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Best Online MBA in Information Systems Programs

Best Online MBA in Information Systems Programs

You deserve the best–especially when it comes to your higher education. This guide highlights some top program options and answers all your questions about earning your MBA in Information Systems online.

Are you looking to hack your way into a higher-paying job? An online MBA in Information Systems will let you put your tech skills to work. The rise in remote work and data breaches mean that professionals who can build, manage, and protect data storage are in high demand.

Studying for your MBA in Information Systems — sometimes called Management Information Systems, or MIS for short — can help you capitalize on this demand by providing you with the theory, tech skills, and software knowledge you need to effectively navigate the intersection of business and technology. 

But maybe you’re feeling like there are too many barriers in the way of returning to school. If so, you’re not alone — and this is exactly why many MBA students choose to pursue their degree online. MBA Information Systems online programs offer top-quality academics, flexible schedules, and affordable tuition. 

So, if you’re MBA-curious, keep reading. We’ll talk through your most important questions, highlight some of the best programs, and look at your post-graduation career prospects.

Spotlight on 3 Top MBA in Information Systems Online Programs for 2023

So, you’re considering your online MBA in Information Systems — what’s your first move? May we suggest looking at a few real-world examples to help you get your bearings? We’ve researched online Information Systems MBAs and evaluated their curricula, affordability, student support, and credentials. Using this research, we’ve highlighted three exemplary programs below, all of which are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Consider these your yardsticks that you can use to evaluate other programs during your personal research.

  • St. Cloud State University

    The MBA with a Concentration in Information Systems Online at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) is an accelerated program that offers all the in-depth learning of a longer program. When you study Information Systems at SCSU, you can graduate in as few as 10 months. During that time, you’ll develop valuable expertise in an array of software platforms, business essentials, and process design. And you’ll complete courses asynchronously at a time that fits into your busy life.Total tuition for SCSU’s MBA program is estimated at $19,000. Experiential learning in real-world scenarios is a major component of the curriculum, which is comprised of 10 courses (30 credit hours) — 21 credit hours of core courses and nine credit hours of major requirements. In your major coursework, you’ll learn the impacts of IT infrastructure issues such as internet-based architecture, computer and network security, and business continuity.

  • Emporia State University

    With a total tuition cost of $11,979, Emporia State University (ESU) offers one of the most affordable online Information Systems MBAs in the game — with the quality you’d expect of a top-tier school and the flexibility of studying online. This rigorous 12-month program features asynchronous classes available to students 24/7. You’ll graduate prepared to enter the information systems field in roles like systems analyst, IT project manager, and information systems manager.

    ESU’s unique curriculum is based on the system development life cycle — the process for planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information system. Instead of taking a smattering of unrelated courses, ESU’s MBA students specializing in Information Systems follow a course roadmap that mirrors each stage. Through a combination of coursework and real-world experience, students equip themselves with the knowledge, leadership skills, and personal connections that contribute to their post-graduation successes.

  • University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW)

    If you’re a big-picture thinker, UNCW’s MBA with a Specialization in Information Systems Online is right up your alley. This curriculum stands out for its holistic approach tailored to future IT managers and executives. Your coursework will certainly prepare you for a hands-on career in information systems, but you’ll also gain an understanding of technology’s role in strategic leadership and business success. Students learn how to integrate data analytics and effective communication techniques to use with future professional colleagues, vendors, and customers.

    UNCW also stands out for its flexible accelerated course structure. Full-time students can graduate in as few as 12 months, and part-time options are available. Instead of a traditional semester-based schedule, students take part in seven-week intensive courses designed for deep learning. This structure also lets students take a break as needed. Tuition for this degree program averages $18,113 for North Carolina residents — or $45,771 for non-residents.

Cost of an MBA in MIS Online Program 

Hopefully, previewing a few top online MBAs in Information Systems has you feeling enthusiastic about your educational prospects. But we also know it’s important to be realistic and talk money. You already know that tuition is going to be a considerable expense, meaning it’s important that you have a budget for your tuition and a plan to pay for it. 

So, let’s marshal your resources. Some students can pay for their degree out of pocket, but that isn’t the only way to cover your tuition. Employers sometimes offer tuition-reimbursement for employees — especially for something practical like an MBA in MIS online. Schools offer financial aid packages to promising students or students in need — check out this in-depth financial aid guide for more information. You can also look for scholarships from schools or outside institutions. Just don’t forget to consider federal financial aid (FAFSA) and private student loans as well. 

With these resources in mind, think about what sounds realistic in terms of tuition and go from there. In the table below, we’ve highlighted five more excellent online MBA programs that offer an emphasis in Information Systems. 

How Much Your Online MBA in Information Systems Management Could Cost

School NameNo. of CreditsCost per CreditTotal Tuition

Lamar University
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville36$526$18,941
Baker College36$600$21,600

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

California Intercontinental University
36$488$20,253 (including fees and course materials)

What to Expect in Your MBA Information Systems Online Program

Now that you’ve had a chance to explore a few programs, lets paint a broader picture of what you can expect from your online MBA in Information Systems. It’s totally normal to have questions about what to expect from your learning experience, what technologies you’ll be using, and what topics you can expect to cover. Let’s go over the basics. 

Most online MBA programs in MIS are 100% online, which means you’ll never have to set foot on campus unless you want to. Instead, you’ll use a learning management platform to access your course materials, lectures, and assignments. This platform will also be your access point with professors and other classmates. Instead of meeting face to face, you’ll connect electronically. 

