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Best Affordable MBA Programs 2020

Compiled and Written By Staff
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2020

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects managerial occupations to experience a 7% growth in employment from 2018-2028. With more than 700,000 new jobs potentially available, individuals who seek to advance into leadership roles may consider pursuing an MBA. With a focus on business and management, MBA programs benefit professionals across industries. The degree advances knowledge and skills related to finance, accounting, and marketing, while also fostering leadership and managerial abilities.

MBA degrees vary in curricula, format, and affordability. Students interested in earning an MBA should investigate which programs best meet their personal and professional goals. Rankings such as those below provide insight into what individual programs have to offer.

Top Affordable MBA Programs and Schools

#1 Texas A&M University-Kingsville College of Business Administration – Kingsville, Texas

This online MBA consists of 21 core credits and nine elective credits. Students will take courses in economics and managerial decision making, information systems and business analytics, accounting and value creation, and marketing management. This is one of the cheapest online MBA programs. Each course is worth three credits. The courses in this program prepare students for advanced business positions. Graduates are prepared for managerial roles.they live this mission out by serving an ethnically and culturally diverse community and by placing an emphasis on challenging educational programs that reflect high standards of academic performance.
Estimated Program Tuition: $5,380

#2 Angelo State University College of Business – San Angelo, Texas

Angelo State offers one of the cheapest online MBA programs. Students can complete the program in a hybrid or completely online format. Most students must have at least a 2.5 GPA to apply. Learners will take courses in accounting, marketing, management, finance, economics, law, data analytics, and management information systems. Full-time students can complete the program in about two years. Angelo State is located in San Angelo, Texas. Graduates are prepared high-level business positions, and professionals will leave with the skills for possible promotion.
Estimated Program Tuition: $6,426

#3 Fayetteville State University College of Business and Economics – Fayetteville, North Carolina

Students who earn this MBA, which is considered one of the cheapest online MBAs, con choose between multiple concentrations. All kinds of students can apply to this program, including international and military learners. Concentration include general business, healthcare management, business intelligence and data analytics, international business, and marketing. MBA graduates can also earn a graduate certificate through the school. Some applicants may need to submit GMAT or GRE scores. Some students may apply for a waiver.
Estimated Program Tuition: $6,591

#4 Augusta University James M. Hull College of Business – Augusta, Georgia

MBA students at Augusta University must complete at least 30 credits to graduate, which takes one to two years. Part-time students may take longer to complete the program. Students have the option to complete this program on campus and through a hybrid format as well. Required courses include accounting systems, national and international economics, managerial finance, organization behavior, managerial leadership, and marketing management. The University is located in Augusta, Georgia. Graduates leave the program with critical-thinking skills that allows them to obtain advanced business positions.
Estimated Program Tuition: $6,660

#5 University of North Carolina at Pembroke School of Business – Pembroke, North Carolina

UNC – Pembroke offers multiple accelerated online MBAs, which are considered some of the cheapest online MBAs in the state. Learners can earn this MBA with a concentration in supply chain management, financial services, and business analytics. Students have the ability to complete this program in one year, and all requirements can be completed online. The general curriculum teaches students accounting and finance skills. Graduates are prepared for many business careers, and each concentration better prepares for more specialized ones.
Estimated Program Tuition: $6,741

#6 Tarleton State University College of Business Administration – Stephenville, Texas

Tarleton State is a member of the Texas A&M university system, and the school is located in Stephensville, Texas. Students in the MBA program, which is one of the cheapest online MBAs in Texas, learn leadership, decision-making, and critical-thinking skills. Learners will take courses in business problems, business research methods, accounting management, and managing information systems. A fast track option is available, which allows students to complete the program in one years; the traditional track takes about 18 months.
Estimated Program Tuition: $7,013

#7 Georgia Southwestern State University School of Business Administration – Americus, Georgia

As one of the cheapest online MBAs, students are able to save on tuition and still earn a quality education at Georgia Southwestern. Learners must earn a minimum of 30 semester credits. Admission requirements include taking courses in accounting, business statistics, business finance, and principles of management. Some applicants may need to submit GMAT scores. The university is located in Americus, Georgia.
Estimated Program Tuition: $7,710

#8 Louisiana Tech University College of Business – Ruston, Louisiana

Louisiana Tech's online MBA does not offer any concentration, but is still considered one of the cheapest online MBAs. Students can also take this program in a hybrid format. Online courses include accounting analysis for decision making, financial management, information resource management, marketing management, and organizational behavior. The school is located in Ruston, Louisiana. Students may be required to submit GMAT scores. Undergraduate applicants should have a GPA of at least 2.75
Estimated Program Tuition: $7,740

#9 West Texas A&M University College of Business – Canyon, Texas

West Texas A&M University offers an online MBA that requires applicants to have at least a 3.0 GPA. Depending on what emphasis students choose, they will have to earn between 31 and 46 credits to graduate. The core MBA courses consist of 28 credits. Core subjects include accounting, quantitative analysis, computer applications, and more. Core courses include accounting for decision making, quantitative analysis in business, information technology management, and financial management. Emphases include general business, computer information systems, management, and marketing.
Estimated Program Tuition: $7,742

#10 Henderson State University College of Business – Arkadelphia, Arkansas

The MBA program from Henderson State University is one of the cheapest online MBAs. Students must complete at least 32 credits to graduate. Three concentrations are offered; students can earn a general MBA, a concentration in accounting, and a concentration in public and nonprofit management. Most applicants are expected to have taken some courses in business. Full-time students can complete the program in about one year, but they will be required to complete some coursework on campus; 70% of the program is completely online.
Estimated Program Tuition: $8,070

#11 Eastern New Mexico University College of Business – Portales, New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University's online MBA is offered entirely online, and it's also considered one of the cheapest online MBAs. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Graduates are prepared to find work as entrepreneurs, operations managers, marketing managers, financial officers, and business operations specialists. Students will complete 11 core courses, which equates to 30 credits. Core courses include accounting, managerial research analysis, integrative strategic management, managerial economics, managerial finance, and leading human resources.
Estimated Program Tuition: $8,077

#12 Texas A&M International University A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business – Laredo, Texas

TAMIU offers multiple online MBA programs to online students. Students can earn an MBA in management, international banking and finance, international business, and international trade and logistics. Each program requires students to earn at least 30 credits and takes about 15 months for full-time learners to complete. As one of the cheapest online MBAs, TAMIU charges around $10,000 for each program if you're an in-state student. All programs are AACSB accredited. Most applicants will need a minimum GPA of 3.0. Core courses for the management concentration include business research methods, strategic management, financial statements analysis, managerial economics, and financial management.
Estimated Program Tuition: $8,220

#13 University of Texas of the Permian Basin College of Business – Odessa, Texas

UTPB's online MBA can be completed in about one year. Multiple concentrations are offered which require students to earn more credits, but the general MBA requires 30-36 credits. Emphases include finance and accounting. Applicants can get the GMAT requirement waived if they have at least a 3.25 GPA. The program is AACSB accredited. General MBA courses include accounting analysis, financial management, production and operation management, organizational behavior, and marketing management. Graduates are prepared for high-level business positions.
Estimated Program Tuition: $8,310

#14 Midwestern State University Dillard College of Business Administration – Wichita Falls, Texas

Midwestern State University, located in Wichita Falls, Texas, offers an online MBA. The program is AACSB accredited. Most courses are three credits. Online MBA courses consist of cost analysis and control, advanced applied business analytics, applied business statistics, and managerial economics. Graduates are prepared for many business positions; some will go on to start their own business, while others will become managers.
Estimated Program Tuition: $8,340

#15 Arkansas State University – Jonesboro, Arkansas

Arkansas State University's online MBA is perfect for working professionals or those with other responsibilities. Applicants will need to submit GMAT or GRE scores. Prerequisite courses include survey of accounting, survey of law, and survey of statistics. Students must complete at least 33 credits. This consists of 27 core hours and six hours of electives. Concentrations include supply chain management and finance.
Estimated Program Tuition: $8,520

#16 New Mexico State University College of Business – Las Cruces, New Mexico

New Mexico State University offers an online MBA that can be completed in about two years. Coursework is offered synchronously and through a hybrid format. Students must complete at least 36 credits. Applicants should have already completed some business courses. Learners will complete about 12 courses, which includes managerial accounting, business information systems, legal environment of business, management economics, and organization behavior and management. The program will accept up to nine credits from transfer students.
Estimated Program Tuition: $8,780

#17 Prairie View A&M University College of Business – Prairie View, Texas

PVAMU offers one of the cheapest online MBAs. The program teaches students many of the critical skills that are necessary to obtain high-level management positions. Graduates are also prepared to start their own business and become entrepreneurs. The program is AACSB accredited. Courses consist of managerial accounting, managerial communications, management information systems, theory of financial management, and quantitative analysis. Students can begin in the summer, fall, or spring.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,001

