Since 2014, TopMBA.com has published an annual ranking of Distance & Online MBAs, with a methodology incorporating the unique features of these MBAs and the traits which matter to prospective online/distance students.

Demand for MBAs remains strong and continues to grow, but an intense campus-based course won’t always be a perfect fit for professionals looking to advance their career. MBA programmes delivered partly or entirely via distance and online platforms are becoming a more important part of business education offerings each year, and these courses are best evaluated in a ranking tailored to their more unique features.


Employability 30%
Faculty and Teaching 15%
Established in Online MBA Market? 15%
Student Quality 15%
Class Experience 15%
Diversity 10%


  • Employability - 30%

    Employability is the single most important indicator within the methodology, making up almost a third of the overall score. This indicator is derived from the QS Global Employer Survey, which collects the recruiting preferences of international employers.

  • Faculty and Teaching - 15%

    This indicator ascertains the degree to which schools have made a commitment to teaching quality, and is derived from three sources;

    Faculty/Student Ratio – 5%

    Full-Time Faculty – 5%

    Degree Completion Rate – 5%

  • Established in Online MBA Market? - 15%

    Many MBAs considered for the Distance / Online Rankings predate en masse uptake of the internet – with attention being focused on the ‘Distance’ element in these cases. Nonetheless, many online courses especially are often relatively new additions to an institution’s offerings. This indicator aims to test whether an MBA has proved its staying power, and is derived from three sources;

    Year of Program’s Establishment – 7%

    Number of Students Enrolled – 4%

    Accreditation Status (from AMBA, EQUIS, AACSB or EPAS) – 4%

  • Student Quality - 15%

    More than other degrees, the strength of an MBA comes from both its subject matter and the experience of learning alongside talented, motivated professionals. This indicator evaluates the average strength of an MBA’s students, and is derived from four sources;

    Average GMAT Score – 6%

    Average Years of Work Experiences – 5%

    Percentage of Students with First Degree – 2%

    Applicants/Place Ratio – 2%

  • Class Experience - 15%

    One advantage of Distance / Online MBAs is the flexibility they afford to their participants. Nonetheless, to get the full benefits of an MBA experience it is important that participants can interact, and become part of a cohort. This indicator evaluates whether programmes are facilitating interaction between students and helping to develop them as a cohort, and is derived from five sources;

    How Much of the Program is Assessed Using Group Work? – 5%

    Group Work – 2.5%

    Regular Online Classes – 2.5%

    Compulsory Attendance – 2.5%

    Physical Meet-Up – 2.5%

  • Diversity - 10%

    This indicator considers the gender balance of the programme’s students, alongside how many nationalities are represented among them;

    Nationalities Enrolled in the Programme– 5%

    % of Female Students in Class – 5%