A Master's in Business Administration, or MBA, is the most popular degree for individuals seeking to advance their career in business. Graduates from MBA programs are valued for their abilities to manage teams of people and to solve complex financial or economic decisions. This ranking looks at programs that use online, sometimes referred to as distance, learning services which give students the chance to earn the same, high-quality degree and skills as traditional programs, all while maintaining control over their professional and personal worlds. Let's take a look at the 15 Best Online MBAs in Georgia!
FINDING AN MBA DEGREE
There are a wide range of programs that fall under the heading of Master of Business Administration. Each program shares common elements, focusing on skills relating to accounting, economics, finance, management, and operations. But programs vary in the way that they structure their program or in the skills they most specifically focus on. Some programs have cohort structures, where students progress in lock-step fashion through the program, allowing them to build social and professional business connections. Other programs allow students to choose their own path, including specializations that allow them to focus on specific industries or potential professions. Programs may also be designed for students with specific levels of experience in the business world. Some MBA programs allow students to bring in minimal or even no full-time work experience, while others, such as Executive MBA programs, require a minimum of ten years of full-time experience to enter the program.
With so many different specialties and structures, MBA programs have a wide range of career options after graduation. General MBA programs or even specialized ones can lead to careers in positions such as marketing manager, human resources manager, accounting manager, or even an upper-level executive positions like a Chief Technology Officer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these jobs can command median salaries near $120,000 per year, and many of these job markets are set to grow by more than 10 percent in the coming decade. And because students can keep working through their programs, they are able to immediately apply their coursework in the real world, which can lead to raises, promotions, or even possible entrepreneurship. In the end, an MBA gives students a tremendous amount of opportunity to pursue the job and the career they want.
RANKING THE 15 BEST ONLINE MBA DEGREES IN GEORGIA
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. UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
The University of Georgia is a public university located in Athens, GA. UGA offers an online Professional MBA program, which is intended for working professionals who wish to start their graduate studies while continuing their careers. The part-time program can be completed in 23 months of study, with students progressing through a cohort model that works to build connections between classmates and to expand professional networks. There are 48 credit hours of classwork from 16 courses, with courses distributed throughout eight modules over the course of 12 weeks. Students are either in the weekday cohort or the Saturday cohort, which determines the number of days they are required to be on campus. Professional MBA students can pursue a concentration in the program from a list of options including Finance/Accounting, Innovation/Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing, and Operations/Supply Chain Management.
Georgia's online MBA ranks 25th among public part-time MBA programs by U.S. News & World Report. On-campus courses required for the program can be attended at either the Terry Executive Education Center in Buckhead or the UGA Gwinnett campus in Lawrenceville. The average student in the program enters with seven years of work experience at an average age of 30 years. The gender makeup is 64 percent male and 36 percent female, and the student body is composed of 37 percent underrepresented minorities. Professional students within the program work for companies such as AT&T, Georgia Pacific, JP Morgan Chase, and The Home Depot. In addition to the traditional coursework, students can complete an optional international residency to gain global experience.
#2. GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
Georgia Southern University is a public university located in Statesboro, GA. Georgia Southern offers a Master of Business Administration program, which is delivered through an online, asynchronous format, meaning that students choose their own pace. The online curriculum is made up of ten courses and is designed to be completed in 21 months, as students are expected to complete two courses per semester for five consecutive semesters. The first two courses in the sequence are Human Behavior in Organizations and Managerial Accounting. Students then proceed to learn about accounting, marketing, finance, and entrepreneurship. The final course in the sequence is a Business Strategy course, which uses real-world examples and case studies to apply students' prior knowledge and coursework to actual issues in the business world.
U.S. residents are required to attend a mandatory orientation prior to the first week of classes, which uses in-person meetings and structured sessions to enhance the online learning experience. Start dates are available for the Spring and Fall semesters, with application deadlines on December 1st and August 1st, respectively. Students are required to have prerequisite experience in Foundations of Business Statistics, Microeconomics, Financial Accounting, and Corporate Finance. Students without undergraduate coursework in these subjects will be required to take leveling courses before starting the program core. Students should also be familiar with spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet. Students are not required to have any particular amount of professional work experience, but GSU does value intellectual maturity and a thorough understanding of the context of contemporary business.
#3. KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY
Kennesaw State University is a public university located in Kennesaw, GA. KSU has an online Master of Business Administration program, which is a ten-course program designed to take students about 20 months to complete. The program utilizes a virtual team-based learning structure which groups students into small cohorts that progress through the program together. The team-based learning is designed to promote student interactions, peer-to-peer learning, and to facilitate long-term professional and personal relationships. Students begin the program with courses such as Global and International Business and Managerial Decision Analysis. The final courses in the sequence revolve around Management Information Systems, Production and Operations Management, and then a final Business Strategy course.
Students in the online program are required to attend a two-day orientation in Atlanta, GA at the beginning of their program. All other coursework or work relating to the program is completed online. KSU's online MBA program was ranked the 21st Best Online MBA Program in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. All instructors in the KSU WebMBA program have graduate faculty status at the university and receive training in the skills required to deliver high-quality online classes. Along with the online MBA program, Kennesaw State has an Evening MBA program that requires 12 classes and takes as few as 18 months to complete. KSU also offers GMAT Preparation courses on its campus, composed of four in-depth study sessions for both the verbal and quantitative parts of the test.
#4. UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA
The University of West Georgia is a public university located in Carrolton, GA. UWG has an online Master of Business Administration program, which is composed of ten courses typically taken over a period of five consecutive semesters. The program generally takes students 18 months to complete. The 30 credit hours of coursework begins with introductory courses in human organizational behavior and managerial accounting. Students also study entrepreneurship, managerial finance, and management information systems. The capstone course of the program is a Strategic Management course, which includes case studies, class discussions, and strategy simulation exercises designed to give students experience with environmental analysis and resource strengths and limitations.
Applicants are required to have at least two years of professional business experience to apply to the program. GMAT/GRE scores are required as a part of the admissions process. Accepted students participate in a two-day orientation in Atlanta at the beginning of the program. The orientation is designed to develop team building, familiarity with the course software, and to give students time to interact directly with program directors, administrators, and alumni. Students may transfer in up to a maximum of six credit hours into the program. Students in the fully online program can take on-campus courses from their degree program, but they will then incur campus-related fees for the normal degree program.
#5. GEORGIA COLLEGE & STATE UNIVERSITY
Georgia College & State University is a public university located in Milledgeville, GA. GCSU has an online Master of Business Administration program, which requires 30 credit hours of study. Applicants to the WebMBA program are required to have at least two years of documented, related work experience. The program includes courses such as Global & International Business and Managerial Decision Analysis. Students finish with a capstone course focused on company-wide decision making and administrative appraisal. Using case studies, students learn how to organize employees and make structured decisions, but also how to evaluate and improve those processes over the long-term. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 to complete the program and must earn all credits required by the program within seven years of matriculating.
Students who earned a baccalaureate business degree from an accredited school and had a minimum overall GPA of 3.15 are not required to submit GMAT or GRE scores. Start dates for the program are available in fall or spring only. Students without an undergraduate background in business may be required to take foundation courses, including Principles of Accounting, Business Finance, and college-level economics. There is no conditional admission for the WebMBA program. In addition to the online MBA program, the school also has online Masters programs in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Management Information Systems. There is also a Master of Accountancy program, but this is not available online.
#6. MERCER UNIVERSITY
Mercer University is a private university located in Macon, GA. Mercer University has an online Master of Business Administration program that can be completed in as few as 18 months. Students complete a minimum of 36 credit hours, which is divided between the core program, a specialized track of study, and an MBA capstone. Core courses include Ethical Leadership, Marketing Concepts and Practices, and Managerial Accounting. Students then select their area of specialization from a list of options including Marketing, Finance, Economics, General Business, Human Resources, and Healthcare Management. The MBA Capstone course is then designed to correlate, integrate, and apply the program's core concepts and principles. Students are enrolled in the program five times per year: August, October, January, March, and May.
Students without undergraduate business coursework may be required to take up to nine credit hours of foundation courses in finance, economics, and statistics. In addition to their fully online MBA, Mercer also offers a hybrid online and evening MBA program, which combines online and in-person courses. The average age of a person entering the program is 28, and on average students enter with five years of work experience. Most students in the program continue to work or pursue professional commitments while they are in the program. Graduates from the program have gone on to pursue careers such as supply chain analyst, customer engagement manager, or healthcare administrator.
#7. COLUMBUS STATE UNIVERSITY
Columbus State University is a public university located in Columbus, GA. CSU's Turner College of Business offers an online Master of Business Administration program, which is a general-purpose management degree focusing on the practical application of business tools, techniques, and concepts. Students must complete undergraduate prerequisites in accounting, finance, and business decision-making. Coursework includes 30 credit hours which involve a pre-set series of ten courses. These begin with courses such as Human Behavior in Organization and Managerial Decision Analysis, before then progressing through Supply-Chain Management and Entrepreneurship. Courses are designed to develop skills such as the ability to analyze and evaluate multiple courses of action through both quantitative and qualitative methods.
