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Best online MBA degrees: Top picks

Overwhelmed by MBA options? We rounded up the best online MBA programs to help you decide which one is right for your personal and professional goals.

Online MBA programs train students to lead in business environments. Students in these advanced programs learn accounting, finance, and management while simultaneously exploring organizational structure and business ethics. 

Because business skills apply across industries and organizations, online MBA programs serve individuals working in diverse fields such as healthcare, information technology, manufacturing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management occupations are projected to grow 9% to 2030, adding more than 900,000 positions. 

We gathered the best online MBAs to help you decide which program will best meet your needs and facilitate your path to professional success. 

The best online MBA degrees

The programs below have been assessed using ZDNet's ranking methodology. Through thorough assessment and consideration of numerous factors, ZDNet provides a comprehensive look at the best online MBAs available. 

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

1. University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

About the program: UF offers two online MBA programs. UF's one-year online MBA includes 32 credit hours of coursework, while the two-year program integrates 45 credit hours of content into the degree. 

  • Acceptance rate: 37%
  • Graduation rate: 87%
  • Avg. annual net price: $6,302
  • Time to completion: 16 months (accelerated), two years (traditional) 
  • GRE/GMAT: GMAT required; average 580 GMAT for admitted students 
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Synchronous

Accreditation: The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

About the program: UNC Chapel Hill's online MBA includes five specialization options. Learners take part in two in-person Summits as part of the program. 

  • Acceptance rate: 23%
  • Graduation rate: 91%
  • Avg. annual net price: $12,352
  • Time to completion: 18-36 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Four
  • Course delivery method: Synchronous

Accreditation: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

3. Florida International University

Miami, Florida

About the program: FIU's online MBA accommodates business professionals with 10 degree specializations and three pacing tracks. Students complete 42 credit hours of core and concentration coursework.

  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 64%
  • Avg. annual net price: $7,296
  • Time to completion: 18-33 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Optional; minimum score not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Five
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, Illinois

About the program: Students complete coursework from six specialization areas alongside core topics as part of Illinois's 72-credit-hour online MBA program. 

  • Acceptance rate: 59%
  • Graduation rate: 86%
  • Avg. annual net price: $15,880
  • Time to completion: 2-3 years
  • GRE/GMAT: Optional; minimum score not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Five
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

5. University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

About the program: The U's online MBA includes 48 credit hours of coursework and one three-day on-campus residency. Students can choose to go on an international trip as an elective in this program. 

  • Acceptance rate: 59%
  • Graduation rate: 86%
  • Avg. annual net price: $15,880
  • Time to completion: 24-26 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available 
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Synchronous

Accreditation: The University of Utah is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

6. The University of Texas at Dallas

Dallas, Texas

About the program: UT Dallas's online MBA includes 15 specialization options. Students complete 53 credit hours of coursework. Additional dual-degree paths and certificate programs are available.

  • Acceptance rate: 79%
  • Graduation rate: 69%
  • Avg. annual net price: $15,232
  • Time to completion: 21-36 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Texas at Dallas is regionally accredited by the Southern Commission on Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

7. University of Maryland, College Park

College Park, Maryland

About the program: Two residency requirements accompany foundation and global business coursework in UMD's online MBA program. Students can specialize in one of six career-focused areas.

  • Acceptance rate: 44%
  • Graduation rate: 83%
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,045
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available 
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Maryland, College Park is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

8. Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

About the program: Purdue's online MBA includes 60-76 credit hours of coursework. Students can specialize in one of seven specialization areas.

  • Acceptance rate: 60%
  • Graduation rate: 73%
  • Avg. annual net price: $13,986
  • Time to completion: Two years or less
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available 
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Eight
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

9. University of Wisconsin La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin

About the program: UW-La Crosse's online MBA integrates business essentials coursework with core and elective classes through a comprehensive 36-credit-hour curriculum. 

  • Acceptance rate: 73%
  • Graduation rate: 69%
  • Avg. annual net price: $14,580
  • Time to completion: Two to three years
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum 475 GMAT
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Wisconsin La Crosse is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

10. Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina

About the program: Clemson's online MBA emphasizes managerial fundamentals and executive leadership. Students complete 49 credit hours of coursework, with additional certificate programs and study abroad opportunities available. 

  • Acceptance rate: 51%
  • Graduation rate: 81%
  • Avg. annual net price: $20,008
  • Time to completion: Two
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available 
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Clemson University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

11. University of Miami

Coral Gables, Florida

About the program: With an emphasis on international business, students complete 42 credit hours of coursework in UM's online MBA. The program includes two immersion requirements.

  • Acceptance rate: 27%
  • Graduation rate: 83%
  • Avg. annual net price: $46.949
  • Time to completion: 20-24 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Not required
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Synchronous

Accreditation: The University of Miami is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

12. Louisiana State University and A&M College

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

About the program: LSU's online MBA includes 36 credit hours of coursework. Students can specialize in data analytics, emerging technology, or healthcare management.

