Top 10 Best Value Online MBA 2024

Reviewed By: Melissa Anderson, MS.Ed.
Reading Level: Grade 7
Reading Time: 9 minutes, 12 seconds
Original Publication Date: August 2016
Updates: 2

Pursuing a best value MBA online can be a highly lucrative endeavor. Not only does an MBA significantly increase one’s chances of receiving a raise and/or promotion, but online MBA programs allow students to continue working, gain valuable experience, and earn money while completing their graduate degrees in business. A word of caution, however; not all online MBA programs are worth the investment of time and money. It’s important to select the best online MBA program for one’s career goals and personal needs to make it worthwhile. In this ranking, we explore the top 50 best value online MBA programs.

Rating Methodology for the Best Value MBA Online Programs

Graduate Tuition/Fees
Below $10,000 = 5 points
$10,000 – $14,999 = 4 points
$15,000 – $19,999 = 3 points
$20,000 – $24,999 = 2 points
$25,000 and above = 1 point

Featured Programs

20-Year Net ROI
Above 800,000 = 6 points
Above 700,000 = 5 points
Above 600,000 = 4 points
Above 500,000 = 3 points
Above 400,000 = 2 points
Above 300,000 = 1 point

Customization Options
Content Customizations (e.g. Concentrations and Specializations) = 1 Point
No Concentrations = 0 Points

Format Delivery
Fully online = 2 points
Hybrid format = 1 point

To compile the following list of best value online MBA programs, our editors began with a pool of the 100 top-ranked MBA online schools according to US News & World Report. We then narrowed the pool to 10 by conserving only those with the best 20-year ROI rates according to PayScale.com, assessing graduate tuition and fees, assigning a point to programs with content customization options, and looking at the format delivery of each program. The rating and ranking methodology above was then applied using information primarily from each program’s website. Tuition (as reported by College Navigator) was considered to break any ties among schools receiving the same rating. We assigned a higher ranking to the school with the lower graduate tuition. This ranking includes schools that require the GMAT. Also see our ranking of online MBA programs with no GMAT requirement.

Ranking Each of the Best Value Online MBA Programs

#10 – University of Nebraska

Online MBA

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website

Points: 8

Graduate Tuition: $6,318

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers its MBA degree in multiple formats, including completely online and partially online. The partially online format is perfect for students who live near campus and enjoy attending classes in person but need the flexibility of an online program due to a busy work or family schedule. It allows students to only come to campus when they have the time to do so. MBA online students who live far away from the campus or aren’t interested in going to class in person get an equally valuable education through the completely online format, which is distinguished as one of the best online MBA programs in the U.S. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the online MBA at University of Nebraska #21 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked online MBA
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Larger class sizes
  • Less diverse

#9 – Mississippi State University

Online MBA

Mississippi State, Mississippi

Website

Points: 8

Graduate Tuition: $9,665

Mississippi State University offers an MBA online program through its College of Business. The 30-credit hour program is offered entirely online and includes course topics such as leadership skills, management information technology and systems, quantitative analysis and business research, and strategic business consulting. There are no physical residency requirements, but it is important to note that not all electives are offered online. Those interested in project management may also earn a distance MBA in project management as an alternative to the traditional MBA. Several online MBA rankings publications have recognized MSU’s MBA for quality and value, including U.S. News and World Report.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked online MBA
  • High acceptance rate
  • High graduation rate

Cons:

  • Larger class sizes
  • Less diverse
  • Limited tech support

#8 – Oklahoma State University

Online MBA

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Points: 8

Graduate Tuition: $5,611
Oklahoma State University offers an exceptionally flexible online MBA program. It is primarily designed to be completely online, but still allows students to participate in on-campus classes if they wish. Distance courses are available in a wide variety of formats, including CD, podcasts, and streaming on the internet. While students benefit from the popular interactive live classes, MBA online students who are too busy to participate at specific times or have more limited internet access are still able to complete the program. Full- and part-time enrollment is also offered. The university is nationally ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, the online MBA programs rank #29 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Top-rated online MBA program
  • High graduation rate
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Larger class sizes

#7 – West Texas A & M University

Online MBA

Canyon, Texas

Website

Points: 8

Graduate Tuition: $5,088

West Texas A&M University offers an AACSB-accredited MBA online that can be completed entirely online or combined with on-campus courses to create a hybrid MBA program. Students can choose to customize their degree by selecting one of five different areas of emphasis: computer information systems, general business, healthcare management, management, and marketing. Although the program takes approximately two years to complete, ambitious students may be able to earn their degrees in as few as 12 months. West Texas A&M consistently appears high in online MBA rankings. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school’s online MBA programs #47 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked online MBA
  • More diverse

