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Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) are significant in American history and culture, promoting diversity, equity, and excellence. Pursuing an online MBA program at an HBCU prepares students for various roles in a broad range of industries, including:

  • Business managers with a median annual salary of $127,490
  • Financial managers with a median salary of $131,710
  • Marketing directors with a median salary of $135,030

These programs typically take two to three years to complete, although some institutions may offer accelerated options for students with more time to devote to their studies. Part-time options are also often available for individuals balancing their education with other responsibilities — like a full-time job or caretaking.

In terms of cost, the average tuition price for public and private institutions was $19,749 for the 2020-2021 academic year. However, this figure can vary significantly depending on the institution and specific program.

How to Choose an Online MBA Program at an HBCU

Choose your area of study

While earning a general MBA has its benefits, many students prefer to choose a specialization that aligns with their interests, strengths, and professional goals. For example, students with a strong analytical mindset and a keen interest in numbers may excel in finance. At the same time, those with excellent communication and strategic thinking skills may thrive in marketing. Entrepreneurship may suit people who are innovative, risk-tolerant, and have a passion for starting and managing their own ventures.

By aligning your skills and interests with a specific specialization, you can decide on the area of study that suits you best.

Research schools and programs

Start by exploring the websites of different HBCUs and their business schools to gather information about the available specializations, curriculum, and the faculty’s skill set. This information is often readily available online and can help you decide which programs align best with your career goals.

In addition, seek insights from current students, alums, or professionals working in your desired field through networking events, online forums, or social media groups to gain first-hand perspective. After all, the best people to consult on these decisions are often those who have experienced the program themselves. They can lend a point of view that might not be articulated on the program’s website.

Prepare for tests and applications

Once you have compiled a list of programs you’d like to apply to, you must prepare for any necessary standardized tests and applications.

First, thoroughly review the admission requirements and deadlines for each program. Then, create a study plan and dedicate ample time to prepare for standardized tests like the GMAT or GRE. Utilize study resources, practice tests, and consider enrolling in a test preparation course to take your test-taking skills to the next level.

Simultaneously, gather all required application materials for each program. These items often include transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a unique personal statement for each school you apply to.

Select your program

Now that you have received your acceptance letters, you can begin selecting the program you’ll attend. It is an excellent time to revisit each program’s curriculum, course offerings, and available specializations to ensure that it aligns with your unique career goals. Ask yourself, “Does this program have instructors I am excited to learn from? Are there any internships or job placement opportunities that interest me? How extensive is their alumni network?” The answers to these questions can help you evaluate the program’s quality and strengths.

Additionally, consider each program’s costs and financial aid options. Tuition can vary significantly depending on the institution, and you’ll want to choose a program that offers a high-quality education at a reasonable cost.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Paying for an MBA can be daunting, but luckily, many resources are available to help lighten the financial load.

Start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will determine your eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. HBCUs may offer scholarships and grants specific to their MBA programs, so researching and applying for these opportunities is crucial. Additionally, you can explore external scholarships, employer tuition reimbursement programs, and fellowships.

By exploring these avenues, you can identify the best combination of resources to support your pursuit of higher education.

Top 50 HBCU Online MBA Degree Programs

HBCU Online MBA Degree Programs

Prairie View A&M University

North Carolina A&T State University

Fayetteville State University

North Carolina Central University

Florida A&M University

Jackson State University

Delaware State University

Alabama A&M University

Texas Southern University

Howard University

Morgan State University

Tennessee State University

SC State University Online

Lincoln University of Missouri

Albany State University

Southern University and A&M College

Mississippi Valley State University

Claflin University

Alcorn State University

Talladega College

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How We Rank Schools

This list features some of the country’s most popular online MBA programs. The programs featured on this list are offered by nonprofit, regionally accredited post-secondary institutions, either public or private, and can be completed fully or partially online.

We ranked programs by evaluating their cost, retention and graduation rates, faculty, reputation, and more. We also compared this comprehensive list of popular online MBA programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report. Based on these reviews and rankings, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100 for each school. To learn more, read our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect From an Online MBA Program

By earning your MBA at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), you can expect an inclusive and flexible educational experience tailored to your career aspirations. MBA curriculums are multifaceted and include finance, marketing, operations, and leadership coursework, enabling graduates to develop a holistic understanding of business principles and practices.

These programs usually take two to three years to complete. While most coursework can be completed online, some HBCUs incorporate in-person workshops or residences to enhance networking opportunities, foster collaboration, and provide hands-on learning experiences. In-person components may involve seminars, workshops, case studies, or group projects encouraging the practical application of acquired skills.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online MBA program

  • Operations Management: Typically a core requirement, this course focuses on managing business operations and processes to enhance efficiency and productivity. Students will learn about supply chain management, quality control, project management, and process improvement techniques. They will gain a deep understanding of optimizing operations, reducing costs, and streamlining workflows to meet customer demands.
  • Strategic Marketing: Another standard core requirement, this class explores the fundamentals of marketing and strategic planning. Students will learn to develop marketing strategies, conduct market research, segment target markets, and create effective marketing campaigns. They will gain insights into consumer behavior, branding, pricing strategies, and the use of digital marketing tools to drive business growth.
  • Financial Management: This course focuses on the principles and techniques of financial management, teaching students how to analyze financial statements, evaluate investment opportunities, and make effective financial decisions. Students will gain expertise in financial planning, capital budgeting, risk management, and the role of financial markets in business operations.
  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior: Also called “Organizational and Management Theory,” most MBA students take this course in their final term. In this class, students will explore motivation, team dynamics, conflict resolution, and ethical decision-making. They will learn to navigate organizational complexities, foster teamwork, and inspire others to achieve organizational goals.

