ACBSP-Accredited Online MBA Programs
For many aspiring business managers and executives, a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) represents a critical educational achievement that can open new doors. While an undergraduate degree in business is helpful for the beginning of a career, an MBA degree can arm businessmen and women with the knowledge and experience they need to progress through the ranks of the corporate world—or to jump-start their own endeavors.
A report published by Payscale showed that MBA graduates not only earn significantly more than their counterparts who just have bachelor’s degrees, but also that they can make more than $3 million throughout their lifetime. However great the rewards, an MBA degree is a lot of work. MBA coursework can be difficult and time-consuming, which may deter many applicants. Fortunately, MBAs are becoming more accessible to working professionals.
The emergence of online MBA programs in recent years provides the flexibility for students to study from home and on a schedule that best fits their situations. In some cases, students may only need to take one or two courses per semester, allowing them to continue working and study at their own pace.
Naturally, with so many MBA programs now in existence, it can be challenging to determine which one is the right choice. Therefore, prospective students should look for a program that is properly accredited. One of the most reputable accrediting agencies for business programs is the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). This accreditation is modeled on the Baldrige National Quality Program and focuses on recognizing teaching excellence (e.g., scholarly activity), determining student outcomes (e.g., satisfaction with program, learning outcomes, retention rates, enrollment), pinpointing key performance metrics and program resources, and integrating a continuous improvement model. Notably, ACBSP-accredited business schools have close connections with business and entrepreneurial initiatives, which can help students and graduates gain practical experience and network with employers.
ACBSP has accredited more than 1,000 programs at more than 430 campuses worldwide. Below, prospective MBA students can find 25 ACBSP-accredited online programs and three professors who teach and research in schools that offer these degrees.
Featured ACBSP-Accredited Online MBA Programs
Maryville University’s MBA is an accelerated one-year program for recent bachelor’s degree graduates. Students are not required to have any previous work experience. The curriculum can be completed entirely online in 36 credits through the general MBA track or in 39 credits through a concentration track.
The Maryville MBA curriculum covers eight core courses, nine to 12 credits of electives, and a three-credit capstone. The possibilities for concentrations include accounting, cybersecurity, financial services, health administration, information technology, management, marketing, and project management. In addition, students may choose three courses from any concentration curriculum in the general MBA track. Some core courses include business ethics, accounting for managers, strategic marketing, and organizational behavior. Students can apply without submitting GMAT scores but must have at least a 3.0 GPA for all previous coursework.
|Location: St. Louis, MO|
|Tuition: $700 per credit|
|Time to Completion: As little as one year|
SNHU’s online MBA program is one of the most affordable MBAs in the country and has a wealth of concentration options. Students can specialize in some of the most in-demand topics, such as finance and entrepreneurship, as well as concentrations such as healthcare management and forensic science. In total, they have 27 concentrations from which to choose.
All students take 36 credits to graduate, with foundational courses on the government impact on business, leading organizations, entrepreneurship, and more. Students can graduate in as little as 15 months by taking two courses per term. Students do not need prior work experience, nor do they need to submit GMAT scores. However, they must have a 2.75 GPA.
|Location: Manchester, NH|
|Tuition: $627 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 15 months|
The online MBA program at Utica College is customizable across many different concentrations, including cybersecurity, insurance risk management, entrepreneurship, and data analytics. Students can pick from the general MBA track or one of the concentrations developed by Utica, or they can further customize their education by selecting any four graduate-level courses the school offers.
Students can complete the 30-credit online curriculum in two years part-time, allowing students to continue working while studying. They first take core classes, then move on to the concentration elective courses. A minimum 2.75 GPA and at least two years of work experience are required for admission.
|Location: Utica, NY|
|Tuition: $650 per credit|
|Time to Completion: Two years|
Norwich’s online MBA program offers seven possible tracks: a general MBA, project management, construction management, energy management, finance, organizational leadership, and supply chain management and logistics. All concentrations require an independent research project where students work directly with a company and focus on a case study. Students typically pick their current employer. The 36-credit online program can be completed in 18 months to two years.
Students take core courses in strategic resource management, managerial finance, and strategic marketing and operations management. They also take concentration-specific electives. Students can mostly complete the program online; however, a one-week residency is required at the end of the program.
|Location: Northfield, VT|
|Tuition: $792 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 18 months to two years|
Southern Oregon University offers a 45-credit online MBA degree that students can complete in as little as 16 months. The program allows students to concentrate on one of three fields: accounting, business analytics, and marketing.
During this program, students take 33 credits of core courses, including information systems, marketing management, and strategic operations management. The remaining credits are reserved for electives, including financial statement analysis, using GIS in business, internet marketing, and e-commerce, or marketing channels management and pricing strategy, among others.
|Location: Ashland, OR|
|Time to Completion: 16 months or more|
Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers an MBA degree program with two pathways: the course-based traditional option and the competency-based option. Students can complete the course-based option in 39 credits over approximately 1.5 to 2.5 years. The 36-credit competency-based option includes two concentrations in project management and healthcare management and can be completed in the same amount of time.
Applicants with non-business bachelor’s degrees can apply but must complete a “business essentials” course in the program’s first semester. Graduates pursue careers as C-suite executives, financial management, IT managers, and marketing directors.
|Location: Minneapolis, MN|
|Tuition: $965 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 18 months|
Based in Georgia, the School of Business and Technology at Capella University offers a fully online MBA program with four specialization options: healthcare management, human resource management, project management, and a self-designed concentration.
Among these pathways, students can approach their degree through GuidedPath (traditional) or FlexPath (accelerated), which offer different start times, time to completion, grading, tuition, and other logistical factors. While applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, no work experience, GMAT, or GRE scores are required for admission.
|Location: Campuses in Atlanta & Augusta, GA|
|Tuition: $815 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 14 months|
With several colleges in the U.S., Strayer University offers a one-year online MBA. Students in this program can choose from 15 concentrations in accounting, acquisition, business data, digital entrepreneurship, finance, global management, health services administration, and others. Most concentrations require 45 credits, except for digital entrepreneurship, which requires 54 credits. Please note that state authorization may limit students to specific types of concentrations.
Online MBA students benefit from one-on-one mentorship, student services coaching, technical support, and networking opportunities. Applicants with non-business bachelor’s degrees may be required to take prerequisite courses. A minimum 2.5 GPA is required, and the GRE and GMAT scores are not required for admission.
|Location: Washington, D.C.|
|Tuition: $2,985 per course|
|Time to Completion: 12 months|
Purdue Global’s School of Business and Information Technology offers an online MBA program with a general or concentration track. Once admitted, students can choose to specialize in finance, healthcare management, human resources, information technology, marketing, and project management.
In addition, a dual degree MSN-MBA is available to those with a nursing bachelor’s degree and current nursing license and prepares graduates for the nurse executive certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). An ExcelTrack option is also available for applicants with previous business experience who desire a competency-based degree program. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum 2.5 GPA. Previous work experience and GRE and GMAT scores are not required for admission.
|Location: West Lafayette, IN|
|Tuition: $485 per semester|
|Time to Completion: 2.5 years|
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University features an online Innovation MBA or iMBA with a general track and two specializations in management and biopharmaceutical commercialization. Students in the general track can complete their degree in 18 months, while the specialization tracks take 24 months.
The iMBA emphasizes technical intelligence and foreign exchange markets, while the other two specializations prepare graduates for careers in niche markets. In addition, the iMBA track offers an international business option that connects students with global corporations on three continents.
|Location: Philadelphia, PA|
|Tuition: $829 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 18 to 24 months|
The University of West Alabama’s College of Business and Technology offers an online MBA with 14 concentration options. Once admitted, students can focus their studies on accounting, computing, data analytics, computer information systems, cybersecurity, and entrepreneurship. Those who opt for the accounting concentration are eligible to take the CPA license exam and satisfy the 150-hour education requirement.
To be considered for admission, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 2.75 or higher or a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants with GPAs that don’t meet the minimum can be accepted provisionally.
|Location: Livingston, AL|
|Tuition: $429 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 12 months|
Located in New Hampshire, Rivier University offers an online MBA with four concentrations in management, marketing, information technology management, and healthcare administration. Rivier University features textbook-free learning and provides all its course materials online via the learning management system. Graduates from this program go on to work as leaders in marketing, human resources, healthcare, and hospital administration management.
