Students who are considering attaining their MBA degree online to further their careers should do some research into the courses required in online MBA degree programs. While the exact curriculum varies from one MBA degree program to the next, most online graduate business programs include both general and specialized studies. Some of the courses in online MBA degree program are mandatory for all students, while others are chosen by the student based on individual interests and career aspirations.
Core Business Courses
A Master of Business Administration degree is a fairly versatile degree in that it equips students with a breadth of business knowledge. To achieve this goal, most MBA programs, whether completed on campus or online, require that students complete a set of core business classes from a variety of business disciplines. The courses in online MBA degree programs typically include classes in accounting, finance, information systems, management, marketing and operations, according to U.S. News & World Report.
In top-rated online MBA degree programs, the coursework is the same as the curriculum for on-campus programs. In fact, many online MBA in accounting programs are taught by the same instructors who teach on campus. At some schools, these professors are even required to undergo additional training and certification in online course instruction, so online students are getting just as rigorous and valuable education as students in a traditional in-person MBA program.
In addition to taking graduate-level courses in a variety of business subjects, students in many online MBA programs will complete a specialization or concentration in their chosen area of business. Among the most popular MBA specializations available are accounting, computer information systems, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, marketing, supply chain management and sustainability. Which academic concentration students choose will determine a number of the courses they take in their online MBA degree programs.
Different specializations require different types of coursework, but each is designed to equip students with in-depth knowledge of the subject that supplements the broad knowledge they gain from their core business courses. In an MBA in accounting program, for example, students often take classes in fraud examination, cost accounting and analysis, business law, financial statement analysis and fund accounting for a variety of entities ranging from corporations to nonprofit organizations and government entities. The focus on accounting allows students to develop specialized knowledge and skills that an employer will look for without sacrificing a versatile education in general business concepts and practices.
Some online MBA in accounting degree programs are tailored to fit the needs of students who are preparing to earn the certified public accountant (CPA) credential. These online MBA programs often include CPA exam review courses that help students get ready to take the grueling four-part professional examination.
Students should expect to take both general and specialized business courses in online MBA degree programs, some of which are mandatory and others of which they choose.