The Top 5 MBA Programs in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is called the “Ocean State” and only has a population of 1 million. While it’s the smallest state, geographically speaking, it has one of the largest population densities. Despite its small size, Rhode Island boasts a rich history and a vibrant culture—but not so much in terms of economic size. 

Compared to other states, Rhode Island’s GDP is comparatively low, which presents several issues, including low to no job growth. The state’s economy has had difficulty keeping up with those of its New England neighbors. In an effort to create a business-friendly atmosphere, initiatives have been undertaken to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Despite its limited employment growth, many still flock to the Ocean State for its unique lifestyle, cultural attractions, and coastal charm.  

Another key factor in why people choose Rhode Island is the affordability of its higher education system. Rhode Island’s 1,214 square miles accommodate a respectable number of colleges, including prominent business schools. 

These business schools offer unique learning opportunities where students pursue their dream careers without incurring much student debt and loans. If you’re looking for MBA programs in Rhode Island, here are five of them. These business schools have obtained accreditation from the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. 

Top 5 MBA Programs in Rhode Island

College of Business – Bryant University

College of Business - Bryant University

Bryant University is a private university focused on providing students with a student-centered learning environment. Bryant supports students in achieving career goals through integrated academics, resources, student organizations, and collaboration with industry experts and coaches. 

Bryant’s College of Business is one of the few accredited by the AACSB International. It offers several business education programs, from certificate programs to graduate degrees. It has a robust MBA degree that can be completed through three learning options:

Students enrolled in the Bryant MBAs have two track options. They can pursue a leadership track and enhance their entrepreneurial, organizational, and strategic skills. They can also pursue a track focusing on healthcare and focus on obtaining knowledge that allows them to apply for leadership positions in the healthcare sector. 

School of Business – Providence College

School of Business - Providence College

Those who want to pursue a college education grounded in Catholic 

values and traditions should consider Providence College. This college is slightly bigger than Bryant. 

Providence houses four schools. The School of Business, accredited by the AACSB, is the most prominent. It offers invaluable education to business students with a strong ethical foundation. It is renowned for its demanding coursework, knowledgeable instructors, and dedication to putting students in leadership positions in the corporate sector. It offers several graduate-level programs, including:

The Providence MBA can be completed in part-time and full-time formats. Students with a background in accounting can also opt for an Accounting Cohort and prepare to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). 

Mario J. Gabelli School of Business – Roger Williams University

Mario J. Gabelli School of Business - Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University is renowned for its innovative curricula and focus on creativity, mainly to prepare students for the business industry. Roger Williams immerses students in a unique learning style to develop innovation and entrepreneurship skills to start their own companies or help an existing business expand. 

Roger William’s AACSB-accredited Mario J. Gabelli School of Business is particularly strong in offering numerous networking opportunities to link students with accomplished graduates and prominent figures in the industry. It provides several on-campus programs, including: 

This MBA is designed for applicants seeking a full-time and accelerated master’s degree. Coursework can be completed in a year. Beyond regular courses, the Gabelli MBA offers internship and study abroad experiences to ensure that students are prepared for the globalized business market. 

Students who want to pursue law careers can enroll in the Gabelli School JD/MBA dual degree program. 

College of Business – University of Rhode Island

College of Business - University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island is the largest higher education institution in the state, with more than 17,000 students enrolled. This is the perfect fit for students wanting to join a large campus community. 

The College of Business at URI has a reputation for producing innovative business leaders. The COB has several experiential learning programs in operations, strategy, human resources, and international business. Additional offerings of the COB also include two MBAs:

URI MBAs are fully accredited by the AACSB, providing students with an extensive alumni network. Students who want to participate in a hybrid learning format are referred to the Evening MBA program. 

Students can concentrate on Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain Management, and Organizational Leadership. Another customization option is to pursue graduate certificates in labor relations, human resources, forensics, cybersecurity, and more. 

Salve Regina University

Salve Regina University

Salve Regina University’s environment promotes positive relationships, enthusiasm, and passion among students. It offers several student-led organizations, community service, and study-abroad opportunities.

Salve Regina offers competitive IACBE-accredited business programs that help students prepare for the job market. It provides inclusive programs that are designed for working and busy adult students, including:

Salve Regina University’s online MBA program offers professional skills for global business. The core curriculum is focused on entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, strategic management, and marketing. It also combines business ethics, social responsibility, and quantitative skills with flexible entry points and a robust foundation in accounting, economics, and qualitative analysis.

MBA Programs in Rhode Island - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I choose the best MBA in Rhode Island? 

Rhode Island offers numerous business schools with MBAs and other degrees to strengthen its economy. There’s no one-size-fits-all in education. The MBAs in Rhode Island are competitive but were not created equal. The best MBA program will vastly depend on your needs and expectations. 

Consider visiting campuses, attending information sessions, researching the professors and curriculum, and comparing job placement rates and pay. You must also assess the culture and fit of the institution when selecting a business school. 

How can I stand out in Rhode Island’s job market? 

The unemployment rate in Rhode Island is 3.2%. While this is lower than the national average, it’s still a high rate. This means that you may face a tough time finding employment, even with an MBA degree. 

To stand out in the Rhode Island job market, you must invest in skill development, networking, conducting thorough research, and customizing application materials. 

Do Rhode Island MBAs assist graduates in landing a job? 

The best business schools in Rhode Island provide career services to assist graduates in their job search. Graduates can improve their job-seeking abilities and boost their competitiveness in the job market by taking advantage of workshops, seminars, and one-on-one counseling sessions.

What’s the average starting salary of business graduates in Rhode Island?

According to Zip Recruiter, the average starting salary of business degree holders in Rhode Island is $84,906. Pursuing an MBA in RI can significantly increase your average earnings by up to $236,014

How can I earn more with an MBA in Rhode Island?

There are several ways to earn more in Rhode Island. The most effective way is to align your degree with the state’s strongest sectors. 

One of Rhode Island’s thriving sectors is Healthcare and Social Assistance. In 2023, this sector contributed $6 million to the state’s GDP and experienced a 4.0% growth. Jobs like financial analysts, strategic planners, and healthcare administrators are in great demand as the industry looks for skilled individuals to handle the intricate world of healthcare management.

Additional Resources: