Online MBA programs ranked among best in nation

Longwood’s online graduate business programs have been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S.News & World Report.

The programs were ranked 62nd among the 239 online programs that offer a master’s degree in business. Only one Virginia school ranked higher than Longwood.

The most important factors in the rankings (, released in January, were student engagement, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.

“When we transitioned to online delivery four years ago, I was confident that we could build strong online MBA programs,” said Abbey O’Connor, Longwood’s MBA director and assistant dean of the College of Business and Economics. “Our ranking by U.S.News & World Report is confirmation of the quality of Longwood’s online MBA programs. I am proud of the dedication and hard work of our MBA team.”

Longwood’s MBA programs include concentrations in general business, retail management and, beginning this fall, real estate.

All of the concentrations are online. The concentrations in real estate and retail management are probably the only online MBA programs in those areas in Virginia and among only a few online programs in the country accredited by AACSB International, the most prestigious accrediting agency for schools of business.

Students’ ability to set their own schedules makes the online programs popular, said O’Connor, adding that most MBA students work full time.

“It gives them flexibility of time to fit school with their jobs and also flexibility of place—they don’t have to be somewhere at, say, 6 o’clock every night,” she said. “They still have to do the work but on their schedules.”

MBA students also like the extended weekend residency on campus every summer, which provides an opportunity to work face-to-face with faculty and learn from industry experts and other guest speakers, O’Connor added.