Whether you’re wanting to start your own business or climb the corporate ladder, having an undergraduate degree in Business Administration (BA) is well worth it. A Bachelor of Arts (BABA) or Bachelor of Science (BSBA) will greatly expand your career opportunities in areas such as Marketing, supply chain management, international business, information systems, and more. Colleges and universities, recognizing the value of undergraduate business degrees, have developed online programs for working professionals or those who want to complete their degree. 

What Courses Are in an Online Business Administration Degree?

Online BSBA or BABA degrees all require similar classes. A typical program will include general education course requirements in English, history, math, social sciences, etc. You can also expect to take core business courses in such topics as Economics, Finance, communication, Accounting, Project Management and others. You can usually choose from concentration areas in areas of Healthcare Management, General Business, Marketing, Real Estate, or International Business. 

What Careers and Salary Can You Expect With This Degree?

Careers in business are nearly endless, but U.S. News and World Report names the highest paying careers for business undergraduates. Examples of some of the top careers and median salaries include: financial manager ($127,990), business operations manager ($100,930) health services manager ($99,730), financial advisor ($88,890), operations research ($83,390), and accountant ($70,500). 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates business careers will grow at a faster than average 7% between 2018-2028. Influences on career growth involve global business opportunities, national economic growth, Marketing competition, and consumer confidence is expected to drive the need for those with a bachelor’s degree in business

What Are the Best Business Administration Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Online College Plan utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following three aspects:

40% Potential Salary After Graduation: Average mid-career salary of school alumni 

30% Institutional Accreditation: Regional and National Accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year 

30% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

At Online College Plan, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals. Please feel free to visit our dedicated methodology page for a step-by-step breakdown.

  1. MERIT: 100

    Distance learning is nothing new to Penn State University. Since 1892, students have been receiving degrees without ever visiting the campus. The modern Penn State World Campus started online education in 1998 and offers over 150 online degrees and certificates. Included in the school’s online catalog is the Bachelor of Science in business. The degree requires 120 credit hours. 

    You can choose from a variety of majors including management and marketing, health services, financial services, entrepreneurship, and accounting. You should expect to take core business courses in Strategic Business Planning, Project Management, Corporate Finance, Basic Management Concepts, among others, and general education courses in the humanities, natural sciences, and the arts. 

    U.S. News and World Report names Penn State World Campus in the top ten “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.” 

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  2. MERIT: 94

    In 1997, a group of governors met to create a new education option for their states. What developed was an online, student-centered, affordable school. This is a competency-based curriculum, meaning you move at your own pace, advancing once you demonstrate an understanding of the coursework. The speed at which you go through this program is up to you. In fact, 68% of students graduate within 36 months, a year faster than with traditional programs.  

    Western Governor University provides an accredited BS in business with concentrations in health information, IT, business, human resources, accounting, marketing, or healthcare management. Core courses are similar in all specialty areas and you’ll take general education in English, humanities, science, and others as part of the curriculum. 

    Admission requires a WGU application, academic transcripts, a readiness assessment, an application for financial aid, and an interview. 

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  3. MERIT: 88

    The origins of the American Public University System are rooted in the idea of a retired Marine officer and the development of distance educational opportunities for military personnel deployed worldwide. With reorganization, the American Public University System was formed to broaden the school’s reach to a larger audience. Today, you can enroll in APUS’s online BA in business administration and choose from nine concentrations. 

    You’ll receive a solid foundation in business courses in law, finance, economics, accounting, and marketing. The degree requires 120 credit hours and the school has a generous transfer policy. First-time students need to have a high school diploma or GED for admission. Classes at APUS start each month. 

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  4. MERIT: 86

    Ranked as one of U.S. News and World Report’s “Most Innovative Schools”, Florida International University has an online BA in business administration with a concentration in management. With this program, you’ll have classes in Information Systems, Strategic Management, Applied MacroEconomics, Marketing, Applications of Quantitative Methods, and more. 