There are six start dates in the fall, spring, and summer, and applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The GMAT and the GRE are not required for admission, but candidates with lower GPAs will be considered upon a holistic application evaluation.
|Location: Nashua, NH|
|Tuition: $648 per credit|
|Time to Completion: One to two years|
Located in Mobile, Alabama, Spring Hill College offers an online MBA with three concentrations in project management, leadership, and logistics and supply chain management. This program is modeled on concepts grounded in business ethics and social responsibility. Graduates from this ten-month accelerated program are eligible to take the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam.
A minimum 3.0 GPA is required for admission, and the GMAT and GRE are waived for applicants with three or more years of work experience. Graduates from this program can expect a fully online degree program and pursue roles in international business management, business strategy, policy, financial analysis, and sustainability.
|Location: Mobile, AL|
|Tuition: $540 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 10 months|
St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, offers a fully online MBA with a general track and three concentration areas in leadership, human resource management, and marketing management. The MBA curriculum focuses on ethics, social responsibility, and leadership to help graduates solve complicated business profits and environmental impact problems.
To apply, applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, two letters of recommendation, and professional portfolio, and previous work experience. Students can complete this 36-credit program in 14 months, with new courses beginning twice per semester. No campus visits are required.
|Location: Davenport, IA|
|Tuition: $712 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 14 months|
Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business offers a fully online MBA program with a general track or nine concentration areas. Applicants with a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) can apply for a dual-degree MBA/MSN program to transition from clinical to administrative roles in nursing. Other concentrations include accounting, cybersecurity, finance, health systems management, leadership, marketing, project management, sports business, and strategic human resource management.
Students can complete the 46-credit program in 18 to 24 months at full- or part-time rates. Concentrations require an additional semester. The curriculum of this program follows a Christian lens in looking at business problems. Applicants to this program must have a GPA of 2.8 or higher, and applicants who do not meet this requirement can opt to take the GRE or GMAT to be eligible for admission.
|Location: Phoenix, AZ|
|Time to Completion: 18-24 months|
The Lindenwood University online MBA offers students the option to specialize in various areas, including accounting, management, healthcare administration, marketing, human resource management, and more. The program is designed for working professionals and can be completed in 15 to 36 months, depending on part- or full-time enrollment.
The online MBA does not require campus visits, and students can transfer up to nine credits from another institution. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate program with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.
|Location: St. Charles, MO|
|Tuition: $555 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 15 to 36 months|
The Alvernia University online MBA with an executive leadership capstone offers business students the opportunity to explore the topic of moral leadership as it applies to businesses, the community, and the global market.
In addition to business topics such as financial accounting, management theory, communication, and teamwork, MBA students at Alvernia also explore ethical issues such as using accounting systems for managerial decision-making, consumer behavior, economic theory, nonprofit organizations, and microeconomic theory, and financial management. The executive leadership capstone course allows students to assess an organization using case studies and business theories to create strategic plans for business success in the global environment.
|Location: Reading, PA|
|Tuition: $655 per credit|
|Time to Completion: 12 months|
The New Mexico Highlands University online MBA offers general business, healthcare administration, and entrepreneurship concentrations. The program is designed for working professionals and can be completed in just one year by taking two courses every eight weeks. The core courses focus on business topics such as accounting, managerial finance, marketing management, and business strategy.
Applicants to this program must have a 3.0 GPA to be eligible for admission. GMAT and GRE scores are not required, but a professional resume and official transcripts are required. Students with non-business bachelor’s degrees must take a foundational course before beginning the program.
|Location: Las Vegas, NM|
|Tuition: $525 per semester|
|Time to Completion: 12 months|
Students can complete an MBA degree at Cameron University either online or through flexible evening classes on-site and interactive television. In the latter program, courses are taught on the main campus in Lawton, Oklahoma, and are transmitted via interactive television to other locations across the state. Both of the options can be finished in two to three years for students who are studying full-time.
This 33-credit program includes core courses in applied business statistics, managerial finance, economics, accounting for management, and contemporary marketing problems, as well as nine credits of electives. Students must also complete a comprehensive written examination to obtain their degree.
|Location: Lawton, OK|
|Tuition: $13,530 for non-residents of Oklahoma|
|Time to Completion: Two to three years for full-time study|
This 30-credit program covers courses on accounting for managers, managerial research analysis, information systems for managers, organizational behavior and management theory, production and operations management, and marketing management, along with several others.
