Online MBA in Arkansas

The online MBA programs in Arkansas attract local, out-of-state, and international students often due to the high number of retail offices located in a concentrated area. This page summarizes the MBA degree programs available in Arkansas, including business schools in Arkansas, executive MBAs, and online degrees open to local, out-of-state, and international students.

Finding the right accredited online MBA school to fit your schedule and budget may take patience, but the job market for MBA graduates is growing in the state and across the nation. Now might be a good time to take your career to the next level through graduate study in business administration.


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Best Online MBA Programs in Arkansas

Online MBA programs in Arkansas may meet the needs of working professionals and rural, remote, or out-of-state students who want to pursue graduate business education from the comfort of their own home. The programs listed below are all AACSB-accredited and may offer greater flexibility in their overall structure than on-campus programs due to the online format.

(The below 4 online MBA programs in Arkansas are listed in alphabetical order.)

1. Arkansas State University – College of Business

The online MBA offered by Arkansas State University is a traditional, advanced generalist degree that helps students develop a broad range of knowledge in key business areas. Students are admitted from most states across the country, and in 2016 there were 118 students enrolled in the program. In the same year, US News and World Report ranked the online MBA in a tie for 10th place among all similar degrees in the nation.5 Students complete 33-39 credit hours of study, which may include an internship or an independent study project after completing at least 15 credit hours of study.

MBA Program Admission

The college offers both unconditional and conditional acceptance to the online MBA program. All applicants must submit official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate level study, along with either GMAT or GRE test scores taken within the past five years. If your bachelor’s degree is not in business administration, seven prerequisite courses must be taken in before you are admitted to the program.

Foundational Coursework

Core Curriculum (27 hours) – Accounting for Planning and Control, Managerial Economics, Corporate Financial Management, Global Strategic Initiatives, Management Information Systems, Seminar in Organizational Behavior and Leadership, Strategic Marketing, Business Analytics, and Strategic Management, plus two elective courses.

Online MBA Program Concentrations and Specialization Options

The online MBA can be completed as an advanced generalist degree or with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. Courses in this concentration include Seminar in Logistics Management, Global Supply Chain Management, Logistics Operations, and Sourcing and Procurement.

2. Southern Arkansas University – David F. Rankin College of Business

The David F. Rankin College of Business offers an affordable online MBA accredited by the AACSB that is open to students in Arkansas, across the nation, and abroad. You will complete 30 credit hours that cover key areas of advanced business, including accounting, economics, finance, marketing, organizational theory, and management information systems and you have the option of choosing your electives in a concentration area. Students in the online MBA program have access to all of the same student services and supports as on-campus MBA students.

MBA Program Admission

All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and have taken either the GMAT or GRE. The degree can be any subject, but if it is not in business administration then you will need to demonstrate that you have taken relevant courses in accounting, finance, statistics, marketing, micro-economics, and organizational theory as part of your studies. To be eligible for unconditional acceptance, you need to have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA for all coursework or a 2.75 cumulative GPA for the last 60 hours of coursework. For conditional acceptance, you need at least a 2.2 cumulative GPA.

Foundational Coursework

Core Curriculum (24 credit hours) – Accounting for Decision Making, Managerial Economics, Strategic Marketing, Human Behavior in Organizations, Managerial Finance, Strategic Planning and Analysis, Quantitative Methods, and Enterprise Resource Planning.

Online MBA Program Concentrations and Specialization Options

The MBA has a generalist curriculum; however, two emphasis options are available:

  • Agri-Business (9 credit hours) – Agriculture Markets and Prices, International Trade of Agriculture Products, Agricultural Policies, and Management of Agricultural Production (Managerial Economics not required)
  • Supply Chain Management (9 credit hours) – Business Analytics, Supply Chain Management, and two 6000-level approved electives

3. University of Arkansas – Sam M. Walton College Graduate School of Business

The Sam M. Walton College Graduate School of Business offers an AACSB-accredited Executive MBA online that is designed to work around the busy schedules of working professionals. Because many large retail companies have offices in the local area, the online MBA has a retail-focused curriculum and the college has a Center for Retailing Excellence and a Supply Chain Management Research Center. Once you are admitted, you will complete 38 credit hours of coursework primarily online, but you will also attend on-campus classes once a month on Saturday as well. The degree takes 24 months to complete on a part-time basis and applications are considered on a rolling basis.

MBA Program Admission

To apply for the online MBA degree, you will need to submit an application form and fee, transcripts from any undergraduate and graduate study, a resume, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and your GMAT or GRE scores. If you have more than five years of professional experience, you may be eligible for a no GMAT requirement.

