Masters in Business Online Programs

Whether you want to start your own company, climb the corporate ladder or break into a new field, an online Masters in Business degree could help prepare you. General programs such as online MBAs cover the many facets of business – finance, accounting, management, economics (FAME) while allowing a student to minor in an area of professional interest. More specialized programs like a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) or Master of Accountancy (MAcc) enable online students to build holistic and expert knowledge in a technical field.

Online Masters in Business Programs: The Essentials

Online Masters in Business programs are geared to working professionals with a college degree. They often cover the six functional areas of business management so students could fortify their inner executive as they solidify decision and problem-solving skills.

  1. Strategy
  2. Marketing
  3. Finance
  4. Human Resources
  5. Information Systems
  6. Operations

Some masters in business online programs also task students with applied research. This is a way to thoroughly grasp an area of professional interest as it relates to an individual business.

Online Business Masters Degree Program Information

Flexible Format

Courses are usually offered asynchronously which means grad students have access to their professors’ lectures 24/7 and are not required to log in at a specific time of day (synchronous). This makes it possible to pause, rewind, or fast-forward recorded audio/video in order to digest course material or just pace oneself given the demands of a busy timetable.  

Some online business masters programs may involve being present in the virtual classroom at specific times. Web conferences, chats with classmates over group projects, or discussions with a professor are some examples.

Wonder how to stay on track to earn a masters degree in business online? Deadlines and team-building exercises are intended to keep

motivation levels high. Videoconferencing could be built into a busy schedule much like a business meeting.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Masters Degree in Business Online?

Most online masters degrees in business and online MBA programs require a minimum of 18 months to two years of full-time study to complete. Accelerated one-year business degrees typically target executives who may be able to swap professional experience for course credit to pare down length.

Full-time students are typically enrolled in three to four courses per semester. In order to excel in their classes, students are often encouraged to spend a certain amount of time per week on program course work outside of online lectures. Many online business schools also offer part-time and flexible formats to encourage students to reach their potential without sacrificing their other obligations.

Online MBA

An online MBA (Master of Business Administration} is a professional masters degree with a focus in proven management strategies. Participants may discover how to integrate business data with key managerial skills for the boardroom – and beyond.

Most online MBA programs require 36 credit hours which are divided between a requisite ‘core’ and electives. Core courses typically revolve around strategies for leadership and management in areas of accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and operations. A concentration (electives) helps students apply these skills to a specific sector or role (e.g. healthcare administration, economic crime).

Online MS in Business

An online Master of Science (MS) in business is an academic masters degree. Students typically choose an MS when they want to delve deeply into an aspect of business, or to prepare to pursue a specific career which necessitates a holistic and technical skill set.

Most online MS programs require 36 credit hours and are divvied up between foundational concepts in a chosen field (e.g. finance) along with a concentration (e.g. financial planning). While MBA students earn their degree through a capstone project, MS students often conduct research and write up a thesis. A thesis is often required for a doctoral program, should that be a goal.

Applying to an Online Business School

Successful candidates to online masters in business programs must have an undergraduate degree which often (but not always) relates to the program one is applying to. Other admissions requirements might include

  • Official transcripts
  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose
  • Professional letter(s) of recommendation
  • Resume

Non-native English speakers usually have to provide TOEFL or IELTS scores to show proficiency in English. There are online business schools that ask for GRE and GMAT scores as well. However, there are grad schools with no GRE or GMAT requirements. Waivers which swap related work history for credits are often available for eligible applicants.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many employers who seek candidates for financial manager positions look for those with a masters degree preferably in business administration, finance, accounting, or economics. 

Accreditation for Online MBA & Business Programs

Wonder whether your online business school is accredited? Quality online MBA & business degree programs may be accredited by a regional agency. However, online business schools enroll students worldwide and have no central campus, so are often accredited by national agencies. The Distance Education and Training Council is a commonly used accreditation agency for online schools. The purview of accreditors such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is to ensure a specific program meets professional standards.

