Finding an affordable online MBA program requires time and research. To assist with your search, we examined reputable sources and located accredited and affordable online MBA programs that cost less than $10,000 per year.
Top 25 Affordable Online MBA Programs Under $10,000 Per Year Methodology
We reviewed approximately 80 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offer affordable online MBA programs for less than $10,000 per year. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: regional or national accreditation, full- or part-time online completion pathways, program and/or school rankings with U.S. News and World Report, and graduate tuition/fees less than $10,000 per year. We then ranked the top 25 online MBA programs according to raw affordability.
Ranking the Most Affordable Online MBA Programs of 2021
#25 – University of Wisconsin
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,118
For those in search of cheap online MBA programs, University of Wisconsin has options. The Wisconsin online MBA is flexible and customizable, offering 12 areas of emphasis that can be added to the degree. Emphasis areas include data analytics, environmental health and safety, finance, HR, international business, management, and marketing. All classes are delivered online and taught by UW faculty who hold doctoral degrees. In addition to affordable tuition and customizable classes, the school offers rankings with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, these rankings include #58 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #25 in best online MBA programs.
#24 – Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, Mississippi
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,910
Mississippi State University offers affordable online MBA programs for under $9,000 per year. The Mississippi State online MBA is AACSB-accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school’s online MBA program ranks #40 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News. The school ranks #206 in best national universities and #105 in top public schools. In addition to institution and MBA program rankings, MSU offers flexibly designed online courses taught by esteemed faculty. MBA courses cover topics like business decision analysis and strategic management in a competitive environment. Admission to the online MBA program does not currently require the GRE.
#23 – University of Mississippi
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,828
For under $9,000 per year, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) offers an online MBA through its AACSB-accredited business school. The 36-credit hour degree takes two years to complete by taking two courses per term. Required courses focus on the development of communication, entrepreneurial, interpersonal, leadership, and strategic thinking skills. Courses are delivered 100% online, giving students a flexible degree completion process. University of Mississippi ranks nationally with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school’s rankings include #160 in best national universities, #119 in best value schools, and #6 out of more than 1,200 in best online MBA programs.
#22 – Oklahoma State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,460
Oklahoma State University offers affordable online MBA programs designed for full-time working professionals with limited time for a traditional classroom experience. Adding to the flexibility of the degree, part-time enrollment options allow working professionals time to balance outside obligations with MBA requirements. Courses cover topics like corporate and business strategy, individual and organizational behavior, marketing management, and MBA financial reporting. Successful admission to the online MBA requires a four-year degree from an accredited program and competitive GMAT or GRE scores. Oklahoma State University ranks #187 in best national universities by U.S. News and World Report. Also, the online MBA programs rank #40 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#21 – Lamar University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,264
Lamar University, a top-ranked public institution, offers an affordable online MBA designed for busy students. The online MBA requires the completion of 30 credit hours and takes as few as 12 months to complete. With an AACSB-accreditation stamp and a strong academic reputation, the online MBA at Lamar draws qualified students from all over the globe. Admission requires an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Lamar’s strong reputation includes rankings from U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #298-#389 in best national universities and #213 in best online MBA programs.
#20 – Texas Tech University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,181
The Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University offers an affordable MBA online program for less than $10,000 per year. The MBA is fully accredited with the AACSB and designed to empower students to become competent leaders in their field. Courses are delivered 100% online, requiring no campus visits. Adding to the degree’s flexibility, both full-time and part-time completion options are available. Courses cover topics like financial and managerial accounting, financial management concepts, leadership and ethics, and strategic and global management. In addition to the MBA degree, students may elect to add on a concentration in areas like healthcare organization management, information technology, or marketing analytics. Texas Tech ranks #217 in best national universities and #131 in best online MBA programs.
#19 – Sam Houston State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,016
Sam Houston State University offers a 36-credit-hour online MBA suited for qualified students from any academic discipline. Three start dates allow students to enter the program at various times throughout the year. Courses cover topics like accounting for management, financial management, managerial communication, marketing management, and techniques of statistical analysis. To apply for admission to Sam Houston’s affordable MBA online program, you will need an earned bachelor’s degree and competitive GMAT scores (waived in 2021 with a GPA of 2.75 or greater). Sam Houston State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 272nd best national university. Also, SHSU’s online MBA programs rank #95 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#18 – Kennesaw State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,334
At Kennesaw State University, one may earn an accredited online MBA that costs less than $8,000 per year. Known as the Georgia WebMBA, the program offers qualified students the opportunity to earn a graduate business degree through online study. Courses cover general business and advanced practices in the field. Course topics include human behavior in organizations, management information systems, operations and supply chain management, and strategic marketing. Kennesaw State ranks nationally with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, recent 2021 rankings include #298-#389 in best national universities and #154-#209 in top public schools. Kennesaw is fully accredited and offers one of the most affordable MBA online programs on our list.