Students have a maximum of six years from matriculation to complete the degree requirements. Students who have previously completed graduate coursework are eligible to receive up to six credit-hours of transfer credit into the program. Three program cohorts begin in the fall and spring, with students taking two classes per semester for five consecutive semesters. No campus visits are required, except for orientation at the beginning of fall and spring semester. To graduate, students must average a B in core courses and cannot earn more than two C's. GRE or GMAT scores are required as a part of the application process, along with two recommendation letters from professional sources.
#8. VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY
Valdosta State University is a public university located in Valdosta, GA. VSU has an online Master of Business Administration program that is offered through the Georgia WebMBA, which is offered jointly through six University System of Georgia schools. Students start the program with a two-day orientation held in Atlanta, after which all of the program components are completed online. It is a 30 credit hour program consisting of ten courses. The final course in the core sequence is a Business Strategic Management course, where students learn how to use analysis of economic trends and environmental indicators to best encourage the long-run survival and growth of firms in competitive markets. The ultimate outcome of the course is that students should be able to plan and control operational effectiveness and efficiency in both planning and execution.
There are two admissions periods available for the fall and spring semesters. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution. They must earn a minimum of 950 points on the College of Business Administration Admission Formula, and have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.50 on all attempted coursework. Students are also required to submit GRE/GMAT scores, but these can be waived for students with five or more years of acceptable business management experience, a master's degree, or a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in a business bachelor's program. Stuart Parker, who graduated from Valdosta State's Langdale College of Business in 1983, is now the CEO and President of USAA.
#9. BRENAU UNIVERSITY
Brenau University is a private university located in Gainesville, GA. Brenau offers a wide range of online Master of Business Administration program options, allowing students to pursue either a general business focus or one of a number of specialization options. The program requires students to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, with courses specifically developing skills in project management and leadership within an organizational context. Students begin with an Introduction Sequence and Global Sequence, which include courses such as Foundations of Business Analytics and Business Law and Ethics. Students also have the option of pursuing a specialization option such as Finance or Entrepreneurship. Students pursue 15 additional credit hours within their specialization, with courses such as Ethics and Leadership in Health Care for the Health Care Administration focus.
Students are not required to have a degree in business or a related field, but they do have to prove minimum competencies in accounting, economics, and business concepts. Students without this background will have two options to complete the necessary prerequisites, completing either two graduate courses at Brenau or four undergraduate courses at any accredited institution. In addition to the specialization programs listed above, other options available in the program are Cyber Security Management, Health Care Management, Human Resources Management, Mediation & Conflict Resolution, Non-Profit Leadership, and Strategic Thinking & Innovation. There is an MBA program in Accounting, which offers two sub-tracks in either Managerial Accounting or Public Accounting.
#10. EMORY UNIVERSITY
Emory University is a private university located in Atlanta, GA. Emory has an online Executive Master of Business Administration program, which is intended for senior executives and accomplished professionals. The program is delivered through a hybrid format that combines online coursework with in-person classwork. Students must be employed full-time throughout the duration of the program. The modular online format of the program is structured with eight individual week-long residencies that occur semi-monthly over a period of 18 months. Around two-thirds of the program is conducted in-person, with the final one-third being completed online. Students are able to take up to two elective courses, but most of the program is structured in a lockstep format, including a global immersion course.
The average student entering the program has 16 years of full-time work experience. The most recent classes to enter have been made up of 20 percent women, 17 percent international students, and 17 percent U.S. Military members. Students come from a wide range of different industries, with the largest represented industries being Education, Financial Services, and Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology/Healthcare. There are five rounds of applications for the program, running from February through September of a given year. Starting with Round 4, students are accepted based on a seat-available basis until the class is full. During the on-campus residences, students are expected to be on campus from 8 am – 5:30 pm and to be prepared to participate in evening work groups as needed. Students may transfer in a maximum of 12 elective credit-hours into the program from courses completed within the previous five years.
#11. CLAYTON STATE UNIVERSITY
Clayton State University is a public university located in Morrow, GA. Clayton State has an online Master of Business Administration program, which requires 33 credit hours of coursework. The program is designed to be completed in 12 months and provides students the option to study general business or specialize in one of five topic areas. The core curriculum begins with Concepts of Quantitative Methods and Concepts of Accounting, before then moving on to other courses such as Decision Making Under Uncertainty. In addition to the core curriculum, students take 12 credit hours of additional courses. These additional courses are composed of three specialization courses and an Innovation and Design Thinking course. The final course in the program is a Strategic Management capstone course.
The program is structured into two eight-week terms each in both the fall and spring semester, which gives students four different start date options for the program. A student's undergraduate GPA determines whether what their GMAT/GRE requirement is. Applicants to the program will be required to complete an interview and should have at least three years of full-time professional or managerial work experience. The five available specialization options for the program are Accounting, Human Resource Leadership, International Business, Supply Chain Management, and Digital Marketing. Students who wish to complete the international business focus must also complete a global experience trip abroad. Students in the accounting or supply chain management concentration may use a global trip to substitute a Global Human Resource Leadership class.
