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USM Online MBA Program Ranked No. 28 by Fortune Education

Mon, 04/18/2022 - 02:02pm | By: Bailey Harris

The University of Southern Mississippi's Online Master of Business Administration degree program has been recognized among the nation’s best in rankings just released by Fortune Education.

Ranked at No. 28, the program is the highest online MBA program ranked in the state of Mississippi and the third highest in the gulf south. The program’s 2022 ranking represents a significant jump from No. 56 in 2021.

Fortune Education also ranked Southern Miss #1 in their recent article outlining 5 affordable online MBA programs that don’t require a GMAT score.

“The MBA program’s rankings validate our efforts to create a valuable graduate business program that offers enough flexibility to accommodate full-time students and working professionals. We launched the fully online MBA option in 2015, so the program was well established before the world went remote in response to COVID-19. The faculty and staff have been continuously working to improve students’ educational experience, so it is gratifying to see our work recognized by outside parties.” said Dr. Steven Stelk, MBA Director and Assistant Teaching Professor in the School of Finance.

USM currently has 123 students enrolled in its online MBA program. Online programs provide an important alternative for working people who are unable to attend school in person due to distance and personal reasons.

According to Fortune, they created the rankings, “to help guide the next generation of business leaders.” Fortune selects online programs whose graduates land good jobs and have a track record for placing alumni in careers at Fortune 500 companies.

In total, 108 programs were ranked. The rankings are based on three components: (1) Program Score, (2) Fortune 1000 Score, and (3) Brand Score.  

Additionally, the USM Part-Time MBA program was recognized among the nation's best in 2023 rankings just released by U.S. News & World Report. Ranked at #169, the program is the only part-time program from Mississippi ranked in the Top 175. This ranking has continued to increase over the years. In 2022, the part-time program was ranked at 206-273, and in 2021, it was ranked at #213.

Currently, 74% of USM's MBA students are part-time working professionals with an average of nine years full-time working experience.

The U.S. News & World Report part-time rankings are based on five factors:

  • Average peer assessment score (weighted 50% of the school's overall score).
  • Average GMAT score and average GRE quantitative, verbal, and analytical writing scores of part-time MBA students entering in fall 2021 (15%).
  • Average undergraduate GPA of part-time MBA students entering in fall 2021 (12.5%).
  • Number of years of work experience of part-time MBA students entering in fall 2021, with more years of work experience scoring higher in the rankings (10%).
  • Percentage of the business school's fall 2021 total full-time and part-time MBA enrollment that is in the part-time MBA program, with a higher percentage of MBA students being part-time scoring higher in the rankings (12.5%).

“The graduate business programs at Southern Miss continue to garner impressive rankings and the increases in our MBA program rankings are especially gratifying. Whether you are seeking a traditional residential experience or the flexibility of a part-time, or online MBA program, the Southern Miss MBA program provides both full-time students and working professionals with an affordable, first-class graduate management education experience and this ranking reflects the hard work of our dedicated staff, accomplished faculty, and talented students,” said Dr. Bret Becton, dean of the College of Business & Economic Development.

Complete list of Fortune Education rankings, visit

Fortune Education article, five affordable online MBA programs that don’t require a GMAT score:

Complete U.S. News & World Report rankings, visit

To learn more about USM's part-time MBA program, visit us at