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

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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:

School 2023 Rank 2022 Rank
Indiana University–Bloomington 1 (tie) 1 (tie)
University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill 1 (tie) 1 (tie)
University of Southern California 3 1 (tie)
University of Florida 4 5 (tie)
Carnegie Mellon University 5 (tie) 4
University of Washington 5 (tie) 5 (tie)
Arizona State University 7 (tie) 7 (tie)
University of Kansas 7 (tie) 16 (tie)
University of Arizona 9 (tie) 7 (tie)
Rochester Institute of Technology 9 (tie) 9 (tie)
University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium 9 (tie)  9 (tie)
University of Maryland–College Park 12 (tie) 12 (tie)
University of Massachusetts–Amherst 12 (tie) 12 (tie)
Rice University 12 (tie) 20 (tie)
University of Utah 12 (tie) 16 (tie)
Kansas State University 12 (tie) 24 (tie)
University of Texas–Dallas 17 9 (tie)
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor 18  n/a
Pennsylvania State University–World Campus 19 (tie) 15
Villanova University 19 (tie) 16 (tie)
Ball State University 19 (tie) 20 (tie)
Auburn University 19 (tie) 31 (tie)
Hofstra University 19 (tie) 28 (tie)
University of Nebraska–Lincoln 19 (tie) 31 (tie)
University of South Florida 19 (tie) 31 (tie)
James Madison University 19 (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.

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.