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The 25 Best Online MBA Programs For 2015-2016

The 25 Best Online MBA Programs For 2015-2016

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 who list options), many of them still don’t tackle one of the largest concerns of potential students.

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Namely, are online student outcomes as good as those from traditional schools? For this reason we’ve decided to come up with our own MBA rankings at Best College Reviews that are largely centered on student outcomes. A second question we wanted to address in our rankings was the question of whether or not online MBAs limit students abilities to specialize. In short, we’re ranking the most flexible programs, with the largest number of program specializations, and the best student outcomes. Our methodology for ranking the best online MBAs can be found at the end of our ranking.

1. Indiana University – Bloomington (Kelley)

1. Indiana

Indiana University’s Kelley school of business was the first top-20 business school in the nation to offer graduate business programs online. With the second highest average GMAT score on our list (636), admissions are competitive. The ability to take between two and five years to graduate, and choose from among 6 specializations lends flexibility to the Kelley Direct Online program that is unmatched in top tier business programs. As far as outcomes, the average Kelley graduate sees their salary rise between 33 and 66%, and all students – whether traditional or online – have access to Kelley’s world class career services. Over $104,000 is the average starting salary for graduates from Kelley Online.

2. University of Texas – Dallas

UT Dallas_tex_orange

The University of Texas–Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management’s online program was founded in 1999-2000 and offers two tracks: the global leadership executive MBA, and the project management track. A healthcare management for physicians specialization is also available for qualifying students. The Global Leadership Executive MBA involves three on-campus retreats, one international retreat, and a 10-day international study tour. As far as outcomes, UT Dallas ranks highly, with an average MBA graduate starting salary of $81,037. UT Dallas ranks #9 in our rankings for living alumni, with 7082.

3. Arizona State University

2. Arizona State

Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business is a top ranked business school that entered the online space slightly after Indiana University–Bloomington. With almost 15 years experience, Carey School of Business excels in outcomes, ranking third for average salary at graduation which comes in at $98,093. They also rank third for living alumni, of which they have over 17,000. Classes are taught by the same faculty that teach the full-time and part-time traditional MBA program. A one-course-at-a-time curriculum is offered to online cohorts, and the choice of up to four specializations. Students may also couple an online MBA with another degree to accelerate their education and save money.

4. Thunderbird School of Global Management

3. Thunderbird

The Thunderbird School of Global Management deserves its name, as the #1 ranked school of international business from a number of ranking organizations. Their Global MBA program is blended, requiring some on-campus meet-ups, and lasts for 19 months. It’s also filled with international perspectives, with over half of the class composed of non-US students. Thunderbird ranks highly in outcomes for our ranking, coming in at #1 for living alumni, with over 38,000, and #4 for salary, at $83,200. Admission standards are relatively rigorous with an average GMAT score of 585, and a 62% acceptance rate to the program. An average of 2 years work experience is recommended, but the average student has a good bit more, coming in at 34 years old.

5. Syracuse University

4. Syracuse

Syracuse University Whitman School of Management’s online MBA was founded in the 2001-2002 school year. The program offers a wide variety of specializations, including accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing management, and supply chain management. Outcomes from Whitman School of Management are good, comming in at #5 for living alumni (9,209), and #4 for starting salary ($90,000 from the full time two-year program, with an average $10,000 signing bonus). The average GMAT for entrants is also ranked #4 at 600. The student-faculty rate for Whitman MBA courses is 11 to 1.

6. University of Florida (Hough)

6. Florida

The Hough Graduate School of Business consistently ranks as a top program by a variety of ranking institutions and metrics, including #4 in the global rankings by Financial Times and–for the online program– being called “one of the happiest online mba programs on Earth” by Poets and Quants. Their Internet MBA falls under their working professional MBA program and is offered with two timeframes: a two-year (27 month) option open to students of any undergraduate degree major, and a one-year (16 month) accelerated option open to business degree majors who have graduated in the last seven years. Both options require two years of professional work experience, and a relatively high GMAT (their average score is 584).

7. Ball State University

16. Ball State

Ball State University’s online MBA was founded in the early 1990’s, and is part of a three versions of the same program: main campus, all online, or blended. Outcomes for the program are good, with the second ranked starting salary of $100,000 at three months out, as well as a living alumni network of 2,280. A student-faculty ratio of six to one, as well as competitive admissions with an average GMAT of 533 ensure quality engagement in the classroom. Five specializations are offered (and a more general route), they include entrepreneurship, finance, operations management, sales management, and health economics, policy, and administration.

8. Norwich University

8. Norwich

The nations oldest military college has transitioned to be one of the leaders in the online education space. Their online MBA program was founded in 2000-2001. Norwich offers five specializations for their MBA: construction management, finance, organizational leadership, project management, and supply chain management and logistics. They have a low acceptance rate for an online program, ranking #2 in our rankings with 42% of applicants being accepted. For students with professional experience or prior academic knowledge of business, the program may be accelerated to as little as 18 months.

9. Washington State University

7. Washington State

Washington State University Carson College of Business’ online MBA is a relative newcomer to the online MBA scene, being founded 2007-2008. Though the larger University has close to 20 years of experience in the online space, and 50 years in teaching MBA courses. Washington State University’s online MBA is relatively selective, with an average entrant GMAT score of 567 and an acceptance rate of 51% (ranking them #9 and #5 in our ranking, respectivally). Three concentrations, granted through a wider variety of electives, are available at Washington State’s online MBA: marketing, international business, and finance.

10. Georgia College and State University (Bunting)

10. Georgia College

The Georgia College and Stat University’s Georgia WebMBA offers a highly ranked online MBA course that’s flexible as well as cheap. The online program is currently small, with nearly as many full time professors as there are students. Outcomes are good for the Georgia WebMBA, with starting salaries reported at $71,100 on our list (8th in our rankings), and over 2,000 living alumni (16th in our rankings). Admissions are relatively selective, with an average GMAT for entrants of 544, and an acceptance rate of 62%.

11. University of Nebraska – Lincoln

11. Nebraska

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s online MBA was founded in 2002-2003, and offers specializations in business analytics, supply chain management, international business, finance, and marketing. Admissions are competitive, with the highest average entrant GMAT of our ranked schools (641), and two years work experience, a 3.0 GPA and 400+ GMAT score as suggestions for applicants. As far as outcomes, the MBA has over 2,600 living alumni, and an average starting salary of $65,873.

12. North Carolina State University

12. North Carolina State

North Carolina State University was founded in 2011-2012, and while still fairly small (with 40 current students), offers some unique choices. An extremely flexible program all