Our 2015 list of the Top 20 Online MBA Programs on the East Coast. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Fox School of Business at Temple University offers a 48-credit-hour MBA program with coursework that may be completed entirely online. Called the “Fox OMBA,” the program utilizes “cutting-edge social technologies,” HD video presentations, and web conferencing technology that allows students to engage in course activities in any environment and at their own pace. While coursework is available entirely online, students must attend one week-long residency, which is held at the school’s main campus. Students must also “attend” live weekly classes held through WebEx. This gives students the opportunity to meet classmates and faculty in an environment that allows them to “speak with and see one another.”
Most students complete the AACSB International-accredited Fox OMBA in as little as 20 months, with each student spending approximately 10-20 hours each week on coursework.
2. Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
Penn State Online offers a competitive MBA program designed for professionals with work experience in areas ranging from business and health care to technology. The program is also open to individuals with a business or non-business undergraduate degree. Coursework for the 48-credit-hour intercollegiate MBA program (iMBA) may be completed entirely online, with just two mandatory residency experiences. One residency consists of a week of onsite study at a prominent U.S. firm. The other, a team business simulation, takes place on campus in State College, PA.
Online iMBA students can expect to meet during terms three and eight. Otherwise, coursework and communication with instructors and students will take place via bulletin boards, email, listservs, chat, and web conferencing. The online iMBA (housed within Pennsylvania State World Campus) is AACSB-International accredited.
3. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
The D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University offers an online MBA with optional residencies at the schools domestic campus locations and a variety of international locations such as Greece, Russia and China. The program, which consists of 50 credit hours, may be completed in 24 to 27 months and it offers eight specialization options including Finance, Healthcare Management, High Technology Management, Innovation Entrepreneurship, International Management, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and Sustainability
Online MBA students can earn a Dual Masters in Finance/MBA by taking "as few as four to seven additional finance electives." Both online programs utilize virtual class discussions, discussion board collaboration, team projects, and individual assignments for a well-rounded academic experience. The online MBA programs at D’Amore-Mckim School of Business are AACSB International-accredited.
4. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University offers a 54-credit-hour online MBA with five optional specializations including Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing Management and Supply Chain Management. The program combines “live online classes led by Syracuse University faculty, self-paced coursework, and hands-on learning through domestic and international residencies.”
Coursework for the online MBA program may be completed entirely online, but all students must participate in “three-day long residencies in cities around the world,” which offer “real-world experiences.” One residency requires students to meet “face-to-face with classmates and professors for networking and socializing. Students also participate in workshops and hear from guest speakers from top companies.” The online MBA program at Syracuse University, better known as MBA@Syracuse, may be completed in as little as two years and the program is AACSB International-accredited.
5. George Washington University, Washington DC
The School of Business at George Washington University (GWU) offers two online MBA programs—the Healthcare MBA and a Traditional MBA. The Healthcare MBA may be completed in just two years and the Traditional MBA may be completed in three to five years. Both programs require 52.5 credit hours of study including 34.5 credit hours of core courses, plus 18 credit hours of elective courses for the traditional MBA, and 18 credit hours of healthcare electives for the Healthcare MBA.
The online Healthcare MBA features specialized electives such as Service Line and Project Management, Managing the Skilled Nursing Facility, Physician Practice Management, and more. The program is designed for professionals on the path to becoming Health Care Managers, Administrators, and Executives. The Traditional MBA program is available either 100% online or in hybrid format. For 2015, the program offered optional concentrations in Consulting, Finance, Global Management, Information Systems & Technology Management, and Project Management. Students may also customize their electives to create their own area of focus.
Both AACSB International-accredited programs offer optional short-term study abroad opportunities in places such as Denmark, Israel, Mexico, and others. In addition, the online MBA program requires one 1.5 credit on-site residency course, which may be completed during one of nine opportunities throughout the program. The course offers a “firsthand look through visits to the Federal Reserve, the US Congress, and the World Bank.”
