ACBSP-Accredited Online MBA Programs
For many aspiring business managers and executives, a master of business administration (MBA) degree 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 over the course of 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 difficult to determine which one is the right choice. 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 nearly 3,000 programs at more than 430 campuses across the world. Below, prospective MBA students can find eight ACBSP-accredited online programs throughout the nation, as well as some professors who lead courses in schools that offering these degrees.
Featured ACBSP-Accredited Online MBA Programs
Maryville University’s MBA is an accelerated one-year program that is designed 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 the general MBA track, students may choose three courses from any concentration curriculum. Some of the 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-hour|
|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 an organization, business environment, innovation and entrepreneurship, and more. Students can graduate in as little as 15 months by taking two courses per term. Students do not need to have prior work experience to apply, nor do they need to submit GMAT scores with their application. However, they must have at least a 2.75 GPA in their undergraduate studies.
|Location: Manchester, NH|
|Tuition: $627 per credit-hour|
|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 that are offered by the school.
The 30-credit online curriculum can be completed in two years part-time, allowing students to continue working while studying. They first take core classes, then move onto 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-hour|
|Time to Completion: Two years|
Norwich’s online MBA program offers students 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 as the program is designed for working professionals. Overall, the 36-credit online 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. The program can be mostly completed online; however, a one-week residency is required at the end of the program.
|Location: Northfield, VT|
|Tuition: $792 per credit-hour|
|Time to Completion: 18 months to two years|
Southern Oregon University offers a 45-credit online MBA degree that can be completed in as little as 16 months. The program gives students the opportunity to concentrate in one of three fields: accounting, business analytics, or marketing. During this program, students take 33 credit-hours of core courses, including information systems, marketing management, and strategic operations management. The remaining credit-hours are reserved for electives, which may include financial statement analysis, using GIS in business, internet marketing and e-commerce, or marketing channels management and pricing strategy, along with a number of others.
|Location: Ashland, OR|
|Time to Completion: 16 months or more|
Students can complete an MBA degree at Cameron University either online or through flexible evening classes that are held on-site and through 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-hour program includes core courses in applied business statistics, managerial finance, economics, accounting for management, and contemporary marketing problems, as well as nine credit hours 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-hour 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 a number of others. Students can complete this MBA degree entirely online, although they have the option of attending classes on campus. Additionally, the school also offers a flexible course schedule so that students can complete their degree in a timeline that works best for them.
|Location: Portales, NM|
|Tuition: $11,230 for out-of-state students taking 7-12 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 choose to pursue the general track or focus on one of two concentrations: human resource management or marketing. This 33-credit-hour program can be completed in 12 to 18 months. The general track includes 24 hours of core courses and nine credit-hours of electives, while the concentration track must be completed with 21 hours of core classes and 12 credits 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 have the chance to complete an online MBA degree at the largest Catholic business school in the United States. Saint Leo is also extremely diverse with students and alumni from more than 50 countries. The traditional MBA degree is offered either on-campus or online, although 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 classes on statistics, strategic management, marketing, and corporate finance and allows for one elective course. Students have the option to complete a three-credit internship, and may choose to focus their studies on up to two concentrations such as accounting, sports business, supply chain global integration, project management, or healthcare management. Saint Leo also offers a 42-credit-hour one-year international and experiential MBA program, which is designed for students who can make a full-time commitment to their studies. This program offers additional benefits, including an international business trip led by members of the faculty.
|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 credit-hours of study with up to 18 credits that can be waived for students who have relevant prerequisite coursework. The remaining 30 credit-hours are broken down into a managerial component, an information analysis component, and an elective component wherein students can take six credit hours 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|
This relatively affordable 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
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. She has written an advanced Excel XP book titled The Select Series: Microsoft Excel 2002 Advanced and a number of instructors’ manuals for various computer applications.
Dr. Syed M. Ahmed is an economics professor and the director of the 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.