The Top 20 MBA Programs in Illinois

MBA Programs in Illinois - featured image

Illinois is a Midwestern State where Chicago, the region’s cultural capital, is located. Because of how famous the region’s cultural capital is, the state was considered a microcosm of the US in terms of business opportunities and economic diversity. 

In 2021, the GDP of Illinois ranked 5th in the largest state economy in the nation. The state’s GDP reached $897.12 billion, which accounted for 4.08% of the total US GDP. High-tech manufacturing and agriculture contributed a lot to this GDP. 

The state’s manufacturing is ranked among the top in the country. One of its pride in manufacturing is the Boeing Company, the largest aerospace corporation in the world. The state is also one of the top manufacturers of food items, fabricated metals, rubber goods, chemicals, and computer and electronic goods.

Aside from manufacturing, Illinois is also prominent in agriculture. According to the IFB, the state is big on livestock and crops, contributing $51.1 billion in value to the economy. Additionally, the agriculture sector of Illinois accounts for 4% of all agricultural sales in the United States.

The two primary job sectors in Chicago are business and services. The Chicago metropolitan area is the headquarters of several of the biggest firms in the country, including McDonald’s, Motorola, Walgreens, Boeing, and United Airlines.

Top 20 MBA Programs in Illinois

Booth School of BusinessUniversity of Chicago

Booth School of Business - University of Chicago

Supporters successfully obtained money for a new location two years after the first University of Chicago campus in Bronzeville was shut down. In 1890, the new campus first welcomed over 1,000 students. Today, UC has over 35,000 students.

The University of Chicago has 16 colleges, classified as one of the top schools for research activities at a doctorate level. Among the 16 colleges is the Booth School of Business, the second-oldest business school in the country, with more Nobel laureates in economic sciences than any other business school in the world. Of all business schools, this one has the third-largest endowment.

The UC Booth School of Business offers an MBA degree with these study options:

Booth School of Business is ACBSP-accredited. 

The MBA program at Chicago Booth focuses on developing your knowledge in accounting, economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics. And not only will you gain the business expertise required to excel in your profession, but you’ll also have access to Booth’s 54,000-strong and still-expanding robust, global network.

Northern Illinois University College of Business

Northern Illinois University College of Business

Northern Illinois University was initially located in a WWII barracks where they only had three faculty members and 11 courses for 43 students. Today, Northern Illinois University delivers world-class education to 25,000 students.

NIU comprises seven degree-granting colleges, one being the College of Business’s MBA degree. Students will have several opportunities to create vast networks, thanks to the school’s efforts in linking students to on and off-campus activities.

The Northern Illinois University College of Business offers these MBA program formats:

Northern Illinois University College of Business is AACSB-accredited.  

NIU helps students create instant networks through the school’s cohort relationships. Additionally, MBA students who want to explore business diversity can participate in an international residency immersion and explore the diversity of international business.

The online MBA program gives students the same benefits their counterparts receive, such as high-quality education and personalized concierge and career services. 

Kellstadt Graduate School of BusinessDePaul University

Kellstadt Graduate School of Business - DePaul University

DePaul University is a private research university established in 1989 and later became one of the world’s most prominent private institutions in 1998. DePaul has over 30,000 students, 8,000 of whom are graduate students.

DePaul has two campus locations and ten schools operating on a quarter system. The university’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business is located in Chicago, IL. The campus is surrounded by different establishments that help business students explore actual business problems. 

The Kellstadt Graduate School of Business offers a full-time, evening, and online MBA program. This business school offers the most concentration options for an MBA degree. 

Kellstadt Graduate School of Business is  AACSB-accredited.  

This MBA degree helps students experience a transformative learning experience that will help them gain the leadership abilities they need to resolve business issues through a real-world application. Faculties will help you expand your network to find employment upon graduation. 

Gies College of BusinessUniversity of Illinois URBANA CHAMPAGNE

Gies College of Business

University of Illinois URBANA CHAMPAIGN

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was established in 1867 as a flagship institution of the University of Illinois system. The school started with only two faculty members and 77 students. Today, UIUC has over 60,000 students. 

UIUC has plenty of businesses nearby, giving business students an advantage when earning their MBA degrees. UIUC houses one of the best business schools in the state, the Gies College of Business.

UIUC’s Gies College of Business offers one of the best online MBA programs. The iMBA program is a rigorous and competitive program in which working students complete a graduate degree without altering their current life. iMBA specializations include:

  • Strategic Leadership and Management
  • Managerial Economics and Business Analysis
  • Value Chain Management
  • Financial Management
  • Global Challenges in Business Innovation

The online MBA program is AACSB-accredited.  

While courses are online, students work closely with tenured professors and faculty with expertise in particular fields from organizations like Google. Students are able to connect with peers and professionals daily and create vast networks from the comfort of their homes. 

Quinlan School of BusinessLoyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business - Loyola University Chicago

For over 150 years, Loyola University Chicago has made its way to the top. LUC has over 17,000 students, most active in the local community. Students volunteer to investigate nearby “food deserts” and participate in the student-run farmers’ market to increase access to healthy food.

Loyola University Chicago has thirteen schools, including the Quinlan School of Business. LUC campus is one of the most disability-friendly campuses in Chicago. Additionally, the school provides a non-stop effort in connecting their students to the community to help them create networks in their fields.

The Quinlan School of Business offers these MBA programs:

The Quinlan School of Business is AACSB-accredited. 

The Baumhart Scholars MBA program is the most selective on the list. Since this is a scholarship program for working professionals seeking an MBA degree, applicants are expected to have years of experience in business management. This MBA is also one of the most preferred for students who require multiple financial aid.

Graham School of ManagementSaint Xavier University

Graham School of Management - Saint Xavier University

Saint Xavier University is Chicago’s oldest institution and one of the first higher learning institutions, founded in 1846 and chartered in 1847. SXU has over 4,000 students from certificate to graduate education. 

Saint Xavier University consists of three schools, including the Graham School of Management, that cultivate corporate contacts and keep in touch with former students who mentor their current students.

The Graham School of Management offers MBA programs with four concentrations:

Graham School of Management is AACSB-accredited.

SXU allows students to explore business concepts through hands-on internship and mentorship opportunities. Students will receive professional guidance from faculty, alums, and business leaders and create a vast network to succeed. The program includes an integrated curriculum offering practical application and foundation theory.

Walter E. Heller College of Business AdministrationRoosevelt University

Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration - Roosevelt University

For over 75 years, Roosevelt University has maintained its name as one of the best schools for diversity, inclusion, and equity. The university’s learning experiences outside of the classroom have strengthened our commitment to our democratic ideals. Today, RU has over 5,000 students from different countries.

Roosevelt University comprises five colleges with 120 majors and minors at undergraduate and graduate levels. Located within the heart of Chicago, RU students have abundant networking opportunities. One of its most famous colleges is the Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration.

The Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration offers a Master of Business Administration program that prepares students for executive and managerial roles in the public and private sectors. The degree provides a broad foundation in business administration while also allowing for specialization in one or more relevant business fields, such as:

  • Accounting
  • Accounting Forensics
  • Finance
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Training and Development

The Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration is ACBSP-accredited.

Working students are allowed to take online classes and fully customize their degrees. Admission officers will guide students in selecting their concentration and scheduling classes. Thanks to the school’s connections, you’ll quickly connect with the fortune 500 companies nearby. 

Foster College of Business AdministrationBradley University

Foster College of Business Administration - Bradley University

Bradley University has the most successful speech team in the US, holding a winning streak from 1980 to 2000 in the American Forensics Association Championships, and was only broken in 1994 and 1995.

Bradley University, which was founded in 1897, has 5,400 students enrolled at present who are pursuing degrees in five colleges through more than 100 undergraduate programs and more than 30 graduate programs.

As a pioneering university focusing on entrepreneurship, BU is consistently ranked as one of the country’s top business schools. BU has six schools and colleges, one being the Foster College of Business Administration. The university campus provides many learning opportunities for business students that extend to international and local businesses. 

The Foster College of Business Administration offers a Full-Time MBA program with two specializations: 

The Foster College of Business Administration is AACSB-accredited.  

The MBA offers a thorough, practical, high-quality education with a well-rounded curriculum covering every facet of the business.

In addition to specializations, the MBA program provides multiple international experiences, such as Study Abroad, Classes with an International Focus, and Engaging with Seattle’s Global Community. 

Lumpkin College of Business and Applied SciencesEastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University, established in 1895, is one of the best schools for students with Autism in Illinois. The STEP program at EIU gives its students opportunities and support through peer mentoring and social skills groups. EIU has over 9,000 students.

Eastern Illinois University has four colleges, including the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences. EIU provides many student activities to help them create networks and connections within the school campus.

Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences offers these MBA options:

The Lumpkin College of Business & Applied Sciences earned its accreditation from AACSB.

Students who don’t see themselves in an on-campus MBA program can enroll in the Online MBA program. Online MBA students will get the same quality of education as their counterparts. 

The EIU MBA program respects that goal and tradition through its specific format, which places two courses meant to promote and develop a broad, comprehensive thinking style between courses in the main business disciplines.

Accounting, consulting, finance, business analytics, operations management, marketing, human resource management, sales, and information technology are among the professions that MBA graduates remain in or enter.

American InterContinental University School of Business

American InterContinental University

American InterContinental University, is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois. Perdoceo Education Corporation owns this university that is a member of the American InterContinental University System. AIU has over 16,000 students.

