Best Pennsylvania MBA Schools and Programs

Your Guide to an Pennsylvania MBA Career, Curriculum and Education

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What Can You Do With an MBA in Pennsylvania


There are several reasons to obtain a Master of Business Administration (MBA). On the practical side of things, you might want to move up the career ladder, and the next step requires an MBA. Then again, you might love what you do now, but your company pays more to those in your position who have attained an MBA. Perhaps you want to change career paths altogether, if you have an undergraduate degree, an advanced degree may be the best option to let you do that.

Whatever your reason, Pennsylvania has a wide range of academic programs to search and choose from. Whether you are working or have other responsibilities in your life and need a part-time program, are ready to dive in full-time with academics offered on campus, or need MBA online courses that support working professionals, you’ll be able to find business education that suits your requirements from anywhere in the U.S. In addition to a variety of schedules and access, the organizations in Pennsylvania also have an array of concentrations. Concentrations are areas of special focus from business schools that provide learning that dovetails with particular careers, industries, or educational goals.

Depending on your individual lifestyle, time commitments and availability, checking out what it takes to get an MBA in Pennsylvania and your options are good first steps.

Why Consider an Online MBA?


The Princeton Review gave the green light to Pennsylvania MBA programs when it named several of the state’s business school MBA programs, including Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business, Drexel University – LeBow College of Business and Penn State Erie, The Behrend College – Sam and Irene Black School of Business among the best general MBA programs in the nation.

If you are considering a residential program in Pennsylvania, the area has plenty to do when you are not attending class, studying, or working. The state’s main attraction is the Liberty Bell, of course, but there are also parks, museums, and other great places in which to spend time. Lancaster County is home to a working Amish community. Consisting of 12 acres, you can see in person how the Amish live and purchase from their food and craft products.

The well-known Bushkill Falls, also known as the Niagara of Pennsylvania provides a beautiful experience with nature. Opened in 1904, the attraction features eight natural waterfalls for viewers to explore. No reason to skip seeing this. Deep in a wooded area, you and your friends can visit and get a full day’s hike or walk in before heading back into academia to learn.

If You Get it, The Money Will Come


Quick Facts: Human Resources Managers
2017 Median Pay $110,120 per year
$52.94 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation 5 year or more
On-the-job Training None
Number of jobs, 2016 136, 100
Job Outlook, 2016-26 9% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 12, 300

There is no denying that obtaining an MBA exponentially raises your financial clout almost any industry.

Credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Nationwide Growing Need for MBA Graduates Continues


The business world is an ever-changing entity, that ebbs and flows with the economy, however, for the most part, an MBA has always provided an advantage. Currently, the need and opportunities for those who complete an MBA is growing and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this trend holds until at least the year 2026. For example, if you are in the field of market research analysis, you are among 750,000 market analysts in the nation. More importantly, an anticipated 12,300 additional jobs are going to open in the field by 2026.

Getting your MBA should give you an edge over other applicants, and that edge will not only be in getting hired, but also in the network you can create and the salary you’ll be offered. Pennsylvania MBA programs offer skillsets for better communication, analytical skills, business management, and marketing; all things important in any organizational environment, regardless of the field.

Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education


Typical MBA Concentrations


Though most MBA programs have similar required core coursework, there is also specific content designed for each concentration. A concentration is a focus on an individual industry or area of business. The specializations offered across the country differ but often include international business, law and legal studies, change and innovation, and more. Though a regular MBA make take only 18 months, a complex focus can be completed in 2-3 years if you attend part-time. Pennsylvania MBA programs have a variety of concentrations focused on the industries in the state.

  • Entrepreneurship
    This provides the foundation for opening your own company. Start-up companies, franchises, and inventions are all areas where a focus in entrepreneurial skills is useful.

    Well-known entrepreneurs who held were alumni from MBA programs include:

    • Frank Batten – co-founder of The Weather Channel
    • Phil Knight – co-founder of Nike
    • Elon Musk – co-founder of Paypal

    Coursework in this area will center on giving you the confidence you need in designing a business plan for your start-up operation, understanding the workings of working capital, and analyzing the potential success of your ideas.

  • Healthcare Management
    The field of healthcare management continues to grow as the field of medicine continues to diversify and break off into specializations. The BLS predicts a 22% growth in this field through 2024. Admission to a concentration in this area can strengthen your ability to oversee medical facilities, entire hospital networks, and public health systems.

    You also might decide to become a specialist in analyzing policy and procedure in these facilities. An MBA with a specialist concentration in healthcare management gives you an advantage in not only the application process but also in the salary you desire.

  • Business Analytics
    Working in business analytics is like being a detective in the business world. You’ll be responsible for gathering real data from all sources in your company including outside data and examining it. The goal for this position is to analyze past, current, and future trends, then hold that against different variables in the economy with a goal of reporting your results to management and helping develop future policy and procedure.

    You’ll be confident in using various analytical methodologies to gather and analyze information. What you compile and report can then be used by management to steer the future of the company.

  • Human Resource Management
    As a human resource manager you’ll be expected to keep up with state and federal labor laws. In addition, you’ll develop training materials for new employees and continued training for employees. Compensation policies, organization charts, benefits, and performance reviews are all things that you can manage for the company. Today, HR managers are typically included in executive meetings as part of the corporate structure development.

    A concentration in this field includes coursework designed to prepare you for today’s human resource management career.

Accreditation in Pennsylvania


Accreditation is one of the terms that is an important factor in the world of MBA attainment. The Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the gold-standard for national accreditation in MBA programs. It means that the faculty and courses are approved as meeting the highest educational standards. This organization only presents accreditation to the top 5% of MBA programs throughout the world, therefore, choosing a program that holds this honor, assures you of a top-notch education.

If you cannot find a suitable program with AACSB accreditation, you can instead focus on those accredited by a regional agency. Though it may not seem like it, regional accreditation is often even more prestigious than national, especially if you are looking to work in the same region where you obtain your degree. Regional accreditation still promises the knowledge, coursework, or credentials to make it worth getting the MBA. The regional agency for Pennsylvania is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

When you leave school and begin applying for positions, many companies are not going to consider your MBA if it came from a non-accredited school. The accreditation lets potential employers know that you have been provided with a curriculum that rises to the standards necessary. It means that your school’s research department and various programs are up to par and that students in the MBA program are succeeding.

Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates


Post-graduation employment looks good for Pennsylvania MBA graduates. This holds true whether you stay in Pennsylvania to work or decide to branch out to another state.

As of July 2021 the unemployment rate was approximately 5.4% nationwide and Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is 6.9% as of June 2021.

The average salary for MBA’s in management occupations was $109,760 in May 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an increased job need in healthcare management, human resources management, and finance positions.

Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential


The earning potential with an MBA in Pennsylvania varies depending on the field that you work in. An MBA does give you access to higher salaries in almost all industries, however, the pay range among the different industries does fluctuate.

A newly minted MBA graduate can expect to make $77,000 to $87,000 annually, depending on the industry.

That number increases once you get some experience behind you. For example, a human resources manager can earns an average of $132,000 per year.

Pay


The median annual wage for human resources managers was $132,000 in may 2020. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The Lowest 10 percent earned less than $71,100 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $197,000.

In May 2020, the median annual wages for human resources managers in the main industries in which they worked were as follows:

Management of companies and enterprises $148,100
Professional, scientific and technical services $144,900
Manufacturing $103,600
Government $111,500
Healthcare practitioners $99,800

Most human resources managers work full time during regular business hours.

Credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Careers for Pennsylvania MBA Grads


  • Director of Asset Management
    Typical annual salary: $110,000 - $150,000

    In this position you would be charged with the development and implementation of company strategies that will enhance the company's overall financial health and performance.

    This will include improving the financial performance all company assets/properties as well as overseeing the asset department.

    Key duties:

    • Maintain the company's financial performance portfolio
    • Work with department heads and executives by providing strategic procedures
    • Measure and analyze all operating metrics and recommend future strategies to improve performance
  • Chief Technology Officer
    This position is perfect for the MBA who loves technology.

    Typical annual salary: $86,707 - $275,707

    Key duties include:

    • Monitor security measures and implement changes as needed
    • Review, purchase, and oversee all hardware and software use within the company
    • Design and implement the company-wide networking system
    • Determine goals for future IT health within the company
    • Maintain all company software licenses and make sure they remain current
  • Director of Marketing and Branding
    Typical annual salary: $94,000 - $120,000

    Key responsibilities:

    • Analyze various data to determine where marketing and branding efforts should be concentrated
    • Develop and oversee a brand for the company
    • Implement marketing strategies to promote the brand
    • Oversee the social media platform for the company to ensure consistency in brand recognition efforts
    • Develop ways to gather consumer, client, customer feedback and use the data to continue to improve strategies for branding purposes
  • Human Resources Manager
    Typical annual salary: $99,000 - $140,000

    Key responsibilities:

    • Design and implement a recruiting strategy
    • Oversee the hiring and termination policies
    • Remain current on federal and state labor laws
    • Design and implement all staff training
    • Remain current on discrimination laws, bullying laws, sexual harassment laws, and hostile work environment laws
    • Meet with executives and department managers
  • Financial Analyst
    Typical annual salary: $80,000 to $175,000

    Key responsibilities:

    • Provide recommendations to management and executives
    • Study market and financial trends industry-wide
    • Steer the financial health of the company through early recognition of needed adjustments and implementation of them.
    • Predict outcomes for your company based on those trends and your company data

Best MBA Programs in Pennsylvania


University of Pennsylvania Location
Philadelphia, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Economics and Public Policy
  • Energy, Environment and Sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Finance
  • Health Care Management
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • International Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Multinational Management
  • Operations, Information and Decisions
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Real Estate
  • Statistics
  • Strategic Management
Tuition In-State
$37,678
Tuition Out-of-State
$37,678
Retention %
98%
Graduation %
96%
Average Salary
$135,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
6:1
Lehigh University Location
Bethlehem, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management
Tuition In-State
$27,000
Tuition Out-of-State
$27,000
Retention %
93%
Graduation %
88%
Average Salary
$125,700
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
9:1
Carnegie Mellon University Location
Pittsburgh, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Business Technologies
  • Communications
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations management
  • Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Strategy
Tuition In-State
$46,441
Tuition Out-of-State
$46,441
Retention %
97%
Graduation %
93%
Average Salary
$128,000
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
5:1
Villanova University Location
Villanova, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategic Management
Tuition In-State
$20,619
Tuition Out-of-State
$20,619
Retention %
96%
Graduation %
92%
Average Salary
$101,200
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
11:1
Pennsylvania State University Location
University Park, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Business Analytics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain Management
Tuition In-State
$22,464
Tuition Out-of-State
$38,198
Retention %
88%
Graduation %
71%
Average Salary
$104,300
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
15:1
University of Pittsburgh Location
Pittsburgh, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Organizational Development
  • Technology Management
Tuition In-State
$23,530
Tuition Out-of-State
$39,898
Retention %
93%
Graduation %
84%
Average Salary
$94,600
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
14:1
Temple University Location
Philadelphia, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Strategic Management
Tuition In-State
$29,232
Tuition Out-of-State
$23,346
Retention %
89%
Graduation %
75%
Average Salary
$98,000
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
13:1
University of Scranton Location
Scranton, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Economics Business and Development
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resources
  • International Business
  • Operations Management
Tuition In-State
$21,712
Tuition Out-of-State
$11,580
Retention %
88%
Graduation %
82%
Average Salary
$85,100
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
13:1
Robert Morris University Location
Moon Township, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics and Big Data
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain and Logistics Management
Tuition In-State
$15,225
Tuition Out-of-State
$14,625
Retention %
83%
Graduation %
65%
Average Salary
$88,900
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
15:1
West Chester University of Pennsylvania Location
West Chester, PA
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition In-State
$10,545
Tuition Out-of-State
$13,932
Retention %
86%
Graduation %
75%
Average Salary
$72,900
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
19:1
Drexel University Location
Philadelphia, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship/Innovation
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Marketing
Tuition In-State
$36,234
Tuition Out-of-State
$36,234
Retention %
89%
Graduation %
71%
Average Salary
$98,200
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
11:1
Widener University Location
Chester, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Process Innovation
  • Healthcare Management
Tuition In-State
$24,500
Tuition Out-of-State
$24,500
Retention %
82%
Graduation %
65%
Average Salary
$91,900
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
13:1
Saint Joseph's University Location
Philadelphia, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Business Intelligence & Analytics
  • Finance
  • Health And Medical Services Administration
  • International Business
  • International Marketing, Food Marketing, Pharmaceutical & Healtcare Marketing
  • Leading
Tuition In-State
$20,520
Tuition Out-of-State
$17,802
Retention %
88%
Graduation %
81%
Average Salary
$74,082
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
10:1
Thomas Jefferson University Location
Philadelphia, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Analytics
  • Biopharmaceutical Commercialization
  • Cannabis Business
  • Fashion Business
  • Finance (CFA Preparation)
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate Development
Tuition In-State
$21,420
Tuition Out-of-State
$21,420
Retention %
84%
Graduation %
70%
Average Salary
$83,000
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
12:1
Messiah University Location
Mechanicsburg, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Dietetic
  • Digital Marketing
  • Management
  • Organizational And Strategic Communication
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Strategic Leadership
Tuition In-State
$12,780
Tuition Out-of-State
$12,780
Retention %
89%
Graduation %
79%
Average Salary
$62,820
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
12:1
La Salle University Location
Philadelphia, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Business Systems & Analytics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing
Tuition In-State
$25,680
Tuition Out-of-State
$25,680
Retention %
71%
Graduation %
65%
Average Salary
$84,200
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
12:1
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Location
Indiana, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain Managemen
Tuition In-State
$9,288
Tuition Out-of-State
$13,932
Retention %
72%
Graduation %
54%
Average Salary
$74,300
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
Yes
Student-to-faculty
17:1
Gannon University Location
Erie, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing
Tuition In-State
$19,980
Tuition Out-of-State
$19,980
Retention %
82%
Graduation %
68%
Average Salary
$70,920
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
13:1
DeSales University Location
Center Valley, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Systems Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Self Design
  • Supply Chain Management
Tuition In-State
$20,520
Tuition Out-of-State
$20,520
Retention %
80%
Graduation %
65%
Average Salary
$73,524
Hybrid
Yes
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
13:1
Holy Family University Location
Philadelphia, PA
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Human Resource Management
Tuition In-State
$10,517
Tuition Out-of-State
$10,517
Retention %
73%
Graduation %
57%
Average Salary
$70,881
Hybrid
NA
Part-Time
NA
Student-to-faculty
12:1
Full Ranking Report

How to Choose & FAQ's


Not all MBA programs are created equal. Students need to know what to look at when deciding whether a school will be a good fit for them. Here are some of the main things to consider when researching online MBA options. Keep in mind some of these FAQs are designed to help you choose the best MBA program that fits your needs.

  • Explore all concentrations in a program to be sure you find one that will suit your career-path upon graduation.
  • Consider the return on investment (ROI) with each school, based on tuition expense versus probable salary in your chosen field once you get your MBA.
  • Be sure the school you choose is properly accredited.
  • Try and locate a graduate or two from the school you are considering and ask about their experience before making your final choice. Consider attend events where alumni of various programs might be present so you can speak to them about their experiences.
  • Have a back-up plan. Make sure there is a second school for you to apply to in the event you are not accepted at your first choice or if something comes up that prevents you from attending.

MBA Degrees, Career Paths & Resources