Best North Dakota MBA Schools and Programs

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

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What Can You Do With an MBA in North Dakota


No matter what delivery options or concentrations you choose, the MBA programs North Dakota business schools offer are worth every minute of your efforts. In recent years several North Dakota colleges have been recognized for having top MBA programs. These top rankings are not just from the University HQ team but also other websites as well.

These rankings tell you that, if you are seriously exploring the MBA program at UND, you’re going to be entering a high-quality program. However, there are many North Dakota schools that provide access to advanced degrees, and we'll help you shorten your search by providing info on many of them here.

In a nod to today’s technologies, UND offers every one of its MBA courses in a hybrid format. This means that, if you enroll here, you’ll take your classes in an online format and in a face-to-face environment too, making a visit to the campus once or twice a year. For professionals who are already working, this makes class participation much easier, whether you plan to attend part- or full-time.

Why Consider an Online MBA?


The University of Mary, in Bismarck, North Dakota, has locations all over this state and in Billings, Montana. This makes attending classes much easier if you live in another city or even at the Grand Forks Air Force Base or Fort Riley, Kansas.

The faculty of the MBA program understand that the average MBA student has a career and probably a family. This means you can’t spend hours each day commuting or studying when you should be working. You will have to spend some time every day studying, writing papers, and getting ready for exams, of course, but, because the program for the University of Mary’s MBA students takes place in the evenings, this means you'll have time to focus on your studies. If you have a family event taking place, you’ll be able to participate without worrying that you’re going to skip a vital class session.

Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education


Typical MBA Concentrations


Concentrations give students the opportunity to master specific skills that will help them move into more niche positions in their future companies. Specialization spans a variety of subjects including finance, project management, statistics or business analysis, system management, human resources, and more. A business school will often choose majors which correlate content to the major industries in their state and below you can see some additional concentrations featured in North Dakota schools.

  • Business Analytics
    In this concentration, you learn how to analyze, manage, and share data so you can solve business and organizational problems. You’ll learn about statistical analysis as well as management and processing of data. Designed for students who want to manage information.
  • International Business
    Here, you learn how to move and work within a global economy. This gives you a much larger advantage in business opportunities both in the US and abroad. Ideal for students planning to work internationally.
  • Government & Business
    This concentration shows you how to work within the nexus of government and business. You’ll gain an understanding of public organizations and government, learning how to operate within both. If you plan for your next move to take you into government, this concentration is ideal for you.
  • General Concentration
    Here, you’ll get to take part in courses that all come from different disciplines. These include economics, marketing, social entrepreneurship, and healthcare administration. You should choose courses that are offered which support your interests (relationship marketing, demographics, or brand management).
  • Social entrepreneurship
    Here you'll use entrepreneurial principles in looking at and working on existing social problems. You’ll obtain an academic background that can help you succeed as a social entrepreneur in non-profit business, business, public administration, or political science. Again, politics or social enterprises managerial skills can be your focus.

    Taking one of these concentrations will help you establish yourself for a job that allows you to work in the field of your choice.

Accreditation in North Dakota


The University of North Dakota is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) and the Network of School of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). The university’s accreditation page is filled with agencies that have accredited several academic programs.

The University of Mary has been accredited by The Higher learning Commission (a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools).

The Gary Tharaldson School of Business has been accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

North Dakota State University’s College of Business has been accredited by the AACSB.

On the whole, the AACSB is the gold standard in MBA accreditation, though it's always good to find a school with regional accreditation as well. In North Dakota, that would be accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. In layman terms, accreditation means that both the education and faculty of a school are of high quality and your degrees will be respected by businesses, whether you received it on site or through a website. With this credential, you can easily transfer credit hours and gain access to federal financial aid.

Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates


Once you have graduated from your North Dakota MBA program and find the job in North Dakota for which you earned your MBA, expect to earn according to the concentration you chose.

As a manager, you’ll earn a average hourly wage of $41.98 and an average annual wage of $99,010. If you are a general or operations manager, your average hourly wage is slightly higher at $43.24 and your average annual wage will be a full $103,630. As a marketing manager, your avg. hourly wage will be about $47.58 and your avg. annual wage will be $206,000.

Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees


Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Adient Manufacturing Plymouth, MI 86,000
City of Horace, ND Government Horace, ND 1,466
Aldevron Biological Science Fargo, ND 150
Customer Experience Mgr. U.S. Bank Fargo, ND 73,000 (in whole country)
Salesforce Senior Manager, Director Silverline Jobs Fargo, ND (unable to find)

Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential


  • Earnings with Associates - $31,000
  • Earnings with Bachelors - $52,463
  • Earnings with MBA - $64,000
  • Earning with Associates
    A business development manager in Devils Lake, ND earns $29,000 to $31,000 annually. These positions also usually pay commission and require at least a high school diploma but it's preferred that they hold at least an associate degree.
  • Earning with Bachelor’s
    The senior financial analyst at St. Alexius Medical Center works under the CFO. They are responsible for reimbursement and cost reporting, as well as working closely with information systems and affiliated business service departments. You are required to hold bachelor’s degree in accounting or business administration with four years of medical billing, reimbursement and cost reporting experience to gain this and similar positions.
  • Earning with MBA
    The director of hospital-based physician practices at St. Alexius works under supervision of the vice-president. They handle budgeting and manages all aspects of hospital-based physician practices in the various departments of each specialty. They have to hold at least an MBA, preferrably in healthcare administration or management.

Careers for North Dakota MBA Grads


  • Commercial Real Estate
    Commercial (Real Estate) agent for a realtor’s office in Fargo, North Dakota. The right applicant takes care of leasing functions in the company’s portfolio. Negotiates lease transactions and agreements.
  • Unit Sales Manager
    Soft drink company position for a unit sales manager in Mandan, North Dakota. This manager oversees and leads the sales and distribution strategy for a regional distribution center. Responsible for sales, customer service, and marketing.
  • Senior Business Systems Analysis
    National health insurance provider needs senior business systems analysis professional. Position is in Plaza, North Dakota. Employee completes analyses of business, process and user needs, documents requirements, cost/benefit analysis.
  • Adjunct Business Instructor
    State university in North Dakota advertising for an adjunct business instructor. MBA or an equivalent master’s degree. Instructor would teach three sections per semester, teaching management, marketing, entrepreneurship and international business classes at undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Product Marketing Manager
    International technology company advertising for a product marketing manager. Manager is responsible for one product’s scorecard metrics (small, median and corporate). Will work jointly with field sales leadership, achieving all scorecard metrics devoted to the product being sold.

Best MBA Programs in North Dakota


North Dakota State University Location
Fargo, ND
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Digital Marketing & Innovation
  • Investments & Applied Portfolio Management
  • Leadership & Managerial Skills
Retention %
79%
Graduation %
62%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$87,200
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
18:1
University of North Dakota Location
Grand Forks, ND
MBA Concentrations
  • International Business
Retention %
78%
Graduation %
61%
Accreditation
AACSB
Average Salary
$76,600
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
17:1
University of Mary Location
Bismarck, ND
MBA Concentrations
  • Energy Management
  • Executive MBA
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Project Management
  • Public Administration
  • Virtuous Leadership
Retention %
80%
Graduation %
59%
Accreditation
No
Average Salary
$72,851
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
13:1
Dickinson State University Location
Dickinson, ND
MBA Concentrations
No
Retention %
68%
Graduation %
36%
Accreditation
No
Average Salary
$60,628
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
12:1

How to Choose & FAQ's


Before you apply to an MBA program, you need to explore several programs and figure out the financing.

Once you have completed the exploration process, choose the program that meets your career goals. Decide on a traditional face-to-face or online program, based on your current life.

After you've done that you can take your GMAT graduate school testing, apply to the program, and start the enrollment process. This is also when you'll apply for financial aid.

  • When you register and prepare for the GMAT exam, you should give yourself a minimum of 3 to 6 months to prepare for and study everything you’ll need to know for the exam. If possible, try to begin preparing 9 to 12 months in advance. If you kept your undergraduate textbooks, use these as a base from which to study.

