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Indiana University & UNC Top U.S. News 2023 Online MBA Ranking

2023 online mba ranking

U.S. News & World Report has released its 2023 Best Online Programs rankings, including online MBA programs.

At the top of the list, two schools tied for first in online MBA programs: Indiana University–Bloomington and University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. The University of Southern California, which tied for first last year, now lands in third. The University of Florida moved one spot up to fourth place this year. The University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon University both occupy fifth place.

“We see a lot of the usual suspects dominating the online MBA program ranking,” says Clear Admit Co-founder, Graham Richmond. “It’s also noteworthy that five out of the top six programs on this list are offered by highly prestigious institutions with top-25 full-time MBAs in their portfolio: Indiana / Kelley, Carnegie Mellon / Tepper, UNC / Kenan Flagler, USC / Marshall, and the University of Washington / Foster. This is no coincidence, as these institutions have amazing faculty, strong alumni networks, and a great deal of know-how when it comes to delivering online education, which was only accelerated by adapting to the pandemic.”

The top 26 schools in this year’s edition (with last year’s rankings included for reference) are as follows:

School2023 Rank2022 Rank
Indiana University–Bloomington1 (tie)1 (tie)
University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill1 (tie)1 (tie)
University of Southern California31 (tie)
University of Florida45 (tie)
Carnegie Mellon University5 (tie)4
University of Washington5 (tie)5 (tie)
Arizona State University7 (tie)7 (tie)
University of Kansas7 (tie)16 (tie)
University of Arizona9 (tie)7 (tie)
Rochester Institute of Technology9 (tie)9 (tie)
University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium9 (tie) 9 (tie)
University of Maryland–College Park12 (tie)12 (tie)
University of Massachusetts–Amherst12 (tie)12 (tie)
Rice University12 (tie)20 (tie)
University of Utah12 (tie)16 (tie)
Kansas State University12 (tie)24 (tie)
University of Texas–Dallas179 (tie)
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor18 n/a
Pennsylvania State University–World Campus19 (tie)15
Villanova University19 (tie)16 (tie)
Ball State University19 (tie)20 (tie)
Auburn University19 (tie)31 (tie)
Hofstra University19 (tie)28 (tie)
University of Nebraska–Lincoln19 (tie)31 (tie)
University of South Florida19 (tie)31 (tie)
James Madison University19 (tie)24 (tie)


Regarding the rankings, Richmond adds, “UNC and Indiana continue to rule the roost when it comes to online MBA offerings. This is no surprise as both programs are pioneers in the online MBA space. USC Marshall slips back a step into third place after having been tied with Indiana Kelley and UNC Kenan-Flagler. It is puzzling to see U. Michigan/Ross checking in only at number 18 on the list (given the caliber of their in-person MBA), but it seems they didn’t take part in last year’s ranking, so perhaps it will take time for them to move up.”

As with last year, U.S. News ranked online MBA programs using five categories:

  • Engagement (30%): Promotion of participation in courses among students and instructors. Instructors lead an engaging atmosphere, are accessible and responsive.
  • Expert Opinion (25%): High-ranking academic officials and employers weigh in through surveys to account for quality beyond statistics.
  • Faculty Credentials and Training (15%): Instructors possess academic credentials that mirror those for campus-based programs.
  • Student Excellence (15%): The students themselves are accomplished and ambitious. Judicious rewarding of degrees.
  • Services and Technologies (15%): Diverse online learning technologies support flexibility for students to take classes from a distance. Learning assistance, career guidance and financial aid resources are offered outside of classes.

See here for more on the methodology behind the ranking.

“For the time being, we have yet to see an online MBA offering (non-EMBA) from a top-10 MBA program, which is allowing the top-20 programs to dominate the ranks here at present,” Richmond says.

Visit U.S. News for the full list of their ranking of online MBA programs.

Posted in: Clear Admit's MBA Ranking News, MBA News

Schools: Arizona State / W.P. Carey, Carnegie Mellon / Tepper, Michigan / Ross, Rice / Jones, U. Washington / Foster, UNC Kenan-Flagler, USC / Marshall

About the Author

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Lauren Wakal

Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.

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