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Online MBA Program Ranks in Top 25 of Private Business Schools in Fortune Magazine's New U.S. Guide

May 6, 2021

Fortune magazine, in the first-ever listing of Best Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs for its Fortune Education college guide, ranks the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College at No. 68 among its Top 100 schools for online MBAs.

No other Lakeland-area colleges or universities are included among the Top 100 in the magazine’s Best Online MBA Programs 2021 ranking list, which is comprised of public and private schools. Looking only at private business schools listed in Fortune Education’s ranking, the online MBA offered by the Barnett Business School is No. 24 nationally.

“This exciting new recognition of Florida Southern’s online MBA program affirms the exceptional quality of our business faculty and their outstanding contributions as we continue to develop innovative and highly relevant academic offerings,” said Dr. Anne B. Kerr, president of Florida Southern College. “It also demonstrates the world-class abilities of our wonderful MBA students.”

In compiling the ranking list, Fortune invited more than 200 online MBA programs to participate by completing a questionnaire, the results of which were combined with data collected from companies and executives as the core of the magazine’s methodology. The final rankings are based on weighted consideration of four components:

  • Program Score (55%), measuring the academic strength of incoming students, their one-year retention rate, and their graduation rate within three years of entering the program;
  • Brand Score (20%), based on a metric developed in partnership with Ipsos, which surveyed thousands of business professionals and firing managers to assess the overall strength of each business school as a brand;
  • Fortune 1000 Score (17.5%), examining the number of MBA alumni from each school who are executives at Fortune 1000 companies; and
  • Prestige Score (7.5%), obtained by comparing other top rankings of online MBA programs, such as those conducted by Poets & Quants, the Princeton Review, and U.S. News & World Report.

“We are particularly proud of this most recent ranking because Fortune is an enduring and trusted brand that provides objective business news,” says Dr. Michael Weber, dean and professor of marketing in the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise. “Thus, their Top 100 ranking of the Florida Southern MBA further validates the high quality and excellence that our faculty deliver in every MBA course.”

Dr. Weber adds that rankings such as these “recognize our industry-relevant, practical, and applied curriculum, which facilitates incredible employment outcomes with the placement of the most well prepared and successful professionals in the workforce.”

In January, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Barnett Business School’s online MBA program at No. 94 among the Top 100 Best Online MBA Programs for 2021 – marking an increase of 51% in a single year from the magazine’s 2020 ranking.

In the four years since the launch of FSC’s online MBA program in spring 2016, it has grown 254%. The 33-hour, self-paced online program utilizes a seven-week format and offers tracks/concentrations in business analytics, CPA licensure, I/O psychology, and supply chain management. A new, career-oriented MBA concentration on esports will start online in fall 2021, in conjunction with the introduction of an undergraduate minor to focus on the business of competitive gaming.

View Fortune Education’s full inaugural ranking of Best Online MBA Programs 2021 HERE.