Georgia is home to 10 million residents and a number of nationally ranked colleges and universities, such as Emory University. With nearly 6.5 million inhabitants, the Atlanta metro area is by far the largest in the state. Other notable metro areas include Columbus, Macon, and Savannah. Atlanta, Georgia, is the fifth most popular city in the country for business professionals with MBA degrees. Earning an online MBA in Georgia is a cost-effective way to begin or advance your business career.

A large portion of Georgia’s population is concentrated in the Atlanta metro area. Although there are plenty of colleges and universities throughout the state, many of the best schools for online MBAs in Georgia are located in or near Atlanta.

Students pursuing an MBA online in Georgia save time and money on transportation, and many schools offer discounted tuition rates for Georgia residents. Online students also save money on housing; average rent in Atlanta is $1,200 per month. Over the one to two years required to earn most MBAs, these savings can be significant.

Because online classes are taught by the same professors who teach on campus, online students receive the same quality education as on-campus students. This also means that students applying to online programs need to meet all application requirements, which often include evidence of academic achievement, relevant work experience, and GMAT or GRE scores.

Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education
Percentage of students enrolled at Title IV institutions in Georgia, by distance education enrollment status, Fall 2012

MBA Concentrations for Georgia Students

Several Fortune 500 companies are based in Georgia, and these industry leaders require knowledgeable professionals to help manage their operations. Concentrations in business analytics or consulting prepare Georgia’s MBA graduates to work in the state’s top companies and fields. Georgia’s diverse business environment requires skills such as managing operations and analyzing data. Additionally, job opportunities for MBA graduates are not limited to business. The state’s healthcare industry also needs strategic experts.

 

  • Business Analytics: Data is an increasingly import part of any business. A concentration in business analytics prepares students to examine data to improve operations and services. Graduates work for companies such as Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines.
  • Consulting: Consultants improve customer relations, strategic planning, operations, marketing, and finance. This concentration typically involves interdisciplinary coursework that prepares students to work in any of Georgia’s top fields.

Accreditation in Georgia

Accreditation ensures that a college or university complies with recognized standards. Nearly 85% of the country’s public and private institutions are regionally accredited. Georgia colleges and universities are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Some schools may instead hold national accreditation, which is usually reserved for vocational programs. Regional accreditation is more prestigious and more widely recognized.

The in-depth training provided by an accredited MBA program helps graduates secure advanced positions in Georgia’s top industries.

Georgia offers a vibrant and dynamic business environment, due in part to the Fortune 500 companies, such as UPS and Coca-Cola, that are headquartered in the state. Georgia consistently ranks as a top place to do business in America. The diversity of businesses in Georgia allows MBA graduates to pursue careers in any field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects Georgia’s business sector to continue to grow 1.2% each year. The average salary for Georgia business professionals with an MBA is $71,300 per year, and as of 2016, the state employed nearly 230,000 business and financial services professionals.

With so many companies headquartered in Atlanta, job prospects are most abundant in this city. However, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the state.

Top Employers in Georgia

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Home Depot Retail/Home Goods Atlanta 400,000
UPS Shipping Atlanta 434,000
Coca-Cola Food & Beverage Atlanta 146,200
Delta Airlines Travel/Airline Atlanta 80,000
Aflac Insurance Columbus 9,235

Georgia’s top companies demand top education, which creates opportunities for higher salaries. The information below describes how investing in an online MBA in Georgia will advance your career and increase your earning potential.

As evidenced by the data below, an advanced business degree results in higher earnings. While the salary difference between associate degree holders and bachelor’s degree holders is significant, the difference is far more dramatic when comparing salaries for bachelor’s degree holders and master’s degree holders. A one-to-two year investment in a Georgia online MBA program can yield significantly higher earnings over the course of a career. MBA programs provide the advanced theoretical training and hands-on skills that Georgia’s top companies want in managers and executives.

Average Salary by Degree
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Careers for MBAs in Georgia

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

The CFO oversees a company’s financial operations. The CFO ensures the business runs efficiently while complying with local, state, and federal laws, as well as company policies. The median annual salary for a CFO is nearly $150,000.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts review financial data to ensure the company is making strategic, sound investments. They also work with bonds, stocks, and other financial matters. The average wage for a financial analyst is $64,000.

Business Analyst

Business analysts work with management to streamline company procedures. They have strong research and critical thinking skills. The average annual salary for a business analyst is $72,000.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers create marketing campaigns to familiarize people with a company’s goods or services. The position involves teamwork and multidisciplinary thinking. The median annual salary is approximately $63,000.

Information Technology Director

Businesses, especially multinational companies, cannot succeed without employees who understand both business and technology. Information technology directors lead companies in both areas and earn an average of $115,000 per year.

The list below highlights rigorous, reputable online MBA programs in Georgia. As you research schools, consider each program’s unique features and strengths to find the MBA program that aligns with your interests and career goals. Also consider each school’s tuition costs and scholarship opportunities.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Brenau University

Location Gainesville, GA Tuition Tuition $24,660 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 2,883 School Type Private

Brenau University, a private research institution in Gainesville, launched its first online degrees in 1998. Today, the school offers over 40 online programs, including 16 specialized MBA tracks. Online students can choose either a general MBA degree or concentrated programs in areas such as conflict resolution, cybersecurity management, and nonprofit leadership.

The general business MBA requires 12 courses totaling 36 hours of coursework. The curriculum first covers basic business topics in accounting, economics, and finance; it then delves into advanced areas of marketing, business law, and strategic management. The program also requires one course in global business. Students who choose a focus area need to take approximately 45 credits to graduate.

The school delivers online courses asynchronously through seven-week sessions. Applicants to this online MBA in Georgia must possess a 3.0 undergraduate GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Several of the school's MBA programs hold accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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Columbus State University

Location Columbus, GA Tuition Tuition $22,170 % Receiving Financial Aid 59% Student Population 8,440 School Type Public

Columbus State University offers nearly 50 distance undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. As a member of the Georgia WebMBA consortium, Columbus State offers an MBA program that students can complete in 1.5 years. The program boasts an accelerated format, and students can begin their studies in January or August.

Through 10 courses that stress collaboration, ethical decision making, and international business, the program prepares students for a variety of management positions in the public and private sector. The curriculum includes a managerial decision analysis course that covers statistical techniques such as graphical analysis, forecasting, and regression. Distance learners can complete the entire curriculum online, but they must attend an in-person orientation in Atlanta.

Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores, two recommendation letters, and a current resume showing two years of professional experience. Columbus State's college of business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


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Emory University

Location Atlanta, GA Tuition Tuition $101,700 % Receiving Financial Aid 37% Student Population 13,788 School Type Private

Emory University, founded in 1836, is a private research institution based in Atlanta. The school offers a modular executive MBA that stresses leadership skills and helps working professionals develop their own leadership style. The program also fosters good decision-making skills by teaching students to gather information and interpret raw data.

Emory administers the 18-month program in a hybrid format, delivering 66% of the curriculum through intensive, on-campus residencies. These in-person experiences include personal assessments and management training. Students complete the rest of the curriculum through nine-week online courses. In addition, distance learners can satisfy an elective requirement through a faculty-supervised independent study. Students can also participate in the global business practice immersion, a week-long trip abroad that introduces students to the fundamental challenges of international business.

Those looking to earn their online MBA in Georgia through Emory's MBA program must demonstrate business experience and sit for an interview.


Concentrations
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Georgia Southwestern State University

Location Americus, GA Tuition Tuition $7,710 % Receiving Financial Aid 59% Student Population 2,755 School Type Public

Georgia Southwestern State University, a public institution in Americus, offers bachelor's and master's programs. Students in Georgia Southwestern's School of Business Administration can complete a master's degree entirely online. The program educates students in the foundational topics of finance, ethics, management, and marketing in order to enhance their career potential and prepare them for leadership roles. The 30-credit curriculum includes unique classes such as philosophy of management, which relies on case studies to teach students how management theory developed over time. The 10-course program also includes a class on labor relations that introduces the function of unions in business.

Georgia Southwestern State admits students to the MBA program based solely on undergraduate GPA and standardized test scores. One of the online MBA programs in Georgia with no GMAT requirement, this program allows applicants with a 3.0 GPA and five years of professional experience to apply for a GMAT waiver.


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Georgia College & State University

Location Milledgeville, GA Tuition Tuition $22,870 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 6,889 School Type Public

Georgia College, a public liberal arts university based in Milledgeville, offers 21 distance graduate degrees. The college's online graduate offerings, all professionally focused, include three business degrees. Students can earn a master's in logistics and supply chain management, management information systems, or business administration.

The online MBA at Georgia College is delivered through the Georgia WebMBA program, a consortium of several public institutions in the state accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The program offers asynchronous coursework that students can complete entirely online. While students do not need to log in at any particular time, they progress through the 1.5-year program together as a cohort. The program requires 30 credit hours of coursework, and some students must complete 12 credits of foundation courses prior to starting their studies.

Applicants who possess a degree from an AACSB-accredited business school and hold an undergraduate GPA of 3.15 do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores.


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Georgia Southern University

Location Statesboro, GA Tuition Tuition $22,170 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 20,459 School Type Public

Georgia Southern University, a large public research institution in Statesboro, offers over 140 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs to more than 27,000 students. The school also offers many distance programs, including a fully online MBA accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The online MBA, delivered through the Georgia WebMBA program, comprises 10 courses totaling 30 credit hours. The program features coursework in global business, strategic marketing, and entrepreneurship. Students take courses asynchronously to finish the degree entirely online in as few as five semesters. Distance learners study in a cohort and meet their classmates at a required two-day orientation in Atlanta.

Applicants to Georgia Southern's online MBA program must submit GMAT scores, academic transcripts, and a resume demonstrating at least two years of professional experience. The program accepts new students for the fall and spring terms. Both in-state and out-of-state online students pay the same tuition rate and orientation fee.


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Mercer University

Location Macon, GA Tuition Tuition $26,640 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 8,600 School Type Private

Established in 1833, Mercer University is the oldest private university in Georgia. The school operates out of a main campus in Macon and enrolls over 8,600 students through its 12 colleges and schools. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Mercer's School of Business and Economics offers an online, self-paced MBA that students can complete in as little as 18 months.

Unlike some other online MBA programs in Georgia, Mercer's online MBA lets students focus their studies in one of six areas, including healthcare management, human resources, and finance. Regardless of concentration, all students must take 21 credits of core courses, including ethical leadership, corporate responsibility, and operations management science. Students fulfill 12 credits hours through electives and complete a three-hour capstone course in which they apply the skills and principles they learned throughout the program.

Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores, official transcripts, and a current resume. Mercer admits new students to the program five times per year.


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Shorter University

Location Rome, GA Tuition Tuition $15,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 1,472 School Type Private

Shorter University, a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, offers many distance learning associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees, including a 100% online MBA program.

Among the best online MBA programs in Georgia, Shorter's MBA allows students to study general business, healthcare management, or sport management. Each track consists of nine required courses and two electives. Required coursework for the healthcare concentration covers the ethical aspects of healthcare and healthcare informatics. Sport management students take classes in event management, sport marketing, and risk management in sport. In addition, all online students may earn three credits through a business internship.

Shorter delivers online courses asynchronously in eight-week sessions, and students can finish the accelerated, 31-credit curriculum in 12 months. Applicants must boast at least three years of work experience and a GPA of 2.75 or higher during their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework.


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Thomas University

Location Thomasville, GA Tuition Tuition $23,580 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 1,182 School Type Private

Thomas University, a small private university in Thomasville, enrolls just over 1,000 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The school boasts an average class size of 10 students and offers eight distance programs, including an online MBA.

Thomas University's MBA program allows students to earn the degree entirely online, on campus, or through a blended format. Through its 36-semester hour curriculum, the program develops students' quantitative analysis techniques, oral and written communication skills, and business ethics awareness. In addition, students examine how diversity of gender, age, religion, and race affect business operations.

One of the best online MBA programs in Georgia for aspiring accountants, the program offers a concentration that prepares students for the certified public accountant exam. The accounting concentration requires courses in auditing, taxation, and financial accounting. In addition, students can opt for a concentration in human resources management. Thomas University's MBA holds accreditation from the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education.


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Valdosta State University

Location Valdosta, GA Tuition Tuition $22,170 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 11,302 School Type Public

Valdosta State University, a public research institution in the University System of Georgia, offers 22 online master's degrees, including two MBA programs. The school participates in the Georgia WebMBA consortium to offer a general MBA and an MBA in healthcare administration.

The Georgia WebMBA program comprises 10 courses, and students complete two courses each term for five consecutive terms. Students can finish the entire curriculum online through asynchronous coursework, but they must also participate in a two-day orientation in Atlanta. Valdosta State's online MBA with a concentration in healthcare comprises 36 credit hours of coursework in topics such as healthcare finance, health law, and health operations management.

Among the online MBA programs in Georgia with no GMAT requirement, Valdosta State's general MBA waives standardized test requirements for applicants with five years of management experience, a graduate degree, or a 3.0 GPA bachelor's accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


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University of West Georgia

Location Carrollton, GA Tuition Tuition $22,170 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 12,834 School Type Public

Founded in 1906, the public University of West Georgia sits about 45 miles outside of Atlanta. Students can choose from 13 distance master's degree options, including a fully online MBA.

The school offers its online MBA in partnership with five other universities in the Georgia WebMBA consortium. The WebMBA curriculum consists of 30 credits, and students may transfer a maximum of six credits into the program. Through a 10-course, asynchronous curriculum, the program educates students on quantitative evaluation tools, common business technologies, and techniques for analyzing global business environments. The program also stresses collaboration, and learners advance through coursework in a group. Aside from an in-person orientation, students can complete the degree entirely online.

Applicants to this online MBA in Georgia must submit GRE or GMAT scores, official college transcripts, and a current resume proving two years of business experience.


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Kennesaw State University

Location Kennesaw, GA Tuition Tuition $23,945 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 33,252 School Type Public

The third largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State University boasts a total enrollment of over 35,000. The school offers more than 500 online courses in over 70 online programs leading to degrees, certifications, and endorsements.

Along with five other institutions in the state, Kennesaw State University offers the Georgia WebMBA, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The program features a fully online format, except for an initial two-day orientation in Atlanta. Students in this online MBA in Georgia take two courses per term for five consecutive terms, earning the degree in approximately 20 months. KSU's MBA students progress through the curriculum as part of a cohort, taking courses asynchronously.

Kennesaw State University evaluates applicants based on professional work experience, official transcripts, and GMAT scores. The university may waive the GMAT requirement for applicants with an advanced degree or significant work experience.


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South University

Location Savannah, GA Tuition Tuition $27,101 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 10,781 School Type Private

Founded in 1899, South University is a private institution offering many online degrees, including an accelerated MBA program. Online students can complete the 48-credit curriculum in as little as 16 months. Through the 12-course program, online learners study common business models, learn strategies for long-term and short-term decision-making, and build negotiating and leadership skills. One unique leadership course explores how managers develop corporate culture, identity, and ethics within an organization. In addition, students must take a capstone course in strategic development that examines corporate leadership, entrepreneurship, and international strategy.

South University delivers the course asynchronously, and online learners participate in group projects, faculty-led webinars, and video lectures. Online students gain access to 24/7 tech support, tutoring resources, and career counseling services.

Applicants must hold either a 2.7 undergraduate GPA or a 3.0 graduate GPA. South's program boasts accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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Point University

Location West Point, GA Tuition Tuition $21,630 % Receiving Financial Aid 73% Student Population 1,986 School Type Private

Based in West Point, Point University is a Christian liberal arts university founded in 1937. Point's students can choose from more than 40 online associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs. The school offers an MBA degree with two tracks.

While the MBA in business transformation teaches students to evaluate and improve organizations and requires 42 credits, the MBA in strategic management and leadership comprises 45 credits. Students can complete either program in about two years through completely online, asynchronous coursework. In addition, the school enables students to transfer up to 14 credit hours toward a master's degree.

Point University's online MBA programs list no GMAT requirement, but students may submit scores to demonstrate higher-level communication skills and critical thinking. All online MBA students pay the same tuition rate regardless of where they live.


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There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Georgia. These include factors discussed above like cost, accreditation, and available specializations. The following list includes some key steps to follow during the program research process for MBA options in any state.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Student outcomes include graduation rate, year-to-year retention rate, the average debt for a graduate from that school, and overall student satisfaction with their degree program. Student outcomes do not guarantee you will be satisfied with a particular program, but can be useful for pinpointing a school’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Virtually every accredited college or university posts tuition rates online. Additionally, you should research other college-related costs like living accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to live on-campus), administrative fees, and technology fees (for online students). You should also look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of institutional financial aid that can offset some of the costs.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    Scheduling is critical for students with other important commitments, such as childcare or full-time employment. Many online programs are asynchronous, or self-paced; students in these tracks are free to complete course requirements on their own schedule. Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require weekly online meetings with teachers and fellow students.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    A large number of online MBA programs include internship and/or capstone practicum requirements ― and in many cases, students are able to gain on-the-job training and real-world office experience. You should look into the school’s business partnerships, particularly in regard to the industry you plan to enter after earning your MBA.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation status should always be available and easily accessible on a school’s website. In addition to regional or national accreditation, some MBA pathways receive programmatic accreditation. Recognized programmatic accreditors for MBA programs include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Counsel for Business Education (IACBE).

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    You should contact the alumni office at each school you are considering and ask to be connected with former students. These individuals can be good sources of information about education costs, life on- and off-campus, local business tips, and other important details for aspiring MBA students.