What Can You Do With an Online MBA?

Career outlook

An online MBA from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) is a valuable credential that opens up many career opportunities. The career outlook for an individual with an MBA degree can be promising, based on their prior work experience, the school’s reputation from which they obtained their MBA, and the industry they wish to pursue. An MBA gives you the skills to undertake jobs in business and industry, such as finance manager, a position that pays a median wage of $131,710 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), or supply chain manager, a job with a median salary of $77,030. Many positions for MBA holders are experiencing slow but steady growth. For example, the need for finance managers will increase by 17 percent over the coming decade.

Career paths

Students graduating with an online MBA from an HBCU will find positions available across all business and industry sectors, as well as in education, government, and the nonprofit world. The need for those with solid training in business fundamentals spans the entire economic industry, both in the U.S. and globally.

Your interests and the focus of your coursework will predicate the career path you choose. Some common career path options for those with an online MBA include:

  • Finance and investment banker — works with financial analysis, investment decisions, and managing company funds
  • Marketing manager — leads marketing research efforts and designs effective campaigns
  • Management consultant — works for consulting firms or independently to advise companies on business strategies
  • Entrepreneur — starts a business or franchise operation, or advises those who do
  • Human resources manager — manages talent acquisition and training, employee development, and organizational culture

Industrial Production Manager

Earning Potential: $64,150-$170,470

Education Required: bachelor’s degree in business; MBA with focus on industrial production

Industrial production managers oversee the operations of manufacturing companies that build a range of goods, from clothing to computers. They coordinate and plan all activities related to creating the goods, determining how best to allocate workers and other resources to meet production goals. They work closely with people, including upper and middle management, workers, vendors and suppliers, and customers. They hire and train workers and regularly review their output. They troubleshoot challenges and monitor the facility’s safety features and processes while ensuring deadlines are met on time and within budget.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Earning Potential: $95,220-$208,000+

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in business or an IT-related subject; MBA in information technology

Computer and information systems managers plan and implement all technology-related activities for an organization or business. They work with company leadership to determine the organization’s IT needs, develop a budget and staffing schedule for meeting those needs, and direct the installation of software and hardware for the smooth running of business operations. They research new developments and upgrades in the field and work to onboard any that can improve business processes. They may manage other IT personnel, such as systems analysts, cybersecurity experts, and more. They also work closely with vendors to ensure the business’s IT needs are at the lowest possible price.

Medical and Health Services Managers

Earning Potential: $60,780-$205,620

Education Required: bachelor’s degree in business; MBA with a focus on healthcare administration

Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate the activities at healthcare facilities such as clinics and hospitals. They may manage an entire facility or a single department. They must possess a deep understanding of current healthcare laws and regulations and ensure that these are followed carefully by all staff. They may recruit, hire, and train employees, create work schedules, and oversee annual reviews. They must have a good grasp of current medical technology, including the databases that contain patient records. They will likely work with the facility’s senior leadership and may represent the facility for investor meetings or governing boards.

Online MBA Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online MBA degree program at an HBCU?

Start by researching the HBCUs that offer online MBA programs and create a short list of the programs you’d like to apply to. Visit their official websites and locate the admissions section for detailed application instructions. Generally, you must submit an online application form, official transcripts from previous academic institutions, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a current resume. In addition, many programs require applicants to have three or more years of work experience in a managerial or supervisory role to be eligible for admission.

Admission requirements vary between institutions, so speaking with an admissions counselor to clarify specific needs is essential.

How much does an online MBA degree cost?

Like higher education in other fields, the cost of an MBA at an HBCU can vary significantly depending on the institution’s reputation and geographical location. As of the 2020-2021 academic year, the average tuition cost was approximately $12,000 at public schools and $27,000 for private institutions.

While online programs may offer cost savings compared to in-person programs — especially considering that they eliminate commuting and accommodation expenses — there are other costs to consider when pursuing this type of degree. These additional expenses include textbooks, course materials, technology fees, and any potential residency or travel expenses for in-person components. Financial aid, scholarships, and employer tuition reimbursement programs may offset some costs.

How long does it take to earn an online MBA degree?

It typically takes two to three years to complete an online MBA program. However, the flexibility of online programs allows students to progress at their own pace, potentially finishing the degree sooner or taking longer if needed. Your enrollment type can cause completion times to vary, as well. For example, full-time enrollment generally accelerates the completion timeline, while part-time enrollment may extend it.

Additionally, the total number of required credits can impact program length. Most MBA programs require 36 to 54 credits to graduate. Generally speaking, the more credits required, the longer it will take to reach the finish line. Some students take a heavier course load to mitigate and shorten their completion time in these instances.

Is an online MBA from an HBCU worth it?

An MBA can enhance your ability to find professional roles that offer generous salaries and satisfying work. An MBA program that allows a student to focus on a particular sector that interests them can be an excellent way to earn advancement opportunities, whether in technology, healthcare, or some other sector of business or industry.

Generally, individuals with an MBA earn more than those with just an undergraduate degree. Average salaries vary depending on the job and the industry. For example, according to the BLS, a general operations manager earns a median annual wage of $122,860.

An online MBA from an HBCU offers networking options, skills enhancement, and the credibility and prestige of earning a degree from an accredited and established institution. Your chosen school will likely assist you in your job search following graduation through its career services office.

Earning your degree online offers several advantages. The increased flexibility of asynchronous courses makes it an excellent option for those with other personal or professional commitments. There may also be cost savings, including less money spent on transportation and on-campus housing.

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