#17 – Tarleton State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,215
Tarleton State University offers affordable online MBA programs with fast-track completion options. The fully online MBA can be completed either in 12 months or by following a traditional track. Courses emphasize functional areas of business such as accounting, business strategy, finance, information systems, management, and marketing. These classes are administered online and taught by Tarleton’s experienced faculty. In addition to offering a fully accredited MBA, Tarleton State presents national recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, Tarleton’s rankings include #64 in best regional universities in the West and #31 in top public schools.
#16 – Georgia Southern University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,069
Georgia Southern University offers affordable online MBA programs for motivated students. The 21-month MBA program is internationally accredited and available completely online. The program admits students for fall and spring semesters and requires no visits to campus for classes or proctored examinations. A two-day orientation does take place in Atlanta and allows students to meet their faculty, peers, and other people associated with the program. Since 2001, Georgia Southern has offered online MBA study to qualified students. The school ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, the online MBA programs rank #59 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.
#15 – Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,044
The online MBA at Eastern New Mexico University lands a top spot on our list of affordable MBA online programs. This cheap online MBA degree is ACBSP-accredited and designed for working professionals and busy students alike. Admission requires an undergraduate degree and competitive GMAT scores. The online MBA consists of 30 credits with classes that cover topics like accounting for managers, law and ethics, managerial economics, managerial finance, and production and operations management. In addition to the MBA core requirements, students may elect to pursue an accounting concentration also offered within the program. Eastern New Mexico ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 95th-124th best regional university in the West.
#14 – Southern Arkansas University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,582
Southern Arkansas University offers one of the cheapest online MBA programs on our list. AACSB-accredited and offering an annual cost of less than $7,000, the reputable program is one of the most affordable in the state of Arkansas. Admission to this cheap online MBA degree is competitive, though applicants with a 3.5 undergraduate GPA or higher will receive a GMAT waiver. The institution ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 99th best regional university in the South, 80th in top performers on social mobility, and 47th top public school. Also, the Southern Arkansas’s online MBA programs rank #245-#321 out of more than 1,200 surveyed by U.S. News.
#13 – William Woods University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,580
William Woods University offers an ACBSP-accredited online MBA that is highly affordable. Enrolled students earn the degree by completing twelve three-credit courses. These courses cover topics like business strategies, economics for managers, financial decisions, management systems, and managerial ethics. All classes are delivered online and taught by William Woods University’s experienced faculty. In addition to the online MBA, students may elect to earn an emphasis in global business and small business. The emphasis requires the completion of nine additional credit hours. WWU ranks #298-#389 in best national universities and #71 in top performers on social mobility. Also, the online MBA programs rank #245-#321 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#12 – University of Central Arkansas
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,539
The University of Central Arkansas offers affordable online MBA programs designed for busy professionals and working students seeking a flexible business program. The online MBA requires 30 credit hours beyond prerequisites and requires applicants hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution for admission. The fully online MBA explores business topics like accounting for management decisions, financial decision making, and organizational behavior. In addition to being accredited, University of Central Arkansas ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. These rankings include #298-#389 in best national universities, #154-#209 in top public schools, and #245-#321 in best online MBA programs.
#11 – Arkansas State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,422
If you’re seeking affordable and quality online MBA programs, Arkansas State University’s should be on your radar. The program costs less than $6,500 per year and consistently ranks among the top online MBA programs. In fact, as of 2021, U.S. News and World Report ranks the online MBA programs at ASU #112 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs. In addition to program rankings, the school also ranks among the top national universities and top public schools. Enrolled MBA students may choose to earn a concentration in addition to their graduate business degree. Concentration options are available in finance or supply chain management.
#10 – Missouri State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,250
The Missouri State University online MBA is designed for working professionals and busy graduate students seeking a flexible business degree. The online program is highly affordable and costs the same for in-state and out-of-state students. All MBA courses are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. Required courses cover topics like administrative, organizational, and operations concepts for managers; fundamentals of economics; and statistical methods in business research. Missouri State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 298th-389th top national university. Also, the online MBA programs rank #179 out of more than 1,200 programs.
#9 – University of the Cumberlands
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,970
With one of the lowest tuition prices on our list, University of the Cumberlands offers a quality and affordable online MBA program. For less than $6,000/year, students may earn their online MBA. The program is designed to accommodate working professionals and busy students balancing outside obligations like a job and family. Several concentrations are available, adding to the program’s flexible design. These concentrations allow students to tailor their degree toward interests. Concentrations in accounting, healthcare administration, marketing, project management, and strategic management are available. In addition to offering quality graduate programs, the university has received IACBE-accreditation for its business programs. Also, the school and online MBA rank nationally with U.S. News and World Report.
