Business Schools in Virginia


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Syracuse University’s online MBA through the Whitman School of Management is designed to give students the analytical and decision-making skills they need to advance their careers in today’s business environment

MBA@American, the online MBA from American University is designed for domestic and global business professionals who want to start or advance their career.

Virginia is home to around 75 schools with business programs available on-campus and online. Students will find degrees at all levels – from associate’s and BBA programs for new business students to executive MBAs for mid-career professionals competing for leadership positions.

Marketing Degree Programs in Virginia

State of Virginia’s Marketing Industry

The Old Dominion has bright new prospects. Virginia bested the national economy in the recession and continues to impress analysts. In 2012, Forbes ranked Virginia #2 in its list of “Best States for Business” and #4 in “The 10 States That Will Boom Over the Next 5 Years.” That’s sunny news for the marketing industry.

Government, military, manufacturing and professional services are all strengths. Thanks to low business costs and a favorable regulatory environment, Virginia was home to 24 Fortune 500 companies in 2012. You may recognize names like Freddie Mac, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Capital One Financial.

The Commonwealth’s rich soil is also helping to seed younger ventures. 285 Virginia names popped up on Inc.’s Top 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in 2012. Twenty-two recorded over 1,000% in three-year growth; Zantech IT services topped the list with 7,331%.

Job Prospects for Virginia Marketing Graduates

Employment prospects for Virginia marketing graduates look excellent. From 2010-2020, Virginia’s Employment Commission is predicting sturdy growth for marketing managers (21%), PR specialists (27.3%) and market research analysts and marketing specialists (41.2%). This last job was #17 in Virginia’s list of “Fastest-Growing Occupations” for the decade.

Wondering where to start? You could try the tech industry. Cyberstates 2011 reported that Virginia ranked #4 in total high-tech employment. Its mid-Atlantic location has also made it a hub for bioscience, manufacturing and international trade. All of these industries pay top dollar – in 2011, VA was #5 in top-paying states for marketing managers, with an annual mean wage of $142,100, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

If ad agencies are more your style, Virginia’s got you covered. LM&O Advertising, The Martin Agency, Royall & Company and Rockey & Rockwell are some of the biggest names, but they’re not alone. Twelve advertising and marketing firms made Inc.’s 2012 list; Resonate grew 1,520% from 2008-2011.

Virginia Schools for Marketing

There are 14 accredited marketing schools in Virginia, excluding general liberal arts colleges and the like. The University of Virginia consistently tops the rankings for VA business schools, but here are two more to consider:

1. College of William and Mary (

In 2013, William and Mary’s Mason School of Business was ranked #70 by U.S. News & World Report in “Best Business Schools.” Bloomberg BusinessWeek rated its undergraduate marketing program #3 in 2012. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major or concentration in marketing or a full-time or flex MBA.

Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in internships, study-abroad programs and service experiences. For graduates, Mason has developed CAMs (Career Acceleration Modules). CAMs provide intense, hands-on training experiences over the course of seven weeks.

2. Virginia Tech (

Ranked #84 by U.S. News & World Report in 2013, Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in marketing management, a general MBA, a Master of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in advanced marketing research, and a doctorate in marketing.

Study-abroad opportunities, internships and leadership development programs at the Center for Leadership Studies are designed to prepare students for life after graduation. Two management and marketing faculty members were among the world’s top 25 business ethics scholars (Journal of Business Ethics, 2010).

Professional Marketing Organizations in Virginia

The Mother of Presidents also fosters a number of useful marketing organizations. The American Advertising Federation and the American Marketing Association have a firm foothold in Virginia and their chapters provide a variety of networking events and employment resources.

Business Degree Programs in Virginia

Virginia lies within a day’s drive of 41 percent of the U.S. population, making its East Coast location a prime area for national and international businesses and financial corporations.

The state’s location, infrastructure, and low cost of doing business makes it home to more than 70 corporate headquarters of firms with annual sales of more than $500 million—with at least 23 of those companies having annual sales of at least $5 billion, according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Because of this, young professionals who aspire to earn their bachelor’s degree in business or advance to an MBA often strive to become managers, accountants, and executive leaders in some of Virginia’s major industries, such as aerospace, insurance, defense, financial services, healthcare, and more.

