A Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) opens up career opportunities for management and leadership roles in a wide range of fields like marketing, finance, and consulting. Plus, a graduate degree in business teaches you valuable skills like management, strategic thinking, complex problem-solving skills, presentation skills, and more.
There are tons of benefits to getting your MBA, including:
- An MBA grad can earn up to $164,000 a year, according to U.S. News.
- Employment rates for recent MBA grads are the highest it’s been in 5 years.
- Rising demand for MBA grads in consulting, financial services, and technology sectors.
Unfortunately, traditional MBAs come with a hefty price tag. Tuition for an MBA from a top-ranking school can cost as much as $200,000. Average prices for MBA programs at all schools – not just the Ivy League – fall between $55,000 and $68,000 per year, according to Newsweek. That’s not including indirect costs like textbooks, room and board, and course fees. For many students, a price tag that high simply isn’t feasible, regardless of how committed they are to advance their education and careers.
Fortunately, the landscape of higher education is changing drastically thanks to emerging forms of technology. Colleges and universities can now harness the power of the internet to post their content and share it with eager business learners across the globe. Plus, without the expense of seating students in a brick-and-mortar classroom, overhead costs for the college are much lower. Although relatively new, free MBA programs are quickly gaining popularity. For up-and-coming business leaders, there’s never been a better time to enroll in low-cost or free programs.
Earn a Free Online MBA
If you’re looking to earn the skills and knowledge afforded by an MBA but don’t need the diploma or price tag, a no-cost MBA is an excellent option. Online programs are designed with flexibility in mind, meaning you don’t have to wedge a commute into your busy schedule or even connect to a virtual classroom at a specific time each week. Instead, you’ll have the flexibility to complete your coursework on your own time, whenever it’s convenient for you. And with free tuition, the price is right!
Popular Free MBA Programs
The Smartly MBA program was built by Pedago, a tech-company who experienced early success with building interactive language learning apps. In fact, Pedago’s app was so successful and popular that they decided to expand the types of programs they offered, including an MBA option.
Instead of relying on old-fashioned lectures and powerpoints, Smartly’s platform is highly engaging and requires students to interact with the system every 8.7 seconds on average. While that may sound intense, Smartly naturally incorporates learning through easy-to-access, bite-sized lessons. The MBA curriculum is made up of 600 lessons on 9 business subjects, adding up to a full MBA education.
Smartly’s online MBA is 100% free. The program’s funding comes from business sponsors hoping to hire Smartly’s freshly-minted grads. In fact, recruitment and job placement is a major priority for Smartly, which is great news for its future business school alumni.
Admissions Criteria and Decision
Smartly’s MBA program isn’t an open-admissions format like the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered by platforms like Coursera and EdX. Instead, you must apply to the program like you would a traditional master’s program. Luckily, the admissions process isn’t nearly as intense as traditional graduate school. Most importantly, you don’t need to take a standardized test like the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and Graduate Management Admissions Exam (GMAT). They’re totally optional!
Here’s what’s required in your application:
- Undergraduate/bachelor’s degree
- Minimum 2 years of industry experience
- English language proficiency
The Smartly admissions team evaluates each candidate holistically based on their educational background, career achievements, and the “thoughtfulness and candor” of their application. In other words, Smartly is looking to gauge your business leadership potential and your drive to succeed in the business world!
Smartly’s free online MBA program has one primary goal: develop your core business skills to maximize your professional success. This is a huge advantage for career-minded individuals looking for a practical application for their education, as opposed to more academic or scholarly pursuits. The curriculum is designed to teach you key business skills like leadership, making data-driven decisions, and developing business strategies.
When you look over the curriculum, you’ll notice that the structure is designed to be flexible and condensed enough to fit nicely into your work schedule. In other words, the Smartly MBA isn’t designed with only full-time students in mind; instead, it’s geared towards working professionals. In fact, the entire program can be completed in just 10-months.
All of your coursework is completed online using cutting-edge interactive technology paired with collaborative group study sessions with your peers. Students are from across the globe, so you’ll have the opportunity to learn about international business practices and perspectives. Smartly’s no-cost online MBA program strikes a perfect balance – it’s structured enough to be effective as a course of study, but also flexible enough to fit into your busy work schedule.
The Smartly MBA is organized into nine concentrations, each one focusing on a core area of business like accounting, finance, and leadership. To complete the Smartly MBA, you’ll need to complete the coursework for each concentration during the 10-month course of study. Similar to traditional college classes, the coursework will include midterms and a final exam.
Here’s what you’ll study as part of your free MBA:
- Accounting – six courses
- Data & Decisions – eight courses
- Strategy & Innovation – six courses
- Finance – seven courses
- Marketing and Pricing – eight courses
- Markets & Economies – six courses
- Supply Chain & Operations – five courses
- Entrepreneurship – four courses
- Leading Organizations- seven courses
University of the People
University of the People (UoPeople) was founded with the mission of revolutionizing education. The school’s leaders and instructors are committed to the idea that education is a tool of social mobility, but shouldn’t be limited to students who have the financial means to afford it. Instead, education should be free, flexible, and on-demand.
The free MBA program is 100% online, so you have the flexibility to complete coursework from your apartment, office, or halfway across the world while on a business trip. UoPeople’s grads have gone on to lead successful careers in business, industry, government and nonprofit management.
Keep in mind – UoPeople’s MBA is tuition-free, but there are still a few associated costs. A one-time application fee and exam fees do cost money, but the courses themselves are totally free of cost.
One Year MBA Program in Management
UoPeople unites teachers from top universities with an international student body to create a one-of-a-kind learning experience. The MBA program uses cutting-edge technology to teach up-and-coming business leaders the skills, knowledge, and attitudes they need to succeed in the industry. All coursework is completed in a 100% online format, so you can tune in wherever you are in the world.
Designed with working professionals in mind, you have the flexibility to choose between full-time and part-time studies to suit your busy schedule. Your degree completion schedule is flexible, but most students finish in six terms, which comes out to fifteen months of full-time coursework. A full course load at UoPeople is three classes each term and each class is nine weeks long.
Admissions Criteria and Decision
UoPeople’s application requirements are almost identical to Smartly’s MBA requirements. To apply, you’ll need to provide the following:
Undergraduate degree completion
- English proficiency
- Letter of recommendation
- Resume showing two years of work experience
University of the People takes a “building block” approach to learning, meaning that instead of jumping in and taking classes, you’ll complete each class in a particular order. Certain courses are considered “prerequisites” for later courses in the program.
The UoPeople MBA curriculum is designed to fulfill three core “areas” of study intrinsic to a well-rounded liberal arts education:
- General education
- The major
When combined, the coursework will teach you both the foundational business skills you need to thrive in a corporate environment in addition to different specializations within the electives.
To complete the program, you’ll take eight courses at 3-credit hours apiece.
- Managerial Accounting
- Financial Management
- Marketing Management
- Organizational Theory and Behavior
- Management of Information Systems and Technology
- Business Law, Ethics and Social Responsibility
- Operations Management
- Strategic Decision Making and Management
New York University of Business and Technology
The New York University of Business and Technology (NYUBT) is one of the top no-cost MBA programs in the country. Their tuition-free program is offered in a flexible, 100% online format so you can balance it with your career.
The goal of the program is to teach you the advanced business skills that companies and recruiters are seeking in today’s business leaders. You’ll take classes in a variety of business areas, including marketing, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Upon completion, you’ll have the well-rounded skill set and sharp business mindset to succeed in the fast-paced world of business.
Admissions Criteria and Decision
The MBA application process is simple and straightforward. First, fill out the online application here. You’ll need a few pieces of information, including:
- Desired program
- Personal info (name, country, etc.)
- Contact info
- Educational History
Once your application is submitted, you’ll have to send a scanned copy of your undergraduate diploma to the admissions office at email@example.com. And that’s it! According to the admissions website, a representative from the school will contact you within a few weeks to let you know their decision.
The New York University of Business and Technology’s MBA program is designed to help you learn the most in-demand business skills, according to The Bloomberg Job Skills Report 2016: What Recruiters Want. These skills include business analytics, strategic thinking and versatility, strong communication skills, extensive marketing knowledge, and more.
To earn a free MBA, you must complete the following courses:
- Financial Management
- People and Organizations
- Strategic Management
- Managerial Accounting
- Human Resources Management
- Negotiations and Conflict Management
- Business Law and Ethics
What Can You Do With an Online MBA?
Free online MBA programs have many advantages over traditional graduate programs. The flexibility to complete the degree online and at the student’s convenience are both huge wins for working professionals. Free classes also mean you need not worry about going into debt to advance your career. Graduating from a free MBA unlocks the same career paths as traditional brick-and-mortar degree programs, including management, marketing, entrepreneurship, human resources, and more.
So, what are you waiting for? Advance your personal and professional goals today with a free MBA program.