On this page

Back to top

Today’s Top Online MBA Programs in North Carolina

Getting an online MBA can be the exciting next step in your career. Keep reading to find out about the best online MBA programs in North Carolina for 2024 and learn about the many specializations available.

Author: Michael Hoffman

Editor: Staff Editor

Find your school in just 60 seconds

Find Your School in 60 Seconds

  1. Take our quiz
  2. Match with schools
  3. Connect with favorites
  1. Take our quiz
  2. Match w/schools
A simplified map of the United States showing all state boundaries in dark lines on a light background, without any labels or additional details.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is the most popular master’s degree offered today. And if you live in North Carolina (or plan to start a business there), you’re in luck: in 2023, North Carolina was named America’s top state for business for the second year in a row.

With employers eagerly hiring new MBA grads as quickly as they become available, now is an excellent time to pursue your MBA online. Start your program search with this guide, which introduces you to numerous quality online MBA programs in North Carolina currently offered by some of the top schools in the state. It tells you how to choose the right online MBA program for you, pay for your program, and tailor your studies to your interests through specialization. You’ll also learn what you can expect in the job market once you’ve earned your MBA.

Top Online MBA Programs in North Carolina in 2024

To help you start your search for an online MBA in North Carolina, we’ve ranked the very best programs available in the state. Elements like accreditation, affordability, learning flexibility, curriculum options, and access to useful student support services were used to determine the top programs for 2024. From the Research Triangle to the coastal plains, discover programs that offer not just education but a launchpad for your business blueprint.

About the ranking
1
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$

Equipping students with cutting-edge business competencies and skills, Carolina University’s Master of Business Administration is designed for professionals interested in advancing their career in 21st century business. Graduates will be prepared to move into leadership ranks or transition into management roles. Offered in person or online, the program is flexible, allowing students to maintain employment while pursuing their education. Students may choose from six concentrations: Business Analytics, Human Resources Management, Management, Marketing, Sports Management, or Supply Chain Management. Coursework covers theoretical and practical business knowledge, communication skills, research practices, ethics, and state-of-the-art technology.

Program Highlights:

Master of Business Administration

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Two years
  • Mode: Online or in person
  • Accreditation: TRACS

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation TRACS
2
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

The Master of Business Administration program at North Carolina Wesleyan University is designed for professionals who want to broaden their knowledge and skills in management and leadership so they can become more effective managers. The curriculum enhances students’ ability to develop and implement organizational strategies with a range of management tools to advance business operations. Courses teach skills in decision making, conflict resolution, ethics, and management strategies. Students choose from four concentrations; General, Information Security, Executive Leadership, and Supply Chain Management. With a 100% online program available in part or full time, it is flexible so students can balance work, home, and school. A hybrid MBA will be offered starting in May 2024.

Program Highlights:

Master of Business Administration

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: Varies
  • Mode: Online, hybrid
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
3
Laurinburg, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$$

St. Andrews University’s Master of Business Administration program focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of business practices. Coursework follows a participation-based model and teaches students how they can apply the theories taught in the classroom in the real world to solve business problems. Faculty are business professionals who utilize diverse instruction methods to teach effective communication, ethical decision making, working in a team environment, and critical thinking. Graduates will have a thorough understanding of core business disciplines. The program is available fully online, with flexible part- and full-time schedules so students can complete the course on their terms and even continue working.

Program Highlights:

Master of Business Administration

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 12 months
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: IACBE

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
4
Salisbury, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
5
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
6
Wilmington, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
7
Charlotte, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
8
Pembroke, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
9
Montreat, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
10
Misenheimer, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
11
Greensboro, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
12
Cullowhee, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
13
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
14
Mount Olive, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
15
Durham, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
16
Boone, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
17
Charlotte, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
18
Greenville, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
19
Greensboro, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
20
Hickory, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
21
Boiling Springs, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
22
Buies Creek, North Carolina
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC

A major feature of many MBA programs is a specialization or concentration that allows students to focus their studies on a specific area of business to make themselves more marketable to employers and better prepared for a specific career. Six of the most popular specializations currently offered by North Carolina online MBA programs are detailed below along with links to some of the programs offering them.

