Top Online MBA Programs from Small Schools


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Small colleges, universities, and business schools offer an intimate learning environment. Distance learners enjoy instruction from known professors and the valuable opportunity for one-on-one contact with faculty and staff. These benefits are valid for on-campus students and graduate students who earn their degrees online. For this list, we considered the advantages of acquiring a business degree at a smaller school and listed the top-ten small colleges for an Online MBA.

Babson College

Babson College logo from website

Babson’s part-time MBA is designed with working professionals’ work/life balance in mind. Enrolled students build the strategic management skills, entrepreneurial mindset, and global network they need to excel professionally.

Whether they are looking to advance in their current career or pivot to a new one, distance learners can choose courses that align with their career goals or allow them to explore new topics. Part-time MBA students have unparalleled access to all formats, including in-person daytime or evening classes, weekend intensives, blended/hybrid, 100% online, and even electives abroad. Course delivery can be switched up to accommodate life milestones and slow down or ramp up schedules to make an online MBA fit many lifestyles. MBA students can choose when to get started with multiple starts throughout the year.

Part-time MBA students also have access to the same academic centers, courses, faculty members, concentrations, experiential learning opportunities, and intensity tracks as full-time students. Enrolled students can grow their network through electives and clubs, experience diversity by working with students from different programs, and reap the benefits of 40,000+ alumni in nearly 130 countries worldwide who make up the Babson alumni network. This small school online MBA has it all.

Clarkson University

Clarkson University logo from website

The online MBA from Clarkson University is a 100% customizable program designed for maximum flexibility. Enrolled students can tailor the program to fit their active schedules, with part and full-time options. Graduate students wanting to take advantage of their distance learning will want to consider focusing their studies with a concentration in data analytics, supply chain management, or leadership.

The small business school brings a personal touch with the chance for graduate students to earn merit-based scholarships. All incoming School of Business students are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. Clarkson has a smaller and more personal leadership team that allows incoming students to start their program at any term. The online MBA program runs on quarter-based semesters that typically begin in January, March, June, and September.

The AACSB International accredits Clarkson’s online MBA. This distance degree consists of fourteen three-credit courses, of which ten are core and four are electives. Business school students enjoy a balanced educational experience from a small business school.

Bentley University

Bentley University logo from website
Bentley University Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Bentley University) (PRNewsFoto/)

Bentley University is a small institution of higher learning that offers an excellent online MBA. Business school leaders believe that graduate students should not have to put everything on hold to take their careers to the next level. Therefore, Bentley has created an accelerated, 100% online MBA program that can transform careers in as little as 18 months without students being forced to give up jobs, families, or lives. An asynchronous, online learning format means Bentley’s accelerated online MBA is presented in streamlined, fast four-week and six-week intervals.

The curated curriculum with a leadership specialization takes the mystery out of course selection, allowing graduate students to concentrate on one course at a time while performing coursework at the time of day that works best for them. Enrolled students have the chance to invest, collaborate fully, and network with their classmates through limited meeting times in-person throughout the four-week intensives. This small school’s leadership concentration gives graduate students the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to lead multinational/multicultural organizations effectively. The program’s concentration attracts distance learners from diverse fields like healthcare, engineering, IT, biotechnology, finance, consulting, etc. This online MBA from Bentley prepares graduates for advancement into richer leadership roles.

Samford University

Samford University logo

The online Master of Business Administration program in Samford University’s Brock School of Business is the ideal small school program that prepares successful managers and leaders to excel in the competitive global business environment. Core business functions are delivered with a focus on decision-making and practical application in the workplace, allowing graduate students to apply what they learn to their careers instantly.

Brock School of Business leaders encourages MBA students within the small business school to customize their education to meet their career goals. MBA classes are offered on campus in the evenings or through distance learning, giving graduate students the flexibility to meet their personal and professional obligations while advancing their careers. Specializations are available in sports business, data analytics, and finance. The business school also offers some joint degree options.

Stress on cross-disciplinary competence means that graduate students integrate business processes across functional areas to make timely, informed, and holistic decisions. Critical thinking and decision-making are essential to this program’s curriculum as students generate and synthesize information to create and implement accelerated and informed decisions. Enrolled students learn how to function as effective communicators by actively improving their ability to communicate ideas, plans, and evaluations in group settings and with individuals. Samford offers the robust education of a large program within the intimacy of a small school.

Marist College

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Online MBA students can find their competitive edge at the small business school within Marist College. The AACSB-accredited online MBA program at Marist is more than just a business degree. It operates as a hub for professionals from diverse backgrounds and experiences to shape the global economy’s future.

Whether students are ready to enroll part or full-time, program designers at the small business school can help. This online MBA program was designed with maximum flexibility in mind. Thanks to its adaptive scheduling, over nine out of ten of Marist’s MBA students satisfy all degree requirements while working full-time. With five start dates each year, there’s nothing stopping distance learners from reaching their goals on their timetable.

Online MBA students at Marist benefit from intensive coursework in core knowledge and skills by exploring a unique concentration, including Ethical Leadership, Financial Management, and Health Care Administration. Marist’s online MBA curriculum remains cutting-edge and in line with current and future trends because the small faculty are Marist instructors and active industry experts. The business school’s MBA faculty successfully operate within today’s business world as they apply their day-to-day business practices to their excellent MBA instruction.

Saint Joseph’s University

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Enrolled graduate students within this small school program discover an MBA unlike any other in Philadelphia. Saint Joseph’s flexible online MBA is built by its students, combining their choice of stackable certificates. Including only 36 credits, distance learners can complete their degrees in as little as twelve months. They also choose from various specializations and study entirely online, on-campus, or through both. Affordable tuition options are also available to online learners.

