Accelerated Online MBA Programs

Graduates with an MBA degree can work in roles such as operations manager, marketing manager, general manager, and financial manager. An MBA also prepares graduates for roles like CEO and entrepreneur.

MBA programs train graduate students in areas like management principles, business analytics, and organizational leadership. Enrolling in an accelerated online MBA program offers a fast and flexible route to an MBA degree.

Many jobs for graduates with an MBA offer high salaries and strong demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing managers, healthcare administrators, human resources managers, financial managers, and top executives all earn median salaries of more than $100,000 per year.

Students in accelerated online MBA programs can advance their career in less time than students in traditional MBA programs. While a typical MBA program takes two years to complete, students can often finish an accelerated online MBA program in one year.

What Can I Do With an Online MBA?

An MBA degree prepares graduates for management-level roles in areas such as marketing, finance, human resources, and accounting. During an accelerated online MBA program, graduate students take courses on topics like executive leadership, organizational behavior, and management.

Many career opportunities for professionals with an MBA offer above-average salaries and strong projected job growth. For example, marketing managers earn a median annual wage of nearly $137,000, with faster-than-average projected job growth between 2019-2029. Financial managers make a median wage of nearly $130,000 per year, while top executives make a median annual wage of over $104,000.

Many employers prefer to hire candidates with an MBA for these roles. As a result, earning an MBA degree can help professionals advance their current career or begin a new one.

Will I Need a Graduate Degree for a Career in Business Administration?

A graduate degree helps business professionals advance their careers. While a bachelor’s degree meets the requirements for many entry-level careers, many employers prefer to hire candidates with a graduate degree for managerial and supervisory roles.

According to Payscale, professionals with a bachelor’s degree in business administration report an average salary of $64,200 per year. Professionals with an MBA degree report an average salary of $88,600 per year.

An MBA degree helps specialists in marketing, human resources, finance, and other fields compete for promotions and qualify for more opportunities. Earning an MBA online can also help professionals specialize in a certain area of business, such as supply chain management, entrepreneurship, or healthcare management.

Accreditation for an Online MBA Program

Prospective applicants should always check a school and program’s accreditation status before applying to an online MBA program. Accredited schools and programs meet high standards for educating students and granting degrees.

At the institutional level, regional accreditation remains the gold standard. Applicants can look up a school’s accreditation status in the U.S. Department of Education database. MBA programs may also hold accreditation from a specialized accrediting agency, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For instance, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many professional certifications require an accredited degree.

FAQ


  • What do you learn in an MBA?


    During an MBA program, graduate learners study topics like management principles, organizational behavior, and executive leadership. The degree also builds strong research and analytical skills.

  • How long does it take to get an MBA online?


    Completing a traditional MBA online typically takes two years of full-time study. An accelerated online MBA program generally takes 12-18 months to complete.

  • What is the typical salary of MBA graduates?


    According to PayScale, professionals with an MBA degree earn an average salary of over $88,000 per year. Many career paths, including marketing manager, financial manager, and top executive, report average earnings above $100,000.

  • Is getting an MBA online worth it?


    The flexibility of earning an MBA online benefits working professionals and students balancing school with other responsibilities. An online MBA can help graduates advance their careers and increase their earning potential.

What Are the Requirements for an MBA Program?

Applicants to an online MBA program generally need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. While an undergraduate business major can be helpful, many programs accept candidates with majors in different fields. Most MBA programs also require GMAT scores, and some expect work experience from applicants. Applicants also typically submit transcripts, a personal statement on their reasons for pursuing an MBA, and letters of recommendation.

After gaining admission to an online MBA program, graduate students typically complete 30-45 credits to graduate. Most MBA programs also require an internship and a capstone project.

Courses in an Online MBA Program Program

An MBA degree builds strong research and analytical skills. Learners explore theoretical and practical approaches to corporate leadership while strengthening their marketing, human resources, and strategic management abilities. MBA students can also take specialized electives based on their interests and career goals.

During an online accelerated MBA program, graduate students apply classroom training through hands-on projects and internship opportunities. Online programs typically work with students to arrange an internship in their local area.

