5th Annual Online MBA Program Rankings

2021 Best MBA Programs - MBAGuide.org

Only a few years ago, flashy headlines about Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs focused primarily on campus degrees. Not so these days. With technology making the online learning experience ever closer to the in-classroom experience, the number of online degree programs is growing and so are applications. U.S. News and World Reports now has a ranking focused solely on the online MBA.

The online degree has flexibility that a full-time campus program does not. No need to relocate, no commute time, and access to a curriculum focused on your needs—even if the faculty is on the other side of the country. In addition, almost all online MBA programs have a part-time option that lets you keep your paycheck while you earn your degree. It’s no wonder the online MBA is attractive.

But with the growth in the number of schools offering online MBAs comes the need to do research to figure out which school is right for you. This site is here to help with that research.

Click through our discussions and rankings on topics from tuition costs, to average GMAT score, to faculty strength. These and other topics covered here will help you to start thinking about what you want from an online MBA program. Once you have a handful of schools in mind, you can dig deep into the data to get to know more about those programs. This research will make sure you get the very most from your MBA experience.

Are you interested in exploring and comparing campus MBA programs, see our campus MBA program rankings.

100 Best Online MBA Programs

How Much is Tuition for General Business MBA ProgramsHow Much is Tuition for Online MBA Programs

If you plan on attending B-School, it's best to start thinking about fiscal responsibility. A prospective online B-Student in needs to weigh their options with regard to tuition rates. A highly reputable online MBA program can pave the way for a great starting salary by way of recruitment from Fortune 500 companies. An online MBA program can provide the flexibility of completing a program while being employed in your respective career.

With that being said, the lowest in-state tuition for online MBA programs is $6,660.00 compared to the highest average online in-state tuition of $94,162.00.

There's a significant tuition range for online in-state programs. The average online in-state tuition is $20,711.50 compared to an average online out-of-state tuition of $37,324.76 for traditional MBA programs.

If you have the option of attending a highly reputable online in-state program, it may be worthwhile to save close to $14,000 in tuition costs. If an in-state program isn't available to you, then a well-respected online MBA program may be the best option for aspiring B-Students. The average online in-state online MBA program in is $20,711.50 compared to the average online out-of-state program of $37,324.76.

Compare In-State, Out-of-State and Out-of-Country Online MBA Tuition

25 Least and Most Expensive Online MBA Programs

The least expensive online MBA is available from Augusta University. In-state tuition totals $6,660.00. Compare that bill to the $94,162.00. in tuition costs you wrack up if you attend University of Maryland's online MBA program. Both programs are accredited by the AACSB, which ensures they pursue excellence and continuous improvement in their degree programs. So why pay University of Maryland's higher price?

University of Maryland notes that its online program has the same rigorous curriculum that its full-time students complete. It’s taught by the same faculty and Access Weekends six times a year allow online MBA students to start classes with the professors who will teach you all semester. They also help students network with their classmates, other MBA students and alumni to build their personal network.

Research more about online MBA program tuition costs, see additional charts and graphs and sort programs by most affordable to most expensive programs.

Average GMAT Scores for Online MBA Programs

Everyone with MBA ambitions makes the purchase of a GMAT study program or guide with trepidation. The score on this one test can make a big difference in the schools you’ll be able to get into. But with more than 173 ranked online MBA programs available, you have a wide range of options. Whether you’ve already taken the test and want to see what schools have average scores in your range or you’ve got a dream school in mind and want to see if you’re likely to get in, the information below will help you research your options.

Online MBA GMAT Scores

Online PhD GMAT Scores

25 MBA Programs with the Highest and Lowest GMAT Scores

The range of average GMAT scores for online MBA programs is wide. On the low end of the scale, Prairie View A&M University's online MBA program has an average GMAT score of 385.00 . On the high end, the Brown University has an average GMAT score of 385.00. But remember, the GMAT score is not the only decision-making criteria for admissions officers. Undergraduate grades, work experience, references and essays are all important parts of the package schools look at when they consider applicants. If you’re not great at taking tests, work on boosting other parts of your application.

Research more about online GMAT scores, see additional charts and graphs, and sort programs from lowest to highest average scores.

Student / Faculty Ratios for the Best Online MBA Programs

The faculty/student ratio has become an increasingly important criteria for selective MBA candidates. This ratio is important because many schools use the case-discussion approach to business instruction. With this teaching method, students are asked to read a case write-up of a business experiencing a problem, do their own analysis and prepare a solution to the problem. In-class case discussions are often heated, as the solution to the problem is unclear. But students won’t get much time to participate in these discussions if class sizes are enormous.

More broadly, a higher faculty/student ratio indicates a university pays more faculty members to instruct students and to offer additional guidance. This can be seen as a direct reflection of an institution’s attitude towards their students’ success. For aspiring MBA students who want faculty mentorship, a higher faculty/student ratio is important.

