Top 10 Online MBA Executive MBA Programs : Accredited Rankings


University of Maryland University College
University of Maryland’s University College is dedicated to being a global leader in business, offering students the chance to study in foreign locations and learn from world-class and diverse personnel in their online executive MBA program. In order to earn an executive MBA degree, students must complete courses such as Leadership for Global Opportunities, Strategy in the Global Environment, the Economics of Strategic Decision Making, Strategic Global Marketing, Managing Business Operations in a Global Environment, Risk and Opportunity in Global Business Development, and Business Development Strategy. The school also requires that students complete a capstone project that incorporates an international strategic and operational plan, as well as an option for international study trips.

Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology won a position on U.S. News and World Reports’ “Best Colleges 2011” list for its quality student support, academic integrity, and a variety of programs suited for adult continuing education to help professionals improve their career path and earning power. The online masters of business administration in executive business administration is one of the most thorough training programs online for students who want to pursue executive management positions in business. Executive MBA online courses at RIT include strategic skill training classes, such as Consulting, Cross-Functional Leadership, Power and Influence, Strategic Thinking, Marketing Strategies, International Finance, Macro and Micro Economics, and Team Building and Ethics. Students in the RIT executive MBA online program will also complete a two-part capstone project before graduation.

Online Executive MBA

The executive MBA differs from a traditional MBA in that it is geared for business professionals who already have several years of management experience. Therefore, the courses do include the foundational business administration framework found in a standard MBA program. Instead, classes focus on processes, improved management strategies and direct application in the workplace.

What Does an MBA in Executive Studies Cover?

An online Executive MBA is a rigorous graduate program that typically takes two years of study to complete. Because the program is geared toward full-time mid-level managers looking to move up the corporate ladder, few students complete the program faster, as many are enrolled part time and don’t have room in their busy schedules to accelerate the program. The online Executive MBA provides students with a thorough business administration education in all major areas, such as accounting, finance, marketing, management, statistics, business law and ethics. However, instruction in these courses is tailored for seasoned professionals, rather than those with little to no management experience.

The focus of such classes isn’t to prepare students for management roles, but to teach students new ways of applying those business principles in their current place of work. Possible courses might include: Economic Analysis for Business Leaders, Analytical Tools for Decision Making, Bargaining and Negotiations, Strategic Management and Enterprise Risk Management.

Some online Executive MBA programs give students the option to complete an international residency. Online Executive MBA programs usually do not require internships between the first and second years as standard MBA program often do, because students are already employed in the business world where they can directly apply what they learn in class. Such programs also do not generally offer opportunities for specialization. Online Executive MBA programs capitalize on the collective business experience present in the classroom and thus often require group work in which students collaborate on projects.

Getting Into an Online Executive MBA Program

To get into an online Executive MBA program, all applicants must fulfill several requirements, such as holding an undergraduate bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Students are not required to have majored in business during their undergraduate studies but should have proficiency in algebra-level mathematics. Those who lack mathematics skills can complete an algebra class before applying to an Executive MBA program. Some schools will also require GMAT scores. For example, the University of Pennsylvania requires that all applicants do so, though there is no minimum score requirement.

Why Should I Get an AACSB Accredited Executive MBA?

Make sure that the school you select is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the advancement of quality management education and serves as an accreditor for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. When online executive MBA schools are accredited, you can rest assured that you will receive a quality business education there and avoid wasting your money at a school that offers you classes that are too easy in exchange for a worthless degree.

Online MBA Executive
Online MBA Executive

Who Should Pursue an Online Executive MBA?

Many different types of people benefit from enrolling in online Executive MBA programs, particularly older individuals in mid-level management who are looking to sharpen their business skills and retrain for work in a modern business environment, brushing up on areas such as e-commerce, information technology and international business that have gained precedence in the last 15 years. The program provides key training for those who want to continue to climb the corporate ladder. The online Executive MBA program is also beneficial to high-level employees who want to polish their business skills to qualify for similar positions at other corporations. The online Executive MBA equips you with the practical skills and knowledge you need to make a career transition at the top.

What Jobs Can an Online Executive MBA Get Me?

  • CEO (Chief Executive Officer): The head of the company, the CEO establishes its goals and policies and is charged with finding a way to address them. The CEO meets regularly with other top executives to ensure that the company is moving in the right direction and that its board of directors is satisfied. Most CEOs also have a hand in monitoring the company’s budget and making sure that it is being utilized to its full extent. In larger companies, CEOs may delegate some of their responsibilities to other executives and managers; in smaller firms, they may take on all of these roles as well as some other management-related ones.
  • General and Operations Manager: These managers are responsible for planning and coordinating the company’s operations. They work with top executives and mid-level managers to create policies, deal with day-to-day activities, and planning how to use different departments like human resources. Most of these managers deal broadly with all branches of a company rather than just working in one department. This way, they can coordinate all departments to better help the company meet its general goals.
  • Sales Manager: Most sales managers work with retail companies and can be in charge of an entire region. These managers oversee sales employees and ensure that their branch is meeting the quota set forth from the company headquarters. Sales managers work closely with teams to ensure that customers are receiving good customer service and products. Many also devise ways to increase sales through promotions or advertising. In large companies, sales managers can tackle budgeting, employee reviews, and employee training, while at smaller companies, they may conduct sales calls themselves in addition to their other responsibilities.

Top Earning Industries for Jobs


  • Software Applications: $122,524 – $251,611
  • Retail/Wholesale Distribution: $91,422 – $244,936

Regional Sales Manager:

  • Chemical Manufacturing: $66,384 – $100,901
  • Food Manufacturing: $60,099 – $95,719

General Operations Manager:

  • Manufacturing and Distribution: $53,072 – $94,542
  • Construction: $52,060 – $91,762

How Do I Find Online Executive MBA Programs?

Since online executive MBA programs are geared for working business professionals, a large proportion of them are available fully or partially online. You just have to know where to find them. The best place to start searching for executive MBA programs online is the AACSB website. Rest your cursor over the “accreditation” tab and click on the “accredited institutions” tab to browse a complete list of fully-accredited schools. Business schools across the world will be listed, so if you’re not interested in attending schools overseas, you can cross out any outside the U.S. From here, you can launch a search into online executive MBA schools. Online executive MBA rankings also help you find the top programs. While most ranking systems focus on traditional programs, they are still useful because many of the best business schools offer their executive MBA programs online. Sources that rank executive MBA programs include:

  • Wall Street Journal
  • Bloomberg Businessweek
  • The Education Database (OEDb) for a ranking of online universities

While OEDb does not provide individual online executive MBA rankings, it does list quality online schools that may have quality graduate degrees in business. Online schools listed on OEDb are ranked on metrics such as graduation rate, retention rate and student-to-faculty ratio.

Additional Resources:

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