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The 15 Best Tennessee Online MBA Degree Programs

In this Best Tennessee Online MBA ranking, you’ll find a diverse list of online MBA programs at regionally accredited institutions. The days when you could rely on your years of experience and reliable references are gone. An MBA degree has become an almost ubiquitous prerequisite if you want to advance in your business career. However, balancing work, life, and graduate work can feel like a huge undertaking. However, these days, there is a large number of high-quality online MBA programs available. These programs offer options and flexibility to fit every student, no matter how much you already have on your plate.

Some of these top programs can be completed in just one year. Most are tailored toward students who are also full-time working professionals. Many of these programs are offered completely online but also have hybrid or flexible options. This allows the students to work on their degrees, both remotely and on campus, depending on what works best at the moment for them. These programs come with a range of specializations and concentrations and some with dual degree offerings.

The programs included in our Best Tennessee Online MBA ranking are all strong programs with a history of helping busy professionals advanced to the next level in their careers through high-quality coursework with affordable tuition rates. It is important to note that the tuition costs listed in this ranking are often for in-state tuition. Nevertheless, the cost of an online MBA program is generally significantly lower than that of a traditional, on-campus one. What’s more, most online MBA programs are exactly the same coursework and the same faculty as their traditional counterparts. This means you’ll receive the same support and education with the added flexibility of completing your degree in a way that is best suited and most convenient for your life and goals. We hope this Best Tennessee Online MBA ranking will help you on your next step in your career.

Methodology

The price tag for going back to school for a graduate degree can seem overwhelming. To help you out, MBA Central has evaluated every online MBA program in the State of Tennessee. Through this process, each program has been ranked based upon its Affordability (33%), Support Services (33%), and Quality of Classes (33%).

Each program listed in this Best Tennessee Online MBA ranking comes with an Affordability Score, ranging from Very Affordable all the way to Very Expensive based upon the program’s base tuition rate.

Very Affordable: below $15,000
Affordable: $15,000 – $19,999
Average: $20,000 – $29,999
Above Average: $30,000 – $49,000
Expensive: $50,000 – $99,999
Very Expensive: $100,000+

#1 Tennessee Technical University College of Business – Cookeville, Tennessee


Tennessee Technical University’s College of Business offers an MBA program that can be pursued online, in-person, or in a hybrid format. For healthcare professionals, Tennessee Tech, in Cookeville, Tennessee, also offers a special Hybrid Industry-Immersed MBA.

Tennessee Technical University offers an MBA program its students can pursue entirely online, on campus, or in a hybrid format, depending on their needs. Run through the College of Business, this is a 30-hour graduate program, which students may enroll in either a full- or part-time capacity. In total, students complete 10, three-hour courses. Seven are core courses, and the remaining three are electives.

In addition to Tennessee Tech’s online MBA program, full-time healthcare professionals can pursue an MBA degree without sacrificing their careers with the Hybrid Industry-Immersed MBA. The Hybrid Industry-Immersed MBA for healthcare professionals combines online courses with monthly, weekend classes in Nashville. This program requires five semesters, with students completing seven foundational business courses and three industry-focused electives. Combining the flexibility of online MBA programs with the benefits of in-person networking, this program is a superb option for healthcare professionals looking to build their skill sets and advance in their careers.

A GMAT is not necessary for either program and may be waived, provided incoming students have the relevant professional and educational experience. Students need a resume, three professional references, and a statement of purpose to apply. These programs are of average affordability at around $20,600. Tennessee Tech was ranked at #18 in the country by US News & World Report for excellent support services for online and non-traditional students. The school was also ranked at #77 for US News & World Report’s Best Online MBA ranking. Both of these programs are AACSB-accredited.

Accreditation: Average
Affordability Score: AACSB, SACSCC

#2 Carson-Newman University Adult and Graduate Studies – Jefferson City, Tennessee


This very affordable online MBA offered by Adult and Graduate Studies at Carson-Newman University offers solid support for its online students. Based in Jefferson City, Tennessee, Carson-Newman has options for both a general degree and a specialized online MBA degree.

Carson-Newman University offers a flexible online MBA program through the Adult and Graduate Studies. For those who desire to earn a general online MBA, the program takes only 12 months to complete. However, Carson-Newman also offers a 15-month online MBA program with specializations in Human Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Operations Management, and Sports Management. In total, this is a 30- to 36-credit program. On average, students take three courses during each five-week module, though a fourth may be added with approval. Students need to complete 10 courses to complete this online MBA program without any specialization or 12 courses with a specialization. Though this program can be completed entirely online, there is room for flexibility, should a student wish to take some classes on campus.