Business/Data Analytics

Students opting for the business/data analytics specialization are prepared to provide their companies with a greater competitive advantage through improved product distribution and supply chain management optimization. Students gain advanced knowledge and skills in subjects like business analytics, data analytics, statistics, modeling techniques, big data and web intelligence, and analytics software applications.

Fayetteville State University (Online)

North Carolina Central University (Online)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Online)

Entrepreneurship

A very popular choice among MBA students today, the entrepreneur specialization is designed for MBA students intent on turning their own business concepts into viable and successful ventures. Students gain valuable knowledge and skills in entrepreneurial finance, marketing, intellectual property protection, short-term and long-term organizational decision making, conflict resolution, team building, and much more.

Fayetteville State University(Online)

University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Online)

Western Carolina University(Online; Campus)

Finance

One of the most popular of all MBA specializations, the finance specialization prepares graduates for careers in corporate finance, investment banking, private equity, venture capital, and more. Common course topics include investment management, securities analysis, financial institutions, financial statement analysis, healthcare finance, real estate investment, and global finance.

University of North Carolina at Pembroke (Online)

Wake Forest University(Online)

University of North Carolina at Greensboro(Online)

Healthcare Administration/Management

MBA graduates choosing this specialization are among the most sought after by employers in one of the hottest professional fields, especially in North Carolina, home of several major national healthcare services providers. Healthcare administration and management students gain skills in all facets of healthcare services leadership through courses in healthcare systems, healthcare analytics, human resources, finance, and legal and ethical issues in healthcare services.

East Carolina University (Online)

University of North Carolina at Pembroke (Online)

University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Online)

Leadership/Strategic Management

Students in leadership and strategic management specializations develop a full range of analytical, time management, organizational leadership, and client management skills. Course subjects include corporate strategy, business modeling, managerial decision-making, diversity leadership, innovation management, and more. Leadership specializations are a great choice for anyone seeking top executive and other senior leadership positions with corporations as well as those interested in becoming independent business consultants.

North Carolina Wesleyan University (Online)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Online)

Wake Forest University (Online)

Marketing

A marketing concentration prepares students to manage all aspects of an organization’s marketing of its goods and services. Students gain an advanced understanding of advertising, branding, communications, consumer behavior, new technologies, and more. Course topics include marketing strategy and tools, digital marketing analytics, global marketing, healthcare marketing, brand management, and product packaging.

North Carolina Central University (Online)

University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Online)

University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Online)

Frequently Asked Questions About Earning your MBA Online in North Carolina

What is the average cost of an MBA program in North Carolina?

Tuition rates for online MBA programs in NC run approximately $18,000 to $60,000. That’s just for tuition alone, though. Your total program cost will be higher after adding in program fees, which can be substantial and sometimes double total program price tags. Several other common factors impact program cost. These include:

  • Public vs. private schools: private colleges and universities tend to charge higher tuition rates than public ones.
  • School reputation: tuition rates for UNC schools are significantly higher than those for other NC public schools.
  • Study pace: per semester fees, for example, add up for part-time students.
  • Resident status: some public schools charge a higher tuition rate to out-of-state residents.

In addition, tuition rates can be deceiving since total credit requirements vary by program. It’s also important to factor in all financial aid resources you’ll receive before calculating your program’s actual bottom line.

What does an MBA admissions process in North Carolina look like?

Admission and application requirements, including application deadlines, vary from program to program. However, you’ll find several requirements that are identical or similar to the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree: Most North Carolina online MBA programs accept any major.
  • Undergrad GPA: Commonly a minimum of 3.0, but minimums do vary.
  • Current CV or resume.
  • Letters of recommendation: Two or three are common.
  • Personal essay and/or statement of purpose: Discusses the applicant’s academic and professional goals.
  • Admission exam scores: The GMAT or GRE is typically required, but exceptions are common.

The admissions requirements for UNC Charlotte’s hybrid MBA offer a good example of the requirements for most North Carolina MBA online programs.

How quickly can I earn an online MBA in North Carolina?

