You don’t have to move to the USA to know that it is home to some of the world’s most prestigious business schools. It’s also a no-brainer that they deliver some of the most respected MBA courses out there, so it’s no surprise that you’ll also be spoilt for choice if you opt for an online MBA in the USA.

With so many courses to consider, so many metrics and fee structures to base your decision on, and a lot of different expert authorities on which is the best online MBA out there, it can be bewildering at best to choose between them all.

How to choose your online MBA programme in the US

There are four major publications known for producing reliable business school rankings: The Financial Times, The Economist, US News, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

The league table below, compiled by, shows a composite result from all four authorities’ individual rankings, rating Indiana University’s online MBA as the best in the USA for features such as overall quality of tuition, student experience and tuition costs.

Read on to get the full details on this course, plus the second and third-ranked online MBA courses in the States. A quick glance at their stats suggests that even at the top, there’s a lot of difference between them.

#SchoolUS News
1Indiana University–Bloomington (Kelley)3523$15,000
2Thunderbird School of Global Management253N/A11$69,800
3University of Illinois–Springfield16N/AN/A9$23,580
4University of Tennessee–Martin10N/AN/A18$16,731
5Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey–New Brunswick and Newark27N/AN/A19$16,560
6North Carolina State University (Jenkins)42N/AN/A20$14,400
7George Washington University45N/AN/A14$21,650
8University of Florida (Hough)4N/A1N/A$46,000
9Pennsylvania State University–World Campus19N/AN/A8$31,950
10Arizona State University (Carey)2N/AN/A12$54,600

MBA at Indiana University


Kelley School of Business (Indiana University) has been rated A+ twice in a row for undergraduate job placement by BusinessWeek, and this specific course is celebrated for helping working professionals obtain a first-class executive education whilst remaining in employment where theory can be put into practice.

The programme is highly flexible and can be completed in two to five years, though always commences with ‘Kelley Connect Week’ at the University’s Bloomington campus, an intensive introduction week that acquaints students with everything from the faculty and its tutors to the programme itself and fellow students.

Graduates receive an MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, the exact same degree awarded to on-campus and full-time MBAs.

The Kelley School of Business Online MBA Covers

  • Finance
  • Business law and ethics
  • Operations
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Information technology
  • Project management

Online MBA at Thunderbird School of Global Management


The Thunderbird Global MBA is a hybrid course, with 25% of the course content delivered at on-campus seminars and two sets of one-week international seminars taking place in destinations such as Beijing, Johannesburg, Santiago and Prague.

The remainder of the course is studied online. The MBA can be completed in 19 to 28 months and is populated by 52% overseas students. Those taking the 19-month course should expect to put aside 25-30 hours a week for their MBA studies.

Thunderbird School MBA Fees

The tuition fee may be considerably more than other high-ranking US offerings but does cover almost every possible MBA expenditure, from housing for campus-led sessions and international trips (plus some meals, visits, and activities) to all required textbooks and other academic materials.

The tuition fee also grants students access to Thunderbird International Business Information Centre resources, entrance to special events with guest speakers, alumni receptions and group meals, and to very good career management support.

And finally, the fee includes the graduation ceremony, regalia and reception. It must be noted, however, that tuition fees do not cover the costs of international travel required for this MBA programme.

Technology needed for the Thunderbird Online MBA

  • Laptop or desktop with high-speed internet access/multimedia compatibility
  • Mac or Windows
  • 1 GB RAM and 60 GB Hard-drive
  • Internet Explorer / Firefox
  • Webcam, headset and microphone
  • Microsoft Office 2010

University of Illinois Online MBA


This is a broad-reaching MBA which offers its students a rigorous education in accounting, finance, information systems, marketing, operations management and organisational behaviour. There are two distinct options for studying this particular MBA as it is delivered at two different campuses in Illinois: Springfield and Peoria.

Study online with Peoria

Peoria MBA students join the programme as a cohort, and each semester’s work is pre-defined with no elective options. The Peoria courses only start in the autumn and run non-stop for 21 months, including a significant amount of weekend study, for which there is a tuition fee ‘convenience’ surcharge.

Online MBA with Springfield

The Springfield online MBA allows its students to choose the topics and number of courses they wish to take, and they can also work at their own pace. There are two intakes per year and there is no tuition fee surcharge.

Illinois MBA Alumni Career Destinations

  • Ameren
  • Archer Daniels Midland Co.
  • Caterpillar
  • Horace Mann
  • Illinois National Bank
  • Memorial Health System
  • State Farm Insurance
  • State of Illinois
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo