Our 2014 list of the Top 25 Online MBA Programs offered by schools in the South. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
The Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida offers an accelerated online MBA that allows students to complete the program in just 16 months. A two-year option (27 months) is also on the menu as well as a concurrent Outreach Engineering Management (OEM) Master’s (OEM/I1MBA). This "innovative" degree option "reduces the amount of time and coursework required for students to obtain both the MBA and the OEM degree from UF."
Known as the "UF Internet MBA Program," Warrington’s 48-credit-hour online MBA degree program is one of the nation's first fully-accredited online programs. While the accelerated and two-year option may be completed mostly online, students must visit the Gainesville campus once per term (once every four months) for final exams or to deliver final presentations. These visits typically take place on Saturday and Sunday.
All MBA students are encouraged to enroll in UF's MBA Global Immersion Experiences (GIEs), which allows students to register for a 2-credit course that meets in person and online over the course of the semester and includes a 7 to 10 day experience abroad in China, Chile, Dubai and others. The MBA programs at Warrington College of Business are AACSB International-accredited.
2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill offers an online MBA program that features the same curriculum as the on-campus program. Students in the 66-credit-hour program will complete their coursework online and interact with faculty regularly using a face-to-face online platform. Two important components of the program, however, are the MBA@UNC Global Immersions and quarterly three-day immersions. Students are required to attend at least two immersions. Participation in Global Immersions will take students to major business centers around the world such as Singapore, Johannesburg, Istanbul, London, and others.
Online MBA students have six concentrations to choose from including Corporate Finance, Entrepreneurship, Global Supply Chain Management, Investment Management, Marketing, and Sustainable Enterprise. In addition, students may participate in several other programs to gain additional hands-on business and international experience. Optional programs include Student Teams Achieving Results (STAR), where "students learn by doing as they take on the role of consultants to real companies," the Exchange Program which "allows MBA@UNC students to study at another top-ranked business school in countries across the globe," and Doing Business In (DBI) which "gives students an opportunity to study abroad at an MBA exchange partner school."
The online MBA at UNC is AACSB-International accredited.
3. West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
The College of Business & Economics at West Virginia University offers a 48-credit-hour Executive MBA (EMBA). While coursework for the program may be completed entirely online, the school requires four, three to four-day residencies. Students must attend Orientation, a Washington Experience, Building the Business Professional (on-campus with a faculty mentor), and the Mock Venture Capital Fair.
Most students enter the program during the summer session, but some students may be admitted for the spring semester if they are fulfilling prerequisite deficiencies. Most students can expect to complete the AACSB International-accredited EMBA program in as little as 24 months.
4. Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas
The College of Business at Arkansas State University offers a 33-credit-hour online MBA program with an optional concentration in Supply Chain Management. Students that choose the Supply Chain Management concentration must take 36 to 39 credit hours to complete the program. All online MBA students also have the option to complete an internship worth three credit hours or one directed independent study.
According program literature, a serious trademark of the online MBA is the same faculty members that teach and mentor the College of Business’ on-campus courses are the instructors for the online program. The AACSB International-accredited program, which takes around two years to complete, is only available to U.S. Citizens.
5. University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia
The University of West Georgia offers a 30-credit-hour MBA program that allows students to complete their MBA coursework exclusively online. The “Georgia WebMBA,” includes just one two-day orientation session at the beginning of the program, where students focus on “team-building, program course-ware use, and interaction” with administrators, graduates, and program directors.
The 10-course Georgia WebMBA includes courses such as Human Behavior and Organization, Global & International Business, Management Information Systems, and Strategic Marketing.
Students can expect to complete the AACSB International-accredited program over the course of five semesters (or 18 months).
6. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
The Jenkins Graduate School of Management at North Carolina State University offers a 39-credit-hour professional Online MBA that offers six Areas of Emphasis including Biosciences Management, Entrepreneurship & Technology, Financial Management, Innovation Management, Marketing Management, and Supply Chain Management. The AACSB International-accredited program also offers the opportunity to earn Decision Analytics Certification or SAP Certification. SAP is the world's largest enterprise applications software company, with a wide range of software used by more than 38,000 firms in over 120 countries.
Students in the Jenkins online MBA program may choose the Accelerated Professional Track, which takes as little as 21 months to complete or the Flexible Professional Track allows students to complete their degree within six years. Students in both online programs will interact with each other through distance education technology (including Blackboard Collaborate and Moodle), e-mail, online discussion forums (message boards, instant messaging, etc.), and telephone conferencing.” Students will also have the opportunity to meet during one three-day mandatory Raleigh Residency.
An optional International Residency is also on the menu, as well a four-week mandatory Virtual Orientation prior to the start of the program.
7. Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, Georgia
The College of Business at Georgia College & State University is home to the Georgia WebMBA. With the exception of one two-day orientation held at the beginning of the program, the 30-credit-hour program may be completed entirely online. Georgia WebMBA courses range from Business Strategy and Strategic Marketing to Entrepreneurship and Management Information Systems. Accredited by AACSB International, the Georgia WebMBA takes 18 to 20 months to complete.
8. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University offers a “video-based Distance MBA” that may be completed in in 2.5 years, part-time. The 36-credit-hour program offers an optional three-day orientation at the beginning of the program and a three-day visit to campus towards the end of the program to complete the Capstone Course. Otherwise, all coursework for the program may be completed online.
In addition to optional concentrations in Finance, Marketing, Management, Information Systems, Supply Chain, Business Analytics and Human Resource Management, the AACSB International-accredited program offers dual degrees in MSBA-Finance, Management Information Systems, and Industrial and Systems Engineering.
9. University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi
The UM School of Business at the University of Mississippi is home to a 36-credit-hour Professional MBA. Better known as “Ole Miss Professional MBA,” the program “employs a fully supported online learning system integrated with features such as video conferencing, interactive discussions and similar collaborative technologies necessary for effective online instruction.” Course titles range from Managerial Accounting and Organizational Behavior to Contemporary Business Analysis and Mobilizing Technology.
Accredited by AACSB International, the Ole Miss Professional MBA may be completed in two years by taking two courses per semester (fall, spring and summer session). The part-time program also allows students to complete the program over a longer period of time by taking just one course per semester.
10. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University is home to the Flores MBA. The online program consists of 14 courses (42 credit-hours) that may be completed in as little as 18 months. Although the program does not offer a concentration, students have several electives to choose from including Negotiation, Persuasion and Influence and Seminar in New Developments in Business Administration.
Accredited by AACSB International, the online Flores MBA is designed for professionals with at least five years of work experience and it offers six start dates annually. There are no residency requirements for the program.
11. Gardner-Webb University, Boiling springs, North Carolina
The Godbold School of Business at Gardner-Webb University offers a 36-credit-hour MBA that may be completed entirely online. The program requires 30 hours in the core and six hours of electives. Students have a number of emphasis areas to choose from including Accounting, Banking and Financing, International Business, Healthcare Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Human Resources Management, Management Information Systems, and Tax Accounting.
Students that would like to take some face-to-face classes may take several MBA courses at campuses in Boiling springs, Charlotte, Statesville, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina as well as Spartanburg springs, SC. All MBA programs at the Godbold School of Business are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
12. Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky
The Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business at Murray State University offers a 30-credit-hour general MBA that may be completed 100% online. The program, which is delivered via a program called “Canvas,” may be completed in as little as 18 months. However, many students complete the program in two years—the maximum time allowed for completion. Students may begin the program in spring, fall, or in summer and they can expect advanced coursework in the areas of Corporate Finance, Strategic Management (Seminar), Managerial Economics, and more.
The online MBA program at Murray State is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).
13. Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi
Mississippi State University offers a 30-credit-hour fully online MBA and a 33-credit-hour online MBA with a focus in Project Management. The AACSB International-accredited programs offer enrollment in fall, spring, or summer and students typically complete the programs in two years. Students who have completed all undergraduate prerequisites can finish either program in as little as 18 months. Prerequisite courses are also available online.
14. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
The College of Business at Florida State University has two online MBA programs to choose from. Prospective students may choose between the online MBA (with elective courses that may be tailored to three focus areas) and the online MBA with a Real Estate specialization. The 39-credit-hour online MBA can be tailored for Management Information Systems, Real Estate or Sales Management and it may be completed in two to 2.5 years (seven semesters).
Online MBA students may participate in the Global Business Seminar for Graduate Students which allows students to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea at firms such as Samsung Electronics, LG, Hyundai and Kia. The program, which also features several cultural excursions, focuses on the "globalization and sustainability of Korean multinational firms."
The online MBA with a Real Estate specialization also consists of 39 credit-hours and features a “rigorous set of elective courses focused on real estate and analysis.” The program, which also offers a study abroad option, may be completed in two to 2.5 years. Both the online MBA and online MBA-Real Estate are AACSB International-accredited.
15. University of Tennessee-Martin, Martin, Tennessee
The College of Business and Global Affairs at University of Tennessee-Martin (UT Martin) offers a 33-credit-hour online MBA program that may be completed in just 20 to 21 months. “Geared toward the financial services industry,” the cohort-based program allows students to take one class at a time. The AACSB International-accredited program emphasizes that it has just 20 students per cohort.
Because the UT Martin Online MBA is open to “anyone holding a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university, regardless of undergraduate major,” students come from all walks of life. Trips to campus are not required, so all interaction between the programs diverse group of students and faculty takes place via discussion boards, email, virtual classrooms, and virtual group meeting rooms. Other assignments and exams are completed and submitted online.
16. East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
The College of Business at East Carolina University (COB at ECU) offers an AACSB-accredited MBA program that features several delivery methods—entirely online, on-campus, or a combination of the two (hybrid). The program takes a minimum of 30 credit-hours up to a maximum of 54 credit-hours or 18 classes to complete. Online MBA students can expect to take a wide range of subjects including accounting, finance, economics, information technology management, marketing, operations management, strategy, and supply chain management.
Students may take classes at their own pace (between one to five classes per semester) and classes may be taken in any order. The program takes flexibility a step further by offering time off. Students have the option to take a semester or more off—if needed.
17. Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Florida International University’s (FIU) Chapman Graduate School offers a Corporate MBA (CMBA) and a Professional MBA FLEX (PMBA). The CMBA may be completed 100% online via discussion boards, chats, and emails. The PMBA utilizes a "blended-learning” format that alternates online and in-person classes. The PMBA option requires students to meet in a classroom setting just once a week and it offers specializations in Finance, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing, Management Information Systems, and Real Estate.
Both programs are AACSB International-accredited and require 42 credit-hours of study to graduate. However, the PMBA may take 24 months (or more) to complete, while the CMBA takes just 18 months to complete.
18. Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia
Georgia Southern University offers an AACSB-accredited, 30-credit hour/5 semester, online MBA, delivering courses asynchronously. The team-based cohort program requires students to attend an orientation weekend prior to starting the program and offers two start times: August (fall semester) and January (spring semester). Students interact with the material, classmates, and professors in a variety of ways through a high-tech, high-touch experience that is relevant for working business professionals.
19. Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi
The College of Business at Jackson State University Online offers a 30 to 33-credit-hour MBA that may be completed online. The JSUOnline MBA takes place over the course of 12 calendar months, including five, eight-week terms, plus one intersession. Students are expected to complete two courses during each eight-week term. The program, which is similar to the traditional on-campus program, utilizes Blackboard and includes the use of "email, threaded discussions, simulations, multimedia, chat rooms, and more. In most cases, online courses do not have a physical meeting time or place. However, some courses may require chat sessions which require that students log into Blackboard simultaneously."
The online MBA at Jackson State University also offers hybrid courses, which uses a combination of “face-to-face instruction and online activities in Blackboard or a publisher website.” The College of Business is accredited by AACSB International.
20. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) offers a 36-credit-hour online MBA with specializations in Accounting, Finance, Information Technology, Marketing, International Business, and Public Administration. The school also offers a unique MBA in Aviation. Students that declare a concentration may be required to take 12 additional credit hours.
While the MBA program at Embry-Riddle may be completed entirely online, students have access to more than 150 convenient ERAU campuses across the country. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
21. Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
The Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University offers a 30-credit-hour online MBA (Georgia WebMBA) that takes around 20 months to complete. Students typically take two courses in each of five consecutive fall, spring, and summer terms to complete the program within 20 months. The 10-course online program requires just one, two-day orientation, otherwise “all activities are exclusively online.”
As part of the Coles College of Business, the Georgia WebMBA is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).
22. Brenau University, Gainesville, Georgia
Brenau University offers a 45-credit-hour MBA program that may be completed 100% online or via a blended format. The program offers nine concentration from Accounting and Entrepreneurship to Finance, Marketing, and Management. The Finance concentration leads to a MBA + a Certificate in Finance. Concentration courses for the blended format are offered primarily online, with core course availability online or on campus.
The business programs at Brenau University are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
23. Columbus State University, Columbia, Georgia
The D. Abbot Turner College of Business at Columbus State University offers a 30-credit-hour MBA. With the exception of one orientation offered in Atlanta, Georgia at the beginning of the spring and fall semesters, the coursework for the Georgia WebMBA may be completed 100% online. The program does not require electives and may be completed in as few as 18 to 20 months.
24. University of Louisiana at Monroe, Monroe, Louisiana
The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM Monroe) offers a 30-credit-hour online MBA with concentrations in Construction Management, Educational Leadership, and Gerontology. To meet the technical demands of the online MBA program, students must have “Microsoft Office™, high-speed Internet access, and computer equipment with audio and video capability, including a headset with a built-in microphone and a Webcam.”
Students may begin the program at the start of any semester and requirements may be completed in two years. Although all coursework may be completed online, students have the option to complete some classes in Hong Kong at Shue Yan University. “ULM students can register for MBA classes offered at Shue Yan during summer and winter sessions. The classes are the same as those on the ULM campus.”
The MBA program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe is accredited by AACSB International.
25. Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, Florida
The School of Business at Saint Leo University offers an online MBA with eight specializations. Options include Accounting, Health Care Management, Human Resource Management, Information Security Management, Marketing, Market Research and Social Media Analytics, Project Management, and Sport Business. The 36-credit-hour program allows students to pursue up to two MBA concentrations concurrently. In addition, students may start the program “at any of the six terms each year.” An internship opportunity is also open to all students.
The online MBA program at Saint Leo University is IACBE-accredited.