In this article, we profile the top 10 online accelerated MBA programs.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of business and financial operations occupations is expected to grow five percent through 2029. For individuals considering going back to school to earn an advanced business degree, online accelerated MBA programs are available from top-ranked and accredited institutions. Accelerated programs take less than two years to complete, and in some cases, take only one year! To assist with your search for the top accelerated MBA programs, we conducted research to find the best fast-track MBA programs.
10 Accelerated MBA Programs Online Methodology
We looked at over 150 accredited colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered accelerated MBA programs online. We narrowed our selection of schools by applying the following criteria: degree completion time of less than two years (or fast-track classes that run less than the traditional 16-week duration); graduate tuition and fees less than $36,000 per year; and national, regional, and/or program rankings with a major publication like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed the schools according to raw affordability.
Below are the resulting selections for the top 10 accelerated MBA programs.
#10 – Longwood University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,982
Longwood University’s accelerated MBA can be completed entirely online and in just 10 months, making it one of the fastest programs on our list. Two tracks are available for students earning their MBA: the general MBA and the MBA in real estate. Both programs consist of 31 credits and take as little as 10 months to complete. Core courses for both programs cover topics like financial management, information technology, managerial accounting, strategic management and business policy, and strategic marketing. Longwood is fully accredited and the MBA programs have received AACSB accreditation. Also, Longwood ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 16th best regional university in the South.
#9 – Emporia State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,577
Emporia State University’s accelerated online MBA programs are AACSB-accredited and offer rigorous online study for working professionals. By taking seven-week courses, students may graduate with their online MBA in just 12 months. But to be admitted to the program, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.65. Other qualifications, including official transcripts and test scores, are also required. Core courses you will likely take for the Emporia MBA include advanced financial management and marketing management. The AACSB-accredited program has also received a ranking from U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online MBA programs rank #245-#321 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.
#8 – Troy University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,506
Individuals seeking 12-month MBA programs online will be pleased to find Troy University’s accelerated MBA meets their needs. The online MBA at Troy consists of 31 credits and can be completed in just one year. Online courses taught by Troy professors move at a rigorous pace and shorten the completion time for the degree. Several concentration options also allow students to tailor their MBA to better fit with particular career goals. The concentrations include international finance, international information systems and data analytics, and international management. Troy ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 51st best regional university in the South and the online MBA programs rank #95.
#7 – Texas Tech University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,181
Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business offers an accelerated MBA online program that moves at a rigorous pace. With 100% online learning and shortened class times, students may earn their degree in less than two years. May of the classes run seven to eight weeks in the fall and spring, and five weeks during the summer. Also, for those interested in IT, a concentration in information technology may be added to the MBA. TTU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 217th best national university. And the online MBA programs have also received rankings. In fact, the online MBA program ranks #131 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#6 – University of North Texas
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,788
University of North Texas offers accelerated online MBA programs designed to complete in 14 months. In addition to the accelerated pace of the program, students have the opportunity to earn a specialization in an area of interest. These specializations include marketing, marketing analytics, organizational behavior and human resource management, sport entertainment management, strategic management, supply chain analytics, and supply chain management. Five available start dates and flexible class schedules allow students to balance their education and outside obligations. Also, the program is accredited with AACSB and ranked with U.S. News. In fact, UNT ranks #249 in best national universities and #121 in top public school. The online MBA programs rank #31 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#5 – East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,535
East Carolina University offers accelerated online MBA programs designed for busy and working students. Through ECU’s College of Business, students may pursue an AACSB-accredited online accelerated MBA that is both customizable and flexible. With no cohorts and no dictated pace, students create a schedule that works for them. Courses cover general and advanced business topics like comparative management, financial management, governmental regulation of business, and quantitative methods. In addition to being AACSB-accredited, ECU’s online MBA programs rank #102 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News and World Report. School rankings include #217 in best national universities and #109 in top public institutions.
#4 – University of North Alabama
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,200
The University of North Alabama offers accelerated MBA programs that are affordable and accredited. Classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. Two degree completion options are available. Students may elect to complete a regular MBA with the opportunity to specialize in a particular concentration or earn an executive MBA. The executive MBA if for individuals with significant business experience. Classes move at an accelerated pace and allow students to earn their degree in less than two years. UNA is fully accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News rankings include #40 in best regional universities in the South and #40 in best value schools. The online MBA programs rank #200 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#3 – Texas A & M University
Corpus Christi, Texas
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,820
Texas A&M University’s accelerated MBA online program consists of 30 credits and takes approximately 12-20 months to complete. The program is designed to allow students to realize their full capabilities as business leaders. A total of ten courses are required for individuals who have completed a BBA degree. If you hold an undergraduate degree in another discipline, an additional four courses may be required. Core classes, delivered online, cover topics like managerial economics, managerial finance, marketing management, and organizational behavior and theory. In addition to being AACSB-accredited, Texas A&M ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university.
#2 – Fitchburg State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,742
Fitchburg State University is a top pick for accelerated online MBA programs. The online accelerated MBA offers a specialization in management for those interested in pursuing leadership roles within business. A total of ten courses are required (30 credit hours), including 18 hours of advanced core requirements, 9 concentration courses, and a three-hour elective course. Successful applicants must hold an undergraduate degree and provide professional work experience as part of the admission process. However, no GMAT test scores are required for the online MBA program. In addition to offering fully accredited MBA degrees, Fitchburg holds rankings with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online MBA programs rank #245-#321 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#1 – Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,730
Fayetteville State University is our most affordable accelerated MBA program. For less than $6,000 per year, students may earn an online MBA optimally designed for busy professionals. The AACSB-accredited MBA also offers several concentrations so that students may tailor their degree to align with specific career goals and interests. These concentrations include business intelligence, finance, healthcare management, international business, marketing, and supply chain management, to name a few. Fayetteville State is not only the most affordable school on our list, but also has achieved rankings with U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #89 in best regional universities in the South. Also, the online MBA programs rank #88 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much money can you earn with an accelerated MBA degree?
