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Best Online Master's Degrees in Business Management

May 03, 2021

What Is an Online Master's in Business Management Degree?

Business management is the study of the different aspects of running a successful business. It covers financial management, strategic management, human resource management, marketing and advertising, and public relations. An online master's in business management will provide students with a solid foundation to build a career in the field.

A Master of Arts in Management, a Master of Science in Management, or a Master of Business Administration in Management will provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to work in top-level management positions. The business management master's program has universal applicability, so graduates will be able to apply the skills learned to positions around the world. A master's in business management can also be a precursor to studying at a doctorate level.

For students unsure if this is the right choice for them, there are a number of free online courses in the area that can provide an introduction.

The Best Online master's degree Programs in Business Management

1. Webster University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13500 57% 58% 96% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

2. Brenau University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13254 58% 46% 97% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

3. Lincoln Memorial University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18123 50% 55% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

4. Oakland City University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8100 55% 52% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

5. Walsh University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12870 76% 65% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

6. Davenport University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$15888 82% 49% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

7. Husson University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$16640 85% 57% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

8. Limestone College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12500 51% 33% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

9. Ottawa University-Ottawa

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11770 15% 51% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

10. Fitchburg State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5742 88% 58% 91% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

11. University of Sioux Falls

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7020 91% 64% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

12. King University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19500 62% 59% 92% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

13. Tennessee Wesleyan University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$20550 61% 41% 100% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

14. Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5022 74% 35% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

15. Regent University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$16952 86% 57% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

16. Brandman University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12320 89% 60% 89% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

17. Bethel University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11034 90% 32% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

18. West Texas A & M University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6882 69% 45% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

19. Rutgers University-Camden

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$20145 79% 65% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

20. University of Mary

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$17694 74% 60% 98% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Why Should I Get an Online Business Management Master's Degree?

According to the US Business Formation Statistics the number of new businesses in the USA has been increasing over the past few years, with over 4.35 million new businesses opening in 2020. This was a 24.13% increase from 2019 and consistent with the trend over the previous years. As these businesses grow, the need for managers who have the skills to guide these companies will also grow, meaning those with a master's in business management will be well placed to take advantage of the opportunity.

Students with good communication skills, confidence, positivity, and creativity have some of the skills necessary to succeed in this field. Commitment and passion are other essential attributes because it is the role of a business manager to instill this passion in the team. If a company is to succeed, everyone needs to be passionate about what they are doing to engage the consumer. Employees take their lead from those that manage them.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online Master's in Business Management?

Most online master's in business management students take between 18 and 24 months to complete the program; however, there are several programs online that offer accelerated learning options that reduce this time. Depending on the program, a student can complete their master's degree in as little as 12 months.

The number of credits required to complete an online master's in business management varies, but most programs require students to complete around 36 credits. For some of the more intensive programs, the number of credits can be as high as 72. The number of credits required directly correlates to the time it will take to achieve the qualification.

Curriculum for Online Master's Degree Programs in Business Management

The online master's in business management is typically made up of a combination of core and elective courses. Core courses usually make up the bulk of the course requirements and are generally completed at the start of the program. This ensures that students have the necessary knowledge to complete the elective courses that they choose. Some programs require students to complete a practical business project prior to completion, although this is a less common requirement.

Business Management Foundational Courses

Foundational courses contain the knowledge base that is essential for anyone working in the area. While the core courses vary between schools, some of the more common core courses include:

  • Foundations of Business teaches students the core principles associated with successful businesses.
  • Organizational Behavior focuses on how businesses operate at an organizational level within the business environment.
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis covers the basics relating to understanding a company's financial performance and analyzing this information in the real world.
  • Strategic Planning and Innovation focuses on plotting a path forward for a business that aligns with organizational goals.
  • Decision-making covers the principles related to decision-making at an executive level.

Business Management Specialist & Elective Courses

Elective courses allow students to focus on the areas they are most interested in or plan to base their careers. Some common elective courses include:

  • Accounting focuses on the principles of accounting that are relevant to successfully managing a business.
  • Effective Negotiations provides students with an understanding of the principles of negotiation and how to apply them.
  • Quality Management focuses on the role quality plays in a successful business and strategies for maintaining quality.
  • Global Business Management teaches students principles of business management in the context of the global economy.

Licensure & Certification in Business Management

No licensure or certification is required at a national or state level to work in business management. A number of organizations do, however, offer certifications in this field. Certifications can give a student the edge in a competitive job market, so they are worth considering. These certifications are recognized industry wide.

The Certified Business Analysis Professional is offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis. Those considering this certification will need to complete 7,500 hours of business analysis, 35 hours of professional development, provide two references, and complete the online examination.

Offered by the Project Management Institute the Certified Associate in Project Management requires applicants to complete an online examination. The examination cannot be completed until candidates have obtained 23 hours of project management experience. To maintain the certification, 15 professional development units must be completed every three years.

Admissions Requirements for Online Business Management Master's Programs

Admission requirements for online business management master's programs vary depending on the school; however, there are some standard requirements. Generally, prospective students do not have complete a specific undergraduate program. Most degree programs require students to have a GPA of at least 3.0 to be considered. A number of schools also require students to submit either a GRE or GMAT standardized testing score. The GRE score needs to be 300 or higher, and the GMAT score 500 or higher.

Between 2-3 letters of recommendation are required for admission by most schools. At least one of these letters usually needs to be from a Professor the student has previously studied under.