MBA Student/Faculty Ratio

Undergrad Student/Faculty Ratio

25 Online MBA Programs with the Lowest and Highest Student / Faculty Ratios

Faculty/student ratios vary dramatically from one online MBA program to another. Western Kentucky University, for instance, has about one professor for every 285 students. The University of Arizona, on the other hand, has about one professor for every 2.9 students. It’s easy to see which program provides students with more faculty interaction.

Research more about online MBA Student / Faculty ratios and see additional charts and graphs. Sort programs from highest to lowest student to faculty ratios.

Online MBA Programs Alumni Strength

The number of students enrolled in an online MBA program varies widely from one school to another. You may wonder why enrollment matters if you’ll be attending class online from the comfort of your own home, not sitting in the back of a huge auditorium. But it does matter.

Larger programs generally have the breadth of faculty and resources to offer more areas of focus. If you want to take classes specific a certain industry or functional area, you may need a larger program to meet your needs. Schools with a higher student enrollment also have a larger alumni base. When you’re looking for a new job after graduation or an introduction to a new company later in your career, that larger alumni base can help.

On the other hand, smaller online MBA programs can focus their resources and become the best option in their niche. They can be more personal, making sure that no student falls through the cracks. And while they have fewer alumni, students in small programs are often more tightly knit and their alumni more loyal. Both large and small online MBA programs have their benefits. Dig into the data here to find what’s right for you.

Research more about online MBA program Alumni Strength and see additional charts and graphs. Sort programs from highest to lowest student to faculty ratios.

Online MBA Alumni Strength

Online MBA programs vary substantially between the percent of students who attend full-time versus part-time. Again, this issue may not seem important if you will not be sitting in a classroom together, but it can make a difference. MBA programs assign group project because anyone graduating with a business degree must be able to collaborate in the workplace. If you are working full-time and taking MBA classes at night but are grouped with classmates studying full-time and who have more free time on their hands, friction may arise. Their preferred meeting times and the amount of time they spend on “camaraderie” rather than focused work may not meet your needs.

Online MBA Full-Time Student Enrollment

  • Lowest Full-Time MBA Enrollment: 5.00
  • Highest Full-Time MBA Enrollment: 617.00
  • Average Full-Time MBA Enrollment: 72.84

Online MBA Part-Time Student Enrollment

  • Lowest Part-Time MBA Enrollment: 5.00
  • Highest Part-Time MBA Enrollment: 1,396.00
  • Average Part-Time MBA Enrollment: 283.50

25 Best Online MBA Programs With the Most Alumni

The smallest full-time online MBA program is Berry College, with only 5 students in the program. (Longwood has a part-time MBA program too, but it’s small as well.) The Stevens Institute of Technology has a much larger full-time online MBA program with 617 students. Between these numbers is a range of program sizes. One will be right for you.

Faculty Strength for Online MBA Programs

An MBA program is only as strong as the background of its professors. Some of the best business professors have a nice balance of industry experience and teaching in an academic setting. They have the ability to back their in-class lesson plans with real-world application. That is a powerful combination for someone entering the business field. Knowing that your professor is an industry influencer and has extensive teaching experience in the field of is a clear sign that a program delivers high-quality education.

  • The average number of full-time faculty for online MBA in programs is 54
  • The lowest number of full-time faculty for online MBA in programs is 14
  • The highest number of full-time faculty for online MBA in programs is 192
  • The average percentage of MBA full-time faculty with a Doctorate degree 83%
  • The lowest percentage of MBA full-time faculty with a Doctorate degree 62%
  • The highest percentage of MBA full-time faculty with a Doctorate degree 100%

Start your research into the faculty strength of the online MBA programs you’re considering by looking into the number of full-time faculty the program employs. Indiana University Bloomington/Indianapolis campus has the highest number of full-time faculty of any online MBA program – 192. Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, on the other hand, has only 14 full-time professors.

But the number of full-time professors is not all you should consider. A program without a large full-time faculty may have several part-time professors to help with the teaching load. You should also consider qualifications of the faculty, such as the percentage of professors who have a doctorate degree.

Research more about online MBA program Faculty Strength and see additional charts and graphs. Sort programs from highest to lowest student to faculty ratios.

25 Online MBA Programs with the Highest and Lowest Faculty Strength

Ranking Methodology

You've told us what matters to you most and we've provided rankings that take into account price, program reputation, student commitment, and graduation rate. By factoring in the program rankings from trusted publications, we've compiled a unique list of U.S.-based, online MBA program rankings you won't find anywhere else. After pulling together the rankings from the publications, we've added cost of tuition, alumni strength, faculty strength, student / teacher ratio and GMAT scores. The result? A robust list of affordable online MBA programs that prospective B-students can rely on as they seek to further their studies and careers in business.



Data sources: MBA School Websites, IPEDS, National Center of Educational Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (ERIC), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). US News, The Econominst, Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week, Financial Times.

If you notice errors in the MBA program database, please contact us.

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