    The degree is completely online but you’ll receive individualized support from a success coach throughout your enrollment. Requiring 120 credit hours for completion, you’ll need to first complete pre-core coursework covering Macroeconomics, Statistics, and Business Calculus. 

    If you’re an incoming freshman, you’ll need to submit an application and $30 fee, SAT/ACT scores, and a high school transcript for admission. Transfer students will need a minimum of 60 transferable credit hours, submit transcripts, application, and $30 fee. 

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  5. MERIT: 83

    There’s more to the University of Florida than nearby beaches and championship Gator football. UF has an online BS or BA in business administration through it’s Warrington Business School. What’s the difference? The BS degree focuses on business subjects only, while the BA is interdisciplinary and lets you choose from eight concentrations in subjects such as sport  management, travel and tourism management, business and economic geography, mass communication, and others. 

    You’ll need 120 credit hours for graduation with foundation courses in Marketing, Statistics, Finance, International Business, Real Estate Analysis, and more. Admission runs from mid-August through November 1 and requires an application, SAT/ACT scores, and academic transcripts. Transfer students must have a 2.0 GPA, an associates degree from a Florida school or 60 transferable hours from an accredited school. 

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  6. MERIT: 82

    New Jersey’s flagship university in New Brunswick, Rutgers University is the eighth oldest college in the U.S., founded in 1766. Today, the Rutgers University-Camden campus offers an online BA in business administration degree. Requiring 120 credit hours, you’ll be receiving a world-class education 100% online and on your timeline. 

    Prerequisites are required that include such courses as Micro and Macroeconomics, Business Statistics, Business Law, and Financial Accounting. You’ll complete general education courses and core business courses (Ethics, Communications, IT and Project Management) before finishing with major and elective coursework. A minimum of 18 credit hours from an accredited institution with a 2.50 GPA is necessary for admission. 

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  7. MERIT: 81

    Founded in 1971 by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is one of the best known evangelical liberal arts schools in the country. With 17 schools and colleges, Liberty University offers over 400 online degrees and programs. One online degree is their BS in business administration with 20 wide ranging specialities in areas such as data analytics, general track, human resource management, international business, healthcare management, green and sustainable management, and more. 

    The degree requires 120 credit hours for completion and includes general education coursework for a well-rounded experience. Liberty University has frozen tuition at the 2016 rates (through August 1, 2020) and provides online textbooks at no additional cost to you. This is a military friendly school and offers discounts and benefits for qualified service members. U.S. News and World Report recognizes Liberty University as one of it’s “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.” 

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  8. MERIT: 80

    The international reputation of Temple University’s Fox School of Business adds additional prestige to this online BA in business. This program provides six majors and nine minors, including supply chain, business, or human resource management, as well as accounting, marketing and legal studies. There’s an international business administration track available with six concentrations. 

    Throughout your undergraduate degree, you’ll have access to the Center for Professional Development which focuses on your personal development, career and industry trends, and impression management. A total of 124 credit hours is needed for graduation, but an accelerated program is available and allows you to earn your degree in three years. 

    Admission requirements include a 250-word essay, SAT/ACT scores, and academic transcripts. The admission officer will also look at extracurricular activities. 

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  9. MERIT: 80

    If you’re looking for one of the country’s “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” (U.S. News and World Report) you may want to explore Colorado State University’s online BS in business management. Your degree will develop decision-making skills, understanding of legal perspectives, knowledge of technology, organizational structure, strategic planning, and more. Be prepared to take general education courses in areas like Principles of Management, Accounting, Information System Design, and others. 

    You’ll also develop a capstone project using what you’ve learned and applying that to an actual business situation. This program provides the opportunity to specialize in numerous concentrations to customize your degree to your particular goals. Admission documentation is straightforward and includes academic transcripts, application, etc. You need to be at least 23 years old to apply. 

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  10. MERIT: 79

    This school has 1,800 enrolled students, half of whom are receiving online degrees, and the proud motto “Small Campus. Big Degree.” One of those “big degrees” is their online, 120 credit hour, BS in business management. You’ll be receiving the same education as if you were taking classes on campus. 

    This program has it all, with classes covering business courses in Operations, Ethics, Strategic and Project Management, Human Resources, Organizational Behavior, Marketing, International Business, and much more. There’s an internship component which provides practical work experience in a business in your home community. You may also want to explore the school’s study abroad program. 

    ACT/SAT scores are optional for admission but you will need to provide an application, academic transcripts, and other documents. 

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  11. MERIT: 77

    Here’s a U.S. News and World Report top 5 “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.” Arizona State University’s BA in business administration requires 41 classes for 120 credit hours.

    Among the courses you’ll take are Operation and Planning, Organizational Leadership, Operations, Planning,  Macro and Microeconomics, and of course, Accounting. Supply Chain Management, Marketing, Finance, and Business Administration are offered as electives. First year students need an application, ACT/SAT scores, in the top 25% in your high school graduating class, and a 3.0 GPA. Transfer students will need to either be working on, or have completed, an associate’s degree and provide school transcripts. Among the W.P. Carey School of Business faculty is a Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economics. 

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  12. MERIT: 76

    What do late night host David Letterman and Oprah “Significant Other” Stedman Graham have in common? They’re both graduates of Ball State University and you can be, too, without ever visiting the campus. 

    Ball State Online has a nationally recognized online Bachelor in Business Administration program ideal for the working student which requires 120 credit hours for completion. You may be able to receive academic credit for your work experience through departmental exams, CLEP (College Level Examination Program), or military service credits. The degree requires core general education and business core courses. 

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  13. MERIT: 76

    Business education is nothing new to San Diego State University, having provided courses since 1922. Nearly 100 years later, the Fowler College of Business offers an online BS in business administration completion degree for working adults. The school uses a team faculty approach to teaching to assure online students receive the same quality education as on-campus students. 

    You’ll take courses in Accounting, Information Systems, Marketing, and Management in the core business studies. The program is self-paced, in 8-week blocks, and requires 49 credit hours (degree completion depends on you having a minimum of 120 credit hours total.) Each course is offered twice a year. SDSU is a “Best Colleges for Veterans”, “Best Value Schools”, and “Top Public Schools” by U.S. News and World Report. 

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  14. MERIT: 77

    A BA in business administration from the Isenberg School of Management has five majors from which to choose in: management, marketing, accounting, finance, and operations and information management. Coursework is broken into general education, Isenberg Core Courses, Non-Business electives, and courses in your selected major. 

    The university has awarded business degrees since 1947 and has been recognized as one of the best public business schools in the country. According to the university webpage, you should have at least 27 undergraduate hours from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA or better for admission. You may even qualify for one of the Isenberg School of Management scholarships.

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  15. MERIT: 77

    You can earn an online BS in business administration degree at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. This program builds a solid business foundation with courses such as Marketing, Communications, Business Ethics, Operations, and Information Systems. There are several business major courses in the areas of real estate, analytics, financial accounting, business decisions and economics.

    The University of Arizona approaches program admissions a little differently than other programs. You’ll be admitted into pre-business and take general education and foundational business courses. You’ll need at least a 2.75 GPA, and 42 credit hours of UA courses.The school recommends you stay in contact with your online academic advisor through the pre-business phase to assure you’re on track. 

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  16. MERIT: 76

    Oregon State University boasts about their programs and with good reason. U.S. News and World Report’s recognizes OSU in it’s ranking of “Best Online Bachelor’s Program” and of the “Most Innovative Schools.” The college offers both an online BS and BA in business administration to make you “profession-ready.” 

    The 180 credit hours curriculum includes 60 hours of upper division classes. You’re able to choose from seven specialities: digital marketing, general business, marketing, supply chain logistics, retail, or hospitality management. While most business programs are geared toward corporate or industry, the seventh choice at OSU is a unique concentration in family business. 

    Admission for first year students will require an application, GED diploma, SAT/ACT scores, as well as academic transcripts with at least a 3.0 GPA. Transfer students need a minimum of 24 credit hours as part of the transfer admission process. 

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  17. MERIT: 76

    You ever want to be a Cowgirl or Cowboy? You have your chance by enrolling in the online, Oklahoma State University BS in business administration. Mascots aside, this degree will prepare you in general business, management, or marketing. One highlight of the general business major includes an opportunity for 1-3 weeks of study abroad, if you qualify. 

    The Management degree offers specialties in sports, nonprofit or human resource management, and business sustainability.  Among information considered for admission are your high school GPA, community involvement, and ACT/SAT scores. Admission is assured if you ranked in the top 33.3% of your high school class and have a 3.0 GPA; or, a 3.0 GPA and 21 ACT/1060 SAT scores. 

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  18. MERIT: 76

    Roll Tide! The University of Alabama offers an online BS in commerce and business administration. UA is the first public college in Alabama, founded in 1831, and has a long tradition of education, research, and NCAA athletics (aka Crimson Tide).

    Requiring 120 credit hours, this degree through Bama by Distance, will provide you a solid base of general business practices and theories. In addition to general education in the humanities, English and math, the business curriculum includes studies in business strategy, accounting and finance, ethics, leadership, and more. You can choose elective courses in management and marketing. 

    Admission requirements to the University of Alabama are straightforward and include a minimum 2.0 GPA, academic transcripts, application, etc. Be sure to check out the scholarships offered through the College of Continuing Studies for undergraduate distance-education students. 

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  19. MERIT: 75

    This may be a good option if you want a broad, generalized degree in business. The BA in business administration, with a professional business concentration, is perfect for the working professional wanting to complete their degree or those with an associate’s degree. 

    You’ll need at least 66 transfer credits to enter this program. In order to receive the degree, you must have a cumulative 120 credit hours. Courses you’ll take include Finance, Economics, Human Resources, Information Systems, Marketing, and other similar subjects. If you earn a 3.0 GPA or better in the first semester, you may be eligible for the accelerated schedule with academic advisor approval.

    You need an associate degree for admission, but you may be considered if you complete 30 semester hours of the school’s general education along with 21 lower division business classes. The degree can be completed in three years.

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  20. MERIT: 75

    Here’s another online degree completion BS in business administration through East Carolina University that offers you five concentrations. You can pick from general business, management, management information systems, operations and supply chain management, or marketing. Core business courses highlight Finance, Accounting, Marketing Management, and others. 

    If you have an associate degree or at least 45 general education credits from an accredited school, you can be considered for admission. Are you a NC community college graduate? You’re guaranteed admission to ECU through the Pirate Promise program. You need a total of 120 credit hours for graduation. 

    U.S. News and World Report ranks ECU in it’s list of “Top Public Schools.” 

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  21. MERIT: 74

    While it would be tempting to attend school in Boca Raton and enjoy the beach, it’s not necessary. Florida Atlantic University offers an online BA in business administration completion program which ranks #1 in the Top 10 undergraduate degrees at FAU. 

    The College of Business offers four specialty areas in management, accounting, marketing, and hospitality and tourism management. (The hospitality and tourism management concentration is offered in a hybrid format and requires an internship). You’ll be admitted to FAU as a pre-business online student. 

    Graduates of Florida Atlantic University include an AT&T CEO, NASA astronaut, former President of Boeing-Japan, and Emmy and Grammy award winners. 

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  22. MERIT: 73

    The online bachelor programs from Mizzou Online are recognized by U.S. News and World Report in it’s “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.” One of those programs is the BS in business administration. With this program you’ll take classes in Finance, Micro and Macroeconomics, Management, Business Law, Marketing, along with a Strategic Management Capstone Project. 

    The degree requires 120 credit hours.  Among admission documents are ACT/SAT scores and academic transcripts for first-year students and at least 24 credit hours for transfer students. The university’s Trulaske College of Business has a remarkable 92% graduate placement rate. 

    If you have additional questions whether this is the right program for you, a Mizzou Undergraduate Ambassador (available online) is available to advise you. 

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  23. MERIT: 73

    If you’re looking for a flexible, online BA in business administration to complete your degree, you may want to consider the University of Illinois-Chicago. The UIC program requires 60 credit hours (plus 60 transfer credits from an accredited institution). This is a cohort program with specific business course sequences in Business Strategy, Operations Management, Managerial Communication, Financial Accounting, and others.

    UIC provides online access to library materials and textbooks are available online or as ebooks through vendors. Ranked #3 in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” UIC is also considered in the list of “Best Colleges for Veterans” and “Top Public Schools.” 

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  24. MERIT: 72

    Named for one of the most famous names in Arkansas and the U.S., business world, the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business is a top tier public business school. You can receive a BS in business administration online with concentrations in general business, accounting, and supply chain management. 

    This degree is designed to teach retail and supply chain management, economics, finance, accounting, and other business disciplines. UA supports its online students with innovative support by the Student Liaison Office, Online Student Orientation, and a “readiness quiz” to determine your potential for online success. 

    As a graduate, you’ll join such distinguished business alumni as the CEO of Walmart, President of Conde Nast, Founder of Dillard’s Department Store, and the owner of the Dallas Cowboys.

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  25. MERIT: 72

    This university developed their online BS in business administration with input and recommendations from industry and business leaders, as well as academic scholars. The result is a program that infuses theory with business world application. 

    Requiring 120 credit hours for completion, you’ll take business courses in Human Resource Management, Organizational Leadership, Business Law, Principles in Marketing, Strategic Management, and Business Ethics. The school accepts up to 90 transfer credits from accredited institutions. 

    UM-Global Campus was founded to meet the needs of servicemembers and working adults. Admission requirements are straightforward and include submission of an application, academic transcripts, and Federal Financial Aid Application. 

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  26. MERIT: 71

    As their website says, Northern Arizona University brings college to you, with an online BS in business administration with six areas of emphasis. You can concentrate in management, logistics and supply chain management, human resource management, global business, entrepreneurship and small business, or marketing. 

    You’ll need a total of 120 credit hours in business core courses, liberal arts studies, and your particular concentration. An internship may be required, so be certain to discuss that with your admission advisor.

    NAU has been providing online education for over 20 years and has developed specific support for the online student. You’ll have access to 24/7 technical support, library resources, online tutoring, and student mentors. 

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  27. MERIT: 70

    The twelfth largest university in Texas, Sam Houston State has the perfect degree if you’re unsure what business you want to enter after graduating. Offered online, this general business BA degree requires 120 credit hours for completion.

    Along with the university core curriculum in English, history, humanities, math, and sciences, you’ll take business foundation classes in Accounting, Finance, Business Analysis, Operations and Strategic Management. If you’re a first year student, you’ll submit an application and fee, high school transcript, and ACT/SAT test scores. Transfer students with 12 or more credit hours, can make application and submit academic transcripts.  

    Ranked in U.S. News and World Report as one of the best online bachelor programs, the university offers $1,000 scholarships for new online students. Sam Houston State University is a military friendly school. 

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  28. MERIT: 70

    Nestled in the hills of North Carolina is Appalachian State University which has been offering quality education since 1899. Now, in the 21st century, Appalachian State offers an online BS in business administration through the College of Management. 

    This program is a degree completion program and you’ll need a minimum of 70 transfer credit hours for admission from a NC community college or an AA from an out-of-state community college. Courses required for the BSBA degree include: Principles of Accounting, Legal Environment of Business, Principles of Economic MacroEconomics, and others. 

    You can enroll full-time or part-time with this program and it’s estimated you can complete the degree in two years. 

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  29. MERIT: 70

    One of your first decisions with Kennesaw State University’s online BA in business administration is choosing which concentration you want. The Coles College of Business offers specialties in information security and assurance, management, or marketing. Regardless of your major, you’ll need to complete 123 credit hours for this degree. 

    Over 76% of KSU business graduates were employed after graduation or pursuing graduate degrees. Whether you’re a freshman, transfer, or adult learner, admission will require a $40 application and academic transcripts. Transfers students can transfer up to 30 credit hours. 

    Founded in 1963, and a member of the University System of Georgia, KSU offers over 70 online, accredited degree programs. U.S. News and World Report named KSU in it’s “Most Innovative Schools” rankings. 

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  30. MERIT: 70

    As this university’s website states, “Get a degree. Stay at home” and that’s exactly how you can get a BA in applied business management degree. This private school has a different approach to course progression for a degree. 

    You’ll be required to complete certificate classes in Basic Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Social Media Marketing, and others, which is applied to the 120 credit hours required for the BA. The program also requires general education courses such as English, history, math, etc. 

    Additionally, you’ll take 30 credits in electives, an Economics course, and an internship. The end result is you’ll have developed leadership skills, understand marketing, finance, and business analysis basics.  For admission you’ll need ACT/SAT scores, academic transcripts, and most importantly, be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or a close affiliation of the church. 

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What courses will I take in business administration?

The average number of credits required for a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration will range from 120-124 credit hours. While the curriculum will differ from school to school, generally the core courses are similar. You can expect to take basic courses in Finance, Accounting, Business Ethics, Marketing, Operations Management, Organizational Leadership, Strategic Planning, Communications, and such. 

Be prepared to take general education courses before launching into your major. English, history, social sciences, fine arts, math, general science (geology, biology, etc.), will probably be part of your curriculum. 

What’s the difference between a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration?

Both degrees focus on business courses, but each has a different curriculum for electives and general education. As the name implies, a Bachelor of Arts will require non-business courses in the humanities. A Bachelor of Science will have more emphasis on math, science, and statistics. 

Either degree is acceptable for a Business Administration degree.

What careers can I pursue with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Business Administration?

Career opportunities are available in a surprising number of fields with substantial job growth potential. Employers for graduates with this degree include everything from small businesses to large corporations, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, healthcare systems or hospitals, retail stores, and more. 

You can gain skills to become a Financial Analyst, CPA, Global Economist, Marketing Director, Healthcare Administrator, Organizational Leadership, Business Consultant, etc. It will depend on your business interests and opportunities. A BABA is an excellent entry-level education for business and industry. 

Will my associate’s degree in business count toward a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration?

In general, yes. It may depend on the general education and business courses you’ve taken. Most schools will transfer credits from a community college and apply them to your bachelor’s degree. You should check with the admissions office of the school you’re interested in attending to find out what credits will transfer. 

I have an interest in marketing for businesses. Will this degree help me do that?

Marketing is typically included in the core coursework for a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Frequently, programs offer major concentrations in areas such as Marketing, chain supply management, and other business-related subjects. 

Do I need a Bachelor’s degree to find a job in business?

Depending on what your career goals are, you may not need an undergraduate degree. However, having a BABA will make you a more attractive hire to employers and can increase your salary potential 17% or more. 

What is accreditation and is it necessary for a Bachelor’s degree in business?

Accreditation, simply put, means an educational program which has been reviewed by program-specific experts and found to meet particular standards. Colleges and universities should hold regional accreditation such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission for Higher Education (MSCHE), etc. 

Additionally, business colleges and schools will hold program-specific accreditation. These are the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). 

As an online student, am I eligible for financial aid?

Yes, if you’ve submitted the  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet the requirements. Schools will often offer special scholarships for distance education students or students in a particular department, but the FAFSA application is generally always needed. Business schools and colleges have generous alumni who fund scholarship programs for business students. One school has a particularly generous group of donors who contributed more than $400,000 for business students. 

I’ve been working in business for several years. Will my experience count?

It’s not unheard of for business programs to take life and work experience into consideration, especially if you’re an adult learner who’s been out of school for a while. Schools may request you take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam to gauge your knowledge on specific subjects. If you have military training, you can sometimes receive credit for that. 

If I have A GED, can I apply for admission to a BABA or BSBA program?

Absolutely. You’ll need to provide the school with documents demonstrating your successful completion of a GED program.