Can You Earn an MBA Online Without Obtaining a Bachelor's Degree?

Oct 20, 2021

Online MBA programs are available at many colleges. In order to earn an accredited MBA, either in a classroom or online, students must have first earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited university.

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Online MBA: Overview

Let's learn about the typical requirements for an online MBA and how the program works. Then we'll explore the different types of programs and details about the classes.

Virtually all online MBA programs require that students have earned a bachelor's degree, and many programs also require prior professional business experience. In rare cases, a university might accept an MBA candidate without a bachelor's degree, but the student would need evidence of extraordinary accomplishment to bypass that requirement. Programs may also require scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Many universities across the United States offer online MBA degree programs. These programs are often designed for students who work during the day and want to earn their MBA without disrupting their professional lives.

An online MBA works similarly to on-campus MBA programs. Students take core classes, such as management, economics, statistics, finance, accounting, and others, then find a specialization within the program and focus their coursework around this subject.

Some areas of concentration include:

  • Human resource management
  • Advanced accounting
  • General management
  • Marketing analytics
  • Project management

Types of Online MBA Programs

Online MBA programs are often assumed to be taken part-time, since they're designed for working students. However, some schools may offer students full-time status for an online program. Like most schools with MBA programs, online schools can offer dual degree programs. Dual degree program options may include:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Business analytics
  • Strategic management
  • Global supply chain management
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation

How Classes Work

Online MBA classes use a variety of technologies, including videos you stream at your convenience, live interactive classes via web conferencing, social media, discussion boards, and more. Exam proctoring may be web-based as well, or may be in person. Some programs may require on-campus residencies at various points throughout the program to connect with faculty and classmates. Some programs may also include an internship experience.

Though there may be rare, case-by-case exceptions, online MBA programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree. Students in these programs can choose from various concentrations, such as management or accounting, and are able to enroll full- or part-time.

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