The 25 Best Online MBA Programs for 2017-2018
Over the last few years, the number of online MBA programs in America have exploded. Though there are several online MBA rankings (and a few major publications which list options), many of them still don t tackle one of the largest concerns of potential students.
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MBAs have long been standards of academic and theoretical business knowledge expected of mid-level managers and business owners. As a degree often pursued by students also working full-time jobs, MBAs were some of the first degrees to find their way online and to find acceptance in that format. With many schools having well over a decade of experience providing online MBAs, many programs have become finely tuned machines offering supreme flexibility, experiential learning, and pedagogical excellence. MBA holders find success in nearly every field and at virtually every level: from recent graduates to those looking to take the leap into their own business, to long-established managers in public and private ventures. Here at Best College Reviews, we re particularly aware that many potential online MBA students are working full-time and/or have family and life commitments. For this reason, we ve taken into account not just the overall program quality and academic prestige, but also the flexibility and affordability of programs. If you browse our site, you will find that many of the schools listed in this MBA ranking also appear on our top online colleges ranking.
The criteria for determining our methodology and ranking is listed below.
Featured MBA Programs
We surveyed close to 200 programs for the following three criteria.
- Academic Quality (1/3): the strength of the parent institution, as measured by factors such as average class sizes, number and quality of support services, quality of faculty, and quality financial aid.
- Flexibility-Enhancing Characteristics (1/3): the breadth and quality of flexibility-enhancing components of a program, including the number of specializations, the ability to accerlate or decelerate programs, prior learning or transfer credit opportunities, and unique presentation options.
- Affordability (1/3): the estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour rate (if applicable, ie if a state school). Note: many online programs offer in-state tuition for all students.
1. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Online Master of Business Administration
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (known as, Illinois), is a research-intensive, land-grant university that is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois System. Located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, the school is split evenly between the two towns in a campus noted for its architectural beauty and number of landmarks. Illinois is also noted for having one of the five best engineering schools in the world, as well as a wide range of research initiatives in all applied and basic sciences. The university is home to the second largest library in the US behind Harvard University as measured by the number of books. The university is home to over 44,000 students on campus, of whom almost 10,000 are from mainland China, South Korea, or India. This fact makes Illinois the largest enroller of mainland Chinese students in the United States. As with other universities noted for science research, Urbana-Champaign is home to many science and technology firms who recruit students. Nationally, the school also ranks in the top few schools in the nation for recruiting of talented graduates.
The iMBA offered by the University of Illinois is a standout program in online education. It s by far the most affordable program from a top university, costing a total of less than $22,000 for completion. It s also customizable, with students required to choose from two of three custom modules in their course of study: Global Challenges in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, or Digital Marketing. The iMBA is also touted for a rich collaborative environment, in which students will work on many hands-on projects with other students, and professors will directly interact with students. While asynchronous coursework in other MBAs can be a boon to flexibility, the opportunity to interact in such a meaningful way with top professors and talented students is a remarkable deal. Even while touting high interactivity and collaboration, the MBA has a global reach and is currently called home to students of 17 nations around the world.
2. Southeast Missouri State University
Southeast Missouri State University is a public university with a primary campus located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Home to some 12,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, the university was founded as a normal school and has traditionally been known for strong education programs. Recent expansions of the University include the opening of a River Campus (the university is located close to the Mississippi River), to house the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts. This recent commitment to the arts is in line with the University s goals to be a comprehensive university, a fact they exemplify through the offering of degrees and programs of study in over 200 disciplines. The University also functions as an online university of sorts, with a broad range of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs offered fully online.
SEMO s fully online MBA program ranks highly due to its flexibility and affordability. Students may choose from three concentrations, including the slightly more rare options of sports management and health administration. A general management track may also be taken. The degree is also affordable, coming in well below many schools with over $1,000 per credit hour. SEMO s program costs $529 per credit hour, within the 25 most affordable program options of those surveyed. Career prospects for SEMO are also good, with 98% of graduates who are seeking new jobs obtaining them within a year of graduating from the program. Furthermore, the fully online MBA is AACSB accredited, an honor only obtained by the top 5% of business schools in the world.
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