Online MBA Programs in North Carolina
Continuing your education with an Online MBA program in North Carolina is a versatile option. An online MBA can be used in many ways, from securing a new position, honing skills, moving up in position, or even just for additional pay. MBA programs are designed to cultivate important business skills, including communication, leadership, decision-making, and analytics. Online MBA programs are the perfect solution to a busy life, offering flexibility in location and schedule.
The 10 online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in North Carolina were researched and compared to their tuition, debt, graduation rates, and more. Fayetteville State University is the most affordable program with tuition at $494 per credit hour, which is well below both the state ($1,053) and national averages ($820). The highest 3-year graduation rate is reported at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill at 89%. This rate of graduation exceeds both the national and state averages, which are 68%. The North Carolina State University-Poole reported that only 28% of their students graduate with student debt, and is lower than both the state (46%) and national (46.6%) averages. Additionally, the acceptance rate at Montreat College is 100%, which is the highest out of all programs researched and exceeds both the state and the national average of 79%. Lastly, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill reported the highest average applicant GPA and GMAT scores at 3.3 and 661, respectively.
This article provides in-depth descriptions of 10 online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs offered in North Carolina. Information, such as tuition cost, is also compared to national averages. Prospective students interested in online MBA programs can utilize this information to determine which program may suit them best, depending on their specific needs. All the MBA programs described herein are offered at Regionally Accredited public or non-profit Institutions. Information was mainly gathered from the schools themselves via the website or email/phone interview. Additional program information was gained from websites such as the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Common Data Set, US News, Princeton Review, College Board, and Petersons.
Compare Online MBA Programs in North Carolina
The table below shows various admission and graduation statistics for the 10 accredited online MBA programs in North Carolina. The tuition cost among these programs ranges from $494 per credit hour at Fayetteville State University to $2,025 per credit hour at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The average graduate debt is also reported as the percentage of graduates that leave college with debt and ranges from 28% at the North Carolina State University-Poole to 72% at the Queen’s University of Charlotte-McColl. Overall acceptance rates for these schools vary between 49% and 100%, and graduation rates vary between 44% and 89%. Additionally, the grade point averages (GPAs) for admitting students are similar for these schools and vary between 3.0 and 3.3. More variability in the average graduate management admissions test (GMAT) scores for admitting students was reported between 507 and 661.
Affordable Online MBA Programs in North Carolina
When prospective students are looking for a university program, affordability is a large factor in deciding which program to attend. Higher tuition costs may even deter some students from attending programs even if the school is otherwise great. Furthermore, the school’s overall cost includes not just tuition, as shown in the above table, but also class fees and books, in addition to living expenses. The availability of a wide range of MBA program costs allows for different people with varying levels of financial ability the opportunity to attend college and obtain an advanced degree.
The most affordable online MBA in North Carolina out of the 10 researched is Fayetteville State University at $494 per credit hour, followed by Montreat College at $510 per credit hour, Pfeiffer University at $680 per credit hour, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro at $717 per credit hour, and the University of North Carolina-Pembroke at $829 per credit hour. These costs are all lower than North Carolina’s state average cost of $1,053 per credit hour. The most affordable option is $559 per credit hour below the state average, and the 5th most affordable is $224 below the state average. Additionally, these more affordable options are all below the national average cost of $820 per credit hour, except for the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, which is slightly above the national average. These varying costs and averages below national and state levels are beneficial for including more people in furthering their education.
Affordable online MBA programs in North Carolina:
- Fayetteville State University – $494
- Montreat College – $510
- Pfeiffer University – $680
- University of North Carolina-Greensboro – $717
- University of North Carolina-Pembroke – $829
MBA Programs with Lowest Debt at Graduation
The amount of student loan debt accumulated from attending school is also an important consideration for students determining which North Carolina MBA program to choose. Although not always, it is a common rule that students must begin to pay back loans within 1-year of graduation. Large student loans can create a financial burden and hinder a person’s credit and ability to obtain future loans, such as for a house or car. Additionally, depending on the student loan interest rate, debt can accumulate quickly and take several decades to pay off. When looking at potential future debt, it may be beneficial to research the average salaries of MBA graduates; this can then be compared to the average debt value and determine the approximate amount of time it will pay off.
The table above shows the percentage of graduates that leave school with debt. On average, 46.6% of graduates in the USA have debt when they leave school. This national average is just slightly above the average for the State of North Carolina at 46%. Out of the 10 schools researched for North Carolina, the lowest debt rates are 28% at the North Carolina State University, 30% at Fayetteville State University, and 38% at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill are all below both the state and national averages. However, the East Carolina University (49%) and the University of North Carolina-Pembroke (58%) have student debt rates above the state and national averages. Additionally, these rates are at or above 50%, meaning more than half the students that attend leave with debt.
