25 Best Online Business Degree Programs [2020 Guide]

We’ve identified the 25 best online business degree programs. Compare top schools and see what you could be doing after graduation.

Online Business Degree

You can give your career a strong start by earning an online business degree. Through online studies, you can learn the skills and information that you’ll need for succeeding in offices and other business settings.

With a degree in hand, you’ll be a good candidate for many business positions.

Specializations in Business

Click on the area you’re interested in to jump to that part of the page.

Each of these degrees prepare you for rewarding but different careers in the business world.

Accounting

accountant checking financial reports

There’s no doubt about it: Organizations need clear, organized bookkeeping. You can meet that need with a degree in accounting. As an accounting professional, you will be capable of tracking income and spending, maintaining records, handling payroll, and preparing taxes.

Accounting professionals are often employed by organizations. You could be the sole accountant for a small company or one member of an accounting or finance team at a larger corporation. Other accountants work for firms that serve multiple organizations or individuals.

As an accountant, you could also consider self-employment by offering your services to various clients. Finally, you could become a government tax professional or auditor.


To get you ready for these careers, you’ll take classes on financial, cost, and managerial accounting. There may be courses like Business Math, Information Systems for Accounting Practice, and Local and Federal Taxation. In addition, you may learn about auditing practice.

You may have the option to select a degree concentration, such as public accounting or tax accounting.

After getting a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you could consider advancing to a master’s program for accounting. With enough college hours in this discipline, you’ll become eligible to apply for status as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Business Administration

business administrators working together on a laptop

If you know that a business career is in your future, but you aren’t sure which discipline is best for you, then consider a generalist degree in business administration. The courses you take will heighten your understanding of many different aspects of the business world.

As a result, you’ll be a versatile employee.

Your career options after graduation will be varied. You might be able to work as an office administrator, serve on a human resources team, or get involved with an organization’s financial matters.

This degree can also prepare you to take on a management role in a retail or office setting.


The broad mix of classes that you take in your program will contribute to your preparedness for these many different roles. You’ll learn about laws and regulations that affect businesses, ethics for professionals, and the economic principles that guide business activity.

Also, you’ll receive introductions to finance, human resources, marketing, leadership, and other essential business disciplines.

During your bachelor’s degree program, you may discover that you have a particular interest in a certain business sphere, such as public relations, marketing, or finance. Consider building on your bachelor’s studies with a master’s in that particular area.

Finance

financial analysts checking financial reports

While accounting professionals primarily keep track of transactions that have already occurred, finance professionals use financial data to inform decisions for the future. If you have a head for numbers and data analysis, then finance may be a promising career option for you.

Finance students may have goals in mind, like working for a corporation, becoming a banker, getting a government job, or helping individuals take care of their money.

Potential career paths include being a budget analyst, a financial examiner, a stock trader, a personal financial advisor, or a credit analyst.


As a student in this field, you’ll spend a lot of time working with numbers and figures. That means that you’ll probably take classes in statistics and economics. In addition, the courses will cover finance law, ethics for working with others’ money, accounting, investing, and corporate finance.

You’ll also study financial markets and how they are connected across international borders. The classes will equip you with financial leadership skills that will prepare you for influential roles as a manager or another decision-maker.

To continue your studies, you could consider getting a master’s degree in finance. You’d also have a good foundation for a degree in accounting or economics.

Human Resources

human resource manager shaking hands with a job applicant

If your interest in business leans more toward the people side of things that the numbers side, then you might find great success in the world of human resources. HR professionals help businesses prosper by bringing in, training, and retaining top talent.

An undergraduate program can prepare you to take positions as a human resources specialist in a business, a nonprofit, a medical system, or an educational institution. After gaining experience, you may qualify to move into a human resources management position.

You may want to consider a particular aspect of HR, such as being a training and development specialist or working in a company’s compensation and benefits department.


In college, you’ll study how to recruit talented employees to your organization and how to sort through applicants to identify the best ones. You’ll discuss how to train new hires and make sure that all employees are continually improving their skills.