    Decide what score you want to achieve. A good way to decide is to add 20 to the highest scores above those GMAT averages at the first school of your choice. Take a diagnostic exam so you know what areas you need to focus on most strongly. A private tutor or mentor will be a useful addition to your preparations. Choose a tutor with a Real GMAT score of 760 or higher. They should also have at least two years of experience. If you can’t find anyone in your community, a virtual tutor may help you out.

    Three or four days before exam day, decrease the intensity of your studying so you don’t exhaust yourself mentally. You want to be well-rested and able to remember all the material you just learned.

  • Think about those people from whom you will request recommendation letters. Again, complete this well before the application deadlines of the schools to which you’re applying.

    Think of people who have had an impact on your professional career or your years in college. Perhaps a mentor who guided you in your early professional years would be a good selection. If you became close to a particular adviser in your school years, this person might also be a good choice, especially if they know what your goals are.

    After you have made your recommender selections, give them 6 to 8 weeks, at a minimum, to complete online or printed recommendation forms for each school. Be sure to let each recommender know that the essay questions won’t be the same from school to school, so they should go back over several of their memories of you.

    Choose recommenders who know you very well - what they say about you may “make or break” a decision as schools decide whether to extend an invitation for you to apply for admission. Statements and answers to questions should be strong and certain, not wishy-washy or unsure.

  • It’s time to explore yourself and who you are so you can share yourself with the admissions offices of the schools to which you’re planning to apply. You also need to know yourself academically and professionally. Your goal is to convince them that you are one of the best applicants to invite to apply.

    Take some time to think about who you are in several spheres of your life. Admission committees want to know who you are personally, so they can establish that you’ll fit in well with other students in their MBA programs.

    What makes you different from other applicants who have similar career goals and academic profiles? While it may seem like a step you can omit, it’s one of the most important for your eventual admission to the program of your choice.

    Some of the questions you should ask yourself are: What makes you stand out from the crowd of applicants, especially when their applications are similar to yours? How have you affected the world, especially in your community or region? How do you plan to continue making an impact? Regarding leadership skills, what makes you so effective as a leader? Communicate why you need an MBA right now.

  • Narrow your list of schools down and note down the deadlines of each program. Create a list of a minimum of four schools and a maximum of eight. Some schools will be safe bets for admission; others are targets, where you’re almost sure of admission, but not quite. The stretches are those schools that are very selective about MBA student selection.

    In choosing schools, your GMAT score shouldn’t be the only consideration. It’s important, but not the be-all and end-all.

    After making your own final program choices, create a spreadsheet and highlight approaching deadlines. Once you finish this, it’s time to start jotting down ideas for essay questions. About these essays—don’t do a “copy-and-paste” job, thinking this will save time and still impress admission committees. Customize each essay you write. It’s obvious when applicants have taken the time and trouble to write their essay answers for each school. Make sure to have your application essays submitted on time to each school.

    Keep track of deadlines every week—applications, application packets, and GMAT exam score. You want to be able to meet every deadline, perhaps even sending in required documents a little early.

  • Look at your resume and look for any gaps in either volunteer experience, leadership skills or work experience. Keeping these gaps in mind, begin to fill them in. If you’ve taken the GMAT one time already, but your score wasn’t as high as you wanted it to be, schedule a new testing date if you still have some time before application deadlines roll around. If you can, take a summer course that allows you to obtain the knowledge you need so that, when you re-take the GMAT, your score will be higher.

    Spend a few hours each week, working as a volunteer with an organization whose work you like. Explain to the director that you would like to improve your leadership experience or non-work activities. They will help you to find something that needs to be done—such as assuming control of staff members; working with management of the organization or non-profit.

    At work, talk to your immediate supervisor. Let them know that you’re seeking to improve your resume in several areas. Explain that you have a gap in x area and you want to correct this. They may have you begin working in a leadership position - add this to your resume prior to applying to your preferred programs.

MBA Degrees, Career Paths & Resources