Top online MBA programs that have rolling admissions

BY Sydney LakeJune 16, 2022, 1:41 PM
Students walk through the campus at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, as seen in August 2020. (Photographer: Cheney Orr—Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Traditionally, springtime has been crunchtime for MBA candidates to get their applications in at their top-choice schools. But at some business schools, the application cycle never really stops. 

“Offering multiple deadlines and rolling admissions allows more flexibility for both students and staff,” Kara Adams, senior associate director for working professionals admissions and student recruitment at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, tells Fortune.

Offering admissions on a rolling basis is just one additional way UNC Kenan-Flagler, which Fortune ranks as having the No. 1 online MBA program in the U.S., tries to distinguish itself.

If UNC’s online MBA program is the best in the country—and one of the most competitive, with a 57.9% acceptance rate—why does it offer admissions on a rolling basis? Doing so allows prospective students to get an admissions decision sooner and have more time to register for classes and prepare to start the program.

Instead of traditional application cycles, in which schools wait until they’ve received all submissions, schools that make decisions on a rolling basis consider the applications as they come in. It’s mutually beneficial to the school because admissions officials can review and submit decisions more quickly instead of having to wait until the end of an admissions cycle. Students find out their fate sooner, too, which gives them more time to make a decision about whether they’d like to attend.

“Since there’s no single ‘perfect’ time to start applying or to pursue an MBA, prospective students can apply and prepare early when they have the time to do so,” Adams says. “This also creates opportunity for other prospective students to apply closer to the start of the program when personal and career circumstances align to make it the right time for them to take this transformative step.”

Offering rolling admissions is equally beneficial to the school. Staff have more time to prepare for and work with faculty and students ahead of the start of the term, and the school can release admissions decisions continuously. UNC Kenan-Flagler builds its class as applications come in, and releases decisions quickly “so prospective students can make decisions that suit their timeframe versus ours,” Adams adds. 

For prospective MBA students who are just starting to look at the application process for online programs, Fortune has compiled the list of schools that offer admissions on a rolling basis and key stats about the programs from the most recently available data.

University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)

Fortune online MBA rank: No. 1

Tuition per year: $62,794

Acceptance rate: 57.9%

Starting base salary: $159,557

GMAT requirement: Yes

University of Pittsburgh (Katz)

Fortune online MBA rank: No. 5

Tuition: $1,526 per credit

Acceptance rate: 92.4%

Starting base salary: $99,177

GMAT requirement: No

University of Washington (Foster)

Fortune online MBA rank: No. 6

Tuition per year: $78,000

Acceptance rate: 80%

Starting base salary: $96,000

GMAT requirement: No

West Texas A&M University

Fortune online MBA rank: No. 9 

Tuition: $276 per credit

Acceptance rate: 83%

Starting base salary: $80,200

GMAT requirement: Yes

University of Arizona (Eller)

Fortune online MBA rank: No. 10

Tuition: $1,145 per credit

Acceptance rate: 61%

Starting base salary: $96,000

GMAT requirement: Yes

University of Utah (Eccles)

Fortune online MBA rank: No. 13

Tuition per year: $31,400

Acceptance rate: 75%

Starting base salary: $98,897

GMAT requirement: Yes

University of Massachusetts–Lowell

Fortune online MBA rank: No. 14

Tuition per year: $19,650

Acceptance rate: 88%

Starting base salary: not reported

GMAT requirement: Yes

Robert Morris University

Fortune online MBA rank: No. 15

Tuition: $1,035 per credit

Acceptance rate: 33%

Starting base salary: not reported

GMAT requirement: Yes

University of Southern Indiana

Fortune online MBA rank: No. 19

Tuition per year: $7,740

Acceptance rate: 96%

Starting base salary: not reported

GMAT requirement: Yes

See how the schools you’re considering landed in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s in public health programsbusiness analytics programsdata science programs, and part-timeexecutive, full-time, and online MBA programs.