#18 Texas Woman's University School of Management – Denton, Texas

Texas Women's University offers five online MBAs through a hybrid format. Students can earn the degree with a concentration in accounting, business analytics, healthcare administration, human resources management, or management. The accounting concentration can be completed in 15 months. Courses are completed in five-week formats. Learners have the option of earning a four-plus-one MBA, which allows them to earn their BBA along with their MBA. Graduates are prepared to become financial managers, top executives, person financial advisers, and managements analysts. No GMAT or GRE scores are required for admission. Learners can begin in the fall, spring, or summer.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,344

#19 Missouri State University College of Business – Springfield, Missouri

Missouri State University's online MBA can be completed completely online. Tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state learners. Most students must submit GRE or GMAT scores. Students with a 3.25 GPA can get the GMAT and GRE scores waived. The curriculum contain 18 hours of core courses. This includes courses in accounting concepts, fundamentals of economics, managerial finance, statistical methods, and legal environment for business managers.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,405

#20 University of the Cumberlands Hutton School of Business – Williamsburg, Kentucky

University of the Cumberlands offers one of the cheapest online MBAs. Online MBA concentration include accounting, business analytics, project management, strategic management, and entrepreneurship. Each concentration requires learners to earn at least 36 credits. Graduates are prepared for careers as management analysts, plant managers, presidents, and construction managers. The program consists of core courses and business electives. Learners learn the skills that allow them to earn positions in higher levels of business.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,450

#21 University of Nebraska at Kearney College of Business and Technology – Kearney, Nebraska

UNK's online MBA is a mixture of online and on-campus courses. The program is AACSB accredited and consists of 33 credits. Core classes include managerial accounting systems, financial administration, leadership and organizational behavior, and strategic analysis and decision making. Most courses are worth three credits. Program concentration include accounting, human resources, human services/nonprofit management, and marketing.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,669

#22 University of Houston-Victoria School of Business Administration – Victoria, Texas

University of Houston offers four online MBA programs, which are considered some of the cheapest online MBA degrees. Offerings include a bridge global MBA, a global MBA, a bridge strategic MBA, and a strategic MBA. All programs can be completed completely online. Students must earn 36 to 39 credits, and boths programs can also be completed in about 18 months. Both programs are also AACSB accredited.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,686

#23 New Mexico Highlands University School of Business, Media and Technology – Las Vegas, New Mexico

New Mexico Highland University's online MBA program consists of 36 credits, and is also one of the cheapest online MBAs. Students who do not meet the prerequisite requirements must finish them before being accepted into the program. Graduates are prepared for positions of leadership. They are also prepared to work for nonprofits. Students will partake in case studies. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,721

#24 University of Central Arkansas College of Business – Conway, Arkansas

Applicants to the University of Central Arkansas' online MBA must submit GMAT or GRE scores and have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75. Learners must complete at least 30 credits to graduate, which consists of 21 credits of core courses and nine credits of electives. Courses include information technology manager, financial decision making, marketing strategy, strategic management, and operation management. Elective include fundamentals of risk and insurance, bank management, investments, international finance, and project management.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,750

#25 Southern Arkansas University David F. Rankin College of Business – Magnolia, Arkansas

Southern Arkansas University, which offers one of the cheapest online MBAs, offers an online MBA that requires students to earn 30 credits. Most students take about two years to complete the whole program. In-state students pay a lower tuition than out-of-state students. Learners will take courses in accounting, finance, management, and marketing. Graduates are effective communicators and prepared to lead businesses.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,960

What Can You Do with an MBA?

The knowledge and skills gained in an MBA program transcend industrial boundaries. MBAs explore fundamental business expertise, theories, and practice that benefit individuals in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, and government. Many MBA programs offer specializations focused on specific subsets of the field. Degree concentrations include supply chain management, entrepreneurship, sports management, and marketing.

Entry-level professionals can earn an MBA in order to advance within their current company or organization. Financial analysts, for example, earned an annual median salary exceeding $85,600 as of 2018, according to the BLS, while their managerial counterparts earned almost $128,000.

MBAs also provide opportunities for learners transitioning from one industry to another. Above-average growth rates in financial management, medical and health service management, and computer and information systems management bode well for students entering these professions.