Foundational Coursework

Core Curriculum in the Executive MBA program (32 credit hours) – Accounting Boot Camp, Introduction to Strategy, Quantitative Methods and Decision Making, Marketing Ideas, Products and Services, Economics of Management and Strategy, Corporate Financial Management, Financial Statement Analysis for Executives, Global Business, Supply Chain Management, Analytics & Visualization, Leadership & Managing Behavior in Organizations, Strategic Management

Online MBA Program Concentrations and Specialization Options

Students in the online MBA program can choose from five focus areas:

  • Retail (6 credit hours) – Contemporary Topics in Retail and one elective from Supply Chain Management or Business Analytics
  • Supply Chain (6 credit hours) – Supply Chain Management in Global Business and Predictive Supply Chain Analytics
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship (6 credit hours) – New Venture Development and MBA Partnering Project
  • Finance (6 credit hours) – Advanced Corporate Financial Management and Investment Theory & Management
  • Business Analytics (6 credit hours) – Data & Database Management and Business Intelligence & Data Mining

4. University of Central Arkansas – College of Business

The University of Central Arkansas College of Business has been offering an AACSB-accredited MBA program fully online since 2014. You will complete 30 credit hours of coursework in core courses and electives that can be taken from one of four concentrations. The program has a rolling deadline and new students can start in the fall, spring, or summer term. In 2016, 69 students were enrolled in the online program from across the nation and internationally.

MBA Program Admission

You must have a bachelor’s degree with significant business-related content and a minimum score of 500 on the GMAT (or GRE equivalent) to apply to the MBA program for unconditional acceptance. If you do not meet the GMAT score or lack the necessary business prerequisite courses, you may be admitted with conditional acceptance and be required to take foundational courses in accounting, microeconomics, finance, and statistics before beginning the MBA curriculum. You will also need to submit a personal essay, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and proof of English Language Proficiency if you are an international applicant.

Foundational Coursework

Core Curriculum (21 credit hours) – Information Technology for Managers, Accounting for Management Decisions, Financial Decision Making, Marketing Strategy, Strategic Management, Organizational Behavior, and Operations Management.

Online MBA Program Concentrations and Specialization Options

  • Finance (9 credit hours) – three electives from Bank Management, Investments, International Finance, Financial Derivatives, and Entrepreneurial and Small Business Finance
  • Health Care Administration (9 credit hours) – Administration of Health Programs, and two electives from Nutritional Services Administration, Environmental Health Problems, Health Promotion Interventions, Health Strategies for Multicultural Populations, Contemporary Health Problems, Directed Independent Study, and Research in Health Sciences
  • Information Management (9 credit hours) – three electives from Quantitative Analytical Methods, Project Management, Principles of Information Security, and Business Intelligence
  • International Business (15 credit hours) – nine credit hours from MBA-level courses, six credit hours of graduate-level international business, international culture, a foreign language, or internship taken at an international partner university

Arkansas Online MBA Salary and Job Outlook

MBA graduates will likely have many job opportunities to look forward to in the coming years, including high-level, high-earning positions. Across the nation, top executive positions are expected to increase by 6% overall,1 making an MBA degree a potentially valuable asset if you are looking to develop your career or make a career path change into business administration. Data provided by the government and third-party organizations can help you understand the labor market and earning potential for MBA graduates.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many key business positions are expected to grow in Arkansas, often above the national average, through 2022: General and Operations Managers (10%), Financial Managers (9%), Management Analysts (8%), Managers, All Others (7%), and Chief Executives (5%).2 Many business occupations are included on the state’s Projected Employment Opportunities List, including positions in marketing, sales, finance, human resources, health services management, and Chief Executive positions. This suggests that MBA graduates with either traditional generalist degrees or degrees with concentrations may be in demand as various industries experience short- and long-term growth.

Many people decide to pursue an MBA in Arkansas, either on-campus or online, to capitalize on the opportunities available in these growing fields and to develop the skills necessary to advance within one of the many Fortune 500 companies that have offices in Arkansas, including Wal-Mart and Tyson Foods. Attractive salaries available soon after graduation also make MBA degrees popular and may offer good return on investment. Many business graduates living in Arkansas find employment in the larger urban centers, including Little Rock, Fayetteville, and Bentonville, although online degrees through Arkansas business schools may prove to be beneficial across the country as national statistics show growth as well.

Here are some statistics from PayScale.com about the wages for management professionals in Arkansas:

  • The average salary for MBA graduates working in Arkansas is between $35,680-$106,133.
  • An MBA graduate from the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business (an AACSB-accredited program) has a median salary of $70,900 in the first five years; this increases to $99,700 after accumulating 10 years of experience.
  • Median salaries for management positions in Arkansas include Operations Manager – $53,502, General/Operations Manager – $51,133, and Human Resources Manager – $50,997.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salaries in 2014 for business professionals in Arkansas are listed below:

  • Chief Executives – $138,710
  • General and Operations Managers – $87,850
  • Managers, All Other – $109,480
  • Management Analysts – $64,710
  • Financial Managers – $107,650

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