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 graduates often possess marketable skills that help them get a promotion at work, according to an article in U.S. News & World Report (May 2021). MBA graduates also earn relatively higher compensation.
Of course, obtaining an MBA requires an immense amount of work and a significant time commitment. Fortunately, with colleges and universities’ increasing move toward online programs, this is no longer necessary. Instead, 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—never requiring them to be 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, it can be difficult to know which school is offering a first-rate education with so many options.
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. This guide explores fifteen schools nationwide that offer AACSB-accredited online and flexible MBA programs, and profiles some renowned professors from schools providing these programs.
|Featured AACSB-Accredited Online MBA Programs|
|Pepperdine University||Online MBA||View Full Profile|
|University of North Carolina||MBA@UNC Online MBA||View Full Profile|
|Syracuse University||Online MBA||View Full Profile|
|American University||MBA@American Online MBA||View Full Profile|
Featured AACSB-Accredited Online MBA Programs
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. Villanova’s online MBA has also been ranked in the top ten among programs in the annual Poets & Quants ranking. This online MBA offers the same curriculum, is taught by the same faculty members, and has the same admissions standards as the campus-based program.
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.
The program includes a 1.5-credit on-campus leadership residency. Students also complete 16.5 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: $1,409 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 24 months|
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 & decision making, and entrepreneurship. Students in this online program receive the same world-class education and learn from the same world-class faculty who teach on campus.
The program is broken down into 62 credits of core, elective, and cross-university courses. Core courses include analytical tools, business communication, business strategy, strategic economics, finance, and financial accounting, among others. Electives include an introduction to entrepreneurship, business modeling, the challenge of healthcare, corporate financial strategy, and information for decision-making.
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: $125,589.06 for the program|
|Time to Completion: 18 to 36 months|
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 on one of seven specializations: marketing, finance, leadership and managing organizational change, business analytics, digital innovation & information systems, global business, and entrepreneurship. They can continue working while enrolled in the program, and graduate in as little as two years. As part of the program, students will attend one immersion experience in Los Angeles.
The 52-credit curriculum is broken down into 15 courses taken over six 14-week trimesters. These courses include behavior in organizations, accounting information and control systems, quantitative analysis for business operations, marketing management, strategic management, 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 of work experience.
At the end of the program, graduates can take up roles such as financial analysts, financial managers, marketing managers, human resources managers, and business operations managers.
|Location: Malibu, CA|
|Tuition: $1,920 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 24 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 a normal MBA pace through eight modules of two classes each, which can be completed in two years.
Students in this program can choose from seven pre-designed focus areas: entrepreneurship; business analytics; finance; cybersecurity; legal studies; consulting; and marketing.
Students take 13 core courses and two electives. Courses include business fundamentals, applied managerial statistics, financial accounting, financial management, managerial accounting & operations management, marketing management, strategic decision making, strategic thinking for decisions, and more. Students must also complete two immersions to graduate, which can be completed in many locations around the world. Upcoming immersions will take place in Beijing, Madrid, and Brussels. 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.
Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and submits a completed online application, letters of recommendation, transcripts, a personal statement, and a current resume. GMAT and GRE scores are not required.
|Location: Washington, D.C.|
|Tuition: $1,812 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months|
The flexible MBA at Johns Hopkins can be completed part-time while students continue to work. Students can choose from eight in-demand specializations from a diverse group of focus areas. These include business analytics & risk management, entrepreneurial marketing, digital marketing, financial management, entrepreneurship, innovation & technology, investments, health care management, innovation & technology, and public and private sector leadership.
Students can 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 20 credits of business foundations classes, including business communications, business analytics, economics for decision-making, statistical analysis, corporate finance, operations management, and marketing management, among others. Students complete an additional 34 credits in electives which can be chosen from the specializations mentioned above.
While most of the program can be completed online, students must attend three-weekend residencies. Electives include data analytics, negotiation, social media analytics, wealth management, entrepreneurial ventures, and marketing strategy.
|Location: Baltimore, MD|
|Tuition: $1,650 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 31 months|
Students enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Maryland can benefit from an extensive alumni network, more than 66,000 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 & 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.
Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an approved institution, a non-refundable application fee of $75, a letter of recommendation, essays, GMAT or GRE scores, official transcripts for each college or university attended, and proof of English language proficiency is required for non-native English speakers.
|Location: College Park, MD|
|Tuition: $1,682 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 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 24 core credits and nine concentration credits. Students have ten options for concentrations: interdisciplinary business, taxation, strategic management, risk management, risk & financial advisory, marketing management, finance, enterprise risk management, and business analytics.
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 3.2 GPA to apply. Work experience is not required; however, two to four years of relevant work experience is preferred. All applicants to this program must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or the international equivalent before enrollment.
|Location: Queens, NY|
|Tuition: $1,360 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 24 months|
The Miller College of Business MBA degree was ranked as the 17th best online MBA program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Students in this program may choose to focus on one of ten different concentrations, including artificial intelligence, business analytics, construction management, healthcare administration, information technology leadership, entrepreneurship, finance, logistics & supply chain management, sales management, or health economics, policy, and administration.
This 30- to 34-credit 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.
The curriculum includes courses such as entrepreneurial leadership, statistics & quantitative methods, information systems, economic analysis for managers, accounting and decision making, managerial finance, marketing management, and global strategic management.
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.
|Location: Muncie, IN|
|Tuition: Indiana resident ($431 per credit); Out of state ($646 per credit)|
|Time to Completion: 24 months|
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 credits of study. However, a significant portion of these can be waived for students who completed an undergraduate degree in business.
Some of the courses in the curriculum are accounting for decision making, organizational behavior, strategic management, delivering business value through information systems, marketing strategy, operations & supply chain management, and management science.
|Location: Greenville, NC|
|Tuition: North Carolina residents ($1,242.83 for a three-semester hour class); Non-Resident ($3,434.33 for a three-semester hour class)|
|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 34-credit 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.
Courses include managerial accounting, management information systems, advanced financial management, organizational behavior, organization strategy and policy, marketing management, quantitative methods in business decision making, and professional communication skills.
|Location: Springfield, MO|
|Tuition: $13,325 for the entire program|
|Time to Completion: 24 months|
MBA students at Sam Houston State University have the option of completing a degree either online or at the Huntsville campus, or 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 credits (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.
The curriculum explores topics such as accounting for management, managerial communication, techniques of statistical analysis, marketing management, and managerial finance.
|Location: Huntsville, TX|
|Tuition: General MBA ($320.25 per credit); Executive MBA (domestic students – $44,000; international students – $60,000)|
|Time to Completion: Between four semesters and 24 months|
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 can specialize in topics such as agriculture business, social entrepreneurship, or supply chain management.
This 30 to 34 credit 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. As part of the program, students will delve into topics such as accounting for decision making, managerial economics, managerial finance, strategic planning & analysis, human behavior in organizations, strategic marketing, and business analytics.
Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university regardless of the undergraduate field of study, a minimum grade point average of 2.5, official transcripts, a completed online application, and GMAT scores (can be waived).
|Location: Magnolia, AR|
|Tuition: In-state ($293 per credit); Out of state ($459 per credit)|
|Time to Completion: 24 months|
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 credits of study. In addition, students have the option of choosing between one of many concentrations, including accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources management, marketing, or management.
The curriculum includes courses such as strategic cost management, organizational leadership & ethics, management information systems & data analytics, strategic marketing management, and financial management.
The major admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from one of the six recognized regional accrediting associations, a GPA of 3.0, a personal essay, recommendation from a practicing professional, and English language proficiency for students whose educational instruction has not been in the English language.
|Location: Victoria, TX|
|Tuition: $416.64 per credit hour|
|Time to Completion: 12 to 18 months|
UMass Lowell’s Robert J. Manning School of Business online MBA program was ranked one of the best programs of its type in 2021 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.
Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree and must submit a completed online graduate application form, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a current resume, a one-page essay, GMAT or GRE scores (waivers available), and TOEFL or IELTS scores for citizens of non-English speaking countries.
This program consists of 30 to 42 credits, depending on the student’s background. Students may also choose between nine focus areas during their studies: accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, business analytics, healthcare, information technology, international business, managerial leadership, or marketing.
The curriculum consists of courses such as accounting information for management decisions, corporate finance, customers and markets, management information systems, operations management, managing organizational change, and strategy formation and implementation.
|Location: Lowell, MA|
|Tuition: $655 per credit|
|Time to Completion: Can be completed in as little as 12 months, although the part-time study is available|
This online MBA degree was ranked 4th in the nation as part of Best College Review’s list of the 2018 Top 50 online MBA programs. 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.
Some of the topics students will explore include management information systems, economic environment, accounting analysis for decision making, financial analysis, marketing strategy, global operations & supply chain management, and strategic management.
|Location: Monroe, LA|
|Tuition: $500 per credit|
|Time to Completion: Full-time students (18 months)|
Professors to Know in AACSB-Accredited Online MBA Programs
Dr. Paulo Prochno is a clinical professor and the faculty director for the DC evening MBA program at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. His online MBA course offerings include strategic management and fundamentals of business. His research efforts are focused on organization routines, innovation management, transfer of knowledge, and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Prochno has received many awards such as the William H. Newman Award awarded by the Academy of Management and the Outstanding Paper of the Year award by MCB University Press. He earned his PhD and MSc degrees from INSEAD, an MBA from Vanderbilt University, and a BEng from the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
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.” She completed her PhD, MS, and MBA at the University of Colorado. She also has a BS from the University of Wyoming.