6. University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is home to the Isenberg School of Management, which offers an online MBA program that allows students to “try before you buy.” Potential MBA students can take up to two classes before applying to learn why the program is a good fit.
The five-credit-hour program features four optional focus areas including Finance, Entrepreneurship, Healthcare Administration, and Marketing. Besides several concentrations students and the opportunity to experience the program before committing, students have an additional delivery option to consider. The Blended Option allows students to take some classes online and others at a conveniently located satellite campus in Boston, Shrewsbury, or Springfield, Massachusetts.
The online MBA program at Isenberg School of Management is AACSB International-accredited.
7. Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut
The School of Business at Quinnipiac University offers a 46-credit-hour online MBA program that may be completed in as little as 2.5 years. The program allows students to “formulate customized concentrations that focus on specific professional interests.” Students may create a concentration by choosing electives from six areas including Computer Information Systems, Finance, Health Care Management, International Business, Management, and Marketing. The AACSB International-accredited program places a strong emphasis on “decision-making” as well as the exploration of “innovative approaches to problem solving, financial analysis, organizational behavior, marketing, global business practices and leadership.”
The Quinnipiac online MBA offers three start dates: fall (late August), spring (late January), and summer (late May).
8. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
The Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology Online Executive MBA (EMBA) program delivers 49 credit hours of study in just 17 months. The accelerated program “focuses on building skills in innovation, teamwork, leadership, globalization, and strategic thinking,” to help students “thrive in the global marketplace.” As part of Saunders College of Business, the EMBA program is fully accredited by AACSB International.
9. James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia
The College of Business at James Madison University offers several MBA programs including the Innovation MBA, Information Security MBA, and an Executive Leadership MBA. All programs may be completed via a blended format of instruction, but the Executive Leadership MBA requires the least amount of face-time. Students in the program must complete one Saturday residency per month in McLean, Virginia. The program features small cohort sizes and the 14 required courses can be completed in 28 months. All of the MBA programs at James Madison University are AACSB International accredited.
10. State University of New York at Oswego, Oswego, New York
The School of Business at State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego is home to a fully online Management MBA that carries AACSB International accreditation. The program requires 36 graduate credit hours of core, directed electives, and elective study and it is open to students that do not have a business degree. However, these students may have to take up to 63 credit hours of coursework to complete the program. In addition to completing the program online, students that prefer “some” classroom time, may complete the SUNY Oswego online MBA through a combination of online and on-campus courses (hybrid).
The SUNY at Oswego online MBA program practices a rolling admission policy, so students may start either program at any time of the year.
11. Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Villanova University’s Villanova School of Business offers an online MBA program that consists of 21 courses taken over six 14-week semesters. The program requires just “one intensive residency” in the first or second semester of the program. The campus-based “Leadership Challenge” is a three-day residency that “provides an environment for students to engage in group work and begin to develop a learning community with their classmates.” An optional second residency is on the menu as well. The residency (The Global Practicum) features an elective immersion in Dubai, United Emirates; Sydney, Australia; Milan Italy; Belgium and Poland, The European Union, or Shanghai and Beijing, The People’s Republic of China. A domestic option is available for students who are unable to travel.
While students are required to visit the campus once, all coursework for the AACSB International-accredited MBA program is delivered online.
12. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
The College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University offers a general MBA program that may completed 100% online. The36-credit-hour general MBA does not offer any concentrations. However, students may earn a Professional Certificate in Corporate Entrepreneurship in addition to the MBA.
Lehigh offers another MBA program—the MBA&E (Engineering). Managed by both the College of Business and Economics and the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the 45-credit-hour MBA&E program is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in engineering. MBA&E concentrations include Chemical Engineering, Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Upon completion of the program MBA&E program, students receive an MBA degree with a concentration in their chosen area. Both programs are AACSB International-accredited.