In order to apply to this online MBA program at Carson-Newman, prospective students need a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college with a grade point average of at least 2.5. They must also submit official transcripts and a resume. GMAT or GRE scores are not required. An excellent deal at around $13,500 tuition, this online MBA program falls under “very affordable” for this ranking. And online students can rest assured that there is good support in place; US News & World Report put Carson-Newman at #35 in their ranking for support services for online students. They are also ranked at #153 for their Best Online MBA ranking. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges has accredited this private, four-year university.

Accreditation: Very Affordable
Affordability Score: SACSCC

#3 University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business and Economics – Memphis, Tennessee


Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the Fogelman College of Business offers a general online MBA program at the University of Memphis. This affordable program is mostly made up of working professionals with several years of experience.

The online MBA program at the University of Memphis is designed for working professionals for whom making it to campus is challenging. Students enrolled in this program have an average of seven to 10 years of working experience. This fully online MBA program incorporates both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Thirty-three credits are required to complete this program, with 30 of those credits going toward core coursework. The remaining credits are completed with an elective. To keep the program quick and streamlined, there are no required prerequisites for the core curriculum. For those who wish to, three of the courses may be completed in three-day, on-campus residencies; however, this is not a requirement. This is a general online MBA program with no set specializations or concentrations.

Offered through the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis, this is an affordable online MBA program; tuition is just under $19,000. US News & World Report has ranked it as #70 for their Best Online MBA Program ranking in the top 150 for the best support for online and non-traditional students. To apply, prospective students must submit a resume, a short statement of interest, a 1,000-word essay based on a prompt, and two letters of recommendation. Those with a master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution do not need to submit a GRE or GMAT score. There is a $35 application fee for domestic students upon applying. The program is accredited by the AACSB. The University of Memphis is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Accreditation: Affordable
Affordability Score: AACSB, SACSCC

#4 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Gary W. Rollins College of Business – Chattanooga, Tennessee


The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offers a 100-percent online MBA program. For those looking for more flexibility, there is a flexible option as well, also offered through the Gary W. Rollins College of Business.

For those looking for a well-priced, fully online MBA program, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s online MBA is an excellent option. Priced at just over $23,000, it offers quality coursework with excellent student support services. In fact, US News & World Report ranked this program, which is offered through the Gary W. Rollins College of Business, at #123 for best support services for online and non-traditional students. For added flexibility, students may choose to enroll either part- or full-time. And for those who do want a little face-to-face time, there is a flexible option to attend a course on campus. This program is structured around seven core classes and one capstone project with concentration options in business analytics, finance, or health care administration, as well as a general track. Students also take three elective courses based on their concentration of choice. Regardless of concentration, the program can be completed in 24 months. There are four prerequisites courses for those lacking a business background.

To apply, interested students must have earned a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 2.7-grade point average. A GMA score of over 450 or a GRE score of at least 145 on verbal and 144 on quantitative is also needed, though there are circumstances in which these scores may be waived. In addition, students must submit an application, official transcripts, a $35 application fee, and proof of immunization (for those who are choosing the full-time, flexible MBA program). This program is highly ranked at #82 in the country for US News & World Report’s Best Online MBA Programs ranking.

Accreditation: Average
Affordability Score: AACSB, SACSCC

#5 University of Tennessee at Martin College of Business and Global Affairs – Martin, Tennessee


The College of Business and Global Affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin offers a flexible online MBA program for professionals with at least two years of working experience. This is a cohort-based program, allowing for optimal peer connection in an online format.

For those looking for a cohort experience for their online MBA program, the University of Tennessee at Martin might be an excellent fit. This 18-month program is designed for those who are still early in their careers but with at least two years of professional experience. The entire program can be completed online. Students may choose to pursue a general MBA or a degree with an agricultural specialization. Either way, 27 credits are applied toward the course courses and one three-credit culminating course. Those pursuing the agricultural specialization also must take 12 credits of elective courses. There are two prerequisite courses in Financial Accounting and Statistics & Probability. There is also a hybrid option for those who wish for some on-campus classes; for this option, no professional experience is required. With this option, students must come to campus five Saturdays in the fall and spring in addition to their online coursework.

