Business Administration

These Online MBA Programs Are Based in Texas But Available Anywhere

These Online MBA Programs Are Based in Texas But Available Anywhere
Like traditional and professional MBA programs, online MBA degree programs almost always require one or more experiential learning events to supplement online courses. Image from Unsplash
Christa Terry profile
Christa Terry September 11, 2020

You don't have to move to the Lone Star State to enroll in Texas's best MBA programs. However, a surprising number of students choose a nearby school to study online.

MBA/Business Programs You Should Consider

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There are many good reasons to get an MBA in Texas. The state is arguably the center of the US energy industry. It’s also a major technology hub, thanks to tech companies that lowered costs by moving their operations out of Silicon Valley and into Austin. It’s a major hotspot for innovation and entrepreneurship. And then there’s the world-class barbecue.

There are numerous Fortune 500 firms in the state, representing industries as diverse as aerospace and aviation, manufacturing, healthcare, and consumer goods. The cost of living is relatively low, the quality of life is high, and business opportunities abound. And on top of it all, some of the best business schools call the Lone Star State home.

Let’s say, however, that you’re not a Texas native, and relocating isn’t an option. Or you are a Texas native, but commuting to campus isn’t an option. In that case, you can still enroll in a full-time or part-time Texas business school by choosing one of the many high-ranking online MBA programs in the state. You might not get the full Texas MBA experience (i.e., barbecue), but you can still graduate with valuable professional connections that make moving here or working here after you earn your online MBA easier.

In this article about online MBA programs in Texas, we cover:

  • How do online MBA programs differ from traditional MBAs?
  • Are online MBA programs based in Texas more affordable?
  • Where can I find the best online MBA programs in Texas?
  • What can you do after earning an MBA online?
  • Will these programs lead to a substantial salary boost?

How do online MBA programs differ from traditional MBAs?

Most online MBA programs are nearly identical to the on-campus programs offered by the same universities in terms of credit hours, bachelor’s degree requirements, and how prospective students apply. Coursework is typically focused on the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in executive-level and management positions, launch careers in consulting, or become entrepreneurs. Core courses dive into general business topics like:

Like traditional and professional MBA programs, online MBA degree programs almost always require one or more experiential learning events to supplement online courses. These typically involve internships and capstone projects; they often include intensive campus residencies or international excursions at top online business schools. At Southern Methodist University‘s Edwin L. Cox School of Business, for instance, students pursuing MBAs online must take part in at least two four-day immersion sessions held in business centers around the world. These immersions allow MBA students to work on real-world consulting projects in the global marketplace.

Some on-campus MBA experiences cannot be replicated entirely online, although programs work hard to come as close as possible. Online students enjoy greater flexibility, avoid commuting costs, and often have an easier time balancing school and other commitments. The trade-off is that they miss out on MBA extras like networking lunches, job fairs, and events with industry speakers. Online MBA graduates sometimes have to hustle harder to build robust professional networks and land that first post-graduation job.


“Should I Get A MBA?”

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Are online MBA programs based in Texas more affordable?

MBA programs are notoriously expensive compared to other master’s degree programs; most cost roughly the same as comparable on-campus programs. While the cost of living in Texas is below the national average and there are many affordable colleges and universities across the state, only some of the MBA programs in Texas that are offered online are budget-friendly.

Total tuition for the professional online MBA program at The University of Texas at Dallas‘s Naveen Jindal School of Management, for instance, is $55,441 for in-state students and $93,179 for non-resident students. Online MBA students enrolled in Rice University‘s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business pay about $110,000.

Not every online MBA program in Texas costs as much, however. The online MBA program offered by Sam Houston State University‘s College of Business Administration is one of the most affordable in the U.S. at just over $12,000 for Texas residents.

Remember that affordability is just one factor among many to consider when comparing Texas’ online graduate program, including MBAs. If you have the grades, GMAT score, and professional qualifications necessary to get into one of the top online MBA programs, do it. Even if you have to take out loans and pinch a lot of pennies to finance your studies, the bigger-than-average salary boost you’ll get after graduation will make the struggle worth it (more on this below).

Where can I find the best online MBA programs in Texas?

Baylor University‘s Hankamer School of Business in Waco, Texas__

Baylor University offers an accelerated 12- or 16-month, 100 percent online MBA designed for working professionals. Students can choose among three MBA concentrations: Cyber Security, Executive Communication, and Marketing. In each of these tracks and in the generalist MBA program, students enjoy ample opportunity to apply what they learn to their careers. The program is built around robust professional support, and students have access to the 45,000+ member strong Baylor Business Alumni Network before and after graduation.

Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business in Houston, Texas

This two-year hybrid MBA program, built around collaboration, is designed to help students forge valuable personal and professional connections. Students take live classes online and do interactive group work weekly. They also meet periodically for intensive in-person learning and global field experiences. The school’s learning portal is like a digital campus but better, with one-click access to coursework, grades, syllabi, and support teams in one place. Online MBA students receive as much support as students on campus. Each is assigned an admissions counselor and a dedicated student success adviser and can work with the school’s team of career coaches virtually.

Southern Methodist University’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business in Dallas, Texas

The foundational pillars of SMU’s part-time online MBA program are leadership, analytics, and experiential learning. Over 27 months, cohorts complete two or three live courses per term plus one additional term entirely devoted to an entrepreneurship or consulting project. There are also the aforementioned immersion sessions conducted in business hubs around the globe. Each student is assigned a dedicated Success Coach for general and academic support, and all students have access to career coaching throughout their tenure through the school’s Career Management Center.

Texas A & M International University in Laredo, Texas

One of the least expensive Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB)-accredited MBA programs in Texas, A&M’s MBA is also one of the shortest. Students can complete this 30-credit program in just 15 months of accelerated, seven-week courses. Six start dates per year make it easy to pursue a degree at Texas A&M International University, and three MBA concentrations—International Banking and Finance, International Business, and International Trade & Logistics—make this program highly customizable.

Texas A & M University – Commerce‘s College of Business in Commerce, Texas__

This is the largest online MBA program in Texas. In this two-year, non-thesis MBA program offered in multiple formats for working professionals, students work closely with world-class faculty, take advantage of international learning experiences, and access College of Business-specific scholarships. Distance learners benefit from the support offered at the in-house Career Services Center, which helps current students secure internships and graduates secure employment.

__ University of North Texas‘s G. Brint Ryan College of Business in Denton, Texas__

Students enrolled in the University of North Texas’ online MBA program can choose between two 36-credit programs for distance learners—a two-year MBA program and an accelerated 14- month program. In both, students are invited to tailor their degrees to their current or future careers by choosing from among concentrations like marketing, marketing analytics, organizational behavior and human resource management, strategic management, supply chain analytics, and supply chain management.

The University of Texas at Dallas’s Naveen Jindal School of Management in Richardson, Texas

The distance MBA at UT Dallas offers a high degree of flexibility. There is no on-campus requirement, but students can choose from among both online and on-campus classes held year-round, both during the day and in the evening. They can also choose from among a whopping 15 MBA concentrations and 13 double degree options. Jindal faculty members are recognized globally for their accomplishments in research. The program dedicates abundant resources to supporting students academically and supporting graduates professionally. MBA students have access to personalized career coaching, the Jindal School’s internship and recruiting portal, and professional development opportunities with partner companies.

What can you do after earning an MBA online?

The Master of Business Administration is an extraordinarily versatile degree. Once you have your MBA in hand, you’ll be qualified to work in management, marketing, finance, and business operations. Companies across industries hire MBAs. If you graduate from a program that lets students choose an MBA specialization, you’ll find that there are even more doors open to you. MBA holders work in analytics, information systems, healthcare, and—especially in Texas—energy.

Will these programs lead to a substantial salary boost?

Student outcomes vary widely from Texas MBA program to Texas MBA program, whether you’re looking at traditional programs or online programs. If you’re thinking about enrolling in an MBA program because you’ve hit an earning plateau, choose your school wisely.

Unsurprisingly, you’ll get the most substantial returns from the best B-schools in Texas. Graduates of Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business (which has recruiting relationships with Deloitte Consulting, ExxonMobil, and Simmons and Company International) earn about $113,000 right after graduation—an increase of about 60 percent. Meanwhile, students from Southern Methodist University’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business often end up at JPMorgan Chase, PwC, and Goldman Sachs soon after graduation earning around $103,000—an increase of almost 96 percent.

According to data collected by U.S. News and World Report, graduates of top business schools earn, in some cases, salaries and bonuses triple that of colleagues who attended lower-ranked schools. The most affordable online MBA programs in Texas can look very appealing if finances are a concern, but be aware that the ROI of those programs may be a lot lower than that of higher-profile programs.

What you won’t have to worry about is whether future employers will pay you less or automatically trash your resume because you earned your MBA online. First, it’s highly unlikely that your transcripts or your diploma will indicate that you earned your MBA in a program for distance learners. It’s also highly unlikely that hiring managers will ask you whether you studied online. Second, the fact that you took online classes and graduated from an online program may actually end up being an asset in the business world. Completing an online MBA program is proof that you can work independently and have above-average time management skills and grit. And finally, you may actually graduate from your online MBA program with a more diverse set of Texas business connections than your on-campus peers because the fact that you’re not studying on campus will force you to network creatively.

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About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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