MBA programs cultivate critical thinking and analytical skills. Learners develop the ability to work collectively while applying strategic and creative techniques for success. MBA students also sharpen their public speaking abilities, enhance their verbal communication techniques, and hone nonverbal communication skills. Additionally, MBA programs promote clarity and conciseness in written communication.

Learn More About MBA Programs

What Do the Best Affordable MBA Programs Have in Common?

MBA programs vary in specific courses, format, and cost, but their core objective remains relatively consistent. MBAs build expertise in business fundamentals while preparing learners to excel as leaders. Core courses in MBA programs emphasize topics such as finance, accounting, and human resource management. Students may concentrate their program in a specific field, such as healthcare, information technology, or supply chain management.

Traditional MBA degrees feature 30-45 credit hours of coursework. Full-time learners typically earn their degree in two years. Hybrid programs blend online coursework with face-to-face interactions, bringing students together on the weekends or at scheduled times throughout the year.

Ideal for working professionals who want to complete coursework while building personal networks, hybrid and online MBAs allow students to earn their degree while working full time. Some online programs also let students take classes on an accelerated schedule, which enables them to earn their MBA in 12-18 months. Part-time students can complete their degree in 3-5 years.

MBA programs create opportunities for learners to advance their professional credentials. Managerial coursework prepares students to complete certifications offered through organizations such as the Project Management Institute or the Society for Human Resource Management..

How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?

MBA programs include 30-45 credit hours. Full-time students typically complete coursework in two years, often completing a research thesis or comprehensive project in the process. Online MBA programs may include accelerated options for learners. By taking additional classes each semester or in eight-week sessions, students can earn their MBA in 12-18 months. Part-time students can take their courses at a slower pace, completing their degree in 3-5 years.

MBA learners may participate in an internship or practicum. They can often do so at their current place of work, blending education and practice. Many MBA programs require students to complete a final project, either independently or with a group. Programs with research components may result in a thesis, for which learners present findings based on data related to a concept or topic within a specific industry. Such experiences may lengthen time to completion, depending on learners' schedules.

Rankings Methodology

This ranking is designed to find the best and most affordable online Master's of Business Administration degrees available. A list of over 470 schools was obtained and evaluated first on their MBA program's distance format. Then each program was vetted based on their accreditation. Accreditation directly affects a degree's value and program brand recognition, and thus the competitive advantage of each alumni in the job market. Every program included in this ranking is regionally accredited by one of the six accrediting agencies recognized by the US Department of Education, and additionally holds an accreditation by one of the top three business school accrediting institutions: IACBE, ACBSP, and AACSB-International. Then the ranking order is 100% reliant upon the estimated tuition cost of the program. The tuition information was gathered from the most recent data available on each online MBA program or school website. This financial 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 only offer all-inclusive figures. In the event that a school offers a lower in-state tuition cost, the in-state pricing was used. The average tuition cost from this affordability ranking is $10,239.

Professional Organizations in Business Management and Administration

Professional organizations in business management and administration provide networking, educational, and information resources to students and practitioners alike. Business management and administration organizations offer advocacy opportunities, research updates, and information on trends in the field.

Groups that specialize in subsets of business — such as finance, accounting, and human resources — bring together like-minded individuals to collaborate and exchange ideas.

American Management Association

AMA offers training and certificate programs in management and supervision, project management, and communication. Resources include articles, webcasts, updates on trending topics, and an extensive online library. Members gain access to exclusive seminars, publications, and discounts on events.

American Finance Association

The AFA is an academic organization focused on the study and promotion of financial economics. It holds annual meetings and publishes a journal. Members benefit from additional resources such as a job board, financial directory, textbooks, and access to an ombudsperson.

American Accounting Association

As the largest group of accountants in academia, AAA strives to build on established practices and advance scholarship, education, and approaches to accounting. Member benefits include access to a digital library, a career center, and discounts on events and continuing education programs.

Society for Human Resource Management

SHRM focuses on fostering workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. More than 300,000 members in 165 countries worldwide enjoy access to an exclusive online community; templates and samples for common policies, forms, and presentations; and human resource advising. SHRM also provides educational resources, industry certifications, and events to bring together human resource students and practitioners.

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management

Dedicated to supporting healthcare administrators in matters such as reimbursement, admission and registration, and patient records, AAHAM provides scholarships, awards programs, and educational resources to its members. Additional member benefits include access to the AAHAM directory, publication subscriptions, and event discounts.

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