Top 10 Largest Online MBA Cohorts 2020 |

Top 10 Largest Online MBA Cohorts 2020

By Niamh O

Updated April 21, 2020 Updated April 21, 2020

The online MBA at Amity Directorate of Distance & Online Education (ADDOE), Amity University has the largest class size of all the online MBA programs featured in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2020, with 4392 students. 

Released today, the QS Online MBA Rankings 2020 assess the online MBA offerings of 47 business schools worldwide, demonstrating just how easy it is to earn your MBA remotely.

You can find out more about the methodology used to produce the rankings here.

                             QS Online MBA Rankings 2020: Largest Cohort


Business School

Number of Students


Amity Directorate of Distance & Online Education



The Open University Business School



Alliance Manchester Business School



Martin J. Whitman School of Management




Kelley School of Business



Warwick Business School



Jack Welch Management Institute



Colorado State University – College of Business



AGSM @ UNSW Business School



Bradford University School of Management


10) Bradford University School of Management

Bradford University School of Management

Bradford University School of Management’s Distance Learning MBA two-year program could be seen as a moderately sized online MBA program in the grand scheme of things.

Students will study at their own convenience through the business school’s Virtual Learning Environment, with live online tutor sessions to contextualize learning.

Assessment include: a 4,000-word core assignment, 2,000-word elective assignment, and 15,000-word Management Project.

Students on the program have an average of 13 years’ work experience, 76 percent of students are international, and 31 percent are female. Tuition is the same for all students at £18,296 (US$22,784), but some international students may need to pay extra fees.

9) AGSM @ UNSW Business School


Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the University of New South Wales Business School’s MBAX scored highly for employability and class experience.

AGSM’s program features a compulsory starter course, five core courses, five specialization courses, and a capstone course in: Change, Social Impact, Technology or Finance. Similarly, you could take international exchange opportunities at business schools including London Business SchoolYale School of Management and the NUS Business School.

The total estimated fees for the program (change/technology/finance track) are AUD$59,760 (approx. US$36,465), and AUD$56,340 (approx. US$34,381) for the social impact track. The cohort has an average of 13 years’ work experience and 37 percent female students.

8) Colorado State University College of Business

Colorado State University

CSU’s College of Business Online MBA is a 21-month, 42-credit program teaching major functional business areas, including accounting, finance, information systems, leadership and human resources, supply chain, strategy, and marketing. The program scored very highly for the Class Experience indicator.

You also can spend seven to 10 days on the optional international business study trip as an elective – meeting with business leaders, learning international business culture, and becoming acclimated to different environments.

Tuition for the program ranges from US$42,580 (full-time) or US$43,294 (part-time). Students on the program have an average of 10 years’ work experience, 42 percent are female, and the average length of program is 21 months.

7) Jack Welch Management Institute


The JWMI online MBA was founded by former GE CEO Jack Welch in 2009. The program scored close to a perfect score for the Class Profile indicator. Students will learn business lessons from Welch, as well as from CEOs of companies like Berkshire Hathaway and Starbucks.

Students can complete the program from 18-36 months, there are 12 classes (10 weeks per course), and you’ll only spend 10-15 hours per week per class. The JWMI emphasizes that you can ‘Learn it on Monday, apply it on Tuesday’.

Tuition fees are US$46,200 for the whole course, with funding assistance also available. Students in the cohort have an average of 15 years’ work experience – the second highest number in the global ranking – 14 percent of students are female, and 46 percent are female.

6) Warwick Business School

Warwick Business School

The online MBA at WBS – ranked third globally – achieved the second-highest score in the global ranking for the Class Profile indicator.

Warwick’s program takes an average of 30 months to complete. In your first year, you’ll undertake eight required modules and two ‘Warwick Weeks’ on campus. In your second year you’ll have four elective modules and a consultancy project. Per module, there are 30 teaching hours, 40 hours of guided self-study and 30 hours of independent study.

The cohort is diverse, with 79 percent international students (down from 92 percent) and 28 percent female students. Fees for the program are £33,250 (approx. US$41,210) and include one international elective module.

Pietro Micheli, Course Director for the Distance Learning MBA and Professor of Business Performance and Innovation said: “Our Distance Learning MBA has been running for 30 years, giving us great experience to perfect it.

“Our learning platform my.wbs is a bespoke design by our eSolutions team and provides a virtual classroom for our students where we run lectures, knowledge groups, online case studies and holds rich interactive learning resources. It is much more than using Zoom. While Zoom may help deliver content during the current pandemic, a blended programme needs much more thought, effort and investment.