Earn an Online Masters in Business or MBA In (Your Choice)

The beauty of online masters in business degrees is that they could be formatted to professional goals and interests. Check out some popular categories, read course lists, and compare available degree paths - MBA, MA, MS, MPA, MHA etc. – to help steer your course so to speak.


Popular paths are the online Master of Accounting or online MBA Accounting. A major in accounting is often helpful for those who want to pursue their Certified Public Accountant credential.

Business Administration & Management

Common online degrees include MS, MBA and Master of Management (MM). These programs often cover managerial decision-making and ways to improve a business’s bottom line through effective tactics.

Business Information Systems

An online Masters in Business Analytics explores the ways data can be mined and used by businesses to help them profit and expand.

eCommerce & Social Media

An online MS in e-Business Management delves into the operational functions of digital enterprises. Coursework may integrate market analysis with product design and development.


Online Masters in Economics (MS, MA, MEcon) programs often explore apply economic models used for forecasting with econometrics and other quantitative techniques.


An online MS or MBA in entrepreneurship explores the world of business plans and taking a concept to market. Students may learn how to evaluate opportunities, raise capital and assess risks.

Environment & Agriculture

Online Masters in Agriculture might explore the business side of farming, green technology or sustainability.


Popular online finance degrees include the online MS Finance and MBA Finance. Students in MBA programs explore the monetary issues that managers face on a daily basis - how to properly hedge risk and evaluate assets, while MSF students might delve into financial planning or investment banking.

Healthcare Administration & Management

Common degrees include online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), MS or MBA Healthcare which revolve around the business side of the health industry.Courses often explore key topics such as health informatics, health law, clinical issues and financial management.

Hospitality Management

An online masters in hospitality may cultivate the type of leadership, branding and customer care expected in hotel management, restaurants, tourism and other recreation-based industries.

Human Resources Management

Common degrees include online MA, MS and MBA Human Resource Management (HRM). These programs explore the skills and concepts required to oversee, hire, fire, evaluate and train personnel.

International Business

An online Masters in International Business explores the global marketplace and what it takes to stay competitive. Coursework often addresses workplace diversity and the uses of technology to conduct business non-locally.

Marketing & Advertising

Online MS and MBA marketing programs discuss the managerial side of (digital) advertising. Understand how to motivate teams to create and implement successful campaigns which resonate with a target audience and benefit a business' bottom line.

Non-Profit Administration

An online Masters in Nonprofit Administration focuses on the smart and efficient ways to reach budget goals through fundraising. Students may also learn how to strengthen ties to the community as they cultivate leadership qualities.

in management.

Operations Management

Online masters degrees in operations management dive into the organizational skills required negotiate contracts, control budgets and work within regulatory environments. Logistics, risk and supply chain management are common themes.

Organizational Leadership

Online Masters in Organizational Leadership programs could help managers develop the skills to manage projects and motivate teams (people-centric) or calculate risk (analytics).

Project Management

Online MS in Project Management (MSPM) projects expose learners to up-to-date PM software and technology. Students may learn to handle and hand-off projects on time and on budget.

Public Administration & Policy

An online MPA - Master of Public Administration – is the public sector equal to the MBA. Explore the methods used to ethically manage policy and programs that benefit the community or hone skills in emergency management and more.

Real Estate & Property Management

An online Masters in Property Management might discuss key business, finance, accounting and decision skills needed in the real estate business.

Sports Management

An online MS or MBA in Sports Management revolves around the business side of sports and may help students develop managerial skills as they learn about sports analytics, branding, marketing, coaching and other key topics.

Technology Management

Online Masters in Technology Management explore the tools and methods needed to problem solve in enterprises using the latest technology and usually meld business and technical courses.

Take the Next Step with our List of 179 Online Masters Degrees in Business

Gain core knowledge to pursue a career in finance, marketing, human resources, accounting and more with an online Masters in Business degree. Check our list of partner programs, then contact the online business schools on your list with our on-page form.

  • Eligible new or returning students can save $3,000 on tuition with the Master’s Scholarship.
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