The Most Expensive Online MBA Programmes 2021

The Most Expensive Online MBA Programmes 2021

By H. Young

Updated April 20, 2021 Updated April 20

The online MBA programme from Mashall is the most expensive course of those featured in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021, at an astonishing fee of US$106,595.

Released today, the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021 assess the online MBA offerings of 57 business schools worldwide, demonstrating just how easy it is to earn your MBA from the comfort of your home.

You can find out more about the methodology used to produce the rankings here.


Business school

Tuition ($USD)


Southern California (Marshall)



George Washington University



University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business



American University (Kogod)



Indiana University (Kelley Direct Programs)



University of Florida (Warrington)



Temple University (Fox)



Naveen Jindal School of Management - UT Dallas



Arizona (Eller)



Imperial College Business School


10) Imperial College Business School

Kicking off the top 10 for the most expensive online MBA programmes is Imperial College Business School’s online MBA offering.

Earning the employability silver medal for yet another year is Imperial College Business School’s online MBA, which received a near-perfect score of 99.20.

The Global Online MBA cohort is one of the most international in the world with 85 percent international students and 62 nationalities represented. 36 percent of candidates are women. Most of the teaching during the programme is conducted through The Hub, a virtual learning platform developed by Imperial’s award-winning Edtech lab. Students complete pre-study modules, then attend a five-day compulsory in-person induction week, as well as four core module periods followed by an optional global experience week. The course ends with a capstone business game.

Fees for the 24-month programme are US$51,410.

9) Eller

The Eller Online MBA Programme features two sessions per semester, and a typical session offers two core courses and a minimum of two electives. Students take 45 credits, including 28 core units and 17 elective units.

Core courses include: Marketing of Innovations; Market-Based Management; Leadership in Organizations. Students can also choose from concentrations in Entrepreneurship; Finance; Health Care Management; Management and Organizations; Privacy and Security; Marketing. Elective courses range from Health Economics to Integrative Leadership to Social Media Marketing.

There are 306 students in this year’s cohort of which 28 percent are female, with three percent international students and three nationalities represented. Students have an average of 9.2 years work experience. 43 percent of students on the programme are entirely self-funded.

8) Naveen

Naveen Jindal School of Management’s Global Leadership MBA – ranked 16th in the overall ranking – scored high for class experience.

The programme, which lasts on average 21 months, has a small cohort of 75. The class profile is diverse compared to other US-based online MBA courses: 43 percent of students are women, while 17 percent are international, but with a smaller cohort, it’s easy to see why.

7) Fox

The Fox Online MBA is ranked 32nd in the global ranking. This year, there are 305 students on the programme, of which, four percent are international, three nationalities are represented, and 57 percent are female. Students have an average of 10.5 years of work experience under their belt.

There have been 856 graduates since the programme began in 2009.

At the beginning of their first semester, students are on campus for a week of networking, professional development and the first course of the programme. Students attend information sessions on student financial services, participate in professional development workshops, network with classmates and more.

Each course is delivered online over five weeks. Live and collaborative web conferencing sessions with faculty and classmates are held on Thursday nights from 8–10 p.m. ET.

6) Warrington

Next is the online MBA at UF Warrington College of Business, which takes an average of 21 months to complete.

The students of this year’s cohort of 378 students have an average of 6.4 years work experience. 37 percent of students identify as female, while four percent are international, accounting for 11 nationalities.

5) Kelley

Halfway through the list, sliding back two spots from last year’s third position, is Kelley School of Business. Kelley’s online MBA programme scored high for both employability (78.90) and class experience.

The course is highly customisable: students can build up to 50 percent of their curriculum with electives and choose from seven major specialisations including Business Analytics, Marketing and Finance. This year’s class profile is made up of 17 percent women and 41 percent international students, and students have an average of 13 years of work experience under their belt.

4) Kogod School of Business

Just missing out on a top three spot was Kogod School of Business at the American University’s online MBA programme – which was one of the top overall scorers for class experience.

The Kogod online MBA has a standard course duration of 24 months, but can also be completed on a 12, 15 or 18-month track. The curriculum features two in-person immersions, 13 core courses and two elective courses.

The programme has surpassed gender parity with 51 percent female students in this year’s cohort. Ranked 22nd globally, this year’s cohort incorporates four nationalities, two percent international students, and students have an average of 5.5 years work experience. Tuition is US$86,976.

3) University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The online MBA programme at University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business scored very highly for the class experience indicator.

Ranked 21st in the full online MBA ranking, Smith’s online MBA programme (which features 360 students this year) is usually completed in 24 months. Women make up 42 percent of students, with 15 nationalities represented on the programme and six percent of students being international. Students have an average of 5.6 years work experience.

2) George Washington

The online MBA programme at George Washington – ranked 18th globally – scored very highly for the class experience indicator.

Of the 355 students in class, 54 percent are female, 11 percent are international, and 15 nationalities are represented. Students also have an average of 15 years’ worth of experience under their belt (the second joint-highest in the overall global ranking).

Students may begin the program in the Fall, Spring or Summer semesters (August, January, or May). Generally, students will take six credit hours per semester. Students must complete 46.5 credits (34.5 credits in required courses and 12 credits in electives).

Since the programme began in 2004, the programme boasts 1105 graduates.


The most expensive online MBA programme this year is the online MBA at Marshall – at a whopping US$106,595.

Students must complete the following courses to graduate from the programme: Role of the Manager; Fundamentals of Business; Opportunity Recognition and Implementation; Managing Inside the Firm; Managing Outside the Firm; Business Environment & Leadership.

Synchronous activities include:

  • Class meetings
  • Collaborative virtual activities and assessments including facilitated team meetings
  • One‐on‐one faculty sessions via webcam*
  • Other real‐time interactions

Courses are undertaken Monday-Thursday, 6:00pm-8:00pm (Pacific). Students complete the programme in an average of 21 months.

Marshall’s online MBA scored very highly for the class experience indicator. Of the 307 students on the programme, 34 percent are female, three percent are international, and three nationalities are represented. Students tend to have 10 years of work experience on average.

This article was originally published in April 2021 .

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