Some of Virginia’s major corporate headquarters, which were listed by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in 2014, included:

  • General Dynamics in Falls Church – $31,218 million
  • ADS Inc. in Virginia Beach – $1,250 million
  • Advance Auto Parts in Roanoke – $6,493 million
  • AES Corporation in Arlington – $16,748 million
  • CACI International in Arlington – $3,577 million
  • Capital One Financial Corporation in McLean – $24,176 million
  • Northrop Grumman Corp in Falls church – $24,661 million
  • Mars Inc. in McLean – $33,000 million

Business leaders like Capital One’s CEO Richard Fairbank enjoy the rewards that come with earning a business degree. Fairbank earned both his bachelor’s in economics and his MBA from Stanford University. According to The Washington Business Journal, his total compensation in 2016 was $16.9 million.

When earning an MBA, you can specialize in areas such as finance, international management, marketing, operations management, and more. As of 2014, Virginia’s business specialists are rewarded for the business acumen they develop in business school.

Virginia is home to some very lucrative opportunities for economists, general and operations managers, sales managers, financial managers, accountants, and human resource managers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (, 2014):

  • Sales Managers – $143,030 – $185,690
  • Financial Managers – $140,490 – $166,080
  • General and Operations Managers – $131,870 – $170,110
  • Chief Executives – $126,270 – $189,800
  • Human Resource Managers – $124,720 – $185,080
  • Economists – $120,990 – $181,650
  • Financial Analysts – $93,290 – $151,070
  • Accountants and Auditors – $78,640 – $120,430

Small Businesses in Virginia

Small businesses, which are developed and managed by innovative business school graduates, also comprise a large portion of Virginia’s economy.

University of Virginia

The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia consistently ranks at the very top of several lists of the best Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in the nation. The school works to create a supportive community of students, staff and alumni that focuses on creating leaders. The top-ranked faculty members are well-known leaders in business and serve as hands-on mentors and colleagues. Darden offers a two-year on-campus MBA, an Executive MBA and a Global MBA for Executives presented in 10 languages. Both programs make use of Darden’s famous hands-on case method for dealing with real business problems. Graduates of the program walk out with not only a well-regarded degree, but also access to a large active global alumni network.

Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The traditional MBA from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of business is a 52-credit-hour, two-year program. The first year provides a foundation in basic business and the second year focuses on international business. Classes are interactive sessions during which you are required to demonstrate mastery of concepts and use your knowledge in practical ways. The school offers the same program as a Professional MBA through a blend of weekend and online sessions. The Virginia Tech Executive MBA is an intensive 18-month program for students on leadership tracks. Like the Professional MBA, the program is offered via a blend of weekend meetings and online courses. This program reaches outside Virginia with a 10-day international residency and a two-day Wall Street residency.

University of Richmond

The Richard S. Reynolds Graduate School of Business Richmond MBA is a top-20 program that makes use of multiple delivery formats. The fundamentals of business are offered as a self-paced CD-ROM or through an online program that students complete before arriving on campus. The Richmond MBA program then kicks off with the opening residency: two weekends of in-person team building, learning and establishing relationships with professors. After that, classes meet in the evenings on campus. The core courses are heavy on advanced analysis and business decision making. The program also requires that all students complete an International Residency that revolves around a consulting project outside of the United States.

William & Mary University

The Mason School of Business at William & Mary University is founded on the idea of “300 years of revolutionary thinking,” from the founding fathers of the country to leaders shaking up business and the world today. The “Revolutionaries Welcome” MBA isn’t about teaching the rules of business, but about rewriting those rules and creating leaders and innovators. The program involves more than coursework and lecturers. You will work with an “executive partner” who is a leader in the business world and who acts as a mentor throughout the program. You will also help companies with real-world business challenges. The innovative Global Business Juntos – student-led groups – provide opportunities for students to exchange ideas and apply what they’re learning. William & Mary also offers Executive MBA and Flex MBA programs.

George Mason University

Learning by experience is the philosophy that underpins the Mason MBA program. Theory is always connected with practical business situations and a decidedly global focus. In fact, international business is a key component of the program and students are required to complete a one-week global residency. The program offers six areas of concentration: accounting, entrepreneurship, financial management, information systems management, international business, marketing and project management. The school has an active career service department which connects you with a wide network of employers and involved alumni.