12 Best online MBA programs for business success.
In a world where so many traditions and norms are under the collective social microscope, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) remains a solid institution. According to numerous sources, the MBA is still relevant and valuable, attributed to more than 30% of major corporate CEOs.
An MBA helps you see the business world through new eyes and can boost your income more than enough to earn your tuition back. Historically, MBA admissions have been highly competitive, but online MBA courses have helped expand access to a wide pool of candidates. Below, we list the best online MBA programs to help you weigh your options.
Online MBA Programs – Overview
According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, applications to MBA programs dropped by almost 7% in 2022, which contrasts with a spike in applications in the early pandemic days. Nevertheless, a 2022 Fortune article explains that business schools are still highly competitive and applicants need to put their best foot forward.
When it comes to admissions, business schools advise candidates to apply to schools that are a good fit. Some of the criteria they note are class profiles: how you fit into the school’s range of average grades, test scores, and years of work experience. They also reported cost, career outcomes, and location as factors to look out for.
With the rise of online learning, that last criterion may be less of a factor, opening a broader range of worldwide options for MBA candidates. While an online MBA may not give you the same networking opportunities compared with in-person attendance, having the degree can still open many doors.
Indeed, MBA online programs make an effort to provide networking opportunities in the virtual realm. Moreover, many of them are hybrids, requiring in-person attendance for at least part of the program. The following list gives you a good look at the spread of online MBA courses and the options you can choose from.
Best Online MBA Courses 2023 – Top Picks
|MBA Essentials||MBA Master||MBA Essentials||Managerial Finance|
|LSE London||Illinois Tech||Rotman School||LSE London|
|Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website|
Note: This list aims to give an overview of the best online MBA programs. We cannot claim comprehensiveness as there are many other online MBA courses available.
1. An Entire MBA in 1 Course: Award-Winning Business School Prof – Udemy
An Entire MBA in 1 Course (visit website) by Goldman Sachs veteran Chris Haroun covers all things business, from starting a company to taking it public. In this condensed version of his 300+ hour online MBA Degree Program, Haroun invites learners to ask him anything business-related, making MBA-level learning an accessible, affordable, and quick reality.
Supported by a free e-book and other downloadable resources, the MBA course focuses on all the requisite topics that a traditional MBA program covers, including “business concepts that you need to know that might not be common sense,” such as cash flow management, venture capital, investor valuation, and much more.
With a self-styled “greatest hits” summary of his degree study and expansive experience in equities, hedge funds, and entrepreneurship, the author of “101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You in Business School” keeps the content of this 8-hour-long course “as close to reality as possible”. It is one of the best online MBA programs for beginners.
2. MBA Essentials – London School of Economics LSE, GetSmarter
GetSmarter’s MBA Essentials (visit website) by the London School of Economics (LSE), which was founded in 1895, is their guided “online MBA-based certificate course” for working managerial professionals. Learners who are entertaining the possibility of pursuing a Master’s but are not yet ready to dive in may find this course valuable.
In just under 100 hours, you’ll learn technical business and finance skills, as well as the mechanics of leadership, influence, and strategy. LSE Management Professor Connson Locke offers insight into financial analysis, human behavior, and marketing strategy.
The course even promises an opportunity to grow your global network through 2U’s (edX’s parent company) Career Engagement Network, albeit in a virtual space. MBA Essentials is certified by the UK CPD Certification Service and aims to lay a solid business foundation while providing a credible certification that is recognized by some UK professional bodies.
Provider: LSE, GetSmarter | Time: 10 weeks | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Professionals, Managers | Pace: Instructor-lead | Price: $4,025 or £3,200
Info: Visit course website. Get free prospectus. Browse all online courses in this category.
3. MBA Essentials – Rotman School of Management, Emeritus
University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management offers MBA Essentials (visit website) to aspiring and working managers and entrepreneurs on Emeritus. Six modules challenge learners to “learn – unlearn – relearn the disciplines of MBA”.
These MBA disciplines, which are taught through a combination of online lessons, activities, assignments, and live webinars, cover macroeconomic trends, accounting, marketing, finance, strategy, and diversity and inclusion to help learners prepare for “contemporary business challenges”.
While it’s designed for entrepreneurs who wish to acquire skills such as evaluating financial statements and appraising investment projects, it also targets aspiring and working managers seeking career advancement.
Indeed, the Rotman name on your certificate carries a lot of weight in the field, which can help boost your portfolio. Further, you can add to it the diversity and inclusion action plan that you’ll get to formulate as part of this best-rated MBA online program.
Provider: Rotman Management, Emeritus | Time: 6 weeks | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Beginners + Advanced Beginners | Pace: Instructor-lead | Price: $2,210
Info: Visit course website. Get free brochure. Browse full course catalog on Emeritus.
4. Master of Business Administration – Illinois Institute of Technology, Coursera
Illinois Tech’s Master of Business Administration (visit website) on Coursera is a full online MBA program with a focus on the technology industry, data analytics, and finance. Although no Bachelor’s degree or prior professional experience is required, learners must complete 3 courses and get a B or higher in all of them to be accepted into the program.
Taught online by the Stuart School of Business faculty, the 3 “pathway courses” cover competitive strategy, managerial economics, and Microsoft Excel. Other core courses in this online MBA program include leadership and organization design, financial statement applications, marketing strategy, and digital transformation.
A host of electives, such as predictive analytics and AI in business, round off the degree program. Students are paired with a professional academic advisor, who can help them choose electives, access online resources, and much more.
Faculty also post online office hours, making them just as available to online learners as they are to in-person learners. Hands-on learning is indeed possible with topics such as data science, cybersecurity, and cloud computing, all taught from a business perspective.
As an online learner, you’ll also benefit from the Stuart School of Business Career Management Center (CMC), which can help with internships, job placements, and career exploration. Stuart’s CMC hosts weekly recruitment events and helps learners build their portfolios and prepare for interviews.
5. Managerial Finance – London School of Economics LSE, GetSmarter
Managerial Finance by the London School of Economics (LSE) (visit website) promises promotion-seeking learners a firm foundation in modern finance, which covers fundamentals such as the time value of money, financial statements, and financial reports.
Faculty Director Dirk Jenter spends 6 weeks preparing learners for promotion to senior management positions by, among other things, teaching them strong decision-making skills. Like their MBA Essentials, LSE’s Managerial Finance is certified by the UK CPD Certification Service and gives you access to LSE’s online campus for networking via 2U.
In the estimated 65 hours of learning, industry experts also share their knowledge to set you up for greater financial accountability. They’ll also help you gain insight into corporate finance and the skills needed to analyze your firm’s financial health.
Provider: LSE, GetSmarter | Time: 6 weeks | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Professionals, Managers | Pace: Instructor-lead | Price: $2,767 or £2,200
Info: Visit course website. Get free prospectus. Browse all online courses in this category.
6. Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Professional – Columbia Business School
Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Professional (visit website) by Columbia Business School on Emeritus helps nonfinancial professionals build their “financial competence and business confidence”. It promises to do this by making financial and accounting concepts practical and applicable to learners’ professional lives.
Through 5 modules over about 6 weeks, Colombia Business School Executive Education’s certificate MBA program offers learners a deeper understanding of equity and earnings, financial statements, forecasting, and other facets of business accounting.
Your teacher, Doron Nissim (Ernst & Young alumnus and Professor of Accounting and Finance of the Emeritus MOOC platform), breaks down the price-earnings ratio, net present value, capital budgeting, and ratio evaluations.
Even if you’re not aspiring to a career in accounting or finance, Columbia’s online MBA program promises to equip you with the skills to properly evaluate profitability, solvency, and liquidity in your business. The course’s goal is to “make financial and accounting concepts practical and applicable to your professional life”.
In addition to presenting you with a certification from Columbia University, which can be weighty in many business spheres, the online MBA course ends in a live session with the Columbia Business School faculty and your classmates.
Provider: Columbia Business, Emeritus | Time: 6 weeks | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Beginners + Advanced Beginners | Pace: Instructor-lead | Price: $1,495
Info: Visit course website. Get free brochure. Browse full course catalog on Emeritus.
7. Global Master of Business Administration – Macquarie University, Coursera
Macquarie University’s Global Master of Business Administration (visit website) on Coursera is a full MBA program split according to the top 6 skills of an elite business professional: analyzing, leading, strategizing, influencing, adapting, and problem-solving. If you’re taking baby steps into the MBA realm, they are also available as specializations.
For example, the “Influencing” module allows you to take MBA courses in risk management and negotiating skills with Coursera Plus. Nevertheless, if you want the full degree, you can attend a virtual orientation with this highly regarded Australian university to help you decide whether this online MBA program is for you.
Through applied projects, interactive webinars, and “other high-engagement activities”, you’ll be able to partake in the rich networking experience that in-person MBA study typically offers. There’s even a course in storytelling to help you communicate impactfully.
In the complex capstone project, you’ll develop your lateral thinking skills by applying your newfound problem-solving abilities to a real-world project.
8. Online MBA Program – Rice Business, edX
The Online MBA Program (visit website) by the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University on edX teaches “learners with ambition, authentic voices, and diverse perspectives” how to solve complex business problems, innovate with confidence, and nourish bold thinking.
This traditional 2-year, 54-credit program offers learners full and part-time options, with core courses and electives that cover marketing, finance, strategy, and entrepreneurship. Similar to most online MBA programs, Rice provides learners with the opportunity to join a “tight-knit professional network” on a global scale.
A key benefit of this course is that you can customize your MBA through 7 areas of focus, which include corporate strategy, corporate finance, investment management, marketing, entrepreneurship, energy, and healthcare.
Another perk is the capstone, which invites learners to team up with seasoned executives to gain practical experience in problem-solving with real-world scenarios. Prospective learners should note that the online application consists of a self-recorded video interview among other traditional requirements.
9. Master of Business Administration MBA Online – Pepperdine Graziadio, edX
Master of Business Administration (visit website) by the Graziadio School of Business on edX teaches values-centered professionals to innovate, lead with intention, and drive ethical business. Taught by a historic, L.A.-based Christian university, this MBA program already boasts alumni from 85 countries.
The 52-credit curriculum covers business fundamentals and prepares you to drive business in the digital age. What’s great is that you can keep your learning general or pick one of the 7 focus areas: business analytics, leadership and managing organizational change, digital innovation, global business, finance, marketing, or entrepreneurship.
Its experiential approach to learning gives you an opportunity to “pitch solutions directly to executives from big-name companies”. Note that there’s a weekend immersion session in person at the L.A. campus to start the program, so factor travel into your expenses when considering Pepperdine’s top-rated online MBA program.
10. The UCL MBA Online – UCL School of Management
University College London’s (UCL) highly regarded UCL MBA Online program has opened its classrooms to busy professionals from anywhere in the world. UCL’s “interactive, data-centric, future-focused curriculum” prepares you for the future by teaching you to forecast critical issues, inform business choices, and navigate uncertainty.
Previously on edX, you can now access the MBA program on UCL’s proprietary digital campus platform, the physical equivalent of which is located in London’s main business district, Canary Wharf. Another impressive campus feature is its proximity to auspicious neighbors like Citigroup, Clifford Chance, Ernst & Young, Barclays, and Credit Suisse.
With numerous scholarship opportunities to help with funding, this historic MBA program offers core modules that equip you with a strong foundational knowledge of business processes and functions, as well as advanced modules that refine your expertise. For your capstone project, you’ll analyze and forecast the growth potential of a focal business.
If you’re in the UK, consider attending one of UCL’s rich in-person orientations, which allow you to tour the campus, and meet faculty and classmates. In addition, 4-day immersions, and “professional and personal development summits” with industry leaders from the community are great optional in-person opportunities.
Provider: University College London’s (UCL) | Type: Master
Duration: 24-60 months | Pricing: $53,970 or £42,500
Tip: Explore our lists of the best business courses, or entrepreneurship courses or project management courses, or business management courses, or blockchain courses, or accounting courses, or negotiation courses to expand your skills in the field of business.
11. MBA in a Box: Business Lessons from a CEO – Udemy
MBA in a Box (visit website) on Udemy is a practical certificate course that promises to provide beginners with “the same business acumen as MBA graduates”. Inspired by the most frequently taught MBA courses, it covers skills in business strategy, management, marketing, accounting and financial statement analysis, decision-making, and negotiation.
Udemy Instructor Partner 365 has boiled the MBA down to the 5 most frequently offered courses in a hefty selection of business schools. These courses are split into 5 modules, which contain a plethora of case studies, simulations, and quizzes.
Moreover, the popular MBA course also teaches Porter’s Five Forces model, leadership best practices, and how to apply game theory to business scenarios, as well as negotiation, finance, and marketing skills.
The skills that form the focus of this course are essential for taking your career to the next level and bagging your promotion. With 11.5 hours of video, you could probably finish this online MBA program in under a month and walk away with a great deal of knowledge.
12. Business Analytics – Model Business Scenarios – Udacity
Business Analytics (visit website) by Udacity teaches data collection and analysis, model building with SQL, and data visualizations with Tableau to beginners from all fields in approximately 3 months. Taught by a team of data scientists on the Udacity platform, all you’ll need are basic computer skills (and OS X or a recent version of Windows).
In-depth data storytelling and growth metrics form a big part of this course, and expert-led projects given by seasoned field professionals allow you to consolidate your knowledge. What’s more is that this course can boost your income and propel you up the corporate ladder, as the salary range for professionals with Excel, SQL, and Tableau skills is $85-92k.
This self-guided course even provides help for job seekers, as you can get assistance with your Github portfolio and Linkedin profile. Completely self-guided and narrowly focused, this course could be a great addition to a broader MBA study regimen. This is among the best online MBA programs if you want to combine your business skills with data analytics.
Type: Nanodegree | Instructors from: Mode Analytics
Capstone: Yes | Level: Beginners | Prerequisites: None | Time: 3 months
Info: View course page. From $399/mo. Get up to 75% off. Includes certificate.
How to Choose the Best Online MBA Courses
As you can see from the spread of online MBA courses we showed you, there are several ways to approach your online pursuit of business administration mastery. The basic factors that will influence your choice include whether you are fresh out of higher education or a seasoned professional, your availability, and what your professional goals are.
Some courses are industry-specific, making them an easy pick for some learners. Other online MBA programs are broad, opening up new possibilities for those seeking direction.
Here are other important considerations for choosing the best online MBA courses.
1. Are you seeking a degree or simply looking to increase your knowledge base? It is important to be clear on exactly what you want to accomplish for yourself.
2. Is this online MBA course part of a strategy to position yourself for a new job or promotion? If so, what are the requirements of the position you’re seeking? The position may not require you to hold an MBA. Perhaps, you just need to meet skill requirements. There are great certificate courses that can give you just that.
3. What level of commitment can you bring to the table? Full online MBA programs require many hours of intensive study and work. This may be more difficult for working people with families. It’ll serve you well to consider your study schedule before making a decision.
4. Are you looking for an online MBA course that is 100% online? Bear in mind that, while many online MBA programs are available, some require in-person engagement at some point, which can be at orientation, for capstone projects, or anytime in between.
5. Which part of the world are you learning in? Depending on where the physical campus of your online MBA course provider is, live lessons may take place at odd hours of the day or night in your time zone.
6. How much time do you have? Can you spend 2-5 years on a degree, or do you need to improve your business administration skills in less than 12 months?
7. What is your budget? Full-blown MBA degree programs are a major investment. That said, some certificate MBA programs can be pricey as well. Additionally, if the program requires some in-person participation, you’ll need to factor travel costs in as well.
8. Is the reputation of the course provider important for your career plan? Taking a course on Udemy or Udacity may not be enough to propel you to where you want to go. If name recognition is a critical factor in your field, this narrows down your choices greatly.
Best Online MBA Programs 2023 – Summary
Wrapping up our tour of the best online MBA programs in 2023. Be clear on what your goals are when considering your options for MBA courses online. For the most part, there is a wealth of online resources to boost your knowledge and skills in business. In fact, the sheer number of options can be quite overwhelming.
Nevertheless, if you’re clear on your goals, level of commitment, and budget, you can narrow them down and put yourself on the road to a better future.
Best Online MBA Programs 2023
- An Entire MBA in 1 Course: Award-Winning Business School Prof – Udemy
- MBA Essentials – London School of Economics LSE, GetSmarter
- MBA Essentials – Rotman School of Management, Emeritus
- Master of Business Administration – Illinois Institute of Technology, Coursera
- Managerial Finance – London School of Economics LSE, GetSmarter
- Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Professional – Columbia Business School, Emeritus
- Global Master of Business Administration – Macquarie University, Coursera
- Online MBA Program – Rice Business, edX
- Master of Business Administration MBA Online – Pepperdine Graziadio
- The UCL MBA Online Program – UCL School of Management
- MBA in a Box: Business Lessons from a CEO – Udemy
- Business Analytics – Model Business Scenarios – Udacity
Other Universities + Online MBA Programs
- Online MBA Course – University of Edinburgh Business School
- MBA (Master of Business Administration) – Online MBA programs – The Open University
- Masters of Business Administration – University of Maryland Global Campus, Coursera
- Flexible MBA (Online) – Queens University of Charlotte
- Indiana University—Bloomington Kelley School of Business
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Kenan-Flagler Business School
- University of Southern California – MBA Online Program – Marshall School of Business
- Carnegie Mellon University – Part-Time Online MBA – Tepper School of Business
- University of Denver – Online MBA Program – Daniels College of Business
- University of Florida – Online MBA Program Hough Graduate School of Business
- Blended Learning MBA Online Program – Babson College – F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
- Professional MBA Online Program (PMBA) – The University of Texas at Dallas – Naveen Jindal School of Management
- MBA Online Program – Arizona State University – W. P. Carey School of Business
What are the best online MBA programs for 2023, in your opinion? Which online MBA course have you taken? What have you learned? Please let us know in the comments below, or contact us via email for questions.