UNC or IU’s online MBA program: Professional Opinion?

By | October 23, 2015

UNC and IU are rated 16th and 19th best MBA schools in the country, and are the highest tier of schools to offer an MBA. On a resume, there would be no distinction that this degree was earned online, but rather, would have an identical resume of that of a graduate of the physical institution.

So my question: is this a worthy route? I need the flexibility of location, and to continue working seems great too. I know these programs will be very difficult, but are they worth pursuing?

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4 thoughts on “UNC or IU’s online MBA program: Professional Opinion?

  1. archlydia

    I’m sure either program is equally good, but I’d be wary about choosing an online program. Mostly because you’ll be losing a lot of the intrinsic value of the MBA, which is the value of your classmates’ and professors’ experiences. Also, the networking component, which is HUGE for an MBA. You learn a lot from the required group work and interactions that are prevalent in MBA programs (day or evening), whether you like working in groups or not. There is also the conversation around case studies, being challenged by your classmates and professors, and the relationships that you’d be missing out on that can’t currently be well simulated through online interactions. You also won’t have all the resources available through brick and mortar schools (libraries, recreation facilities, etc.). That said, you obviously have reasons you are pursuing an online program. Perhaps home obligations keep you from being able to spend time in the classroom or maybe there is not a quality program within driving distance and you need an MBA to move forward in your career. I understand that. Do some research on each school. See if there are MBA student or alumni associations in your area. See what resources they offer to their online students. Do they host quarterly or annual networking events that allow students to go to campus and meet each other and the faculty in person? Consider these things when choosing between the schools. Also, if either of them are within driving distance from your home, that would help. Once you decide on a program and enroll, reach out to classmates and see if any of them are close enough to have a study group, or create an online study group to provide you with some support in your studies. It sounds like you are already aware that this will be challenging, so this is an excellent first step. Good luck!

  2. Chester Ludlow, MBA


    The University of North Carolina Flagler School of Business and Indiana University Kelly School of Business are both great examples of top online mba programs from residential AACSB accredited business schools that now offer online MBA degrees.

    While it is true that peer networking is an important part of a professional MBA BOTH these schools offer — indeed require some time on campus for networking. IU Kelly requires 1-week residency in February or August to begin program and a 1-week residency each year thereafter in Bloomington, IN. UNC requires similar immersion learning time on a campus: Quarterly three-day immersion weekends. (Attendance at two is required).

    Both programs also have extensive alumni networks and online team immersion and team building as a part of their online degree programs.

    So, either school will give you a great education, a top brand, and help get you wired into a great professional business and career network.

    You might also compare cost. According to online degree ranking site GetEducated.com the IU Kelley program gets a D- for cost when compared to other AACSB online degree programs (Kelley cost – $52,000). UNC is pricier at almost $90,000. Many would say UNC is more competitive and traditional than IU but is it worth another $40,000?

    You might also compare the majors/curriculum at the two schools. They are not the same. Which better suits your career path/plans?

    There are about 400 regionally college online MBAs now. You are asking about 2 of the better brand names for value in the career world. Both are solid schools with great reputations and long histories in the MBA field.

    Good Luck out there!

  3. Jamie

    I am a current student in the [email protected] program. The curriculum is terrific, the platform is extremely interactive, to the point where you don’t even feel like you are not there. Being able to keep a full-time job AND get my MBA was a huge plus for me. The on-line format works to your advantage in that group meetings are in the comfort of our own home and people can really squeeze an hour in up against dinner or bedtime for the families. I would highly recommend participating in an info program for [email protected] and learning more about it. Good Luck to you!

  4. Jim B

    Both are great schools. but UNC’s online MBA program stands out as great online alternative to current online programs. I completed UNC’s Weekend MBA program in 2005 and the professors for the online program are mostly the same, if not better.

    Each course is being custom developed to allow for the best learning opportunities. While I’m not too familiar with the IU program, on their site at http://kd.iu.edu/howkdworks/default.htm you will notice it states “optional online live meeting sessions”. For UNC’s program, students are expected to attend each week which allows for more interaction and sharing between students and instructors (http://onlinemba.unc.edu/academics/academic-overview/). While this is more demanding, it will make the entire experience more valuable and deepen the learning experience.

    Be sure to watch the [email protected] overview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMaLIk7lEVc&feature=player_embedded (specifically around the 1:52 mark which displays the online sessions)

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