Cons:

  • More competitive
  • Larger class sizes
  • Minimal tech support

#6 – Arkansas State University

Online MBA

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Website

Points: 8

Graduate Tuition: $6,534

The College of Business at Arkansas State University offers a completely online MBA program designed for working professionals from all backgrounds. Admission criteria require the submission of satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores, official transcripts, and recommendation letters. Undergraduate GPAs are evaluated, but in the event that an applicant fails to meet the minimum GPA, higher GMAT or GRE scores may help offset the deficiency. For those interested in earning a concentration in a highly specialized area of business, including finance or supply chain management, options are available. Concentrations allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest. The online MBA program at Arkansas State is one of the few AACSB-accredited programs. Also, U.S. News and World Report ranks the online MBA programs #10 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Nationally accredited online MBA
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Lower graduation rate

#5 – University of Nevada

Online Executive MBA

Reno, Nevada

Website

Points: 8

Graduate Tuition: $5,792

The University of Nevada offers a fully online, 12-course MBA program designed for working professionals to complete an advanced business degree in just two years. The program is open to those who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75. Any undergraduate major is accepted. Applicants must also submit satisfactory GMAT or GRE scores to be considered for admission. Classes are delivered entirely online and are taught by university professors. Courses include economics of the firm, financial management, financial reporting and analysis, management and organizational science, production and operations management, and statistics for decision making. The institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top public school, and the online MBA programs are ranked #36 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked online MBA
  • High acceptance rate
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Larger class sizes

#4 – The University of Texas at Dallas

Online MBA

Richardson, Texas

Website

Points: 9

Graduate Tuition: $15,088

The University of Texas-Dallas offers three online MBA programs that are either completely or mostly online, including the professional MBA (PMBA) evening cohort, the PMBA flex, and the PMBA online. All programs are designed to fit the busy schedules of working students. Most of the enrolled students work full-time and take classes on a part-time basis. To accommodate schedules of working professionals, most classes are offered entirely online or in the evenings. Core MBA courses include business economics, global business, and statistics and data analysis. The institution is a top-ranked national university. Also, major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the online MBA programs #7 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked online MBA program
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • More competitive
  • Larger class sizes

#3 – University of Wisconsin

Online MBA

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Website

Points: 9

Graduate Tuition: $8,630

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is home to one of the top online MBA programs around. The program is rigorous, but flexible enough for busy students. It is completely online, with no campus visits required. However, MBA online students still enjoy many perks that their on-campus counterparts enjoy. Classes are kept small, and students are encouraged to participate in online discussions. Students also have several electives to choose from. All courses are taught by the same faculty who teach the on-campus classes. This program is great for students who want a program that doesn’t require campus visits for orientations and other activities, but still desire one of the best online MBA experiences available. The school and its MBA programs are accredited. Also, the online MBA programs have earned rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The online MBA programs rank #12 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Top 10 public school
  • High acceptance rate
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Larger class sizes
  • Less diverse

#2 – University of Utah

Online MBA

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Points: 9

Graduate Tuition: $7,353

The MBA online from the University of Utah is made available through its David Eccles School of Business. The 48-credit hour comprehensive program takes two years to complete and includes weekly live web conferences. Though classes are interactive and rigorous, this may not be the best online MBA for students who desire a customizable curriculum. There are no concentrations or emphases, and courses follow a prescribed schedule. It is important to note that although all coursework is completed online, a three-day on-campus residency is required during the second year of the program. Affordability ranks University of Utah high on our list. Also, major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school’s online MBA programs #42 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked online MBA
  • High acceptance rate
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Larger class sizes
  • No specializations

#1 – University of Maryland

Online MBA

College Park, Maryland

Website

Points: 10

Graduate Tuition: $9,432

The Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland offers the #1 best value online MBA program on our list. Competitive graduate tuition, high-quality instruction, and a wide range of specialization options earn the Smith MBA online program a top spot on our list. Students may choose to tailor their degree toward areas of interest or to meet career goals in such popular areas of business as accounting, finance, information systems and business analytics, marketing, or supply chain management. All classes may be taken online and are taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. The school and its business programs are accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the online MBA programs #9 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Diverse student body
  • Top-ranked public school

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate

Sources

  • National Center for Education Statistics: College Navigator
  • US News & World Report: Best Colleges

By CVO Staff

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 best value online MBA degrees.