A GMAT or GRE is not necessarily needed to apply for this online MBA program depending on your background. To apply for the fully online MBA program, an application with a $30 fee, official transcripts, a resume, three letters of reference, an admissions essay, and two years of professional experience are required. This is a well-priced program with tuition at around $23,500. It’s also well-ranked in the country based on US News & World Report’s Best Online MBA Program ranking; it comes in at #35. They have also ranked the program at #145 for best support services for online and non-traditional students.

Accreditation: Average
Affordability Score: AACSB, SACSCC

#6 King University School of Business and Economics – Bristol, Tennessee


King University in Bristol, Tennessee, offers a 100 percent online MBA program. As part of the School of Business and Economics, the program has six concentrations to choose from.

The online MBA program at King University offers six concentrations in Healthcare Management, Human Resource Management, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, and Project Management. This is a fully online program built for business professionals with at least two years of working experience. It is an asynchronous program, giving students the choice of where and when they want to attend classes. Nevertheless, despite its online nature, classes are built around small group discussions and team-based projects. Students must take 36 credits to complete this program, which is offered through the School of Business and Economics. Twenty-seven credits of the program are required courses. The remaining nine credits are fulfilled by courses specific to a student’s chosen concentration. There are also five prerequisite business principle seminars that must be taken if students lack an undergraduate business background. These prerequisites must be taken prior to the corresponding course in the program.

In order to apply, prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0-grade point average. A GMAT score is not required. Students must submit an application, transcripts, two professional or academic recommendations, a resume, and a personal statement. An interview with the MBA program coordinator is also required. At just under $22,000 for tuition, this is a reasonably priced program. King University is nationally ranked by US News & World Report at #175 for as part of their Best Online MBA Programs ranking and at #155 for best support services for online and non-traditional students.

Accreditation: Average
Affordability Score: SACSCC

#7 Tusculum University College of Business – Greeneville, Tennessee


Located in Greeneville, Tennessee, Tusculum University offers a three-semester online MBA program. This program, run through the College of Business, is a quick and affordable option for business professionals.

Despite being a private university, Tusculum University’s fully online MBA program is affordable at just under $15,000 for tuition for 30 credits. Part of the College of Business, this program takes less than one year to complete. Students take five set courses over the course of three semesters, each worth six credits. During their last semester, students also complete a capstone course alongside a comprehensive business project. For this project, students work with their employers and faculty members. Because going back to school can be daunting, ‘Tusculum’s College of Business has partnered with Peregrine Academic Services to provide business refresher classes for just $35 each to help students brush up and feel prepared for their coursework. These classes test students’ baseline subject knowledge on core business topics, and they are strongly encouraged for those students who do not have a background in business.

Interested students need to submit a completed application, a professional resume, two letters of recommendation, a prompted writing sample, and have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0-grade point average. Those with less than a 3.0-grade point average might be accepted upon interviewing with the dean of the College of Business. All students must also take the entrance (and exit, when the time comes) Peregrine assessments. The online MBA program is accredited through the ACBSP. Tusculum University, a small university with less than 2,000 students, holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Accreditation: Affordable
Affordability Score: ACBSP, SACSCC

#8 Bryan College School of Adult and Graduate Studies – Dayton, Tennessee


Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, offers a well-priced online MBA program. Run through the School of Adult and Graduate Studies, the program can be completed in just 14 months through an accelerated format.

Bryan College’s online MBA program is run in an accelerated format, meaning its students can earn their degrees in just 14 months. Courses are set up in nine-week sessions and are completed entirely online. Offered through the School of Adult and Graduate Studies, students may choose specializations in Marketing, Human Resources, Healthcare Administration, Sports Management, and Ministry. In total, 36 credits are needed to complete the program. There are 12 required courses that are each worth three credits each. Most students opt to take two courses at a time, which is the maximum allowed, in order to complete the program on the accelerated 14-month timeline. All courses are taught through a “Christian worldview.”

To apply, students must pay a $50 application fee and fill out an application. They also need to submit undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) transcripts. The program has rolling start dates every nine weeks. At around $21,400, Bryan’ College’s online MBA is of average affordability. US News & World Report also ranked it at #215 on its Best Online MBA Programs ranking. Bryan College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online MBA is accredited by the IACBE. Bryan College is a private, four-year institution. It has a small student body of under 1,500.

Accreditation: Average
Affordability Score: IACBE, SACSCC

#9 Lee University School of Business – Cleveland, Tennessee


The School of Business at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, offers a flexible, hybrid MBA program. Students may complete this 20-month, 32-credit program entirely online.

Lee University’s School of Business has a 20-month flexible, hybrid MBA program. Students may choose to complete their MBA program entirely online, on campus, or by mixing both formats. Since 90 percent of students are working full-time during the program, this flexibility helps make completing an online MBA more attainable. Students enrolled in ‘Lee’s online MBA program have an average of 9.8 years of working experience. This is a 32-credit program made up of 11 courses. Students take one class every seven weeks. Classes are centered around in-class discussion and experiential learning using case studies and projects. Despite being offered online, this format still allows for ample time to work with fellow students and faculty. For those students who do not have the relevant undergraduate business background, undergraduate business courses must be completed prior to beginning the online MBA program.

Admission to the online MBA program at Lee requires an undergraduate degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0, GMAT scores from within the last five years, an application, official transcripts, two professional or academic letters of recommendation, a statement of goals, and a resume. If an incoming student has also completed other graduate work, they must also have at least a 3.0-grade point average. Lee’s online MBA is nationally ranked at #215 by US News & World Report in their Best Online MBA Program ranking, and Lee holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. This online MBA program is accredited by the ACBSP and, at around $23,000 for tuition, is an average-priced program.

Accreditation: Average
Affordability Score: ACBSP, SACSCC

#10 Lincoln Memorial University School of Business – Harrogate, Tennessee


Located in Harrogate, Tennessee, Lincoln Memorial University’s School of Business offers both an online MBA and a hybrid MBA program. These are affordable options for those looking for flexible programs.

Like many other universities and colleges, Lincoln Memorial University offers both a hybrid and online MBA program to provide its students with the most flexibility possible. Students may choose to enroll full- or part-time, depending on what works best for them. A general MBA degree requires 30 credits, while an MBA degree with a concentration needs an extra six credits. The five concentration options, offered through ‘LMU’s School of Business, include General Business, Management, Marketing, Sport Management, Operations Management, and Healthcare Administration. Curriculum for the online MBA is centered around case studies, group work, class discussions, and presentations. For those already pursuing a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree or a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, a dual degree is also available, with students earning their MBA degree at the same time. These options do require a 10-week intensive summer session.

In order to apply, Lincoln Memorial University must receive an online application, a writing sample, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and college transcripts. Students must have completed at least a bachelor’s degree. This is an affordable online MBA degree, coming in at just $15,000 tuition for the program. Lincoln Memorial University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The online MBA program is also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. LMU is located in Harrogate, Tennessee and is a private, four-year university with just under 5,000 total students, around 2,000 of which are undergraduates.

Accreditation: Affordable
Affordability Score: ACBSP, SACSCC

#11 Bethel University College of Professional Studies – McKenzie, Tennessee


This well-priced online MBA at Bethel University provides 24/7 tutor support to its online students. Offered through the College of Professional Studies, there are four concentrations available.

Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee, offers an accelerated online MBA with concentrations in Academic Practitioner, Executive, Healthcare Administration, and Human Resource Management. The concentrations provide very specific skills and experience. For example, the MBA-HRM concentration prepares students for HR credentialing. This concentration track requires 12 courses, for 36 credits total, and is completed in 23 months, though acceleration is possible. This is also true for the Healthcare Administration concentration. The Executive concentration is also 36 credits. However, this track has eight required classes, two electives, and a six-credit research project. It can be completed in just 21 months. The Executive concentration is aimed at students who are already established at a management level in their careers. Finally, the Academic Practitioner concentration is a general MBA track and intended for students without executive experience. This is the fastest track, requiring just 19 months to complete. It is made up of 36 credits, like the others, completed over eight required courses and four electives. This program, regardless of the concentration chosen, is cohort-based. While it is completely online, there are optional on-campus seminars students may attend as electives. Classes start every month for added flexibility. There are no tests in this program; students are evaluated on writing assignments.

Students interested in applying for this program, which is run through ‘Bethel’s College of Professional Studies, must have a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of work experience to apply. Tuition for this program is just over $22,000, which is average. It should be noted that textbooks and course materials are provided at no additional cost to students. There is also 24/7 tutor support. This program is nationally ranked at #215 on US News & World Report’s Best Online MBA Programs list.

Accreditation: Average
Affordability Score: ACBSP, SACSCC

#12 Freed-Hardeman University College of Business – Henderson, Tennessee


Located in Henderson, Tennessee, Freed-Hardeman University’s College of Business offers an entirely online, 30-credit MBA program. This affordable program also has the option of a Healthcare Management concentration or a dual BBA/MBA degree.

