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Are Online MBA's Respected? 6 Reasons Why the Answer is ‘Yes’'

What’s holding you back from pursuing an online MBA? It may be you’re wondering how well online MBAs are respected. The discussion of online MBA credibility continues to reveal the merits of these programs. Evidence shows that the degree prepares professionals to thrive in our ever-changing, technology-based world. If perceptions of online MBAs are preventing you from applying, read on. Here are six reasons why online MBAs are respected.

1. Growing Prevalence

Expanding program options and enrollments show that online MBAs are respected. Between 2012 and 2016, enrollment in online graduate courses increased by 27.6%.[1] Among online graduate students, business was the most popular field of study. Approximately 90% enrolled in an online MBA.[2] The number of institutions offering the degree is also growing. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked 301 online MBA programs, up from 180 in 2017[3]. (The publication only ranks schools that respond to its survey, which means the actual number is even higher.) Employers have taken notice. Recruiters and online MBA graduates alike say companies welcome the degree.[4] Many, like Fiat Chrysler, assess online MBA programs as just the same as their on-campus counterparts.3

2. Comprehensive Curriculum

When considering why online MBAs are credible, a comprehensive curriculum is among the top reasons. Most online MBA programs follow a curriculum that’s similar to campus programs. It includes a cross-functional core, which covers business, leadership, and communication, and concentration options. At the University of Redlands, the online MBA program provides a comprehensive curriculum steeped in the liberal arts tradition. It inspires students to gain new insights and challenges their perceptions of business.

Redlands’ online MBA program’s  core curriculum ensures students gain functional knowledge and the tools necessary to become effective business leaders. Students explore accounting, ethics, and management while learning to analyze business problems, make ethical decisions, and master communication. Students tailor the remaining courses to their needs by concentrating in General Business, Location Analytics, Finance, or Marketing. An advantage of pursuing an online MBA is the opportunity to apply new skills and knowledge in your current job immediately. Students who work while pursuing their MBA online at the University of Redlands will benefit from their experience right away.

3. Excellent Reputation

You can easily access an abundance of data that demonstrate why online MBAs are respected. Ranking lists compiled by media companies and college admissions firms often include larger institutions with online MBAs. For smaller, private liberal arts schools, like the University of Redlands, you can visit their website for facts that support online MBA credibility.

Postgraduate programs at the University of Redlands are immersed in a liberal arts history of over 100 years. Redlands’ approach to teaching and learning has helped a community of over 60,000 alumni make a living while embracing a reflective understanding of the world. Many students apply to the University after reading an alumni review. When you enroll, you are entering a well-recognized program that is:

  • In the top 30% of America’s Top Colleges — Forbes
  • Among the top 30 “Best Master’s Universities for the Public Good” — Washington Monthly
  • In the top 25% of “Best Universities for Salary Potential” —

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4. Impressive Accreditations

When a college or university earns professional accreditation in addition to institutional accreditation, it is a sign that the online MBA program is credible. Authorized agencies have accredited hundreds of institutions with online MBAs. Professionally accredited institutions deliver a high-quality program and must follow specific rules and a review process to retain the status. Accreditation is voluntary, so institutions that earn it have taken an extra step to demonstrate their excellence.

The University of Redlands holds both types of accreditation. The University has institutional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of the six regional accrediting agencies in the country. The School of Business  has specialized accreditation for our business programs by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). These accreditations affirm the University’s focus on successful student learning and continuous improvement.

5. Contemporary Relevance

Online MBAs are respected because they reflect current trends in business collaboration. Like online MBA programs, many businesses rely on virtual environments for interaction. Leaders are expected to organize teams across geographies. At the same time, opportunities are growing for employees to work remotely. 70% of professionals work outside of their office at some point during the week.[5] Online MBAs prepare professionals to collaborate with colleagues online and off.

Students in the University of Redlands online MBA program interact in online discussions and learn through a variety of methods, including classes focused on teamwork. In the capstone course, students collaborate in groups to develop and execute a strategic plan for solving a business challenge. They work together to overcome the complexities of group decision-making. Collaboration training provided through traditional coursework and a contemporary online environment prepares graduates to work more effectively in increasingly technological business settings.

6. Distinctive Preparation

Students who balance graduate study with personal or professional commitments have a notable advantage in the workplace. An online MBA is respected because it equips these students with distinctive qualities. Online MBA students are independent and self-motivated. They must participate in lectures and complete assignments on their own schedule. Students also learn to think critically and manage multiple priorities, juggling the demands of graduate school and other obligations. These qualities are essential for completing an online MBA and for becoming an effective business leader.

The University of Redlands online MBA experience is entirely virtual. Students can access course materials 24/7 online. This flexibility allows students to earn the Redlands online MBA in as few as 18 months. 43% of Redlands MBA students are married, and many are middle managers who continue working during their studies.

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[1] Babson Survey Research Group

[2] Learning House,

[3] Financial Times

[4] U.S. News & World Report

[5] International Workplace Group