N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Refinery Engineer
GMAT 700- will retake, GPA 3.87
Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Berkeley Haas | Ms. 10 Years Experience
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Singing Banking Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 110-point scale. Got 110/110 with honors
Yale | Ms. Social Impact AKS
GRE 315, GPA 7.56
Harvard | Mr. Political Consultant
GRE 337, GPA 3.85
Kellogg | Mr. Chief Product Officer
GMAT 740, GPA 77.53% (First Class with Distinction, Dean's List Candidate)
Said Business School | Mr. Across The Pond
GMAT 680, GPA 2.8
Wharton | Mr. Army & Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corp Finance
GMAT 740, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02

How Students Rate Their Online MBA Experience

What’s it really like to earn your MBA online? Do you sacrifice connection with classmates and faculty and have to settle only for the learning? After going through an online MBA program, how many graduates would actually recommend their experience to a friend or colleague? The median score is a 9.4 on a ten-point scale with ten reflecting the best possible answer.

Every year for the past four years, Poets&Quants has set out to get answers to these and many more questions from the newest crop of online MBA graduates for its annual ranking of the best online MBA programs. And each year, we are surprised at the high levels of satisfaction among graduates of programs that are largely delivered over the Internet. This year we surveyed 5,880 alums and received responses from 1,143 graduates for a solid response rate of 19.4%.

Sure, there are differences from one school’s program to another. And there are online MBA options that consistently get high grades from graduates from year to year. But overall, our student satisfaction surveys show that graduates of these online programs are a pretty happy bunch.

OVERALL, GRADUATES OF OUR RANKED ONLINE MBAS WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEIR PROGRAMS TO OTHERS

Consider the ultimate test: When we asked graduates if they would recommend their program to others, the median score for our ranked programs was a fairly hefty 9.4 on a ten-point scale, with ten reflecting the best possible score. Those high grades are a function of the resources many business schools have poured into their online courses, the enthusiasm with which faculty have embraced online teaching, and the advances in technology that make long distance learning far more engaging than ever.

For 2020, when many residential programs have been forced online due to the coronavirus pandemic, that’s as true as it has ever been. Of course, the courses in an online MBA program differ greatly from classes in a residential program that has been shifted to remote instruction. In an online MBA, the courses were rebuilt from scratch for a different format. The work by faculty that goes into translating classroom interactions online makes these courses far superior to the residential programs that are now delivered by Zoom.

Still, there are differences from one program to another, and our survey data clearly captures them. Our advice on how to read the data? Don’t get hung up on who is number one or number two on a survey question. Instead, realize that small differences in these scores are not statistically meaningful. Certainly, any program getting a 9.0 or above more than checks the box on the measurement.

THE CORE SURVEY QUESTIONS AND HOW ONLINE MBA GRADUATES RESPONDED

You’ll find that we attempt to measure what’s important and what you’re most likely to want to know. That’s because the survey questions were developed in cooperation with the business schools and with input from students. You’ll probably find yourself more interested in certain questions than others which is why we provide the guide below. It enables you to click on a question and go directly to the responses we received from the latest graduates of each of the ranked online MBA programs.

Would you recommend the business program to a colleague, friend, or relative?

How would you appraise the overall quality of your professors?

How accessible and responsive were your professors?

Rate your level of satisfaction with the live, or synchronous, online sessions

Rate your level of satisfaction with the “asynchronous” portion of the online MBA program

If you met for class in person or on trips, please rate your satisfaction with the in-person sessions of the program

How would you appraise the amount and the quality of teamwork in the program?

Rate your level of satisfaction with your ability to immediately apply what you learned in the program to your job

Rate your level of satisfaction with your ability to participate in and learn from doing presentations in the program

Rate your level of satisfaction with the flexibility provided by the program

Rate your level of satisfaction with the opportunities provided to create good connections with fellow students

Rate your level of satisfaction with the opportunities provided to create good connections with faculty

Rate your level of satisfaction with the student clubs and organizations

If you had a consulting project in your online MBA program, rate your satisfaction with the assignment

If your program had a global immersion, rate your satisfaction with the international experience

The 2021 Poets&Quants Online MBA Rankings Package

THE BEST ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS OF 2021

HOW ONLINE MBA STUDENTS RATE THEIR EXPERIENCE

HOW ONLINE MBAS RATE THE IMPACT OF THE DEGREE ON THEIR CAREERS

ACCEPTANCE RATES FOR THE TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS

AVERAGE GMAT, GRE & GPAS FOR THE 2021 TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS 

MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS OF 2021

VIDEO: DEANS’ PANEL — A CONVERSATION WITH LEADERS OF THE TOP ONLINE MBA OPTIONS

PODCAST: MBA ALTERNATIVES: A BUSINESS CASUAL CONVERSATION ON THE PROS AND CONS OF MBA ALTERNATIVES FROM ONLINE MBAS TO PART-TIME MBAS AND EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAMS 

THE METHODOLOGY BEHIND P&Q’S 2021 ONLINE MBA RANKING

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.