It will depend on the specific program and, more importantly, your study pace. Many programs offer both full-time and part-time options, and many of those part-time options are open-ended to a point. Programs with generous completion times all have a stated maximum program length. For example, NC State at Raleigh’s Professional MBA program allows up to six years for students to complete all degree requirements. Full-time students can expect to complete their MBA studies in 18 to 24 months while part-time students typically take 33 to 38 months to earn their MBAs.

Is the GMAT required to get into an MBA program in North Carolina?

Most online MBA programs in NC require GMAT and/or GRE admission test scores as part of the admissions process. There are many exceptions, however. Examples of programs with no admission test score requirements include the NC State at Raleigh and UNC Greensboro programs and the MBA program at North Carolina Wesleyan University.

Programs that do require GMAT/GRE scores typically also provide waivers for applicants that meet stated criteria. For example, the online MBA program at UNC Chapel Hill waives the requirement for students with five years of full-time work experience, and the online MBA programs at UNC Pembroke waive the requirement for applicants with either a 3.0 or better undergrad GPA or a master’s degree.

In North Carolina, what is the ROI on an MBA vs a bachelor’s degree in business?

There are many ways to calculate ROI for an MBA degree. One way is to compare total income figures for an occupation typically held by someone with an MBA with those for an occupation that would typically require only a bachelor’s degree.

According to recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for marketing managers in North Carolina, a job often held by an MBA graduate, is $141,600. In comparison, the annual mean wage for a marketing specialist, a job that might be held by someone with only a business bachelor’s, is $71,510. That’s $70,000 more per year for marketing managers over marketing specialists in the state. After subtracting the cost of their MBA program, which we’ll put at $80,000 for illustration purposes, that means throughout a 40-year career the marketing manager would earn an additional $2.7 million – over 95% more – than the marketing specialist with only a bachelor’s degree.

What accreditations should I look for in an online MBA program in North Carolina?

Programmatic accreditation of MBA programs in the U.S. is provided by three accrediting agencies. The best known is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The other two are the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Most online MBA programs in NC are accredited by one of these three.

Regardless of programmatic accreditation, all the North Carolina colleges and universities offering online MBA programs mentioned in this guide are institutionally accredited by one of several U.S. Department of Education recognized independent regional and national agencies. Information on current institutional and MBA program accreditation status can typically be found on program webpages.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for MBA Students in North Carolina

Cost is a major concern for all college students, and North Carolina MBA students are no exception. Fortunately, there are several financial aid resources available to qualifying North Carolina MBA online students, including the types you’re probably already aware of, such as scholarships, grants, work study opportunities, assistantships, employer tuition reimbursement, and the ever-popular student loan like those available through the Federal Student Aid program. Visit OMD’s financial aid, scholarships, and employer tuition reimbursement guides to learn more about funding your online MBA program in NC.

Here are examples of five scholarships offered by North Carolina schools specifically for their MBA students:

Breazeale-King Professional Development Award

Caring Touch Home Health Scholarship – MBA

Jenkins MBA Scholarship

MBA Alumni Scholarship

MBA Enhancement Scholarships

Salary Potential for MBA Grads in North Carolina

Salaries for MBA graduates in the U.S. and around the world are strong and getting stronger. For example, PayScale puts the current average base salary for MBA holders in the U.S. at $92,000, which only includes the base salary and not other common forms of compensation like bonuses. The chart below gives you a better idea of what North Carolina professionals with MBAs earn. Keep in mind, though, that how much you’ll make depends on several factors, such as where you live in the state, your actual job title, and how many years you’ve worked as a business professional.

Job Growth Rate (2020-2030) Average Annual Openings (2020-2030) Annual Mean Wage (2021)

Computer and Information Systems Managers

24.0%

2,030

$152,040

Financial Managers

24.6%

1,840

$161,720

General and Operations Managers

15.5%

6,390

$117,130

Marketing Managers

15.4%

890

$141,600

Medical and Health Services Managers

34.0%

1,300

$121,430

Sources: Projections Central;Bureau of Labor Statistics

Resources for Online MBA Students and Professionals in North Carolina