The most exemplary MBA programs available online in 2021

An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree enables students to pursue some of the most lucrative positions in business, typically with a more flexible schedule than traditional on-campus programs. While many online MBA programs may lead to success, enrolling in one of the finest online MBA schools may give graduates an advantage over their competitors.

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2021’s top five online MBA programs

  • Florida University: The best online MBA program for fast learning
  • Florida State University: The Most Affordable Online MBA
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Best online MBA program for those seeking a more flexible schedule
  • The University of Texas at Dallas: The best online MBA program for those seeking a customized education
  • Florida International University’s online MBA program offers the best prospects for professional advancement.

What is a distance MBA?

An online MBA program delves into the inner workings of firms and the different roles and responsibilities that keep them running smoothly. MBA students study how business professionals may enhance operations, decision-making, and outcomes via information, tools, and approaches. Additionally, the program emphasizes leadership and networking, preparing graduates for most managerial roles.

MBA accreditation online

Numerous organizations accredit online MBA programs, but students typically seek accreditation from three distinct organizations: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) (IACBE).

Attending an authorized MBA school ensures that you will get a high-quality education. Accreditors evaluate schools’ faculty, classroom experience, and career changes to ensure that they provide good programs. Additionally, some firms will recruit only graduates from approved programs.

How long does it take to complete an online MBA program?

Most MBA programs last around two years, while several online MBA schools now offer faster courses. Students might cut down on study time by transferring credits, completing learning evaluations, or enrolling in several courses concurrently. Asynchronous online training enables learners to manage increased course loads while continuing to work.

What kind of experience can I anticipate from an online MBA program?

Typically, online MBA programs emphasize leadership development and provide students with advanced management skills and tactics. As a result, most programs seek early- to mid-career workers with managerial expertise.

The majority of the top online MBA programs are two years in duration and include between 30 and 60 credits. The training begins with fundamental business principles and progresses to more complex topics, giving learners an in-depth grasp of the many business management duties and responsibilities.

Along with the primary curriculum, several online MBA programs offer concentrations. Learners may choose to concentrate a portion of their study on a particular subject, such as finance, management, or human resources. Specializations enable students to tailor their education to their interests and set themselves apart from other MBA graduates.

Compared to conventional schools, an MBA online may provide more schedule flexibility and involve less travel. However, many programs require students to attend on-campus residencies. Group tasks and networking opportunities may need real-time attendance even in purely asynchronous programs.

Courses for online MBA programs

MBA curricula vary per program. However, there are several courses that you are likely to encounter throughout your enrollment:

  • Analytical data. This course teaches students how to use data to make better business choices via creating data models, data analysis, and the design of reports and projections.
  • Management of operations. Operations management courses cover the many strategies and practices used to increase operational efficiency and effectiveness. Students learn to plan and anticipate efficiently, manage projects, and handle inventories and supplies effectively.
  • Collaboration and leadership. Students study team-building and communication skills in teamwork and leadership courses to empower workers and foster independence and cooperation within their teams.
  • Finance for businesses. These courses introduce students to the many tools and ideas used in corporate finance. Students gain the ability to make sound financial judgments and assist companies in managing their money by studying taxes, capital budgeting, and investments.
  • Economics at the international level. Students enrolled in international economics courses understand international commerce, foreign currency, and trade rules and restrictions.

Concentrations available via MBA programs

You may pick a concentration or specialty when you enroll in an MBA program. A thing may assist you in preparing for the vocation you ultimately choose to pursue. Several MBA specializations include the following:

  • Operations specializations are concerned with the procedures involved in creating and delivering products and services. The training focuses on the planning, analytic tools, and service management tactics used to optimize operations.
  • Accounting specializations are designed to educate students on accounting principles and theory while also teaching them how to apply accounting ideas to other management activities.
  • Business analytics majors educate students on applying statistical tools and methodologies to help them make better business decisions in areas like marketing, finance, and operations management.
  • Concentrations in health care management explore the development and operations of health systems and services. Students examine health policy and economics and quality management and resource allocation issues.
  • Concentrations in information systems management educate students on how to develop business intelligence systems, more robust networks, and more effective company processes.
  • Sustainability concentrations examine how firms may increase their energy efficiency, integrate and comply with green rules and processes, and integrate sustainable activities into their operations and communications.
  • Entrepreneurship specializations provide students with the skills and information essential to create and run their businesses. Entrepreneurial finance, tactics, and communication may all be included in part of the training.
  • International business majors prepare students for jobs with multinational corporations. Students may study international economics, financial policy, and communication methods.

What career options are available to me with an online MBA degree?

An online MBA degree prepares students for a range of intriguing and well-compensated positions in the business. Jobs in finance, information technology, management, and other fields may be available depending on your specialty. Among the highest-paying MBA degrees are the following:

  • Financial officer in charge.
  • Director of business development.
  • Financial advisor.
  • Project manager, senior.
  • Manager of information technology.
  • Management consultant.
  • Manager of business operations.
  • Manager of finances.
  • Manager of health services.
  • Manager of marketing.

For fast learning, the best online MBA program is

Florida State University

Students with at least two years of professional work experience can apply to UF’s online MBA program, which features small class numbers and flexible enrollment opportunities. The program is cohort-based, meaning you will spend your whole time in class with the same peers. UF offers various networking opportunities and a lecture series for online MBA students.

Significant advantages

  • Numerous alternatives: Students pursuing an MBA online may select between a 16-month or 24-month program. The expedited track decreases credit requirements by admitting only students with a bachelor’s degree in business.
  • Career perks include career evaluations, remote video interviews, career development seminars, and a job board via the online MBA program.
  • Networking possibilities: The online MBA program has a cohort size of around 50 students to provide a more personal experience and to maximize networking opportunities. In addition to networking components included in the curriculum, UF hosts frequent networking events and chances to develop lasting connections.

Significant disadvantages

  • While the courses are delivered asynchronously, students enrolled in the accelerated 16-month online MBA must attend an on-campus orientation at the start of the program. Attendance is also recommended for 24-month program participants.
  • Admission is by invitation only and requires a bachelor’s degree, GMAT scores, and a minimum of two years of professional experience. Additionally, applications should include pertinent tasks, growth prospects, and professional objectives.

The best online MBA program on a shoestring budget

University of Florida

FSU offers a 39-credit online part-time MBA program that provides students with the same in-depth instruction as the full-time on-campus program in an asynchronous online format. Applicants may enroll in either the regular schedule or a specialized program.

Significant advantages

  • Available specializations include real estate valuation, finance, and investment in FSU’s online MBA program. Business analytics, management information systems, marketing, risk management, and insurance are other FSU specialties.
  • Few prerequisites: Although no prior business education is required, students should be conversant with economics and management fundamentals.
  • Tuition expenses are relatively inexpensive: FSU’s overall tuition expenses are low compared to other top MBA schools – $10,000 to $15,000 less on average. Additionally, students who live in-state and out-of-state pay about the same amount.

Significant disadvantages

  • While FSU recognizes both the GMAT and the GRE, it highly advises students to take the GMAT. The GMAT, for some students, is the more difficult of the two tests.
  • There is no expedited option available: FSU’s only online MBA program is a seven-semester part-time degree. Students seeking full-time education or who want to speed up their degree will need to go elsewhere.

The best online MBA school for those seeking a more flexible program schedule.

Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina

The UNC-Chapel Hill online MBA program, which has been in operation for more than a decade, offers 18- to 36-month study choices. Learners in the STEM-designated curriculum get a mix of asynchronous and synchronous instruction, learning the skills necessary to better decision making via data analysis.

Significant advantages

  • Students may pick from five specializations in addition to the leading online MBA pathway: strategy and consulting, data analytics and decision making, finance, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Additionally, UNC-Chapel Hill provides more than 25 electives to allow greater program personalization.
  • Alumni network: MBA students at UNC-Chapel Hill engage in an experiential learning program that includes various networking activities and opportunities. Learners benefit from the business school’s alumni network of over 42,000 graduates, providing over 2,000 graduates of the online MBA program.
  • Flexible completion: Online degree candidates have year-round access to courses and may work at their speed. Students typically finish the program in 24 months, but you may do it in as little as 18 months or as much as 36 months.

Significant disadvantages

  • The majority of the training is done online. However, students were required to attend two conferences. Summits hosted by the University of North Carolina Hill are usually three days. While the program fee covers the majority of expenditures, students are responsible for their flights.
  • Cost of the program: Tuition at UNC-Chapel Hill may be too expensive for sure students. Regardless of the option selected, students are required to pay $125,589 for the program.

The best online MBA program for those seeking a completely personalized education

Texas A&M University-Dallas

UT Dallas provides an online MBA to citizens of the state and a global leadership certificate to nonresidents. The 53-semester degree may be completed in as little as 21 months by enrolling in organizational behavior, economics, and data analysis courses. The curriculum is highly customized, with 15 specializations and 59 electives offered.

Significant advantages

  • Customizable: UT Dallas’ online MBA program offers 15 specializations, providing students with a high degree of flexibility in their studies. While certain specialties, such as finance and real estate, are conventional options, the program also offers several unique courses, such as internal audit, supply chain management, and international management.
  • Academic certifications: While pursuing an online MBA, students at UT Dallas have the option of earning one of four academic certificates in leadership change, organizational consulting, and project management, as well as executive and professional counseling. Although the credit requirements for each certificate differ, they may be an excellent opportunity to get more specialized training.
  • Students at UT Dallas choose a guaranteed tuition plan or a variable pricing plan. Students are immediately enrolled in the variable tuition plan, which changes annually. If you pick the guaranteed tuition plan, your initial tuition may be more, but you will enjoy a four-year rate lock.

Significant disadvantages

  • Nonresident tuition: Nonresident tuition is almost twice that of Texas residents, with locals paying $47,565 for three years of education and nonresidents paying $85,512 for three years of study.
  • While students must finish 53 credits for the online MBA, they may be required to take up to two extra courses to meet program prerequisites: management communications and mathematical foundations of business.

The best online MBA program for career advancement chances

University of Florida International

The professional online MBA program at FIU relies on the school’s more than two decades of distance education experience and provides students with a flexible online education. Students study competitive strategy, financial analysis, and the legal environment of business. Additionally, they have access to support programs and services offered by one of the country’s major institutions.

Significant advantages

  • FIU provides five start dates throughout the year for online MBA students, and students may finish their study in 18, 21, or 33 months, depending on the course load they select.
  • Opportunities for professional growth: As part of the online MBA program, students must attend three obligatory professional development seminars. Additionally, they have access to industry events, virtual meetings, and various support personnel and career management services for businesses.
  • After completing their tenth course, high-achieving students are eligible to win a scholarship ranging from $3,000 to $15,000. Students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 will automatically qualify for the award.

Significant disadvantages

  • FIU’s online MBA program includes a two-day residence in Miami. While this residence is not required, the fee is included in the tuition – meaning that students who cannot go may miss out on valuable opportunities.
  • Fewer electives: In comparison to other online MBA programs, FIU offers fewer electives, with most of the emphasis on the core curriculum. If you choose to pursue an MBA emphasis, you may select two courses from one of the eight available specializations.

The following are frequently asked questions concerning online MBA programs.

Is an online MBA worth the investment?

An online MBA program can prepare students for some of the most desirable management professions available. Graduates get advanced leadership training that prepares them for most managerial positions, and the program’s many networking opportunities enable students to develop and grow their professional networks. Numerous online MBA programs use the same curriculum as their on-campus counterparts.

Is admission to an MBA school difficult?

Numerous MBA programs have stringent admissions requirements, which may exclude specific individuals from applying. While schools may specify minimum GPA and GMAT scores, some of the most demanding entrance criteria stem from experience requirements. Numerous programs need at least two years of professional leadership experience.

What is the cost of an MBA program?

MBA Today’s top 25 MBA schools range from $55,727 to $161,810. However, some online MBA programs are less expensive; the online MBA schools listed above cost between $30,000 and $126,000.

How much money can an MBA earn me?

MBA graduates get a high rate of return on their investment. According to GMAC’s application trends study, the median annual base starting wage for 2019 was $115,000. This is more than twice the median beginning pay for bachelor’s degree grads, $55,000.

What are the highest-paying positions available to MBA graduates?

The salary you earn with an MBA degree is very geographical and experience-dependent. PayScale, on the other hand, lists the following as some of the highest-paying MBA jobs:

  • Financial officer in charge.
  • Director of business development.
  • Financial advisor.
  • Project manager, senior.
  • Manager of information technology.


To determine the top online MBA programs, we weighed academic quality, affordability, and programming — taking into account statistics like enrollment rate, average net price, graduation rate, and proportion of enrolled students taking out federal loans. Our top choices are all approved programs that provide unique benefits, such as open enrollment and various course selections.

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