In this article, we profile the 20 most affordable small private colleges for online master’s in business administration (online MBA) programs in 2017.

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, wage premiums coincide with education. This is especially true for business occupations. But work experience is also valuable to employers. Individuals do not want to give up current jobs to go back to school and earn a master’s degree. To accommodate the balance between work and school, online MBA programs have become the norm. Now, even small private institutions offer online MBA degrees. The benefits of attending a small private college include close-knit relationships with peers or professors and small class sizes.

Ranking the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Business Administration Degree Programs

We looked at 131 private non-profit and private for-profit colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator with an undergraduate student enrollment size of less than 1,000. We then selected schools with a graduate tuition of under $20,000 per year. We confirmed accreditation and listed the top 20 schools in order of affordability. The #1 school offers the most affordable program.

Below are the resulting selections for our 20 most affordable small private colleges for online MBA programs in 2017.

#20 – Northcentral University

Online Master of Business Administration

San Diego, California

Website

Northcentral University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

No GRE or GMAT requirement for the online MBA at Northcentral University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,781

Northcentral University’s online MBA programs feature a mentoring approach to learning and individualized interaction with experienced and 100% doctoral faculty members. The online MBA has no GMAT or GRE requirement, which means admission may be obtained without entrance exams. The program offers 21 professionally relevant specializations, including computer and information security, health care administration, management, marketing, public administration, and strategic management, to name a few. Also, the program is ACBSP-accredited, which is a prestigious governing body recognized by employers. Northcentral has earned recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university.

#19 – Golden Gate University

Online Master of Business Administration

San Francisco, California

Website

Golden Gate University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Golden Gate University’s online MBA program offers several concentration areas.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,635

Golden Gate University’s MBA online program is designed to prepare students to effectively lead in today’s complex business environment. Several concentrations are offered and allow students to tailor their MBA program to fit individual needs and interests. These concentrations include accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, global supply chain management, human resource management, information technology management, international business, management, marketing, project management, and public administration. All courses are delivered online and taught by university professors. Golden Gate is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West, and several of its graduate programs have also earned recognition.

#18 – New England College of Business and Finance

Online Master of Business Administration

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

New England College of Business - Online Master’s in Business Administration

New England College of Business offers an online MBA designed for working students.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,580

New England College of Business and Finance earns a spot on our list of most affordable online MBA programs. This accredited and affordable degree offers customizable concentrations that allow students to choose areas of interest that may benefit their future career path. MBA concentrations include business ethics, finance, global finance trading, healthcare, and human resources. Some of the core business courses offered include applied quantitative methods for business, legal issues in business, operations management, and strategic human resource management. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with a 2.70 GPA or higher. GRE or GMAT scores are not required. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school’s online MBA programs #124 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed.

#17 – Marylhurst University

Online Master’s in Business Administration

Marylhurst, Oregon

Website

Marylhurst University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Finish in just 18 months! Marylhurst University’s online MBA moves at an accelerated pace.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,681

Marylhurst University offers an IACBE-accredited online master’s in business administration degree that may be completed in just 18 months. Courses are delivered entirely online and allow students to take classes without having to visit the campus. Several focus areas are also offered so that students may tailor their degree toward areas of interest or career goals. Concentrations include financial planning, general business, health care management, and real estate. Classes are taught by qualified professors and include business law for managers, financial management, managerial accounting, managerial economics, and statistics for managers. Marylhurst is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West.

#16 – Bryan University

Online MBA

Springfield, Missouri

Website

Bryan University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Bryan University’s online MBA program takes 18 months to complete!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,420

The master of business administration online program at Bryan University offers an accelerated format that allows students to complete the graduate degree in just 18 months. The program has received regional and IACBE accreditations, and all courses are taught by qualified faculty. Specializations allow students to tailor their degree toward career goals and interests in areas like healthcare administration, human resources, marketing, ministry, and sports management. Classes meet online and run 12 weeks in length. These classes include ethical issues in business, legal framework of decisions, managerial economics, quantitative methods for business, and strategic marketing. A total of 36 credit hours are required to graduate.

#15 – University of the Southwest

Online MBA

Hobbs, New Mexico

Website

University of the Southwest - Online Master’s in Business Administration

The online MBA at University of the Southwest is a 12-month program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,376

University of the Southwest’s online master’s in business administration is a fully accredited degree that does not require a bachelor’s in business to be accepted into the program. Students work at their own pace and may complete the master’s degree in just 12 months. The program is customizable with optional specializations so that students may tailor their degree toward personal interests and career goals. Some of the specializations include accounting, healthcare administration, marketing, sports management, and strategic marketing. Both classes and textbooks are digital so students do not have to spend additional money on books. University of the Southwest is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West.

