Best Iowa MBA Schools and Programs

Your Guide to an Iowa MBA Career, Curriculum and Education

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What Can You Do With an MBA in Iowa


As you think about earning your MBA, don’t forget that you need to search for the right program for your goals and career. As well as you may be doing now, you likely know that you can expand your career and options with an advanced professional MBA.

In Iowa, you can choose from several accredited MBA programs. Depending on your individual and family situation and your level of experience, you’ll want to choose between one of these options: online or on campus, part-time or full-time MBA.

If you can take the time away from your job and focus your full attention on reaching graduation, you may be able to enroll in a program that offers a cohort approach to your degree; this is designed to allow you to stay with the same class throughout the academic program and can take as little as one year to complete all requirements. Look for additional features within the programs you’re already looking at. Some offer specific training right after completing their undergraduate degree coursework, some are focused on getting you easy access to a quality general MBA, and some center on professionals who already work full-time with their companies and need to master the content of their courses while also having time to live their life.

With this in mind, you can look for a program that allows you to best meet your goals and graduate with the concentration you want including healthcare management, informatics, policy management, or another concentration.

Why Consider an Online MBA?


If you already live in Iowa, you may not want to leave home to earn your MBA. You may have come here from another state for work or because of family. If so, you don’t have to leave. Instead, you can find a program at one of Iowa’s top universities from anywhere in the U.S. You’ll learn while benefitting from a supportive learning environment with faculty who encourage their students to do their best.

As you’re thinking about your choices, conduct a side-by-side comparison. Along with studying each MBA program, look at full-time, concurrent, professional, and executive MBA programs. Don’t forget to think about the number of credits you’ll be required to take during your MBA. A good, full-time program may total 36 credit hours and take around two years to complete. Several of these will be core courses while the remaining classes will be elective courses that round out your MBA education. You want to make sure that the data you’re receiving is top-notch and the academics are cutting edge.

Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education


Typical MBA Concentrations


At the University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business, you’ll have your choice of four main concentrations within three study areas. These include Business Analytics, Corporate Finance, and Investment Management within the Finance concentration and finally, a Marketing concentration.

At Iowa State University, you can choose between an MBA in Technology and Innovation Management, supply chain management, marketing, finance, accounting, business analytics, info systems, or an MBA in Information Systems.

Drake University’s on-campus MBA offers a hybrid MBA (online and on-campus). Concentration areas include non-profit management, accounting, marketing, financial management, innovation and leadership, and healthcare management.

Accreditation in Iowa


The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business is accredited by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Tippie College of Business has maintained its accreditation since 1923.

Drake’s College of Business and Public Administration has also been accredited by the AACSB. The University of Northern Iowa maintains high standards, which have helped them to earn accreditations from the AACSB. The University of Northern Iowa holds international recognition with its accreditation from the AACSB.

Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates


According to the data collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Iowa employment from May of 2019 to May of 2020 has seen a decrease in total occupation employment of about 5.2%. This decrease was mainly due to the after effects of a pandemic (Covid-19). Having a higher education in a slower job market will help put you ahead of other candidates.

For graduates of MBA programs within the state, employment is promising according to the numbers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In positions such as general and operations managers, employment sits at just under 25,000. Throughout the state, marketing managers fill about 2,200 management positions.

Computer and information systems managers hold down nearly 3,700 positions, with financial managers occupying about 8,600 positions. Industrial production managers occupy about 3,100 positions while human resources managers fill about 1,400. Medical services managers occupy 6,500 management positions and managers in general, 3,380.

According to the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, MBA graduates can expect to find full-time management positions within three months of their graduation and an average of 92% of students were presented with job offers. The average acceptance of job offers was just behind, at 90%. Even better, Iowa MBA graduates received signing bonuses averaging $17,339; their starting salaries were, on average, about $88,722.

Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees


Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Iowa State and Local Governments Goverment Iowa 152,000+
Principal Financial Group Investments Des Moines 8,000+
University of Iowa Health Care Healthcare Iowa City 7,000+
JBS USA Processing Company Ottumwa 7,000+

Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential


Closing Specialist, Farm Credit Services of America, in Harlan. $37,890 to $72,940/year.

In this position, the specialist performs loan-closing functions. They manage all non-credit issues from loan approval through finalization of loans, monitor appraisals and closing conditions, and ensure compliance with all regulations and procedures connected to loan closing.

Regional Director of Business Development, Deer Oaks Consultation Services in Des Moines. $54,000 to $74,000/annually.

This manager ensures the expansion of service delivery in an assigned territory. They cultivate and develop relationships with existing and future customer facilities throughout the sales cycle. They must understand and drive the momentum of the Deer Oaks Consultation Service and understand the challenges the company faces in its region—market saturation, payer source support, and behavioral health awareness. The position reports to the Chief Growth Officer, working in conjunction with other Deer Oaks leadership to expand several service lines.

Careers for Iowa MBA Grads


  • Cost Analyst
    Rembrandt Foods:The cost analyst develops internal and external relationships. They manage month-end activities and leverage assets to maximize performance and minimize waste. They also identify risks and opportunities for product movement. Reports of key performance metrics are provided to higher level executives.
  • Account Executive, Major Projects
    Johnson Controls: This executive reports to the Major Projects Sales Manager. The employee in this position is responsible for sale of large volume, integrated low voltage technology solutions to contractors and consultants who are responsible for new construction and renovation projects.
  • Technical Sales Representative
    Mechdyne Corporation:The technical sales representative must be a high energy, driven individual with a strong business acumen, high-level relationship skills, and a strong fascination with new technology.
  • Lecturer in Marketing
    Iowa State University: Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business provides marketing classes to undergraduate students. A lecturer must be able to capably deliver course materials through several delivery methods.
  • Accounting Adjunct Instructor
    Des Moines Area Community College:A position for a temporary, part-time instructor. The instructor will teach assigned courses in compliance with course competencies and syllabi. They will be expected to use a variety of instructional strategies.
  • Management Lecturer
    Iowa State University: Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business needs lecturers to teach undergraduate students within the Management Department. They will teach course materials using a variety of teaching methods.

Best MBA Programs in Iowa


Finding one of the best top ranked MBA programs in Iowa is an important decision and you need to do some research on the different MBA programs available to you in Iowa. Our top ranked MBA Iowa colleges can help you decide which college to obtain your MBA.

University of Iowa Location
Ames, IA
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
Retention %
86%
Graduation %
72%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$99,800
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
16:1
Drake University Location
Des Moines, IA
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
84%
Graduation %
78%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$82,000
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
10:1
Iowa State University Location
Ames, IA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Business Analytics
  • Finance
  • Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management
Retention %
87%
Graduation %
75%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$77,600
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
18:1
University of Northern Iowa Location
Cedar Falls, IA
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
83%
Graduation %
64%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$82,500
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
17:1
Northwestern College Location
Orange City, IA
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
76%
Graduation %
69%
Accreditation
No
Average Salary
$66,384
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
10:1
Clarke University Location
Dubuque, IA
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
72%
Graduation %
66%
Accreditation
No
Average Salary
$72,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
8:1
Mount Mercy University Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
MBA Concentrations
  • Criminal Justice
  • Finance
  • Health Care Administration
  • Human Resources
  • International Business
  • Quality Management
  • Remote & Virtual Workforce
  • Supply Chain
Retention %
75%
Graduation %
57%
Accreditation
No
Average Salary
$70,365
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
15:1
University of Dubuque Location
Dubuque, IA
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
65%
Graduation %
46%
Accreditation
ACBSP
Average Salary
$67,300
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
13:1
Saint Ambrose University Location
Davenport, IA
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
76%
Graduation %
64%
Accreditation
ACBSP
Average Salary
$63,274
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
11:1
Upper Iowa University Location
Fayette, IA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Corporate Financial Management
  • Human Resources
  • Management
  • Organizational Development
Retention %
64%
Graduation %
27%
Accreditation
ACBSP
Average Salary
$60,872
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
12:1

How to Choose & FAQ's


Before signing up, you’ll want to figure out how much your chosen MBA program will cost you. This isn’t a step you’ll want to skip, and don’t forget about food and living space if you’re relocating.

Attending online means that you can choose classes that fit with your work schedule, social, and family obligations. A self-paced program allows you to study while working or taking care of anything you need to.

Make sure the MBA program at your chosen university has been accredited. This makes it much easier for you to find a job post-graduation. Contact the alumni offices of each school you’re interested in. You can ask for connections to former students or alumni and make sure to get all the details on the programs you’re considering.

  • Know who you are and what goals you want to achieve. This helps you to be “real” as you apply to each graduate program you’re interested in. Ask yourself questions about your anticipated future—what are your weaknesses and strengths? What are your career goals? Don’t limit your goals and plans. Go big. Describe how you want to change the world and look for the common denominator that connects your past choices to your goals. Tell your story and make sure that it contains a clear vision of your future. Speak to others to get to know yourself.
  • Choose a school by choosing schools that are a stretch for your goals. If you’re not sure about your decisions, the admissions committee will be able to sense this. Look at each program’s features rather than just MBA rankings. Talk to current students and alumni. Ask them to tell you truthfully what they like about their school and what they don’t like. You’re looking for little-known nuggets of information, not the trite statements. After all, in learning what others really think, you’ll be able to make a better choice.
  • Think like a marketer—of yourself. Develop a personal brand by identifying your own individual expertise and the contributions you could make to an MBA program. Use this thinking in every part of your admission applications. What has affected your view of the world? Once you identify these events, use them to illustrate who you are as you work on your essays and applications. If you come from a special group (woman, minority, LGTBQ) push this as you work on your applications. Your interests can also set you apart. If you competed in a recent Olympics, for instance, use that.
  • Study for your GMAT. In the end, you may need to take it a few times until you earn your desired score. Remember, you can’t run a marathon the first time you run. Achieve your GMAT testing goal in small increments until you reach it. If there is one section that is giving you trouble, study that or get together with a study buddy to help you out. Go over the material until you understand it without effort. Take practice tests to measure your progress and so you can continue to monitor those troublesome areas for yourself.
  • Write out a fresh resume that you’ll use only for your applications. Support your value to each program with supporting evidence—past sales goals achievements or restructuring of a department for your employer, for instance. As you write your resume out, avoid using technical language and industry-specific jargon. You’ll make admissions committees zone out. Emphasize the skills you have that are relevant to your planned role as an MBA student. Remember that someone else with your job title elsewhere in the country is probably applying to several of your chosen schools. Why are you better than this person?

MBA Degrees, Career Paths & Resources