Northeastern Online MBA Review

  • Last Post 27 July 2011
JAKE-S posted this 15 June 2011 - Last edited 14 March 2016

I have a few questions about the Northeastern University online MBA program. I looked online but could not find answers to my questions. :( Hopefully someone here can assist me with them. Your help is appreciated.

  1. My biggest concern is the amount of advertising NEU does. I know NEU is an accredited / research institution, I just do not want a degree from a diploma mill or someone downgrading the degree because of this.

  2. Is the online MBA faculty the same as the full time MBA faculty?

  3. How do you think a NEU MBA looks to potential employers, given their aggressive advertising

  4. What is NEU ranked? I saw on Business week they were 56. Do you think they will every break into the top 50? What MBA ranking is not good / worth pursuing? 75, 100, etc.

  5. What is your overall view of the NEU online MBA. Anyones input is welcome, it would be great if alumni/current students could weigh in.

Thanks again! Jake

VickyPhillips posted this 16 June 2011 - Last edited 26 October 2015

Hi Jake,

These are great questions.

I don't know that anyone can address all the issues but I can comment on a few of the issues you raise. Perhaps others will pitch in ...

1) Is this the same MBA as offered on campus with the same courses/faculty?

No, I'd say not, not based on a review of the program courses and admissions. First Northeastern offers several "different" MBAs all developed for different audiences or demographics.

Many residential business schools now do the same thing: they have the traditional full-time residential MBA which is offered as the flagship anchor program and that degree option comes with the old school traditional trappings, like tenured faculty, site based courses, GRE/GMAT admit scores and so on, low student acceptance rates. These programs tend to serve younger students -- 21-25 years of age just out of BA/BS programs.

In fact, Northeastern offers 4 different MBA programs and none of them are the "same." I think there are 4 very different MBAs at NEU so you have to be careful when trying to take Business Week data as relevant for the new online version of the degree.

The government does not require that online degree data be kept separate and rankings like BW use government gathered data only so they are often bad sources to try and use in an effort to "rank" the online versions of any degree.

What old school rankings like BW can clue you into is the "average" brand reputation of the main school, Northeastern University.

So, no this is not the same degree. That said, it is a Northeastern MBA so I'd look for the reputation of that graduate business school to follow the online degree -- whether that rep is earned or not. In the public and employer's mind this is a NEU degree.

2) Advertising of Online MBA

That is an interesting concern.

I do know that the Northeastern MBA has been outsourced -- that is the program has been developed and is being marketed by a company that helps colleges develop, launch, recruit and retain online student bodies.

This company is called Embanet. (Check them out at to see who they are.) So, yes, you do see a lot of ads for the Northeastern Online MBA.

In fact, Get Educated does run an ad plan for NEU that comes from Embanet and that ends in a data lead sheet for Embanet. NEU is aggressively marketing and growing their online brand thru Embanet so that is why you see all the ads.

3) NEU core admissions requirement is a GPA of 3.0+ and 5 years minimum work experience. What if my is 2.96 (from a very good / well known public university), do you think this will be a problem?

An admissions adviser at NEU Online could answer this. They do mention that a GRE/GMAT can be used to off set a lower GPA. In most cases the admissions committee uses a composite system where something like a minor low GPA (yours is MINOR) maybe off set by the name of the undergrad school OR years of experience OR superior career achievement. I'd say chnaces are good that a full review of your admissions criteria will put you in good stead; but an adviser should be able to answer that for you up front bcs your issue is so minor.

4) Overall View of NEU Online MBA

Well it has an unusual MBA structure; one that is geared to innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers; so if that is your bent, this is a school that may work well for that type of student.


I am curious about one thing. I think we have an email on file for you that says you may have earned your BS/BA from Penn State. (Yes?)

Did you look at the Penn State World Campus online MBA?

Just curious ... Is it that GRE/GMAT thing? I mean Penn is expensive, but no more so than NEU, eh?

Vicky Phillips
GetEducated Founder

MissShona posted this 26 June 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Vicky's response was great! I don't know if my thoughts will help any with your original questions...but here are some of my opinions:

In regards to heavy advertising... It is very hard to make any sort of blanket statements regarding online degrees and the impressions that they make on hiring managers. Some are very savvy in regards to knowing which programs are online or not....others are not so keen on this. On the other side of the equation, I am enrolled in an online MBA that has very little advertising; so there is a downside to that as well. Yes, Northeastern advertises heavily, but I think that it helps immensely that they have a well-known physical campus presence, and that they are a non-profit institution. Other non-profit schools such as Colorado State and Florida Tech also market their MBA programs heavily. If anything, I think it helps to strengthen their brand (but that is just me).

In regards to admissions requirements... Graduate schools offer conditional/provisional admission all of the time, and if you earn a 3.0 in your first semester, this will be converted to full admission. They just want to insure that you can hack it in graduate school. It is worth a try applying anyway. Also taking the GMAT and scoring decently on it (which for Northeastern, I would say anything 540 and above), can help; even when the GMAT is not required.

JAKE-S posted this 19 July 2011 - Last edited 26 October 2015

Hello Vicky + MissShona -

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate you taking time out of your day to help me out. So I have one more question for you, please!

How would you rank the following programs in terms of reputation (to future employers), brand, quality and overall ranking (business week, US News, etc). They are all the same price pretty much so you can leave the cost metric out of your decision process.

Syracuse University Online MBA

Northeastern University Online MBA

Drexel University Online MBA

Here are my concerns:

  • Syracuse, Requires five day residency each term. I believe 7 visits total.
  • Northeastern, I like it because you only have to take one class at a time, but not sure how it ranks and is seen by employers? I heard it is a big commuter school - not sure if that has anything to do with how good it is. It seems to be ranked fairly well, 56 by BW. Thoughts?
  • Drexel, is solid but it's........Drexel. Ranked 10 part-time by business week.

Your help is appreciated as I select a school to attend [ accepted in all :)

JAKE-S posted this 26 July 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Any feedback on this? Thanks for your help!

VickyPhillips posted this 27 July 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

JAKE-S wrote:

Any feedback on this? Thanks for your help!

Hi Jake,

It is hard to compare these 3 online MBAs because they are more alike than different in terms of gross school characteristics.

-East Coast -AACSB -Legacy Brick and Mortar

Also, it's hard to use or compare traditional business school rankings like US News and Business Week. These two indexes measure or try to rank on very different things.

BW focuses on student and alumni satisfaction/career placement and recruiter perception for employment. SO -- if I were most concerned with job and career and employer perception in corporate America I'd look to Business Week.

US News is very old school. They try and measure in-puts like tenured faculty and test scores and pay no attention at all to outcomes or things like affordability or employability. Since I myself am very focused on "outcomes" in the real world I'd look to BW for a better measure of what matters to me.

In this case I'd also look toward the type of courses and majors and which best matches me and how I want to learn and what I want to learn.

Research shows that campus residencies do not improve learning outcome BUT they can be important for networking and making business and social connections which can help in corporate America. If you think you'd benefit from that aspect in your chosen career than the residencies at Syracuse may be worth it.

These are all good schools, especially if you are on the East Coast!

Vicky Phillips Get Educated