Other classes will address offering compensation packages and work environments that motivate good employees to stick around. You’ll also learn about mediating workplace or labor union disputes.

After graduation, getting a master’s degree in human resources may increase your chances of being promoted to a management position in this field.

Management

team of professionals in a meeting

Your natural leadership skills can grow and develop during a bachelor’s degree program in management. Through your courses, you’ll learn essential skills for helping employees, teams, and organizations to be their very best.

Management professionals are needed throughout the business world. Examples of job titles include purchasing manager, sales manager, and human resources manager. You also could be the manager of a local establishment, like a retail store or a restaurant.

Keep in mind that you may have to start with entry-level positions but can work toward advancement as you gain experience.

You’ll need to learn about many aspects of business before graduating with your management degree. These include human resources, statistics, global markets, supply chains, business technology, marketing, budgeting, and analytics.


To help you become a strong leader, you’ll explore decision-making, team dynamics, project management, and organizational structure.

For grad school, a master’s in management is, of course, a smart path to consider. You could also think about what area of management most interests you and further your education by studying that discipline.

For example, if your goal is to move into a marketing management role, then it would make sense to get your master’s degree in marketing.

Marketing

marketing team collaborating during a meeting

What does it take to get customers to notice your organization and become loyal to it? You’ll learn that and more in a marketing program. The field of marketing addresses branding, advertising, promotions, and other public-awareness strategies.

As a marketing student, you may be getting ready for a career as an advertising sales representative, a marketing manager, or a promotions director. It can take time to get a leadership role in these areas, but a bachelor’s degree can be a good first step.

Online marketing is a growing field, so you could become a social media director.


You’ll get set for these careers with courses that cover the different types of communication used by marketers, such as advertisements. In your studies, you’ll learn to provide messages that help the public connect with your brand and feel good about your products.

Other courses will cover theories of consumer behavior and teach you to gather market research before developing new products or services. You may also spend some time learning about the principles of effective visual design and written communication.

Your bachelor’s degree in marketing can prepare you for a master’s program in advertising, marketing, social media, digital communication, or public relations.

Organizational Leadership

production managers checking the quality of goods

Getting a degree in organizational leadership will prepare you to rise to the top of an organization. With this degree, you’ll be equipped to lead groups through everyday decisions and times of great change.

Organizational leaders often take management positions. You could exercise your leadership skills as a project manager or a production manager.

Alternatively, you could head up sales teams or office staff. Especially if you gain some management experience of your own first, you could become a management consultant who helps other organizations improve their leadership structures.


Your degree program is likely to include some psychology courses so that you’ll become more knowledgeable about how people think and how teams interact with one another.

You will also study leadership skills for particular circumstances, such as managing interpersonal conflict, helping organizations go through transitions, and casting a vision for future growth and development.

To ensure that you are leading in the best way possible, you will need to think about legal regulations, ethics, and effective communication.

You could consider getting your master’s degree in management or leadership. To put your organizational leadership skills to work in a medical setting, you might pursue a healthcare administration master’s degree.

Courses for an Online Business Administration Degree

Courses for an Online Business Administration Degree

The field of business administration encompasses accounting, finance, human resources, management, marketing, and more.

During your studies, you’ll learn at least a bit about each of these areas. You will also gain foundational skills related to business math, communications, technology, law, ethics, and interpersonal relationships.

  • Economics: Studying microeconomics and macroeconomics will help you understand how economic factors influence the business climate.
  • Ethics and Law for Businesses: In this class, you’ll discuss the regulations that govern business practices and consider your ethical framework for professional choices.
  • Global Business: You will talk about how markets across the world relate to one another and how that will affect your business practices.
  • Information Systems for Business: This course will introduce you to data-management programs and teach you how to use them in the workplace.
  • Management in Organizations: You’ll learn how to oversee teams, encourage productivity, and lead groups through times of transition.

Your program may include opportunities to complete internships or other hands-on experiences. These can give you a good introduction to what it is like in the business world and allow you to try out the skills you’ve been working on.

Jobs in Business Administration

Business Administration Degree Salary

Not surprisingly, a degree in business prepares most people to work in the business world. With this degree, you might get a job in an office building, a store, or a financial institution.

All types of organizations, from large corporations to local businesses to nonprofit groups, need the guidance and expertise of trained business professionals.

If you want to focus your attention on working for a midsize or large company, your business knowledge may make you a good candidate for a job like an office administrator or administrative services manager.

Working in a specific department, you might be a human resources specialist, an accountant, a social media coordinator, a marketing specialist, or a budget analyst. You could also look for positions in a company’s public relations, logistics, or purchasing department.

You could choose to work in the financial sector as a banker, an analyst, or an insurance underwriter. Your work could determine whether an applicant qualifies for a credit card or receives a loan. Trading stocks and bonds could be another career path that’s in your future.

Some business majors end up pursuing self-employment. You could work as an independent account who serves a variety of clients, a personal financial planner, or a management consultant. Opening a small business in your community is another viable option.

Business Administration Degree Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of business positions is expected to grow over the coming years. Between 2018 and 2028, jobs in the business and finance sector will rise by about 7%.

Currently, the average annual salary for business and finance professionals is $68,350 per year. The following table includes additional salary information for specific jobs.

Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth
Financial Analyst $85,660 6%
Management Analyst $83,610 14%
Accountant $70,500 6%
Manufacturing Cost Estimator $64,040 6%
Market Research Analyst $63,120 20%
Loan Officer $63,040 8%
Compensation Specialist $63,000 6%
Human Resources Specialist $60,880 5%
Training and Development Specialist $60,870 9%
Fundraiser $56,950 9%

The above salary averages are not a guarantee of future earnings. Wages can vary greatly in different areas of the country, and education level and the amount of experience you have will play a large role in how much you will be paid as well.

Professional Organizations for Those with a Degree in Business Administration

logos of Professional Organizations for Those with a Degree in Business Administration

You can gain valuable knowledge and sharpen your skills by joining an organization for businesspeople. These groups connect professionals from similar occupations through conferences, publications, online resources, and other valuable tools.

Joining a group will give you access to these benefits and help you network with others in your field.

  • American Management Association: AMA provides online and in-person training modules and certificate programs for business professionals. Becoming a member gives you discounts on these resources as well as access to informative publications.
  • Entrepreneurs’ Organization: EO helps entrepreneurs enhance their business development by providing access to local and international events. To help you grow between in-person sessions, there are also online classes and podcasts available.
  • Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda: FBLA-PBL aims to prepare middle school and high school students for future careers in business. Those outside of the target demographic, such as business professionals, can join the Professional Division to support student chapters, receive publications, and attend conferences.
  • United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship: USASBE serves entrepreneurs and those who teach and perform research on topics of interest to small business owners. By joining, you’ll also become a member of International Council for Small Business, and you’ll get to enjoy the group’s publications and the USASBE Video Library.
  • American Business Women’s Association: Women in the business world can join ABWA for networking and industry resources. You may also get the chance to participate in events held by a local chapter.

You may be able to join a few different groups at a student rate. Trying out membership while you’re in school will give you a better idea of which groups you want to pay full-price for after graduation.

Certification and Licensure Following a Business Degree

business professional receiving a certificate

To increase your competitive edge when looking for business jobs, you may want to look into industry certification. Pursuing extra credentials shows that you’re a committed learner who strives to better yourself and invest in your career.

The certification program you choose to pursue will depend on your area of specialty. For example, human resources professionals may want to consider one of the programs from HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

If you’re in marketing, look into certification from the American Marketing Association.

Six Sigma is a program that can benefit business professionals from many disciplines. Through online and in-person classes, you can learn to improve your business through careful data analysis. Over time, you can progress through multiple levels of this certification program.

Ensuring You Get an Accredited Online Business Degree

logo of AACSB and ACBSP

It’s important to get your business degree from an accredited school. The U.S. has six organizations that can grant regional accreditation to colleges.

Accreditation indicates that schools behave in responsible ways and educate their students well. If you don’t choose a regionally accredited school, you can’t count on getting a good education. Fortunately, both traditional and online business schools can receive regional accreditation.