At Freed-Hardeman University’s College of Business, students can complete their 30-credit, online MBA program in just one year. Classes are set up in eight-week sessions. This program is entirely online except for two accounting courses that are required for students who wish to sit for the CPA exam. Core coursework is made up to eight classes, of 24 credits, as well as two electives, of six credits. There is a capstone course that students take during their final semester. There is a concentration option for Healthcare Management. This is intended for recent graduates with an interest in working in the healthcare field and is tailored to those without a business background. For this track, 27 credits are needed for core coursework, and the remaining three are fulfilled by an elective. The College of Business also offers the option to complete a dual Bachelor’s of Business Administration/Master’s of Business Administration degree in marketing, management, finance, or accounting. This option requires an additional 24 credits, for a total of 150 credits between the two degrees. Flexible start times are offered.

With tuition at just under $18,000, this is an affordable program. To apply, interested students must submit an online application, official undergraduate (and graduate if relevant) transcripts. A copy of a government-issued photo ID and a signed payment and credit agreement are required. Prerequisites for this program are set by the ACBSP, which has accredited the program. An undergraduate business degree fulfills these requirements. Students missing any requirements will have to take extra classes to supplement.

Accreditation: Affordable
Affordability Score: ACBSP, SACSCC

#13 Union University McAfee School of Business Administration – Jackson, Tennessee


The McAfee School of Business Administration at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee offers an online MBA program that students can complete in 12, 18, or 24 months. In addition, there are also several options for students to pursue dual degrees with their MBAs.

Union University offers an online MBA program that is set up in eight-week formats and has concentrations and certificates in Accounting, Human Resources, Leadership, and Marketing. Full-time students can plan on completing this program in 12, 18, or 24 months. Dual degree programs are offered through the McAfee School of Business Administration in conjunction with the Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Pharmacy, or Master of Social Work programs. The regular online MBA program non-thesis track requires 36 credits. Nine courses, which are all three credits, are part of the core coursework. An additional 12 to 15 credits of MBA electives, either general courses or within a student’s chosen concentration are also needed. There is also a thesis option, which can be undertaken upon the approval of the MBA and research director. Students without a business background do need to complete the Graduate Business Foundations course.

To apply, students need to complete an application and pay a $25 fee, submit a GMAT or GRE score (though a waiver is offered for those with over five years of business experience or who are pursuing a dual degree), official transcripts, and a resume. This program costs just over $22,000, which is average. McAfee’s online MBA program is accredited by the AACSB. Union University also holds regional accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Union University is located in Jackson, Tennessee and is a private, four-year university with a student body of around 3,400.

Accreditation: Average
Affordability Score: AACSB, SACSCC

#14 Cumberland University Labry School of Science, Technology & Business – Lebanon, Tennessee


Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, offers students an asynchronous online MBA program for maximum flexibility. This program, which is through the Labry School of Science, Technology & Business is accredited by the ACBSP.

Cumberland University’s online MBA program focuses on equipping its learners with the knowledge needed to be successful in business and technology sectors, specifically in the Middle Tennessee area. It is expected that students will work during their program. While the Labry School of Science, Technology & Business offers a hybrid format for those who wish to pursue their degree both online and in-person, there is also the choice to complete the MBA program entirely online. Its online program is asynchronous, meaning students can complete their work when and where they need to, without being bound to a certain class time. This is a 36-credit program, with each course worth three credits. A usual course load for a full-time student is six or twelve credits per semester. Classes are split into two eight-week terms each semester in the fall, spring, and summer. In total, all students complete nine core courses and three elective courses based on career goals, which are discussed with an academic advisor.

In order to apply for Cumberland’s online MBA program, prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5-grade point average. Though any bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university is accepted, students without a business degree must take a Foundations Survey Course in addition to the rest of the course work for the program. A $50 application fee is also needed to apply, as well as immunizations for those who choose the hybrid option to take some courses on campus. This is an affordable program at just under $20,000 for tuition. The online MBA program is ACBSP-accredited. Cumberland is also regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Accreditation: Affordable
Affordability Score: ACBSP, SACSCC

#15 Tennessee Wesleyan University Goodfriend School of Business – Athens, Tennessee


Located in Athens, Tennessee, the Goodfriend School of Business at Tennessee Wesleyan University offers a 100 percent online MBA program. Full-time students can complete this 30-credit program in just 12 months.

For those looking for an entirely online MBA program, check out Tennessee Wesleyan University. The complete online MBA offers concentrations in management and accounting. The management concentration will prepare students with advanced business skills through courses like marketing theory, corporate sustainability, and accounting and financial management. The concentration in accounting offers an option for students to take the Becker Professional Education CPA Review program to help them prepare for the CPA exam. Regardless of the concentration chosen, the program requires 10 courses and 30 credit hours to complete. For full-time students, this means the program can be completed in just 12 months, while those who need to attend part-time can finish it in 24 months. This is a great program for busy working professionals. The courses in this online MBA program, which is offered through the Goodfriend School of Business, focuses on business subjects such as ethical-decision making, strategic orientation, sustainability and growth, as well as global perspectives and respect for the people and communities the businesses are impacting.

No GMAT is needed for the online MBA program at Tennessee Wesleyan. Interested students need to submit an application for admission, college transcripts showing at least a 2.75-grade point average and a bachelor’s degree, two academic letters of recommendation and one professional letter of recommendation, as well as a current resume. This program costs around $15,000 for tuition, making it an affordable option. Tennessee Wesleyan University is a private, four-year, not-for-profit university that is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Accreditation: Affordable
Affordability Score: SACSCC

Living in Tennessee

Tennessee is a state full of abundant natural beauty, from the Appalachian Mountains in the east to the Mississippi River in the west. It also has a lower cost of living than many states in the country, is home to some strong industries, and is a frequent tourist destination with more than 10 million visitors each year.

When it comes to living in Tennessee, there are some serious benefits. The cost of living is 3.8 percent lower than the US average. The state has also seen positive job growth with a 1.76 percent increase. Unemployment is a little lower than the US average, 3.9 percent, at 3.5 percent. Other considerations when it comes to living in Tennessee include a median income that is only around $28,764 and median home prices of $160,900. The state has also seen a population growth of nearly six percent in recent years. And in terms of education, it spends more than $3,000 less on each student than the average school expenditure.

Though it’s true that one of the benefits of an online MBA program is that you don’t need to live where you are enrolled, it can be helpful, often in terms of tuition and sometimes networking opportunities, to live in-state. But, even if you live elsewhere, knowing the context of where you are attending business school provides valuable insight, especially when it comes to projects based on local companies, which are common in online MBA programs.

Biggest Industries in Tennessee

In terms of top industries in Tennessee, the entertainment industry is certainly a hot one. Nashville alone is known as “Music City, USA.” It’s home to The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Ryman Auditorium, as well as the annual Country Music Awards. Memphis is known for deep roots in blues, R&B, soul, and early rock and roll. And Bristol, which often goes overlooked in the shadow of Memphis and Nashville, is officially recognized as “The Birthplace of Country Music.” In recent years, Tennessee has also been building a strong presence in the film and television production world as well. The state is home to Regal Entertainment Group, Sony/ATV, and Viacom.

The automotive industry is strong in Tennessee as well. Franklin is home to Nissan’s North American headquarters, and its Smyrna plant produces the most Nissan vehicles on the continent. The state is also home to branches of General Motors and Volkswagen. The state’s automotive employment is over four times higher than the national average with over 134,000 residents employed by automotive establishments. Tennessee is also investing in the future the industry, producing well over 20,000 electric vehicles annually.

In addition to the entertainment and automotive industries, Tennessee is also the home to the headquarters for companies like FedEx and AutoZone (Memphis), Cracker Barrel (Lebanon), and Dollar General (Goodlettsville), among others. According to US News & World Report, the manufacturing, mining, logging, and construction industries in the state have all experienced growth in recent years.

While one of the benefits of earning an online MBA degree is that you can do it from anywhere, being in proximity to your program of choice means more options to create relationships with companies in the area. Many of the schools listed in this Best Tennessee Online MBA ranking help students network with local companies through the course of their online MBA programs. Being physically close to these companies can help turn projects and networking into invaluable tools for future career moves.

Business School in Tennessee

Tennessee is home to more than 70 institutions of higher learning. Some of these have strong name recognition, like Vanderbilt. The University of Tennessee, like most public state university systems, boasts high enrollment. But there is also a variety of small and mid-sized colleges, as well as research universities throughout the state such as Bethel University and Lincoln Memorial, which are both featured on this ranking. Despite the range in sizes of schools, the affordability for many of these institutions remains relatively reasonable. All of the online MBA programs found on this list range somewhere between “very affordable,” which means at or under $14,999 to “average,” at or under $29,000. Considering the cost of higher education continues to climb ever higher, these are excellent options that will meet the needs of many different business students.