Top 10 Accredited Online Business Degrees

As a student, you want a high quality degree from a well respected school. By doing research on the quality of online degrees and picking the best ones in each field, we help you choose the best online program for your career goals.

In this article, we’ll look at ten top quality online business degree programs. The first six programs are bachelor degrees from common business fields such as accounting and management. Then, we’ll recommend what we consider the four best online MBA programs, since a master’s in business administration is a very popular degree choice. Also, an MBA is a requirement for many mid to upper level corporate positions.

We’ve made our picks based on different factors including:

  • accreditation
  • tuition cost
  • special features
  • reputation
  • academic awards

Regarding accreditation, we’ve only chosen degrees from regionally accredited schools. There are two types of general accreditation agencies: national and regional. Regionally accredited schools have more credibility than nationally accredited schools. Some employers will only hire students graduating from regionally accredited schools. If you’re wish to apply for tuition reimbursement, some companies only approve degrees from those schools. Credit transfer may be a problem if you get a degree from a nationally accredited school. Some regionally accredited schools will only accept credits from schools with the same accreditation. You may not qualify for graduate programs at regionally accredited schools if you have an undergraduate degree from a nationally accredited school.

Also, we’ve looked at specialized or programmatic accreditation agencies that only accredit business schools or programs. AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and ACBSP (Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs) are the only two accreditation agencies for business schools and programs that are recognized by the CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation). CHEA is the only nongovernmental organization to evaluate and certify accrediting organizations in the United States. Each of our recommended degrees is accredited by one of these agencies.

AACSB tends to be more highly regarded than ACBSP since it is older and has accredited high profile schools like Harvard and Yale. However, their accreditation standards are designed with a research emphasis. This means that usually only large schools at research universities can qualify. On the other hand, ACBSP caters to smaller schools who may not have a lot of resources for research work but still want an accrediting agency to evaluate their business programs. We believe that both agencies are reputable.

Most schools with business programs are not accredited by ACBSP or AACSB. The schools which have achieved accreditation with either agency have undertaken additional evaluation and scrutiny to make sure their business programs meet high standards.

One last thing before we give our top picks. Because these programs are top degrees, they often have more admission requirements than other degrees. For example, you may need work experience or college credits to qualify for admission. For each degree, we will note any admission requirements that are more stringent than the norm. Also, admission may be competitive because many students are applying and spots in the program are limited.

**All tuition information was compiled from each school’s website in 2013. Keep in mind, however, that individual student costs may vary.

Bachelor of Science in Marketing (Grand Canyon University)

Regional accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Programmatic accreditation: ACBSP

Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a great school to earn an online marketing degree. The school ranked 7th in Online Education Database’s 2009 overall ranking of online institutions. It tied for 4th in student-faculty ratio with only 13 students per faculty member. GCU’s business school, Ken Blanchard College of Business, teaches students to develop and nurture an entrepreneurial spirit within their companies regardless of size. It was recognized as a top 5 online school for entrepreneurs by Fortune. This focus on entrepreneurship is beneficial as today’s marketers need innovative skills to create and execute effective marketing campaigns.

GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Marketing will prepares you for entry-level positions in the field. The curriculum is designed to equip you with advanced skills in the areas of advertising and promotion, marketing research, consumer behavior, and marketing strategy. The program culminates your senior year with the opportunity to apply what you have learned in two specific courses: Marketing Research and Marketing Management.

In Marketing Research, you will apply research concepts to marketing problems for local organizations. You will meet with clients, design the research, collect and analyze data, and report findings and recommendations. In Marketing Management, you will work with sophisticated computer simulations that will challenge you with an array of marketing issues and problems. Working in small teams, you will compete to achieve the best “balanced scorecard” – a concept that weighs not only financial performance but customer satisfaction and likelihood of future success.

The tuition cost is $415.00 per credit hour and 120 hours are required for graduation. The tuition is slightly above average but well worth it for the quality education. Also, you can save money by taking the prerequisite courses at a local community college. GCU allows credit transfer up to 90 hours. Work experience is recommended to be accepted into the program.

[Request information from GCU about their marketing program]

Bachelor of Science in Accounting (Southern New Hampshire University)

Regional accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Programmatic accreditation: ACBSP

If you’re looking for an accounting program that will put you on track for professional certifications like certified public accountant (CPA) and certified management accountant (CMA), Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has the degree for you. SNHU’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting offers 33 upper level accounting credits, which is more than most accounting programs in the baccalaureate level. As such, you’ll gain a broad accounting education and get a head start on the course requirements for professional certifications.

SNHU’s business programs are one of the few U.S. based programs to be accredited by the prestigious European Council for Business Education (ECBE) and ACBSP. Each of the full-time professors has a doctorate or equivalent professional qualification. And they continue to learn outside the classroom through research, consulting, writing, and practical experience.

Along with high education standards, tuition is very competitive. Each 3-credit course only costs $906 and 120 credits are required to complete the program. When you calculate the total tuition cost to earn the degree, it comes out to $36,240, which is below the national average.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (University of Nebraska at Kearney)

Regional accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Programmatic accreditation: AACSB

The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) provides great value with their Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. This AACSB-accredited degree completion program offers 14 courses or 42 credit hours for only $167.25 per credit hour for Nebraska residents and $258.50 per credit hour for out-of-state online students. 125 credit hours are needed to graduate so you must complete the general studies and 200-level business courses independently.

UNK offers the same quality instruction from their on campus courses in their online programs. The majority of the online curriculum is taught by faculty with doctoral degrees.

UNK helps new students adapt to the online environment with an Online Student Orientation and a set of video tutorials. These tutorials are available on the UNK website. The tutorials are presented in streaming video and cover software such as Blackboard, Lotus Notes and Microsoft Word. Becoming skilled in these software programs is necessary for any student who wants to succeed in a UNK online degree program.

Bachelor of Business Administration – Management (UMassOnline)

Regional accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Programmatic accreditation: AACSB

If you’re looking for an online bachelor degree in management from a top ranked school, consider the online Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Management from the University of Massachusetts (UMass). UMass has consistently done well in U.S. News & World Report’s school rankings. In the 2010 issue, UMass was recognized as a tier one university. The school has a great reputation not only in the nation but across the world. According to Newsweek International, UMass ranks among the Top 100 Global Universities and in the top 20 among public universities in the United States.

The university’s online department, UMassOnline, offers a BBA management degree designed for working adults who have already completed sixty credits of college level work. This degree program is part-time so you can take your time to complete the degree and avoid the stress of rushing to finish. You will have many opportunities to take the required courses and an advisor will work with you on a Degree Completion Plan that takes into account your personal schedule. The average degree completion span is 2-4 years.

The online program is modeled after the successful on-campus program from UMass’ Isenberg School of Management. You will be taught the same curriculum as the on-campus students by the same Isenberg faculty and graduate students. Upon graduation, you will receive the same degree that on-campus students receive. The degree will not have an online distinction.

The courses cost $475 per credit, plus a $45 registration fee. Currently all business courses are 3 credits. This price is higher than average but it is competitive for an online degree from a prestigious school.

Bachelor of Business Administration – Organizational Management (Tiffin University)

Regional accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Programmatic accreditation: ACBSP

Tiffin University is one of the few American schools to receive business school accreditation from a recognized U.S. accreditor, ACBSP, and a highly regarded European accreditor, ECBE (European Council for Business Education). As such, you can expect a quality education from their business programs. Their Bachelor of Business Administration in Organization Management is designed to be completed by working professionals without missing a single day of work. If you have two or more years of prior college credit, you can complete the degree in less than two years.

In your last term, you will work on a major research project worth six credits. This course is designed to enhance your knowledge in a field related to your work or community. You will gain practical experience and develop research skills that managers need to make good decisions.

Although you will be earning the degree completely online, upon graduation you will be awarded the same degree as on-campus students. Your degree will not indicate that you attended the classes online.

To qualify for admission, you generally need at least two years of college and 5 years of professional work experience.

[Request information from Tiffin University about their organizational management program]

MBA (The University of Scranton)

Regional accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Programmatic accreditation: AACSB

“Don’t go to Harvard, but to the business school at The University of Scranton. That’s where they are changing lives.”

The late Peter F. Drucker
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 5, 2005

Find out why Peter F. Drucker, “The Father of Modern Management”, recommends The University of Scranton over Harvard by enrolling in their online MBA program. Scranton offers one of the best deals for an MBA accredited by AACSB. Scranton is a selective nationally ranked school yet the tuition is very affordable. The full degree program of 36 semester credit hours costs less than $30,000.

Scranton has been recognized as a top graduate school by U.S. News & World Report. The Princeton Review ranks Scranton’s business school, Kania School of Management, among the Best Business Schools in the United States. Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review published a national ranking of business schools based on a survey of 19,000 business students. They placed Scranton’s MBA program among the top 15 in the nation for general management. Joining Scranton in that elite group were institutions such as Harvard University and the University of Virginia.

Prerequisites for admission include having a regionally accredited bachelor degree, a letter or reference, and three years work experience.

MBA (Sacred Heart University)

Regional accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Programmatic accreditation: AACSB

Sacred Heart University’s John F. Welch College of Business is one of the most highly regarded business schools in the United States. Former General Electric CEO and Chairman Jack Welch is not only a donor but an active supporter of the College and its faculty. The Princeton Review included the school as an outstanding business school in the 2010 edition of “The Best 301 Business Schools”.

The Online MBA from Sacred Heart features an innovative integrated core curriculum taught in a “business process” approach to help you develop cross-functional skills. The faculty is experienced and knowledgeable. Many of them have had distinguished careers in the corporate world before transitioning into the education field.

In recognition of the commitment and rigor of Welch College, prospective students must have a record of academic achievement to qualify for acceptance. If you are accepted into the program, you will be interacting with some of the top business students in the world.

The program requires attendance to a residency mid-way through the program where students and faculty meet each other and build connections. This residency is scheduled to accommodate working adults with limited interruption to work schedules.

MBA (Quinnipiac University)

Regional accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Programmatic accreditation: AACSB

Quinnipiac University offers an online MBA program that is ideal for busy working professionals who want to study part-time and move forward in their careers. Quinnipiac also encourages applications from full-time students with limited work experience. The program has a tuition cost of $36,340, which is reasonable for an MBA accredited by AACSB.

As a student, you will take 34 credits of core classes and 12 credits of electives. You can choose to take electives from one discipline for greater depth of knowledge or spread the electives across different topics for a more diverse education. Electives are available in accounting, computer information systems, finance, health administration, international business, management, and marketing.

Quinnipiac is a top university with many awards from reputable sources. U.S. News & World Report gave the school tier one status and placed it in the top 10 of northern universities offering a full range of undergraduate and master-level programs. Quinnipiac was included in Fiske Guide to Colleges 2010, which features 330 of the nation’s best and most interesting schools. The Princeton Review included Quinnipiac’s School of Business in their 2010 edition of “The Best 301 Business Schools”.

Admission is competitive. To qualify, you must have a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution. The best candidates for acceptance have at least a GPA of 3.0 and a GMAT score of 500. Full-time, professional work experience is also considered in the admission process.

MBA (Arizona State University)

Regional accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Programmatic accreditation: AACSB

Want an online MBA from a well-regarded school? Arizona State University (ASU) offers an MBA degree program designed for working professionals who want to continue working full-time while attending online classes. ASU is a tier one school according to U.S. News & World Report and Forbes considers ASU among America’s best colleges.

The program is designed to be completed in two years and has a 95% on-time graduation rate. At the beginning of the program, you are required to attend a four-day orientation on campus. Though the rest of the program is completely online, ASU believes that earning the degree should also be a collaborative experience. In the orientation, you will build relationships with other students in preparation for the team projects in the curriculum. Also, you will meet the business faculty and support staff. The faculty will present course overviews and review policies such as deadlines, grading and contact methods unique to the virtual education environment. The support staff will help you become familiar with the technology used in the online classroom.

If you want to know the perspective of a current student, ASU has a group of students called Online MBA Ambassadors that can answer your questions. The Ambassadors represent a wide cross-section of individuals in terms of career function, industry, year in the program and geographic representation. You can contact any of them through ASU.

Program requirements include an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, at least 2 years of work experience, and a GMAT score.

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