Wharton | Ms. Project Mananger
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
NYU Stern | Mr. Washed-Up Athlete
GRE 325, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. NFL Team Analyst
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
London Business School | Mr. Consulting To IB
GMAT 700, GPA 2.4
Kellogg | Mr. Big Beer
GMAT Waived, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. Indian Quant
GMAT 750, GPA 7.54/10
Darden | Mr. Corporate Dev
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.8
Duke Fuqua | Mr. CPA To Finance
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10
Wharton | Ms. General Motors
GRE 330, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Venture Lawyer
GRE 330, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Digital Health
GMAT 720, GPA 3.48
Yale | Mr. Philanthropy Chair
GMAT Awaiting Scores (expect 700-720), GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
GMAT 725, GPA 3.5
Foster School of Business | Mr. Construction Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.77
Ross | Mr. Stockbroker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. Harvard Hopeful
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. LGBTQ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.58
Kellogg | Mr. Risky Business
GMAT 780, GPA 3.5
Kellogg | Mr. CPA To MBA
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.2
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Southern California
GMAT 710, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. World Explorer
GMAT 710 (aiming for 750), GPA 4.33/5
Ross | Mr. Brazilian Sales Guy
GRE 326, GPA 77/100 (USA Avg. 3.0)
Kellogg | Ms. MBA For Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Berkeley Haas | Mx. CPG Marketer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Mr. White Finance
GMAT Not Taken, GPA 3.97
Stanford GSB | Ms. Russland Native
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5

Look Who’s Getting Online MBA Degrees

Almost all the students in online MBA programs are employed, even if they may want to use their degrees to transition into something new. They have opted for online study because they didn’t want to quit their jobs and forgo salaries and benefits. And they certainly wanted to enhance their skill sets, put another desirable credential on their resumes, and join a network of like-minded, ambitious professionals.

All that is a given. There are many other attributes that may well surprise you about the people now attending online MBA programs. They are overwhelming male. They are mainly domestic, with very few international students in the U.S. online MBA offerings. Though most of the students tend to be in their early-to-mid 30s, a surprising number of online MBA candidates are in their 50s and several programs have 65-year-olds enrolled in their virtual classes.

In fact, age is relative when it comes to online MBA programs. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst currently has a 71-year-old studying for an online MBA, while the University of North Dakota has a 70-year-one in its virtual classes. At least five other schools, including Indiana Kelley, Maryland Smith, and Syracuse Whitman, all have people who at 65 would normally be contemplating retirement.

And who has the youngest students? At least three schools–Florida Hough, Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Michigan-Dearborn–have enrolled online MBA students who are just 21 years of age. The youngest average age in online classes? At just 28 years of age, the University of North Dakota takes the prize for the youngest students. Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Massachusetts tie for having the oldest average age: 39 years.


Not surprisingly, virtual classrooms tend to be populated by men, with several schools reporting that more than 70% of their enrolled students are male. In Mississippi State’s online MBA program, 80% of the students are men. Some 77% of the online MBA students at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School are male, while 75% of the students at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School are men.

Still, there are a handful of schools that buck the trend. Hofstra University has somehow managed to top all online MBA programs by enrolling so many women that they make up 57% of the school’s virtual MBA program. Women are also a majority in the virtual classrooms at Florida International (53%), Kennesaw State University in Georgia (53%), Drexel University in Philadelphia (56%), and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (51%).

If you want to go to an online MBA program, don’t expect much global diversity. Only one U.S. school claims that international students are in double-digits: The University of Massachusetts at Lowell reports that 55% of its online MBA students are international. Otherwise, Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School (9%), North Dakota (8%), Nebraska at Lincoln (7%), are on the high end of having the most international students in their online programs.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.