Every online MBA program differs in some ways, but they all offer incredible flexibility and convenience in schedule and accessibility. Having the ability to work, take care of kids, travel, or fulfill any other responsibility while completing an MBA is priceless. Speaking of price, Online MBAs are typically more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. But what about public school online MBA programs? Overall, they have lower tuition fees than private universities, as they receive government funding primarily. In our research, we discovered that top state school Online MBA programs have an average tuition of around $68,000, whereas the top 20 Online MBA programs come in at over $92,000.
We have put together a Top State School Online MBA ranking for you. Every university in our ranking is a four-year, accredited, public university that offers an AACSB-accredited Online MBA. They all cover advanced courses of essential business topics and provide expert faculty, experiential learning opportunities, and professional development activities. Take a look.
#1 | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kenan-Flagler Business School
The University of North Carolina began in Chapel Hill in 1795. It not only offers our #1 ranked state school Online MBA, but it was also our nation’s very first public university. Like the Ivy League, this Public Ivy university is a top leader in global higher education. Having earned its accreditation from the SACSCOC, UNC-Chapel Hill has 95 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, and 65 doctoral degrees for over 31,000 students.
UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School provides a top globally-ranked Online MBA that is celebrating “ten years of no compromises.” At just over $125,000, it is the most expensive on our list but comes with an unmatched reputation. The STEM-designated, customizable curriculum is packed with solid core coursework coupled with over 25 elective options. Additionally, there are five concentrations in Finance, Strategy & Consulting, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Data Analytics & Decision Making. With flexibility in schedule, students complete the 62 credit hours at their own pace in 18 to 36 months. Students also enjoy at least two quarterly, in-person, immersive summits both on-campus and in cities worldwide.
#2 | University of Florida
Warrington College of Business
Landing the #2 spot is the University of Florida. Located in Gainesville, Florida, this university is accredited by the SACSCOC. Along with offering every degree level from associate’s to doctoral, the top-ranked UF continues to “transform passion into pursuit” through 24 online bachelor’s degrees, 50 online master’s degrees, including an Online MBA, and eight online doctorates.
The globally-ranked Online MBA offered by the Warrington College of Business is a well-rounded MBA experience. Dating back to 1999, Warrington was one of the first to design and release a fully-accredited Online MBA degree. Every Online MBA student gets to be a part of a cohort as they navigate the program. There is a required in-person orientation and experiential learning course: an online business simulation, an on-campus elective, or a Global Immersion Experience. Outside-classroom learning opportunities include regional networking events, speaker series, and city treks. Students choose between a 32-credit hour, 16-month accelerated Online MBA costing just under $50,000 and a 48-credit hour, 24-month flexible Online MBA just under $60,000.
#3 | University of Washington
Michael G. Foster School of Business
Our next top public school Online MBA comes from the University of Washington. It is located in Seattle and accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities. Composed of 18 colleges and schools offering bachelor’s through doctoral degrees, UW educates over 54,000 students each year, including Online MBA students.
This highly-ranked Online MBA program carries the Foster MBA reputation of producing top-notch business leaders. The Foster School of Business created a “work-compatible MBA,” giving those who need it the utmost flexibility in this two-year, cohort-based, interactive program. It has a hybrid format blending majority online coursework with three- to five-day quarterly in-person sessions on campus, providing excellent educational and networking opportunities. Students experience evidence-based challenges and hands-on case analysis projects applicable to their work environments. Of the 62 required credits costing just over $90,000, 12 credits are chosen from the exclusive Hybrid MBA electives list, including an International Study Tour, Successful Negotiations, Behavioral Finance, Digital Strategies & Systems, Foundation of Entrepreneurship, and Leading Organizational Change.
#4 | Indiana University
Kelley School of Business
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Indiana’s state school, Indiana University of Bloomington, has produced leaders since 1820. This top-ranked education integrates high-quality academics with opportunity and success. It combines associates, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs with over 750 student organizations and 380 study abroad programs. The Online MBA is one of the 200 online degree programs IU offers.
Students can partake in the Kelley Direct Online MBA through the Kelley School of Business for just under $80,000. Half of the 54-credit hour program consists of core courses, while the rest are filled with electives of choice for the opportunity to customize the degree fully. Within the electives, students can major in Business Analytics, Finance, Digital Technology Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation, Supply Chain & Operations, or Strategy & Leadership, if desired. Two in-person residencies are required for Online MBA students at the beginning and end of the program. It’s an excellent time to experience intensive academic activities and networking events with peers and professors at IU’s campus in Bloomington.
#5 | University of Maryland, College Park
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Our fifth spot is the highly-ranked University of Maryland, College Park, a global leader in entrepreneurship, research, and innovation. Located just outside of our nation’s capital, it can trace its roots back to 1856 and has become our nation’s first “Do Good” campus – “transforming idealism into impact.” As a Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredited institution, UMD offers 12 colleges and schools filled with over 300 undergraduate majors, master’s, and doctoral degree programs to over 40,700 students, including an Online MBA.
Smith School of Business’s highly focused and experientially-driven Online MBA fosters success and helps build careers. Students experience a highly engaging, cohort-based education with an innovative curriculum that offers specializations in Finance, Marketing, General, Accounting, Supply Chain Management, and Information Systems & Business Analytics. The 54-credit hour program consists of core online coursework, either a Global Study or International Business course, and two in-person residencies: Introduction to Fundamentals of Business and Integrative Business Simulation. The program costs just over $90,000 and can be completed in 24 months.
#6 | University of Utah
David Eccles School of Business
The Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities accredits the University of Utah, the next university in our Top State School Online MBA ranking. Founded in 1850 in Utah’s capital Salt Lake City, the top-tier research university is Utah’s public flagship institution. It strives to make a difference through building a “community of explorers, innovators, and leaders.” Over 33,000 pursue bachelor’s through doctoral degrees, including an Online MBA, in 18 colleges and schools comprising almost 100 departments.
Combining accessible 24/7 on-demand learning with weekly live webinars gives the David Eccles School of Business’s Online MBA students incredible flexibility in their studies. The top-ranked Online MBA format offers superior technology that allows interaction amongst peers and faculty and full access to career advancement resources, like executive coaching and workshops. In around 24 to 26 months, online MBA students complete the customizable 48-credit hour program, including one three-day on-campus residency to start. A few of the 26 online elective options include Data Visualization, International Management, and Venture Capital. Students complete this degree for just under $60,000.
#7 | University of Pittsburgh
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
From its beginning in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh has become a top-ranked, leading research university. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it is considered the “#1 Public Institution in the Northeast.” The MSCHE accredits Pitt in its 645 associate’s through doctoral degrees and certificate programs, including an Online MBA. These programs are found within the 16 schools and colleges and four regional campuses.
At the Katz Graduate School of Business, the Online MBA comes in a “tailored-to-you” format, where students can customize their studies and complete them at their own pace. This part-time, cohort-based program requires 45 credits, can be completed in two to three years, and costs around $70,000. The highly-ranked Online MBA offers integrative coursework combined with professional development opportunities, case competitions, and community-based projects. Students either choose specific electives they are interested in or pursue a Katz Credential, a set of specialized electives that focus their studies on Marketing, Business Analytics, Finance, Operations, or Technology Management.
#8 | University of Massachusetts Amherst
Isenberg School of Management
At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, one is challenged to “Be Bold. Be True. Be You.” It consists of 110 undergraduate majors, 80 master’s, and 48 doctoral degree offerings with on-campus, online, and blended format options. UMass is accredited by the NECHE and has 12 schools and colleges. Students experience academic and career support, multidisciplinary collaborations, and customizable academic programs, including an Online MBA.
This top-ranked Online MBA, provided by the Isenberg School of Management, has been in business and upholding the AACSB accreditation since 2001. Students choose between a General MBA requiring 39 credits or pursuing a focus area Healthcare Administration, Business Analytics, Finance, Marketing, or Entrepreneurship, which adds just six more elective hours to equal 45 total credits. The only exception is for Physician Leadership graduates, who can obtain an Online MBA with a Medical Management concentration in 34 credits. Although it is offered 100% online, local students can attend some in-person classes. This well-established, robust, and adaptable degree costs between $25,000 and $38,000.
#9 | University of Arizona
Eller College of Management
The top-ranked, highly-respected University of Arizona is home to the next top state school Online MBA in our ranking. Located in Tucson, UA is the state’s land-grant university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It was established in 1885, 27 years before the state of Arizona. It has 20 colleges and 23 specialized schools that offer over 300 undergraduate majors, over 150 graduate areas of study, and a plethora of online programs for 47,000 students.
Online MBA students have the luxury of experiencing the Eller College of Management’s reputation of excellence at just over $50,000. Having 24/7 access to course material gives students the utmost flexibility in completing the 45 credit program in 14 to 30 months. The 17 elective credits can be filled by a general MBA path where you select from 17 elective options of interest. You can also choose to pursue one of six areas of concentration in Finance, Management & Organizations, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Health Care Management, or Privacy & Security. There is also an optional Global Business Experience trip.
#10 | University of Texas at Dallas
Naveen Jindal School of Management
Completing our list at #10 is the SACSCOC-accredited University of Texas at Dallas. It is a top public research university in Richardson, Texas, whose roots are founded in the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, established back in the 1960s. “Moving at the Speed of Bright” is their motto as they serve over 29,000 students in eight schools ranging from arts & humanities to behavioral & brain science. Students choose from 56 bachelor’s, 59 master’s, and 30 Ph.D. degree programs, with some online options, like the Online MBA.
This top public school Online MBA program is called the Professional MBA online. It has no on-campus requirement and allows students to complete the 53 credits at their own pace and on their schedule, taking anywhere from 21 months to six years. There are 21 credit hours filled by electives, with 59 elective options. Students may choose to concentrate 12-credit hours in one of 15 concentrations or utilize some elective hours towards obtaining Executive Education certificates, or neither option. Tuition costs just under $50,000.
Before you decide which Online MBA is right for you, it is critical to do your research. The top three things to research and determine are:
- Check to see if your employer offers financial assistance for an Online MBA and if they prefer specific programs.
- Research public schools in your state and see which ones offer Online MBAs and if they offer in-state discounts on tuition.
- Search for available scholarships to Online MBA students.
- Decide how much you can afford as you combine your finances with any financial aid, discounts, or scholarships you find.
- Time availability
- Research the time commitment required for each program in our ranking or any other programs you are interested in pursuing.
- With work, family, or any other obligations you have, decide how much time you have available to give to a program. Do you have a specific time frame for completion? Are there a certain amount of hours you can give to your studies each week?
- Figure out if you can pursue a full-time, part-time, or accelerated Online MBA program.
- Areas of interest
- Research the different concentrations, specializations, and focus areas available in Online MBA programs.
- Decide if there is a specific area of interest you want to pursue.
- Research Online MBA programs that offer that particular concentration.
There are countless options across the nation available to you as an online student. Take time to peruse each Online MBA program in this ranking to see if any of them fit your finances, time availability, and areas of interest. Hopefully, this list can make your search a little less overwhelming. Good luck!