Online MBA Programs in Alabama

Online MBAs are a terrific option for those that want to enter graduate school but are juggling a career and other life responsibilities. Many online business schools understand the need for graduate studies that are flexible, affordable, and convenient, but still comprehensive and career-propelling. Thankfully, many states around the country, including Alabama, are offering online MBA programs that make it possible for graduate students to continue their education while successfully contributing to their jobs and personal obligations. With advances in technology and online communication, these virtual experiences are not that different from a traditional classroom setting.

With the abundance of online Alabama MBA options, it can be difficult for prospective students to carefully analyze each program and assess which may be the right choice. Online MBA programs in Alabama vary in cost, duration, concentrations, admission requirements, and graduate outcomes. Choosing the right online program means comparing and contrasting all of these programs’ most important aspects to finding the best fit for each student.

This guide was created to help put many of these pieces together. It outlines the online MBA programs in Alabama, then categorizes them in several ways to let prospective students analyze the data that is most significant to their program search: affordability, programs with the lowest debt rate, schools with flexible GMAT requirements, programs with the highest graduation rates, and programs with the highest acceptance rates. Further, the data is then compared to statewide and nationwide averages for each category, offering a comprehensive look at the online MBA options available throughout the state.

Compare Online MBA Programs in Alabama

The table below outlines the available online MBA programs in the state of Alabama. All these Alabama business schools are accredited public or private institutions of higher education. They provide MBA programs for those already working in the business field and entry-level employees looking to boost their qualifications. The business schools vary in terms of their tuition costs, graduation rates, average student debt rates, acceptance rates, and admissions requirements, but they all offer high-quality MBA studies. These online programs also provide students with the flexibility to complete their education while juggling other life responsibilities that can inevitably pop up.

SchoolCityAccred.Accept. RateTuitionGPAGMATGraduate Debt(%)
Amridge UniversityMontgomery$72544%
Auburn UniversityMontgomeryAACSB54%$9193.246265%
Auburn University-HarbertAuburnAACSB69%$9003.3585
Samford UniversityBirminghamAACSB95%$8623.455067%
Troy UniversityTroyAACSB25%$4943478
University of AlabamaBirminghamAACSB81%$1,0883.150976%
University of North AlabamaFlorenceAACSB88%$4752.848489%
University of West AlabamaLivingstonAACSB70%$429

Affordable Programs in Alabama

While starting business school is an exciting prospect, it also involves a lot of planning and budgeting. For most, affordability is a major factor when considering graduate studies. Prospective students want a high-quality education, but one that won’t break the bank. It can take effort to find programs that meet this “sweet spot,” especially considering national and statewide data. The average cost nationally for an MBA is $820 per credit hour, although it is a bit less (but still considerable) in Alabama at $737 per credit hour. Fortunately, several online MBA programs in Alabama cost less than both the national and statewide averages.

Currently, the most affordable online MBA program in the state can be found at the University of West Alabama. This public, the accredited university offers an online MBA at $429 per credit hour. That is a considerable saving at $391 less than the national average and $308 less than the Alabama average. Following just behind is another accredited public option; the University of North Alabama’s online MBA costs $475 per credit hour, which still comes in $345 less than the national average and $262 less than the statewide average. Two additional Alabama online MBA programs round out the most affordable state: public Troy University boasts an online MBA for $494 per credit hour. At the same time, private Amridge University offers theirs at $725 per credit hour. While Amridge’s cost jumps up from the public options, it still costs less than both the national and Alabama averages.

These online MBA programs show that several affordable options in the state cost well under the national and statewide medians. These online programs are attractive options for potential graduate students looking for high-quality, reasonably-priced business schools. They may also appeal to prospective students who will not receive any educational reimbursement from their employer to continue their education.

Most affordable online MBA programs in Alabama:

  • 1 University of West Alabama – $429
  • 2 University of North Alabama – $475
  • 3 Troy University – $494
  • 4 Amridge University – $725

Programs with Lowest Debt at Graduation

Taking on debt is certainly another contributing factor for many contemplating an online MBA program. That’s because the prospect of debt can be daunting, even if it is to receive an advanced education. While the benefits of obtaining an online MBA are typically worth the sacrifice of short-term debt (due to career advancement and a salary increase), it can still determine whether a student will apply to a graduate program at all.

Prospective students may wonder about the debt load they will carry post-graduation and how long it will take to erase their debt. These thoughts aren’t surprising considering the number of business school graduates that incur debt upon completing an MBA program. Currently, 46.6% of business school students throughout the country carry debt at the time of graduation. It is a bit lower in Alabama at 34%. Thankfully there are three online MBA programs in Alabama with debt rates that significantly beat the national average. In fact, two out of the three-beat the statewide average as well.

Only 12% of Troy University students graduate with debt. That rate is a huge drop from both the national and statewide averages. Two other Alabama programs make a list, but at higher percentages. Auburn University’s Harbert Business School has a debt rate of 32%, which is still lower than both the national and statewide averages. The University of North Alabama’s debt rate is 38%, still lower than the national average but a bit higher than Alabama’s statewide rate. Additionally, both Troy University and the University of North Alabama are on the list of most affordable online MBA options in the state.

Online MBA programs in Alabama with the lowest debt at graduation:

  • 1 Troy University – 12%
  • 2 Auburn University – 32%
  • 3 University of North Alabama – 38%

No GMAT Required

In the past, standardized tests were customary for graduate school admissions. However, many business schools are now reconsidering how they will evaluate scores from the GMAT (the Graduate Management Admissions Tests) or GRE (the Graduate Record Examination). In fact, some online graduate schools are omitting testing requirements altogether.

Instead of centering admissions around test scores, more business schools realize that a wider range of students is seeking admissions. Some are established in the business world and already possess significant work experience. Others already possess a graduate degree in another discipline. And some are more than a decade removed from their undergraduate degrees and have other life responsibilities that may make studying for a standardized test quite difficult. For prospective MBA students in these categories, there are some online Alabama graduate schools with relaxed testing requirements to consider.

Amridge University’s online MBA program currently requires no GMAT or GRE scores to apply. The same currently applies to the University of West Alabama; applying to their online MBA program requires an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum of 2.75 GPA or a graduate degree or higher from an accredited college or university, a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Additionally, the University of North Alabama offers prospective students the ability to waive the GMAT/GRE requirement if they possess at least three years of professional or entrepreneurial experience. Other business schools in Alabama (like the online MBA programs at Auburn University and Samford University) waive their GMAT/GRE requirements through the fall of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prospective students with lengthy resumes, high GPAs, other graduate degrees, or simply without time to prepare for a test may be interested in these programs. Those looking to save some money in preparation for graduate school may also be interested in these programs; graduate tests usually cost around $250 to take.

Highest Graduation Rate

Graduation rates are another important factor to consider when looking into an online MBA in Alabama. These rates are not just important for students but the universities as well. When a student graduates from an online business school promptly, they can put their specialized skills into the workplace faster to increase their earning potential. When a university can provide a timely and comprehensive education for the majority of their students, they show their dedication and commitment to helping students achieve their goals, which in turn helps them attract more students.

The business school graduation rate is 68%; it is 64% in Alabama. Three online business schools in Alabama beat the statewide rate, with two of them beating the national rate. The first is Samford University’s Brock Business School which has the highest graduation rate at 75%. Next is Auburn University’s Harbert Business School, with a 73% graduation rate. The University of North Alabama has a graduation rate of 66%, which is still above the statewide average and only 2% below the national average.

It’s important to remember that graduation rates are just one metric to measure a school’s quality, but it’s a metric that can say a lot about a program. Schools with high graduation rates show that they are invested in keeping their students focused and on track to complete their MBA program. For students who may need additional help in staying motivated to complete their MBA, a business school with a high graduation rate should be a strong consideration.

Online MBA programas in Alabama with the highest graduation rates:

  • 1 Samford University – 75%
  • 2 Auburn University-Harbert – 73%
  • 3 University of North Alabama – 66%

Highest Acceptance Rates

Students seeking an online MBA in Alabama may be concerned about getting accepted into graduate school. After all, this is natural anxiety; it takes an investment of planning, time, and money to prepare MBA applications, and prospective students want those investments to pay off. It may be more of a consideration in Alabama because, while the national business school acceptance rate is 79%, it is less. Alabama MBA programs accept 69% of applicants.

There are, however, four online MBA programs in Alabama with acceptance rates greater than the statewide acceptance average. The first is Samford University, with a 95% acceptance rate. The University of North Alabama follows closely behind with an 88%, and the University of Alabama boasts an 81% acceptance rate. The University of West Alabama rounds out the business schools in Alabama with top acceptance rates; 70% of applicants are accepted. With these rates, most MBA-seeking students in Alabama are likely to find a high-quality program that will meet their needs.

While these programs possess the state’s highest acceptance rates, they still have specific admissions qualifications that students must meet, like specific GPAs, testing requirements, or business experience. Because of this, it’s important to use graduation rates as one factor of consideration, but not the only factor when selecting an MBA program. Additionally, schools with lower acceptance rates shouldn’t always be discounted during a program search. Just because a school is selective doesn’t mean it will turn down every applicant, especially those with extensive qualifications.

Online MBA programs in Alamaba with the highest acceptance rates:

  • 1 Samford University – 95%
  • 2 University of North Alabama – 88%
  • 3 University of Alabama – 81%
  • 4 University of West Alabama – 70%

Alabama Online MBA Program Profiles

Selecting an online MBA program is a big decision, and it requires prospective students to look at each business school as a whole. While certain aspects of a particular online MBA may be appealing – like acceptance rates, tuition, and admissions requirements – prospective students can’t pick and choose the aspects they like the best. They must consider each program in its entirety to make an informed decision about the school that best fits their needs. Below is a quick overview of the online MBA programs available in Alabama. These streamlined profiles show each school’s strengths and imperfections to aid prospective students in their ultimate MBA program selection.

Amridge University

Master of Business Administration

School Info

Business Accred:
Regional Accred:SACSCOC
School Type:Private
T:(334) 244-3615
E:admissions
@amridgeuniversity.edu
Website:amridgeuniversity.edu
Location:Montgomery, AL

Amridge University’s online MBA program is one of Alabama’s more affordable options at $725 per credit hour, the fourth most affordable in the state. Additionally, Amridge is a good option for prospective students who do not have the time or resources to study for a graduate admissions exam. Amridge currently requires no GMAT or GRE scores to apply. Instead, applicants must submit an application fee and official undergraduate transcripts.

The 30-hour Amridge MBA program comprises core courses in finance, the legal environment, systems, leadership, ethics, organizational behavior, and research. Additionally, MBA students complete nine hours of electives based on individual career goals. The program prepares graduates to put their skills to work within corporate, non-profit, and/or Christian ministry environments (as Amridge is a Christian university).

The entire program can be completed online in four semesters, although working students may take longer to complete the MBA. The Amridge online MBA is open to both full- and part-time graduate students.

Auburn University

Online MBA from the Harbert College of Business

School Info

Business Accred:AACSB
Regional Accred:SACSCOC
School Type:Public
T:(334) 844-4060
E:mba@auburn.edu
Website:auburn.edu
Location:Auburn, AL

Auburn’s Harbert Business School offers a nationally recognized online MBA program that is one of the nation’s oldest. However, students pay for this prestige: the online MBA program costs $900 per credit hour, making it the third most expensive state option.

Although the courses are delivered online, Auburn’s online MBA program offers the same curriculum, resources, and educators as the traditional on-campus MBA. The online program, however, is self-paced to give balance to working professionals.

Auburn’s online MBA is made up of 13 classes, nine required courses, and four electives. Students may pace the course content at will as long as the degree is completed within six years. In fact, for those working full time, Auburn discourages a class load of more than two courses per semester.

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree, GMAT/GRE test scores (which are being waived through fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic), and US residency (except for military personnel). Additionally, they prefer students with two years of business experience.

Auburn University at Montgomery

MBA Degree from AUM’s College of Business

School Info

Business Accred:AACSB
Regional Accred:WSCUC
School Type:Public
T:(877) 516-4501
E:admissions@aum.edu
Website:aum.edu
Location:Montgomery, AL

Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) offers a flexible and convenient 10-course online MBA. While it can be completed virtually, AUM also offers the program a hybrid of online and on-campus learning.

While the program is the second most expensive in Alabama (at $919 per credit hour), it is also more exclusive. The school’s acceptance rate is 54%, and their class sizes are small, at only 15 students on average. This may be attractive to potential MBA students seeking a close, collaborative learning experience.

AUM’s online MBA offers courses in the evening to meet the needs of working professionals. The classes meet only once per week and are supplemented with independent, self-paced assignments. Courses include core studies in management, finance, data analysis, communication, and marketing. While the program does not offer specific concentrations, it offers electives to meet students’ individual needs.

Online MBA students can typically complete the entire program in 1-2 years. To apply, prospective students must submit undergraduate transcripts and GMAT scores less than five years old.

Samford University

The Brock School of Business Online MBA Program

School Info

Business Accred:AACSB
Regional Accred:SACSCOC
School Type:Private
T:(205) 726-2040
E:eagambre@samford.edu
Website:samford.edu
Location:Birmingham, AL

Samford University’s Brock Business school offers an online MBA program focused on the global business environment. In addition to coursework centered on communications, marketing, operations, and management, students can also take elective courses to concentrate on their MBA in finance, data analytics, or sports business.

At $862 per credit hour, it is not one of the most affordable options for online MBAs in Alabama. However, the program boasts the highest acceptance rate at 95%. Samford’s MBA requires 36-45 credits (depending on a student’s previous academic experience) or 39-48 credits for those completing a concentration. On average, students complete the program in two years.

During the application process, prospective students are evaluated on their undergraduate transcripts and previous graduate coursework (if applicable). Work experience is preferred but not required. Samford also considers an applicant’s Involvement in continuing education, extracurricular activities, community involvement, and church activities (as it is a Christian university). Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, graduate testing requirements have been waived through the fall of 2021.

Troy University

Online MBA – General Management From The Sorrell College of Business

School Info

Business Accred:AACSB
Regional Accred:SACSCOC
School Type:Public
T:(334) 670-3243
E:ask@troy.edu
Website:troy.edu
Location:Troy, AL

Troy University offers its online MBA with a concentration in General Management. The degree is intended to provide a broad range of knowledge for students who are also working professionals. Although the program offers an expansive range of coursework, it still provides students the ability to take nine hours of elective courses that meet their specific career needs and interests.

The program’s flexibility makes it attractive to many in the workforce. In fact, Troy allows MBA students to complete the entire program in the classroom, completely online, OR move between online and in-person evening courses. Additionally, Troy is an affordable option at $494 per credit hour (the third most affordable in the state). However, Troy’s program is also the most exclusive: it admits only 25% of applicants into their MBA program.

To apply, students must provide undergraduate transcripts (with a 2.5 GPA in all undergraduate work or at least a 3.0 GPA on the last 30 semester hours), GMAT or GRE scores, and a letter of recommendation. Those applying who already hold an advanced degree may waive the testing requirement, along with those that have three or more years of mid-level or higher professional management experience. Admission exam waivers will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the program director.

University of Alabama

The Manderson Graduate School of Business – Master’s of Arts in Management (Online)

School Info

Business Accred:AACSB
Regional Accred:SACSCOC
School Type:Public
T:(205) 934-8227
E:gradschool@uab.edu
Website:ua.edu
Location:Birmingham, AL

The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business offers a Master of Arts in Management degree in a blended online and on-campus format. While this is not a traditional MBA, the degree still provides students with advanced managerial skills in global business, entrepreneurship, and health care analytics.

This degree may benefit undergraduates wishing to add just one additional year of study to earn an advanced degree before entering the workforce, individuals currently in the workforce looking to enhance their earning opportunities, or those looking to earn a master’s degree to pursue a doctorate.

While the Master of Arts in Management degree is the most expensive program on the list (at $1,088 per credit hour), it also boasts a fairly high 81% acceptance rate. To apply, prospective students must submit their undergraduate transcripts (with a minimum 3.0 GPA), a statement of purpose in desiring the degree, a resume, three letters of recommendation, and a minimum GMAT score or 500 or GRE score 300. The curriculum is a one-year program that runs fall-spring, and applications are due April 15 to start the next fall.

University of North Alabama

Master of Business Administration @ UNA

School Info

Business Accred:AACSB
Regional Accred:SACSCOC
School Type:Public
T:(256) 765-6347
E:mbainfo@una.edu
Website:una.edu
Location:Florence, AL

The University of North Alabama (UNA) is a great option for MBA students seeking a cost-effective program. UNA is ranked as the second most affordable program in Alabama (at $475 per credit hour) and the program with the third-lowest debt rate in Alabama (at 38%).

UNA offers two kinds of online MBAs: a regular MBA with the opportunity to specialize in a concentration (in information systems, accounting, sales, and new business development, finance, global business, health care management, project management, human resource management, or a “choose your own” concentration) OR an executive MBA for those with at least five years of professional experience.

