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What Can You Do With an MBA in Arkansas

Choosing to complete a degree more advanced than an undergraduate, such as an MBA, available from business schools and colleges across the country, can make a huge difference in your career and earnings prospects, whether your focus is on international business, designed consumer experience, technology, business data and analytics, or human resources. For the busy professional juggling their office work and possibly a family or other life obligations, the hours in their day are precious. Pursuing an online MBA allows you to study at your own pace and on your own schedule without sacrificing the quality of your class community or classes and education as a whole.

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Top 10 Best MBA Programs in Arkansas


University of Arkansas

Score: 85.62

  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $10,500
    • Out-of-State: $28,560
  • Net Price: $16,208
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Total Enrollment: 30,936
  • Undergrad Students: 26,269
  • Graduate Students: 4,667
  • Grads Salary: $72,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 20:1
  • University of Arkansas
  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $5,850
    • Out-of-State: $13,266
  • Net Price: $11,173
  • Acceptance Rate: 61%
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,197
  • Undergrad Students: 5,825
  • Graduate Students: 2,372
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
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  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $6,534
    • Out-of-State: $11,970
  • Net Price: $12,011
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Total Enrollment: 13,190
  • Undergrad Students: 8,201
  • Graduate Students: 4,989
  • Grads Salary: $65,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Arkansas State University
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Harding University

Score: 82.56

  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $13,036
    • Out-of-State: $13,036
  • Net Price: $19,558
  • Acceptance Rate: 45%
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,805
  • Undergrad Students: 3,523
  • Graduate Students: 1,282
  • Grads Salary: $69,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Harding University
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Southern Arkansas University

Score: 80.04

  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $5,616
    • Out-of-State: $8,820
  • Net Price: $14,056
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Retention Rate: 71%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Total Enrollment: 5,094
  • Undergrad Students: 3,148
  • Graduate Students: 1,946
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Southern Arkansas University

John Brown University

Score: 77.75

  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $14,520
    • Out-of-State: $14,520
  • Net Price: $20,997
  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,326
  • Undergrad Students: 1,801
  • Graduate Students: 525
  • Grads Salary: $65,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • John Brown University
  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $5,661
    • Out-of-State: $5,661
  • Net Price: $12,016
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,445
  • Undergrad Students: 8,722
  • Graduate Students: 723
  • Grads Salary: $64,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Arkansas Tech University
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University of Central Arkansas

Score: 73.23

  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $5,281
    • Out-of-State: $10,562
  • Net Price: $15,456
  • Acceptance Rate: 91%
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,913
  • Undergrad Students: 7,994
  • Graduate Students: 1,919
  • Grads Salary: $62,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • University of Central Arkansas
  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $5,670
    • Out-of-State: $7,848
  • Net Price: $17,656
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Retention Rate: 57%
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,519
  • Undergrad Students: 1,807
  • Graduate Students: 712
  • Grads Salary: $63,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Henderson State University
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Strayer University-Arkansas

Score: 10

  • Graduate Tuition
    • In-State: $14,940
    • Out-of-State: $14,940
  • Net Price: N/A
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 307
  • Undergrad Students: 275
  • Graduate Students: 32
  • Grads Salary: N/A
  • Student-to-faculty: 41:1
  • Strayer University-Arkansas

Why Consider an Online MBA?

Universities offering online programs in Arkansas tailor their academic focus not only for the average student earning a master level degree, but also offer concentrations in demand for businesses located in the state. Much of the state is rural, and that means that being required to commute to night school for graduate school courses is not practical for many people. With an online MBA program, you don’t need to commute any further than your home computer or laptop to study and engage in your academics.

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Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education

Typical MBA Concentrations

Many MBA students pursue an MBA with a specific focus rather than a general advanced business degree. In Arkansas, many current online programs offer focused degrees each year in supply chain management, finance, innovation and entrepreneurship, and agriculture. All of these are prominent areas in the state’s corporate landscape.

Accreditation in Arkansas

Look foran online MBA program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is considered one of the highest standards in the business education field. You should also seek schools accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of the regional accrediting organizations for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). By narrowing your search to find and apply to a college that is accredited, you can be sure that your program will meet the highest standards and requirements for professional development and you will have the support you need, whether or not you choose to engage in or skip campus life and the traditional school experience. This type of program offers you the opportunities you need to gain training and credit toward your degree while you connect with others and learn about the industry, and they are the most likely to produce leaders.

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Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Arkansas’ top industries are agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and the service industry. The latter is based primarily in the state’s largest cities, including Little Rock, Hot Springs, Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, and Fort Smith. Northwest Arkansas alone boasts representation by over 300 of the top Fortune 500 companies in its growing business network. Other top industries include transportation, communications, finance, and healthcare.

As per the Arkansas Economist, Arkansas' growth rate for the quarter was 6.9%, slightly higher than the nationwide average of 6.4%. The 10-year growth rate for Fayetteville is 38%, a considerable achievement considering this decade included the Great Recession. Fayetteville and Jonesboro led the state’s metropolitan areas in overall employment growth, with Little Rock not far behind. Sectors with the overall highest growth are manufacturing, retail, finance, healthcare, and real estate. Growth is projected as steady over the next several years.

Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Arkansas' State Government Government Arkansas 60,000+
Walmart Inc Retail Bentonville 32,000+
Tyson Foods Retail Springdale 21,000+
Baptist Hospital System Healthcare Arkansas 6,000+
Sam’s Club Retail Bentonville 5,000+

Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential

The 2021 Arkansas Labor Market and Economic Report projects a high demand for various occupations requiring an advanced business degree. These include general and operations managers, whose average salary as of 2020 was $91,530; management analysts, with an average salary of $65,640; financial managers, with an average salary of $112,190; and medical and health services managers, with an average salary of $89,700. The cost of living in Arkansas is significantly lower than in many other states, so when what you are offered fits the average, earning potential is actually greater when compared to similar salaries in more expensive locales. However, if an MBA graduate relocates to a different city center, they will find their degree equally valuable in their new locale.

Careers for Arkansas MBA Grads

Arkansas is home to many major companies such as Walmart, Tyson Foods, Lion Oil, Murphy Oil, USA Drug, J.B. Hunt Transportation, Windstream Communications, Alltell, Stephens, Inc., to name but a few. These businesses, along with their vast supply chains, require experienced professional management to compete successfully in the modern economy. An MBA also provides an advantage to anyone considering starting their own business. Those with MBAs may end up with careers in the executive suite, determining the direction of their company strategy or policy, or working in management in various aspects of a business.

How to Choose & FAQ's

Choosing the right online MBA for your purposes depends on various factors. If you are interested in a particular area of concentration, that narrows your choice. While all of these schools offer some type of financial aid, the amount you may receive also affects your decision. If your employer is paying your tuition, the company may have its own criteria concerning an online MBA. Should the online MBA program require some in-person attendance, the distance to the campus is another consideration.

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You should also investigate a school’s graduation rate and how students rate a particular program. Check out the faculty and how accessible they are for online students. Check out social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, which may give you insights into the strengths and weaknesses of a school’s online MBA program. You are investing in yourself, so make sure to do your due diligence.

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