AACSB-Accredited Online MBA Programs
A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) can revolutionize the career of an aspiring entrepreneur or executive, and the benefits of obtaining an MBA are vast.
MBA holders can acquire transferable skills, additional business specializations, and have access to higher employment rates and valuable networking opportunities, according to an article in U.S. News & World Report (April 2016).
Of course, obtaining an MBA requires an immense amount of work and a significant time commitment. Fortunately, many highly respected business schools nationwide have begun offering flexible online and traditional MBA programs, many of which allow students to study where they choose—rarely or never requiring them to set foot on campus. In light of this, those searching for an MBA to fit into their busy schedule may wish to consider the various online programs available. However, with so many options, it can be difficult to know which school is offering a first-rate education.
Aspiring applicants are encouraged to search for a program that has received accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), one of the major accrediting organizations in the United States. Accreditation from the AACSB shows that a school has met specific standards regarding education, management of finances, the provision of student services, and much more. In short, accreditation from an established organization such as the AACSB is synonymous with quality.
Aspiring business graduate students are advised to examine the wealth of programs available. However, this guide explores schools nationwide that offer AACSB-accredited online and flexible MBA programs, as well as three renowned professors from schools providing these programs.
Featured AACSB-Accredited Online MBA Programs
The flexible MBA at Johns Hopkins can be completed part-time while students continue to work. Students can concentrate in financial businesses, healthcare management, or leading organizations. They choose between on-site, online, or hybrid classes according to their needs. The program can be completed in as little as two-years-and-a-half and up to six years; the average length is three-years-and-a-half.
Students take 30 credits of business foundations classes, including business communications, negotiation, business law, economics for decision-making, statistical analysis, investments, and marketing management, among others. Electives include fixed income, cybersecurity, data analytics, design thinking, and global strategy. While most of the program can be completed online, students must attend three weekend residencies.
|Location: Baltimore, MD|
|Tuition: $1,330 per credit|
|Time to Completion: Three years|
UNC’s online MBA program is notably customizable, offering five concentrations to its students. Students can pick between finance, strategy and consulting, marketing, data analytics and decision making, and entrepreneurship. Students benefit from live, online classes with a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio.
The program is broken down into 66 credits of core, elective, and cross-university courses. Core courses include analytical tools, business communication, and financial accounting, among others. Electives include an introduction to entrepreneurship and information for decision-making. Cross-university courses include graduate-level instruction from other top schools such as George Washington University, the University of Southern California, and Washington University.
The program is mostly online other than one required three-day immersion where students travel to business centers around the world to work with and learn from global companies. While students are not required to have a minimum GPA, they must have at least two years of professional experience before being accepted into the program.
|Location: Chapel Hill, NC|
|Tuition: $1,728 per credit-hour|
|Time to Completion: 18 to 36 months|
The MBA@American is a 48-credit program that can be completed mostly online with two in-person immersions. The program is offered at an accelerated pace through five modules of three classes each, which can be completed in 15 months, or at normal MBA pace through eight modules of two classes each, which can be completed in two years.
Students take 12 core courses and three electives. Courses include brand strategy, financial statement analysis, forensic accounting, fraud examination, litigation support, and more. Students must also complete two immersions to graduate, which can be completed in many locations around the world. Previous immersions have been held in Brussels, San Francisco, and New York. Upcoming immersions will take place in Chicago, Madrid, and Beijing. There is also one immersion each year in Washington D.C. at the school’s campus. While work experience is not required for admission, it is taken into consideration.
|Location: Washington, D.C.|
|Tuition: $1,642 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 15 months or 24 months|
The online MBA program at Saint John’s University combines technology, analytics, research, and case studies for interdisciplinary education in business administration. The program can be completed in 18 months full-time or over three years part-time. The 36-credit program consists of 27 core credits and nine concentration credits. Students have three options for concentrations: interdisciplinary business, taxation, or risk management and insurance.
In the core courses, students learn about global financial and managerial reporting; business analytics; industrial economics; financial management; risk management; decisions in marketing management; managing for global success; and law, ethics, and the principled path in business. They also complete a capstone and seminar in business strategy at the end of the program.
While most of the coursework is online, all new graduate students are required to attend a three-day workshop at the beginning of the program. The Tobin Graduate Intensive Foundations workshop is designed to provide foundational background in quantitative analytical skills of business studies, while also offering students the opportunity to connect with their peers and professors.
Students must have at least a 3.25 GPA to apply. Work experience is not required; however, two to four years of relevant work experience is preferred.
|Location: Queens, NY|
|Tuition: $1,215 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 24 months|
Students enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Maryland can benefit from an extensive alumni network, more than 60,000 worldwide. The Smith online MBA was ranked in the top ten online MBA programs in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. The program offers a general MBA track or specializations in finance, accounting, marketing, information systems and business analytics, and supply chain management.
The program consists of 54 credits dispersed across foundation courses, electives, and two on-campus residencies. Students begin the program with a residency to learn the fundamentals of business; then, they take online classes in leadership, entrepreneurship, corporate finance, and organizational change, among many others. They conclude the program with a campus-based residency incorporating everything they learned throughout the program. Students do not have to have previous work experience but two years in business is highly recommended.
|Location: College Park, MD|
|Tuition: $1,555 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 24 months|
Villanova’s online MBA program has won several recognitions for its excellence. The U.S. News & World Report ranked it in the top online MBA programs in the country and one of the best programs of its kind for veterans. Bloomberg Businessweek also ranked Villanova’s School of Business among the top business schools in the country.
The 48-credit program is designed for working professionals and can be customized through several specialization tracks in finance, marketing, analytics, strategic management, and international business. Students can also choose to take the general track. Courses include ethical business practices, global economy, information technology as a strategic lever, and corporate finance.
All students take three credits of fundamentals, including an on-campus leadership residency. They also complete 15 credits of functional courses, six credits of VSB pillars, and nine credits of capstones, including an on-campus global practicum, which is not required but encouraged. The last 15 credits comprise electives, which are offered according to each student’s concentration of choice.
Students must submit an up-to-date resume and GMAT scores, as previous work experience and schooling are factored into the school’s decision for admission.
|Location: Villanova, PA|
|Tuition: $1,350 per credit-hour|
|Time to Completion: Two years|
The Miller College of Business MBA degree was ranked among the top 20 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Students in this program may choose to focus on one of five different concentrations, including entrepreneurship, finance, logistics and supply chain management, sales management, or health economics, policy, and administration. This 30 to 33-credit-hour program allows for an incredible degree of flexibility for students. It can be completed entirely online, entirely in-person, or a mixture of both; allows for full- or part-time study; and can be started in the fall, spring, or summer semester. Additionally, students who aren’t quite ready to start the MBA program can complete a certificate in fields such as business essentials for professionals, professional sales management, or health economics, policy, and administration.
|Location: Muncie, IN|
|Tuition: $18,480 for 30 credits of study|
|Time to Completion: Two years|
The College of Business at East Carolina University offers an online MBA program that is delivered asynchronously, meaning that students are never required to be signed in at a time that doesn’t fit into their schedule. That said, students can connect with their classmates and professors through interactive chat rooms, emails, and threaded discussions. The school also offers both on-campus and hybrid MBA options for students who wish to attend classes in-person. Overall, all three MBA programs require students to complete 54 credit-hours of study. However, a significant portion of these can be waived for students who completed an undergraduate degree in business.
|Location: Greenville, NC|
|Tuition: $33,621.06 for out-of-state students studying online|
|Time to Completion: Three semesters or more for full-time students|
The College of Business MBA program at Missouri State University has received several accolades for its affordability and flexibility. The U.S. News and World Report ranked it as a top online MBA program as well as one of the top 10 online business schools with low out-of-state tuition.
Students can tailor the program to fit their needs. They can study entirely online or choose to take day or night courses in-person. This 33-credit-hour program can also be paired with additional graduate certificates that focus on computer information systems, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, finance, financial analysis, international business, leadership, management, or marketing. The school also provides an executive MBA program, although this is only offered to a cohort of students who already have significant business experience.
|Location: Springfield, MO|
|Tuition: $12,357 in-state, $21,300 out-of-state, $10,890 online|
|Time to Completion: Two years|
MBA students at Sam Houston State University have the option of completing a degree either online; at the Huntsville campus; at the Woodlands Center campus; or in a mixture of all three. Alternatively, students may also choose to complete an executive MBA in banking and financial institutions, which requires them to participate in two in-residence sessions that each last two weeks; the rest of the EMBA is offered online. Both programs consist of 36 credit-hours (27 hours of core coursework and nine hours of electives), and the traditional MBA can be completed in as little as four semesters, although the school encourages students with a full-time job to aim for a completion time of two years.