Online MBA programs in North Carolina with lowest debt at graduation:
- North Carolina State University – 28%
- Fayetteville State University – 30%
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – 38%
- East Carolina University – 49%
- University of North Carolina-Pembroke – 58%
No GMAT Required
Some online MBA programs in North Carolina do not require prospective students to submit GMAT or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores for admission to MBA programs. This can be beneficial to students who do not have excess time and money. These tests can cost over $200 and often require the purchase of a study guide. Additionally, studying for these tests can be quite rigorous and require at least a month to prepare. Therefore, not requiring prospective students to take these tests can save students study time and money. Also, certain types of students may not do well on standardized tests but may excel in the classroom or other environments. So, universities that do not require these test scores or that have a less stringent admissions standardized test policy could be better fits for out-of-the-box thinkers. For example, the East Carolina University and Fayetteville State University report that GMAT or GRE scores are ‘important’ or ‘very important in admissions decisions; whereas, at North Carolina State University-Poole or the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, the test scores are ‘considered’ as part of the overall application. These statistics pair well with the percentages of entrants that submit GMAT scores when applying to colleges. The East Carolina University that puts more weight into standardized tests also receives scores in 24% of applications instead of the North Carolina State University-Poole, which receives these scores in only 9% of applications.
Highest Graduation Rate
The 3-year graduation rate is a good measure of a university MBA program’s organization, advising capacity, and quality. This rate measures the college’s ability to facilitate their students through their program in a reasonable timeframe. When these rates are low, it may be a sign that the college has a lesser ability to properly advise students and facilitate them to the point of graduation. Alternatively, knowledgeable advisers, accessible student resources, and easily understandable program guidelines can increase students’ ability to complete the program in the recommended time. Lower graduation rates may also be a sign of a more strenuous program that takes students longer to complete. Lastly, lower rates could also be a sign of an online school that supports many part-time students, who are more likely to require longer than the recommended year timeframe to complete a program.
Both the national and North Carolina state average 3-year graduation rates are 68%. The highest graduation rates out of the researched schools are 89% at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and 76% at the Queen’s University of Charlotte. These rates are higher than the national and state average and show a promising ability for prospective students to complete these MBA programs. However, the North Carolina State University, Fayetteville State University, and East Carolina University have graduation rates ranging from 44% to 67%, below the national and state averages. These lower rates of graduation rates imply that, in some cases, half of their students do not graduate within 3 years.
Online MBA programs in North Carolina with the highest 3-year graduation rates:
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – 89%
- Queens University of Charlotte – 76%
- North Carolina State University – 67%
- Fayetteville State University – 65%
- East Carolina University – 44%
Highest Acceptance Rates
Acceptance rates can also be useful when researching colleges, as they show the average percentage of accepted students versus the total number of applicants. The national average and the North Carolina state average acceptance rates are both 79%. Out of the 10 researched Business Schools in North Carolina, the highest acceptance rates were 100% at Montreat College, 92% at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, and 91% at the Queen’s University of Charlotte. These are much higher than the national and state averages and show that these three schools are less stringent with admissions requirements. Other schools have lower acceptance rates that are very close to the national and state averages, including 80% at the University of North Carolina and 76% at Fayetteville State University. These rates are still high, but there is a higher probability of applicants being denied at these schools.
For example, when prospective students apply to Fayetteville State University, a 24% chance that a student’s application would be declined, on average. It may be beneficial for a student to spend more time fine-tuning, proofreading, and to edit this application to ensure higher quality and creativity. Lower acceptance ranges could imply a higher level of applicant competitiveness, meaning these applications may require more time to brainstorm ways for applications to stand out. Alternatively, when applying for higher acceptance rates, such as Montreat College, more focus could be spent on ensuring all the necessary documentation is included with the application with a less acute focus on editing. Very few, if any, students are denied at this college. Additionally, sending applications to schools with different acceptance rates increases the probability of being accepted to at least one school.
Online MBA programs in North Carolina with the highest acceptance rates:
- Montreat College – 100%
- University of North Carolina-Pembroke 92%
- Queens University of Charlotte – 91%
- University of North Carolina – 80%
- Fayetteville State University – 76%
North Carolina Online MBA Program Profiles
Choosing the right online MBA program means considering each program as a whole. While price, acceptance rates, and entrance requirements should be carefully considered on their own, choosing a program means committing to the program as a whole. What follows is a simple breakdown of every online MBA considered in this article, including the high and low points for each program to aid potential students in overall assessments.
