Online Business Degree Programs

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An online business degree can teach students to solve problems facing businesses. Most online business degree programs offer core business courses such management and operations. The goal of these courses is to give you a solid grasp of business concepts. These concepts can help students learn how to solve problems and make decisions. Learning the basic principles are some of the skills you may need to achieve career goals.

Career paths in this field include areas like marketing, finance, accounting, and HR. Some business administration programs even prepare you for a niche industries. For example, you could study real estate or sports management.  You can choose to earn a general degree in business administration. Or, pick a specialty that focus on one core area such as marketing.  Online business degrees are also available at different degree levels. You can Start with an AAS, BA or BSBA. If you want to earn your master’s you may be able to find a bridge program to earn a bachelors and MBA at the same time.


Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)

M.B.A. Masters in Business Administration

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

This program focuses on the basics of running a business. Compared to a BBA, these degrees are math and analytical oriented.Students learn about the modern practice of management. Gain a better understanding of legal and policy issues, economics, and marketing.The DBA deepens business knowledge for current professionals. Gain leadership positions via a better understanding how the key parts of a company work and connect.
Course Examples

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Intro to Marketing
Course Examples

  • Economics
  • Finance Principles
  • Business Ethics
Course Examples

  • Marketing
  • Innovation Mgmt.
  • Finance


At the Bachelor’s level, business programs focus on basic knowledge. You may start with general courses, like math and the principles of economics. Many programs also offer the chance to take a concentration. For instance, you could focus on finance, marketing, HR or data analytics.

Most Bachelor’s in business programs fall into one of three categories:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). This program tends to cover a general overview of business. You’ll study subjects like economics, accounting, and marketing.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA). This program may focus on STEM, alongside business topics. Expect higher level math courses.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BABA). This program may include liberal arts courses, along with business courses. For instance, you could study history, english, and marketing.


Business students tend to choose from two kinds of Masters in Business Programs

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA). MBA programs tend to take a big picture approach to business. Students take courses in areas like management, organizational behavior, and finance.  MBA programs strive to give a broad overview of business leadership. These programs may ask for work experience.
  • Master of Science in Business (M.S.). M.S. in Business programs usually drill down on one area of expertise. For instance, you could study business analytics or supply chain management in depth. Another key way that they differ is that you may not need as much work experience to pursue an M.S., compared to an MBA.


At the doctoral level, students further delve into business theory and practice. Programs feature advanced courses like graduate level statistics. Business research may play a big role in earning this type of degree. Usually, you must research and write a dissertation to earn a doctorate in business.

If you want to study business at the doctoral level, you’ll generally find two types of program:

  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). DBA programs are usually aimed at people already in the business world. You’ll study business theory you could apply within a company. If your goal is solving business problems using existing theories, earning a DBA may be ideal.
  • PhD in Business. PhD programs focus on original research in business. Instead of applying theories, students may create and test new ones. So, a PhD in Business may be ideal for those who want to conduct research or teach.

Online Business Degree: Courses You’ll Study

Business courses at the undergrad and grad level are similar from college to college. Business Administration programs cover a wide breadth of various key business concepts. These courses aim to teach you how to manage people and data in many different business settings. You should learn how successful leaders operate, and how to work in a team environment. Decision making and problem solving skills are also a key area explored. Course examples include:

Organizational Behavior: Learn about the different ways people behave in business and how it can affect how a business works.

Marketing: Explore the world of marketing and the 4P's: Product, price, promotion and place. Learn how to develop marketing plans.

Accounting: Understand financial statements and terms. Learn how to prepare reports.

Business Law: Learn how the law applies to businesses. From contracts, to product liability and cyber law.

Leadership: Discover different leadership styles. Learn how to put these styles into practice in day to day decision making.

Ethics: Study moral issues in Business. Topics such as corporate responsibility, morality in advertising and conflicts of interest..


Earning a Bachelor’s degree in business takes around four years if you are studying full time. Earning an MBA takes about two years. You may be able to find programs that are fast tracked and take only one year. Finally, phd programs vary in length. A DBA may take between three and five years to earn.

4+1 Programs

If you want to earn both a bachelors and masters, you may want to consider an accelerated program. An accelerated program is sometimes known known as a 4+1 degree. In this program, you may be able to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a shorter amount of time.

degree program lengths


In the 2017 school year, business admin majors paid median in state public tuition of $6,467. Median tuition for out of state private colleges was much higher, at $27,830. Of course, most schools fall in the middle. Be sure to check with each school for up to date costs. Compare the following costs for some online bachelor’s degrees in business:

Cheapest Business Degree ProgramsUS News RankingCost Per Credit
(All Programs 120 Credits)
Total Degree Cost
Lamar University (AACSB)National 293-381$248$29,760
Nicholls State U (AACSB)South 84$275$33,000
Grantham (IACBE)Not Ranked$295$35,400
SNHU (Southern New Hampshire) (ACBSP)North 92$275$38,400
Indiana U at Bloomington (AACSB)National 79$321$38,560
Colorado State U – Global Camps (ACBSP)Not Ranked$350$42,000


In 2017 there were 331,390 business administration degree programs awarded. Generally speaking, more people earn Bachelor’s degrees than any other level. The top 10 business schools below are by number of degrees awarded.

School2017 Total Degrees AwardedGrad Rate
University of Phoenix9,61417%
University of Maryland Global Campus3,30315%
SNHU (Southern New Hampshire)3,10554%
Liberty University2,79050%
Western Governors University2,66329%
Colorado Technical University2,51629%
Columbia Southern University2,59724%
California State University2,32368%
Broward College2,23731%
Grand Canyon2,05937%

Business schools are numerous. They aim to teach students how to manage businesses in various areas. This often includes a concentration. Some options may include marketing, accounting, finance, and operations. Business management concentrations are also common. The goal is to teach students practical skills in the world of business. Today, many students may pursue degree programs to help prepare them for global business management. They may also seek out programs where innovation and leadership skills are present. This business school list offers insight into some of the business management options. These programs are far reaching. Most Many schools may also offer more than one track of study, too.


Accreditation can ensure your business program upholds the standards that matter to you. Accrediting agencies check programs for things like teaching quality and student outcomes.

Maintaining accreditation evolves over time. So, and up to date accreditation could be a sign that your program keeps up with the business field’s changing needs. Two such agencies for business programs are:

  • The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP): ACBSP accredits business programs at all levels. They use seven standards determine quality. Leadership, strategic planning, student focus, student outcomes, faculty focus, course work and business unit performance.
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE): IACBE accredits business programs at all levels. Their approach involves measuring program outcomes.

Both ACBSP and IACBE are both recognized by CHEA, so both are good accrediting agencies for an online business administration degree.

Why Earn Your Business Degree Online?

Scheduling Flexibility: In self paced formats, students log into a web based course management system when they have time. Watch pre recorded lectures.

Made for Working Professionals: Online programs often offer such features as credit for live experience. They may also waive SAT, GRE and other standard tests.

Learning and Studying: While each school may use different tech, some of the options could include digital libraries, video conferencing, online student discussion boards and academic help.

Business Careers

As of 2017, there were 11.2 million business grads in the work force. Work for business degree holders is growing. Between 2016 and 2017, this group saw job growth of 3.01%.  These included Accountants & Auditors, the role with the largest share of business grads.

What do business grads look like? For starters, a few more males (51.6%) earned business degrees than females. The average age of an worker with a business degree was 43.7 years old.

Top States for Business Professionals

The table below shows states with the highest employment levels for Financial Managers. This career path often needs a degree in business administration.

New York46,100$210,240


According to the BLS, Business and financial careers will grow 7% from 2018 to 2028. That’s faster than average for all jobs, and equals about 591,800 new jobs! Here are a few paths with 2018 salary info to look at if you plan to earn an online business administration degree.

Marketing Managers

Marketing Managers create interest for products or services. They do this by planning promotional campaigns and running ads on different kinds of media like TV and websites.

Avg Salary: $132,620 per year
Job growth to 2028: 8% (Faster than avg.)
Entry Level Degree: Bachelor

Management Analyst

Management Analysts typically work to improve how companies run. They do this by finding problems that need solving. Then, propose solutions and ensure they are implemented.

Avg Salary: $86,310 per year
Job growth to 2028: 14% (Much faster than avg.)
Entry Level Degree: Bachelor

Financial Managers

Financial managers deal with for the financial health of a company. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop plans for the long term financial goals of their company.

Avg Salary: $127,990 per year
Job growth to 2028: 16% (Much faster than avg.)
Entry Level Degree: Bachelor

Marketing Research Analyst

Marketing research analysts help companies figure out what kinds of products and services people want. They may also provide insight about pricing and where the products should be sold.

Avg Salary: $63,120 per year
Job growth to 2028: 20% (Much faster than avg.)<br” />Entry Level Degree: Bachelor

HR Managers

HR managers coordinate a companies work force. This may include the hiring process as well as handling benefits. They work with others in the company to ensure top talent is  hired and that all employees are working efficiently.

Avg Salary: $113,300 per year
Job growth to 2028: 7% (Faster than avg.)
Entry Level Degree: Bachelor

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Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

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This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.