The executive MBA requires no GMAT score, but the regular MBA requires a GMAT score of 400 or at least three years of professional or entrepreneurial experience. (Note, the GMAT requirement is currently being waived through Spring 2021 for students with an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher). The regular MBA also requires an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 overall or 3.0 in the last 30 hours. The executive MBA requires a 3.0 GPA.

Full-time students can typically complete UNA’s MBA program in 18-24 months, while part-time students can complete the program in 24-30 months.

University of West Alabama

UWA Online MBA

School Info

Business Accred:ACBSP
Regional Accred:SACSCOC
School Type:Public
T:(205) 652-5534
E:n/a
Website:uwa.edu
Location:Livingston, AL

This online MBA leads the state in affordability at $429 per credit. Students can complete the program entirely online and, at 33 credit hours (24 in core courses and 9 in emphases), it is estimated to take most students just a year to complete.

Those looking for a wide array of concentrations for their MBA will want to consider one of UWA’s twelve in accounting, data analytics, computer information systems, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, finance, general business, international business, management, marketing, rural business, and sports management. Applicants must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 2.75 GPA or possess a master’s degree or higher with a 3.0 GPA.

To provide their MBA students with a streamlined experience, UWA provides enrollment counselors who offer guidance during the application process. Additionally, UWA offers enrolled students with success coaches to answer questions and provide assistance throughout the program.

Alabama Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Alabama is home to many industries, primarily agriculture, aerospace, and automotive sectors. Healthcare, banking, and education are other growing fields there. The booming automotive industry in Alabama has nearly 300 businesses, including International Diesel, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Mercedes. Biotech-based companies are equally popular in the state, with over 90 biotechnology businesses there. Both automotive and biotech sectors offer job opportunities to many populations, and Alabama businesses rake up nearly $200 billion each year.

Coca-Cola, Hunt Refining, O’Neal Industries are famous private players in Alabama. These industries collectively employ more than 7,500 people there. Famous Fortune 500 companies, like Regions Financial and HealthSouth, also have outlets in Birmingham.

The total salaries in Alabama in 2019 were the highest in the manufacturing sector, at $13.73 billion. Healthcare, social services, and professional, technical, and scientific services followed behind.

Experienced professionals are in demand in the Alabama job market. So are MBA professionals with hands-on experience. Major corporations in Alabama seek out MBA graduates for leadership roles to give their businesses a competitive edge in the market by increasing revenue and support growth. This is precisely why corporate strategists and leaders, most with an MBA, enjoy rewarding, high-paying jobs in Alabama.

Of course, the business school in Alabama that you choose can make a drastic difference to your pay package. Here’s a look at the salaries earned by different MBA graduates as shown on Payscale.

  • Auburn University MBA graduates draw about $53,000 in the early career. The top-career pay is around $122,000.
  • MBA graduates from the University of Alabama- Huntsville Campus draw $67,820 in their early careers.
  • Troy University MBA graduates earn $51,300 per year earlier on and $82,000 mid-careers.

The field of expertise also affects the pay scale. The fields below earn the following average salaries per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Chief executives: $185,850
  • Architectural and engineering managers: $141,650
  • Marketing managers: $140,660
  • Financial managers: $134,330
  • General and operations managers: $119,460
  • Human resource managers: $117,080

It is evident from the above statistics that chief executives secure the best salaries, so it comes as no surprise that there is stiff competition in the market for these highly-coveted executive positions. The job opportunities for chief executives over the next ten years are expected to decrease by 1.2% between 2014 and 2024.

Other Popular Online MBA Program Pages


References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/
2. AACSB, Best Business Schools: https://bestbizschools.aacsb.edu/
3. ACBSP, Business Schools: https://www.acbsp.org/
4. IACBE, Business Schools: http://iacbe.org/
5. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: http://www.sacs.org/
6. Payscale.com, Auburn University: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/School=Auburn_University/Salary
7. Payscale.com, University of Alabama- Huntsville: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/School=University_of_Alabama_-_Huntsville_Campus/Salary
8. Payscale.com, Troy University: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/School=Troy_University/Salary
9. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Chief Executives: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes111011.htm
10. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Marketing Managers: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112021.htm
11. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Financial Managers: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm
12. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, General and Operations Managers: https://www.bls.gov/oes/CURRENT/oes111021.htm
13. Projections Central, Long-Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
14. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economy at a Glance, Alabama: https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.al.htm