Top US Online MBA Programs 2019

Top US Online MBA Programs 2019 main image

The online MBA program at USC’s Marshall School of Business is the best in the US, according to the QS Online MBA Rankings 2019.

Released today, the QS Online MBA Rankings assess the online MBA offerings of 40 business schools worldwide, demonstrating just how easy it is to earn your MBA away from the classroom.

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

QS Online MBA Rankings 2019: Top US Programs

US Rank

Global Rank

Business School



Marshall School of Business




















10) Michael J. Coles College of Business

Kennesaw State (Coles)

Kicking off our top 10 best online MBA programs in the US is the WebMBA program at the Michael J. Coles College of Business. It earned high scores this year for its class profile and class experience.

After a mandatory on-site two-day orientation, all activities are exclusively online. For five consecutive terms, students take two courses each in a lock-step schedule, meaning students graduate in about 20 months. Intakes are in January and August.

There are 33 students on the program with an average of nearly nine years’ work experience. Close to half of all students are female, while just one percent are international. This is one of the cheaper top online MBA programs with tuition fees totalling just US$24,370.

9) Martin J. Whitman School of Management

Martin J. Whitman School of Management by Aspears89 via Wikimedia Commons

Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s online MBA scored a perfect 100 for class experience in this year’s ranking.

Whitman’s program – with intakes in January, March, June, September – has the largest class size in the top 10 with 485 students. 30 percent of the class are female students but only one percent are international students. The cohort averages over 11 years’ work experience, and the typical student completes the program in 30 months.

During the program, [email protected] students attend three in-person residencies held in major US and international cities as well as the Syracuse University campus. These feature workshops, panels with prominent business leaders, and explorations of the host city.

Tuition costs US$84,186, with graduates enjoying an average post-program salary of US$102,403.

8) Jenkins Graduate School of Management

The Jenkins Graduate School of Management’s online MBA program is usually completed in an average of 26 months.

There are 103 students in this year’s cohort, averaging a little over nine years’ work experience. Over a third of students are female, while just two percent are classified as international. Tuition totals US$44,955.

There are two three-day required residencies on NC State’s main campus in Raleigh, NC. Online courses are taught through podcasts, video and online presentations, and students work with virtual teams for discussions and group projects.

7) George Washington University School of Business

George Washington University

George Washington University’s online MBA program has a cohort of 153 people this year, only three percent of whom are international students. However, almost half the cohort is female (48 percent) which is encouraging. The average student enters the program with seven years’ work experience.

The average program length is 42 months – but it can be completed in three years. Whatever your length of study, tuition will cost US$101,288.

The program incorporates videos, video cases, podcasts, animations, and other pre-recorded content in addition to traditional reading assignments. 

Per course, students will participate in a one-hour (per week) guided live classroom session, consisting of lectures, case discussions, and/or group activities. These are offered during evenings and weekends. 

6) Colorado State University

Colorado State University

CSU’s College of Business Online MBA is a 42-credit (36 core, six elective) program that scored highly this year for our employability indicator.

With intakes in August, October, January, March, and May, students can take from 21 months (five semesters) to five years to complete the course, but most students average 33 months.

There is the option to spend seven to 10 days on an international business study trip as an elective – meeting with business leaders and learning international business culture.

Female students make up close to half of the cohort with 43 percent, while only one percent of students are international. The current cohort of 324 averages 11 years’ work experience.

Tuition costs US$41,559.

5) Kogod Business School

Kogod Business School

Soaring up the ranks from 27th to 12th overall in this year’s ranking, the [email protected] at American University’s Kogod Business School scored highly for class profile and earned a perfect score for class experience

Most students at Kogod complete the program in 24 months, but it can also be completed on a 12-month, 15-month, or 18-month track.

There are 12 core courses, three elective courses, and two in-person immersions. Students need to complete 48 credits.

There are 136 students in this year’s cohort, with a typical student entering the program with six years’ work experience. 48 percent of students are female, and one percent are international. Tuition totals US$81,984.

4) Frank G. Zarb School of Business

Frank G. Zarb School of Business

Frank G. Zarb School of Business’s online MBA scored highly for faculty and teaching and earned a perfect score for class experience.

The online MBA program is a 45-credit MBA which features a curriculum divided into three broad areas: core competencies, advanced core and major concentration. If students adopt the non-cohort option, they have a maximum of five years to complete the program, but the average program length is 20 months.

Zarb’s 27 student-strong cohort have an average of 13 years’ work experience, with 48 percent of the class identifying as female. Tuition will set you back US$63,875, but graduates earn an average salary of US$149,794 post-program.

3) Hough Graduate School of Business

Florida (Warrington)

Third in our list of the top online MBA programs is Hough Graduate School of Business, which is part of the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida.

Students at Hough are able to watch a bank of lectures online and can expect an estimated 15 hours of work per week through individual assignments, group projects and readings.

There are 191 students on this year’s program, and the cohort has an average of seven years’ work experience. 34 percent are female students and two percent are international students.

The program – with intakes in January, May, and August – costs US$58,000 in tuition, but graduates are said to earn an average post-program salary of US$96,288.

2) Kelley School of Business

Kelley School of Business

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business offers the Kelley Direct Online MBA, the second-best online MBA program in the US this year, thanks to very high scores for employability and its class experience.

Students at Kelley can connect with professors in weekly live chats, and also work on consulting projects for clients in emerging markets in countries like Cuba, Greece, and Thailand.

This year’s cohort features a class of 388 students, who have an average of over seven years’ work experience. Just over a quarter of the cohort are female, while it’s one of the more internationally diverse US online MBA programs (11 percent of students aren’t US nationals).

The ROI on this program is noteworthy as although tuition costs US$67,830, graduates earn an average post-program salary of US$122,337. The program typically lasts 24 months.

1) Marshall School of Business

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business is where you’ll find the best online MBA program in the US this year. The school achieved very high scores for employability and class experience in our ranking, as well as its faculty and teaching.

Women make up 32 percent of the 91-strong cohort, while international students make up three percent. Students have an average of 11 years’ work experience and complete the course in an average of 21 months. Tuition costs US$99,419.

The program features a one-week on-campus residency, video content produced at the USC Marshall in-house studio, and weekly, live class sessions conducted via webcam.

Niamh Ollerton, Deputy Head of Content at QS
Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), 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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