Upon several requests, we have compiled the online MBA rankings, which actually is much harder to figure out than regular Full Time MBA Rankings.
Why Get an Online MBA?
There are not many reasons to get an Online MBA as the in-person experience is much more rewarding and productive. Which means the in-person program will always win and should always be preferred. I can't think of a situation or what would make an online MBA better than a traditional one (not yet at least) but there are a few good reasons to still pursue an online MBA:
- Location - if you are not able to take time off for a full time program or live close enough to a Fully Employed/Part Time program, online MBA is your only option. You can wait but if time is of the essence then that's what works. E.g if you live in Wyoming or off-shore oil rig or another country. This case may also apply if you are unable to get the visa or visit the US frequently. In these cases, it may be the only choice.
- Schedule - not a great reason to get an online MBA but if you have 2 kids or a job with a very unusual schedule (an ER doctor, a Pilot, or a ship captain) then again, this may be your only choice.
- Mobility - If you are not able to easily get to school due to mobility constraints.
- Corporate on-site/distance MBA
Top 10 Online MBA Rankings
||North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)
||Indiana University: Kelley
||Texas A & M University
||University of Maryland University College
||Arizona State University: Carey
||Babson College: Olin
||University of Florida: Hough
||University of Phoenix
What Should You Look for in an Online MBA?
- Reputation - online MBA programs tend to have a weak reputation due to some of the first few programs lacking quality control and relaxed admission policy. Thus if you are getting an online degree, you want to get it from a very reputable school, ESP. From one that has a strong name recognition. Fro example UNC, Duke, or Tepper. Thus your first priority should be addressing the perceived reputation.
- Admission standards. Review the admissions requirements; if the school does not require you to take the GMAT or any other admissions test, that could be a red flag. Remember that low standards and widespread admission was the issue that got the online programs into trouble. Low barriers to entry result into a lower perceived value by the students, lower effort, less aunity, and finally, lower quality of students.
- Class Profile. You want to check the student profile and see how an average student and your future classmate looks like. If you see that they have no work experience, lack leadership experience, grades or test scores, that's a red flag.
Some Really Cool Online MBA Programs?
- Duke's Cross Continent MBA - you get to study in 5 parts of the world (Dubai, New Delhi, St. Petersburg, Shanghai/Kunshan, and Durham, North Carolina). It takes 6 semesters (3 years) and a cool $128K (this includes the room & board in all campuses but does not include the airfare)
- MBA@UNC - it is the first year this program has been open. Currently only 19 students are enrolled but the average GMAT runs at 700 and the tuition is $89K for the 2-year program)