Deciding to pursue an MBA degree is an important step in advancing your business career. As you consider applying to business schools, one question you might have is how many options are out there. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the total number of business schools across the country and discuss the different types you’ll encounter.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: there are over 800 business schools in the United States that offer various MBA programs.

The Total Number of Business Schools

When it comes to business education, the United States offers a wide range of options. The number of business schools in the country is quite extensive, catering to the diverse educational needs of aspiring business professionals.

These institutions provide a solid foundation in business principles, offering programs such as Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and specialized business degrees.

Over 800 Nationwide

Currently, there are over 800 business schools spread across the United States. This number includes both public and private institutions, each with its own unique offerings and areas of expertise. The abundance of options allows students to find a business school that aligns with their interests and career goals.

Whether it’s a prestigious Ivy League institution or a smaller, regional college, there is something for everyone.

One of the most popular business schools in the United States is the Harvard Business School, known for its rigorous academic programs and notable alumni. Other renowned institutions include Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Chicago Booth School of Business.

Distribution by State

The distribution of business schools across the United States is not uniform, with some states having a higher concentration of institutions compared to others. The states with the highest number of business schools include California, Texas, and New York.

These states are known for their vibrant business ecosystems and economic opportunities, attracting students from all over the country.

In California, for example, there are several prestigious business schools such as the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Texas is home to the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, while New York boasts institutions like Columbia Business School and the Stern School of Business at New York University.

However, it’s important to note that business schools can be found in every state, providing students with local options and opportunities to pursue their business education closer to home. This allows students to take advantage of regional networks and resources, which can be beneficial for future career prospects.

For more information on business schools in the United States, you can visit the official website of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) at This organization is a globally recognized accrediting body for business schools and provides valuable insights into the various institutions and programs available.

Types of Business Schools

When it comes to pursuing a business education in the United States, there are several types of business schools to choose from. These schools offer a variety of programs and educational approaches to suit different needs and preferences.

Let’s explore the three main types of business schools in the U.S.: public schools, private schools, and for-profit schools.

Public Schools

Public business schools are funded and operated by the state or local government. These schools typically offer lower tuition rates for in-state students and higher rates for out-of-state students. Public business schools often have a larger student population and can offer a wide range of programs and resources.

Some of the most prestigious public business schools in the U.S. include the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Private Schools

Private business schools are independent institutions that are funded by tuition fees, donations, and endowments. These schools often have a smaller student population, which can lead to more personalized attention and smaller class sizes.

Private business schools are known for their rigorous academic programs and strong alumni networks. Some well-known private business schools in the U.S. include Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

For-Profit Schools

For-profit business schools are operated by private companies and are focused on generating profit. These schools often offer flexible scheduling options and online programs to cater to working professionals.

While for-profit schools can provide valuable education and training, it’s important to research their accreditation and reputation before enrolling. Some popular for-profit business schools in the U.S. include the University of Phoenix and DeVry University.

It’s worth mentioning that the quality of education and reputation can vary across different business schools within each category. It’s important for aspiring business students to thoroughly research and consider factors such as faculty expertise, alumni success, program curriculum, and industry connections when selecting a business school.

Top-Ranked Programs

Ivy League Schools

When it comes to business education, Ivy League schools are synonymous with excellence. These prestigious institutions consistently rank among the top business schools in the United States. Harvard Business School, for example, is widely regarded as one of the best business schools in the world.

Its rigorous curriculum and renowned faculty attract aspiring business leaders from around the globe. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is another Ivy League institution that is highly regarded for its business programs.

The school offers a comprehensive range of business degrees and is known for its emphasis on experiential learning.

Other Ivy League schools such as Yale School of Management, Columbia Business School, and Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business also have strong business programs that consistently rank among the best in the country.

These schools provide students with a solid foundation in business fundamentals and offer a wide range of specialization options to suit their individual career goals.

Other Highly Selective Programs

While Ivy League schools are often considered the cream of the crop, there are also many other highly selective programs across the United States that offer top-notch business education. Stanford Graduate School of Business, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, is renowned for its innovative and entrepreneurial approach to business education.

The school’s emphasis on collaboration and interdisciplinary learning prepares students to thrive in today’s fast-paced business world.

MIT Sloan School of Management is another highly regarded program that focuses on combining cutting-edge research with practical application. The school’s strong ties to the technology and innovation sectors make it a popular choice for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Additionally, programs such as the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley consistently rank among the top business schools in the United States.

These schools offer rigorous academic programs, renowned faculty, and a strong network of alumni that can help students excel in their careers.

For more information on top-ranked business schools in the United States, you can visit US News or Financial Times for their annual rankings and comprehensive profiles of various business programs.


Regional vs. National Accreditation

When evaluating business schools in the United States, it’s important to consider their accreditation. Schools can be accredited by regional or national accrediting agencies, which indicates that they meet certain standards of quality.

Regional accreditation is considered more prestigious and important for business schools. The six regional accreditors review entire colleges and universities within their geographic areas. Regionally accredited schools are more widely recognized by graduate schools and employers.

National accreditation, on the other hand, usually applies to specific programs within a school. Nationally accredited schools may have a narrower focus and cater to working adults and vocational programs. Credits from nationally accredited schools are less likely to transfer to other institutions.

When looking at business schools, regional accreditation is viewed as the gold standard.

AACSB Accreditation

The most prestigious accreditation for business schools to have is from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This organization has very strict standards for the quality of business school curriculum, faculty, resources, and other factors.

Only about 5% of business schools worldwide meet the requirements for AACSB accreditation.

Some of the top U.S. business schools with AACSB accreditation include Harvard Business School, The Wharton School at UPenn, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, and MIT Sloan.

Having an MBA from an AACSB-accredited program is considered the “gold standard” by employers. So when evaluating business schools, AACSB accreditation signifies a high-quality education.

Online MBA Programs

Availability of Online Options

With the rise of technology and the increasing demand for flexible education, online MBA programs have become a popular choice for many aspiring business professionals. These programs offer the convenience of studying from anywhere at any time, allowing working professionals to balance their career and education.

The availability of online MBA programs has significantly grown in recent years, with many prestigious universities and business schools offering online options alongside their traditional on-campus programs.

Today, there are numerous online MBA programs available in the United States, catering to a wide range of interests and specializations. Whether you’re interested in finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, or any other field, you can find an online MBA program that suits your needs.

Many of these programs also offer flexible scheduling options, allowing students to complete their coursework at their own pace.

Are Online MBAs Respected?

One common concern among prospective students is whether online MBA programs are respected by employers and industry professionals. The answer is a resounding yes. Over the years, online education has gained credibility and respect as technology has improved and more reputable institutions have started offering online programs.

Employers now recognize the value of online MBA programs, as they provide students with the same rigorous curriculum and quality education as their on-campus counterparts. Online MBA graduates have gone on to secure high-level positions in various industries, proving that these programs are indeed respected in the business world.

It’s important to note that not all online MBA programs are created equal. It’s crucial to research and choose a program from a reputable and accredited institution. Accreditation ensures that the program meets certain quality standards and that the degree holds value in the job market.

For a list of accredited online MBA programs in the United States, you can visit the U.S. News & World Report website, which provides rankings and detailed information about various programs.

Ultimately, the reputation of an online MBA program depends on the institution offering it and the effort the student puts into their studies. With the right program and dedication, an online MBA can be a respected and valuable qualification that opens doors to exciting career opportunities.


With over 800 options to choose from, there are plenty of business schools across America that offer MBA programs. While the highest-ranked schools tend to get the most attention, you can find accredited programs at public universities, private colleges, and online.

Focus your search on schools that align with your career goals, geographic preferences, and budget.

By understanding the breadth of options out there as well as the different categories of business schools, you can make an informed choice about where to apply for your MBA education.

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