#14 – Johnson and Wales University

Online Master of Business Administration

Providence, Rhode Island

Website

Johnson and Wales University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Johnson and Wales University has an online MBA that can be completed in 18 months.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,498

One of the most affordable online MBA programs on our list from small private colleges is the online MBA from Johnson and Wales University. In just 18 months, students may complete the degree by taking online courses that run 11 weeks in length. Courses are delivered entirely online and include business information and decision making, ethics – corporate responsibility and the law, financial management, and global economic environments. Admission to the program requires a 2.85 or higher. With this GPA, students are not required to take the GMAT. Johnson & Wales is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 67th best regional university in the North. Also, the online MBA programs are ranked #168 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#13 – Thomas University

Online Master’s in Business Administration

Thomasville, Georgia

Website

Thomas University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Thomas University’s online MBA is IACBE-accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,490

Thomas University’s masters of business administration online program is fully accredited by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and is open to students of all undergraduate degrees. The program is designed to be completed in two years of online study with courses taught by experienced professors. Courses include accounting and decision making, applied economics, business strategy and policy, financial management, marketing management, and organizational behavior. An optional specialization is offered to those students interested in focusing their studies on accounting or those who plan to pursue a certificate or license as an accountant. Thomas University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the South.

#12 – Rosemont College

Online Master of Business Administration

Rosemont, Pennsylvania

Website

Rosemont College - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Rosemont College’s online MBA is a flexible program for working students.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,240

Rosemont College’s online master’s in business administration is a flexible distance-learning program designed for busy and working students who want to earn a graduate degree in business entirely online. Courses are taught by experienced Rosemont College professors and explore topics like competing in a global market, decision making methods, financial principles and policies, managerial accounting, marketing theory and data analysis, and markets and globalization. A three-credit thesis is also required to satisfy degree requirements. Rosemont is accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 137th best regional university in the North.

#11 – Herzing University

Online MBA

Winter Park, Florida

Website

Herzing University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Herzing’s online MBA is a work-at-your-own pace program that can be completed in 14 months!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,390

The MBA online program at Herzing University is an IACBE-accredited degree that can be completed in just 14 months when enrolled full-time. Students may work at their own pace and have the freedom of enrolling on a full-time or part-time basis. A business management concentration is also offered so that students who plan to pursue management roles can take additional classes and earn a specialization. Required coursework includes business integration and strategic planning, finance and accounting for decision-making, leadership and organizational behavior, marketing and new product development, and project and operations management. Herzing is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest. Also, the online MBA programs are ranked #134 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#10 – Indiana Wesleyan University

Online Master of Business Administration

Marion, Indiana

Website

Indiana Wesleyan University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Indiana Wesleyan University’s online MBA is ranked and accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,937

One of the cheapest online MBA programs on our list is the fully accredited MBA degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. Classes meet one night per week or online, and the program is designed to complete in just 18 to 26 months. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s or master’s from an accredited college or university and verified transcripts. An undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or better is necessary to be admitted without entering the program on a probationary basis. All courses are delivered online and include applied management theory, decision-making and essential business communication, global management, leadership and organizational change, marketing management, and statistics for business decision-making. Indiana Wesleyan is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 27th best regional university in the Midwest.

#9 – University of Saint Mary

Online MBA

Leavenworth, Kansas

Website

University of Saint Mary - Online Master’s in Business Administration

University of Saint Mary offers an IACBE-accredited online MBA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,764

One of the most affordable online MBA programs from a private college on our list is the online master’s in business administration from University of Saint Mary. This completely online program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and provides six concentrations so that students may tailor their degree toward career goals and interests. These concentrations include finance, general management, health care management, human resource management, leadership and organizational health, and marketing and advertising management. Aside from completing the required coursework, a comprehensive final assessment is necessary to finish the program. Students should expect to spend about 15 hours each week on coursework. University of Saint Mary is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a best regional university in the Midwest, and its online MBA programs have earned recognition among the top MBA programs in the country.

#8 – Concordia University

Online Master of Business Administration

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Website

Concordia University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Concordia University’s online MBA does not require a thesis to graduate.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,200

Concordia University offers one of the cheapest online MBA programs on our list. The program is designed for busy and working professionals who want to complete their degree by taking online classes. Students may choose from 15 concentrations designed to fit career goals and interests. Some of the concentrations include accounting, finance, health care administration, public administration, risk assessment and management, strategic marketing, or sustainability management and analytics. Entrance requirements include a bachelor’s from an accredited college or university and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. No GMAT or thesis is required. Concordia is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university.

#7 – Union College

Online MBA

Barbourville, Kentucky

Website

Union College - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Union College’s online MBA takes 24 months to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,650

Union College’s online master’s in business administration degree program is an accelerated degree designed for busy and working individuals. The program can be completed in just 24 months. Classes are delivered online and taught by Union College professors. These courses include business ethics and social responsibility, contemporary economic issues, legal environment of business, management information systems, managerial and leadership analysis, marketing for results, and strategic decisions. Admission to the program does not require graduate exams, but two letters of recommendation are needed. Union is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the South.

#6 – Crown College

Online Master of Business Administration

Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota

Website

Crown College - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Crown College’s online MBA is great for working students.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,160

Crown College offers an accredited MBA online program designed to prepare individuals for leadership and management roles in all areas of business. The general MBA requires courses in business law and ethics, financial management, international finance, marketing management, and operations management. There is also a non-profit management concentration for those interested in pursuing careers in non-profit agencies. Courses for this highly specialized area include fundraising and philanthropy, leadership and management for nonprofits, and non-profit law. Crown College is a small private Christian institution that has earned rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school #48 among the best regional colleges in the Midwest.

#5 – Johnson University

Online Master of Business Administration

Knoxville, Tennessee

Website

Johnson University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Johnson University’s online MBA takes 18-24 months to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,400

One of the cheapest online MBA programs on our list is the online master’s in business administration at Johnson University. This online program offers three concentrations – business administration, leadership, or nonprofit management – each of which is designed to provide knowledge in specialized areas of business. Students tailor their degree toward areas of interest or career goals by taking courses in one of the three concentration areas. The online MBA can be completed in 18-24 months or longer, depending on student pace. Admission to the program requires three letters of reference, a two-page admission essay, official transcripts, and a government issued photo ID. Johnson University is ranked and accredited. In fact, U.S. News and World Report has recognized the institution.

#4 – Aspen University

Online Master in Business Administration

Denver, Colorado

Website

Aspen University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Aspen University’s online MBA offers finance and management specializations.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,125

Aspen University’s masters of business administration online degree program is designed for adult learners who want to build solid career foundations in business. All classes are delivered online and include business ethics, business finance and organizational behavior, and business law. Three areas of specialization are offered so that students may focus their degree toward areas that match their career goals or personal interests. These specializations include finance, information management, and project management. Admission to the online MBA includes an earned bachelors’ degree from an accredited institution and official transcripts, as well as a completed application. Aspen is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report, and all programs, including the MBA, are accredited.

#3 – Midway University

Online MBA

Midway, Kentucky

Website

Midway University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

15 months! Midway University’s online MBA program operates at an accelerated pace.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,702

One of the cheapest online MBA programs on our list is the accelerated MBA from Midway University. This program is designed to prepare busy professionals with advanced business skills necessary to establish leadership roles in rapidly changing business environments. The general MBA can be completed in just 15 months with 30 credit hours required. Several specialization options are also available which, if chosen, may extend the completion time by three additional months. Some of the specializations offered include equine studies, health care administration, and tourism and event management. Classes are delivered online and include business law, leadership and effective decision-making, operations management, and strategic management. Midway is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 69th best regional university in the South.

#2 – Amberton University

Online Master of Business Administration

Garland, Texas

Website

Amberton University - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Amberton University’s online MBA program is accredited and affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,000

Amberton University offers one of our top MBA online programs from a small private college. This degree is offered both in the classroom or through distance learning modes. Classes include accounting and finance for managers, ethics for decision making, management processes and information systems, market structure and competitive analysis, and theory and application of research methods. Several specializations are offered in conjunction with graduate degrees at Amberton, and this includes the MBA. Some of the specializations include change management, executive leadership, and project management. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required to graduate. Amberton is ranked with U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West.

#1 – Tabor College

Online Master of Business Administration

Hillsboro, Kansas

Website

Tabor College - Online Master’s in Business Administration

Tabor College’s online MBA is our #1 most affordable program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,858 (information provided by the College)

Tabor College is our top pick for affordable online MBA programs from small private colleges. The masters of business administration online degree is designed for working business professionals who want the flexibility that an online program offers. The degree is available entirely online and requires a total of 36 credits. Each course moves at a quick pace and is completed in just eight weeks. Two emphasis areas allow students to tailor their degree to meet career goals. These emphases include leadership and sales management. The entire program can be completed in under 24 months. Tabor is a small Christian liberal arts college that is both accredited and ranked with major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #41 among top regional colleges in the Midwest. The online MBA programs have also earned recognition.

BMD Staff
August 2017

This concludes our list of the 20 most affordable small private colleges for online MBA programs in 2017.