Schools also require applicants to submit a personal statement detailing work experience, reasons for applying, goals of study, and the reasons the student believes they will be successful in the program.

As the course is completed online, many schools also have technology requirements that students will need to review before applying.

What Can I Do with a Business Management Master's Degree?

A master's in business management opens the door to a vast number of opportunities. A master's degree is the key for promotion to executive leadership positions in many larger companies. There are an increasing number of roles in global business management, although students will need to ensure they complete the necessary courses if they wish to. Graduates can choose to work as marketing managers, public relations managers, supply chain managers, or project managers.

Graduates with a master's in business management work in a wide variety of different settings, including government, public and private businesses, non-profit organizations, healthcare facilities, and educational facilities. Graduates with a background in this field also feature prominently as board members for different companies where the qualification is considered an asset.

While business development managers and marketing executives are relatively different, they are two possible career paths for graduates.

The master's in business management also opens the door to a range of opportunities relating to marketing. For those wishing to focus solely on marketing a master's in business marketing may be a better path.

Job Outlook for a Master's in Business Management

Given the number of new businesses that are started each year in the US, the job prospects for graduates are positive. As well as working for established companies, graduates also make up a portion of the entrepreneurs responsible for founding these new companies.

As long as there are businesses, there will be a need for business managers. Sales managers are always in demand with a predicted growth of 4% over the next ten years. This area presents an opportunity for graduates with the field undergoing massive changes over the last few years with the growth of eCommerce. Graduates with a master's in business management will be on the cutting edge of these developments, making them an attractive option for many companies.

Increasing compliance obligations in several fields have also seen a niche develop within the market that is likely to experience increased demand for qualified managers over the next few years.

How to Become a Marketing Manager

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for marketing managers for the period 2019 to 2029 is predicted at 6%. In 2019, the average salary received by marketing managers was $149,200, although marketing managers working in California, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, and Colorado can command much higher pay.

Marketing managers work closely with the company's executive leadership team to develop strategies aimed at promoting the company and its products or services to consumers or other businesses. They take the lead in coordinating the advertising of different departments within an organization to ensure they align with the organization's overall goals. They also allocate budgets to the various departments for advertising and marketing activities.

To excel in the role, marketing managers need to understand market trends and how they influence consumer behavior. Marketing managers also need to have high attention to detail, meet deadlines, and be highly focused to be successful in the role.

How to Become a Human Resources Manager

Human resource managers are responsible for directing and coordinating the employment aspects of an organization. This includes the hiring, onboarding and orientation, performance management, training, evaluation, and disciplining of staff. Human resource managers play an integral role in assessing the ongoing staffing needs of an organization. They also have a key role in developing new positions and ensuring that the organization's requirements are reflected in the qualities that are advertised.

Another aspect of the role may encompass health and safety, with human resource managers taking the lead in educating staff members and ensuring the organization complies with regulations. Human resource managers need to have a sound foundation in all aspects of employment law.

The average salary for a human resources manager is $129,970, with job growth over the next ten years predicted at 6%. Areas employing the most human resource managers are California, New York, and Illinois.

Business Management Professional Organizations

One of the functions of professional organizations is to create a network for business managers that can offer peer support and advice. Professional organizations often take responsibility for administering certifications and the ongoing education of their members. Most professional organizations offer a range of social and professional development opportunities each year for their members.

One professional organization for business managers is the American Management Association (AMA). The AMA plays a key role in the certification of members as well as providing a comprehensive range of educational resources to its members. The AMA also offers a range of courses for members who wish to develop their skills in a particular area.

The Business Professionals of America has over 45,000 members. It aims to support professional business educators in their role. It started its life as a student organization for those interested in teaching the next generation of leaders. Student memberships are available.

Common Undergraduate Degrees for Business Management

The most common undergraduate degrees for those studying a master's in business management often reflect the different specialties within management including marketing, human resources, financial management, business administration, and public relations.

Some students have an undergraduate degree in the sciences with statistics, computer science, and information systems all contributing to the master's pool. Other undergraduate degrees are based in the social sciences and include psychology, sociology, and English literature.

It is important to note many programs do not place restrictions on the undergraduate degree of applicants.

Post-Graduate Options After Completing a Master's in Business Management

A master's in business management is a good foundation if a student intends to pursue a Doctorate in Business Management. A doctorate typically takes between four and seven years and is most often completed on campus due to the associated teaching responsibilities. Doctorate programs are similar to master's programs in so far as requiring students to complete a set number of core and elective courses. The main difference is that doctorate students are usually required to conduct research in the field and write a thesis. Typically, doctorate students are aiming for careers in research or teaching.

Financial Aid, Scholarships & Grants for Online Master's in Business Management Programs

A number of scholarships are available to students pursuing a master's in business management. Some of these scholarships are administered by schools offering the program with details available on the school's financial aid page.

Some of the more widely available scholarships available to business management students include:

  • The Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship is targeted toward students looking to pursue a career in the management of business fraud. It is awarded annually with several scholarships of varying amounts available. The deadline for applications is usually in February each year.
  • The Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award is a $2,500 annual award to graduate students. A number of scholarships are awarded each year. The deadline for applications is usually in December each year.
  • The C200 awards are offered to female students looking to pursue a career in business, with several awarded each year.

Financial aid, in the form of loans, grants, work-study, and scholarships, is also available based on need. To apply for financial aid, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

State's also offer financial aid to students. The requirements vary between states, so check with the relevant state agency.

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