While courses vary by program, the following list outlines courses commonly found in online MBA programs.

Organizational Management
Courses on organizational management examine workplace dynamics and how to motivate individuals in corporate environments. Learners study the role of leadership in organizational success while building analytical skills. Depending on the program, leaders may develop projects to apply organizational behavior principles, create presentations on building a company culture, and use case studies to learn about organizational management. The class provides foundational skills and knowledge for later MBA courses.
Executive Leadership
Executive leadership classes cover topics like theoretical approaches to leadership, methods for improving performance in corporate settings, and practical leadership skills. Through case studies, real-world examples, and studies on leadership, learners develop their own leadership philosophy. The course prepares students to apply leadership principles in a workplace setting and explore the role of innovation and creativity in executive leadership.
Entrepreneurship
Courses on entrepreneurship examine the process of founding and expanding companies. MBA students learn about new venture formation, including how to conceptualize business ideas, create business plans, and secure capital for new businesses. Topics may also include strategic management in new ventures, managerial economics, organizational behavior, and marketing. Entrepreneurship classes teach students how to establish new businesses and grow current ones.
Marketing Strategy
Traditional and accelerated MBA programs often include a marketing strategy course. This course teaches students how to develop and implement marketing plans. Students learn how to identify customer needs, develop products and services to meet those needs, and market products and services to potential customers. At the end of the course, students create a strategic marketing plan. The class prepares graduates for upper-level marketing careers.
Strategic Management
Courses on strategic management cover topics like executive decision-making, corporate responsibility, and strategic leadership. Many programs use strategic management courses as a capstone experience. MBA students may use case studies, team projects, and proposals to develop a strategic plan for an organization.

Certifications and Licensure for MBA Students

Earning professional certification can help MBA graduates stand out in the job market and increase their earning potential. By researching certifications, MBA students can find the best fit for their career goals.

The CFA Institute offers the CFA credential for professionals with advanced investment analysis and portfolio management skills. Candidates must pass three multiple-choice exams. With under a 50% pass rate for each exam, the CFA credential requires a high level of skill and knowledge.

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Offered by the Project Management Institute, the PMP credential demonstrates experience in project management. Candidates must hold a four-year degree and demonstrate at least 36 months of experience leading projects. The credential also requires 35 hours of project management education. Applicants must also pass a four-hour exam to earn the credential.

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The SHRM-CP credential recognizes experienced human resources professionals. Candidates must currently hold an HR position and pass a four-hour computer exam. SHRM also offers the senior certified professional credential for leaders in HR.

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Professional Organizations for MBA Students

MBA students can expand their network and advance their career by joining professional organizations. These associations offer resources to stay current in fields like finance, accounting, and management. Members also benefit from career and professional development resources. Many professional associations offer membership discounts for students.


  • American Management Association

    A professional association dedicated to management in business, the AMA promotes experiential learning for individuals, teams, and organizations. The association offers training sessions, courses, and seminars for business professionals. Managers can also earn the certified professional in management credential through the AMA.

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  • American Finance Association

    An academic organization dedicated to financial economics, the AFA hosts an annual meeting with networking opportunities. Members can also participate in local and virtual events, read the AFA journal to stay current in the field, and visit the association’s career center for advice on professional advancement and job postings.

    More Information


  • American Accounting Association

    Founded in 1916, the AAA offers networking and professional development tools for accounting professionals. The association publishes research in the field and promotes collaboration through meetings and events. The AAA also hosts a career center with job postings and guidance on careers in marketing.

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  • American Marketing Association

    The AMA represents marketing professionals, including marketing managers. Members benefit from the association’s scholarly journals, marketing news, and virtual training sessions. The AMA also offers webinars and other professional development resources for marketing professionals.

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Scholarships for MBA Students

Students in an accelerated online MBA program qualify for many scholarship and fellowship opportunities offered by professional organizations, private foundations, and private donors. The following list outlines several scholarship and fellowship opportunities for students earning an MBA online.

