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Online Colleges for Business Administration

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A bachelor's in business administration is the most popular undergraduate degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The reason why is no mystery. Students learn business strategy, finance, operations management, statistics and accounting. These are all key skills for employers.

However, the field of business administration is wide. It contains many concentrations and degree types. Particularly for students looking for an online degree in business administration, it is important to understand the options available.

The information that follows is aimed to help students find an online business administration program that is right for them. This includes a ranking of the best online colleges for business administration. Following the rankings, an interview with a business department director provides students with advice about studying online. Additional helpful information includes a description of the varying degree types, a list of schools that ranked high in key areas and career options for those with a degree in business administration.

Best Online Colleges for Business Administration

With so many schools that offer online business administration degrees, it can be difficult for students to know which one to choose. It’s important that prospective business students consider how a program will provide the education they need to meet their career goals. In order to help with this decision, we have compiled a list of the five top online business administration schools based on a methodology that considers different program criteria. The following are the schools that made the cut.

1

Trident University International

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$7,050
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
24
Accredited
School Type
4-year
Trident University International is based in Cypress, California, which is part of Orange County. The school offers business administration degree program on the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

One of these programs is the Bachelor of Science in Leadership. It is a case-based program that allows students to see how the concepts they learn in class are applied to the real world. Students in this program can choose to concentrate in different areas. For example, they can concentrate in criminal justice administration, where they learn criminal justice systems and procedures, as well as leadership research methods. The program also has an interdisciplinary studies concentration. This focuses on different approaches to leadership, business communication, problem solving and decision making.

Business administration degree programs are offered through the school’s Glenn R. Jones College of Business. Of the 261 schools that we looked at, Trident placed sixth for prominence. This means the school awards a high number of business administration diplomas compared to the diplomas awarded for the other majors.

Accreditation:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Location:

5757 Plaza Drive, Suite 100
Cypress, California 90630
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2

Fort Hays State University

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,272
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
38
Accredited
School Type
4-year

Fort Hays State University ranked No. 2 out of 261 schools partly because of their affordable tuition. In fact, the school placed 6th for their cost of tuition. The university also ranked in the top fourth for accessibility and prominence.

The online MBA program at Fort Hays State University offers flexibility to working students who want to further their career. In addition to the flexible online format, students have the option to attend school full-time or part-time. The MBA program also offers numerous business concentrations, including finance, healthcare management, human resource management, international business and marketing.

Accreditation:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Location:

600 Park Street  
Hays, Kansas 67601
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3

Indiana Wesleyan University

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$16,981
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
70
Accredited
School Type
4-year
The DeVoe School of Business at Indiana Wesleyan University offers online business administration programs from the associate to the doctoral level. Marketing analytics is one program available to undergraduates. It is designed to teach principles like ethical marketing and international marketing practices, while giving students an in-depth look at marketing analysis. Students in this program learn marketing concepts and sharpen their critical thinking skills.

On the graduate level, those who want to obtain management positions in the nonprofit or criminal justice fields can enroll in DeVoe’s online master’s degree program in public management. This program teaches leadership skills and theories from a social responsibility perspective.

Indiana Wesleyan University ranked 25th for accessibility and 28th for graduation rate out of 261 schools.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Location:

4201 S. Washington St.
Marion, Indiana 46953
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4

Herzing University-Kenner

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$13,690
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
26
Accredited
School Type
4-year
Herzing University-Kenner provides diverse online education options. Their online programs aim to prepare students for jobs in several growing sectors, such as healthcare and technology. The university has an MBA program that is conducted completely online. The MBA program has several available concentrations, including business management, healthcare management, technology management, and human resources. Students in the MBA program learn how to apply the foundations of leadership to their desired career field.

Herzing University-Kenner earned first place for accessibility. This is because the school has a 100 percent admissions rate.

Accreditation:

  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

2500 Williams Blvd.
Kenner, Louisiana 70062
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5

Davenport University

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$13,113
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
50
Accredited
School Type
4-year
Students who earn a master’s degree in business administration from Davenport University can choose between a competency-based program and a course-based program. The course-based program is designed for students who do not have a previous background in business. Students in the competency-based program are given assessments to determine how their knowledge and skills relate to specific coursework in the department. As a result, this MBA program allows students to earn credits for prior knowledge and take the classes that are most applicable to them.

Davenport University is located in Grand Rapids, which is one of the largest cities in Michigan. The university placed 36th for accessibility and 52nd for prominence out of 261 schools.

Accreditation:

  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

6191 Kraft Ave SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512
Go to School Website 
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Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Want to see additional online colleges for business administration?
Search our school directory to find the right program for you.

Interview with an Expert
Students are assigned a dedicated student success adviser ... 
These advisers stay with the students for the duration of their program.

Dr. Debra Louis

Program Director at the Glenn R. Jones College of Business

Trident University International

Interview with an Expert
Deborah Louis

Dr. Debra Louis

Program Director at the Glenn R. Jones College of Business

Trident University International

Q: What are the qualities that make Trident University's online business administration major an outstanding program?

A: Over 80 percent of the faculty in Trident's Glenn R. Jones College of Business have a Ph.D. or terminal degree, and most also have professional experience in their fields. Students are taught directly by faculty in small class sections (25 or fewer) -- not teaching assistants (TAs) or graders. Our pedagogy rests on written case analysis and applied projects rather than exams or tests. This requires the student to engage in direct learning through problem solving, critical thinking, and analysis. Students sharpen the writing and research skills highly valued by employers.

Q: What support does Trident University offer their online student body? Do you have resources that are specific to business administration students?

A: Students are supported from application through graduation in a number of ways. Admissions advisers prepare students for beginning their studies by making expectations clear, previewing the learning management system so students understand how to access courses and submit assignments, and follow the students through successful completion of their first assignments to be able to troubleshoot any problems or concerns. After this, students are assigned a dedicated student success adviser who assists in course recommendations, registration, any financial aid issues, and any non-academic course-related questions. These advisers stay with the student for the duration of their program. In addition, students who may have been out of school for several years and/or would like refreshers in accounting and marketing can take a non-credit self-study refresher course in these areas at no additional cost. Faculty leads are assigned to each subject area and are available to students to provide extra assistance when required or resolve any dispute or complaint with the course or instruction.

Online Degrees in Business Administration

For many students, the first step on the path to higher education is determining which type of degree is best for their career goals. To help answer that question, here are four different degree types that students in this field may wish to consider:

Online Associate in Business Administration

This degree covers the essential basics of the field, such as foundational knowledge of business law, accounting, human resource management and marketing. This degree aims to prepare students for an entry-level job in the field. Students typically can earn an associate degree in two years.

Online Bachelor's in Business Administration

This degree can usually be achieved in four years of full-time study. It covers the functional aspects of running a business, including management, communications and decision-making. The degree also covers several areas in which students may wish to specialize, including the following:

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Human resources management
  • Information technology
  • Management
  • Real estate

 An online bachelor's in business administration prepares students for careers in sales, marketing, accounting, human resource management and finance. This degree also preps students for master's degrees, which are sometimes required for moving above the middle-management level of a company.

Online Master's in Business Administration

In two years of study, most students with a bachelor's degree can attain an online master's in business administration, commonly referred to as an MBA. Course content focuses on management analysis and strategy as it relates to various types of businesses. Many graduates of MBA's use their degree to advance their careers to positions such as business analyst, director, marketing manager, or project manager.

Online Ph.D. in Business Administration

An online Ph.D. in business administration usually takes four to five years of full-time study. It is geared towards people looking for academic, research-focused careers. Students explore the theoretical aspects of business, such as how financial markets are prone to respond under certain circumstances. Graduates with this degree usually seek jobs in research and teaching at the university level.

Business Administration Colleges with High Graduation Rates

The following rankings feature schools with high graduation rates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, graduation rate reflects the percentage of full-time, first-time undergraduate students who graduated from a college in 2014.

  • Family of Faith College
    This small college only had 24 students in 2014. However, with that small student body, it still had an impressive graduation rate of 100 percent. It is located in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
  • Babson College
    Located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, this private business school boasts a graduation rate of 90 percent.
  • University of Florida
    This large university, with a graduation rate of 88 percent, is located in Gainesville.
  • University of Delaware
    Delaware's largest university, located in Newark, has a graduation rate of 79 percent.
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    The Amherst-based campus of UMass features a graduation rate of 75 percent.

Business Administration Colleges With a Variety of Degree Levels

It is also important to consider the variation of available degree levels when deciding on a college. Out of the nine possible degree levels, here are five schools that had the most:

  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
    This Minneapolis university offers a grand total of seven degree levels. Within the field of business administration, they offer an online bachelor's degree in management. Online courses are also offered for the part-time MBA program.
  • Post University
    This Connecticut-based university offers five different degree levels. They offer an online associate degree in management, an online bachelor of business administration, an online graduate certificate in entrepreneurship. The university also offers an online MBA.
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide
    Located in Daytona Beach, Florida, this university offers five degree levels. This includes online associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in aviation business management.
  • Colorado Christian University
    Colorado Christian University, located in Lakewood, Colorado, boasts five degree levels. For business administration students, they offer online degrees at the associate, bachelor's and master's level. They also offer online certificate programs in entrepreneurship, human resource management and accounting.
  • Western Kentucky University
    This university in Bowling Green offers five degree levels. This includes an online bachelor's and master's in business administration.

Business Administration Career Outlook

Armed with the business knowledge they gained in their online business administration program, graduates can confidently pursue a range of careers. The following information outlines some of the careers that students can consider. It includes what these jobs entail and how a business education can lead to success in these positions.

Administrative Services Manager
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2014 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$86,110
Annual Job Openings Annual job openings refers to the average job openings each year, 2012-22, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
270,080
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015
Bachelor's degree
Administration services managers are also known as business office managers. They are responsible for coordinating the support services that are used in an office. These professionals need to have strong time management and organizational skills in order to keep track of office supplies, machinery, and equipment. They must ensure that products are bought and maintained as needed. In addition, people who earned a business administration degree can leverage their communication skills in order to supervise administrative personnel, negotiate contracts and hire new workers.
Social and Community Service Manager
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2014 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$63,530
Annual Job Openings Annual job openings refers to the average job openings each year, 2012-22, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
119,770
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015
Bachelor's degree
Social services and community outreach programs need strong leaders in order to accomplish their missions to help the public. In order to rise to the occasion, social and community service managers use the strong communication, budgeting and critical thinking skills that can be gained in a business administration program. This job entails creating program budgets and ensuring that they're adhered to. These professionals also write proposals to receive funding for social services programs. They analyze the effectiveness of programs to make recommendations for change when needed.
Meeting, Convention and Event Planner
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2014 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$46,840
Annual Job Openings Annual job openings refers to the average job openings each year, 2012-22, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
87,400
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015
Bachelor's degree
When it comes to planning events, detail orientation, time management and communication skills are key. Those who work in meeting, convention, and event planner jobs are expected to use their business skills in order to plan events from start to finish. This includes juggling many tasks and ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. Duties for these professionals include choosing an event site, coordinating transportation and food for an event, and negotiating with vendors.
Public Relations and Fundraising Manager
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2014 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$104,140
Annual Job Openings Annual job openings refers to the average job openings each year, 2012-22, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
60,380
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015
Bachelor's degree
When an organization needs to enhance or rehabilitate its public image, it relies on public relations managers to influence the perception of the community. These professionals cultivate relationships with relevant media sources, identify target audiences, and work with their clients in order to develop messages that will put them in the most favorable light. In addition, public relations managers prepare and distribute press releases, craft advertising campaigns and supervise staff members.
Salary
Number of Jobs
Job Growth
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

Methodology and Sources

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria, using the weights specified:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 20%
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 30%
  5.  Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%
  6. Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2014-15, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources

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