Getting a degree no longer has to mean sitting in a classroom. If you are a busy go-getter wanting to step up your professional game, an online business degree may be the perfect way to do so. Online degree programs allow students to achieve success in their own time and their own space. Online education can be an ideal opportunity for someone working a full-time job during the day when on-site classes are in session, for someone who has childcare timing conflicts, and for many others.
It is important to know all online business degrees are not created equally. The degree program you select will play a significant role in your experience as a student and, ultimately, your success after graduation.
We’ve done thorough research on the online business degrees available and have selected our choice for the top 10 to help you select the perfect one for you.
The 10 Best Online Business Programs
- University of Florida – Top Choice
- San Diego State University
- Appalachian State University
- California State University – Fullerton
- Rutgers University – New Brunswick
- Florida International University
- University of Houston – Clear Lake
- California State University – Channel Islands
- Temple University
When it comes to online colleges, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Different people look for different things when considering where it makes sense to pursue an online degree or certification. We came up with data-driven rankings below for a broad, quantitative assessment, but acknowledge it doesn’t show the full picture. So we also add specific recommendations where it makes sense for schools deemed the most affordable, or schools with the highest graduation rate.
|University||Location||Our Ranking||In-State Tuition||Graduation Rate||Loan Default Rate||Admission Rate|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||5.0||$6,381||90%||2.00%||39%|
|San Diego State University||San Diego, CA||4.3||$7,488||74%||3.10%||35%|
|Appalachian State University||Boone, NC||4.3||$7364||72%||4.20%||69%|
|California State University-Fullerton||Fullerton, CA||4.3||$6,886||68%||3.40%||43%|
|Rutgers University-New Brunswick||New Brunswick, NJ||4.0||$14,974||80%||3.60%||60%|
|Florida International University||Miami, FL||4.0||$6,546||58%||4.90%||59%|
|University of Huston-clear lake||Houston, TX||4.0||$7,002||54%||3.80%||69%|
|California State University-Channel Islands||Camarillo, CA||4.0||$6,817||55%||3.40%||78%|
|Temple University||Philadelphia, PA||3.7||$16,970||73%||4.90%||59%|
The Best Online Business Degrees
University of Florida
Coming in as our top choice for online business degrees, the University of Florida. The U.S. News & World Report reports Warrington College of Business 14th for all U.S. public undergraduate business colleges in 2020. The University of Florida offers either of these online business degree programs at an in-state tuition rate of $6,381, making it the most affordable of all universities we reviewed. Their admission rate of 39% makes their program elite, perfect for the ambitious, self-driven, and determined to succeed. Out of the 39% admitted, a whopping 90% graduate.
San Diego State University
Cleverly named, San Diego State University’s World Campus offers a variety of online degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. This degree in business administration is offered through the accredited Fowler College of Business. The website illustrates what companies have hired SDSU Business students in the past – a promising employability statistic for prospective graduates. Like some of our other top choices, San Diego State University’s online business program has a below-average admission rate at 35%. This low number is representative of stricter requirements to get into the program, but a graduation rate of 74% says most who are admitted into the program successfully graduate.
Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University or App State Online offers an online bachelor’s degree in Management. Although it is much like a general business degree, this degree offers an emphasis in management-specific careers. Leadership, interpersonal skills, and group management are just a few of the skills this business degree offers to set you apart. In-state tuition for this program is $7,364. Of the 69% of students who are admitted into this program, 72% graduate.
California State University – Fullerton
Ranked among the nation’s top 10 online bachelor’s in business administration degree programs by TheBestSchools.org, California State University-Fullerton’s online business degree is offered through the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. TheBestSchools.org also ranks CSU 15th among the most affordable online business programs making it a top economical choice in quality online education. This degree is built for people who seek to become effective business managers and promises to teach the fundamental business disciplines needed to be a successful business professional. Its website includes a variety of former and current student interviews with useful testimonials of their post school real-life experiences. Of the 43% of prospective students admitted into CSUF’s online business degree program, 68% of those graduate. In-state tuition runs near the middle of the universities we reviewed at $6,886.
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
The Rutgers University Online Business Administration degree program promises to incorporate the latest business research into modern business practice to give graduating students a cutting-edge advantage in their careers. The curriculum is customizable to ensure each student gets the focus and emphasis they need. Rutgers is one of the oldest universities in the United States full of rich history and prestigious faculty awards. Like many of the programs we reviewed, this program is designed to be completed entirely online but promises to carry the same high standards as their on-site programs. Of the universities reviewed, Rutgers in-state tuition for the online business degree ranks second highest at $14,974 with a promising graduation rate of 80%.
Florida International University
Florida International University reassures prospective students their fully online business degree can be completed no matter where you are in the world, as long as you’ve got an internet connection. FIU offers a Success Coach for every student. However, the appropriate name is worth noting as FIU places a great emphasis on the pre and post-graduation success of their students. The Dean of FIU’s Business College was recently recognized as a 2020 Influential Business Woman by the South Florida Business Journal. At an in-state tuition rate of $6,546, FIU’s online business degree is both flexible and affordable. However, with a graduation rate of 58%, there is a bit more risk with your investment.
University of Houston – Clear Lake
The University of Houston-Clear Lake boasts an affordable and credible B.S. in General Business degree online. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), UHCL believes it is an affordable solution for quality business degree seekers. Students enrolled in this program can complete their degree entirely online and are often pursuing professional career paths in Corporate Finance, Commercial Banking, Financial Planning, Investment Banking, Money Management, and Real Estate Investments. Its in-state tuition for the online business degree is $7,002. Though UHCL’s tuition rates are among the most affordable, the graduation rate is only 54% making them a bit riskier choice than some of our other topic choices.
California State University – Channel Islands
Through the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics, California State University Channel Islands offers an online business degree with no requirements to ever be on campus. This degree results in a Bachelor of Science with a foundation rooted in accounting, economics, finance, information systems, management, and marketing. Like most business bachelor degrees, this program requires 120 total credits to graduate, 50 of which are specific business courses. CSUCI online coaches are available to prospective students to assist in making education decisions. In 2019, it ranked as one of the Best Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges in Washington Monthly. In-state tuition runs $6,817, with a graduation rate of 55%.
Through the Fox School of Business, Temple University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration. Temple offers the flexibility of attending classes from anywhere in the world, at your own pace, with an on-demand option. For students seeking a more involved program, it offers a variety of immersion opportunities and organizational involvement opportunities. It boasts the latest technology to provide on-demand courses, live courses, online community involvement, among other experiences to ensure the online program closely mirrors the quality offered in their on-site programs. At the highest of all we reviewed, in-state tuition for this program is $16,970, but with a higher graduation rate of 73%
We started by coming up with a list of 50 well-known and well-regarded schools, based on lists and rankings from other online reviewers, and other general and publicly available data about colleges. From there, we found schools in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) database and filtered out any school not eligible for federal financial aid. Then we gave each school a score for the following parameters: tuition, graduation rate, and loan default rate (LDR is our way of measuring return on investment, assuming if graduates are defaulting on their student loans, they probably could not get a job shortly after graduation). Lastly, we weighted these scores for tuition, graduation rate, and LDR to calculate our final score.
Most of the top online business programs offer fully online programs though some have options or requirements for on-site immersion experiences. Many courses are offered as on-demand, meaning you can complete them within the semester at your own pace. Some are live courses emulating the in-class experience. You may inquire about global learning experiences as many of the universities we reviewed offer study abroad business opportunities. Online program seekers should be self-driven and organized to keep up with the courses and get the most benefit out of the learning experience.
Depending on the specific degree and university and whether or not you have previously earned credits to apply, an online business degree can take anywhere from 2-4 years to complete. Most programs require 120 to 180 credits. Self-paced programs can complete as quickly as the student can complete them, while other programs are on a fixed schedule.
An online business degree can prepare you for many different career paths including, financial planning, real estate planning, investing, business administration, business management, entrepreneurship, human resources, marketing, supply chain management, and many more.
The average salary for someone with an online business degree will vary greatly depending on the career path they choose and the number of years experience in that career. The following information was collected from Glassdoor.com as a point of reference for average salaries in these careers:
Human Resource Manager – $78,377
Business Administrator – $52,626
Financial Planner – $58,213
Real Estate Planner – $60,908
Supply Chain Manager – $61,915
Marketing Manager – $65,539