Who Can Apply: Offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, this scholarship supports MBA students pursuing careers in fraud examination. Applicants must attend an accredited school and take at least six credits per term. The scholarship requires an application, official transcripts, and two recommendation forms.Amount: $10,000

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Who Can Apply: The Daughters of the American Revolution awards the Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA scholarship to full-time graduate students attending an accredited MBA program. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.25 GPA. Recipients can reapply for the scholarship in future years.Amount: $2,000

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Who Can Apply: MBA students can apply for the Rick Guggolz Memorial scholarship or the AICP Insurance Career Advancement scholarship, both granted by the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and plan to work in insurance, finance, management, or another business-related field.Amount: $1,500

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Who Can Apply: This foundation offers fellowships for minority graduate students pursuing an MBA degree. Applicants must be either applying to or accepted to a two-year, full-time MBA program with plans to work in finance. The Toigo Foundation aims to increase diversity in finance through its fellowship.Amount: $5,000

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Who Can Apply: The Government Finance Officers Association offers multiple scholarships for graduate students pursuing a business degree. Applicants must be planning to work in federal, state, or local government finance. The eligibility requirements vary depending on the scholarship, but most require a letter of recommendation.Amount: $5,000-$20,000

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Accelerated Online MBA Programs 2020

  1. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    Location

    Edinburg, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Part of the University of Texas System, UTRGV enrolls students online and at multiple campuses throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Serving a bicultural region, the Brownsville-based school maintains membership to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

    Ranked among the most affordable programs of its kind, UTRGV's accelerated online MBA program prepares graduates to take on leadership roles in their current careers or seek out opportunities in new sectors. Students typically earn their degree in about one year.

    The 36-credit curriculum features foundation courses in finance, accounting, and statistics. Additional classes explore marketing, management, and information systems. Concentrations in financial planning, healthcare administration, and international trade allow students to customize the degree to suit their career goals.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GMAT or GRE scores. UGTRV is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The MBA program is accredited by AACSB International.

  2. Texas A & M International University
    Location

    Laredo, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public university based in Laredo, TAMIU offers a fully online MBA program with concentrations in management, international business, international bank and finance, and international logistics. Accredited by AACSB International, the program teaches multiple business skills focused on international issues.

    All MBA students begin with a core sequence designed to develop their knowledge of fundamental business areas like marketing, management, and finance. Students can complete the 30-credit accelerated MBA program in 15 months of full-time study.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Six annual start dates allow learners to begin the program at their convenience. Applicants without an undergraduate business degree must take prep-module courses before beginning their main course of study. TAMIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  3. City Vision University
    Location

    Kansas City, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    City Vision University is a nonprofit Christian university that operates exclusively online. The Kansas City-based school's MBA program trains graduates for senior management-level careers. The 36-credit program attracts candidates who seek to balance business expertise with Christian values. About 70% of City Vision MBA graduates find employment in religious organizations or other nonprofits.

    Enrollees can complete the accelerated MBA program in five semesters of full-time study. They can pursue a concentration in education management or social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management.

    All MBA candidates take core courses on topics like marketing, accounting, and organizational behavior. Consistent with the program's emphasis on the nonprofit sector, learners also study grant writing and fundraising. Other courses explore the intersection of Christianity and business. The program accepts applicants with a bachelor's degree in any field, and it does not require entrance exams.

    City Vision University is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

  4. Fayetteville State University
    Location

    Fayetteville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    FSU offers a fully online MBA program through its Broadwell College of Business and Economics. Ranked among the best and most affordable online MBA programs in North Carolina, this 36-credit program caters to working professionals seeking new opportunities and military service members transitioning to civilian careers. Students can complete the accelerated MBA program in as little as one year.

    FSU's customizable program features 10 concentrations. All candidates complete a capstone project in collaboration with the school's Small Business and Technology Development Center. Classes are available in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, with a multitude of interactive features. Veterans and active-duty servicemembers enjoy personalized support through the school's Veteran's Business Outreach Center.

    FSU's MBA program is accredited by AACSB International. The school is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  5. California State University-Bakersfield
    Location

    Bakersfield, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Part of the California State University System, CSUB serves over 11,000 learners annually across its distance education division and two Southern California campuses. Students can earn an MBA online through the public university's School of Business and Public Administration.

