learners as well as get an introduction to faculty and staff. Students can complete their required 11 courses in one year.

Required courses include global management, economics, accounting, organizational strategy and leadership, and entrepreneurship. In order to graduate, students also complete a leadership capstone project where students simulate being the leader of a large company and make critical business decisions.

Only professionals with five years of professional work experience can apply for this program. Prospective students also need to submit transcripts from all the schools they have attended, a resume, and a reference from a supervisor or manager. GMAT scores are waived for applicants of this program.

Location: Smithfield, RI
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time to Completion: One year
Estimated Tuition: $2,150 per course

With ten different concentrations, the Johnson & Wales online MBA offers their students the ability to not only choose when they study, but also what they study. Graduates of the program will be valuable assets to any workplace with their keenly developed ability to analyze situations through a business administration lense. Students of this program also have advanced communication skills and an ability to take into account diverse perspectives when making business decisions.

Concentrations at Johnson & Wales include:

  • Finance
  • Global fashion merchandising and management
  • Hospitality
  • Human Resource management
  • Information security
  • Nonprofit management
  • Operations and supply chain management
  • Organizational leadership
  • Organizational psychology
  • Project management
  • Sports leadership

All students complete the same 30 core courses in ethics, finance, management, marketing, and other general business topics. Then they are required to complete nine to twelve credits in their chosen concentration followed by a capstone course.

Semesters run for just eight weeks and students may choose one of six start dates each year. For admission, students are required to submit their transcripts, two recommendations, and a statement of purpose. GMAT or GRE scores are not required.

Location: Providence, RI
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE)
Expected Time to Completion: One year
Estimated Tuition: $763 per credit-hour

Hybrid MBA Programs in Rhode Island

In addition to completely online or strictly on campus programs, some universities offer hybrid programs which blend the two. Hybrid programs combine the flexibility of online learning with occasional in person classes. Students who chose hybrid programs benefit from being able to complete most coursework on their own time, but also get the community-building and networking opportunities of attending classes on campus. Schools in Rhode Island that offer hybrid programs include:

Professors to Know in Rhode Island Business Schools

  • Lori Coakley, PhD Bryant University - College of Business

    One of the outstanding faculty members at Bryant University's College of Business is Dr. Lori Coakley. She is a professor of management and has a special interest in teaching about women in leadership, management theory, and global issues. She holds a PhD in organizational management from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

    In addition to teaching, she is an active participant in the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant, where she runs workshops on leadership, team-building, negotiation, and power and influence. She is the recipient of numerous awards in service, teaching, and leadership, including the Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award.

  • John Krupa, Jr. DBA Johnson & Wales University - College of Online Education

    Dr. John Krupa has been working at Johnson & Wales for more than 20 years. He has filled many roles, including assistant professor and advisor. Currently, he is a professor in the graduate business program and he teaches courses in brand management, entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and ethics. He also sits on numerous committees including the College of Business curriculum committee and the organizational change committee.

    Prior to working at Johnson & Wales, Dr. Krupa worked extensively in operations, sales, and marketing. His experience with managerial roles in food wholesale, jewelry, and coffee makes him a well-rounded professor and his courses pay thought to his expertise and professional background. He holds a master’s of arts in counseling from Rhode Island College and a doctor of business administration from North Central University.

  • Arlene Nicholas, PhD Salve Regina University

    Dr. Arlene Nicholas is not only a faculty member at Salve Regina but also the director of graduate programs. While she teaches courses in economics, business administration, and healthcare administration, she is also actively engaged in research. Her areas of interest include ebook and e-textbook usage, generational studies with a particular interest in Millenials, and electronic monitoring in the workplace.

    She is a prolific author with 12 publications in the last five years in nationally recognized journals such as the Academy of Business Research Journal. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in biology from Salve Regina and has a deep sense of pride in her alma mater.

Kimmy Gustafson
Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy is a freelance writer with a passion for sharing stories of bravery. Her love for world-traveling began when her family moved to Spain when she was six and since then, she has lived overseas extensively, visited six continents, and has traveled to over 25 countries. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. When not writing or parenting she can be found kiteboarding, hiking, or cooking.