A Master's in Business Administration, or MBA, is one of the few graduate degrees that almost everyone has heard of. This is because MBA degrees are one of the most versatile degrees that graduate students can pursue. MBA students learn the complexities of both managing money and managing people, and how to apply this knowledge to the modern business environment. In this ranking, we're looking at online learning programs based out of Florida. Florida is one of the largest states in the country and is home to major industries such as tropical tourism, agriculture, and entertainment. Distance programs give students full flexibility with their education and also tend to be much cheaper than traditional educational programs. Combining the two leads the 15 Best Online MBAs in Florida!
FINDING AN MBA DEGREE
MBA programs can often seem to be identical, with shared class names or learning objectives. In reality, each MBA program has its own specific focus or structure, which matter not only to students in the program but also to the hiring managers they'll be talking to after graduating. An emphasis in Organizational Management or Healthcare Management will focus on growing professional leadership and team-management skills. Whereas a Finance or Accounting focus will have more mathematical components related to the modern business world. With so many different potential specialties, students have a wide range of careers that they are able to pursue. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social and Community Service Managers, also known as non-profit managers, have a median annual salary of $65,000 per year. The job market for this career is also projected to grow at 18 percent over the coming decade, meaning more than 26,000 new job openings in the next ten years!
But even with a topic or focus in mind, students still have to consider when an MBA program will best serve them in their career. Certain programs are meant to be the entry point for students looking to join the business and management world, which means applicants do not need job experience to qualify. However, there are programs that are designed for students who have already accumulated some full-time business experience. The specific number of years required can vary, but generally, programs are looking for individuals with three to seven years of experience, ideally showcasing some level of upward movement. And for well-seasoned professionals who are already working at upper-management levels of business, there are also programs called Executive MBA programs. These are intended for individuals with at least ten years of full-time work experience and who have plans to move into high-level corporate positions or even to start and own their own businesses.
RANKING THE 15 BEST ONLINE MBA DEGREES IN TENNESSEE
Online MBA Today uses eight metrics to grade each school: Quality of Online Programs from U.S. News, Mid Career Pay from Payscale, Student Review Score from Rate My Professor, aggregate reputation score from other ranking sites, and Percentage of Online Programs, SAT Scores, Average Net Price, and Retention Rate from the National Center for Education Statistics. For a comprehensive breakdown of how we categorize and source data, please visit our methodology page.
#1. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Florida International University is a public university located in Greater Miami, FL. FIU offers a Professional Master of Business Administration degree program. The program can be completed fully online, with courses lasting eight weeks each. Students have the ability to select from three different pacing tracks which determine individual course loads and sequences through the program. Courses in the program are divided between 12 core courses and two specialization courses, which translates to a total of 42 credit hours in total. Students also complete three Professional Development Seminars. Core courses include Competitive Strategy, Business Analytics for Decision Making, and the Legal Environment of Business. The final course that students take is a Corporate Simulation course, which uses competition simulations between firms to practice concepts and tools from the program.
Students have eight options for specializations in the program. These include International Business, Marketing Channel Strategy, Real Estate, and Leadership, among others. Students may also choose to do multiple specializations, though this will include extra costs and can lengthen the time required to graduate the program. Students are required to complete their three Professional Development Seminars within their first eight-week term of the program. These Professional Development courses center around the topics of Work Preference Indicator Assessment, Presentation Skills, and Business Career Management. Applicants to the program must either submit GRE/GMAT scores or meet waiver requirements which include two years of relevant work experience or undergraduate GPA minimums which can vary depending on the program of study.
#2. FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
Florida State University is a public university located in Tallahassee, FL. Florida State offers a part-time, fully online Master of Business Administration program. Students are required to complete 39 credit hours of coursework, which is divided between 27 credit hours of core coursework and 12 credit hours of elective coursework. Students may dedicate three of their four elective courses towards the completion of a specialization such as Management Information Systems or Risk Management and Insurance. Some of the core courses from the program include Problems in Financial Management, Business Conditions Analytics, and Organizational Behavior. Students are not required to pursue a specialization and may instead simply choose four elective courses based on their own interest and core availability.
To specialize in Business Analytics, Management Information Systems, or Risk Management and Insurance, students must receive permission from the program director. Risk Management and Insurance specialization include track options for either Financial Planning or Risk Management. The program is designed for individuals with extensive work experience; however, applicants are not required to have any specific amount of full-time business experience. Students should have a general knowledge of accounting, economics, finance, and statistics. Students are required to submit GRE/GMAT scores unless they meet certain waiver requirements established by the graduate college. Florida State's online MBA program was ranked No. 21 overall and No. 16 among public schools for U.S. News & World Report's 2019 Best Online MBA Programs ranking.
#3. FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY
Florida Atlantic University offers a Master of Business Administration program with an emphasis in International Business, which can be completed fully online in as few as 23 months. The program is designed for students to be able to continue their professional responsibilities while pursuing graduate studies. The program uses a cohort format where students begin and progress through the program as a group, with the same sequence of courses and educational experiences. This is designed to create personal and professional connections between MBA students, to support each other within the program and as they continue to advance their careers. There are 46 credit hours of coursework within the program, which includes 28 core credits and 12 specialization credits, as well as six foundational course credits.
The core curriculum of the program includes Leadership and Executive Forum, Marketing Management in a Global Environment, and Leadership and Organizations. Specialization credits for the online program are centered around the topic of International Business. FAU offers International Business electives such as Global Marketing Management, International Business Operations, and Global Supply Chain Management. The six credit hours of foundation coursework in Financial Accounting and Financial Management are required but can be waived if students have received a "B" in a similar course taken within five years. FAU's MBA programs have recently been rated No. 1 in Florida and No. 5 in the United States in terms of Return on Investment by SoFi.
#4. UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
The University of Miami is a public university located in Miami, FL. Miami offers a Master of Business Administration program that is composed of 42 credit hours of study, which takes students between 24 to 28 months to complete. The core program is a Professional MBA (PMBA), but students have the option of pursuing additional coursework to earn an emphasis in Financial Decision Making, Corporate Finance, or Accounting Practice. Courses last seven weeks each and students pursue one course at a time. The sequence of courses is preset, beginning with the Fundamentals of Finance, Accounting, and Economics, and later moving on through Essentials of Economic Theory and Intermediate Accounting. All students also complete their studies with a Strategic Management course, which uses readings, cases, and decision simulations to give students domestic and international perspectives on the real-life application of their accumulated coursework.
The Corporate Finance and Financial Decision-Making specializations will require students to complete an extra five credit hours of study whereas the Accounting Practice focus requires an additional nine credit hours. Miami offers an optional on-campus one-week residency, where students can take one full, accelerated course on campus. Students entering the program are evenly split between in-state and out-of-state students, with an average age of 35 and a gender breakdown of 71 percent male and 29 percent female. The online program begins with a weekend visit to the Coral Gables campus, where students meet faculty members and gain practice with the online learning module. The program has start dates available in the fall, spring, and summer, one each. The next two admissions cycles are for class starts of September 2nd and January 6th.
#5. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA- ST. PETERSBURG
The University of South Florida- St. Petersburg is a public university located in St. Petersburg, FL. USF St. Pete has an online Master of Business Administration program, which includes 36 credit hours of study divided evenly between six core courses and six elective courses. Core courses include Financial Statement Analysis, Organizational Behavior, and Global Business Environment. For their elective courses, students may choose to designate three courses towards the completion of a focus track. Focus track options include Corporate Social Responsibility, Forensic Accounting, Healthcare Analytics, and International Business. Certain focus tracks may not be available for online students, depending on the availability of courses. All new MBA students are required to attend an MBA Professional Development workshop before their term of entry.
