Accredited 4-Year Universities with Online MBA Programs: How to Choose

Many online Master of Business Administration degree programs are available from various institutions throughout the country. Here we discuss some of the factors potential students should consider when selecting a program, as well as learn about a few of the available programs.

How to Select an Online MBA School

Students considering online MBA schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Many schools across the United States now offer an online option for their Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. Students in MBA programs hone their problem-solving and analytical skills and are trained to become leaders and managers of organizations. They become familiar with the global marketplace and technologies used in modern business environments. Students should consider how flexible the program is, what concentrations are available and the institution's ranking.


Students enrolling in an online MBA program generally continue with their work and family responsibilities while studying. Prospective students will want to estimate how much time they have to devote to assignments, readings and other courses-related work. Some online programs must be completed within two years, while others give students a 4-year window to finish. Students should also check the course load, i.e. one, two or more courses per semester, to see if it is manageable.

Concentration or Specialization

MBA programs are available with many specializations; individuals will want to find a school with a program that aligns with their career goals. Available concentrations include financial management, human resource management, international business, information technology, accounting, organizational leadership and marketing. General MBA programs are also available.

University's Ranking

Students interested in attending a top university can investigate institutional rankings. Various organizations rank colleges and universities according to numerous criteria. For example, U.S. News & World Report publishes ranking information yearly.

Online MBA Programs Available

Online MBA

Institutions that have online MBA programs generally offer them with the same curriculum as the on-campus program. Most online MBAs are professional programs, and students do not write a thesis or complete a comprehensive exam.

Some programs' courses are provided through streaming video or recorded live to a DVD. Other schools present Web-enhanced courses using a content delivery system like Blackboard. Many schools have help desks that answer technical problems. Courses vary depending on the institution and specialization, but core courses may include:

  • Financial reporting
  • Decision making tools
  • Organizational performance
  • Supply chain management
  • Strategic planning

Schools With Online MBA Programs

Temple University's online MBA program was ranked number one by U.S. News & World Report in 2017. This program boasts internationally known faculty members, and offers multiple start dates for greater flexibility. There is an on-campus residency for all online MBA students at the start of the program that lasts one week.

Villanova University offers an online MBA program that consists of 21 courses that can be completed in two years. This program also requires a short residency during the first year of the program, as well as two practicum experiences. Students can also take advantage of an active alumni network.

Indiana University's Kelly School of Business, according to the institution's website, is in the top-20 ranked business schools and offers an online MBA program that requires 51 credit hours. Students in this program can select electives that closely match their career goals, take advantage of study abroad opportunities and learn from highly-ranked faculty. The online program requires students to attend a week-long residency in their first and second years.

There are multiple school options for students wishing to pursue their MBA online. Students exploring these options should consider things like the specializations a program offers, how flexible the program is and how highly the school and/or program is ranked.

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