In this article, we highlight the 20 best online schools for business administration in 2016-2017.
The need to fulfill business and financial occupations is on the rise. According to the United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics, business-related careers are expected to grow eight percent over the next decade. This means that jobs like budget analysts, buyers and purchasing agents, financial examiners, personal financial advisors, and training and development specialists are in demand.
Anticipated demand for business professionals to earn advanced degrees has caused some of the best business schools in the country to offer online programs. Today’s business professional often juggles work, family obligations, and education. To maintain a healthy balance, online business schools have opened their virtual doors to welcome these busy students.
This ranking was created to help you identify the top schools offering online business administration degrees based on the percentage of applicants admitted, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and overall undergraduate or graduate tuition/fees. We looked at approximately 105 schools that offer online bachelor’s in business administration degrees, online master’s in business administration (MBA) degrees, and online graduate business certificates. From our initial pool of schools, we applied our predetermined ranking methodology to data from NCES College Navigator to develop a list of 20 best online schools for business administration (2016-2017). In the event of a tie, the institution with the lowest net cost was awarded a higher ranking.
Student to Faculty Ratio
15:1 and under – 3 Points
16:1 to 20:1 – 2 Points
More than 20:1 – 1 Point
Overall Cost (In-state Tuition)
Less than $10,000/year – 3 Points
$10,001-$20,000/year – 2 Points
More than $20,000/year – 1 Point
Less than 50% – 3 Points
More than 50% – 1 Point
50% or Greater – 3 Points
25%-49% – 2 Points
Less than 25% – 1 Point
#20 – Pennsylvania State World Campus
University Park, Pennsylvania
Undergraduate tuition: $13,516
Graduate tuition/fees: $19,832
Pennsylvania World Campus offers customizable online bachelor’s in business administration degree programs and is considered one of the top online schools for business. As an online business student, you will tailor your degree program by selecting an 18-credit specialization of your choice. Available specializations include accounting, entrepreneurship, financial services, management and marketing, and an individualized approach where various disciplines may be explored. Online business courses cover a wide range of topics seen in today’s business world. Courses may include contemporary skills for business professionals, financial and managerial accounting for decision making, international business operations, and strategic business planning. All courses are taught by the same distinguished Penn State faculty who teach on campus. Penn State is nationally ranked and recognized by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report.
#19 – Auburn University
Undergraduate tuition: $10,424
Graduate tuition/fees: $10,418
Auburn University is one of the best online business schools in the country, according to major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school offers an online master’s in business administration that mirrors the full-time on-campus MBA program and is ranked among the top business schools in the United States. Online students may earn an MBA or dual graduate degree in various disciplines like MSBA and finance, management information systems, and industrial and systems engineering. All courses are delivered online and may include topics in cost analysis and systems, financial analysis, information systems for competitive advantage, marketing and consumer theory, and strategic analysis and the competitive environment.
#18 – Cleveland State University
Undergraduate tuition: $9,696
Graduate tuition/fees: $9,625
One of the best business schools online is found at Cleveland State University. The Monte Ahuja College of Business offers flexible, online business programs such as the online bachelor’s in business administration and the online MBA. At the undergraduate level, students take courses that explore various business topics like finance and operations in supply chain management or organizational behavior. The online MBA is an accelerated program that is one of the first one-year MBA programs of its kind. Cleveland State boasts recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report as having the 20th best online MBA program in the nation.
#17 – University of Nebraska
Undergraduate tuition: $8,367
Graduate tuition/fees: $8,556
The University of Nebraska offers one of the top online business schools in the country. In fact, major publications like U.S. News and World Report have ranked the school’s online MBA programs #15 and the online bachelor’s programs #86 in the country. Undergraduate programs available online include the business minor, while graduate programs include the MBA with various specializations. Students have the option of specializing in business analytics, finance, international business, marketing, or supply chain management. The graduate program is available on a full-time or part-time basis and may be completed in two to four years. In addition to the online MBA programs, graduate certificates are also available for business analytics and supply chain management.
#16 – Arizona State University
Undergraduate tuition: $10,158
Graduate tuition/fees: $11,304
Arizona State University is listed among the best online schools for business by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online MBA programs are ranked #5 and the online bachelor’s programs are ranked #11. For those interested in undergraduate programs in business administration, ASU offers an online BA in business administration that is both accredited and affordable. As an undergraduate business student, you will take courses in negotiation, planning inventory, and purchasing services. The undergraduate program is designed to equip students with the skills needed to work in various fields of business and to enter the school’s graduate business program. ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business is considered to be one of the best online business schools in the nation.
#15 – Arkansas State University
Undergraduate tuition: $8,050
Graduate tuition/fees: $5,810
Arkansas State University offers one of the leading online schools for business in the country. Not only is the school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools for Business International (AACSB), but the school is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. The online MBA offers a diversified approach to business administration by incorporating broad business studies with economics courses. Students interested in specializing in supply chain management may also do so with the online MBA program. According to the program website, the online MBA is designed for ambitious students who require a more flexible learning schedule than traditional MBA programs provide. Arkansas State is ranked #10 among the best online business schools offering an online MBA.
#14 – Temple University
Undergraduate tuition: $15,188
Graduate tuition/fees: $16,144
Temple University is listed as among the premier online business schools in the nation. In fact, the most recent edition of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges lists the school as the #1 best online MBA program and the 6th best online bachelor’s program. The online BBA is AACSB-accredited and offered through Temple’s prestigious Fox Business School. Synchronous (real-time) scheduled courses are delivered via contemporary technology so that students may immerse themselves into the online program without leaving their home computer. Students receive the same level of instruction as the on-campus program offers. Also, depending on student needs, part-time and full-time options are available.
#13 – University of Massachusetts
Undergraduate tuition: $14,171
Graduate tuition/fees: $14,754
One of the top business schools online is the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. The school offers an online bachelor’s in business administration degree program that is ideal for working students and those balancing family commitments. The program is AACSB-accredited and is designed to prepare students for graduate level business programs. Online courses may include cost accounting, organizational behavior, management communications, principles of management, and social entrepreneurship. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school’s business programs. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the University of Massachusetts as having the 12th best online MBA program and the 63rd best online bachelor’s program in the nation.
#12 – Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, Mississippi
Undergraduate tuition: $7,502
Graduate tuition/fees: $7,502
Whether you are interested in an online MBA or undergraduate business administration degree, Mississippi State University offers distance-learning options. Considered to be one of the best online business schools in the country, Mississippi State offers an online BS in business technology education and two online MBA programs. Students may pursue a general MBA or specialize in project management. The AACSB-accredited online MBA requires 30 credit hours with courses in business information systems, economics, emphasizing management, marketing, and quantitative analysis. According to U.S. News and World Report’s most recent edition of Best Colleges, the institution’s online MBA program ranks #22 in the country.
#11 – University of Mississippi
Undergraduate tuition: $7,444
Graduate tuition/fees: $7,444
Ranked as one of the best online schools for business by major publications like U.S. News and World Report, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) offers an accredited online MBA designed for busy students. This 36-hour program is 100% online and may be completed in just two years. All classes are delivered online and follow the same format as used in the on-campus MBA program. Courses include business planning and entrepreneurship, financial analysis, leadership and ethics, and organizational behavior. All courses are taught by the same distinguished faculty members who teach on the Oxford campus.
#10 – Indiana University
Undergraduate tuition: $10,388
Graduate tuition/fees: $9,743
Recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as one of the leading business schools online, Indiana University offers a variety of business degree programs. Students may earn online bachelor’s or master’s degrees in business administration, or obtain a graduate certificate in business analytics. In the undergraduate program, students take courses in accounting, advertising, commercial law, international business, and operations management. Also, the online business administration bachelor’s degree program offers the option of a concentration in finance. A high graduation rate and low cost of tuition earns Indiana University the 10th spot on our list of best online business schools in the United States.
#9 – University of Wisconsin
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Undergraduate tuition: $8,822
Graduate tuition/fees: $8,901
One of the top-ranked online business schools in the country is found at the University of Wisconsin. The school offers an online MBA that consists of 30 credits and is designed for working students, business professionals, and those interested in advancing in current careers. An accelerated MBA program is also available for those who have completed their foundational work. The accelerated MBA is a 17-credit hour degree program. Concentrations are also available for students enrolled in the online MBA. Areas of focus include accounting, business administration, health care administration, international business, and management. Graduate certificates may also be earned in specific business-related programs like advanced business communication, entrepreneurship, information systems, and international business. Certificates require 12-15 credits in the selected discipline.
#8 – University of Illinois
Undergraduate tuition: $11,413
Graduate tuition/fees: $10,532
AACSB-accredited and ranked by major publications, the University of Illinois offers one of the best business schools online through the College of Business and Management. Students may earn an online bachelor’s in business administration degree that consists of the same curriculum and structure as found in the on-campus program. While courses are delivered entirely online, the same distinguished professors who teach in the traditional classroom also teach online. Also, students may choose the optional management concentration. This 15-credit hour concentration requires classes in international management and organization theory. According to U.S. News and World Report’s most recent publication of Best Colleges, University of Illinois’ online bachelor’s programs rank #30 in the country.
#7 – University of Texas at Dallas
Undergraduate tuition: $10,864
Graduate tuition/fees: $11,940
The Naveen Jindal School of Management at University of Texas is one of the top online business schools in the country. Students have the choice of earning a professional MBA online, a global leadership executive MBA, or a project management executive MBA. Core MBA courses include business economics, financial accounting, global business, MIS fundamentals, and strategic management. Undergraduate business courses are also available online for those students who need to meet the minimal requirements of the online MBA program. UT Dallas is a nationally ranked institution and the online MBA programs are ranked #9 in the country by U.S. News and World Report’s recent edition of Best Colleges.
#6 – University of Florida
Undergraduate tuition: $6,381
Graduate tuition/fees: $12,737
The University of Florida is considered to be one of the best online business schools in the nation. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school’s online bachelor’s degree programs #11 and the online MBA programs #4. The school offers a bachelor of science in business administration degree program that is AACSB-accredited and designed to prepare students with the knowledge needed to succeed in a graduate level business program. The school’s online MBA is regarded as one of the best programs of its kind by the Financial Times and U.S. News and World Report. The online MBA is the same program as found on the Gainesville campus, with the optional completion times of 16 or 27 months.
#5 – Ball State University
Undergraduate tuition: $9,498
Graduate tuition/fees: $8,904
The Miller College of Business at Ball State University is one of the top online business schools in the country. In fact, major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank their bachelor’s in business program as one of the best of its kind. Also, the online MBA is listed among the best online business schools in the most recent edition of Best Colleges. The online business programs are AACSB-accredited and designed for busy adults who need to juggle family and work obligations while attending school. In the online BBA program, students take foundational business courses like business statistics, fundamentals of business communications, and principles of business law. The online MBA requires a more in-depth study of business topics and allows students to customize their degree by specialization in one of five areas of business. Specializations include entrepreneurship, finance, health economics, operations management, and sales management.
#4 – Carnegie Mellon University
Undergraduate tuition: $50,665
Graduate tuition/fees: $41,371
Recognized as one of the top online business schools, Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business offers a part-time, online hybrid MBA program that may be completed in 32 months. The program is designed for working adults with two to ten years of work experience who require a flexible online structure in order to complete an advanced degree in business. While the program is considered to be online, one weekend, six times per year, is required. Online classes are decidedly small to promote a favorable learning environment that allows students to interact with professors. According to the program website, class sizes are approximately 50-60 students. Some of the courses offered through Carnegie Mellon’s online MBA program include global economics, interpersonal communication, and statistical decision-making. The institution’s online MBA program is ranked 6th in the country by U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges.
#3 – Lehigh University
Undergraduate tuition: $46,230
Graduate tuition/fees: $24,840
One of the top online business schools to earn a graduate degree in business administration is located at Lehigh University. The AACSB-accredited program is designed for busy and working students who require flexibility so they can meet the challenges of balancing work, family, and educational obligations. Six areas of concentration are available so that students may focus their coursework on a specific area of interest. Concentrations include corporate entrepreneurship, finance, international business, marketing, project management, and supply chain management. For those interested in engineering or educational leadership, joint MBA degrees are also available. Lehigh is considered to be one of the best business schools online due to its rankings with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school is ranked 8th for best online MBA programs in the country.
#2 – North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina
Undergraduate tuition: $8,581
Graduate tuition/fees: $10,224
Undergraduate and graduate business administration programs are available from one of the nation’s top online business schools–North Carolina State University. The school offers an online MBA and several undergraduate minors and certificates in agricultural business management and related disciplines. Online programs are equivalent to the campus programs, with classes taught by the same distinguished faculty members who teach in the traditional classrooms. The AACSB-accredited online MBA is taught primarily using asynchronous methods with minimal synchronous sessions. This means that students are able to complete course requirements at a time and location that is convenient to them. Rankings with major publications like U.S. News and World Report, low student to faculty ratios, and affordability help make NC State’s Jenkins Graduate School of Management one of our top online business schools for 2016-2017.
#1 – University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Undergraduate tuition: $8,591
Graduate tuition/fees: $11,074
One of the top online schools for business is found at the University of North Carolina. The school offers several online programs, including a rigorous online MBA. UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School’s MBA program is fully online and offers the same courses and content found in the traditional classroom. The online MBA offers eight concentrations so that students may focus their studies on a particular area of interest. Concentrations include corporate finance, data analytics and decision-making, entrepreneurship, global supply chain management, investment management, management consulting, marketing, and sustainable enterprise. The school also offers a graduate certificate program in foundations of capital markets, which is available entirely online. UNC’s business school is ranked #16 in the country by U.S. News and World Report, and the online MBA program is ranked #3.
This concludes our ranking of the 20 best online schools for business administration in 2016-2017.
By BCS Staff