Your online MBA in Information Systems curriculum will likely mirror that of in-person programs. You’ll first complete a set of core courses that will supply a well-rounded MBA education. Once your general classes are in the bag, it’s time to specialize. You may have a few mandatory MIS classes, plus your choice of electives that allow you to focus on your specific interests. These courses vary from program to program, but we’ve described some common Information Systems MBA courses below to give you a taste of your options.

Common Online MBA Courses

  • Information Security and Risk Management

    Classes about information security prepare you to protect an organization’s stored data by identifying, evaluating, and addressing possible weaknesses in their information systems. To this end, these classes cover the essentials like network security, incident response, risk analysis, and other related topics. Depending on your curriculum, you may also cover the basics of database architecture and management.

  • Database Management Systems

    This class may also come with titles like Database Architecture or Database Analytics. Whatever the title, you’ll learn how you to manage an organization’s data. Over the course of the term, you’ll dig into data storage and retrieval, database architecture, needs assessments, and the basics of information security practices.

  • Business Intelligence and Analytics

    This class is all about how you use data to guide decision-making processes and generate insights into your company’s performance. Information systems specialists in business analytics typically work with large data sets to develop reports or reporting systems, so you’ll learn strategies like data modeling, data visualization, and statistical analysis.

  • Big Data Analytics

    If you’re interested in analytics, this class is an excellent follow-up to the course above. While the business intelligence class focuses on how to explain analytical insights to other departments, a class in big data digs into more advanced strategies for working with data to extract new information. You can expect to cover techniques like machine learning, data mining, and relevant software systems.

  • Enterprise Resource Planning

    This class connects information systems to the bigger picture of business operations. Students will explore how MIS programs like Oracle keep different departments connected for maximum efficiency. As part of this course, students will also cover how to evaluate the efficacy of these systems and their role in developing them.

FAQs About MBA in Information Systems Online Programs

  • What’s the difference between an online MBA and traditional MBA program?

    When it comes to your resume, there is no difference between an online MBA in Information Systems and a traditional MBA. They are equally valuable, and employers do not differentiate between the two. The only difference between studying online and in person is when and how you learn. Traditional MBAs typically require in-person classroom time and have a set timeline for your studies. Online degrees, on the other hand, are designed to have more flexibility to accommodate distance learners and working professionals. You’ll generally have the option to set your own schedule when it comes to classwork and studying.

  • Can I work full time while pursuing an online MBA?

    Yes, you can absolutely work full time while pursuing an online MBA in Information Systems. Because most online MBA classes are asynchronous, you can organize your study time to suit your schedule. But remember that online MBAs in MIS are a ton of work, so make sure you have a plan to manage your work, home, and school obligations before you commit. If studying and working full time sounds overwhelming, you have other options — like MBA programs that offer part-time schedules. For those who want to have degree in hand ASAP, accelerated programs let students complete their classes one at a time in just a few weeks per class.

  • What are the admissions requirements for an online MBA?

    Each school you look at will have their own set of admissions requirements. But generally, these requirements are a combination of a few standard elements. These are some of the most common application components for online MBAs in Information Systems:

    • Official transcripts for every college and university you’ve attended
    • Resume documenting relevant business/technology experience 
    • Standardized test scores from the GMAT or GRE
    • Personal statement highlighting what experience you bring to the table and why you are a good fit for your chosen program
    • Letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or mentors
  • How long does it take to earn an MBA in Information Systems?

    We’ve highlighted programs above that you can complete in as few as 10 months. However, some online MBA students prefer to study part time, which can take up to three years to complete. Generally, online MBAs in Information Systems seem to take full-time students between 12 and 18 months. Keep in mind that the shorter the program, the more intense it will be.

  • Can I earn my MBA 100% online, or do I need to visit campus?

    If you’d like to earn your MBA completely online, you have plenty of options. Most students opt for a 100% online program because it opens up the field of school choices and offers more flexibility in determining a study schedule. However, many schools that offer both in-person and online MBAs allow students to do a mix of online and in-person studies, called a hybrid program. There are also online MBA programs that are 100% online during the year but have in-person conferences or intensives that last a few days at different times — like summer months or at the beginning of a semester. 

What You Can Do with an MBA in Information Systems

Now that you’ve seen everything that goes into earning your online MBA in Information Systems, you may be wondering about the return on investment. Let’s take a look at what happens after graduation. To paint a picture of your salary potential, we’ve researched three common roles that MIS graduates often fill, outlining the results in the tables below. With an MBA in hand, you can likely avoid the lowest end of the salary range, and your paychecks may even exceed the national medians we’ve listed. 

Computer Systems Analyst 

Computer systems analysts are responsible for developing and evaluating technology systems and processes to ensure they meet a business’ needs. They also are responsible for ensuring that systems are efficient, functional, and safe. As a systems analyst, you’ll work with other parts of an organization to establish systems for reporting, data storage, and interoffice communication. 

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Database Architect 

A well-designed database can make or break an organization’s efficiency, data retrieval options, and security — but it’s complicated, because databases aren’t one-size-fits-all. Database architects are in high demand to help assess business needs and develop effective data management structures that support an organization’s daily operations. 

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Information Security Analyst 

You’re probably aware of some high-profile data breaches over the past few years. Organizations in every sector are vulnerable to cyberattacks that can compromise sensitive information. Information security analysts are on the front line in the fight against hackers. As a security analyst, you’ll work with other IT professionals to develop strong systems, monitor these systems for safety, and evaluate when improvements are needed.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022