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Best Online Business Management Degrees

Best Online Business Management Degrees

Looking to earn your business management degree online? Use this guide to check out the best bachelor’s degree programs, discover what you’ll learn, and know what it takes to get into competitive programs.

Getting your bachelor’s degree in business management online offers flexibility of taking classes from anywhere without sacrificing the quality of education needed to build a career in business leadership. Applying to accredited programs that are nationally recognized for providing affordable, quality courses is crucial. To help you with your search for a business management degree online, the accredited bachelor’s programs detailed below are ranked for their overall combination of quality, affordability, scheduling flexibility, and student support services. While the full list is coming later this year, here are three of the best online schools for business management in the U.S. to jumpstart your search.

Boise State University

Idaho is home to a world-renowned online business management degree through Boise State University with its nationally recognized online bachelor’s degree in business administration. The program focuses on developing workplace management, innovation, and analytical skills along with the ability to utilize design thinking in a business setting. Students choose online courses from a range of business concentrations, including human resources, marketing, and strategy. Unlike most programs, Boise State courses are in seven-week semesters to allow students to adjust their course load more often. All online courses are synchronous with expected in-class participation. There’s also an option to complete the degree in a shorter amount of time if you already have your associate degree, or you can enroll on a part-time basis, making it easier to juggle coursework and a full-time job.

Program Highlights:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Credits: 120
  • Length: 2-4 years
  • Cost: $350 per credit in-state or out-of-state
  • Mode: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (Institutional); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (Programmatic)

Arizona State University

Consider Arizona State University’s online program if you’re looking for a business management program that offers in-class and experiential learning opportunities. Through a robust curriculum, students learn to manage people and projects, improve operations, and think globally. While students complete their coursework in synchronous 7.5-week semesters, they complete internships to gain hands-on experience. Internships can be completed online or in person depending on the parameters set by the internship supervisor. Arizona State University also has online resources through its student professional development office to help students connect with internship and employment opportunities. Along with general business courses and an internship, students can take more courses in an area of interest. Specializations include marketing, finance, supply chain, and other business fields, but the specialization in marketing is the most well-known on a national level. Students graduate ready to start careers in a variety of fields ranging from sales and marketing to finance.

Program Highlights:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Credits: 120
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $1,164 per credit in-state | $1,353 per credit out-of-state
  • Mode: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (Institutional); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (Programmatic)

Oregon State University

Oregon State University is known for its affordable, high-quality online business program. Unlike other programs, students can pursue a hybrid course load. They can elect to complete their degrees online without setting foot on campus once, or they can choose a hybrid program where some courses are offered online, others in-person, and others a mix of both. Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to their program curriculum as well. Along with general education courses and foundational business courses, students choose an area of business to specialize in. Specializations include digital marketing, family business, general business, hospitality management, entrepreneurship, marketing, sports business, retail management, and supply chain management. The program also offers an international option with asynchronous courses to make the program more accessible to international students in different time zones.

Program Highlights:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Credits: 180
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $370 per credit in-state or out-of-state
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (Institutional); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (Programmatic)

Online Bachelor of Business Management: What You’ll Learn

An online business management program typically consists of general education classes, foundational courses in every area of business, and electives. Most programs cover finance, marketing, operations, human resources, and management in their core classes, and electives help students hone their skills in a specific area of interest. To give you a better idea of what foundational courses and electives can cover, let’s review popular course topics offered at each level of a business management online program.

Main Topics You’ll Cover

  • Financial considerations of operating a business
  • Digital Marketing and organizational communication
  • Human resources
  • Operations and supply chain management
  • Legal and ethical considerations in business management
  • Leadership and people management 
  • Entrepreneurship

Years 1 and 2 (Lower Division Coursework)

Along with completing required general education classes, students also take foundational courses in every area of business. Completing introductory courses in areas ranging from finance to marketing gives students a better idea of what area of business they may want to enter after graduating or the type of internship they want to pursue. Let’s look at five common foundational courses that many business majors take in their first two years at a university.