#12. SHORTER UNIVERSITY
Shorter University is a private university located in Rome, GA. Shorter has three online Master of Business Administration programs, which offer either a general business focus or a focus in Healthcare Management or Sport Management. The base program takes 31 credit hours of coursework to complete, which students can finish in as few as 12 months. Students begin the program with courses in Managerial Accounting, Introduction to Graduate Studies, and Legal and Ethical Environment of Business. Later electives vary based on which program a student chooses to pursue. Health Informatics and Risk Management in Sport are examples of concentration-specific electives. Students in the general MBA track will take courses in Human Resources Management and Managerial Finance.
Shorter University is a Christian university, specifically affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention. Students without an undergraduate degree in business administration, or a related field, may be required to take prerequisite courses in principles of accounting, economics, and finance. Students are required to complete all course requirements for the program within four years from the start of the program and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. The other elective courses for the Sport Management degree are Sports Marketing, Sports Operations & Event Management, and Business of Sport. Courses for Healthcare Management include Legal and Ethical Aspects of Healthcare and Healthcare Marketing. Students may also complete a business internship as a part of their degree plan. Shorter also has online Master of Accountancy and Master of Management in Nonprofit Management programs.
#13. GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY
Georgia Southwestern State University is a public university located in Americus, GA. GSW has an online MBA program consisting of 30 credit hours of coursework. The program is designed to cover key competency areas for the modern business world, with an emphasis on values, ethics, and service. The program includes ten courses, divided between eight core courses and two electives. Core courses include Marketing Management, Quantitative Management, and Managerial Economics. Students then choose any two upper-level MBA course for their final two classes. Elective course options available in the program include Human Resources Management, Not-for-Profit Marketing, and Labor Management Relations. The final two courses in the course sequence are Organization Theory & Behavior (Leadership) and Strategic Management.
Georgia Southwestern was ranked as the Most Affordable Online College for MBA programs by the SR Education Group in 2017. There are prerequisite business courses that students must have completed before beginning the program, such as Principles of Accounting and Principles of Management. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the program to graduate. Core courses from the MBA sequence are offered three times every two years. One elective course is offered each semester through a rotating schedule. GMAT or GRE scores are required as a part of the application to the program. The program offers three periods of admission, one each for the fall, spring, and summer.
#14. HERZING UNIVERSITY- ATLANTA
Herzing University is a private university based out of Milwaukee, WI. Herzing offers an online Master of Business Administration program. The 33 credit-hour program begins with a Research Methods and Decision-Making course. There are then seven core courses, such as Technology & Innovation and Marketing and New Product Development, that students must complete. For their capstone course, students have the option to pursue either a capstone project, a graduate internship, or an international graduate capstone course. In addition to the core courses, students also take three courses in a specific concentration. The concentrations available in the program are as follows: Accounting and Finance, Data Analytics, Healthcare Management, Human Resources, Project Management, and Technology Management.
Students without a business degree or multiple years of business experience will be required to one "business-level setting" course at the start of the program. Herzing also offers tutoring and academic support services through Herzing Online. The Herzing program offers a number of opportunities to either earn a professional certification or to be prepared to sit for the certification exam. Certifications offered within the program include Associate Certified Analytics Professional, PMP or CAPM Certification, CMA Certification, and PMI-PBA Certification. The PMP, CAPM, and CMA certifications prepare students to sit for the qualifying exams for these certifications. The MBA program is intended to last three semesters and students may transfer in up to nine credit hours towards the degree.
#15. AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY
Augusta University is a public university located in Augusta, GA. Augusta has a Master of Business Administration program, which can be completed in between 12-24 months. The program is composed of a 30 credit hour curriculum, delivered through a pre-set sequence of ten courses. The beginning courses in the sequence include National & International Economics for Managers and Managerial Leadership. Class coursework is designed to achieve the program learning outcomes, which includes understanding differing leadership styles, as well as the ethical implications of doing business as an organization. This culminates with a Strategic Management course, where students integrate their previous coursework to perform comprehensive analyses of multiple organizations to assess their development and execution of strategic management.
GMAT/GRE scores are required as a part of the admissions process, but can be waived for: students who have earned a terminal degree or students who have achieved the minimum GPA requirement of 2.7 in a graduate program or 2.5 in an undergraduate program in business. Augusta University has an MBA Student Association, which helps to connect current MBA students with both program alumni and the broader Augusta community. They organize professional and social networking opportunities for students, as well as facilitate contact between the administration and student members. Students who have recently graduated from an undergraduate degree program are strongly advised to gain some full-time work experience before applying to the program.