Students in the online program have the ability to self-pace, either choosing to study part-time with three to eight credits per term or the full-time program which is nine or more credits per term. Students pursuing the program and full-time professional work at the same time generally choose to take on a part-time course load. The program is offered in an on-campus, online, and hybrid format. Students may also sometimes have the option to seek an accelerated course delivery, where they may quickly complete a course in an accelerated, on-campus format. Students may transfer in up to six credits of graduate coursework into the MBA program. Students lacking sufficient background coursework in fundamental subjects may be required to complete MBA Essentials Modules.
#6. EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY- WORLDWIDE
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a private university with its main campus located in Daytona Beach, FL. Embry-Riddle has a Master of Business Administration program in Aviation. The program is designed to give students strong foundations of traditional business skills, but with a unique focus on aviation and aerospace industries. Students ideally graduate prepared for success in any area of the global aviation business, or even to succeed in non-aviation industries as well. Students pursue 21 credit hours of core coursework, including classes such as Managerial Finance, Advanced Aviation Economics, as well as Business Policy and International Business Administration. Students also complete 12 credit hours of elective coursework which is often used to pursue a specialization area. Students may complete multiple specializations if they wish, but only a limited number of these double specializations will not require additional coursework in comparison to the standard program.
The available specialization areas for the program include Accounting, Finance, Leadership, Information Technology, Marketing, and International Business. Students entering the program are expected to have fundamental knowledge in areas of management, accounting methods, finance, marketing, and economics. To validate proficiency in these areas, students may have completed a university course in a relevant subject area or receive a minimum recommended score on an approved exam such as a CLEP, DANTES, or PEP. Students who are unable to validate proficiency in these areas will be required to take an additional three-unit course in Business Foundations before beginning the program-specific coursework. During the capstone course for the program students create a Strategic Business Plan to showcase their accumulated skills and knowledge.
#7. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA MAIN CAMPUS
The University of South Florida is a public university located in Tampa, FL. USF offers a Master of Business Administration program, which includes 32 credit hours of study and can be completed in as few as four semesters by full-time students. Part-time students can complete the degree requirements in approximately three years. The credit hours of the program are divided between 17 credit hours of core courses and 15 credit hours of electives. Elective courses can be used to fulfill a concentration which can be in any of the following categories: Cybersecurity; Data Analytics; or Compliance, Risk, and Anti-Money Laundering. Students have the option to complete a practicum course in their place of employment, which will be supervised by a faculty member and involves the investigation of business issues.
Applicants to the program should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and must submit GRE/GMAT scores. Students with at least five years of managerial experience can have the test score requirement waived. Students entering the program without a common body of business knowledge may be required to complete up to 16 credit hours of business foundation courses in Business Decision Making, Business Measurement, and Market Orientation. As part of the program, students are required to complete a residency program at the beginning of their first semester. Students attend a mandatory, three-day on-campus orientation that allows them to network with peers and faculty. There is a similar residency that students must complete at the end of their final semester.
#8. SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY
Saint Leo University is a private, Roman Catholic university located in St. Leo, FL. Saint Leo has a Master of Business Administration program, which requires 36 credit hours of coursework. Core coursework begins with courses such as Professional Development, the Legal Environment of Business, and Decision Support Systems. Students then progress through courses covering marketing, accounting, corporate finance, and global business management. The final course in the program is a Strategic Management course, where students learn how to apply business principles from the program to the contemporary business world. In addition to the core courses, students must also choose elective courses from Enterprise Resource Planning, Current Issues in Leadership, and Entrepreneurship.
Saint Leo has an MBA Online Academic Achievement Scholarship that can save students upwards of $6,000 over the course of the program. Saint Leo is home to an annual International Business Conference at its Tampa-area University Campus where students can present a research paper completed under the guidance of a faculty member. Students also gain professional experience through internships and professional memberships. Internships have previously been completed with AAA or Teco Energy, and students have joined professional groups such as the American Management Association. Graduates from the online MBA program now work for organizations including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, AAA, the Boy Scouts of America, and Citigroup Corporation.
#9. FLORIDA A & M UNIVERSITY
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is a public, historically black university located in Tallahassee, FL. FAMU has an online Master of Business Administration program, which requires 43 credit hours of study. The MBA curriculum includes introductory coursework on subjects including Organization Theory & Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, and Systems Theory & Design. In addition to the standard coursework, MBA students are required to complete a professional development course. Students proceed to elective courses in their third semester and they may also choose to pursue an internship or international experience at this point. The final course in the curriculum sequence is a Business Policy – Strategic Management course. Each course contains both a relevant international component and an ethics component related to the discipline.
Applicants to the program are required to have a minimum of five years of post-baccalaureate work experience, with a minimum of two years at the managerial level. State regulations do not permit FAMU to operate its online MBA program in certain states; students should check with their state's higher education regulatory agency for further information. The FAMU MBA program has an 85 percent job placement rate, with the remaining 15 percent of students going on to pursue PhD or JD programs. Graduates from the program have worked with a wide range of organizations, including Disney, JP Morgan, the Department of the Navy, and Accenture. Students in the program have all textbooks and course materials covered by tuition, as well as a laptop for use during the first semester.
#10. FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE
Florida Southern College is a private college located in Lakeland, FL. FSC has a Master of Business Administration program. The program begins with a two-day orientation that provides students with an opportunity to meet faculty members and students in their cohort. The program is made up of 40 credit hours of study, with 24 hours dedicated to core courses such as Synthesis of Trends and Managing Across Boundaries and Borders. Students then choose 16 hours of elective courses, such as Business Law for Accountants. During their courses, students provide consulting advice for real-world clients. More than 60 percent of Florida Southern MBA students participate in international field experience. In addition to the MBA program, Florida Southern also offers certificate programs in Healthcare Management, Supply Chain Management, and CPA Licensure.
For the online program, students are required to come to campus the last Saturday of each semester for presentations and final exams. The Florida Southern online MBA program was listed as one of the Best Business Schools of 2019 on The Princeton Review. In addition to the online version of the program, FSC also offers a Saturday hybrid version that allows students to meet two Saturdays per month and complete the remainder of their coursework online. This hybrid version is considered ideal for students and working professionals who would like in-person interactions and various networking opportunities as a part of their MBA. Each student in the program is paired with an Executive Mentor, an experienced executive who helps support the student through the program.
#11. FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY
Florida Gulf Coast University is a public university located in Fort Myers, FL. FGCU has a Master of Business Administration program, which requires students to complete 33 credit hours of study. These are divided between core and elective courses, beginning with Marketing/Management Concepts, Business Analytics, and Foundations of Economics/Finance. Students then progress through more upper-level management and economics courses, before finishing with a Business Strategy capstone. Elective core options from the program include courses in Marketing, Management, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Information Systems & Analytics. Some courses in the program are offered through a hybrid format that merges online and on-campus study, such as the Legal and Ethical Environment for Managers offered in Spring 2019.
Applicants to the program are required to submit GRE/GMAT scores but may have this requirement waived if they have completed a graduate degree from an accredited institution within the past seven years. Students may complete up to nine credit hours of graduate coursework on a non-degree seeking basis before entering the program. Students who are admitted without an undergraduate degree in business are required to complete four leveling courses before beginning the MBA core courses. The main learning outcomes for the program are communication and critical thinking skills, which will help students to consider the global impact of their business decisions, as well as synthesize and relay those impacts with coherence, clarity, and unity.
#12. FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
The Florida Institute of Technology is a private university located in Melbourne, FL. Florida Tech has a Master of Business Administration program that can be completed fully online. The course sequence includes 36 credit hours of required coursework, with eight core courses and four elective courses. Core courses start with the Essentials of Business Development One and Two, as well as Managerial Economics and Managerial Accounting. Students then pursue two directed electives and two free electives. The directed electives lead to a specialization in an industry-specific topic. Available specializations include Accounting, Cybersecurity, Global Supply Chain Management, and Project Management. Students who wish to pursue a general MBA degree do not pursue directed electives, but instead, take a mixture of four free electives.