#8 – Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,959
Southeast Missouri State University, an affordable public institution with an outstanding reputation, offers one of the cheapest online MBA programs on our list. The MBA program holds the same AACSB accreditation as the on-campus MBA, offering the same rigor and coursework. Also, all online courses are taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. Several available concentrations allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest. The concentrations include accounting, entrepreneurship, financial management, general management, health administration, industrial management, and international business. Southeast Missouri State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 76th best regional university in the Midwest.
#7 – University of Nevada
Online Executive MBA
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,931
Like most of the affordable online MBA programs on our list, University of Nevada offers a distance education program that can be completed in just two years. What sets University of Nevada’s online MBA apart from other programs is whom the degree is intended for. Admission criteria states applicants with five or more years of professional work experience may qualify. The online EMBA offers a 12-course curriculum that covers topics like financial management, financial reporting and analysis, marketing management, personal branding, production and operations management, and strategic management for executives. University of Nevada Reno ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 227th best national university. Also, the online MBA programs rank #59 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#6 – Fitchburg State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,742
Fitchburg State University offers one of the most affordable MBA online programs on our list. To earn the online Fitchburg MBA, students must complete a total of ten courses (30 credit hours), including 18 hours of advanced core requirements, nine hours of management concentration courses, and a three-hour elective course. Admission to the program is evaluated holistically, though applicants need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and university. Undergraduate academic performance is also evaluated. In addition to offering affordable tuition, Fitchburg ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #96 in best regional universities in the North, #29 in top public schools, and #245-#321 in best online MBA programs.
#5 – Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,730
For less than $6,000 per year, students may earn an online MBA from Fayetteville State University. The online MBA is flexibly designed for business professionals and offers ten concentrations, allowing students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest. These concentrations include business intelligence and data analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare management, international business, management, marketing, and project management. In addition to offering accredited and affordable online MBA programs, Fayetteville State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Current rankings include #89 in best regional universities in the South, #42 in top public schools, and #88 in best online MBA programs.
#4 – Texas A & M University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,701
Texas A&M University offers cheap online MBA programs for less than $6,000 per year. The affordable online MBA also offers a quick completion time of 12 months, making the program one of the fastest on our list. Admission to the AACSB-accredited MBA program does not require the GRE or GMAT for the upcoming year; however, undergraduate performance will be evaluated. An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is also required. Courses are delivered online and cover topics like accounting and value creation, economics and managerial decision making, financial management and sustainability, and strategic management. Texas A&M ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 66th best national university.
#3 – Chadron State College
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,352
Chadron State College offers an affordable MBA online program designed for working and busy students. The eight-week format allows students to take rigorous courses in a compressed amount of time. This means students will finish their degree in less than the two years that a traditional graduate degree takes. There are also six entry points throughout the year that allow students to jump into the program at a time that is convenient. Successful admission requires an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Official transcripts and satisfactory undergraduate academic performance are also required. Chadron State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 119th-156th best regional university in the Midwest and 39th-51st top public school.
#2 – Georgia Southwestern State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,928
Georgia Southwestern State University offers affordable online MBA programs that accredited and flexibly designed. The program is AACSB-accredited and requires the completion of 30 graduate semester hours in business-related courses. These courses cover advanced business topics like advanced business finance, managerial economics, marketing management, organizational theory and behavior, and strategic management. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in the MBA program. Georgia Southwestern State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, Georgia Southwestern ranks #103-#133 in best regional universities in the South and #50-#62 in top public schools.
#1 – Cameron University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,590
Offering affordable online MBA programs, Cameron University earns the #1 spot on our list of affordable MBA online programs under $10,000 per year. In fact, Cameron’s online MBA costs less than $5,000 per year. Designed for working adults, the 33-credit hour program can be completed entirely online. Courses cover a range of business topics, including accounting for management, applied business statistics, contemporary marketing problems, current issues in organizational design, and managerial finance. In addition to being the most affordable school on our list, Cameron ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 95th-124th best regional university in the West. Also, the online MBA programs rank #191 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.
Frequently Asked Questions on Online MBA Programs
What can you do with an MBA online degree?
An online MBA is an excellent investment due to its vast utility and versatility. The quantity of post-MBA career paths is innumerable. Graduates can move into virtually any job sector including accounting, finance, economics, information technology, management, marketing, and more. A general MBA prepares the graduate for advanced business positions in a variety of contexts. The coursework covers advanced business practices and concepts establishing the graduate as an innovator and problem solver within a business environment.