East Carolina University
The ECU MBA Program
The online MBA in North Carolina at the East Carolina University requires a minimum of 33 credit hours or 11 classes. The online program is flexible and offers 7 foundation courses every semester, so there is no waiting for courses to become available. Rolling admissions allow for applications to be processed as they are received and allow for admittance during any three semesters. The GMAT or GRE is required to enter the program; however, the school offers waivers for certain students, such as licensed CPAs or already a member of the honors college. The school also provides waivers for the foundation courses in certain circumstances. For example, if the undergraduate student completes similar courses with a B- or higher, those credits can be transferred. Depending on the course waivers, those in-state residents may obtain an online MBA for less than $15,000. Lastly, ECU provides add-on graduate certificates to help students get into a specialized industry, such as finance, sport management, development, and environmental planning.
Fayetteville State University
The MBA program at Fayetteville State University requires 36 credits and is designed as a 2-year program with a maximum timeframe of 6 years for completion. Classes are offered in 8-week or 16-week durations, and online students can take a maximum of 3 online courses per semester. Admissions require a minimum GPA of 2.75. Students have the option of waiving the GMAT or GRE test in certain circumstances, including those who have an undergraduate GPA greater than 3.6, are in the military or have already completed a graduate degree. There are 5 foundation courses required, which are offered every semester. Students can transfer up to 9 credit hours from other schools. The program offers 10 concentrations, such as general business, entrepreneurship, supply chain management, and 4 graduate certificate concentrations. The online program requires that at least 25% of the students’ time is proctored in-person or through computer software, such as facial recognition. Senior students complete a real-world scenario capstone project to propel them into the working world.
Montreat College offers three possible MBA tracks, including general, innovation and entrepreneurship, and cybersecurity management. The general program track requires completion of 30 credit hours, which can be completed in 1.5 years (20 months) by taking one full online class per semester. The other two tracks require an additional 9 credit hours (3 classes) in the chosen concentration area. Students can enter the program at any time but must complete their degree within 5 years. Admissions require a $50 application fee and at least a 2.75 GPA upon entering and allow up to 6 credit hours to be transferred from other institutions. GRE and GMAT scores are accepted up to 5-years after tests are taken; additionally, Montreat College offers standardized test waivers for 7 scenarios, such as completion of an undergraduate degree at the school, five years of related work experience in the industry, or a bachelor’s degree from another institution with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
North Carolina State University-Poole
The MBA program at the North Carolina State University-Poole requires completion of 40 credit hours, which can be done in as little as 21 months and a maximum of 6 years. The application fee is $75 ($85 for international students), and admitted students can begin at any time but must attend a virtual orientation with related modules. Students must also complete two residencies (classes) before graduation, which each require a 3-day trip to Raleigh. The program offers 5 specializations and 6 graduate certificates in finance, supply chain management, entrepreneurship, and technology commercialization. Additionally, the online program does not require the submittal of GMAT or GRE scores. This school also offers the 2+2 program, which benefits undergraduate students who work for 2-years in the industry before entering the MBA program. Benefits include enhancing understanding, facilitating a professional career, and the potential to receive a $5,000 scholarship.
The MBA program at Pfeiffer University consists of 36 credit hours, including 11 core courses. Admission requirements consist of undergraduate prerequisite courses in statistics, accounting, and microeconomics, and macroeconomics. The school also waives GMAT/GRE tests for those with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8, those with at least 5 years of industry experience, or those with a graduate degree. Joint programs are also offered with the MBA, including a combination with a Master of Health Administration or Master of Law; these require 60 credit hours and an estimated timeframe of 30 to 36 months. Pfeiffer University also offers a Business Management and Leadership 3/2 Program to complete school 1 year sooner. Applications for the 3/2 Program are available for undergraduates who wish to achieve their undergraduate degree in business and their MBA within 5 years. Another offered program is the Partnership Program, which allows certain organizations to receive a 10% discount on tuition.
