USM’s Online MBA Program Receives Lofty Ranking

Published 11:58 am Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The University of Southern Mississippi’s online Master of Business Administration program has received a No. 19 ranking by FORTUNE Education in its inaugural list of the Best Online MBA Programs in the South.

To establish the rankings, FORTUNE Education sent out questionnaires to more than 200 online MBA programs. In all, 104 programs completed and returned the questionnaires. That information, along with data collected from companies and executives, was used as the core of the rankings. The final ranking is made up of four components: Program Score, Fortune 1000 Score, Brand Score, and Prestige Score.

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USM currently has 216 students enrolled in its online MBA program, which began in 2015. MBA Director and Assistant Teaching Professor Dr. Steven Stelk credits early stewardship for creating a pathway to success.

“Since we started offering the program our faculty have been continuously making improvements. We had an established program when many institutions were struggling to adopt remote delivery in response to COVID-19,” said Stelk. “As a faculty member, I am thankful for the training and support we receive in developing online courses from the College of Business and Economic Development, the Office of Online Learning, the Center for Faculty Development, and the University as a whole.”

Stelk emphasizes that MBA faculty are committed to offering a program that helps graduates bring value to their professional and personal communities. He notes that the recent FORTUNE Education ranking serves to enhance the program’s profile.

“I hope that it raises the expectation of value from both students and our graduate faculty,” he said. “It should motivate us all to make sure we are working to earn the ranking and improve upon it.”

Last month, FORTUNE announced the launch of FORTUNE Education, a brand-new hub designed to help readers develop skills and advance in their careers. Curated by a team of expert journalists, FORTUNE Education is a destination for articles, insights, and ongoing reporting about what prospective students should know in order to make the best, most impactful decisions for their careers.

To view the complete rankings, visit:

To learn more about the MBA program at USM, call 601.266.4831 or visit: