The conjuncture of this health crisis has changed the way in which daily activities are carried out around the world. The “new normal” forces people, institutions and governments to act on the matter to protect the integrity of society. Universities are no exception, and in this context they have found it necessary to suspend face-to-face classes, or reduce them in terms of frequency and audience. To continue with the mission of transmitting the best knowledge, the vast majority of these educational institutions have moved to a digital environment, teaching online classes.
Faced with this, the dilemma arises: perhaps the MBA to which I am applying is very good in person, but will it have the same quality being Online? In this article we present a ranking of the 10 best Online MBAs in the United States, so you can compare them and make an informed decision about whether to study a Full-Time MBA developed temporarily Online, or one that is designed to be virtual. In the design of this Top Ten, we weighted different rankings (Poets & Quants, USNews, Princeton Review, Best College Reviews and QS) to find those programs that stood out for their flexibility, academic excellence and student engagement. Without further ado, we present the Top Ten.
1. Kelley School of Business: Indiana University
The Kelley Direct Online MBA from Indiana University takes the top spot in our ranking, with 7 majors – or approaches – to choose from, and the flexibility to design up to half of your curriculum. Among the focuses are Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Information Technology Management. All classes and projects are developed online, in three periods over two years. During that biennium, you will have the opportunity for two one-week face-to-face dives, which will allow you to put into practice the acquired skills and, at the same time, do a networking that helps you further develop your skills. The first year, in the intensive immersion you will solve a real business case. In the case of the second year, it will be a competition style challenge,
As for Kelley’s numbers, the rate of admission is 82% (one of the highest in our ranking), and on average there is a GMAT score of 639. Those admitted to this program are, on average, 7.25 years of work experience, and have 92% student engagement (on a US News weighting, which measures the proactive attitude of students and teachers). It is one of the best-rated programs by the experts, who give it a rating of 4.2, out of a maximum of 5.
See more information: kelley.iu.edu/programs/online/index.cshtml
2. Marshall School of Business: University of Southern California
The Marshall University OMBA is ranked second for its focus on forward-thinking and analyzing a situation from different perspectives to create effective and pragmatic solutions. You will have several electives, and you can study to obtain certifications such as Lean Six Sigma. It is one of the most recognized nationally, and stands out for its student engagement score of 89. In addition, it includes a week-long residency on campus, in which students can take advantage of networking.
For its part, this Program has an acceptance rate of 57%, and an average GMAT score of 627. It is one of the programs with the greatest expertise, since the average months of experience of an admitted person is on average 11.5 years. In the opinion of experts, this MBA has a score of 3.9, due to its high academic quality.
See more information: onlinemba.marshall.usc.edu/
3. Kenan-Flagler Business School at North Carolina University at Chapel Hill
In a third, fairly well-positioned place, the Kenan-Flagler Business School MBA @ UNC offers you to develop leadership that reflects your values, amplifies your strengths, and positions you for success. This MBA has more than 25 electives and 5 concentrations: entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, strategic consulting, and data analytics. This University has a perfect score in student engagement, as it offers unique opportunities for coexistence. During your program, you must attend two Summits that will take place in various cities around the world. In 2020, these took place in Vancouver, Johannesburg, Warsaw, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
It has an acceptance rate of 49%, one of the lowest in the ranking. The average GMAT score is 661. Those admitted have, on average, almost 10 years of experience, so it is also one of the programs with the greatest expertise among its students. It has a score of 4.2 in the opinion of the experts.
See more information: onlinemba.unc.edu/
4. Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University
In a close fourth, the Tepper School of Business Part-Time Online Hybrid MBA is one of a kind. This MBA, in the first place, is the only one in our ranking that has the STEM designation, that is, it has an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. His focus, therefore, is on analysis, leadership development, and strategic decision making. It also has two defining characteristics: part of the MBA can be taken in person, in the so-called “Access Weekends”, which are held in Pittsburgh, DC, Philadelphia or Silicon Valley. The second: if at any time you want to transfer to the face-to-face MBA, it is possible at Carnegie Mellon.
This flexibility earns it a student engagement score of 97 out of 100. As for your numbers: the acceptance rate is 56%, with a GMAT score of 671 on average. The students have around 6.4 years of work experience. Finally, the experts give it a score of 4.2 out of 5.
See more information about this MBA: www.cmu.edu/tepper/programs/mba/program-options/part-time-online-hybrid/
5. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University
Fifth, the Master of Business Administration Online offers all the flexibility of an online education, without compromising academic excellence and quality. It is 100% online, but it is possible, and recommended, to participate in activities on campus and network with other students. It was one of the first programs to be distance learning, since since 1989 it offered alternatives to face-to-face classes, by sending VHS to its students. During the master’s degree, you will be able to be part of the “Global Immersion Journey” and work with your colleagues in a “Capstone Business Case”. In addition, it is possible to have a dual degree studying one more semester. This can be in Finance, Industrial and Systems Engineering, or Computer Systems.
