An Online MBA is an investment. Learn how to decide if it’s right for you
Curious About Online MBA programs?
For some working adults, online education is the only way they can pursue an advanced degree. Between work and other life priorities, their schedules are too tight to slip in another commute or long evening away from home.
A flexible online MBA program makes the juggling act a little bit easier. The material and the lessons learned are just as rigorous as in-person programs, but you control when and where the learning takes place.
Let’s address some concerns you may have about online MBAs.
Online MBA Programs: The Flexibility You're Looking For
MBA programs require discipline and self-motivation. You probably already know that if you’re asking questions about how to make it work. Another question you might ask is, “If I’m going to put in this effort, will I be able to make it work with all my other commitments?”
The College of Business at CSU knows flexibility is particularly important for those balancing careers, family and other lifestyle needs. Our Online MBA epitomizes choice and flexibility. Throughout your academic career, we'll provide you the structure and support it takes to keep your momentum throughout the program.
Our Online MBA program provides five start dates per year. When you’re ready to start, you don’t have to wait an entire year to begin your degree.
- JanuaryApply by Dec. 1
- MarchApply by Feb. 1
- MayApply by April 1
- AugustApply by July 1
- OctoberApply by Sept. 1
The courses are also designed to be flexible. At CSU’s College of Business, we professionally record and post our in-person Evening MBA class for online students to view. You can live stream those faculty lectures or access the recorded content whenever it’s convenient for you — whether that’s on a plane or over your lunch break.
Each three-hour class is broken down into digestible video segments. You can re-watch challenging sections or save a lecture for future reference. Closed captioning and transcriptions are also available to support visual learners. That captioning also means the videos are searchable, so it’s easier to find and reference material while studying.
In addition, the College of Business provides a dedicated team of support professionals, including Instructional Coordinators, library staff and academic counselors. However, it’s up to you to stay on task. You’ll have assignments and deadlines, and sometimes group work, just as you would in person.
A Respected Way to Get Your MBA
Are you worried that studying online will diminish the value of your MBA? We promise, it won't. The only thing you'll miss is the commute.
Our Online MBA and on-campus Evening MBA curricula are identical. In fact, online students watch the exact same lectures that are delivered on-campus — on their own schedules. All our graduate degrees meet the highest standard of accreditation by AACSB, achieved by the top 5% of the world’s 16,000 business schools.
When you graduate with an Online MBA, you earn the same credential and alumni benefits as students who complete the program on campus. You and your on-campus peers get the same designation on your diploma and your transcripts: Master of Business Administration. Online students are CSU Business Rams, too.
Despite our different MBA programs being identical except for delivery, some still have a few misconceptions about what the College of Business Online MBA program is really like.
Common Questions About Online MBA Programs
Distance learning has changed over the past 40-some years. Telework and online education have become widely accepted. That doesn't mean the ins and outs of online education are perfectly understood.
Before picking an Online MBA program, make sure you understand how it might be different from your previous college experiences or programs.
What Is the Difference Between Online and In-Person MBA Curriculum?
At CSU's College of Business, you’ll find more similarities than differences. Our MBA curriculum is the same, whether it's delivered on campus or online. World-class faculty members design and deliver the material, updating it to stay relevant for the world today. Our curriculum helps you specialize in skills that employers want and develop proficiency in five competencies: innovation, financial, leadership, data analytics and using business for a better world.
Whether you attend our program online or in-person, you'll have assignments, deadlines and occasionally even group work. Plan on spending 10 to 12 hours a week on homework in addition to the time you spend attending lectures.
At other schools, an MBA curriculum might be designed by a faculty member, then taught online by someone who doesn't have direct experience with the research or working in the field. That's not how we operate. Our faculty members engage in their fields of expertise every day, conducting research, designing courses and teaching the material.
What is the Learning Experience Like Online Versus the Traditional Classroom?
To some degree, you get to choose what the online learning experience is like. You can attend live broadcasts of the classes and watch the instruction as it's happening, just like in-person students. Or you can download videos of the lectures to watch later, so you can consume the material at your convenience.
