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The 10 Best Online Change Management MBA Degree Programs

Professionals who choose to earn an MBA hold a distinct advantage over those without a graduate degree. Additionally, students who complete their degree from a notable program with a recognizable brand can expect to see an even more favorable response when applying for top positions in today’s extremely competitive job market. MBA programs set graduates up for management and leadership positions within state, local and federal government agencies, large and small businesses, and even nonprofit organizations. According to Payscale.com the average MBA graduate earns $85,000 per year, showing that companies will pay for high-quality candidates for their top positions.

A Master’s of Business Administration in itself is a great tool to stand out in a crowd of applicants. MBA students who choose to concentrate on change management further set themselves apart by showing their aptitude for adapting to change in a variety of circumstances. Online Change Management MBA programs help students hone in on critical skills needed to evaluate, respond, and plan for many of the top problems in the business world. Entrepreneurs, as well as those in rapidly changing sectors such as technology and healthcare will benefit from these programs’ focus on increased flexibility, communication skills, developing vision during transitional times within a business.

You may think that earning a high-quality Master’s of Business Administration will require you to put your professional and personal responsibilities on hold. However, there are surprisingly many online MBA programs that stack up to on-campus programs in prestige, accreditations, and student services. These programs offer adult learners the flexibility and convenience needed to reach their goals while still balancing career and family obligations. Many of these programs are also available at very affordable price-points that can sometimes be missing from traditional on-campus programs. Online learning may not be for everyone, but there are definitely many advantages to a distance degree.

Methodology

In order to find the most value for students, MBA Central examined almost 550 online and hybrid MBA programs offered in the US in the categories of Affordability (33%), Support Services (33%), and Quality of Classes (33%).

Each online Change Management MBA has an Affordability Score, based on the total base tuition of the degree. All information was taken from each individual program website, and scores range from Very Affordable to Very Expensive. Ranges are as follows:

Very Affordable: under $15,000
Affordable: between $15,000 and $20,000
Average: between $20,000 and $30,000
Above Average: between $30,000 and $50,000
Expensive: between $50,000 and $100,000
Very Expensive: above $100,000

#1 City University of Seattle School of Management – Seattle, Washington


City University of Seattle enrolls a diverse group of students from around the world. Their online MBA program in Change Leadership offers a flexible format, one-to-one student support, and a quick completion timeline.

City University of Seattle is consistently acknowledged among the leading educational ranking systems for the quality of both their online and on-campus degree programs. The online MBA program with a Change Leadership emphasis offered through the School of Management is among the University’s top programs. US News and World Report currently lists CityU at #193 in Best Online MBA Programs and #9 in Online Support Services. Students can complete this fully online degree in 48 to 51 credit hours and will participate in a variety of courses relevant to both business and change leadership. Foundations and business core courses such as Essentials of Business Management, Law for Global Business, and Strategic Financial Management make up the majority of the program’s well-rounded curriculum. Those who choose an emphasis in Change Leadership will have an opportunity to dive further into topics such as creative problem solving, leading change, and ethical leadership practices.

Although the main campus is located in Seattle, Washington online students can earn an accredited MBA from anywhere in the world at City University of Seattle. CityU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and educates a student body of over 2,000 annually. The University’s on-campus programs are well-respected. However, the online programs offered through the City University of Seattle have received numerous recognitions for quality and accessibility. The Master’s of Business Administration offered through the School of Management is no exception. Applicants to this top-notch program must have a completed undergraduate degree and may submit an application at any time due to the University’s rolling admissions policy. Terms begin seasonally unless otherwise noted

Accreditation: ACBSP, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Affordability Score: Above Average

#2 Wright State University Raj Soin College of Business – Dayton, Ohio


The Raj Soin College of Business at Wright State University is well respected and has a great MBA brand. Students at Wright State can earn a reasonably priced online MBA in Management, Innovation, and Change.

The Raj Soin College of Business offers an online Management, Innovation, and Change MBA. US News and World Report currently ranks Wright State University #175 in Best Online MBA Programs and #96 in Online Support Services. This 100% online degree also holds distinguished accreditation with the AACSB. Tuition for the program falls between $20,000 and $29,999, making Wright State’s MBA a well-respected and reasonably priced distance degree. Students participating in this comprehensive degree begin with core business courses including Strategic Cost Management, Economics for Managers, and Marketing Strategy. In addition to the business core students in the Management, Innovation, and Change specialization will study the way that top organizations handle change, work with a team mindset, and encourage productive creativity in the workplace. Full-time students typically complete the online MBA at Wright State in two years. However, courses can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis in order to meet all scheduling needs.

Wright State University is a public, research university located near Dayton, Ohio. Nearly 16,000 students attend Wright State each year through a variety of on-campus and online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. The University is comprised of seven colleges and three schools with degrees covering everything from education to medicine. Students can earn an accredited online Master’s of Business Administration through the Raj Soin College of Business. The application process is simple, and students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher are not required to submit GMAT scores. Conditional admission is also granted to those who meet specific criteria in grade point average during the first nine hours of MBA coursework.

Accreditation: AACSB, Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Average

#3 Concordia University Chicago College of Business – River Forest, Illinois


Each year Concordia University Chicago educates over 5,700 students through a variety of on-campus and online program options. The CUC College of Business offers an online MBA in Leadership and Change Management that is flexible and reasonably priced.

Concordia University students can earn a well-respected distance Leadership and Change Management MBA through the College of Business. US News and World Report recently recognized this degree at #202 in Best Online MBA Programs and #104 for Online Support Services. Students in this fully-distance program can complete an area of specialization and certificate in Leadership and Change Management. This 39 credit hour degree is focused on helping students hone in on organizational leadership skills, examine leadership strategies, evaluate leadership styles in a variety of ways, analyze organizational culture, and much more. Concordia University’s online MBA offers flexibility and a reasonable tuition rate between $20,000 and $29,999.

Students of Concordia University Chicago have an opportunity to earn over 100 undergraduate and graduate level degrees. The University holds regional accreditation with the HLC and is made up of five academic colleges that serve nearly 6,000 students each year. As a member of the University of Concordia system, Concordia-Chicago carries strong ties to the Lutheran Church. The school includes faith-based perspectives, as well as, highly regarded programs in business. Online students can earn an MBA degree within their acclaimed College of Business that is flexible and academically sound. Those applying to the program are not required to submit GMAT scores. However, a personal statement, official transcripts, two recommendation letters, and a current resume are required. For full admission consideration, students must have completed their undergraduate work with a minimum 2.85 GPA. Probationary admission can be granted for applicants with grade point averages between 2.5 to 2.85.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Average

#4 Queens University of Charlotte McColl School of Business – Charlotte, North Carolina


Students of Queens University of Charlotte can pursue an accredited MBA degree through the McColl School of Business. This program is fully online and includes a concentration in Leadership and Change.

The McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte includes an AACSB accredited online MBA in Leadership and Change. While coursework can be completed 100% online, this unique program also consists of a three-day residency packed with high-level speakers from the business industry, leadership training, and team building activities. Students typically finish this 39 credit hour degree in around two years on a full-time basis. Four concentration options are available including Leadership and Change. Those who choose this area of emphasis will participate in courses such as Organizational System Change, Conflict and Negotiation, and Management Consulting. This well-rounded degree is currently listed at #119 on US News and World Report’s Best Online MBA Programs ranking. They are also listed at #186 in online support services.

Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-educational university that started in 1857. Six academic schools and colleges offer a variety of degree programs to roughly 2,500 students annually. The McColl School of Business is well known for its comprehensive team-based approach to business education. Students who choose to complete their MBA online are still able to partake in this experience, but at a pace and format that works flexibly with their schedule. Those interested in applying to the McColl online MBA program should be prepared to submit one admissions essay, two letters of recommendation, current and professional resume, official transcripts, and GMAT/GRE scores. Some students may qualify for GMAT/GRE waivers.

Accreditation: AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Affordability Score: Above Average

#5 Tiffin University School of Business – Tiffin, Ohio


Tiffin University is a private university located in Tiffin, Ohio. The School of Business includes an excellent MBA program with specializations including Leadership and Change.

The online MBA program in Leadership and Change at Tiffin University is highly accredited by the ACBSP. Many students finish this program in as few as 14 months on a full-time basis but have the option to work at their own pace as needed. US News and World Report currently ranks Tiffin #215 in Best Online MBA Programs. Tuition rates for this fully online degree are reasonable and fall between $20,000 and $29,999. There are six convenient start dates and students may choose from a variety of concentration options including Leadership and Change. This focus is designed with professionals from a range of backgrounds in mind. A few of the courses included are Individual Leadership and Influence and Negotiations and Conflict Resolution. These relevant topics, as well as others, are sure to help graduates have a comprehensive understanding of communication, conflict resolution, and organizational performance.

Tiffin University is a private university with regional accreditation through the HLC. Each year the University educates over 3,000 students through four respected academic colleges and schools. The School of Business offers a fast-paced online Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Leadership and Change. To apply students must have completed an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. They will additionally need to submit official transcripts, resume or CV, and a personal statement discussing goals for pursuing graduate studies. MBA applicants must also show completion of at least eight of the following courses prior to admission business finance, business policy, marketing, accounting, management, business ethics, global dimension, legal environment, economics, information systems, or statistics/mathematics.

Accreditation: ACBSP, Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Average

#6 Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies – Baldwin City, Kansas


Baker University is a top-ranked university, offering an MBA in Leadership and Organizational Change. Alumni of this program report pay raises and promotions as the best part of earning their MBA.

Baker University offers graduate students a flexible online Master’s of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Change through the School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Students can graduate from this highly acclaimed 33-hour MBA in as little as 12 months. Students must first successfully complete one course with a 3.5 GPA, and may then take two classes at a time as long as they maintain the required GPA. This MBA program is an affordable master’s with pricing between $15,000 and $19,999. Students who earned their undergraduate degree from Baker will receive a 10% tuition discount. Students can purchase a Baker 360 degree membership, which is an all-inclusive eBook and online package, with resources such as eBooks, eLabs, tutoring, and career support. Classes start every seven weeks, so you can soon be on your way to earning an MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Change.

Baker University is a private, Christian university, founded in 1958, and accredited by the HLC. Approximately 2,700 students attend Baker each year. A wide array of associate through doctoral degrees are offered. Students are able to take unique three-week interterm classes throughout the U.S. and abroad, where they participate in internships, hands-on projects, and service learning projects. Want to help build a school in a third world country, learn a new language by speaking to locals, or study the economics of beer in bars in Europe? Baker’s got you covered! U.S. News and World Report names Baker the No. 1 private university in Kansas. Graduate students seeking a MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Change can earn their degree through the School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Potential candidates interested in pursuing this program are encouraged to submit a completed application and official college transcripts.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Affordable

#7 Friends University Graduate School – Wichita, Kansas


Students have an opportunity to earn an online Change Management MBA from Friends University. The prestigious Graduate School offers numerous professional development and networking opportunities through the National Association of Women MBAs.

At Friends University students can earn a top rated online Change Management MBA through the nationally recognized Graduate School. This degree is considered among the top online MBA programs by U.S. News and World Report. Students are able to customize a plan of on-campus courses, online courses, and blended courses that work with their schedule, or may select their preferred modality. The curriculum is comprised of six core courses and four concentration courses. Friends is proud to host the first chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs among private universities in Kansas. This organization offers professional networking opportunities and events geared towards building leadership skills for women and men are welcome to join in on the fun, too. Through the many professional development opportunities, alumni have assumed positions with the Air National Guard, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Excel Industries, Spirit AeroSystems, and Textron Aviation.

Friends University is a small private, not-for-profit university with just 1,600 students, ensuring students receive individualized instruction with a 10-to-1 student to faculty ratio. Friends University was founded in 1898 and is accredited by the HLC. The main campus is located in Wichita, but classes are also offered in Lenexa, Topeka, and online. Wichita is named among the Top 10 Places to Live by Money Magazine. Friends is recognized as a College of Distinction, Christian College of Distinction, and Kansas College of Distinction, and also holds membership in The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Students can pick from 60 areas of study leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Graduate students seeking a Master’s of Business Administration with a Change Management concentration will gain practical experience through local and global immersions designed with transferable job skills. Prospective students interested in this MBA must submit an online application, two letters of recommendation, and copies of all official college transcripts.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Average

#8 Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School – Malibu, California


Students can earn an accredited online MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Managing Change Organization. Not only does this program offer prestigious AACSB accreditation, but it is also top-ranked by major publications.

The Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine University offers an online MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Managing Change Organization. This academically rigorous 52 credit-hour program holds prestigious accreditation through the AACSB. Additionally, this online MBA program is ranked 14th by the Princeton Review and 21st by U.S. News and World Report. Students hone in on essential leadership skills through optional participation in the international studies program and the Education to Business (E2B) program. U.S. News and World Report ranks the E2B program among the 10 College Courses that will pay off at Work. In this unique program, students have the opportunity to work virtually with top business executives to solve real-world business problems. Some of the partner corporations students will be able to list on their resume after participation in this program include Boeing, Coca-Cola, Disney, Toyota, UPS, and American Red Cross. This experience often helps students land C-suite positions at these businesses and firms upon graduation.

Pepperdine University is a private, not-for-profit university which currently serves over 7,700 students annually. Regional accreditation is granted through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. The main campus sits along the coast in Malibu, and graduate campuses are in West Los Angeles, Calabasas, Encino, Irvine, and Silicon Valley. Students have 73 degree programs to choose from through five academic colleges. The Princeton Review recognizes Pepperdine for having the 8th Most Beautiful Campus and the 11th Most Popular Study Abroad Program in the Nation. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report ranks Pepperdine 29th among Best Value Schools. Graduate Students may pursue an MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Managing Change Organization through the Graziadio Business School. For entry into this competitive program, prospective students are encouraged to submit an online application, official transcripts, a personal statement, and strong GMAT or GRE scores.

Accreditation: AACSB, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
Affordability Score: Expensive

#9 Concordia University, Nebraska College of Graduate Studies and Adult Education – Seward, Nebraska


Concordia University, Nebraska’s College of Graduate Studies and Adult Education offers an MBA with a certificate in Leadership and Managing Teams Through Change. This career relevant certificate will prime students for leadership roles in change management.

Concordia University, Nebraska offers an online MBA with a certificate in Leadership and Managing Teams Through Change. This elite 36-hour program is provided through the College of Graduate Studies and Adult Education and has accreditation through the IACBE. Students may choose to take courses on campus, online, or a hybrid format. This flexibility allows students to select a delivery option that is convenient for them and meets their individual learning style. The Leadership and Managing Teams Through Change certificate consists of three courses; Creating and Leading Effective Teams, Business Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and Cross-Cultural Management. These courses will build upon the business knowledge acquired through the core courses, and develop students into effective business leaders. This is considered an affordable master’s program, with tuition between $15,000 and $19,999. Students in this flexible MBA are able to balance a full-time career, family, and education.

Concordia University, Nebraska is a private, not-for-profit university serving 2,500 students every year. Concordia was established in 1894 and is accredited through the HLC. Top publications consistently recognize Concordia as a top university in many categories. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks Concordia 35th among Best Regional Universities-Midwest, among the top 15 Best Value Schools in the Midwest, an A+ School for B Students, and as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans. Money Magazine also lists Concordia among the 50 Most Affordable Private Colleges. Concordia is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and has been named a Christian College of Distinction. Among the many flexible degrees offered at Concordia University, Nebraska is the MBA with a certificate in Leadership and Managing Teams Through Change. Prospective students must apply online, submit all official college transcripts, a letter of intent, and a resume to be considered for acceptance.

Accreditation: IACBE, Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Affordable

#10 Lenoir-Rhyne University Charles M. Snipes School of Business and Economics – Hickory, North Carolina


Graduate students can pursue an accredited online MBA with a concentration in Innovation and Change Management through Lehigh University.

A 100% online MBA with a concentration in Innovation and Change Management is offered through the highly acclaimed Charles M. Snipes School of Business and Economics at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Snipes School of Business is accredited by the elite ACBSP. Students enrolled in this flexible 36-hour program have the convenience of choosing instruction via online streaming classrooms to benefit from peer interactions or video presentations that can be viewed independently at any time that fits their schedule. Students also have the ability to complete courses on a part-time or full-time basis. Practicums can be completed at businesses located near where the students already reside. Upon completion of a well-rounded core curriculum, and specialization within Innovation and Change Management, students will complete a capstone focused on strategic management and business policy. The unbeatable flexibility makes earning an MBA with a concentration in Innovation and Change Management a smart maneuver for those looking to advance in the business community.

Lenoir-Rhyne University is a private, not-for-profit university, that holds regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Over 50 undergraduate majors and more than 30 graduate programs are offered to a student body of 2,500. The average class sizes have 13:1 student to faculty ratio, giving students optimal interaction with both peers and faculty. Outside of the classroom, students have numerous opportunities to participate in internships, mentorship programs, work study, and study abroad. Graduate students can complete an online Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Innovation and Change Management through the Snipes School of Business and Economics. Applicants must submit an application online, an official copy of GMAT or GRE scores, an essay, resume, and all official transcripts. Candidates should also be available if asked to interview. Students with six years of work experience may submit a letter of reference from their employer and work samples in lieu of the GMAT requirement.

Accreditation: ACBSP, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Affordability Score: Average

What is Change Management?

Change is the backbone of our culture and our businesses. We are always driving for new breakthroughs and trying to anticipate the consumers changing needs, attention, and trends. Everyone wants to be the next big thing.

Technological advancements have dramatically changed the face of business over the past 20 years. Our paper-driven society switched to complete virtual sharing. What once took days and weeks to spread information across an organization, or between organizations, now can be done at the click of a button. The companies that could not navigate change through these advancements did not stay around long, and this is still true today. Facebook, for example, started out as a social platform for college students. Today, it has over two billion users worldwide that share inconsequential individual news to current events from global news syndicates and stands as an e-commerce platform. Their ability to drive social networking change, not only morphed their company framework but it changed the fabric of our society.

Change is not just a fact of life, but the lifeblood of companies. But every New Year’s Day, individuals are reminded of how hard it is to change. Multiplying that resistance to change by hundreds and even thousands is the daunting task of change management in an organization. In essence, change management is how to initiate, teach, and manage change on the individual level in order to reach greater organizational goals.

There are many reasons why an organization might want to focus on change management. A company might have found a blind spot in their organization that is affecting their sustainability, they might be undergoing a reorganization or a merger, there might be a new technological opportunity for growth, or organizations might be in a place where they have reached a plateau and need to move beyond their current reality. In each of these instances, change management is not meant to be a fixed plan, but a way of thinking that can be carried into the future to maintain relevance.

What is the role of a change manager?

Change management takes a significant amount of intentional planning to account for individual and collective idiosyncrasies. It encompasses physiological and psychological responses to change, individual needs, and collective norms. A change manager is the one with the tools and training to lead an organization through the process of change, model what change looks like, and help manage the stress that results in an organization through change.

Prosci, a leading change management organization, describes change management through their ADKAR model. This model describes change management in fives steps: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. Awareness is that step where change managers outline why change needs to happen. Humans generally do not like change and have a physiological response in their brain that tells them to fear change. By highlighting the need for change and clearly showing the detriment of not changing, employees can begin the process of changing. Simply put, a change manager must minimize threats of change and maximize rewards. Desire is an integral step that goes beyond awareness and gets the individual on board supporting change. Some change managers are able to reframe change by maximizing all the positive effects that change can bring. Maximizing the positive reinforcements and minimizing the negatives are an essential step in the process. But individuals must be able to move past just the desire to change and then move on to have the knowledge of how to change. By giving a clear and simple framework, change managers can lead organizations through change, one person at a time. Next change managers must have the ability to demonstrate the skills and behaviors needed to implement change. It helps to have quantifiable behaviors in order for individuals to know if they are on the right track, and it gives leaders data to know if the organization is moving in the right direction. The last step is reinforcement, or in other words, repeat, repeat, repeat. Having a system to repeat is vital in order to make behaviors into habits.

What will I learn in an Online Change Management MBA?

There are many benefits of pursuing an Online Change Management MBA. This type of program will give students a great general foundation of business fundamentals. Understanding the general concepts of business will be something that every change manager will need. Students will gain a general understanding of accounting, economics, business law, systems management, and finance. This foundational work will give change managers that language of business and the big picture overview of what organizations entail.

Then, students will be able to pursue subjects including Adaptive Leadership, Individual Leadership and Influence, Thought Leadership and Creativity, Negotiations & Conflict Resolution, Creativity and Innovation in Organizations, Social and Environmental Change, and Organizational Development and Change. Students who are pursuing this degree while working full-time will also be able to start implementing these concepts in the workplace immediately.

Another advantage of a degree like this is the virtual nature. As organizations are growing more and more global, leaders need to be able to have a grasp on how to work in virtual teams. In online MBA programs, students will not only have daily and weekly work that includes virtual interaction with their peers and professors, but students will routinely have group projects where virtual teamwork is necessitated. This is a skill that can be used as a competitive advantage in our global marketplace.

How much do change managers make?

Change management is always relevant in any sector, so graduates of an Online MBA in Change Management have a host of possible sectors to work in. These leaders of change can work in areas of organizational development, project management, operations, corporate communications, or information technology. While an average general manager makes an average of $61,894 per year, the average salary, reported by PayScale, for a manager in change management is over $92,000 a year, with experienced professionals in this field making over $100,000. An online Change Management MBA, while it takes a time and financial commitment, can prove to have a very strong return on investment.