Common Courses

  • Introduction to Finance: In an introduction to finance course, students learn basic concepts related to the day-to-day financial operations of a business. They dive into financial analytics, what it takes to ensure a business is financially solvent, and basic accounting principles for corporations. 
  • Marketing Foundations: Marketing foundations courses cover the basics of digital marketing. Topics range from marketing analytics to creating effective marketing campaigns. Some programs also cover traditional marketing as well.
  • Business Writing: Business writing courses cover the basic communication styles (e.g., memos, reports, proposals, etc.) found within a workplace. Students learn the different formats for business communications and how to navigate the written word in business settings.
  • Business Ethics: While this course has many different names, most students must take a foundational course on how to ethically conduct business. The course often covers how businesses relate to society, moral considerations when operating a business, and ethical leadership. 
  • Business Calculus: This course covers the basic calculus principles that apply to the business world. Students learn to analyze, assess, and propose solutions to mathematically based business dilemmas. 

Years 3 and 4 (Upper Division Coursework)

Once students have the foundational courses from years one and two under their belts, they move into upper-division courses. These courses are usually electives in an area of interest to students or advanced courses that dive further into the overarching principles governing all fields of business. To give you a better idea of what to expect, check out five common courses in years three and four.

Common Courses

  • Advanced Business Statistics: After completing introductory courses in business calculus and business statistics, students can take a course in advanced business statistics. It typically covers quantitative analysis, research skills, and how to measure the success of business outcomes. 
  • Global Supply Operations: In global supply operations, students apply the foundational knowledge of business operations to supply chain systems. They learn how to effectively get a product from the production site to the consumer. 
  • Management Leadership: This course serves as a primer in the leadership styles and management principles needed to effectively manage a team. Students also often dive into the psychology and practical applications of business leadership. 
  • Business Law: Building off business ethics, this course covers the important courses cases and legislation business leaders should be aware of. Students review business regulations and how to ensure they are maintained in the workplace. 
  • Career Capstones: Students in their final semester take a career capstone course to discuss career transitions and how to leverage their experience to land a role in their preferred field. They often complete a project that encapsulates everything they learned in their degree as well. 

Admissions for Top-Ranked Online Business Management Degree Programs

Competition for admittance into a top online business school can be competitive, but there are ways to set yourself apart and get an acceptance letter from your dream school. Usually, business management programs approach admissions with a holistic view by analyzing a student’s performance in the classroom, in extracurriculars, and on standardized tests.

When deciding who to admit, top-tier programs like Boise State University and Arizona State University often consider:

  • A student’s GPA, with 2.8 or higher required by many programs. The higher your GPA, the more likely you are to get in and get merit-based scholarships.
  • A student’s standardized test score on the ACT or SAT. The exact score needed to get in varies from school to school and even from application pool to application pool.
  • Answers to essays and short answer questions. Schools are usually looking for passionate candidates with a clear vision for their professional futures.
  • Letter of recommendation from teachers, past professors, or others who can attest to your academic performance. While not all schools require this, many do. 

While these application requirements are typical, the exact requirements differ from school to school. That’s why it’s important to check with each program you apply to. Additionally, the admission requirements for business programs are usually not different from the requirements for other departments, such as English or psychology. If you’ve already taken some college courses, you might be able to transfer those credits and graduate in a shorter time frame.

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Business Management Degrees

Choosing the right program is about more than making sure it aligns with your academic goals; it also must match with you can afford. An affordable, high-quality program accompanied by some financial aid means you pay less. Degrees range from less than $10,000 a year at in-state, public universities to over $50,000 a year at some private schools. For a better idea of how much you can expect to pay, check out the table below.

