A Master’s in Management allows professionals to improve and enhance their career opportunities. Is Masters in Management worth it for your career? It depends on your long-term goals. The primary advantage of a master’s degree is the potential for advancement in your job. Many leadership roles may require a master’s degree and the management program teaches you the leadership skills you need for a role in business. The degree may also help if you want to earn more in your career. It is also a good option for professionals who do not have a business-related undergraduate degree.
Many professionals may benefit from a Master’s in Management. The key is clarifying your goals and focusing on the leadership aspects of the degree. It may help if you plan to work in business or you are planning to change your career path. It is not ideal for traditional MBA students, who are expected to already have work experience in business. The MiM is intended to be flexible enough for professionals who want to lead in business, but also in areas like education, public administration, nonprofits, and other non-business fields.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Master’s in Management Programs
Great Business Schools rankings are designed around the needs of working adults, traditional students, non-traditional students – anyone who wants to make the most of their career with a business degree. So our rankings feature only reputable, accredited institutions, which are ranked according to practical considerations: Cost, Income Potential, Reputation, and Student Satisfaction. Data comes from IPEDS, College Scorecard, Niche, and U.S. News & World Report.
1. Georgia Institute of Technology – Scheller College of Business
When you are looking for the best masters in management programs, you will want to consider the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business. The MS in Management from Georgia Tech gives students a degree that is tailored to management and focused on the challenges of working in a management role. It offers the leadership skills students need for their career plans.
A key reason the Georgia Institute of Technology differs from other programs is the level of customized courses available for student goals. Students can select elective courses that help with their long-term goals after discussing their concerns or plans with an advisor. It ensures that students are able to improve their abilities and leadership skills throughout their studies.
Highlight: The Georgia Institute of Technology meets the standards set by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business for accreditation.
Degree: MS in Management
2. Texas A&M University – Mays School of Business
The MS in Business from Texas A&M University at the Mays School of Business prepares students for a career in management within different fields and industries. The degree program gives students a well-rounded view of business, which allows students to take on a leadership role within different areas of a company. It also gives students the hands-on experience they need for a career in the corporate environment.
Texas A&M University stands apart by using an Integrated Business Experience, or IBE, course. The coursework teaches students the processes used to set up a business and has helped students start successful companies that continue to grow over time. By focusing on hands-on experience, the program ensures that students are prepared for the rigors of starting a new company or improving an existing business.
Highlight: The Master of Science in Business from Texas A&M University takes only 11 months to complete.
Degree: MS in Business
3. University of Virginia – McIntire School of Commerce
The University of Virginia offers a Master of Science in Commerce through the McIntire School of Commerce for students who want to work in a corporate environment or a management role. The degree program offers full-time courses that allow students to complete the degree in 10 months. It also focuses on teaching students the management skills they need to take on a leadership role in their field of interest.
The way the University of Virginia differs from other programs is the focus on a global market. It recognizes the growth that stems from connections abroad and it strives to ensure that students are ready to handle the changes that may arise due to a growing global market. It prepares students for the challenges of working in a large corporate setting or in a company that works with multiple countries.
Highlight: The University of Virginia was ranked number two by The Economist for management education.
Degree: MS in Commerce
4. University of Florida – Hough Graduate School of Business
When it comes to the best masters in management programs, the University of Florida offers an excellent option through the Hough Graduate School of Business. The MS in Management from the University of Florida is designed around students who do not have a business background. It brings together students from multiple industries and backgrounds to give a broad perspective on leadership.
A key way the University of Florida stands out is access to a higher level of education. The school does not require students to have work experience to qualify for the master’s program. It also does not require students to have a degree in business or management at the undergraduate level. That allows more students to get into the program and work on the management degree for a broad perspective on topics discussed in the course material.
Highlight: The University of Florida offers flexible classes with fully online and on-campus programs to help students keep up with their obligations and goals.
Degree: MS in Management
5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – College of Business
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an MS in Management program through the College of Business. The MSM degree program teaches students the foundational skills they need to accomplish their goals and improve their career opportunities. It recognizes that students may come from a variety of backgrounds and is designed around students who may not have an undergraduate degree in a business-related field.
The University of Illinois differs by offering students the fundamental knowledge they need for their role in a business. Since it does not assume that students are coming from a business background, it gives students the foundation they need to build on for their career. It also teaches leadership skills that help students with their work.
Highlight: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students increase their earning potential by 40 percent after graduation.
Degree: MS in Management
6. Northeastern University – D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Northeastern University offers one of the best master’s in management programs through the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. The degree program recognizes the growing global environment as it relates to business and it strives to ensure that students are ready for the changes that may arise in the future. The degree program gives students the skills they need to work in a global economy and different environments.
A key way Northeastern University stands out is the focus on cultural sensitivity. The degree program teaches students the skills they need to be sensitive to other cultures and backgrounds. It focuses on accomplishing goals within a business without upsetting or insulting potential clients or partners. That gives students the ability to work in different roles throughout their career.
Highlight: Northeastern University allows some students to waive the GMAT or GRE test requirements if students have five years of work experience and plan to work on their degree part-time.
Degree: MS in International Management
7. University of Michigan – Ross School of Business
The University of Michigan offers a Master of Management degree through the Ross School of Business. The master’s degree program is designed around the needs of students who do not have a business background and want to enhance their skills to take on a management role in their field or move into a business-related industry. Since it works around the needs of students who do not have a background in business, the degree program gives students the fundamental knowledge they need for a career change.
The University of Michigan offers students hands-on experience. It gives students a chance to work with real businesses and companies to resolve concerns and address issues that may arise. By giving students a chance to work with companies as an intern or through online tools, it allows students to develop the skills they need for their career goals.
Highlight: The Master of Management program at the University of Michigan lasts for ten months.
Degree: Master of Management
8. Michigan State University – Broad College of Business
Michigan State University offers an MS in Management, Strategy, and Leadership that prepares students for the challenges of working as a leader in their industry. The program is designed around the needs of working managers and professionals who have taken on leadership roles in their career and want to improve their abilities for their long-term career objectives.
A key way Michigan State University stands out is the focus on leadership. Since the two-year degree program is designed around working managers, it does expect students to have some knowledge of management and leadership. It then builds on the skills of students to improve their strategic capabilities and help in their plan to improve a business or company.
Highlight: The online program was recognized by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the top 25 programs for business studies online.
Degree: MS in Management, Strategy, and Leadership
9. Indiana University at Bloomington – Kelley School of Business
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University at Bloomington offers an MS in Strategic Management that builds on problem-solving and critical thinking skills with a focus on leadership development. The degree program recognizes the importance of strategic thinking when working in a complicated market environment, and it teaches students how to resolve concerns by thinking critically about the situation.
A key way Indiana University at Bloomington stands apart is the leadership focus on the course material. It does not only teach students how to work as a leader. It also teaches students the different ways to resolve potential issues that may arise and to think critically about the problems. That gives students an edge when it comes to resolving concerns in their career.
Highlight: The MS in Strategic Management from Indiana University at Bloomington is also availavble fully online and gives students the flexibility to work around their job or personal obligations.
Degree: MS in Strategic Management
10. Penn State University – Smeal College of Business
Penn State University offers an MS in Management and Organizational Leadership through the Smeal College of Business. The degree program focuses on leadership in the workplace and teaches students the skills they need to guide and encourage others in their career. It also focuses on building character and ethics as it applies to a leader.
Penn State University differs from other programs by combining leadership, communication, and business fundamentals into a single program. It recognizes that students must have the fundamental skills of business to address problems that may arise. It also strives to teach students the communication skills they need to work as an effective leader.
Highlight: Penn State University offers the MS in Management and Organizational Leadership program as an accelerated program, so students can complete it in less than one year.
Degree: MS in Management and Organizational Leadership
11. University of Southern California – Marshall School of Business
The University of Southern California offers a Master of Management Studies through the Marshall School of Business. The program is designed around students who have completed a portion of an MBA program or have the equivalent of the first year of studies finished for an MBA program. Students are expected to have a fundamental knowledge of business when starting the program.
The University of Southern California focuses on developing the strengths of students and teaching them the knowledge and skills they need for their career. The management program teaches leadership skills and works within a student’s strengths to build upon their abilities and help them find the right management style for their personality and strengths.
Highlight: The University of Southern California requires students to have a one-year equivalent master’s degree or the first year of an MBA program from an accredited college or university completed to qualify for the master’s degree program.
Degree: Master of Management Studies
12. University of Texas at Dallas – Jindal School of Management
The University of Texas at Dallas offers two management degrees at the master’s level through the Jindal School of Management. The MS in International Management Studies focuses on the specific challenges associated with working in a business that has an international presence. It strives to ensure that students are able to manage business operations when working on domestic and international products. The MS in Management Science focuses on the specific management skills students need to take on a leadership role in their career.
The University of Texas at Dallas stands out by offering two different management degrees. The programs focus on different aspects of management, including the science behind management and the studies into effective management styles. Students can take in-depth courses for a concentration in specific areas of business studies to improve their opportunities in a career.
Highlight: The University of Texas at Dallas offers flexible course options, including online classes in the MS in Management Science program that allows students to work at their own pace.
Degree: MS in International Management Studies and MS in Management Science
13. University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business
The University of Notre Dame offers an MS in Management through the Mendoza College of Business. The degree program focuses on building on student knowledge to teach them how to apply their current skills to the business sector. It does not require students to have an undergraduate in a business-related field, since it does offer fundamental education in business and management.
A key way the University of Notre Dame stands apart is the opportunity for global immersion. The school offers a two-week immersion program that allows students to go to other nations like China and South Africa to learn about differences between cultures and business practices. That gives students a chance to develop the skills they need to keep up with a growing global market.
Highlight: The University of Notre Dame’s MS in Management program allows students to finish their degree in 11 months.
Degree: MS in Management
14. University of San Francisco – School of Management
The MS in Global Entrepreneurial Management and MS in Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco are two options among the eight graduate level business degrees available. These programs nurture real-world business skills while providing hands-on learning opportunities at companies located in the Bay Area. A total of 36 credits are required for each degree with topics taught such as entrepreneurship, financial planning, ethics, and marketing analytics.
The University of San Francisco is a Jesuit-Catholic college located in the heart of the city. Along with academic courses, the college has a service requirement for all students with volunteer hours needed for graduation. The college partners with local charities to place students in meaningful positions. The college is home to more than 100 clubs and obtains Division I West athletic teams. The most popular undergraduate University of San Francisco majors include nursing, finance, and marketing.
Highlight: The University of San Francisco has one of the best masters in management programs due to an accelerated graduation rate of one year.
Degree: MS in Global Entrereneurial Management and MS in Organizational Development
15. Southern Methodist University – Cox School of Business
The Southern Methodist University MS in Management, from the Cox School of Business, can be completed in less than a year by attending four to five consecutive semesters held in the fall, spring, and summer. A total of 30 credit hours are needed with courses focused on managerial accounting, finance, and statistics. The program promises a high ROI with 90 percent of graduates receiving a job offer within three months of degree conferment.
With a Dallas location, Southern Methodist University is located nearby many of the top corporations in the country. The college is known for providing experimental learning opportunities like the SMU in Taos program, which allows for students to learn in the mountains of New Mexico. More than a third of students are involved in Greek Life with fraternities and sororities located on campus. Alumni of Southern Methodist University have high median starting salaries with many earning in excess of $58,000 annually upon graduation. This average increases for graduates of master and doctoral degree programs.
Highlight: The Economist ranked the MS in Management from Southern Methodist University as the 6th Best Masters in Management Programs.
Degree: MS in Management
16. Pepperdine University – Graziadio School of Business and Management
The MS in Management and Leadership from Pepperdine University is ranked as one of the best masters in management programs because of its flexibility and high return on investment. The 12-month degree is completed fully online with an optional MBA pathway. The management degree is intended exclusively for professionals who have a minimum of two years of work experience. Graduates from Pepperdine University’s business degree programs find top paying positions at nonprofits, corporations, and startups.
Being able to study in beautiful Malibu, California attracts hordes of applicants to Pepperdine University. The Christian college requires students to attend 14 spiritual events per semester and three religious courses. Graduate studies can be completed in multiple locations throughout Southern California or done through the online portal.
Hightlight: Pepperdine University is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Top 50 National University.
Degree: MS in Management and Leadership
17. Boston University – Questrom School of Business
Boston University’s MS in Management Studies is an innovative hands-on degree program. The curriculum is separated into four modules with each module focused on a different aspect of business. Modules include topics such as firm management, operations, corporate organization, and corporate vision.
By completing studies at Boston University, students are put in close proximity to the headquarters for the world’s top organizations. The college is the largest nonprofit university in the nation with enrollment exceeding 18,000 students. Boston University has a successful track record in athletics with numerous championships won in the NCAA Division I. The School of Business and the School of Law are highly rated graduate schools with flexible degree options.
Highlight: Boston University MS in management graduates have been recruited by top companies such as Citi, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, Twitter, and Shire.
Degree: MS in Management Studies
18. Fordham University – Gabelli School of Business
With the MS in Management degree from Fordham University, professionals are taught about the importance of sustainability in the business world. The innovative degree focuses on changing behaviors in both customers and managers and how to solve new real-world problems. The program is made up of 30 credit hours with eight core courses and two electives needed for graduation. Fordham University’s management degree program can be completed in just 15 months with courses offered online or on-campus.
Fordham University has multiple campuses located throughout New York, including locations nearby Central Park and the Bronx Zoo. All accepted students are guaranteed housing for four years at the college’s dormitories. The college has a cutting-edge environmental studies laboratory with students residing in log cabins while performing field research. Fordham University is highly selective with less than half of applicants gaining admission.
Highlight: Fordham University’s management degree program can be completed in just 15 months with courses offered online or on-campus.
Degree: MS in Management
19. Tulane University – Freeman School of Business
Tulane University offers a Master of Management program in an accelerated format; over the course of three semesters, students need to earn 36 credit hours. Besides attending management courses, students take a global leadership trip abroad to complete their degree. The Master of Management from Tulane University is ranked as one of the best masters in management programs due to positive career outcomes with graduate placements at Fortune 500 Companies.
Tulane University is a private college located in historic New Orleans. Students are able to join more than 200 clubs or pledge one of the 24 fraternities and sororities located on campus. Female students are able to participate in seminars and mentorship opportunities as a way to support them through their academic careers. Tulane University is known for unique majors like the degrees from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicines.
Highlight: Tulane University’s Master of Management degree requires one year of accelerated study.
Degree: Master of Management
20. Lehigh University – College of Business & Economics
An MS in Management from Lehigh University gives students the tools they need to work as CEOs and CIOs in the private and public sector. The program focuses on the core areas of managing organizations and learning how to analyze business practices. The program has AACSB accreditation and is designed for those who already obtain an undergraduate degree and have some professional work experience. Graduates of the Lehigh University program secure new positions upon graduation or are considered for advancement opportunities.
The private Lehigh University has a rich history of educating leaders of industry for over 150 years. The large campus has a city-like feel and is spread across 2,000 acres. The college participates in NCAA Division I athletics with 25 men and women sports teams.
Highlight: Lehigh University is consistently ranked within the top 50 national universities by U.S. News & World Report.
Degree: MS in Management
21. Rochester Institute of Technology – Saunders College of Business
Students can earn an MS in Management from Rochester Institute of Technology in as little as one year. The core curriculum focuses on management topics while students are asked to also choose a specialization. Specialization options include leadership, product development, and supply chain management. A capstone project is required for graduation from the program. Rochester Institute of Technology boasts a high master’s degree graduation rate.
Located in suburban Rochester, the Rochester Institute of Technology offers both STEM degrees and liberal arts majors. An important part of Rochester Institute of Technology is the college’s co-op program. Many of the majors require either full-time or part-time work experience for graduation. Many of the degree programs have an accelerated track to reduce the time it takes to finish all requirements.
Highlight: RIT’s deep STEM roots make the MSM a great choice for students who want to become leaders in the technology industry.
Degree: MS in Management
22. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University has quickly become home to one of the best master’s in management programs. Northwestern’s MS in Management Studies is one of the quickest available with graduation offered after 10 months of courses. Classes will focus on management principles, leadership skills, effective communication, and organizational goals.
Although Northwestern University was established in 1851, the college has experienced unprecedented growth over the last two decades. Currently, the university has 12 schools with dozens of undergraduate and graduate majors. Northwestern University has highly rated education, business, and law degrees.
Highlight: A perk of Northwestern University’s MS degree is the ability to earn an MBA simultaneously.
Degree: MS in Management Studies
23. George Mason University – School of Business
George Mason University’s MS in Management is designed to get working professionals the skills they need to advance in their selected fields. Classes within the program include management of information technology, business strategy, financial reporting, and financial analysis. The MS in Management from George Mason University has proven time and time again as offering a high return on investment.
The suburban campus of George Mason University is conveniently located just outside the nation’s capitol. Many graduates of the college secure positions within the federal government. Campus life is very active with more than 500 clubs for students to choose from. George Mason University is one of the few Tier 1 research institutions with projects in the field of biotechnology, economics, and electronic journalism.
Highlight: George Mason’s full-time MSM degree option permits students to finish all credits within 11 months.
Degree: MS in Management
24. New Jersey Institute of Technology – Tuchman School of Management
Students who earn their MS in Management degrees from the New Jersey Institute of Technology are prepared to secure lucrative positions in Fortune 500 Companies. The curriculum will combine management fundamentals with technical prowess. Concentrations include financial technology, web systems, global project management, and business analytics. Students can fulfill most of the MS in Management degree requirements online with on-campus courses available on weekends and evenings.
The New Jersey Institute of Technology is one of the premier STEM colleges in the northeast. The public research college receives endowments in excess of $130 million annually. Due to its close proximity to New York, many students are commuters with only a small portion of undergraduates living on campus.
Highlight: The New Jersey Institute of Technology is highly regarded as a career-centric university with Money Magazine naming it as a top pick for career services.
Degree: MS in Management
25. University of Miami – School of Business Administration
The MS in Leadership degree from the University of Miami was designed for mid-career professionals who aim to lead their companies. The program requires a total of 30 credits for graduation with classes that cover topics such as financial reporting, critical thinking for business, human resource teams, negotiation strategies, and marketing management. Learning outcomes for the University of Miami MS in Leadership program are positive with graduates securing high-level positions in global companies.
The suburban campus of University of Miami is located nearby Everglades National Park. Total undergraduate enrollment exceeds 11,000 with a quarter of the population residing on campus. The campus has close to 300 clubs and more than 30 sororities and fraternities.
Highlight: The University of Miami has a high graduation rate, with more than 83 percent of students earning their degrees within six years.
Degree: MS in Leadership
What is AACSB Accreditation?
AACSB accreditation refers to a third-party non-profit organization that sets standards for colleges and universities. The standards help students determine if a school is appropriate for their long-term goals or if it is not a good choice for their career. As a general rule, many employers consider accreditation as a critical factor when evaluating your education.
The AACSB accreditation standards apply to business schools. It requires the school to meet 15 standards that relate to support for students and faculty, learning and teaching at the school, academic engagement, professional engagement, and core studies. The standards ensure that the school meets or exceeds the minimum requirements to qualify for accreditation from the organization.
The university or college must allow a third party to evaluate their educational programs, business school, facilities, and faculty as part of the accrediting process. When a school is AACSB accredited, it means that the school not only meets the high academic standards set by the organization, it also meets the standards in relation to student and faculty support as well as engagement among students and professionals at the college or university.
What is ACBSP Accreditation?
The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or ACBSP, is a global accrediting body that directly relates to business schools. The ACBSP standards focus on measuring the quality of education provided to students and ensures that a school invests in student skills and knowledge. It sets standards for education that a school must follow to get accredited.
Is ACBSP accreditation good or bad? That depends on your goals. Is ACBSP respected? Due to the high standards of the organization in relation to academic excellence, it is a respected organization for accreditation in schools. The organization is recognized on a global scale because it accredits schools in the United States as well as abroad. Every school must meet its standards for accreditation before apply. Fortunately, schools can follow the roadmap to ensure that every standard and detail is properly handled to obtain accreditation.
Students who are looking for a degree from an accredited program can feel confident that ACBSP accreditation is a good option. It means that the school meets or exceeds the standards set by the organization.
What is IACBE Accreditation?
When you are looking into accreditation for business schools, you may hear about IACBE accreditation. The International Accreditation Council for Business Education, or IACBE, offers an external and comprehensive evaluation of a school’s business programs and ensures that the school meets or exceeds a minimum standard.
The IACBE reputation is positive due to the high standards set by the organization for business schools. Students can feel confident that a school with IACBE accreditation has gone through an external evaluation from professionals through the organization before it was given accreditation. The accreditation means that the school meets the standards set for education, training, and skill.
In the case of IACBE accreditation, a school must host a site visit from independent peer reviewers to the college campus and the business school. The reviewers pay attention to the classes and coursework required for business degrees and related programs. It also ensures that the accreditation is fair based on the standards set by the IACBE. The school must also allow a comprehensive self-study that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the educating body.
The result of the strict standards set by the IACBE in relation to accreditation is a high standard of excellence in relation to student education. It ensures that students will attend a school with an excellent reputation that encourages employers to consider a student for a position. Employers may require students to attend an accredited school when they are looking for potential employees, so it is important to evaluate the type of accreditation when looking into a program.
IACBE accreditation is particularly helpful when looking into online degree programs. When the business school or the program is IACBE accredited, it helps employers by offering a reputable program for your degree.