It has a student engagement score of 82, in addition to an acceptance rate of 69%. Additionally, the average GMAT score is 585, and the average professional experience is 6.3 years. Finally, it has an expert opinion of 3.4 points.
6. Nebraska Business School at Nebraska-Lincoln University
In sixth place is the MBA @ Nebraska-Lincoln, which the Financial Times ranks # 1 in value for money. This MBA is designed to be 100% online, even to be able to develop activities on a mobile device. Classes are 8 weeks long, and emphasize management skills, team building, ethics, leadership, and case analysis. Additionally, you can specialize in Business Analytics, Finance, International Business, Marketing, or Value Chain Management.
It is one of the best evaluated by its students, despite the fact that US News gives it a student engagement score of 77. The average GMAT is 612, and its acceptance rate is 78%. Its design attracts professionals with an average work experience of 9.16 years. For experts, this MBA has a score of 3.3 out of 5.
Learn more at business.unl.edu/mba
7. Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology
Saunders College’s Online Executive MBA is positioned in this place as it is aimed at medium to high-level professionals who want to sharpen their business and leadership skills, in order to “increase their performance, assume greater responsibilities, and position themselves.” Its MBA model emphasizes networking, since you will take your classes with the same people during all the compulsory subjects. In addition, you must have a face-to-face orientation session before the start of classes. The design allows you to take two courses every six weeks, in synchronous classes, in real time, which you can review later. In addition to this, most courses have an assistant instructor who will help you as an advisor on issues and questions. Towards the end of the graduate degree, you will attend an international seminar: a cultural and business trip of 8 to 10 days,
Its emphasis on student engagement earns it a score of 86, in addition to having an acceptance rate of the lowest: 31% (as classes are more limited, up to 20 students). It is the first place in the ranking in terms of work experience of its students: 13.3 years on average. Finally, the experts give it a score of 3.3.
More information: www.rit.edu/emba/online-emba-program
8. Hough Graduate School of Business at Warrington College of Business of University of Florida
This Online MBA has several characteristics that make it unique. The first is that you have two options, for different backgrounds and academic trajectories of the applicants. These are the one-year MBA, specializing in those who have a bachelor’s or undergraduate degree in management, and graduated in the last 7 years. The second option is the two-year MBA, which offers the most flexibility in terms of curriculum. Studying this MBA allows you to attend some face-to-face classes, and even to be able to add subjects from another field to your study plan (with the approval of your advisor).
With an engagement score of 90, it is one of the best qualified in this field. Its acceptance rate is limited to 65 students, which translates to 47% of applicants, who have an average GMAT of 579. Since the one-year MBA is sought after by recently graduated students, the average work experience of this MBA is 6.5 years. Lastly: your expert rating is 3.8.
9. Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona
Two universities in the State of Arizona culminate this ranking of the best Online MBAs. In ninth place is this Online MBA with a lot of flexibility. MBA start dates are given six times a year, allowing you to start at different times of the year, and work at the pace that is most convenient for you. You can finish the MBA from 14 months to in 2 and a half years. It has a methodological base focused on a rigorous quantitative analysis, with an emphasis on finance, accounting, marketing, economics, administration, information systems, leadership and business communication. In addition, it has concentrations in different areas: entrepreneurship, finance, health administration, privacy and security, among others. These concentrations give you a high degree of flexibility,
His engagement score is 88, in addition to having an average experience of his students of 9.2 years. Looking at your data, the acceptance rate is quite high: 79%, with a GMAT around 568 points. Experts give this MBA a score of 3.5.
See more information: eller.arizona.edu/programs/mba/online
10. WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University
In the last position of our Top 10, is this Online MBA from the University of Arizona. It begins with a mandatory face-to-face orientation program, and then moves to be 100% virtual. Includes asynchronous and synchronous sessions. The latter provide the opportunity to network with students, who will be teammates during the postgraduate course.
Student engagement receives a score of 85, according to US News, and its acceptance rate is 59%. With an average GMAT of 584, and an average work experience of 6.1 years, she is one of the MBAs in this ranking with the fewest years of experience. Finally, the experts give it a rating of 3.7.
Learn more at wpcarey.asu.edu/mba-programs/online
As you will see, the digital age gives you unique opportunities to continue developing without the need to move to specific spaces, and to prepare outside the classroom. If you have extensive professional experience, and would like to go one more step through postgraduate studies, these Online MBAs give you the flexibility of being part-time, and thus perform in your day-to-day, while studying from home. Take the opportunity! You can apply to these Online MBAs as an alternative at this juncture.