    CSUB's AACSB-accredited 36-credit MBA program emphasizes functional knowledge and ethical practice while building skills in leadership, communication, and problem-solving. Nine core classes provide a foundation in accounting, finance, management, and marketing. A wide array of electives allow students to tailor the degree to their career goals.

    Learners can also engage in independent study under instructor supervision. Students demonstrate their management acumen through a culminating project that uses interactive technology to simulate marketplace competition.

    Applicants need an undergraduate GPA over 2.75. Accepted students who lack prerequisites can get up to speed with low-cost, self-paced foundational knowledge courses. CSUB is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

  6. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private school based in Salt Lake City, WGU offers an online MBA program with a flexible, competency-based structure. Designed for working professionals, WGU's program cultivates the skills graduates need to succeed as business leaders.

    The program's unique, self-paced format allows learners to accelerate through material they have already mastered through previous education or work experience. Most students earn their MBA in about two years. Program mentors provide individualized guidance and help students develop a personal degree plan.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree and three years of work experience in a business setting. WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Programs offered through its College of Business are accredited by ACBSP.

  7. Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
    Location

    Stillwater, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Offered through the university's Spears School of Business, OSU's accelerated online MBA program caters to individuals who plan to earn their degree while working full time. Students typically complete the Stillwater-based school's program in one year of part-time enrollment.

    Emphasizing collaboration and entrepreneurship, the 33-credit curriculum cultivates core competencies in management, marketing, and strategy. Students explore ethical issues, learn standard financial practices, and use analytics to solve business problems. Online learners can choose from nine concentrations, including business sustainability, data science, and nonprofit management. Students take classes asynchronously. Both online and on-campus students enjoy access to school-sponsored networking events.

    OSU offers several dual-degree opportunities, including a partnership that allows students interested in international business to earn their MBA concurrently with master's degrees in a variety of subjects from Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla.

    OSU's MBA program is accredited by AACSB International. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. California State University-Stanislaus
    Location

    Turlock, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Enrolling students at two campuses and online, Stanislaus State is part of the California State University System. One of the public university's most popular degrees, Stanislaus State's AACSB-accredited online MBA program provides a comprehensive grounding in contemporary business practices and concepts.

    The 30-credit curriculum teaches students to use principles of financial management, corporate strategy, and product development to analyze and solve managerial problems. Core courses in accounting and computer information systems develop practical skills. Students can graduate as generalists or elect a concentration in finance or human resource management. Most courses are asynchronous. Learners interact with professors and classmates through video conferencing, chat sessions, and online office hours.

    The program is geared toward applicants with a professional and/or academic business background. Enrollees with non-business undergraduate degrees can satisfy prerequisite requirements at Stanislaus State before taking major coursework. Stanislaus State is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

  9. Thomas Edison State University
    Location

    Trenton, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Trenton, New Jersey, TESU is a public university designed to meet the needs of working adults. The school offers an accelerated online MBA program through its School of Business and Management. Students can complete the 39-credit, ACBSP-accredited program in about 15 months.

    MBA candidates explore the theory and practice of management through a curriculum informed by ethical, global, and strategic perspectives. Students can declare a concentration in several subjects including data analytics, healthcare management, and marketing. Alternatively, they can craft their own emphasis, choosing among electives that address topics like social media and sustainability. Learners culminate the degree with an independent capstone project. Some classes require periodic live attendance, but most are asynchronous.

    Applicants without an undergraduate business degree can fulfill program prerequisites through the school's noncredit, online preparatory program. TESU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  10. Southeastern Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Durant, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At Southeastern, students can earn their MBA online in about a year. A public university based in Durant, the school offers a customizable, accelerated online MBA program through its John Massey School of Business.

    All MBA candidates take a 24-credit course sequence covering foundational topics like economics, behavioral management, and data analysis. After completing these core requirements, students take 12 additional credits in one of 15 concentrations, such as aerospace logistics, women in leadership, or Native American leadership.

    Southeastern's program is ranked among Oklahoma's most affordable online MBA programs, with tuition rates the same for all enrollees regardless of residency. Students enjoy online access to tutoring, tech support, and library resources. The MBA program is accredited by AACSB International. Southeastern is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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