The small business school faculty is committed to helping its students thrive in a business world where technology-driven models and mindsets constantly alter the nature of business. This innovative MBA will challenge graduate students to become future-focused leaders with the vision, knowledge, and courage to navigate unprecedented economic and social disruptions, with a deep conviction for social benefit and sustainable progress.

Saint Joe’s online MBA model is Pennsylvania’s first and only one to allow distance learners to customize their experience. The stackable, three-certificate model lets MBA students choose two concentrations and a core MBA set of courses. This small school online MBA puts the student first.

Lehigh University

Lehigh University logo

Lehigh’s FLEX MBA is the hybrid MBA for today’s working professionals looking to enhance their knowledge and skills. The part-time pace is the perfect solution for active graduate students needing to earn their advanced degrees at their rate and on their terms.

The small business school offers students personalized attention and unparalleled flexibility in advanced business education. Students can opt to meet for class on campus or through online learning each day through Lehigh’s unique ClassroomLIVE experience, depending on what daily schedules dictate. Graduate students who prefer the networking opportunities of being on campus but who need to travel for work assignments for two weeks can attend classes in person and then leave town to join classes online Live during their time away. This small school online MBA offers the ultimate hybrid learning environment.

The FLEX MBA program features various concentration areas. Concentrations do not need to be declared at the start of the program. Many MBA students earn their degrees without choosing a specialization, which allows them to take elective coursework on many topics. Graduate students interested in a concentrated area can select Business Analytics, Corporate Entrepreneurship (VENTUREseries), Finance, International Business, Marketing, Project Management, Public Health, or Supply Chain Management. This small school online MBA has earned a spot as one of the top ten in the nation.

Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology logo from website

The online MBA at Stevens Institute of Technology takes excellent steps to consider how rapidly the data revolution has influenced how managers identify trends and recognize opportunities. This innovative distance degree from a small school is taught by instructors who understand the traditional managerial toolkit — finance, marketing, and strategy — must be accented by knowledge and skills in analytics and technology to create success.

MBA courses within this program feature applied exercises that prepare distance learners to be leaders capable of making timely and data-supported decisions. MBA coursework includes collaboration through group presentations and projects while developing graduate students’ creativity and critical thinking skills through new analytical tools and cutting-edge research insights. Since no graduate business education is complete without the chance to apply what MBA students learn through a project of consequence, this degree offers many opportunities to use the content in real life. At Stevens, this can look like consulting assignments with industry partners, research projects that address an industry need, or the chance to nurture one’s entrepreneurial venture. This small school online MBA is customizable for graduate students’ education and career aspirations.

Rice University

Rice University logo from website

At Rice Business, MBA students discover that all their learning experiences—whether online or on-campus—are designed around the small business school’s core values of being kind, attentive, and responsive. The online MBA program at Rice is designed to help distance learners create personal connections with diverse faculty and peers who are invested in their professional and personal growth.

Enrolled students enjoy engaging in live online classes and interactive coursework, attending at least two in-person field experiences, and accessing academic advising and technical support services. All supportive experiences in this small school MBA degree empower graduate students to develop essential business skills and form lifelong friendships while still honoring their obligations and professional commitments. Rice Business students build the confidence they need to grow and take calculated risks, backed by the support of an excellent faculty and fellow ambitious students. Program designers encourage MBA students to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit boldly pursue innovation that results in the solution to complex business problems as they elevate their careers and create value for their organizations. This online MBA is one that all prospective students should consider.

Santa Clara University

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The small school online MBA program, offered through the Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business, brings distance learners the same quality classes as the business school’s traditional on-campus program. Known for a seasoned tradition of ethical leadership and excellence in the community, the business school has structured the online MBA comprehensively to advance careers and open doors to opportunities within Silicon Valley and beyond.

The Leavey School of Business has inspired graduate students to achieve success since 1923. Distance learners can now join in the small school’s legacy of innovation and ethics no matter where they live and work. The Online MBA group of instructors at Santa Clara University includes a dynamic mix of dedicated educators and inspiring industry leaders in healthcare, Big Tech, and CPG. The faculty is available to share its wealth of global knowledge and business experience with all enrolled students. Online learners build a vibrant professional network spanning the Silicon Valley, Bay Area, and beyond. Leavey School of Business alumni makes up some of the best-compensated MBA graduates in the nation. This small school MBA pays distance learners back in abundance.

Action Plans

  1. Do Your Homework

Research online and through phone calls. You may want to take a trip to a local university and see how big the programs are in terms of enrollment. While many graduate students go to business school to gain business credibility in corporate America, hiring entities seek employees with proven strategic business skills and top-notch communication skills. An online MBA shows that a professional is the type of person who will make informed decisions and ask helpful questions. The credibility gained from a small school MBA works far beyond the interview room. Pursuing an online MBA demonstrates one’s commitment to understanding business perspectives, and it proves you have what it takes to lead effectively.

  1. Find Out How Big the B-School Really Is

Ask business school representatives how many students are currently seeking MBAs, how large class sizes are, and how many students graduated the year before. Small schools offer personalized attention and excellent accountability. While attending a small school is not mandatory or wanted by every prospective MBA, it could be the perfect atmosphere for many students. Any one of these top Online MBA programs from small schools is positioned to help you develop into the leader you always wanted to be.

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Best Online Entrepreneurship MBA Programs

Find Your MBA

Get matched with top online MBA programs now!