Sandwiched between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, Iowa’s east and west borders are actually formed by the two major rivers. Iowa was established in 1846 as the 29th state in the Union. Known as the “Hawkeye State,” the state’s nickname was coined by James G. Edwars who desired to honor Native American leader Chief Black Hawk. Iowa’s economy is aided by the agricultural production of hogs, corn, soybeans, oats, cattle, and dairy products and the industries of food processing, machinery, electric equipment, chemical products, printing and publishing, primary metals. Iowa is also home to some of the most respected online Master’s of Business Administration programs in the nation.
Online degrees continue to grow in popularity among professionals for several reasons, with the most prominent being the convenience of setting a course schedule that fits around a professional schedule. Some students are interested in taking more coursework at an accelerated pace in order to graduate in less than one year, while others have a more-demanding work schedule and may need up to five or six years to graduate.
No matter what a distance-learner’s priorities are when it comes to pursuing an online MBA, it has never been a better time to pursue an online degree in Iowa as many of the state’s top business schools make these programs accommodating and accessible. As for beginning the acceptance process into a program, some admissions offices only require applicants to submit past academic and professional experience records in order to get the process started. Students who have not taken the GMAT or GRE, will be pleased to know that some of the most innovative business schools now offer GMAT waivers. Students apprehensive about networking limitations that might affect an online education, should know some programs also offer mentor-type relationships between staff and students and cohort-based curriculum.
Let this ranking of the best online MBA programs in Iowa help point you in the direction of finding a program that is right for you.
Note: A detailed explanation of the methodology we used to determine the best online MBA programs in Iowa can be found at the end of the ranking.
#1 Maharishi University of Management College of Business Administration – Fairfield, Iowa
Featuring the official school colors of green and gold, Maharishi University of Management is a four-year, private not-for-profit institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Fairfield, Ohio. Among the school’s unique qualities includes its utilizing the Transcendental Meditation technique as a part of its curriculum. The university delivers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the 1,689 students currently enrolled there. MUM was established in 1971 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi with the intent to develop the full potential of the individual. Maharishi University of Management receives its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and features “Engage the Managing Intelligence of the Natural Law” as its official school motto.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 100.00
#2 Upper Iowa University School of Business – Fayette, Iowa
Established in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a four-year, private not-for-profit institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Fayette, Iowa. Operating under the school motto of Dio Duce “With God for a Leader,” the university was the brainchild of Elizabeth Alexander. The school got its start with a donation of $15,000 and 10 acres. UIU was affiliated with the Methodist Church until 1928. Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the university delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, and graduate levels to the student body of 4,758 currently enrolled there. Home of the Peacocks, the athletic department at Upper Iowa supports 16 men’s and women’s varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division II level as members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The school’s official colors are blue and white.
Affordability Score: Affordable
OMBAT Ranking Score: 96.24
#3 Drake University College of Business and Public Administration – Des Moines, Iowa
Drake University was established by Francis Marion Drake, and George Carpenter in 1881. The inaugural class consisted of 77 students seeking an education in just one building on campus. Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the university exists today as a four-year, private not-for-profit institution of higher learning with a main campus in Des Moines, Iowa. Delivering degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels, Drake oversees a student body of 5,001 and features over 160 student organizations on campus. Home of the Bulldogs and featuring Spike as the school’s mascot, the official school colors of Drake University are blue and white. The athletic department at Drake consists of men’s and women’s varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division I level as members of the Missouri Valley Conference. Drake’s football team is a member of the Pioneer Football League.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 89.48
To find the top Online MBA programs in Iowa, a list of over 470 online MBA programs was gathered, and each one was evaluated first for a location in the state of Iowa, and then ranked on the following factors:
Estimated Tuition Cost (25%): Each online MBA program was examined to find the estimated total base tuition cost. All financial data was gathered from the most recent information given on each program or school website. The base tuition was calculated for the entirety of the degree, but does not included fees, books, or room and board; with the exception of MBA programs that use all-inclusive figures. For schools that offer a lower in-state tuition rate, the in-state pricing was used. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Based on this base tuition data, each program is given an Affordability Score:
Very Expensive = $100,000+
Expensive = $50,000-$99,999
Above Average = $30,000-$49,999
Average = $20,000-$29,999
Affordable = $15,000-$19,999
Very Affordable = $0-$14,999
Accreditation (25%): Accreditation plays an important role in education, because they help prospective students identify which school has gone to extensive measures to reach high national and global standards in its research and delivered education. Each program in this top online MBA ranking is evaluated on whether it holds a regional accreditation from one of six institutions that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Additionally, business school accreditations affect an MBA’s brand and prestige, which can then affect a graduate’s competitive advantage in the job market. Each school is ranked on if the online MBA program is accredited from one of the top business accrediting institutions: ACBSP, IACBE, or AACSB. AACSB is widely regarded as the highest standard of business accreditation in the world, and thus schools that hold this accreditation are given the highest marks. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Average Base Salary (25%): The salary data is highlighted in this top online MBA ranking because it allows prospective students to explore the affect an online MBA degree can have on a professional’s salary. The average base salary is collected from the 2018 Best Business School Ranking by US News and World Report. Programs without a recorded average base salary from US News and World Report was calculated at zero because of no available third-party data. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Prestige (25%): The prestige for each program is calculated by evaluating lists from some of the most prestigious educational rankings systems for online MBA programs: US News and World Report’s Online MBA Ranking, the Princeton Review’s Online MBA Ranking, the Financial Times’ Global Online MBA Ranking, and Quacquarelli Symonds’ Distance Online MBA Ranking. Each online MBA was evaluated on how many rankings included their program. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
All of the data was weighted equally, averaged, and then calculated on a 100-point scale. This score is the OMBAT Ranking Score, which provides the ranking order for this list. By evaluating the tuition cost, accreditation, average base salary, and prestige, this ranking helps prospective students find the highest quality online MBA programs in Iowa.