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Clarion University's part-time, online Master of Business Administration program has earned a spot on's "Best Buy" ranking of online MBA programs. The rankings were calculated by comparing costs at 69 business schools at universities in the United States that offer distance MBA programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

"The accreditation by AACSB International puts us in elite company - the top 15 to 18 percent of business programs in the U.S.," said Dr. David Hartley, assistant dean of Clarion University College of Business Administration. "We bring this quality education to our students at the state system price."

The online MBA degree programs profiled must objectively cost less than the average of $32,926 for the accredited distance MBA program. Tuition for Clarion's program is $14,522 for residents and $14,929 for non-residents. used 2009 tuition figures to calculate the rankings.

"The quality of Clarion's MBA is seen, first and foremost, in its teaching faculty. A cornerstone of the culture at Clarion University is quality teaching," Hartley said. "Our faculty in the MBA program have earned their terminal degrees. MBA faculty keep pace with their discipline by regularly conducting research and publishing or presenting to national audiences."

Clarion's College of Business Administration asks business leaders to evaluate its curriculum to be sure that graduates have the types of knowledge and skills these leaders want in their future business professionals.

Hartley said Clarion's part-time, online MBA is ideal for anyone who is working or has other commitments that would inhibit participation in more traditional graduate education.

"Because it is online, anyone with an Internet connection, from any time zone across the planet, can join," he said. "There are significant tuition breaks for students who are not residents of Pennsylvania, making our out-of-state rates competitive with several states' in-state/resident tuition rates."

In addition to the part-time, online MBA, Clarion's College of Business Administration offers traditional, 11-month and early start variations of the program.

"The part-time, online MBA program is ideal for students who are working and striving to improve their career standing and develop professionally, and see the MBA as a way to do that," Hartley said. "The 11-month MBA appeals to business students, especially accounting majors, who want to earn the MBA in the least amount of time possible. Accounting majors can earn their MBA (33 credit hours) to add to their undergraduate degree (120 credit hours) to build the 150 credit hours needed to take the exam to become a Certified Public Accountant."

"The traditional program is a blended face-to-face and online program that meets the needs of the traditional student. The "early start" MBA program appeals to Clarion's own undergraduates who are looking to jump into the MBA program upon graduating from Clarion," Hartley said.

Clarion University is the high-achieving, nationally recognized, comprehensive university that delivers a personal and challenging academic experience.

9/21/2012 9:04 AM

Online MBA program earns ‘Best Buy’ ranking