Southern New Hampshire University MBA Review

By - March 31, 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private university based in Manchester, NH. It has a total undergraduate enrollment on campus of 3020, but it has a large online program that offers many types of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including an MBA in more than two dozen specialities. According to one estimate, there are now 32,000 students enrolled online at SNHU in various programs. With so much of its degree offerings online, one of the primary attractions of SNHU is that it is highly innovative in its use of technology; that is why it is ranked as one of the most innovative universities, according to US News and World Report.

Favorite Features

Online MBA does not require standardized test scores

One of the most common standardized tests to enter business master’s programs is the Graduate Management Admissions Test or GMAT. It has been for decades the gold standard to be admitted into MBA programs of any prominence. Today, there are more schools that will consider students without taking the GMAT. One of them is SNHU.

SNHU instead will carefully review your GPA, work experience, writing samples, and recommendations to make an admission decision.

We like that SNHU does not require GMAT scores; business education research suggests that doing well on the GMAT does not necessarily mean you will do well in an MBA program.

Online MBA program is accredited by the ACBSP

As you are considering an online MBA, an important consideration is program accreditation. An MBA program that is accredited by a respected business education body is a good sign that the program is of high quality and is respected in the industry. The MBA program at Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the ACBSP, which is the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. This is one of the major business education accreditation bodies in the world. The MBA program has been accredited by this body since 1994. Therefore, you can have confidence this program will be respected by future employers.

Online MBA may be completed in only 1 year

Students who are taking an online MBA are usually employed on a part time or full time basis, and many of them also have families. Being able to complete a master’s degree while having a full schedule is important to these student professionals. One of the advantages of the SNHU online MBA is the possibility to complete the MBA program full time in only a year.

Most students take at least two years to complete the program, but students who have a lot of prerequisites completed may be able to complete the program in only 12 months.

More than 20 concentrations available

Many students who start this program already possess several years of business work experience in a specific industry. Taking an MBA program in a specific concentration is a good way to hone in on critical skills in your industry or field. SNHU offers more than 20 concentrations so you can really focus on the critical skills you need to take your career to the next level.

Least Favorite Features

Online MBA is not accredited by the AACSB

While the online MBA is accredited by the ACBSP, it is not accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or AACSB. This is the most well known and respected business education accreditation body in the world. The AACSB has a highly rigorous accreditation process and looks at the following program factors:

  • Curriculum
  • Student learning
  • Faculty quality
  • Academic research quality
  • Institutional development
  • Global awareness

Some companies may only consider your MBA degree if the program is accredited by the AACSB.

SNHU is relatively lowly rated by US News and World Report

US News and World Report does not review the online MBA program for SNHU, but the overall university only receives a 54 out of 100 score. This indicates that the magazine does not think particularly highly of the university.

On a related note, US News and World Report states the university’s overall acceptance rate in 2016 was 93%. The fact that it turns down relatively few applicants suggests the university may not be of very high quality.

Further, the four year graduation rate for the university is 48%, so there are many students who either do not finish in four years, transfer, or drop out.

SNHU is often confused with for-profit business schools

A problem that SNHU has had in recent years is that it is often confused with for-profit universities, such as the University of Phoenix. Some for-profit colleges have been investigated by the US Senate and the Government Accountability Office, which revealed some predatory and deceptive recruitment practices. These investigations also found that students at for-profit institutions often struggle to pay back their college debt. That is why enrollment has dropped at many of these programs since 2014.

In its defense, SNHU President Paul LeBlanc has argued publicly that SNHU is a non-profit university, and it has taken the ‘best operational practices’ of for profit programs, but has higher graduation rates, lower prices and more selective admissions processes.

There is a chance an employer may look at an SNHU MBA as poor quality, fair or not. Online MBAs from traditional universities, such as the University of Arizona or the University of North Carolina, tend to be seen in some eyes as higher quality.

The Details

General Information

  • Founded in 1932
  • Application deadline: March 1
  • Application fee: $50
  • School type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester
  • Location: Manchester NH
  • Student-faculty ratio: 13:1

Tuition Rates

  • MBA – $1881 per course, $627 per credit hour

Business Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration


  • Accounting
  • Criminal justice
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Forensic accounting
  • Healthcare informatics
  • Healthcare management
  • HR
  • Six Sigma
  • Information technology management
  • International business
  • Engineering management
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Music business
  • Marketing

Class Profile

  • 53% female and 47% male

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 48% four year graduation rate
  • 61% freshman retention rate, which is below the national average
  • 55% of attendees earn their degree within six years

US News Rankings

  • Regional universities north: 86
  • Best colleges for veterans: 46
  • Best value schools: 83
  • Most innovative schools: 1

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