Both the on-campus and online learning environments of American InterContinental University are active settings for education and free discussion of ideas. However, there is something unique about campus life in Illinois. There might be a wealth of business and educational opportunities, and students can access social places outside of class hours.

AIU’s School of Business offers one of the best online programs for MBA. Students choose one of these MBA degrees:

The School of Business at AIU is ACBSP-accredited. 

AIU allows students to access intellipath, a personalized learning platform that helps boost student achievement. This platform enables students to bypass what they already know and get support where they need it the most. This will help you earn your online MBA degree in one year or less. Additionally, you can repeat exams to raise your overall grade. 

Stuart School of BusinessIllinois Institute of Technology

Stuart School of Business - Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology has been one of the leading schools for information technology since 1971 and has contributed a lot to the STEM industry. IIT has over 7,000 students seeking degrees from undergraduate to graduate levels.

IIT has seven colleges that allow students to learn updated frontiers in business, engineering, architecture, law, design, computing, science, and human sciences. IIT’s Stuart School of Business is one of Illinois’s most prominent business schools, producing world-class MBA graduates. 

The Stuart School of Business offers these MBA tracks:

The Stuart School of Business is AACSB-accredited.  

The IIT MBA program provides the essential management concepts and electives that let you personalize your degree. MBA courses and tasks combine theory with experience through case studies and group projects with firms. 

Students in the MBA track can choose from elective courses such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT). Plus, you can earn globally recognized IBM digital badges. Additionally, you can acquire worldwide renowned IBM digital badges.

Liautaud Graduate School of BusinessUniversity of Illinois at Chicago

Graduate School of Business - University of Illinois at Chicago

Several private health colleges established in Chicago during the 19th century are where the University of Illinois at Chicago started. UIC has evolved over the past three decades to become one of the top research universities in the country. UIC now has over 34,000 students.

The University of Illinois at Chicago has 16 schools devoted to research and teaching, one of which is the Liautaud Graduate School of Business, which helps business students shape their future business careers.

In addition to providing students with a proven education, practical skills, and professional experiences that result in a high ROI, the school’s programs also connect students to Chicago’s living classroom.

The MBA program at Liautaud Graduate School of Business can be completed in several ways, including an entirely online option or an accelerated campus cohort.

Liautaud Graduate School of Business is AACSB-accredited. 

MBA graduates will be equipped to assume management, business ownership, administrative operations, and consulting jobs. You can enhance your professional expertise by taking electives in business analytics, finance, management, and marketing.

Kellogg School of ManagementNorthwestern University 

Kellogg School of Management - Northwestern University

Northwestern University was established in 1851. NU has hosted 19 Nobel Prize winners, 2 Supreme Court Justices, 38 Pulitzer Prize winners, and a long list of students who would become some of the most significant business people in the nation.

NU has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, including the Kellogg School of Management. The Kellogg School of Management is a prominent business school in the nation, helping students become successful in their careers through mentorship from influential business professionals. The school offers the best joint degree program in law and business.

The Kellogg School of Management offers these MBA degrees formats:

The Kellogg School of Management is AACSB-accredited.

Each MBA program offers broad alternatives for reaching your personal, professional, and educational goals. Whatever option you select, you’ll grow as a person and discover how to spur expansion in any firm.

You will graduate from any full-time MBA program with a versatile skill set that will enable you to lead with assurance in the face of significant possibilities and unanticipated problems.

SIU Carbondale Graduate SchoolSouthern Illinois University Carbondale

SIU Carbondale Graduate School

SIU Carbondale is the main campus of the Southern Illinois University System. It was established in 1869 as the second teachers’ college in the state, with a class size of 143 students and twelve academic departments. Today, SIU Carbondale has over 17,000 students. 

SIU Carbondale has four schools offering 120 Baccalaureate, 80 Master’s, and 40 Doctoral degree programs, including the MBA at the Graduate School.

The university encourages students to participate in on-campus activities to practice their social skills in preparation for their business careers. And because of the vast number of business professionals in the school, business students will have abundant networking opportunities. 

The Graduate School at SIU Carbondale offers an online Master of Business Administration that allows students to choose between a General Track with no specialization and an Analytics for Managers concentration.  

The Graduate School at SIU Carbondale is AACSB-accredited.

The MBA program at SIU is one of the most affordable programs on the list. On top of being inexpensive, the school also allows students to receive financial aid, such as assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. This may include a whole or partial tuition fee waiver.

Most financial help is offered for one semester or academic year only.

Brennan School of BusinessDominican University

Brennan School of Business - Dominican University

Did you know that The Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Dominican University are connected? Famously, Sister Gregory Duffy encouraged the authors to give the main character, Maria, a Catholic nun upbringing.

Dominican University has over 5,000 students studying in a close-knit, welcoming, and encouraging community. Students have a lot of networking opportunities through weekly school activities. Business students at the Brennan School of Business are encouraged to participate in the community and study business concepts through hands-on experiential learning. 

Brennan School of Business offers a strong Master of Business Administration degree. While electives are not required, students who want to focus can choose one: Accounting, Data Analytics, Finance, Leadership, Health care administration, International business administration, or Marketing.

Additionally, students can also choose to enroll in a more customized MBA curriculum and earn a double degree:

Brennan School of Business is AACSB-accredited.

A Business Gateway Practicum will be one of your first courses at Dominican. This coursework allows you to work with your classmates and resolve a business issue for a business client. You’ll learn about bargaining strategies as well. Students will be familiarized with Dominican’s MBA program’s practical, relevant learning style of strategic management.

Dunham School of BusinessAurora University

Aurora University

In 1893, Mendota Seminary in Mendota, Illinois, became Aurora University. The school’s priorities were education and training with a Christian Adventist foundation. AU now has approximately 7,000 students enrolled.

AU consists of 3 schools, including the Dunham School of Business. The leadership of Aurora University monitors the institution’s strategic vision, ensuring that the institution’s objective of being an inclusive community committed to the transformational potential of education permeates.

The Dunham School of Business offers a Master of Business Administration that allows students to choose one of four tracks: 

Dunham School of Business is AACSB-accredited.

Non-traditional students can enroll in AU’s Online MBA program. The online MBA program emphasizes important business themes, such as leadership, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, and accounting.

College of BusinessLewis University

College of Business - Lewis University

Lewis University, established in 1932, is a dynamic co-educational school with more than 100 majors and programs of study. Today, LU has over 7,000 students. 

Lewis University has six schools and colleges that offer one of the most affordable majors, including the College Business’s MBA degree. Through annual business seminars, the school helps students create vast networks with businesses inside and outside the state.

The Lewis University College of Business offers an advanced MBA program dedicated to modern methods and established norms of excellence. Students can choose two of six micro-credentials:

  • Business Analytics
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Digital Marketing

Lewis University College of Business is ACBSP-accredited.

Most MBA students are employed in administrative, managerial, technical, or professional capacities in the Chicago metropolitan region. Graduate students from numerous governmental and non-profit organizations, Fortune 500 firms, and other organizations are among them.

McKendree School of BusinessMcKendree University

McKendree University

McKendree University is the oldest private university in Illinois, established in 1828 as the Lebanon Seminary. The university began with 72 students and now has over 3,000 students.

McKendree University has four colleges and schools, including the School of Business. McKendree is one of the most active campus life with several business ties that help its graduates find employment. 

McKendree University School of Business offers an MBA degree with these concentrations:

McKendree University is IACBE-accredited. 

Students will study and implement motivating leadership, effective communication, and strategic decision-making tools under the rigorous and individualized teaching of academics with industry knowledge as CEOs, managers, and business owners.

Chicago College of BusinessConcordia University Chicago

Concordia University Chicago

Concordia University Chicago, established in 1864, is a member of the Concordia University System. Concordia-Chicago now enrolls more than 5,000 students and grants more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Concordia University Chicago has four colleges, including the Chicago College of Business. The schools help train ethical leaders for the global marketplace by providing a curriculum created and taught by business leaders and educators.

Chicago College of Business offers an MBA program with several concentrations:

Chicago College of Business ACBSP-accredited. 

Students from 37 states and 26 countries are enrolled in the cutting-edge, online “global classrooms” at Concordia University Chicago. 

College of Business and TechnologyWestern Illinois University

College of Business and Technology - Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University was founded in 1899, providing education to a few hundred students. Today, WIU has over 8,000 students. 

WIU has four academic colleges, including the College of Business and Technology. Through the school’s high-quality education efforts, students are prepared for professional employment and lifelong study in a globalized environment.

The College of Business and Technology offers a Master of Business Administration that allows students to choose between three formats: Online, On-campus, and Hybrid Learning. Concentrations include:

  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  •  Information Systems

College of Business and Technology is AACSB-accredited.

WIU is among the most in-demand schools due to its low tuition fees, flexible scheduling options, student support services, and academically demanding requirements.

MBA Programs in Illinois - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is accreditation important?

Before enrolling in an online MBA program, you must ensure that the school holds accreditation from prestigious accrediting councils, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Accreditations ensure high-quality education and that your degree is valued in finding employment.

Should you consider online MBA programs in Illinois?

Since it increases your professional value and helps you develop stronger business skills, an online MBA can be just as beneficial as a conventional one. Most of Illinois’s online MBA programs even offer a curriculum that is the same or extremely close to that of the state’s traditional business schools.

How much do MBA programs in Illinois cost?

While the total cost of an MBA program in Illinois depends on several factors, such as residency status and program format, the average cost is $500 per credit hour.

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