Top 10 Affordable Online Executive MBA Programs 2024

affordable executive mba

Author: Tom Panter / Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson / First covered: November 2020 / Updates: 3

Key Takeaways:

  • Online Executive MBA programs cater to business professionals looking to advance their careers while continuing to work full-time.
  • Our top two schools are Texas Southern University and Purdue University.
  • Online EMBA programs provide flexibility in scheduling, virtual class meetings, and opportunities for business leaders to enhance their skills.

This article highlights the top 10 affordable online executive MBA programs. An online executive MBA is a great fit for people already working in the field but looking to advance their careers. Students in this major will enroll in the same courses offered in a traditional MBA program. Because most students already have experience, class discussions are on a deeper level. Many executive MBA programs also offer flexibility in scheduling to accommodate their students.

Featured Programs

The online executive MBA programs on this list are taken from a list of more than 30 affordable online programs. We capped tuition at less than $17,000 per year. We used figures determined by the most recent in-state graduate tuition published by NCES College Navigator. Those programs are then ranked according to their quality to determine the top programs from the list. The quality was determined based on student-teacher ratio and graduation rate. You might wonder how much it matters where you go for your MBA. The short answer is that it does matter where you get your MBA, but not always for the reasons you might think. Applying for an MBA program can be pretty intense. If you have any questions check out our guide on applying to MBA programs.

Note: This ranking was originally published in November 2020 and was last updated in January 2024. The updates may affect the ranking order, but the list has not been re-ordered.

Reviewing the Best Executive MBA Online Programs

10. University of Missouri, Columbia

Columbia, Missouri

Executive MBA Online

Tuition: $11,794

Business professionals at the University of Missouri can earn their online executive MBA in just 21 months. This 48-credit-hour program is designed to be completed almost entirely online. Students are required to visit campus just four times a year. Students will complete two courses every eight weeks. They move through the entire program as a cohort. The online executive MBA program includes an international residency. Overall, 56% of program participants reported a promotion while enrolled.


  • Great research opportunities
  • Excellent student resources, including counseling and job placement


  • A history of racial discrimination
  • Large class sizes

9. University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Executive MBA Online

Tuition: $4,582

The University of the Cumberlands offers an online executive MBA that can be completed almost entirely online. Students must take part in an on-site residency some weekends during their studies. The on-site component includes:

  • Student presentations
  • Group case studies
  • Networking opportunities
  • Q&A with distinguished professors

The program consists of 33 credits and applied learning practicum credits to be completed each semester.


  • A wide range of graduate program offerings
  • Nationally high-ranked graduate school in 2023


  • High student-to-faculty ratio
  • Student retention rate is lower than national average

8. University of Nevada, Reno

Reno, Nevada

Executive MBA Online

Tuition: $6,444

The University of Nevada offers an executive MBA online program. It is one of the only EMBA programs in the country that can be completed entirely online. Both U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review have listed it as one of the nation’s top online MBA programs. The 2-year cohort program begins each year in the fall. It consists of 12 online courses sequenced to ensure continuity in learning. Students complete three semesters each year. They will move through the curriculum together as a cohort. This builds supportive working relationships.


  • A wide range of academic programming
  • A research-intensive university


  • Lack of diversity
  • Limited local job opportunities

7. University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

EMBA Online

Tuition: $9,066

The University of Arkansas offers an online executive MBA program. This offering provides the best online and in-class learning from a top-ranked, accredited business school. The 38-credit-hour program takes 24 months to complete, and students must report to campus one weekend per month. Online study areas include:

  • Supply Chain Finance
  • Business Analytics
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Retail


  • Small class sizes
  • Faculty excellence


  • Limited diversity
  • TAs teach many classes

6. University of Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma

EMBA in Energy Online

Tuition: $8,814

The executive MBA online program at the University of Oklahoma is a 15-month program. It can be completed primarily online. Students are required to attend three week-long residencies throughout the program. This includes an international week in the UK and the Netherlands. The rest of the program consists of 8-week courses, and the curriculum revolves around relevant issues in today’s energy industry.


  • Healthy growth of endowments
  • Acceptance rate is higher than the national average


  • High student-to-faculty ratio
  • Graduation rate is lower than the national average

5. Faulkner University

Montgomery, Alabama

Executive MBA

Tuition: $16,225

Faulkner University offers an executive MBA program that can be completed without having to set foot on campus. This online program consists of 10 five-week courses to be completed one at a time, allowing program completion in just one year. Faulkner offers starting dates every five weeks. This allows for flexible course planning for program participants. Their cutting-edge online curriculum combines a corporate learning approach with integrated video segments.


  • Strong online programming
  • Out-of-state tuition is the same as in-state cost


  • Average ROI is lower than the national average
  • Faith-based approached might not be for everybody

4. University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Wilmington, North Carolina

Executive Master of Business Administration Online

Tuition: $7,514

The online executive MBA program at UNC Wilmington enhances online coursework with dynamic on-campus and international residencies. This allows ample opportunities for hands-on learning, peer interaction, and networking. The 42-credit-hour program can be completed in as little as 12 months. The on-campus requirements include two intensive weekends. Students will engage in face-to-face managerial training and peer-to-peer experience. The online curriculum examines constitutional, legislative, and judicial public policy relations within the business environment.


  • Highly ranked academic programs
  • UNCW is very community-oriented


  • Limited local career opportunities
  • Lack of student diversity

3. University of North Alabama

Florence, Alabama

EMBA Online

Tuition: $6,660

The University of North Alabama has designed an executive MBA online. The program is for individuals with significant business experience desiring to improve their leadership and management skills. The 34-credit program is offered online or face-to-face. It features professors with a dynamic delivery of practical business skills, knowledge, and strategies. The exciting curriculum includes case studies and solving real-world business problems.


  • Strong student support network


  • Lack of student diversity

2. Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

MBA – Executive Online

Tuition: $9,992

As one of the nation’s best business schools, Purdue University offers the exciting opportunity to earn an executive MBA online and on campus. It is one of the top-ranked online MBA programs in the nation. The 48-credit program takes 19 months to complete and consists of a blended format, bringing students to campus quarterly for 1-2 weeks at a time. The curriculum features a broad range of electives. It also offers career management, executive career coaching, and an international residency. 


  • The range of electives allows you to tailor your degree
  • Affordable, flexible programming


  • Program requires campus visits
  • Some diversity issues

1. Texas Southern University

Houston, Texas

Executive MBA Online

Tuition: $8,328

Texas Southern University’s affordable executive MBA program is a two-year online program. It meets the needs of mid-career professionals wanting to pursue an executive MBA online with little disruption to their lives. Students enjoy a flexible course schedule, whether they choose general business or energy finance as their specific study track. The online curriculum includes virtual classrooms, live chats, lectures, and teleconferencing. The program consists of 36 credit hours. It adequately prepares executive MBA students to lead and manage in the private and energy sectors of the business world.


  • Great diversity in student, staff, and faculty
  • Actively involved in surrounding community


  • Issues with financial aid
  • Some lack of technological support for infrastructure has been reported