Wisconsin joined the Union on May 29, 1848 as the 30th state, and is known as the Badger State. Badgers have been associated with the state since it was a territory and in 1957 they became the official state animal. Wisconsin is the 20th most populated state, with just over 5.7 million residents calling the state home, and the capitol is located in Madison. The word “Wisconsin” is believed to be derived from the Native American term Ouisconin, which translates into “grassy place.”
Besides being the birth-state of famous painter and artist Georgia O’Keefe, actors Orson Welles and Spencer Tracy, and world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Wisconsin offers some of the best online MBA programs in the nation. Widely known as the standard for higher education in business, the Master’s of Business Administration is an excellent program when delivered through an online format. Before online education, professionals with work experience would have to sacrifice positions within organizations and move to other cities or states in order to receive training at the nation’s best business schools.
The online MBA allows working professionals the chance to receive an excellent degree while still being in control of their professional and personal schedules. Students seeking an accelerated degree may be able to graduate in a year or less while others who have a busier schedule may have the opportunity to complete all the requirements for their degrees within six or seven years or more.
With many business schools delivering the same excellent curriculum to distance learners that classroom students enjoy, there is no compromise for the distance learner in the area of high-quality content. Business accreditation, program reputation, tuition cost, and national ranking are just a few of the factors to consider when researching and comparing online Master’s of Business Administration programs. With many of these factors in mind, we have compiled the top-five online MBA programs in Wisconsin. While these programs vary in characteristics, each of these programs are backed by their business school’s stellar business accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Let this ranking of Wisconsin’s best online MBAs help guide you in the important decision of finding a degree that is the right fit for you.
Note: A detailed explanation of the methodology we used to determine the best online MBA programs in Wisconsin can be found at the end of the ranking.
#1 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics – Whitewater, Wisconsin
Home of the Warhawks who wear the school colors of purple and white, the athletic department at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams that compete at the NCAA Division III level as members of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. UW-Whitewater is a four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Whitewater, Wisconsin. The university delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the 12,434 students currently enrolled there. The university was founded in 1868 as Whitewater Normal School. Over the years the school grew in size and academic focus and received its university status in 1964. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater receives its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 100.00
#2 University of Wisconsin Consortium – Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Established in 1971, the University of Wisconsin System is an association of public universities in the state of Wisconsin, including the University of Wisconsin located in Eau Claire, La Crosse, Oshkosh, and Parkside, which have combined to offer the UW MBA Consortium. The original University of Wisconsin was established in 1848 and held its first classes in Madison, Wisconsin. Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the entirety of the University of Wisconsin System includes 13 freshman and sophomore colleges, 11 comprehensive universities, and two doctoral research universities. Combined, there are over 170,000 students within the system.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 87.53
#3 Cardinal Stritch University College of Business and Management – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Cardinal Stritch University was originally founded as St. Clare College. The school first operated under the guidance of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi. In 1946 the school’s name was changed to honor Samuel Stritch, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Delivering degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels, Cardinal Stritch oversees a student body of 2,355. Home of the Wolves, the official school colors of Cardinal Stritch University are red and white. The athletic department at the university consists of 15 men’s and women’s varsity sports teams that compete within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as members of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 75.68
#4 Herzing University Online Campus – Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Herzing University is a four-year, private not-for-profit institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. The university delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, and graduate levels through online courses and 11 brick-and-mortar campuses spread among eight states in the U.S. Herzing University was established in 1965 as a computer training institute named Herzing Institute by Henry and Suzanne Herzing. While the school achieved its university status in 2009, Herzing became a non-profit institution in 2015. Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the university focuses on training students for careers in business, healthcare, nursing, and technology.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 74.84
#5 Concordia University Wisconsin Batterman School of Business – Mequon, Wisconsin
An online MBA is delivered by Concordia University Wisconsin’s Batterman School of Business. This 39-credit hour program offers the distance learner a high-quality advanced degree in business without sacrificing flexibility and convenience.
Founded in 1881 as Concordia College Milwaukee, today’s Concordia University Wisconsin is a four-year, private not-for-profit institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Mequon, Wisconsin. With a mission statement that reads, “Concordia University Wisconsin is a Lutheran higher education community committed to helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world,” the university got its start by teaching 13 students in the basement of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. Welcoming its first female students in 1964, the school was awarded its university status in the 1989. Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the university delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the student body of 7,288 currently enrolled there. Home of the Falcons, the athletic department at CUW supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams that compete at the NCAA Division III level as members of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. The school’s official colors are Lake Blue and Sunrise Gold.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 74.10
To find the top Online MBA programs in Wisconsin, a list of over 490 online MBA programs was collected, and each program was evaluated first for a location in the state of Wisconsin, and then ranked on the following factors:
Estimated Tuition Cost (25%): Each online MBA degree was evaluated to find the estimated total base tuition cost. Data was gathered from the most recent information on each program or school website. The base tuition was calculated for the whole program, but does not included fees, books, or room and board; with the exception of programs that use all-inclusive figures. For colleges that offer a lower in-state tuition, the in-state pricing is 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 and unique role in education. It attests to which school has attained high national and global standards in its research and delivered education. Each online MBA program in this ranking list is evaluated on whether it holds a regional accreditation from one of the six institutions that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Additional business accreditations affect an MBA’s prestige and brand name, which can thus affect a graduate’s competitive advantage in the job market. Each school is ranked on if the online MBA program holds an accreditation 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 scores. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Average Base Salary (25%): The average base salary data is highlighted in this top online MBA ranking list because it allows prospective students to explore the affect an online MBA degree can have on a graduate’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 this list 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 degree 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 ranking lists included their program. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
All of this criteria 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 Wisconsin.