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The 3 Best Online Organizational Behavior MBA Degree Programs

The Online MBA degree continues to show its value to graduates through ease, accessibility, and applicable nature. More and more students are making a choice to go back to school for an online MBA, but the next choice that needs to be made is to discern which program is the right fit. The number of Master’s of Business Administration programs offered in a distance format grows every semester. The US currently has over 550 online MBA programs for prospective students to choose from. Students have choices from full-time to part-time programs, large and small colleges, general and specialized curriculum, with idiosyncrasies to fit professionals from around the country.
Professionals looking to hone their skills working with employees and teams to create healthy, sustainable, and effective organizations, should seriously consider a concentration in Organizational Behavior. The concepts in organizational behavior do not stop at general human resource management or strategic management but dive into how employees act in teams. This group dynamic affects individual health and sustainability as well as overall organizational health and sustainability. Over and above anything else in an organization, employees are the greatest asset, and managers who understand how to create an environment where all employees are working together to meet organizational goals are invaluable. PayScale currently reports that graduates with an Organizational Behavior MBA degree bring in an average salary of $103,000 a year, showing a high return on investment potential. Graduates can go on to fill roles as human resource partners, management consultants, compensation and benefits directors, and operations managers.
Prospective students also have the responsibility to weigh factors such as hybrid or online coursework, affordability, prestige, accessibility, and support services. Each advanced degree has an obligation to not only impart information but help graduates along their professional and personal paths. A highly respected Online Organizational Behavior MBA is the tool that can help hard-working professional on their path into organizational management.


Evaluating over 500 distance MBA programs can be an overwhelming task. To help prospective students in their search for the right MBA, we ranked the top Online Organizational Behavior MBA programs in the country. By using the most up-to-date information available, we ranked these programs based upon their Affordability (33%), Quality of Classes (33%), and Support Services (33%). Each program also receives an Affordability Score. These scores are based upon the total base tuition of a degree and placed within the context of other online MBA programs in the country.

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 University of North Texas College of Business – Denton, Texas

Students looking for an advanced degree in organizational behavior need to look at the University of North Texas. The College of Business offers a prestigious Online MBA in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management.

The AACSB-accredited College of Business at the University of North Texas not only offers high-quality on-campus programs but online as well. Their Online MBA in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management program is a perfect fit for the working professional needing a flexible program that does not skimp on quality. After choosing from one of five start dates, students will first study core topics likes accounting and marketing. Then students can dive into the exciting concentration courses focused on organizational behavior. With topics covering labor relations and organizational design, graduates will gain the tools and knowledge to lead organizations with care and intentionality. This online organizational behavior MBA is ranked highly by the Princeton Review and US News and World Report. Their AACSB business accreditation also places them among the top programs in the world. But students at UNT do not have to sacrifice their pocketbook for this top tier education. With a base tuition cost under $30,000 for Texas residents, this program makes higher education accessible to the frugal student.

The University of North Texas has been educating students since 1890 and has since grown to one of the largest schools in the state. With over a hundred bachelor’s degrees and over a hundred more graduate degrees, UNT serves over 38,000 students each year. Among their many outstanding programs is their online MBA. The school shows a commitment to accessibility with the flexible format and multiple start dates. Students will be able to continue their current professional and personal obligations while pursuing this flexible degree. They will be able to gain important experience working in an online environment, as well as the added benefit of applying critical organizational behavior concepts in their current roles. To apply to the graduate school, students must complete the online application and send in transcripts and GMAT scores. Students must also submit their resume, an essay, and two letters of recommendation to complete the application process.

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

#2 Johnson & Wales University College of Business – Providence, Rhode Island

The College of Business at Johnson & Wales University offers a top-notch Online MBA in Organizational Psychology. This MBA program will help students develop their leadership skills in order to understand, create, and drive corporate culture to meet organizational goals.

Organizational leaders who understand corporate environments and how to manage effectively are crucial to have on every team. With people being the most financially viable asset in organizations, it is important for leaders to understand how to manage them individually and collectively. The Online MBA in Organizational Psychology in the College of Business at Johnson & Wales University is one of the top programs for leaders in this wheelhouse. This program has a flexible online format, which allows professionals to maintain professional and personal commitments, and students can choose to progress in the program slowly or at an accelerated pace. Students will start the program in core foundational courses including accounting, economics, and ethics. Then students get to pursue courses like Team Dynamics, Coaching and Consultation, and Attitude and Motivation in the Workplace. This online MBA program is seen ranked by US News and World Report, and also has a base tuition cost under $30,000, giving students the benefit of prestige and affordability. For students looking to study organizational behavior and business in an advanced degree, this MBA program is a great choice.

Johnson & Wales University is a private school, with a main campus sitting in Providence, Rhode Island, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in a myriad of subjects. They have four campuses across the country, as well as an online campus. Their College of Online Education is committed to providing the same driven, personal, and affordable programs that their campuses offer. Among these exceptional programs is their online MBA. This program offers 13 different concentrations, including Organizational Psychology. This business topic dives deeper into management, HR, organizational behavior, and psychology. Being able to understand how to motivate a group of people to organizational health is an important quality in today’s fast-paced business world. The school offers six different start dates and takes applications year round. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, an online application, transcripts, two recommendation letters, and a resume.

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Affordability Score: Average

#3 University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

For students looking to advance in their organizational behavior skills, the University of Pittsburgh is a great choice. The prestigious Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business offers a hybrid MBA program with a concentration in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management.

For students looking for a flexible hybrid experience, the University of Pittsburgh offers a highly-acclaimed Professional MBA with a concentration in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. This program blends in-person and online courses giving students face-to-face learning and networking time, as well as flexible online coursework that allows for full and part-time jobs. Students will cover core business courses like accounting, marketing, and business law, in order to develop a strong foundation of business competencies, and then cover important OB/HRM topics. The quality of classes at UPitt is top-notch. They are high in prestige, seen in prominent rankings from US News and World Report, and the Katz Graduate School of Business is accredited by AACSB, placed among the most outstanding business schools from around the world. The University of Pittsburgh is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The strong history of the University of Pittsburgh spans over 230 years, placing it among the oldest colleges in the country. With schools that span from engineering to arts and sciences, and from law to medicine, one school that stands tall is the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. With programs offered on the beautiful Pittsburgh campus or at a distance, the university opens its doors to future business leaders from around the world. Katz emphasizes experience-based learning and global leadership, wanting their graduates to be relevant to the ever-changing business world and up to the challenge of managing it. Applicants interested in this hybrid online organizational behavior mba must be able to submit scores from their accredited bachelor’s degree and GMAT or GRE. They must also complete an application online and send in an application fee, two recommendation letters, an essay, a resume, and prepare for an interview. This program has rolling admissions, meaning the admissions committee reviews applications all throughout the year.

Accreditation: AACSB, Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Affordability Score: Expensive

What is organizational behavior?

Professionals who are curious about managing and motivating groups of people within organizations should explore the exciting field of organizational behavior. Organizational Behavior is the field that studies how people react within a group. It expands upon the knowledge of psychology, sociology, and neuroscience. Businesses can significantly benefit from this field of study by understanding how people react within groups and leverage that to meet organizational needs.

Organizational behavior covers discussions on individual needs and actions, group behaviors, and overall organizational structure and culture. This field of study was birthed out of a series of 1920s studies in a Hawthorne Works plant in Illinois. What researchers found is that employees were significantly impacted by social factors, even more than some environmental factors. In fact, neuroscientists have found out that our brains perceive social threats and rewards in the same pathways as physical threats and rewards.
Some of the most prominent societal factors are laid out in the SCARF model, developed by Dr. David Rock, and include status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, fairness. The increased awareness of the substantial impacts of social factors in the workplace makes the field of organizational behavior so important.

Managers are responsible for leading teams to meet organizational goals, and societal and cultural factors can play a big part in that success. For example, if a manager announces that a change needs to be made in the workplace but does not do a good job describing what exactly the changes entail, it can affect an employee’s sense of certainty about the future, and their threat response will increase. What is important about this, is that when a person’s threat level increases, their brain’s physiology plays a significant role. Under threat, our brains kick into our fight or flight response and cortisol is released. This hormone will increase our stress level, our blood pressure rises, our cognitive function decreases, and our creativity decreases. Thus, if a manager is not able to provide some sense of certainty, it plays a big part in an employee’s ability to think clearly and creatively, and problem solve in the workplace.

Now on the other hand, if the manager is able to adjust this announcement and provide more feelings of predictability and safety in times of change, they will be able to decrease the threat level and stress within the workplace. Decreasing threat and supporting overall cognitive function will significantly impact the success of a team. This understanding of organizational behavior is essential for managers to grasp, but it can literally be the life or death of an organization during times of change.

What will I learn in an online organizational behavior MBA?

Many professionals that want to move into a business management role will decide to go back to school for an MBA. This education can be an excellent choice for those with and without an undergraduate background in business. Many professionals without lower-level courses in business might need to take prerequisite courses before starting MBA programs. Once students begin the core foundation courses, they will learn the bread and butter of business. Online MBA students will cover topics in statistics and learn the importance of data analytics, and they will explore the lifeblood of every business in finance and accounting, as well as discuss the intricacies of ethics and business law.

Professionals wanting and needing to stay employed during their education will be inclined to pursue a hybrid or online MBA program. With the increase of distance programs offered by the top business schools in the country, prospective students do not have to sacrifice quality for flexibility. Distance programs allow professionals to choose their school based on merit and fit and not just by proximity. These distance programs enable organizations to invest in their employees and reap the rewards immediately. It is a win-win situation for employees and employers.

For the professionals wanting a better grasp on managing group dynamics within organizations, an online organizational behavior MBA can be a great fit. Online MBA programs with concentrations and specializations in organizational behavior and organizational leadership guide students into the areas of strategic human capital management, employee performance, and organizational effectiveness. Courses can include topics of organizational change; women and leadership in society; organizational power and influence; ethics, corporate social responsibility and law; team conflict and multiparty negotiation; and project management. Upon graduation, students will have the skills and knowledge to effectively manage an organization’s greatest asset, its people.

What career can I pursue with an online organizational behavior MBA?

When researching different programs, every prospective student should ask what benefit a degree will provide them. Professionals who are already working on climbing the management ladder might find themselves in a great position as a manager within an office. According to PayScale, these general office managers make an average of $42,000 per year. But, graduates holding an MBA degree in organizational behavior bring home an average of $103,000 per year.

Understanding how to manage people is a skill that spans every industry. These professionals with honed skills in organizational behavior and human resource management can go on to pursue careers as a project manager, a compensation director, a human resources manager, or a consultant. They will also have the skills to manage teams in fields of engineering, hospitality, and marketing, as well as many others. With an online organizational behavior MBA, graduates will be on their way to an impactful and rewarding career in business management.