“Our programme is not just an ‘online MBA’, but a blended distance learning MBA, that is: we believe that this programme is (and will be in the future) a mix of online and face-to-face content and interaction."

5) Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Indiana University Kelley Direct Programs

Offered by Kelley Direct Programs, Indiana University’s online MBA program – established in 1999 – was the first online MBA offering from a top school. The program achieved a perfect score for class experience and a high score for employability.

The program can be tailored to your professional goals, as 50 percent of the modules are electives plus you can choose from seven major specializations including Business Analytics, Marketing and Finance (amongst others), and a signature integrated core experience. There are weekly live classes and international immersive electives available.

Meet your classmates and professors at the Kelley Connect Weeks, two required one-week residencies in Bloomington, Indiana. The cohort has an average of 8.5 years’ work experience and 26 percent female students. The 24-month program has tuition fees of US$67,830.

4) Martin J. Whitman School of Management

Syracuse University

With 485 students in its cohort, Whitman’s online [email protected] program just missed out on the top 3 largest MBA cohorts. The program scored very highly for the Class Experience indicator.

Syracuse’s online MBA curriculum requires 54 credits (36 credits of core, 15 credits of electives, 3 credits of US and/or global residencies) to complete in as few as 24 months. Past residencies have been hosted in business hubs such as New York City, Denver, Hong Kong, and Munich.

A range of electives are available in areas that include project management, entrepreneurship, marketing research, and Lean Six Sigma.

Students in the cohort have an average of 11.3 years’ work experience, 40 percent female students, and participants complete the program in an average of 30 months. The estimated tuition is US$87,480.

3) Alliance Manchester Business School

Alliance Manchester Business School

AMBS’s Global MBA achieved a high score for the class profile indicator – and with 717 students it’s unsurprising.

The Manchester Global Part-time MBA degree combines core courses, electives and applied learning (including simulation projects and live business projects). The flexible program includes 30 days of teaching spread across six workshop residentials (including Dubai, Hong Kong, Manchester, São Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore).

The 24-month program (with start dates in July and January) has tuition fees of £30,000 (approx. US$37,293) or £27,500 for the accelerated Finance pathway (approx. US$34,177). The cohort is diverse, with 84 percent international students, 37 percent female students, and 12 years’ average work experience.

Xavier Duran, MBA Programs Director said: "The high rank in the class profile indicator reflects the very senior and diverse profile of the students that we attract and accept onto our Global MBA program.

"We have the advantage of having a network of international centres that allow us to recruit and support a highly global and diverse class. These centers are instrumental in closely managing both curricular and extracurricular student and alumni activity in different regions.

"Blended and online programs are very useful as a means of giving senior professionals the flexibility to complete MBAs without having to putting professional careers on hold. Social acceptance of these new delivery modes, coupled with technological improvements, have made blended and online delivery increasingly popular."

2) Open University Business School

Open University Business School

With distance learning at its ethos, it’s no wonder the Open University is one of the world’s most respected distance learning institutions, so it’s not surprising that their triple accredited flexible MBA attracts a lot of students – 1251 to be precise. The program scored very highly for the Class Profile and Class Experience indicators.

The program combines online forums and web discussion rooms with the all-important face to face component, with short residential schools and optional face to face workshops for most modules. Students can complete the MBA program in anything from 18 months to seven years.

Tuition ranges from £16,790–£18,420 (approx. US$20,862 to $22,886) depending on the route taken and if you’re from the UK, Republic of Ireland, EU, or international. Women make up 37 percent of the cohort, and international students make up 26 percent.

1) Amity Directorate of Distance & Online Education

Amity university

And we’ve reached our online program with the largest cohort in QS’ Global Full-Time online MBA Ranking 2020 - Amity Directorate of Distance & Online Education’s online MBA with 4,392 students. The program scored very highly for the Class Experience indicator.

The two-year Online MBA Program was introduced by Amity Online in 2005.

Amity’s Learning Management System (LMS) features learning materials and interactive content, live online classes, webinars, and video lectures on demand. The program offers 15 industry-oriented specializations which can be elected from the 3rd semester onwards.

Students complete the program in an average of 24 months (with start dates in January and July). Participants on the program have an average of five years’ work experience, 26 percent international students, and 43 percent female students. The total tuition US$3,200.

This article was originally published in April 2020 .

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Written by

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (;, creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  


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