IE Tops QS Distance Online MBA Rankings 2018 |

IE Tops QS Distance Online MBA Rankings 2018

By Julia G

Updated June 27, 2018 Updated June 27, 2018

The online MBA program at Spain’s IE Business School has been ranked the best in the world in the QS Distance Online MBA Rankings 2018.

Released today, the QS Distance Online MBA Rankings assess the online MBA offerings of 50 business schools worldwide (we rank more global online MBA courses than any other leading ranking organisation). You can find out more about the methodology used to produce the rankings here.

The top 10 in the world can be seen below:

QS Distance Online MBA Rankings 2018





IE Business School



Indiana University (Kelley Direct Programs)

United States


Imperial College Business School

United Kingdom


Warwick Business School

United Kingdom


University of Florida (Warrington)

United States


Alliance Manchester Business School

United Kingdom


Oxford Brookes University

United Kingdom





George Washington University

United States


EuroMBA Consortium


 IE Business School’s online MBA program didn’t achieve a perfect score in any ranking indicators, however it did achieve the highest score in the world – a near perfect 99.6 percent – in the highest weighted indicator, employability. This is testament to how much the online MBA course at IE is trusted by employers worldwide.

IE’s program takes 18 months to complete, with a blended format of 80 percent online teaching and 20 percent face-to-face interaction. The course is divided into three core periods online, two face-to-face periods in Madrid, and one optional face-to-face international trip.  The fees for the 2018-19 academic year are €51,200 (approx. US$59,247).

The online MBA program at Indiana University (Kelley Direct Programs) is ranked second this year. One of the oldest online MBA programs on the market, Kelley’s degree was established in 1999. This goes some way to explaining their perfect score in the ‘establishment in online market’ indicator, which takes into account the establishment year of the program.

Kelley’s online MBA prides itself on the flexible nature of the program, allowing students to complete it in two years or up to four years (with 18 courses and 51 credit hours). The tuition is established per module. Kelley charges US$1,330 per course, with an additional US$100 recommended for course materials. Therefore, students can expect to pay around US$72,930 in total.

Ash Soni, executive associate dean of academic programs, and the SungKyunKwan professor of operations and decision technologies at Kelley emphasizes the value of student interaction on their online MBA program:

“Our Kelley Direct Program works hard to keep online students connected – virtually and in person – through team projects, immersive courses around the world, and in-residence weeks on campus.  This increased networking and interaction is critical to their development and for them to achieve their professional goals”

Imperial College Business School is ranked third globally. While the course didn’t achieve a perfect score in any indicator, it achieved the second highest score in the ranking for employability. The 24-month course costs £35,600 (approx. US$47,508).

Dr Paolo Taticchi, Programme Director of the Global Online MBA at Imperial, stresses the value of skills developed on an online MBA program to employers:

Globalized teamwork, leading in a virtual environment and exposure to disruptive technology are just some of the skills highly demanded by top companies around the world. MBA’s such as ours draw on the latest technology available, as well as faculty expertise, and offer this in an unprecedented quality.”

The online MBA rankings are dominated by schools from the United States and the United Kingdom, with nine UK-based schools in the top 50, and a staggering 29 US-based institutions. However, the UK slightly has the edge in the top 10, with four schools represented compared to the US’s three.


This article was originally published in June 2018 .

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Written by

Julia is a writer for, publishing articles for business students and graduates across the world. A native Londoner, she holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA in Classical Studies & English from Newcastle University.


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