|Location: Huntsville, TX|
|Tuition: $14,247 for students taking six credits per semester|
|Time to Completion: Between four semesters and two years|
At the Rankin College of Business at Southern Arkansas University, students can complete an MBA degree from the fastest-growing university in the state. This program is available either online or on-campus and during the day or night—and all online classes are taught by the same faculty as the on-campus classes. Students have the option of specializing in topics such as agriculture business, social entrepreneurship, or supply chain management. This 33-credit-hour program includes 24 credits of core coursework and nine hours of electives. It can be completed in two years for students who are taking two classes per semester, including the summer.
|Location: Magnolia, AR|
|Time to Completion: Two years|
UHV’s MBA program is the third-largest MBA program in Houston and has been ranked as one of the most affordable programs nationwide. Students enrolled in this MBA program have the opportunity to pursue either a global or a strategic MBA, which can be completed entirely online; at an associated campus in Katy, Texas; or through a mixture of both. Students who possess an undergraduate degree in business, or other relevant coursework, may be exempt from completing foundational classes and may be allowed to complete only 30 credit-hours of study. In addition, students have the option of choosing between one of many concentrations, including accounting, entrepreneurship, economic development, finance, human resources management, marketing, or international business.
|Location: Victoria, TX|
|Tuition: $22,436.10 for non-residents|
|Time to Completion: As little as 18 months|
This online MBA degree was ranked among the “Top Colleges for Value” in 2018 by the SR Education Group. Students in this program are required to take eight core courses, as well as six semester-hours of elective hours in the field of business administration or nine semester hours of electives in an approved MBA concentration, such as criminal justice, educational leadership, gerontology, nursing health care, psychology, or public administration.
|Location: Monroe, LA|
|Tuition: $4,758.03 per semester for nine credit-hours|
|Time to Completion: 18 months for full-time students|
UMass Lowell’s Robert J. Manning School of Business online MBA program was ranked one of the best programs of its type in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report. Lots of flexibility is offered to all students, who have the option of completing the degree entirely online or in a hybrid manner with both online and on-campus courses. This program consists of 30 to 42 credit-hours, depending on the student’s background. Students may also choose between seven focus areas during their studies, which include accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, information technology, international business, managerial leadership, or marketing.
|Location: Lowell, MA|
|Tuition: $19,650 for 30 credit-hours of study|
|Time to Completion: Can be completed in as little as one year, although part-time study is available|
The online MBA at Pepperdine has been recognized by the U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review as one of the best online MBAs in the country. Students can concentrate in one of four specializations: marketing, finance, leadership and managing organizational change, and general management. They can continue working while enrolled in the program, and graduate in as little as two years.
The 52-credit curriculum is broken down into 15 courses taken over six 14-week trimesters. These courses include behavior in organizations, integration in business operations, prices, profit, the market economy, and more. Students must also complete an on-campus weekend residency as part of the personal and leadership development course. To apply, students must have a bachelor’s degree with an acceptable GPA and official transcripts, as well as at least two years work experience.
|Location: Malibu, CA|
|Tuition: $1,715 per credit-hour|
|Time to Completion: Two years|
Professors to Know in AACSB-Accredited Online MBA Programs
Dr. Sandra Richtermeyer has more than 25 years of higher education experience, including more than 12 years in academic leadership roles. She is currently the dean of the Robert J. Manning School of Business at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where her teaching and research interests are in corporate governance, accounting information systems, and nonprofit and governmental accounting. Notably, Dr. Richtermeyer has spent more than 20 years serving on boards as well as technology- and accounting-related advisory committees. She was awarded the 2013-14 “Ohio Accounting Educator of the Year” and the 2011 American Women’s Society of CPAs “Educator of the Year.”
Dr. Sushil Sharma has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. He holds two doctoral degrees and is currently an associate dean of the Miller College of Business at Ball State University, where he also serves as a professor of computer information systems. Dr. Sharma has co-authored and edited 12 books and published more than 90 research papers in reputable journals in the MIS (management of information systems) field, such as Decision Support Systems, the European Journal of Information Systems, the Journal of Information Privacy & Security (JIPS), and Information Management and Computer Security. Dr. Sharma’s research interests focus on computer information systems security, e-government, human-computer interaction (HCI), and community and social informatics, among many others.
Dr. Ronald L. Coulter is the head of the marketing department at the Missouri State University College of Business, where he has taught courses on marketing research and research issues and problems, among others. His research and professional interests include marketing segmentation applications and travel, tourism, and leisure market analysis. His published work has appeared in the Journal of Transportation Management and the Journal of Business Research. Dr. Coulter has also received many awards, includingthe Journal of Business Research “Outstanding Reviewer Award” in 2012 and the “Outstanding Reviewer Award” for the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science in 1993.