Best Online MBA Programs
We researched hundreds of business schools to determine which ones have the best MBA programs. Our Best Online MBA and Best Online Executive MBA rankings are based on alumni career data, specifically the number of executives that the school has produced (by percentage). Our Most Affordable Online MBA ranking list is based on manually researched tuition data for elligible MBA programs.
Best Online MBA Rankings by State
Whether your MBA search is motivated by decreased cost, proximity, or networking opportunities in a particular region of the U.S., our rankings of the best online MBA programs by state will help you find the MBA program best suited for your professional and personal goals. In addition to featuring the best online MBA programs by state, we offer a comprehensive look at each state’s career and salary outlook to help further guide prospective students.
What is MBA Accreditation?
An accredited business school has met or surpassed rigorous academic requirements set by a reputable evaluating agency. The designation—which is earned after a thorough, independent review of the business school, its programs, courses, faculty, and services—serves as an acknowledgment of quality and credibility. Accreditation adds value to the business school, its MBA program, and its other graduate and undergraduate programs. Accredited online MBA programs are offered by business schools that have undergone this stringent independent assessment to earn the designation, which must be renewed regularly by the accrediting agency. Business students enrolled in accredited MBA programs receive a quality education that adheres to the highest standards of professional practice.
Most colleges and universities are accredited by one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This form of accreditation is based on where the institution of higher learning is located in the U.S.—the northeast, middle states, southeast, north-central, northwest, or west. Because business schools are typically part of a larger college or university system, they automatically benefit from this method of accreditation. Additionally, business schools typically seek programmatic accreditation, a professional accreditation designed for specialized departments, programs, schools, or colleges within an accredited college or university, to denote its quality, legitimacy, and trustworthiness.
A business school initiates the programmatic accreditation process by reaching out to the evaluating agency, filing an eligibility application, and paying the agency to conduct an independent review of the MBA program. This review includes an evaluation of the program’s curriculum and coursework, its faculty qualifications, and peer and committee reviews.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) are the three accrediting agencies for college and university business programs in the U.S.
Founded in 1916 and widely regarded as the premier accrediting agency for bachelor’s and graduate degree programs in business administration, the AACSB confers its accreditation to business schools that emphasize business management research. AACSB-accredited business schools follow a teaching-and-training framework that examines the political, legal, regulatory, social, and technological aspects of global organizations as well as theories in finance, organizational management, and evidence-based decision-making. ACBSP-accredited schools emphasize knowledge and training in finance, accounting, marketing, and management. They also look at the economic, legal, ethical, and global dimensions of business strategy. IACBE-accredited schools place a greater emphasis on student outcomes and how business knowledge is applied in the workplace.