On-campus courses are delivered in three-hour blocks of time, twice a week. Those lectures are broken down into 20-minute video segments for our online students. Many online students find it's easier to tackle the material in bite-sized segments — and they can refer to the videos (and full transcripts) when they're working on assignments or revisiting concepts.
When you watch a lecture, you'll see students engage in dialogue about the material. If you're attending online, you won't get real-time responses to your questions or observations. Instead, online students reach out to Instructional Coordinators. These qualified professionals support our faculty by serving as a live, direct contact for a small number of students enrolled in the course. They typically respond to questions within 2 to 4 hours.
Thanks to their exceptional credentials and real-world business experience, Instructional Coordinators add another layer of value to the student experience. You'll enjoy the academic support you need to pursue your academic and professional goals.
Are Online MBAs Part-Time or Full-Time?
Whether you choose to take the Online MBA full-time or part-time is up to you. Our program can be completed in as little as 21 months, or you can complete your MBA online part-time in up to 5 years.
At CSU, we break each semester into two 8-week sessions. That means full-time students could take up to four classes per 16-week semester. Most classes are two credit hours each, until you reach the capstone course.
If you’re looking for a full-time experience that’s still offered online, our live synchronous format using our collaborative Mosaic technology might be right for you.
For federal and veteran financial aid purposes, graduate school is considered full-time if you take nine (or more) credit hours per 16-week semester. Part-time is typically six credits per 16-week semester.
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online MBA?
The Online MBA from CSU's College of Business is 42 credit hours. Students complete 24 core credit hours and 18 elective credit hours, allowing you to customize your learning experience.
You can complete the program in as few as 21 months (five semesters) or spread the coursework over five years. If you need a break because of work or life circumstances, you can apply for continuous registration. That way, you can take a semester off and then pick it back up when you're ready.
Career Assistance for Business Rams is for Life
After you graduate with your MBA from the College of Business, you get a lifetime of professional support. The Career Management Center serves our CSU College of Business students and alumni, connecting them to potential employers, mentoring, networking, job search support and more.
Online MBA students can leverage the connections and resources of the Ram network from wherever they learn and live.
The Personal and Professional Value of an Online MBA
Is an Online MBA worth it? The ROI equation is different for every individual. Depending on your ambition, an MBA could jumpstart a new career path or open new opportunities in your current field.
To figure out whether an Online MBA is valuable to your personal and professional aspirations, you have to account for cost and value.
Online MBA Program Costs
At CSU, tuition and fee estimates are published and predictable. Your total cost will vary based on your academic path, but the College of Business strives to help every student find ways to manage the expense of graduate school. For example:
- All online students pay the in-state tuition rate, whether they reside in Colorado or elsewhere.
- Military service members and their families are eligible for a 15% discount on our Online MBA program.
- Employees of corporate partners may qualify for 10% off the cost of tuition on our Online MBA program.
- Federal and VA loan packages are available and students can defer student loans while pursuing their MBA online.
Online MBA Program Value
You don't have to wait until you graduate to apply what you learn — ROI starts as soon as you begin the program. Most Online MBA students put their lessons and classroom discussions to use immediately.
With strong fundamentals and a holistic view of the business, MBA students can have better conversations and bring new ideas to the companies they lead and support. That means, MBA students add more value to their organizations overall. Over the course of their careers, employers typically reward their contributions, too. Corporate recruiting surveys indicate that the median base starting salary for graduates is projected to be over $100,000.
Is our Online MBA worth it? Your goals and ambitions are key to answering that question. We have a track record of positive outcomes that we intend to keep, but this is advancement through education. You will get out of it what you put into it. If you have tenacity and focus, then we’re prepared to support you through a rewarding educational experience.
Earning an MBA is a choice. You get to decide how to challenge yourself, invest in yourself and grow your career. When you're ready to talk about next steps, we're here.
Learn more about the CSU College of Business Online MBA program