  • Acceptance rate: 75%
  • Graduation rate: 68%
  • Avg. annual net price: $15,465
  • Time to completion: 18-36 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Not required
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Louisiana State University and A&M College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association on Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

13. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

About the program: Johns Hopkins's flexible MBA allows learners to complete courses online, on campus, or both. Students have options to earn up to three specializations and must take part in one course with a residency requirement.

  • Acceptance rate: 11%
  • Graduation rate: 92%
  • Avg. annual net price: $29,342
  • Time to completion: Under three years
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

14. Rice University

Houston, Texas

About the program: Rice's online MBA builds managerial and leadership skills through 54 credit hours of coursework. Students choose elective classes from seven career and industry-focused areas.

  • Acceptance rate: 9%
  • Graduation rate: 93%
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,000
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Four
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Rice University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

15. University of Mississippi

University, Mississippi

About the program: Through 36 credit hours of comprehensive coursework, Ole Miss's online MBA emphasizes interpersonal, entrepreneurial, communication, and leadership skills. 

  • Acceptance rate: 88%
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Avg. annual net price: $14,916
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum 500 GMAT
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Mississippi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

16. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Edinburgh, Texas

About the program: UTRGV's accelerated online MBA explores advanced business functions and concepts through 36 credit hours of coursework. 

  • Acceptance rate: 80%
  • Graduation rate: 52%
  • Avg. annual net price: $4,514
  • Time to completion: One year, accelerated format
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Five
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

17. University of Nebraska Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska

About the program: With six specializations available, UNL's online MBA includes 48 credit hours of coursework. Core classes emphasize analytical and strategic thinking in the business world.

  • Acceptance rate: 78%
  • Graduation rate: 68%
  • Avg. annual net price: $17,208
  • Time to completion: 18-36 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); recommended minimum 600 GMAT
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Nebraska Lincoln is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

18. William & Mary

Williamsburg, Virginia

About the program: W&M's online MBA includes 49 credit hours of coursework and one on-campus residency requirement. Students have an option to earn an additional business analytics certificate.

  • Acceptance rate: 38%
  • Graduation rate: 92%
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,800
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • GRE/GMAT: Not required
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Two
  • Course delivery method: Synchronous

Accreditation: William & Mary is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

19. Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

About the program: Auburn's online MBA integrates core classes with extensive elective offerings. Students can choose to focus on an aspect of business such as business analytics, finance, or information systems.

  • Acceptance rate: 81%
  • Graduation rate: 76%
  • Avg. annual net price: $24,104
  • Time to completion: 31 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Two
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Auburn University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

20. Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

About the program: OSU's online MBA includes an optional specialization in business sustainability. Students complete 33 credit hours, including a three-part professional development sequence. 

  • Acceptance rate: 70%
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Avg. annual net price: $14,648
  • Time to completion: One year
  • GRE/GMAT: Required; minimum not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Two
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

21. University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Wilmington, North Carolina

About the program: Alongside a comprehensive general online MBA, UNCW offers online MBAs in 10 specialized areas. Core coursework emphasizes critical thinking and responsible leadership in business.

  • Acceptance rate: 65%
  • Graduation rate: 73%
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,055
  • Time to completion: One to two years
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum 500 GMAT
  • Minimum GPA: 3.2
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of North Carolina at Wilmington is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

22. Babson College

Wellesley, Massachusetts

About the program: Babson's online MBA allows students to take part in online activities, weekend intensives, and study-abroad opportunities. Learners have seven degree concentration options.

  • Acceptance rate: 26%
  • Graduation rate: 92%
  • Avg. annual net price: $34,606
  • Time to completion: 18-36 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Optional
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Five
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Babson College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

23. Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

About the program: FAU's online MBA provides learners with 10 specialization options. With a waiver for foundation requirements, learners complete 40 credit hours of coursework.

  • Acceptance rate: 63%
  • Graduation rate: 61%
  • Avg. annual net price: $10,186
  • Time to completion: 16-23 months
  • GRE/GMAT: Waived for Spring 2022; recommended minimum 500 GMAT
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Florida Atlantic University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

24. Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

About the program: TTU's 42-credit-hour online MBA includes three optional concentrations. Upon graduation, students earn a certification as a Microsoft Office Excel Specialist.

  • Acceptance rate: 69%
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Avg. annual net price: $17,571
  • Time to completion: One to six years
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); no minimum
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Texas Tech University is regionally accredited by the Southern Commission on Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

25. University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

About the program: UWEC's online MBA combines coursework in business essentials, leadership and decision-making fundamentals, and elective topics. Students complete 36 credit hours of coursework.

  • Acceptance rate: 82%
  • Graduation rate: 65%
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,020
  • Time to completion: Two years or less
  • GRE/GMAT: Required (waivers available); minimum 475 GMAT
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Insights from an MBA graduate

Blaine Thiederman, a man with short brown hair, smiles outside.

Blaine Thiederman is a certified financial planner and the founder and principal advisor at Progress Wealth Management. Progress Wealth Management is a leading wealth management firm in Arvada, Colorado specializing in serving high-earning professionals in the West Denver area. 

ZDNet: What were the greatest takeaways from your MBA that helped you to be successful in your career?

Blaine Thiederman: I recently started my own wealth management firm targeting high-earning professionals in Arvada, Colorado. Understanding everything that's required to start a business from the ground up (at least from a high level) has been immensely valuable to me. Without my MBA, I'm confident I wouldn't have been anywhere near as well-prepared.

In addition, for companies that have employed me prior, my MBA has helped me to think differently than my peers who had less "business" focused backgrounds. The result of this is that I've been able to grow my organizations in ways to better serve our target client.

ZDNet: What misconceptions do people have about this degree, and what would you tell them?

BT: The biggest misconception people have about MBAs is that getting one is the golden ticket to a great career (it's not). It's a great step in the right direction, but it doesn't prove you have specialized expertise. What should take priority over an MBA is first getting the highly regarded professional designation (CPA, CFP, PMP, CFA, etc.), licenses necessary and valuable experience. After getting these, pursue your MBA. By following this path, you'll be able to prove you're an expert and get the most out of your MBA and get paid a healthy salary.

ZDNet: What was the most challenging, rigorous course you took in your MBA program? 

BT: Forensic accounting. It required roughly 4-6 hours of reading per week, in addition to a four-page paper. It was not an easy task at all. 

ZDNet: What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

BT: First, verify it's worth it. If you look at job postings for the jobs you seek to attain later in your career and find that none say "MBA preferred," you should reconsider. Not only are MBAs expensive, but for some careers, they have no value. For others, they're immensely valuable. 

In addition, if you can find a company to pay for your MBA for you and you're able to do the MBA part-time while you're employed, not only can it be more affordable but also more valuable because you get more experience while you're going to school.

ZDNet: What would you recommend that students do in addition to their MBA program, in order to stand out to employers?

BT: Most careers these days have professional designations and licenses that are particularly valuable.

Find the designation that your industry values most and get it. Remember, the harder it is, the easier it is for you to differentiate yourself compared to your competition, and, in doing so, prove you're worth a higher salary. An MBA is much more general than these designations so, while valuable, it doesn't prove niche specialization in your profession.

What to expect in an online MBA degree program

Designed to enhance existing business knowledge, an online MBA builds managerial and leadership skills. When it comes to what to expect in business school, students complete individual assignments and group projects alike. Core, elective, and specialized coursework accompanies a capstone requirement.

MBA courses

Coursework varies by program, but MBA courses generally emphasize business fundamentals like accounting, finance, and management. Students explore organizational structures, strategic thinking, and leadership as they relate to business environments. 

Business administration degree levels

Students have options to earn business administration degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels. Each business degree has unique outcomes and accommodates different needs and goals. 

Associate and bachelor's degrees including introductory coursework and lead to entry-level business positions. Master's degrees and doctorates dive deeper into specific aspects of business, giving learners opportunities to move into advanced business roles. 

Associate in business administration

Length: Two years

Cost: $200-$700 per credit

Post-grad careers: Administrative assistant, customer service representative, sales manager

A business administration associate degree introduces students to business concepts and principles. Students study business communications, information systems, and economics through roughly 60 credit hours of coursework.

With an associate degree in business administration, learners have the knowledge and skills needed for entry-level roles across industries and organizations. An associate degree in business administration also allows students to continue onto a bachelor's degree in business or related field. 

Bachelor's in business administration

Length: 4 years

Cost: $300-$1,000 per credit

Post-grad careers: Project manager, human resource specialist, business analyst

Most bachelor's degrees in business administration include 120 credit hours of coursework and experiential learning requirements. The comprehensive nature of business administration bachelor's degree prepares students for careers with private, public, and government organizations and across industrial sectors. 

Students complete general education classes alongside courses in business topics like accounting, finance, marketing, and management. Additional business courses explore human resources, international business, information technology, and project management. 

Master's in business administration

Length: 2 years

Cost: $300-$1,200 per credit

Post-grad careers: Senior business analyst, marketing director, financial manager

A master's degree in business administration builds on existing knowledge and skills and fosters managerial abilities. What to expect from business school varies by program, but many master's degrees in business administration allow learners to specialize in areas such as healthcare, international business, or entrepreneurship. 

Master's degrees in business administration integrate individuals and collaborative assignments and projects. As part of a business administration master's degree, students may need to complete an internship or practical requirement. Working professionals often benefit from opportunities to do so at their current place of employment.

Doctorate in business administration

Length: 3-8 years

Cost: $300-$1,200 per credit

Post-grad careers: University professor, chief executive officer, entrepreneur

There are two types of business administration doctorates. A doctorate of business administration focuses on business theory and knowledge, training students to apply it to the business world. A Ph.D. in business administration emphasizes research, ideal for individuals who want to work in academia and research. 

Coursework prepares learners to undertake an advanced project related to a specific aspect or issue within the business world. A Ph.D. in business administration culminates with a dissertation, while other business doctorates integrate projects and practical requirements. 

In conclusion

The top online MBAs vary in format, content, and outcomes, making it essential to choose a degree that meets your needs. Finding the right degree can set you on the path to a lucrative, rewarding career as a business leader.