Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a graduate degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates gain a better understanding of general business functions. An MBA can include a variety of specialties or focuses such as accounting, financial management, and business analytics. Central to any traditional MBA program are key lessons in managing a business or business function and a broad curriculum designed to prepare graduates to be effective leaders within their field.

A Master of Business Administration traditionally prepares graduates to pursue careers in the private sector in fields such as finance, marketing, and management. Some students equipped with an MBA, however, opt to use their newfound skills to tackle philanthropic or social issues, such as education reform, by working in the public and nonprofit sectors. Some of the skills one develops in an MBA program, such as leadership and public speaking, are universal and can be applied to a broad range of careers--including degrees in education!

MBA Programs

Before you begin the application process, be sure to contact your accredited institution for information about any prerequisites you may need to fulfill. The majority of comprehensive MBA programs will ask you to submit the following items in order to be considered for admittance:

  1. Application: Fill out an initial application, which you can find on the website of the accredited institution of your choice. Although paper forms are generally accepted, many institutions have switched to online applications as the preferred method.
  2. Test Scores: MBA programs have historically preferred to either receive an applicants GMAT scores or GRE scores. These tests can be taken, for a fee, at various points throughout the year. Some institutions include a GMAT/GRE waiver if the applicant in question has enough professional work experience.
  3. Transcripts: Request transcripts from your bachelor university and any other attended institutions before the application deadline, and upload one official copy of each transcript to reflect your academic record.
  4. Professional Work History: Include any relevant work experience in business, as an MBA is one of the top degrees for returning students with an average age of 27.
  5. Essay/Personal Statement: Write a personal statement, which is typically in the form of an essay. You may be required to submit multiple essays to fully express the intent and purpose of your application. Below are some common topics that should be mentioned in a statement.
    • Your main academic and personal interests
    • Experiences in school or work that have helped to prepare you for this course of study
    • Why you wish to study for the degree you’ve chosen
    • Why you wish to study at the university
    • Your plans for the future after you earn your degree
  6. Resume/CV: Upload a copy of your most recent resume or curriculum vitae as part of your application.
  7. Application Fee: Submit your letters of recommendation. The number of letters required varies with each school. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline.

Note: Some additional measures are needed for international students. If you are from a country outside of the United States, check with your chosen school/schools to see what is needed from you.


MBA@Syracuse is the top-ranked online MBA from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

UNC’s #1 ranked online MBA is flexible enough to allow you to balance your education and career. See how.

Delivered online by American University’s Kogod School of Business, MBA@American takes a collaborative approach to preparing tomorrow’s business leaders.

MBA@Rice is the online MBA program from top-10 ranked Rice Business. The program is designed for aspiring leaders who understand the value of diverse experiences and ideas.

MBA@Denver, the University of Denver’s online MBA, prepares purpose-driven professionals for leadership in just 21 months. Students attend live online classes and complete self-paced coursework.

MBA@Dayton is the online MBA program from the University of Dayton’s AACSB-accredited School of Business Administration. The program prepares students to become strategic, service-oriented leaders by applying real-world skills in face-to-face online classes, self-paced course work and in-person immersion experiences.

With a unique emphasis on women's leadership, the rigorous, practice-based MBA@Simmons program integrates the strategic, functional, and behavioral aspects of management to enable students to successfully lead in dynamic global business environments.

HealthCareMBA@Simmons is the Master of Business Administration in Health Care program delivered online from Simmons School of Management. The program is designed to develop and prepare professionals who are passionate about health care for leadership roles.

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The curriculum and how many credits are required to graduate vary greatly depending on the school and whether or not you have a specialization. The number of required credits in most standard MBA programs usually falls between 48 and 62 credit hours, though some executive MBA programs can be completed sooner. Typical MBA coursework includes courses in:

  • Accounting
  • Operations/Organizational Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing Management
  • Strategic Management
  • Business Analytics
  • Information Technology and Systems


Recent graduates of MBA programs have a wide variety of career options to choose from. Below are just a few of the typical careers (and their average salaries) that students enter into upon graduation:

Although the careers outlined above are common jobs for MBA graduates, one of the best things about the degree is the freedom it grants you. Graduates can also pursue options that marry a love of business with a love of something else like philanthropy or education.