Courses in the program last eight weeks, which with 12 courses in total, takes an average of two years for a student to complete. Applicants to the program are not required to submit either GRE or GMAT scores. This program offers 12 different specialization areas, as well as the ones listed above there are also options such as Marketing, Healthcare Management, and Finance. In addition to the MBA program options, Florida Tech offers an MS in Information Technology degree program. As a part of their studies, students create a business plan that involves a wide range of business activities, including conducting a case study and balancing a budget.
#13. LYNN UNIVERSITY
Lynn University is a private university located in Boca Raton, FL. Lynn University offers an online Master of Business Administration program, which can be completed in as little as one year. The MBA requires 37 credit hours of study, divided between 19 foundation credits, nine specialization credits, and nine elective credits. There is also an option for students to pursue a one or two-credit Business Administration Internship, though these credits are non-degree credit hours. Students may also pursue an International Business study abroad program, which counts for three credits towards the degree program. The online MBA program offers students nine different specialization options such as Aviation Management, Hospitality Management, and Media Management.
Lynn does not require GMAT scores from students who wish to apply to the program. Lynn's online MBA utilizes an online learning environment including virtual classrooms of ten to 15 students. Each of the specializations includes a pre-set sequence of three courses relating to the subject area. For example, Legal Aspects of Athletics, Management of Sports Business, and Issues in Intercollegiate Professional Sports are the pre-set courses for the Sports Management specialization. Other specializations available through the Lynn program are Entrepreneurial Internship, Financial Valuation and Investment Management, and Marketing. Students without an undergraduate degree in business or a related subject may be required to take prerequisite courses in accounting, macroeconomics, and statistics. To be considered full-time, students must take two courses at a time or they make take one course at a time if they wish to be considered a part-time student.
#14. SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
Southeastern University is a private university located in Lakeland, FL. Southeastern University offers four different online Master of Business Administration programs, focused on Executive Leadership, Healthcare Administration, Sport Management, and Mission Leadership. Southeastern offers three 16-week semesters broken up into two eight-week terms, with students taking one or two classes at a time. The program includes 39 credit hours of coursework, which takes an average of 18 to 24 months for students to complete. Core courses make up 24 hours of the program coursework, with courses such as Organizational Behavior and Global Business Management. The final 15 hours of coursework is made up of elective courses related to the chosen specialization area.
Southeastern University is a Christian school, and the school's program is designed to incorporate elements of Christian teachings and theology into the classroom curriculum. The school is specifically affiliated with the Assemblies of God and Pentecostal tradition but welcomes students from all Christian faiths or backgrounds. Students who have graduated from the program have gone on to pursue careers as a nonprofit manager, finance executive, brand manager, and hospital administrator. Southeastern University allows transfer credits from institutions accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, as well as from regionally accredited colleges and universities. Southeastern University is a part of the Yellow Ribbon Program, which offers financial support to veterans pursuing higher education.
#15. UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
The University of Florida is a public university located in Gainesville, FL. Florida offers an online Master of Business Administration program, which can either be structured as a 20 or 21-month program. It is a 48 credit hour program, which begins with an Economics of Business Decisions course, as well as a Financial & Managerial Accounting and a Professional Writing course. Later courses then begin to focus on the financial elements of business administration, including Investments, Entrepreneurship, and Corporate Finance. During the program, students have the option of choosing experimental learning courses, which generally include global travel components. Example courses include Global Immersion Experience and Global Business Concepts. Students can also choose to pursue residency elective courses, such as Customer Analysis and Marketing Analysis.
Applicants are required to have a minimum of two years of full-time, professional work experience to pursue online degree options. Students with an undergraduate degree in business who have graduated in the past seven years are eligible for an accelerated 16-month online MBA program. The accelerated MBA program is operated as a hybrid program, with both on-campus and online components. Online class sizes are limited to a maximum of 65 students to ensure that students have quality access to classmates and professors. Students in the program should expect an estimated 15 hours of work per week for their individual assignments, group projects, and readings. Start dates for the program are available in January, May, and August.