Queens University of Charlotte-McColl
At the Queen’s University of Charlotte-McColl, the MBA online program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, which can be completed in 18 months. The school highlights that 100% of their graduates are either employed or accepted to graduate school within 9 months. The MBA program offers 6 graduate certificates in cybersecurity management, executive coaching, finance certification, global business management, healthcare management, leadership, and change. Mentorship is also offered to all students, and students can transfer credits from other institutions. Admission to this university does not require GMAT or GRE test scores, but they specify that these scores can help an application stand-out. Prior industry work experience also can strengthen an application but is not required. Applications can be made at any time, and scholarships are offered to those who submit applications before the priority deadlines for each semester. Additionally, an admissions interview is required before beginning the program.
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
The 62-credit hour MBA program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill includes 9 core courses and can be completed in 18 months or up to 3 years. 5 concentrations are offered, including marketing, data analytics, decision-making, entrepreneurship, finance, strategy, and consulting. In addition, 4 graduate certificates are also available. There are 4 start dates per year, and applicants who submit the priority deadline are offered benefits, such as waiving the $150 application fee and early registration. GMAT or GRE scores are required as part of the application. Still, a waiver is available for special circumstances, for example, people with at least 5 years of professional experience or those with a combination of high-achieving academic records and work experience. Before admission, each student must complete a personal online interview. Several programs are also offered, consisting of the study abroad Doing Business In (DBI) Program and the Student Teams Achieving Results (STAR) Program for students to obtain real-world experience working with companies non-profits.
University of North Carolina-Wilmington
The MBA Program at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington requires completion of 36 credit hours (12 classes), which includes 30 credit hours (10 core classes) and 6 credit hours (3 elective classes). The program can be completed in a minimum of 12 months for a total in-state tuition cost of $15,855. Available Areas of specialization include business analytics, finance, healthcare management, international business, marketing, and supply chain management. Rolling admissions allow for 6 start dates every year, comprising 2 during each semester. To apply, undergraduate students must complete a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and have 2 years of professional work experience. A GMAT test score of 500 (or equivalent GRE score) is required for the application, but waivers are available for special circumstances; for example, undergraduates with a GPA of 3.2 or higher, with 5 years of managerial experience, or a graduate degree are eligible for the standardized test waiver.
University of North Carolina-Pembroke
The 36-credit hour online MBA Program at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke can be completed through a fast-paced seven-week course outline in as little as 1-year for an in-state tuition cost of $9,972. The program consists of 4 foundation courses and 8 core courses; 4 elective courses are also required, which students can pick from 22 elective options. Currently, the university is temporarily waiving standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE) for online admissions. The application requires the previous completion of a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. This school also has one of the highest acceptance rates for incoming students at 92%. 7 concentrations to the MBA are available and include: business administration, business analytics, finance, financial services, forensic accounting, healthcare administration, and supply chain management. There is also an internship program available with options for paid and unpaid to obtain career-related experience. Additionally, the university offers a study-abroad international program.
University of North Carolina-Greensboro
The University of North Carolina-Greensboro requires 45 credit hours to complete the online MBA for an in-state tuition total of $21,000. This includes 30 core class credits, 9 elective credits (chose from 30 electives), a basecamp mentoring and internship course (3 credits), and a capstone consulting course (3 credits). There are two tracts available, including early career and experienced professional programs. The experienced professional program requires 5 or more years of work experience. Admissions are no longer requiring GMAT or GRE test scores beginning in Fall 2021, and students can begin the program in either the spring or fall semester. The university will also transfer up to 9 credit hours undergraduate business degrees completed within the past 5 years. A total of 7 concentrations are offered: business analytics, cybersecurity, finance, information technology, international business, marketing, supply chain management. Additionally, 9 graduate certificates are available by completion of one 3-credit course per certificate. The university also has a study-abroad program available.
North Carolina Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 180,470 management jobs in North Carolina as of May 2016. Of these, 53,770 were General and Operations Manager jobs. Business and Financial Operations jobs accounted for over 208,000 jobs during the same period.
The career website Glassdoor has named Raleigh, North Carolina as the number eight city in its list of best US cities for jobs in 2016. With over 34,000 job openings, excellent job satisfaction, and a median salary that exceeds $60,000, Raleigh is an ideal place to begin job hunting. Raleigh also holds the number one position on Business Insider’s list of best cities for job seekers.
Listed below are the average salaries for various business occupations in North Carolina from America’s Career InfoNet:
- Financial Analyst: $49,710 – $134,720
- Financial Manager, Branch or Department: $78,130 – $208,000
- Marketing Manager: $75,770 – $208,000
- Advertising and Promotions Manager: $60,560 – $181,860
- General and Operations Manager: $57,390 – $208,000
- Training and Development Manager: $71,010 – $196,030
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. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, North Carolina: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nc.htm
7. US News & World Report: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba