Online MBA Programs in Alabama
|1 – Affordable Programs|
|2 – Lowest Debt Programs|
|3 – Highest Graduation Rate|
|4 – Highest Acceptance Rate|
|5 – No GMAT Required|
|6 – Compare Programs|
|7 – Full Program Profiles|
|8 – Career and Job Outlook|
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, offer 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 analyze each program and assess the right choice carefully. ALABAMA’S online MBA programs 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.
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 $816 per credit hour, although it is less (but still considerable) in Alabama at $667 per credit hour. Fortunately, several online MBA programs in Alabama cost much 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, accredited university offers an online MBA at $429 per credit hour. That is a considerable savings of $387 less than the national average and $238 less than the Alabama average. Following just behind is Auburn University – Montgomery at $463 per credit hour. This still comes in at $353 less than the national average and $204 less than the statewide average.
Three additional Alabama online MBA programs round out the most affordable in the state, all under $550 per credit hour. The University of North Alabama’s program comes in at $475 per credit hour, while Troy University’s program runs $494 per credit hour. Finally, Spring Hill College runs $540 per credit hour.
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 educational reimbursement from their employer to continue their education.
Most affordable online MBA programs in Alabama:
- University of West Alabama – $429
- Auburn University – Montgomery – $463
- University of North Alabama – $475
- Troy University – $494
- Spring Hill College – $540
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, 44% of business school students throughout the country carry debt at the time of graduation. It is a bit lower in Alabama at 39%. Thankfully there are three online MBA programs in Alabama with debt rates that beat the national and state averages.
Only 16% of Samford University MBA students graduate with debt. That rate is a huge drop from both the national and statewide rates. No other online MBA programs in Alabama come close to this percentage. However, two other Alabama programs make the list of programs with the lowest debt rate in Alabama. They come in at higher percentages, although they are still under both the national and statewide averages. The University of North Alabama’s debt rate comes in at 33%, while Auburn University is 38%, still under the average statewide rate.
Online MBA programs in Alabama with the lowest debt at graduation:
- Samford University – 16%
- University of North Alabama – 33%
- Auburn University – 38%
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 in a timely manner, they can put their specialized skills into the workplace faster to increase their earning potential. When a university can assist in providing a timely and comprehensive education for the majority of their students, they show their dedication and commitment to helping students achieve their goals, which helps them attract more students.
Across the nation, the business school graduation rate is 69%; it is 61% in Alabama. Two online business schools in Alabama beat the statewide rate, with one just shy of it. The first is Samford University’s Brock Business School which has the highest graduation rate in the state at 67%. Next is Auburn University’s Harbert Business School, with a 65% graduation rate. The University of Alabama – Birmingham has a graduation rate of 59%, just under the statewide 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 that may need some 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:
- Samford University – 67%
- Auburn University – 65%
- University of Alabama – Birmingham – 59%
Highest Acceptance Rates
Students seeking an online MBA in Alabama may be concerned about getting accepted into graduate school. This is natural anxiety; after all, 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 71%.
There are, however, four online MBA programs in Alabama with acceptance rates greater than or equal to the statewide acceptance average. The first is Samford University, with a 91% acceptance rate. The University of North Alabama follows closely behind with an 87%, and the University of Alabama – Birmingham boasts an 85% acceptance rate. The University of West Alabama rounds out the business schools in Alabama with top acceptance rates; 71% 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 highest acceptance rates in the state, 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:
- Samford University – 91%
- University of North Alabama – 87%
- University of Alabama – Birmingham – 85%
- University of West Alabama – Birmingham – 71%
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 or GRE. Instead of centering admissions around test scores, more business schools realize a wider range of students are seeking admissions. Some 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 studies and have other life responsibilities that may make studying quite difficult. For prospective MBA students in these categories, here are some online Alabama graduate schools to consider:
Amridge University’s online MBA program currently requires no GMAT or GRE scores to apply. Applicants need only submit an official transcript showing an earned four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. The same currently applies to the University of West Alabama; applying to their online MBA program requires an undergraduate degree with a minimum of 2.75 GPA or a graduate degree or higher with a minimum of 3.0 GPA.
Spring Hill College’s online MBA program does not require test scores for applicants with three or more years of work experience. However, students without this experience may be required to submit test scores. Likewise, the University of Alabama – Birmingham offers test waivers to applicants with relevant academic and professional experience.
Prospective students with established resumes, high GPAs, other graduate degrees, or simply without time to study may be interested in these programs. Those looking to save some money may also be interested in these programs; graduate tests usually cost around $250 to take.
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 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.
|School||City||Accred.||Accept. Rate||Tuition||GPA||GMAT||Graduate Debt(%)|
|Auburn University||Auburn University||AACSB||67%||$900||3.4||605||65%|
|Auburn University – Montgomery||Montgomery||AACSB||47%||$463||3.1||410|
|Spring Hill College||Mobile||$540|
|University of Alabama – Birmingham||Birmingham||AACSB||85%||$1088||3.1||443||59%|
|University of North Alabama||Florence||AACSB||87%||$475||3.1||461|
|University of West Alabama||Livingston||AACSB||71%||429|
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 decide 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.
Master of Business Administration
Amridge University’s online MBA program 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 (however, applicants may submit their scores if they desire). 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.
Online MBA from the Harbert College of Business
Auburn’s Harbert Business School offers a nationally-recognized online MBA program that is one of the oldest in the nation. However, students pay for this prestige: the online MBA program costs $900 per credit hour, making it the second most expensive option in the state.
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, and US residency (except military personnel). Additionally, they prefer students with two years of business experience.
Auburn University at Montgomery
MBA Degree from AUM’s College of Business
Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) offers a flexible and convenient 10-course online MBA. While it can be completed completely virtually, AUM also offers the program as a hybrid of online and on-campus learning. Even though their MBA program is one of the most affordable in the state (at $463 per credit hour), it is also one of the most exclusive. The school’s acceptance rate is 47%, the second lowest in the state.
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, they do offer 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.
The Brock School of Business Online MBA Program
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 add a concentration to their MBA in finance, data analytics, or sports business.
At $888 per credit hour, it is not one of Alabama’s most affordable options for online MBAs. However, the program boasts the highest acceptance rate in the state at 91%. 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).
Spring Hill College
Accelerated Online MBA
Spring Hill College offers an accelerated online MBA to build a solid business career. Students also customize their MBA experience at Spring Hill College with concentrations in either Project Management, Leadership, or Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Spring Hill’s MBA program consists of 30 credit hours which can be completed in as few as 10 months, regardless of concentration.
Spring Hill College also offers flexibility in its MBA programing. MBA students can participate in either full- or part-time inflexible courses designed to be taken completely online. In addition to course flexibility, Spring Hill also offers an experienced MBA faculty. Instructors balance practical and theoretical instruction to allow all MBA students to succeed as future business leaders.
Spring Hill tops off its MBA program with a streamlined application process. For students with three years of working experience, there is no GMAT or GRE requirement. Additionally, there are no fees to apply. And, at $540 per credit hour, Spring Hill College’s MBA is one of the most affordable in the state of Alabama.
Online MBA – General Management From The Sorrell College of Business
Troy University offers their 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 fourth most affordable in the state).
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.
University of Alabama
The Manderson Graduate School of Business – Master’s of Arts in Management (Online)
The Collat School of Business at the University of Alabama – Birmingham is a great option for potential MBA students looking for a program that is 100% online. Students can choose a general MBA or a concentration in Finance, Marketing, Management Information Systems, or Health Services. The general MBA spans 36 credit hours, while concentrations take 39. Regardless of concentration, all MBA programs from the University of Alabama – Birmingham are designed to take between one and two years to complete.
While the tuition cost is one of the highest in the state at $1,008 per credit hour, it boasts one of the highest acceptance rates at 85%. Applicants can also qualify for GMAT waivers with relevant academic and professional experience. The University of Alabama – Birmingham also emphasizes networking. Not only do they desire for students to develop key foundational business skills, but also a network of diverse and accomplished mentors, faculty, and peers.
University of North Alabama
Master of Business Administration @ UNA
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 33%).
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. 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
This online MBA leads the state in affordability at $429 per credit. The program can be completed 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 minimum of 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 raise 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. Over the next ten years, the job opportunities for chief executives are expected to decrease by 1.2% between 2014 and 2024.
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