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Best Online Master's in Business Management Degree Programs

Explore online master's degrees in business management, including core coursework and admission requirements. Also, learn how to choose a business management program that fits your needs and learn about possible career paths.

Best Online Business Management Master's Degree Programs

Business management master's degree programs are found throughout the county, and to help you choose the right program for your needs, we've compiled a list of the top ones. The business management-focused degree programs below were chosen based on several factors, including affordability, flexibility, accreditation, and offered concentrations.

1. University of Scranton

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Scranton, PA $11,630

The University of Scranton has an online Master of Science in Human Resources Management degree program that requires 33 credits and can be completed in only 2 years. The curriculum fully aligns with the Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) HR Curriculum Guidebook, which means students take courses that are constantly updated to include new HR best practices and HR knowledge. This program also helps students meet the requirements to take SHRM's Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) exam and earn an important career credential.

The University of Scranton also has a 36-credit online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program that offers concentrations in healthcare management and operations management. This online MBA program features small, 20-person classes and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.

2. Molloy College

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Rockville Centre, NY $21,850

Molloy College's online 33-credit Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program offers a management concentration that helps mid-career managers hone their management and leadership skills. Core topics within this concentration include the study of project management, organizational leadership, and managerial accounting. Students also take a final capstone course that allows them to work on a business consulting project. Molloy College's School of Business is currently a Candidate for Accreditation by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) and is a member of the AACSB International's Education Alliance.

3. Maryville University of Saint Louis

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Saint Louis, MO $15,646

Maryville University of Saint Louis has two online degree programs that allow students to focus on business management, including a Master of Arts (MA) in Management and Leadership degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with concentrations in HR management, project management, or general management. The MA in Management and Leadership features 8 unique concentrations such as marketing, health administration, and cybersecurity so students can tailor their degree to their career interests. This online program also invites students from all academic backgrounds, not just business, to apply and has no GRE or GMAT requirements.

4. Concordia University-Saint Paul

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Saint Paul, MN$8,550

Concordia University-Saint Paul offers several online master's programs in the realm of business management, including the following degrees:

  • Master of Arts (MA) in Leadership and Management
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Human Resource Management
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Health Care Management concentration
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Sport Management
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Strategic Communication Management

The MA programs in leadership and management, HR management, and strategic communication management all require 36 credits, offer flexible attendance options, and are designed for busy, working professionals. The healthcare MBA requires 42 credits and students are guided through the program by a dedicated MBA faculty member, who helps with everything from course issues to resume development. The 33-credit MA in Sports Management program features an accelerated format and can be completed in only 18 months. Most programs also have short 7-week class schedules, and 95% of Concordia University, St. Paul graduates receive a job offer within 1 year of graduating.

5. University of Northwestern-St Paul

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Saint Paul, MN $8,982

The University of Northwestern-St Paul's online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree allows students to choose a specialization in management. This is a 2-year program that features management-focused concentration courses in HR leadership, organizational change, and strategic technology. Each course in this program also works in strategic networking opportunities that help students build their careers while they earn their degree. The University of Northwestern-St Paul's MBA with a management concentration has a 14:1 class size ratio, providing students a personalized learning experience.

Rank School Name Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
6 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY $6,078
7 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI $20,340
8 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS $11,027
9 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS $11,069
10 Messiah College Mechanicsburg, PA $12,060
11 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE $7,187
12 Champlain College Burlington, VT $14,310
13 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA $11,336
14 Walsh University North Canton, OH $12,610
15 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA $3,828
16 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK $13,988
17 Endicott College Beverly, MA $12,191
18 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA $11,640
19 University of Mississippi University, MS $8,660
20 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona, MN $9,000
21 University of Maine Orono, ME $ 9,106
22 Colorado State University-Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO $12,495
23 Herzing University-Minneapolis St. Louis Park, MN $11,590
24 Freed-Hardeman University Henderson, TN $10,620
25 Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston, SC $10,890
26 D'Youville College Buffalo, NY $17,928
27 Towson University Towson, MD $ 10,062
28 The Sage Colleges Troy, NY $13,190
29 Auburn University Auburn, AL $11,282
30 Maharishi University of Management Fairfield, IA $28,530
31 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE $7,588
32 Cedarville University Cedarville, OH $9,594
33 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT $7,790
34 Franciscan University of Steubenville Steubenville, OH $12,888
35 Waynesburg University Waynesburg, PA $15,960
36 Kettering University Flint, MI $12,460
37 University of Nevada-Reno Reno, NV $5,575
38 Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor, MI $7,757
39 East Carolina University Greenville, NC $7,485
40 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, MS $6,940
41 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA $16,992
42 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS $8,624
43 University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, TX $18,762
44 Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME $8,982
45 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth North Dartmouth, MA $16,337
46 University of Mary Bismarck, ND $15,630
47 Salve Regina University Newport, RI $10,650
48 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI $13,804
49 University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD $6,835
50 Baker University Baldwin City, KS $10,368

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Business Management Master's Programs

Online master's degree programs in business management prepare students for a wide range of business careers in mid- or upper-level management roles. Business management programs lead to many different degree types, including the following:

  • Master of Science (MS) in Management
  • Master of Science (MS) in Human Resources Management
  • Master of Science (MS) in Strategic Management
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Sport Management
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Leadership and Management
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a management or specialized management concentration

As such, business management programs usually have a specialized curriculum that centers on the program's specialty area but also includes the study of general management theories and skills.

Additionally, some online programs allow students to concentrate their general management degree in one area of business. Below are some examples of concentration areas found in MS in Management degrees:

  • Leadership and change management
  • Managing for sustainability
  • Cybersecurity
  • Project management
  • Global management
  • Business data analytics
  • Health administration
  • Information technology

Generally, these online programs require anywhere from 30 to 36 credits and can be completed 100% online with no in-person requirements. Since this is a common degree area for working professionals, many programs offer flexible enrollment and asynchronous courses.

The length of online business management programs varies; some programs can be completed in only a year and others might take about 3 years. The exact length of a program depends on the semester format, which could a follow a traditional 14-week schedule or an accelerated 7-week schedule, and your enrollment status as a full- or part-time student.

What You'll Learn in an Online Business Management Master's Program

Students in online business management master's programs take business and management-focused coursework that develops their leadership skills and knowledge of business practices. Although your exact coursework may vary, you can explore some common topics found in business management programs below.

Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior is the study of how individuals behave within an organization and how organizations, as a whole, function. Students study such concepts as group dynamics, leadership skills, conflict management, and motivational strategies. They also study different factors that affect an organization's design, such as its structure, culture, and systems.

Project Management

This is a class that covers how to manage a project through its entire life cycle from pre-planning to project termination. Students learn how to manage teams, resources, and schedules to successfully bring a project to completion as well as how to mitigate any issues.

Strategic Management

In this course, there is an emphasis on developing a student's leadership skills so that they are able to manage an entire organization. Students also learn how to design and implement an organizational-wide strategy by evaluating weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities.

Human Resource Management

HR management is a course that covers the different facets of HR departments and their function. Students study HR topics such as recruiting and hiring, benefit programs, performance evaluation, and labor relations.

Operations Management

This course covers topics related to managing non-manufacturing and manufacturing operations. Students study such subjects as quality management, inventory control, and scheduling workers and materials. Some courses also focus on teaching students how to make different operations of an organization work in conjunction with each other.

How to Apply to an Online Business Management Master's Programs

To apply to an online program in business management, you must have already earned a bachelor's degree. Usually, there is no requirement as to the type of degree, as some programs accept those with academic backgrounds in business, science, and the liberal arts. You must also submit the following materials:

  • Application
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

Typically, there are no professional experience requirements for these types of programs. As for GMAT/GRE scores, some programs don't require you to submit scores and others prefer GMAT scores but will accept GRE scores instead. It's best you check with your prospective programs about their exact GMAT/GRE, as some programs offer waivers, too. A limited number of programs may require an interview as well.

How to Choose an Online Business Management Master's Programs

Choosing a graduate program in business management can be a difficult task, given the variety of programs available and your unique needs. We suggest that in your decision-making process you consider program focus, the total cost of earning your degree, and program and school accreditation.

Program Focus and Concentrations

Perhaps the most important factor to consider when picking an online business management degree to pursue is the program's focus and the concentrations it offers. It may seem like an obvious point but you want to make sure that your degree prepares you for the career you want, especially if you want to pursue a specialized management career. For example, if you have the goal of becoming an HR manager, then choose a master's program in HR management or a general business program that offers that concentration.

Program Cost

As graduate degrees are a big financial investment, you also want to consider the total cost of your business management degree program, including tuition and extra fees. These types of degrees can cost anywhere from $475 to $1,400 per credit. To calculate your base tuition price, you multiply the number of credits by the per credit price. For example, a 36-credit program that charges $475 per credit will cost $14,250, and a 30-credit program that charges $1,380 will cost $41,400. So, as you can see, the total tuition of these programs can vary greatly. Additionally, some programs may charge a flat semester rate.

You should also consider additional fees a university charges, which are added to the tuition. Examples of fees include online program fees, library fees, and technology fees. Also, there may be extra course materials you must purchase, such as course packs or textbooks. You can always contact your prospective programs and ask for an estimate of the total cost of earning your degree, including tuition, fees, and miscellaneous expenses.

Accreditation

When choosing a program, you also want consider both school and program accreditation. For universities, be sure to choose one that has received regional accreditation. Along with being assured your university has met high, independent standards, only students who attend an accredited school can receive federal financial aid.

Your university needs to be accredited by one of the following agencies:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Business management programs (or the department they are housed in) can also receive accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. To become AACSB-accredited, a program must meet standards in terms of student learning, faculty credentials, and program management.

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools Programs (ACBSP) is another organization that offers accreditation based on standards that include curriculum, teaching methods, and student outcomes.

Specialized business management programs in the field of HR management can also align with the Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) curriculum standards. SHRM-aligned programs make their students eligible for a special provision so that they can take the SHRM-CP certification exam.

What You Can Do with a Business Management Master's Degree

Graduates with a business management master's degree are able to pursue a wide variety of management careers.

Management Analyst

A management analyst, also known as a management consultant, is someone who evaluates the effectiveness of an organization's structure, systems, or modes of operation. To do this, management analysts look at a number of different data sets, such as revenue, employment stats, and expenditures. They then recommend necessary changes through written reports or presentations.

A management analyst typically works for a consulting firm or they are self-employed. Typically, you need at least an undergraduate degree for this position, but a master's degree could give you an advantage in the job market.

  • Median 2018 Annual Salary: $83,610
  • Projected 2018-2028 Growth Rate: 14%

Human Resources Manager

Human resources (HR) mangers are responsible for most aspects of an organization's human resource department. Their job duties include:

  • Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees
  • Overseeing employee-related programs, such as training, payroll, and benefit programs
  • Working with support staff or HR specialists
  • Consulting with other departments on employee issues

For higher-level HR manager positions, a master's degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a related degree, is often preferred.

  • Median 2018 Annual Salary: $113,300
  • Projected 2018-2028 Growth Rate: 7%

Medical and Health Services Manager

Medical and health service managers work for health clinics, a hospital department, or medical practices where they are responsible for day-to-day operations. They complete a range of duties that include managing budgets and finances, training and supervising staff, and ensure that there is compliance with regulations and laws.

A master's degree in business, health administration, or public health is preferred for this kind of position.

  • Median 2018 Annual Salary: $99,730
  • Projected 2018-2028 Growth Rate: 18%

Industrial Production Manager

An industrial production manager, or plant manager, is someone who oversees the operation of manufacturing plants or departments. Their job duties entail:

  • Making sure production stays on schedule to meet goals
  • Hiring and training employees
  • Identifying production problems and fixes

Lower-level positions of this kind typically require a bachelor's degree; however, for positions in large plants or facilities, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a similar degree is often preferred.

  • Median 2018 Annual Salary: $103,380
  • Projected 2018-2028 Growth Rate: 1%

Salary information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018