According to PayScale, a global compensation research organization, the average salary for individuals with an MBA is $88,494 per year. Project managers earn $85,000 on average, while chief financial officers earn $151,000 on average. As expected, salary varies depending on job title and industry, and overall compensation increases with experience and education.
So, how much money can you earn with an accelerated MBA? Let’s look at the median annual wages for business occupations reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Accountants and auditors, as reported by BLS, earned a median pay of $71,550. Budget analysts earned $76,540 on average. Higher paying occupations include financial analysts ($81,590 median pay), financial examiners ($81,090 median pay), management analysts ($85,260 median pay), and personal financial advisors ($87,850 median pay).
The annual salary for business occupations increases with education. Individuals with a bachelor’s in business administration or BBA earn less, on average, than individuals with an MBA. Also, salary is commensurate with years of experience. According to PayScale, individuals with less than one year of industry experience earn much less than seasoned business professionals with 10-19 years of experience. In fact, seasoned business professionals earn almost $50,000 more per year than entry-level colleagues.
What is the career outlook for individuals with an accelerated MBA degree?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for business and financial occupations is projected to be favorable through the year 2029. Specifically, employment in business and financial operations occupations should see an increase of five percent over the next several years. While not a huge increase, the growth is slightly faster than the average for all occupations.
Anticipated growth in the employment for business occupations is due to a variety of factors. Globalization, a steady and slightly growing economy, and a complex tax environment for accountants and auditors should lead to a demand for other business occupations.
Industry-specific jobs also show a favorable employment outlook. In fact, BLS reports that the employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 9 percent over the next several years and market research analysts should see a projected growth in employment of 18 percent. Earning an accelerated MBA degree is the first step in staying ahead of competition for these types of jobs. With competition, especially for higher paying business occupations, earning an MBA will help establish your qualifications and set you apart from competition. Earning an accelerated MBA will help you get your degree quicker than a traditional MBA.
What are the admission requirements for an online accelerated MBA program?
The admission requirements for an online accelerated MBA degree varies by institution and program. However, many accelerated MBA programs on our list have similar criteria. Some schools require an undergraduate degree in business (BBA), while others welcome applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. Below are the most common admission requirements for online accelerated MBA programs.
Your GPA matters when applying to accelerated MBA online programs. Many schools on our list have minimum undergraduate GPA requirements. Top-tier schools and programs require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, while others ask a minimum 2.75 GPA. If your GPA falls short, you may receive provisional status at the discretion of the program if you have work experience or some other unique background that sets you apart from other candidates.
In addition to the undergraduate GPA and bachelor’s degree, graduate test scores may be required for admission to an accelerated MBA program. While GRE scores are not typically asked for in accelerated MBA programs online, GMAT scores are a common request. In some cases, the program may only ask for GMAT scores if the applicant has less than five years of work experience. However, top-ranked programs typically require competitive GMAT scores for admission.
How fast can I earn an accelerated MBA degree?
Once you’ve decided to earn a graduate degree in business, you’ll want to determine the time it takes to receive your degree. One way to shorten the time required for an MBA is to enroll in an accelerated MBA program online. Accelerated MBA programs shorten the time it takes to earn an MBA. It is possible to complete degree requirements for an MBA in 12 to 18 months. In fact, several programs on our list offer an online MBA completion time of just one year.
The benefits of an accelerated online MBA program include convenient online instruction, short course lengths, and the option of taking classes during the summer to shorten the degree completion time. Traditional MBA programs take two years or more to finish and require semester-long (16 weeks) courses. Most accelerated MBA classes run five to eight weeks in length. While you will likely take less classes at a time in an accelerated MBA program, you will finish your degree in less time.
Accelerated online MBA programs are ideal for individuals who do not want to spend the typical two to three years it takes to earn an advanced business degree. The online option allows students to finish their coursework early so they may enter the workforce faster.
What concentrations are available in accelerated MBA programs?
An MBA is one of the most versatile degrees. Graduates enter business equipped to make pertinent financial decisions, lead projects and team members, and work in diverse areas of business such as finance, management, or marketing. Many online accelerated MBA programs on our list offer specializations or concentrations that allow students to tailor their degree to meet unique career goals. Earning a concentration alongside an accelerated MBA can separate you from your competitors and help you stand out in a crowd of applicants. A specialization shows you not only have a strong business foundation, but have expertise in a particular area of interest.
From our list of accelerated MBA programs, we collected popular concentrations in business. Accounting, finance, healthcare management, human resource management, marketing, and strategic management were among the top concentrations offered. And even in accelerated programs, adding a concentration does not require additional time for degree completion. In fact, the concentration is offered alongside the MBA.
PayScale lists some of the highest-paying MBA concentrations. These include entrepreneurship, management, and strategy. Finance and economics were listed just below the top three highest earning potentials in business.
Before choosing your MBA concentration, be sure to assess your career goals and educational needs. Certain concentrations are designed to prepare individuals for certification in a specific field like accounting or finance. Others offer a broader scope.
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