Master of Business Administration (Online MBA): Online Degree Overview

Research online Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Most online MBA programs are designed for working professionals and can be completed entirely online, with students accessing course materials at any time, within certain deadlines. Other programs may requires students to take some courses on campus or complete on-site requirements or visits to businesses for learning activities.

Most MBA programs require about two years of full-time study, longer for part-time students. Students learn to analyze data and make sound business decisions. Some programs allow students to select a concentration such as marketing, accounting or information technology. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and satisfactory Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Online MBA programs typically include a variety of business, finance and management courses. These programs prepare professionals for effective leadership in a rapidly changing, competitive workplace. Students learn and enhance skills in strategic planning, management leadership, human resources and information analysis through coursework, projects and experiential learning techniques.

Most schools require students to take the GMAT and possess a bachelor's degree prior to admission to the online MBA program. Students may also seek related online MBA degrees with concentrations in marketing or strategic management.

Information and Requirements

Online MBA degree programs may generally take two years to complete. However, some schools will allow part-time students up to five years to complete the program. While most coursework is available online, some programs may require on-campus residencies where students get a hands-on look at companies and their operations. Interaction is facilitated through web-based communication tools, such as instant messenger and email.

Students will need a computer with access to the Internet and word processing software. In some programs, students may also be required to download Adobe Reader, Flash Player, Java and iTunes/QuickTime plug-ins and software.

Business Administration Courses

Depending on prior education, students may be required to take courses in accounting, finance, marketing and management. Common core courses include accounting, strategic planning and marketing courses.

Financial Accounting

This course introduces financial systems and reports in business transactions in the workplace. Applying accounting tools, analyzing financial information and preparing financial statements is emphasized.


The course provides an overview of marketing strategies, along with how marketing plans are implemented in for profit and nonprofit firms. Students examine behavioral and environmental aspects affecting marketing decisions.

Organizational Behavior

Courses explore systems analysis and decision processes, as well as organizational performance. Students learn to understand behavior and study the relations between organizational behavior and management.

Career Information

Graduates of online MBA degree programs may work in a variety of executive-level positions in business, including chief executive officer, chief financial officer and vice president of operations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 238,940 chief executives working in the U.S. in May 2015. The average salary was $185,850 in the same period. The BLS predicted a 6% increase in employment for all top executives between 2014 and 2024.

Continuing Education Information

Students interested in additional education may find Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) or Ph.D. in Business Administration degree programs. While not mandatory, Certified Manager (CM) certification is available for management professionals through the Institute of Certified Professional Managers.

MBA programs can be found in both hybrid and fully online formats. Graduates are ready leadership roles in many businesses, as they should have skills in human resource management, strategic planning, accounting and marketing; some could find employment as chief executive or financial officers.

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