Touting such features as the world’s largest flat-top mountain as part of the Grand Mesa and home to the United States Air Force Academy, the state of Colorado offers active residents and vacationers access to beautiful landscapes and activities like snow-skiing, cycling, and hiking. Known as the “Centennial State,” over a third of Colorado is owned by the United Sates Government. Besides being the inspiration for Katherine Lee Bates’ “America the Beautiful,” Colorado also features some of the nation’s best online Master’s of Business Administration programs. Many of the state’s most highly-respected universities feature business schools which have designed top-ranking online degrees in leadership and business for students within the state and all over the country.
Most business schools in Colorado’s universities require just a few years of professional experience and an undergraduate degree awarded by an accredited college or university as prerequisites for admission. Some schools even waive all GMAT or GRE requirements leaning more heavily on the strength of letters of recommendations and other variables. Students looking for a convenient 100% online MBA will have many to choose from while those desiring short on-campus residencies for better networking can also find those in Colorado.
With the varied needs of the distance learner in mind, we have compiled the top five online MBA programs in Colorado. Three of the five feature affordability ratings of average and offer overall tuition rates of less than $29,999, while most of these programs are bolstered by their business school’s being accredited by such organizations as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Let this ranking of Colorado’s best online MBA programss 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 Colorado can be found at the end of the ranking.
#1 University of Colorado Colorado Springs College of Business and Administration – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Home of the Mountain Lions who wear the school colors of black and gold, the athletic department at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division II level as members of the Rocky Mountain Conference. UCCS is a four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The university delivers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the 12,559 students currently enrolled there. The university was founded in 1965. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs receives its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and features “Let Your Light Shine” as its official school motto.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 100.00
#2 Colorado State University College of Business – Fort Collins, Colorado
Established in 1870, Colorado State University is a four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The university was originally founded as a result of the Morrill Act and named Colorado Agricultural College in 1870. After being known as Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1935, the school experienced its final name change in 1957 when it was awarded its university status. Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the university delivers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the student body of 31,856 currently enrolled. Home of the Rams and featuring the mascot CAM the Ram, the athletic department at CSU supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division I level as members of the Mountain West Conference. The school’s official colors are green, gold, and white.
Affordability Score: Above Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 94.90
#3 University of Denver Daniels College of Business – Denver, Colorado
The University of Denver was originally founded as the Colorado Seminary in 1864 by former Colorado Territory Governor, John Evans. The school holds the title as the Rocky Mountain region’s oldest private independent university. 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 Denver, Colorado. Delivering degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, DU oversees a student body of 11,614. Home of the Pioneers, the official school colors of the University of Denver are crimson and gold. The athletic department at DU consists of men’s and women’s varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division I level as members of the Summit Conference.
Affordability Score: Expensive
OMBAT Ranking Score: 87.94
#4 Colorado Technical University School of Business & Management – Colorado Springs, Colorado
With a student body which consists of 92% online students, Colorado Technical University is a four-year, private, for-profit institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The university delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the 25,548 students currently enrolled there. CTU was established in 1965 as Colorado technical College with a major emphasis of training former military personnel for technical vocations. Thirty years later, the school would qualify for its university status and change its name. Colorado Technical receives its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and receives 95% of its funding from the U.S. Government.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 86.62
#5 Colorado Christian University College of Adult and Graduate Studies – Lakewood, Colorado
Established in 1914, Colorado Christian University is a four-year, private not-for-profit institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Lakewood, Colorado. Operating under the school motto of “Grace and Truth,” the university was originally founded as Denver Bible Institute. Over the years the school developed its programming and established schools like the College of Liberal Arts and the Theological School until merging with Colorado Baptist University and becoming CCU in 1989. 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 7,032 currently enrolled there. Home of the Cougars, the athletic department at Colorado Christian supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division II level as members of the Rocky Mountain Conference. The school’s official colors are navy blue and gold.
Affordability Score: Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 82.75
To find the top Online MBA programs in Colorado, a list of 470 distance MBA programs was obtained, and each program was evaluated first for a location in the state of Colorado, and then evaluated on the following five factors:
Estimated Tuition Cost (25%): Each program is ranked based on the estimated total base tuition cost. All tuition data was gathered from the most recent information given on each program or school website. The data was calculated for the entirety of the degree, but does not included fees, books, or room and board; with the exception of programs that use all-inclusive figures. For schools that offer a lower in-state tuition rate, the in-state pricing is used in order to show the best possible Return on Investment. The final ranking score is based 25% on this calculated figure.
Based on this total 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 it helps prospective students identify which school has gone to extensive measures to reach high national and global standards in its research and delivered education. Each top online MBA is evaluated on whether it holds a regional accreditation from one of six institutions that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
An additional business school accreditation affect an MBA’s brand and prestige, which can thus affect a student’s competitive advantage in the job market. Each school is ranked on if the online MBA program is accredited from one of the top three business accrediting institutions: IACBE, ACBSP, or AACSB. AACSB is widely regarded as the most prestigious level of business accreditation, and thus schools that hold this accreditation are given the highest marks. The final ranking score is base 25% on this calculated figure.
Average Base Salary (25%): The salary data is highlighted in this top online MBA ranking in order for prospective students to see the effect a 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. The final ranking score is base 25% on this calculated figure.
Prestige (25%): The prestige for each program is calculated by evaluating rankings 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. The final ranking score is base 25% on this calculated figure.
All of the data for each five factors 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 program in Colorado.