Best North Carolina MBA Schools and Programs

Your Guide to an North Carolina MBA Career, Curriculum and Education

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What Can You Do With an MBA in North Carolina


North Carolina is a beautiful state and a popular destination for vacation, location, and education. The Research Triangle area of Raleigh-Durham is a major technology innovation hub. Charlotte and the Raleigh Durham area rank high on surveys of desirable places to live in the United States. The North Carolina educational resources are also quite remarkable.

The University of North Carolina is one of the oldest public universities in the nation, and it joins more than 30 other regionally accredited colleges and universities. North Carolina is also a popular destination for corporate headquarters. More than 40 of the top 1000 US companies have their office headquarters in North Carolina, and that figure includes 14 firms ranked in the Fortune 500. These large national and international concerns offer jobs and opportunities to North Carolina business school’s crop of MBAs each year.

Why Consider an Online MBA?


North Carolina is a great place to live. It has abundant natural resources, a beautiful shoreline, and a diverse and expanding population. The state has a growing economy and is an excellent place to work or carry on a business. North Carolina is also a great place to attend school, either in person or online. The state has an abundance of higher education resources. The university system has 16 campuses throughout the state, and North Carolina has some of the leading research universities in the nation, including Duke University and Davidson College. The state and the surrounding region have a large number of leading educational institutions, and therefore the regional accreditation has significance for employers or reviewers of credentials.

Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education


Typical MBA Concentrations


Concentrations are especially important for students who are looking to advance in a specific direction in their career. While the general MBA can provide courses for academic skill development for any professional in nearly any main industry, a specialization is designed to help you apply what you learn to current events and advancements in your specific line of work. An online MBA program, from any business school in the U.S., allows you to access content that will make you successful without adding extra requirements for admission, cost, or much extra time. Whether you’re attending part- or full-time, you can earn your MBA online and specialize in business strategy, human resources, international business, public policy, and more. Don’t skip the step of considering focusing your studies with a concentration. Below are some concentrations available in North Carolina.

  • Supply Chain Management
    Supply chain managers must master finance, accounting, and marketing. They must have real communications skills to work with personnel inside and outside of the organization.
  • Marketing
    The marketing concentration proceeds from a solid base in organizational structure and management to include modern methods for reaching audiences both domestically and in the global economy. The emphasis on a broad knowledge base and creative thinking is essential to this concentration.
  • Finance
    Finance and financial services are growing business sectors in the North Carolina economy. There are two layers to financial consulting; one is a public facing service and the other is an essential organizational component that offers suggestions and helps shape budget and spending decisions.
  • Organizational Management
    The basis of the MBA is gaining required management and administration skills. MBA programs equip graduates to work in a wide range of business environments and make decisions that will improve the organization’s performance and move towards achieving organizational goals.
  • Sales Management
    Sales management goes far beyond the traditional reach of advertising and promotion. Sales management involves staff management, Internet technology, social media, digital communications, and data analytics. The MBA in sales management must take technology and technological innovation into account, the reach of the market is the reach of the Internet, and the global economy creates both opportunities and severe challenges.

Accreditation in North Carolina


Accreditation is an essential part of an MBA program. Accreditation agencies help employers appreciate the value of the MBA degree. There are two types of accreditation; national accreditation that looks at the entire institution and regional or program accreditation that looks specifically at the Online graduate MBA program. National accreditation has broader standards than program accreditation, and it weighs research schools, non-research schools, and for-profit institutions equally. Regional accreditation focuses on research institutions. There are six accreditation agencies recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the leading accreditation agency for MBA programs.

The importance of this credential is also felt by those who are still in class and learning as well. Accredited institutions have been vetted for their course material and faculty. Also, if you attend an unaccredited program, you will not be eligible to easily transfer credit hours or receive federal financial aid. These are important things to remember when choosing a program that could last 18 months to a full three years beyond your undergraduate degree.

Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates


The North Carolina economy continues to gain strength from the days of weakness during the recession of 2008. The economy has shown steady improvement in wages and employment. Some large US businesses have their office headquarters in North Carolina, and they include the Bank of America, Duke Power, and the Lowe’s Corporation. There are many prominent medium and large corporations in the population centers of Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh. These profitable companies form a waiting market for North Caroline MBAs. Among the leading sectors are banking and finance, healthcare, and education.

Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees


Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Univ of NC Wake Forest Baptist Education Chapel Hill, NC 30,000
Hosp- Cardiology Healthcare Winston Salem, NC 15,000
Carolinas Med Center Healthcare Charlotte, NC 12,184
Duke U. Hosp Wake Medical Healthcare Durham 10,239
Pathology Med Stf. Healthcare Raleigh, NC 10,001

Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential


  • Earnings with Associates - $49,221
  • Earnings with Bachelors - $59,954
  • Earnings with MBA - $100,291

Careers for North Carolina MBA Grads


  • Construction Manager
    Construction managers must have a solid knowledge base in business structures and processes, combined with an intimate knowledge of construction methods, engineering, contract administration, and finance. Construction is a consistent growth business in North Carolina, as its major population centers show consistent growth and modernization. Construction includes residential structures, commercial structures, and vital infrastructures like bridges, tunnels, high-speed transit systems, and highways.
  • Financial Manager
    Finance is a key to success for nearly every organization. Finance deals with the means to carry out the organization’s processes and functions. Finance often involves complex issues of investment, acquisitions, and economic conditions. Financial managers can rise to the top levels of organizations of all sizes because finance is part of nearly every important organizational event.
  • Purchasing Director
    Purchasing is a crucial area for nearly every corporation or business of any substantial size. Procurement not only gets the goods, services, and materials that a business needs, it must also be efficient and mesh with supply chain management and logistics. Purchasing organizations often have departmental divisions that handle particular classes or types of purchasing. The Director of purchasing takes a broad and comprehensive view involving budgets, markets, and the ongoing needs of the organization. The MBA prepares graduates to work in a wide variety of purchasing environments.
  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing campaigns are an essential part of organizations efforts to boost sales and business volume. Marketing includes social media and digital marketing in addition to traditional types of outreach and communications. Today, marketing involves strategies to reach local, regional, national, and foreign markets around the globe. This position requires a broad knowledge of management and organizational structures and creative thinking to invent and improve marketing and branding continuously.

Best MBA Programs in North Carolina


North Carolina businesses need creative thinkers that can work in a variety of business settings. The challenges of modern business organizations involve seeking business opportunities in the global economy. The critical roles include compliance with national and international rules and regulations.

Duke University Location
Durham, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Corporate Finance
  • Investment
Retention %
98%
Graduation %
96%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$137,500
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
6:1
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Location
Chapel Hill, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Data Analytics And Decision Making
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategy & Consulting
Retention %
96%
Graduation %
91%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$123,300
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
13:1
Wake Forest University Location
Winston-Salem, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Finance
  • Strategy and Leadership
Retention %
94%
Graduation %
89%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$99,400
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
10:1
Elon University Location
Elon, NC
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
91%
Graduation %
83%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$90,900
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
12:1
University of North Carolina Wilmington Location
Wilmington, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Management
  • International Business
Retention %
86%
Graduation %
74%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$85,500
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
18:1
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Location
Raleigh, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance Certificate
  • Marketing
  • Operations & Supply Chain Management
Retention %
94%
Graduation %
84%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$75,000
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
14:1
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Location
Charlotte, NC
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
83%
Graduation %
65%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$86,400
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
19:1
Meredith College Location
Raleigh, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Entrepreneurship and Family Business
  • Human Resource Management
  • Innovative Management
  • Project Management
Retention %
81%
Graduation %
64%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$92,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
11:1
East Carolina University Location
Greenville, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics Certificate
  • Finance Certificate
  • Healthcare Management Certificate
  • Hospitality Management Certificate
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing Certificate
  • Project Management Certificate
  • Security Studies Certificate
  • Supply Chain Management Certificate
Retention %
82%
Graduation %
65%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$75,300
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
18:1
Queens University of Charlotte Location
Charlotte, NC
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
75%
Graduation %
57%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$85,600
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
10:1
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Location
Greensboro, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Cyber Security
  • Finance
  • Information Technology
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management
Retention %
75%
Graduation %
59%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$77,100
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
16:1
Appalachian State University Location
Boone, NC
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
88%
Graduation %
73%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$58,853
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
16:1
Fayetteville State University Location
Fayetteville, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Cyber Security Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Management
  • International Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
Retention %
74%
Graduation %
36%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$82,500
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
18:1
North Carolina A&T State University Location
Greensboro, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Human Resource Management
  • Management
  • Supply Chain Management
Retention %
79%
Graduation %
52%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$70,411
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
18:1
Winston-Salem State University Location
Winston-Salem, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Economics of Strategic Behavior
  • Global Marketing
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Supply Chain Management
Retention %
78%
Graduation %
50%
Accreditation
No
Average Salary
$70,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
15:1
Western Carolina University Location
Cullowhee, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
Retention %
78%
Graduation %
64%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$59,340
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
17:1
Campbell University Location
Buies Creek, NC
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
76%
Graduation %
56%
Accreditation
ACBSP
Average Salary
$73,500
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
16:1
Gardner-Webb University Location
Boiling Spring, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • International Business
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Sports Management
Retention %
74%
Graduation %
56%
Accreditation
ACBSP
Average Salary
$61,002
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
13:1
Catawba College Location
Salisbury, NC
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
72%
Graduation %
56%
Accreditation
ACBSP
Average Salary
$57,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
12:1
North Carolina Central University Location
Durham, NC
MBA Concentrations
  • Data Analytics
  • Hospitality Management
  • Marketing
Retention %
76%
Graduation %
52%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$57,474
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
16:1
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How to Choose & FAQ's