Many programs offer specialty tracks or concentrations allowing the MBA student to not only complete the foundational coursework, but to choose a specific area of expertise such as information technology, logistics, marketing, sales, and more. These specialty concentrations are attractive to potential employers and allow students to choose a field that aligns well with their interests within a specific career trajectory.
Some of the top jobs for those with an online MBA include IT manager, financial manager, data analyst, HR manager, and management analyst. These occupations are expected to experience above-average demand due to the specific skills and knowledge these graduates possess. In addition, the pay for these occupations is typically well into the six-figure range, putting the employee into the upper echelon of earnings.
What is the job outlook for individuals with an affordable MBA online degree?
Obtaining a master’s in business administration is a vital component for individuals seeking management positions in many industries and career paths. An affordable online MBA gives professionals the chance to learn broad-based skills and knowledge that can be applied to many different contexts. From accounting, finance, and supply chain management to data-driven decision making, students learn applied skills that make them attractive candidates for management positions. Moreover, many management positions now require a master’s degree, compared to years past where a bachelor’s degree and experience would suffice. As such is the case, an MBA is more important than ever.
All online MBA degrees are not created equal. Some programs offer a generalist MBA, while others embed specializations students can choose from. Those focusing on a specific specialization tend to do better in the job market because of their specialized skill sets. Common specializations include finance, accounting, project management, information technology management, and healthcare management. It is critical for the MBA candidate to select a program with a specialization that fits their career trajectory and interests.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management positions are expected to experience above average growth of 8% through 2026. This is double the average growth for all other occupations tracked by the BLS. The data confirms an affordable online MBA is still a worthwhile investment.
How much money can you earn with an MBA online degree?
Postsecondary education has historically been the most effective method of improving socioeconomic status. More education and training in an individual will typically equate to more earning power and social mobility. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary for 2020 MBA graduates is expected to be $79,043, more than $20,000 more than those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business. Moreover, the $79,043 salary far outpaces the average salary for all occupations, which is just over $39,000, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A recent survey of MBA graduates stated the importance of contemplating and crystalizing career goals. This allows the MBA candidate to have a specific career path and to follow that path with determination and conviction, which improves job prospects.
As with other occupations, industry plays a major role in compensation. Data obtained from U.S. News and World Report shows the highest paying industries for MBA graduates includes consulting ($140,187), financial services ($130,001), technology ($120,784), retail ($115,370), and real estate ($112,086).
An online MBA has always been a sound investment – with a handsome return on investment. The newest data indicate that the trend should continue for the foreseeable future.
What are the admission requirements for affordable MBA online programs?
Admission requirements for affordable online MBA programs do vary, but there are multiple admission requirements and components that are common across most programs.
The vast majority of online MBA programs require foundational knowledge and skills in core business functions such as accounting, economics, finance, management, and mathematics. Most programs either require undergraduate coursework to show mastery or a bachelor’s degree in a business-related major. Students with non-business bachelor degrees typically enroll in approved undergraduate courses at a four-year institution or community college upon approval. These courses generally consist of a year of basic accounting classes, micro/macroeconomics, finance, statistics, business calculus, management, and marketing.
Students applying to top business programs will need to take either the GMAT or GRE. These tests are common requirements among graduate business programs. Top schools are competitive and require strong scores, typically at or above the 75th percentile. There are also a number of business programs that require standardized testing that require test scores between the 30th and 50th percentile. For those wishing to forego standardized testing, there are several programs that do not require it for admission. Other common admission application requirements include transcripts, 2-3 letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a writing sample.
What classes do you take while earning an MBA online degree?
While curriculum varies between programs, most online MBA programs focus on developing core business competencies, along with strong leadership and management practices. Because the degree prepares graduates for management-level, and even executive-level careers, a strong foundation in common business functions and management are a must.
Core curriculum classes focusing on applied skill-building tend to center on accounting, marketing, finance, data analysis in decision making, and supply chain/logistics. Courses come with a variety of different names, but these concepts are generally universal.
Aside from core business classes, MBA candidates will take a number of courses to help them develop competencies in leadership, decision-making, strategic planning, and management. These courses are critical to the MBA graduate, who will be tasked with leading teams and organizations during their career. In recent years, these courses have taken on more of an analytical approach that requires students to be able to make decisions based on strong data analysis. As such, courses in statistics and computer science are becoming more common.
Aside from core business and management classes, the remaining coursework tends to focus on elective classes related to a specialization or concentration chosen by the student. These courses are career- and industry-specific and drill down into the key skills and concepts within the chosen field.
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