Gies College Of Business Online Mba Ranking

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

Gies College of Business
Image of Business Instructional Facility

Jun 30, 2020 2020-06 Alumni Business Administration Faculty Student

Gies offers alternative to online MBA rankings

Gies College of Business, home to the world’s most disruptive and innovative online MBA, has decided to publish a comprehensive collection of its own data and metrics of success, rather than participating in traditional online MBA rankings that are designed for different kinds of programs. 

The iMBA, now in its fifth year of existence, has seen record demand and record growth – all while maintaining a 98% student satisfaction rate. You can view all of the Gies iMBA data at

iMBA data“Our mission, curriculum, and student body are fundamentally different from those of other MBA programs, and together they provide a one-of-a-kind experience for our students.” said Dean Jeffrey R. Brown. “We respect all the hard work rankings publications put into developing their methodologies, but we want to be measured against our own goals, values and purpose, not what others are trying to do.”

That experience has proven to be exactly what today’s business students crave. The Gies Business iMBA received more than 2,500 applications for Fall 2020, a growth of more than 35% since Fall 2019. The program, which offers a career-focused curriculum, custom designed for online delivery; highly engaging online classes and group projects; and unmatched flexibility and affordability, has grown to more than 2,800 students from nearly 100 countries. Almost all of those students are working professionals with an average of 11 years of career experience, far higher than most programs.

That growth has been driven by program quality, strong career outcomes, and the value of the unparalleled network of Gies students and alumni around the world. Ninety-four percent of alumni say they would highly recommend the iMBA to a friend, and 53% of alumni received a promotion, job offer, or accepted a new position during the program – evidence of a real-time ROI that is not accounted for in traditional rankings methodologies.

Since the beginning, Gies has continuously conducted surveys and analysis of internal metrics to develop a constant feedback loop, ensuring the College is achieving its goals and students are achieving theirs. Recently, Gies made its admissions, student satisfaction, and career outcomes data public, so students and the world can draw their own conclusions about what Gies offers.

“We’re seeing record demand and record enrollment. Our intense focus on what our students really need, rather than what outside rankings dictate, enables us to rapidly innovate and drive successful outcomes,” said Associate Dean Brooke Elliott, who oversees the strategy for Gies’ online programs. “It makes us more agile and able to adapt quickly to changing trends and needs.”

The iMBA boasts a history of innovating and disrupting the industry of business education. At a breakthrough cost of approximately $22,000, the iMBA is the world’s best combination of quality, flexibility, and affordability. Gies’ outstanding scholars and teachers work hand-in-hand with a large team of pedagogical experts and online specialists to create a unique curriculum and experience, designed to help students engage deeply and learn how to operate and succeed in today’s business environment.

The program’s unique stackable structure also allows students to tailor their studies to their own goals and ongoing commitments. They can “test drive” courses through a free MOOC (massive online open course), a non-credit course, or a series of courses; if they decide later to pursue an MBA, students can apply credits and prerequisites from those courses toward their degree.

“Our university was founded on the mission of providing the highest quality education to the people of Illinois and the world, no matter their background or socioeconomic level,” said Brown. “Gies Business embodies this mission to provide access to world-class business content and skills by breaking down traditional barriers of affordability and accessibility.”

Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

We’re More Than Business. Our Numbers Prove It.

For more than 100 years, Gies College of Business has intentionally designed its innovative programs, leading-edge curriculum, and experiential learning opportunities to empower and prepare students to turn big ideas into meaningful actions. This occurs when students have access to innovative curricular initiatives, top faculty talent, state-of-the-art resources, a strong reputation with employers, and exceptional networking opportunities.

Today, Gies faculty prepare more than 6,000 future business leaders from around the world to put their purpose into practice and provide transformative leadership in a global economy.

Top 10Public business school in the nationU.S. News & World Report#1Accountancy facultyBYU Accounting Faculty Research Rankings
#4Ranked finance research faculty from 2016-2019UTD Top 100 Business School Research Rankings#7Public business schoolPoets&Quants

About Our Name

In 2018, alumni Larry and Beth Gies gave their name and an incredibly supportive gift of $150 million to the College – as we officially became Gies College of Business. This amazing opportunity enhances our core mission of providing an educational experience that extends beyond business.

As founder, president, and CEO of Madison Industries, Larry asks something special of his employees, his colleagues, and himself. By personally learning how powerful it is to connect what he does every day to a larger purpose, Larry now asks others to “find your why.”

Dean Jeffrey R. Brown believes our “why” at the College has grown stronger as a few differentiators take shape from Larry’s generous gift. First, we are further expanding a curriculum dedicated to finding and exploring innovation in business. Second, we can now provide even greater access to life-changing business education. Third, we are hiring more faculty and installing the resources needed to inspire the next generation of business leaders.

Gies Profile

6K+Current Gies business students3K+Current Gies business undergraduate students3K+Current Gies business graduate students
62K+Gies Business alumni network worldwide4K+International alumni living in 116 different countries170+Faculty, the foundation of our educational excellence

Gies Rankings

#3Ranked undergraduate Accountancy program in the countryU.S. News & World Report and Public Accounting Report#17Ranked marketing program in the countryU.S. News & World Report#18Ranked supply chain management program in the countryU.S. News & World Report
#18Ranked management program in the countryU.S. News & World Report#9Ranked undergraduate insurance and risk management programU.S. News & World Report#2Ranked graduate accounting program in the countryU.S. News & World Report
#6Ranked graduate finance program in the doctoral program in 2018Public Accounting Report#19Undergraduate Business SchoolPoets&Quants



Address515 East Gregory Drive
IL 61820 Champaign, Illinois, USA

10 reasons to choose the University of Illinois online MBA

Considering taking the next step in your career? Consider this flexible, top-tier program.

You’ve reached the point in your career where an MBA degree could help you qualify for better job opportunities and a higher salary. You’re ready to do the work necessary to enhance your skills, expand your business knowledge, and sharpen your competitive edge.

Your next step is to choose an MBA program. As you explore your options, consider these 10 reasons why the iMBA, a fully online program from the world-renowned University of Illinois Gies College of Business, might be right for you.

1. PrestigeGies is regularly ranked as a top U.S. business school

A degree from the Illinois iMBA program commands worldwide respect and grabs the attention of hiring managers. “We have outstanding departments with a long history of excellence,” says W. Brooke Elliott, Ph.D., associate dean of online programs at the Gies College of Business.

In fact, Gies is regularly ranked as a top U.S. business school by U.S. News & World Report and Poets & Quants.

2. Competitive cost

Tuition for the Illinois iMBA program is just a fraction of the cost of leading residential MBA programs, which can run as much as $200,000 or more.

“When we entered the MBA space with our online program in 2016, we set tuition at $22,000 for the full degree, which really disrupted the market,” Elliott says. “But we are a mission-driven college, and this is a mission-driven program that is fully committed to providing accessible and affordable high-quality education to all those who desire it and are committed to pursuing it.”

3. Career-focused content95% of current students say they have already applied what they learned in the program to their work

Material in the iMBA program is designed to be immediately applicable to students’ careers. “We focus on theory and basic business competencies, of course, but we are also very skills- and application-focused,” Elliott says. “You can learn something in a course in one week, and the next week have something to take back and apply to your daily work life.”

Surveys of current iMBA students show this has been the case for many: 95% say they have applied what was learned in class to their work.

4. Flexibility

For many working professionals, attending an in-person MBA program is simply not realistic. The Gies iMBA allows students the flexibility to put in the work from anywhere.

Hayden Noel, Ph.D., who teaches marketing management in the iMBA program, recalls one of his students, an army lieutenant, attending a live session while flying in an airplane over Afghanistan. “The level of commitment and the quality of our students is phenomenal,” he says.

Students attend two of these live sessions each week per class. Each session is delivered multiple times a day to accommodate students in different time zones. The two- to three-year program is structured in eight-week terms, with students typically taking one or two classes at a time.

5. Networking opportunitiesThe Gies iMBA program offers a mix of virtual and optional in-person networking opportunities

In each course, weekly live sessions, breakout sessions, and group projects give students a chance to get to know each other.

Though not required, there are also opportunities to meet classmates in person. These include optional local meet-ups; Micro-Immersion events, several-day long meet-ups in cities across the U.S. connected to coursework; and Illinois iConverge, a multi-day networking and professional development event held each September on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Students may also participate in weeklong global immersion trips to places like Brazil and Germany.

6. Quality education

The iMBA coursework is designed to be as rigorous as in-person classes, and it is not a self-paced degree. Before launching the program in 2016, a team of eLearning specialists, professors, and administrators built a custom curriculum from the ground up specifically for online learners. Their goal was to create a top-quality online program, rather than to simply put a residential degree online.

Surveys find that 98% of students in the iMBA program say they are satisfied with the overall program quality, and 94% would highly recommend the iMBA program to others.

7. Competitive admissionsGies iMBA students are seasoned professionals with an average of over 10 years of work experience

The iMBA admissions process is rigorous and relies heavily on career experience. Students in the program are seasoned professionals with an average of 11.6 years of work experience. (Those at the beginning of their career can consider the Gies online MS in management iMSM program.)

In addition, admissions team members interview every student who applies to the program and use an array of qualitative measures to determine whether a student is likely to excel. As a result of this careful admissions process, the iMBA retention rate is 95%.

8. Student diversity

The iMBA student body reflects diversity of all kinds. The average age of iMBA students is 37, 32% are female, and 32% of students come from minority groups. What’s more, international students make up 20% of the program. Learning in this kind of global classroom offers crucial business advantages as cross-culture collaboration becomes increasingly common in most industries.

9. Career diversityiMBA students are entrepreneurs, doctors, artists, designers, historians, political scientists, military officers, farmers, and more

Although some students have traditional business backgrounds and job titles—for example, 700 current students work at Fortune 500 companies—many come from a range of other career tracks. The program includes entrepreneurs, doctors, artists, designers, historians, political scientists, military officers, and farmers.

10. Results

Perhaps most importantly, the Gies iMBA program shows career results. During the program, more than half of students say they have received a promotion or job offer, and the average reported pay increase is 20%.

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