School NameSchool TypeTotal CreditsIn-StateOut-of-State
Arizona State UniversityPublic120$13,968/year or $1,164/credit$16,238/year or $1,353/credit
DeVry UniversityPrivate, for-profit120$15,420/year or $514/credit$15,420/year or $514/credit
Colorado State UniversityPublic120$8,400/year or $350/credit$8,400/year or $350/credit
Oregon State UniversityPublic180$10,430/year or $370/credit$10,430/year or $370/credit
Western Governors UniversityPrivate not-for-profit120$7,550/year or $251/credit$7,550/year or $251/credit

The initial tuition price isn’t the only thing to consider, though, since many universities offer scholarships and financial aid packages. Western Governors University, for example, has scholarships for students from the Midwest well as for transfer students, and Colorado State University has a variety of scholarships for online students and doesn’t charge a separate out-of-state rate for online students. In addition to financial aid through your university, you could also be eligible for federally funded, state-sponsored, or private financial aid. Visit our financial aid to learn more about all available options to lower your tuition cost.

FAQs About Earning Your Business Management Bachelor’s Degree Online

  • What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in business management?

    A bachelor’s degree in business management is a flexible, versatile degree that can lead to a career in many fields. Because most programs require students to complete foundational courses in all areas of business, students are usually prepared to work in any field of business. To give you a better idea of potential career paths, here are five common job titles for business management graduates: 

    • Market Research Analysts
    • Financial Manager
    • Digital Marketing Manager
    • Sales Representative 
    • Management Analysts
  • What’s the difference between a business management and business administration degree?

    While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a big difference between these two programs. A business management degree is focused on how to lead teams and oversee projects while a business administration degree is designed for students who want to organize and plan the day-to-day operations of a business. If you’re more of a detail-oriented person instead of a big-picture thinker, check out our business administration page (in progress) and consider a degree in business administration instead of business management.

  • Is earning a business management degree worth it?

    Getting your business degree can pay off, both in terms of salary and the number of available positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those working in a business-related field are some of the top earners in the U.S. Salaries range from $50,000 to over $200,000, depending on experience and geographical location. Business-related fields will also grow faster than average over the next ten years, so there should be plenty of open roles when you graduate.

  • Are online business management degree programs offered 100% online?

    If you want to complete a 100% online degree, a top-notch program should be easy to find. A high-quality hybrid program should also be easy to locate if you prefer to take some courses in person. Many programs, like the one at Colorado State University, are online and don’t require you to step foot on campus once. Other programs, such as the one housed at Oregon State University, offer hybrid and in-person courses or the option to complete your degree 100% online.

  • What type of accreditation should a business management degree program have?

    When looking at business management programs, make sure you attend one that is accredited. If a school isn’t regionally or nationally accredited, your degree won’t be recognized by other academic institutions or most employers. Along with regional and national accreditation for an institution, also make sure your business school has programmatic accreditation. This can help you land a top-tier job and gain acceptance into an MBA program down the line. The most common programmatic accreditation for business schools is from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  • How long does it take to earn a bachelor’s degree in business management?

    A bachelor’s degree in business management usually takes four years to complete. If you’re completing a traditional degree on a part-time basis, it could take longer. There are a couple of options for students who want to complete the degree in less than four years. Those include three-year accelerated programs or using transfer credits (e.g., college, AP, or dual-enrollment courses) to cover the general education requirements.

Career Outlook for Business Management Degree Graduates

Just like there are plenty of opportunities to earn a business management degree, there are many jobs with higher-than-average salaries open to business school graduates. In fact, students who get their undergraduate degree in business earn more than the average annual salary for all workers. Many roles, like analysts and managers, within the world of business also have a faster-than-average predicted growth rate over the next ten years. Check out the chart below for a better idea about the opportunities available and how much you can expect to make.

CareerMedian Annual Earnings (2021)Job Growth (2020-2030)
Financial Managers$131,72017%
Marketing Specialists$63,92019%
Management Analysts$93,00011%
Health Services Manager$101,34028%
Operations Research Analysts$82,36023%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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