Selecting an MBA program in North Carolina is an important decision for students that can set them on a path to career advancement and personal fulfillment. The online MBA is an accessible degree for most students and particularly for employed students that wish to keep working while pursuing a degree.

North Carolina is a strong educational state in a robust educational region. The competition raises the level for all schools in the form of accreditation and competition for the best students. The task of selecting the best program depends on the student’s goals, finances, and overall situation. Accreditation is an essential initial question; costs of the MBA are also a major concern and, for that reason, financial aid can be high on the list for most students.

Tips for selecting an MBA program in North Carolina


  • Match the MBA program to Educational Goals
    Students have a range of goals when deciding to attend an MBA program. Some students seek to expand their knowledge of business and management. Many students have existing career paths, and the MBA can create opportunities for advancement to higher earnings and greater responsibilities.
  • Look at Student Information
    Student information can help identify the strengths and weaknesses of a program. Students may be able to get clues about the program and decide whether it matches their goals. You can do this by looking at surveys of student satisfaction. The surveys do not predict the student’s experience, but they can point to areas that lead to questions and answers. Many students have a preference for the atmosphere in which they study. Some schools have an intense and competitive environment, other schools promote teamwork and offer supportive environments. Reading surveys can expose these differing classroom styles.

    One can research the time needed for completing the degree. The schools post the minimum and maximum time for completing a degree. They also provide the typical time estimated for completion, and the average time is a useful guideline when considering the resources needed. The graduation rate is always helpful and interesting. The level of indebtedness at graduation is another revealing piece of information.

  • Setting Goals
    The MBA should not stand alone in the scope of your plans; rather, the degree should be part of a larger question. When considering the online MBA, many successful students assess their long-term goals. For example, some question where their careers may be in ten years. The MBA should be part of the answer. Some students have specific purposes, such as a promotion or other advancement, in an existing career path. Other students may have a goal of entering a different profession and that MBA will provide access to the new occupation.

    Students must invest time and resources into the degree. For the time needed to complete the degree, the MBA will occupy a central place in the student’s daily life patterns.

  • Financing the MBA
    North Carolina schools can consider online students for financial aid as they do other students. Most schools offer need-based financial assistance as well as merit-based assistance for high achievers. Online MBA students typically cannot get Graduate assistant positions or work-study types of aid because they do not attend on campus.

    Online students have an advantage however, in their ability to continue working while in school. Their connection to an employer can open an avenue for financial assistance. Many employers recognize the value of an accredited MBA; the degree adds value to their workforce. To promote educational attainment, many employers provide tuition and expense reimbursement programs that pay for all or part of tuition, fees, and expenses. Some employee assistance programs require a commitment to remain with the employer after graduation. The search for employment-related financial assistance should include business associations to which the employer belongs, and local business and civic groups that offer aid for local students.

  • The MBA School Community
    Many schools have large and active groups of alumni. They sometimes have businesses and associations in their school community that support the MBA program as a source of talent. The school community is a potential asset that students should consider when selecting an MBA program.

    The alumni can be an excellent source of information before entering the program, and they can provide valuable contacts and referrals after graduation. During the course of study, alumni can be helpful sources for internships and hands-on experience.

MBA Degrees, Career Paths & Resources