13. University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics offers a 48-credit-hour online MBA that may be completed in as few as 16 months. The AACSB International-accredited program has three concentrations including the Dual Finance and International Business concentration, Finance, and International Business (IB). Students may enter the online MBA program in any of these concentration areas with any undergraduate background.
Regardless of the concentration area, students are required to complete “Experiences in Strategic Integration for Top Managers,” which is “designed to help future managers integrate concerns from multiple functions, including finance, marketing, and operations, in addressing complex problems in an uncertain environment.” According to program literature, the emphasis is on “experiential learning through actual and simulated cases.”
14. Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business is home to New York’s first distance learning programs in Strategic Healthcare Management and Strategic Business. Both 48-credit-hour programs may be completed entirely online. The AACSB International-accredited programs are open to both domestic and international students.
15. Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Saint Joseph’s University is home to The Erivan K. Haub School of Business, which offers a 33-credit-hour MBA that allows students to complete foundation, gateway, core, and elective courses 100% online. The AACSB International-accredited program also offers eight and 15-week semesters. Students can expect to take courses such as Accounting Concepts, Business Analytics, Ethical Practices in Business, Marketing Strategy, and Shareholder Value Management. The online MBA also offers a focus in Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing.
16. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York
The School of Management at Marist College offers a 30-credit-hour online MBA with four concentration options including Financial Management, International Business, Healthcare Administration, and Ethical Leadership. Students in the program communicate with faculty and fellow classmates via telephone, email, video conferences, and through VoIP (Voice over IP). The program is offered in an asynchronous format, so there are no specific sign-on times each week.
The School of Management at Marist College is accredited by AACSB International.
17. University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania
The University of Scranton is home to The Kania School of Management, which offers online MBA with four optional specialization areas. Students that do not choose the General Management MBA may specialize in Enterprise Resource Planning, Healthcare Management, International Business or Operations Management. The 36-credit-hour, AACSB International-accredited program features one-on-one interaction with professors and classmates via email, online discussion, and virtual meetings. There are no required residencies, so the program and all of its components may be completed 100% online.
Students can expect to complete the online MBA program in two years “at a comfortable pace of one course per term.” Students also have the option to complete the program sooner by taking more than one course per term—with advisor approval. In addition, online MBA students may earn an Online Certificate in Supply Chain Management.
18. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts
The Robert A. Foisie School of Business at Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers a “Flex Track” MBA program that features a “blended learning format for students seeking a more flexible learning option.” The program, known as “The Innovator’s MBA,” combines web-based learning with on-campus classes that meet on Saturdays, every five weeks, which totals three Saturdays per semester, for 3.5 hours per class. Students in the program may take as many or as few classes per semester as they like, and if preferred, students may incorporate evening courses.
All students must complete the 10 integrative courses as part of the MBA program as well as two projects and four elective courses. Elective specialization areas include Entrepreneurship, Health Systems Innovation, Information Security Management, Information Technology, Operations Management, Process Design, Sustainability, Supply Chain Management, Technological Innovation, and Marketing Innovation. The Foisie Flex Track MBA program is AACSB International-accredited.
19. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
The School of Business at George Mason University offers an Executive MBA with three distinct tracks: Global, National Security, and Critical Infrastructure Protection and Management. Coursework for all EMBA tracks may be completed in-class or online (with the exception of an in-person global or domestic residency).
The AACSB International-accredited EMBA program requires 48 credit hours of study completed in just 20 months. Students begin the program in the fall. In-class students complete courses at the Arlington, VA campus on Saturdays with approximately one free weekend per month. Tuition is all-inclusive except the cost of airfare for the residency for online students.
20. University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
The University of Baltimore is home to Baltimore’s only online MBA accredited by AACSB International. The program, which takes as little as 18 months to complete, “highlights flexibility and customization, enabling students to create a degree path specifically suited to their professional interests and career goals.” Students may choose from 10 specializations ranging from Entrepreneurship to Public Sector Management. The 100 percent online MBA was developed by the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business.