Business colleges are also eligible to apply for programmatic accreditation from industry organizations.

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB): To become accredited by AACSB, business schools must demonstrate their proficiency in 15 different areas. By aligning with an additional six standards, schools can also receive accreditation for their accounting programs.
  • Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP): More than 1,000 business programs demonstrated their adherence to ACBSP standards. A select few have received separate accreditation for their accounting programs as well.

You may want to look for a school with this type of approval, so you’ll know that you’re gaining the skills that employers currently need.

Financial Aid for Online Business Degrees

screenshot of FAFSA website

Getting a college education is a valuable endeavor, but it comes at a price. You may need financial aid to help you afford the tuition.

Applying for federal assistance is usually the first step that students should take. To get started, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may qualify for grants or loans. Work-study may be another option.

In addition to applying with the federal government, you should see what’s available from your state.

Although government funding is useful, it’s not always enough to make ends meet. You may need to turn to private sources for additional help.

You could borrow money through private loans; just keep in mind that the interest rate will probably be higher than with a government loan.

Scholarships are another important source of funding. You could look into national scholarship programs or explore your local area for community groups that help with tuition.

As a business student, it’s smart to look into scholarship programs that are geared toward this field.

  • Abbott and Fenner Scholarship: This $1,000 award from the consulting firm Abbott and Fenner is available to high school upperclassmen and current college students. Applicants must submit an essay.
  • Virtual Business Scholarship: Knowledge Matters distributes around $5,000 in scholarships through an online competition for high schoolers. To participate, your school must have an All-Access Virtual Business license.
  • Business, Economics, and Public Policy Scholarships: The National Society of High School Scholars provides scholarships of up to $1,000 for students who plan to major in public policy, business, or finance. You can apply during your senior year of high school.
  • Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship: Female business students can apply for this scholarship from Zonta International. Most awards are $2,000, but some international students can receive $8,000 prizes.

Many scholarship programs award funds to the students they feel are the most qualified. Some use financial need to determine who receives their awards.

Questions Related to Earning an Online Business Degree

Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.

Can You Earn a Business Degree Online?

Yes, you can earn a business degree online. Many universities offer business degrees through online courses.

You can get a general business administration bachelor’s degree or pursue a specialty like finance, global business, project management, healthcare administration, entrepreneurship, or organizational leadership.

When looking for online business degree programs, be sure to select a school that holds regional accreditation.

Can You Get a Business Degree Online Fast?

Yes, you can get a business degree online fast. A traditional bachelor’s degree takes about four years to earn, but you can speed up the process by enrolling in a school with an accelerated schedule.

Through fast-track classes, you may be able to cut a year or more off of your studies. Transferring in college credits can further shorten the program length.

What Is the Best Online College for a Business Degree?

There are many good colleges that offer online degrees in business. Choosing the best one for you requires considering what specialty you want to study and then researching which schools offer that program.

Regional accreditation is a must, and you may also want to look for programmatic accreditation from AACSB or ACBSP.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Business Degree Online?

According to U.S. News, students pursuing online bachelor’s degrees spend, on average, anywhere from $38,496 to $60,593 on tuition. There may be technology fees and other additional costs as well.

Keep in mind that, compared to an on-campus degree, you may spend less since you won’t need to pay room and board fees.

What Is the Cheapest Online Business Degree?

Finding the college program that makes the smallest dent in your wallet can take some research. For some students, the best tuition rates will be found at in-state schools. Other students may do better by getting a hefty scholarship for a particular institution.

A college that lets you transfer in many previously earned credits can save you a good deal of money as well.

Is an Online Business Degree Worth It?

professionals consulting their work to a colleague

Yes, an online business degree is worth it. After graduation, you could be earning over $50,000 per year.

Getting a college degree takes time and effort, but it’s a smart way to start your business career off on the right foot. Employers will regard your bachelor’s degree in business as a sign that you’re well-prepared to work for them.

With your business education, you’ll be ready to hold positions of responsibility in offices, stores, banks, and many other establishments.

Jobs in business are expected to increase in number over the next several years, so now is the time to apply to online bachelor’s programs in business administration.

List of 25 Best Online Business Degree Programs

#1  Arizona State University

Arizona State University campus

  • BA in Business – Business Administration

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Committee.

#2  Ball State University

Ball State University campus

  • BS in Business Administration

BSU is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.

#3  DePaul University

DePaul University campus

  • BA in Professional Studies – Business Administration

DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#4  Drexel University

Drexel University campus

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • BS in Business Administration – General Business
  • BS in Business Administration – Marketing

Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#5  East Carolina University

East Carolina University campus

  • BSBA in General Business
  • BSBA in Management
  • BSBA in Management Information Systems
  • BSBA in Marketing
  • BSBA in Operations and Supply Chain Management

East Carolina University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#6  Florida International University

Florida International University campus

  • BBA in Finance
  • BBA in Human Resource Management
  • BBA in International Business
  • BBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • BBA in Management
  • BBA in Marketing

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#7  Indiana University East

Indiana Unviersity East campus

  • BS in Business Administration

IU East is accredited by Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#8  Loyola University – New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans campus

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • BBA in Management

Loyola University New Orleans is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#9  Mercer University

Mercer University campus

  • BBA in Accounting
  • BBA in General Business
  • BBA in Human Resource Management
  • BBA in Management
  • BBA in Marketing

Mercer University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#10  Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University campus

  • BS in Business Administration

Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#11  Oregon State University

Oregon State University campus

  • BA in Business Administration – Digital Marketing
  • BA in Business Administration – Family Business
  • BA in Business Administration – General Business
  • BA in Business Administration – Hospitality Management
  • BA in Business Administration – Marketing
  • BA in Business Administration – Retail Management
  • BA in Business Administration – Supply Chain and Logistics Management
  • BS in Business Administration – Digital Marketing
  • BS in Business Administration – Family Business
  • BS in Business Administration – General Business
  • BS in Business Administration – Hospitality Management
  • BS in Business Administration – Marketing
  • BS in Business Administration – Retail Management
  • BS in Business Administration – Supply Chain and Logistics Management

Oregon State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#12  Pace University

Pace University campus

  • BBA in Business Studies
  • BBA in Business Studies – Accounting and Internal Auditing
  • BBA in Business Studies – Marketing and Management

Pace University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

#13  Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University campus

  • Bachelor of Business Administration

Saint Joseph’s University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#14  San Diego State University

San Diego State University campus

  • BS in Business Administration

San Diego State is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#15  Temple University

Temple University campus

  • Bachelor’s in Business Administration

Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#16  University of Alabama

University of Alabama campus

  • BS in Commerce and Business Administration

The University of Alabama is accredited and/or recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#17  University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas campus

  • BS in Business Administration – Accounting
  • BS in Business Administration – General Business
  • BS in Business Administration – Supply Chain Management

The U of A is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#18  University of Arizona

University of Arizona campus

  • BS in Business Administration

The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#19  University of Florida

University of Florida campus

  • BABA in Anthropology
  • BABA in Business and Economic Geography
  • BABA in Educational Studies
  • BABA in General Studies
  • BABA in Geology
  • BABA in Mass Communication
  • BABA in Sociology
  • BABA in Sport Management
  • BABA in Travel and Tourism Management
  • BS in Business Administration

The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#20  University of Illinois – Chicago

University of Illinois Chicago campus

  • Bachelor of Business Administration

The University of Illinois at Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#21  University of Missouri

University of Missouri campus

  • BS in Business Administration

The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#22  University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico campus

  • Bachelor’s of Business Administration

UNM is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

#23  University of South Dakota

University of South Dakota campus

  • Bachelor of Business Administration

The University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#24  University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming campus

  • BS in Business Administration

The University of Wyoming is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#25  Wilkes University

Wilkes University campus

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (Accelerated)

Wilkes University is an accredited member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

 

This article is brought to you by
Isaac Collins
Isaac Collins
Author
Joy Mays
Joy Mays
Director
Stephen Wilson
Stephen Wilson
Editor