Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Military Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Mr. Real Estate Investor
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Wharton | Mr. New England Hopeful
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. BB Trading M/O To Hedge Fund
GMAT 710, GPA 3.23
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Harvard | Mr. Army Intelligence Officer
GRE 334, GPA 3.97
Harvard | Ms. Data Analyst In Logistics
GRE 325, GPA 4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Comeback Story
GRE 313, GPA 2.9
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Green Financing
GRE 325, GPA 3.82
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Mr. Marine Combat Arms Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3

These Are The Top Ten Online MBA Programs

Kelley School of Business Kelley Business School at Indiana University/Photo by Josh Anderson

Earning an MBA from your laptop has become increasingly popular. Online programs tend to be less expensive than their residential counterparts and students don’t have to quit their jobs to get an MBA. What’s more, students can generally set the pace for their degree, easing up on the demands of their education when personal or work demands increase.IS

According to the fourth annual ranking of the best online MBA programs by PoetsandQuants.com, the top ten options offer a wide variety of viable alternatives available to prospective students at virtually every price point from a low of $35,375 to the most expensive at $141,320 from big brand business schools to lesser-known players.

At the very top of this year’s list is the online MBA program at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. The first top-tier school to launch an online MBA program 21 years ago, Kelley has been knocking on the first-place door in each of the three previous rankings. The school’s Kelley Direct MBA program has ranked second twice and third once behind Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. It is also the most affordably priced of the winners at $74,520, some $37,000 less than the online MBA at USC, and about $67,000 under the hybrid online MBA at Carnegie Mellon.

THE LEAST EXPENSIVE TOP TEN PROGRAM? AUBURN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE OPTION

Rounding out the top five were No. 2 Carnegie Mellon, No. 3 USC Marshall, No. 4 George Washington University, and No. 5 University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. The least expensive Top Ten program, with a price tag of $35,375, is from Auburn University, while the most expensive is Carnegie Mellon’s online MBA at $141,320. The Tepper program, however, offers the most in-person class sessions of any of the top online options.

Compiled from surveys completed by school administrators and more than 1,143 alumni of the programs, the ranking is based on three equally weighted factors: the quality of incoming students, an assessment of the MBA experience by graduates and career outcomes of alumni (see ranking methodology). Each category is weighted by 100 points, with a raw score of 300 points being the highest a school can earn. Kelley compiled a score of 282, which was 13 points higher than the school ranked second, Carnegie Mellon, giving Kelley a decisive top ranking over all other schools.

Kelley leaped to the top by finishing first in academic experience with a perfect score of 100 thanks to high grades achieved by its faculty, the overall strength of its curriculum and breadth of course offerings as well as the school’s co-curricular programming. Kelley also ranked third in the quality of its incoming students and tenth in career outcomes.

THE RANKED SCHOOLS REPRESENT THE TOP 15% OF THE MORE THAN 350 ONLINE MBAS

Among other things, Kelley Direct Online MBA students regularly interact with faculty, both in and out of the classroom. Alumni assessments of the faculty put Kelley professors in the top ten for overall quality as well as for their accessibility and responsiveness to students. Every Kelley student, who typically takes two years to complete an online MBA, is assigned both an academic coach and a career coach.

All told, PoetsandQuants.com ranks 47 online MBA programs that represent the top 15% of the more than 350 online MBA options in the world. Here’s this year’s top ten:

1 Indiana University (Kelley), $74,520

2 Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper), $141,320

3 University of Southern California (Marshall), $111,663

4 George Washington University, $100,883

5 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler), $125,589

6 Lehigh University, $41,595

7 Villanova University, $66,000

8 Auburn University (Harbert), $35,375

9 University of Washington (Foster), $78,000

10 Santa Clara University (Leavey), $83,510

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 

AVERAGE WORK EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AT THE TOP 2021 ONLINE MBA OPTIONS

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