Students can complete this MBA degree entirely online, although they have the option of attending classes on campus. Additionally, the school offers a flexible course schedule so students can complete their degrees in a timeline that works best for them.
|Location: Portales, NM|
|Tuition: $11,230 for out-of-state students taking seven to 12 credits per semester|
|Time to Completion: Two years for students taking 15 credits per year|
The Melvin D. & Valorie G. Booth School of Business offers an online degree where students can pursue the general track or focus on one of two concentrations: human resource management or marketing. Students can complete this 33-credit program in 12 to 18 months. The general track includes 24 core credits and nine credits of electives.
The concentration track must be completed with 21 credits of core classes and 12 related to the concentration. Northwest Missouri State offers multiple start dates throughout the year and a flexible course schedule, allowing students to customize their studies to fit their needs.
|Location: Maryville, MO|
|Time to Completion: 12 to 18 months|
At Saint Leo University’s Donald R. Tapia School of Business, students can complete an online MBA degree at the most prominent Catholic business school in the United States. Saint Leo is also highly diverse, with students and alums from more than 50 countries. The traditional MBA degree is offered either on-campus or online. However, all students in the program must complete an in-person student orientation at the beginning of the first semester. This 36-credit-hour program covers statistics, strategic management, marketing, and corporate finance classes and allows for one elective course.
In addition, students can complete a three-credit internship. They may focus their studies on two concentrations: accounting, sports business, supply chain global integration, project management, or healthcare management. Saint Leo also offers a 42-credit, one-year international and experiential MBA program designed for students who can commit full-time to their studies. This program provides additional benefits, including an international business trip led by faculty members.
|Location: Saint Leo, FL|
|Tuition: $19,980 for traditional MBA, $30,240 for international and experiential MBA|
|Time to Completion: Two years (must be completed within five years)|
This two-year MBA program can be completed on its own or paired with an additional minor, such as business analytics, corporate management, accounting, cybersecurity, digital marketing, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare administration, international business, and marketing analytics. Furthermore, students can pursue their education on campus, online, or at one of the university’s branch campuses.
This program consists of 30 to 48 credits of study, with up to 18 that can be waived for students with relevant prerequisite coursework. The remaining 30 credits are broken down into a managerial component, an information analysis component, and an elective component. In addition, students can take six credits of coursework in any business field.
|Location: Commerce, TX|
|Tuition: $605 per credit for Texas residents, $1,020 per credit for non-Texas residents|
|Time to Completion: Two years|
Texas A&M University’s online MBA program can be completed in 12 months, and the school offers two different start dates. Students may also opt to complete a certification in a field such as health informatics, business analytics, energy finance and logistics, managing people in the global enterprise, and health service administration. There is also the option of a dual degree for students wishing to earn a second degree in a field outside of business (e.g., an MBA paired with either a master of science in engineering or a doctor of pharmacy degree).
|Location: Kingsville, TX|
|Tuition: $14,182 per semester for non-residents|
|Time to Completion: 12 months or more|
Professors to Know in ACBSP-Accredited Online MBA Programs
Donna Lane, PhD Southern Oregon University
Dr. Donna Lane teaches courses on business research, international business, and a business planning capstone at the School of Business at Southern Oregon University.
Dr. Lane served as chair of the School of Business from 2011 to 2014, following her position as the MBA coordinator, during which she implemented the full-time evening MBA program. In addition, she has written an advanced Excel XP book titled The Select Series: Microsoft Excel 2002 Advanced and several instructors’ manuals for various computer applications.
Araceli Hernández, PhD Northwest Missouri State University
Dr. Araceli Hernández is an assistant professor in the Melvin D. & Valorie G. Booth School of Business at Northwest Missouri State University. She has taught courses on business and society, employee rewards and benefits, and organizational behavior in administration.
Her academic interests include diversity and inclusion, engagement in organization and education, and organizational climate. In addition, Dr. Marta has authored and co-authored work published in various influential publications, such as the International Journal of Employment Studies.
Syed M. Ahmed, PhD Cameron University
Dr. Syed M. Ahmed is an economics professor and the director of the Bill W. Burgess, Jr. Business Research Center at Cameron University. He has published articles in numerous impactful peer-reviewed journals, including Applied Economics, Journal of Asian Economics, International Trade Journal, and the Journal of International Economics and Integration, among many others.
Dr. Ahmed is currently working on issues in international financial integration and financial sector reform in developing economies.