Finding The 6 Most Affordable Houston MBA Programs

Affordable Houston MBA

There are various investments a prospective MBA needs make when deciding to pursue an advanced degree, especially investments of time and money. When it comes to cash, some top-tier business schools ask for more than $60,000 in tuition, which automatically put them out of the question for lots of folks. Luckily, there are affordable MBA options out there in each metro, including Houston, Texas.

There’s no shortage of people, places and business in Houston. In fact, according to the Houston Chronicle, “The Magnolia City” claims the most Fortune 500 companies in the state of Texas. MBA students have access to a huge city ripe with new business opportunities. Not only is there a ton of opportunity in the Houston metro, but the area’s top business schools also fit all budgets, guaranteeing that prospective MBAs get a top education no matter the size of their wallet or loans.

Here’s five affordable full-time MBA programs in Houston, Texas, ranked from most expensive to least. We ranked each school based on the annual in-state cost of full-time MBA programs.

Rice University – Jones Graduate School of Business: $53,000 per year

The Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business is located on a 295-acre campus in Central Houston, Texas, close to the Houston Museum District and adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. The school offers three MBA programs: a full-time MBA, MBA for Executives and MBA for Professionals. The Rice MBA Program is accredited by AACSB International.

Rice’s full-time MBA is the most expensive MBA on our list, but still costs less than Ivy league schools like Harvard Business School and The Wharton School. The school’s full-time MBA program lasts for 22 months and features courses in finance, accounting, data analysis and marketing that build a solid foundation of fundamental business principles. Students must complete 60 credits in order to graduate. First year students take foundational classes. In the second year of the program, students take elective courses to focus their curriculum on a concentration for their MBA degree.

Looking to save some money at Rice? Scholarships are available to those applying to the Rice MBA full-time program. There’s only a limited number of scholarships available for students, which are awarded on the basis of academic merit. All admitted MBA full-time students are considered for merit-based scholarships, which can range from 10-to-100 percent of tuition. Good news is around 82 percent of the most recent incoming class of full-time MBA students at Rice received some merit-based or name scholarship.

Mays Business School – Texas A&M University: $34,513 per year

Texas A&M first offered a general MBA degree in 1951 and has been AACSB accredited since 1972. The Mays Business School is located on A&M’s west campus, just under 2 hours outside of Houston. Mays also has a facility located in Houston, dubbed the CITYCENTRE facility, which opened in 2012. The CITYCENTRE campus encompasses 30,000 square feet of space located on the first and second floors of the CITYCENTRE THREE building and is home to A&M’s Executive MBA Program

Mays’ full-time program requires 49 credit hours over the 16-month curriculum. The first year is divided into three 10-week terms and one five-week term, which allows students to have completed 50 percent more coursework before their summer internship than most two-year MBA programs. Students do not take classes over the summer.

The first year of the Texas A&M full-time MBA program costs $47,998 for in state residents and includes tuition, room and board, books and supplies and other travel and miscellaneous expenses. The estimated cost for the second year of the program is $21,028 for in state students. Mays accepts federal loans, personal loans, veteran’s education benefits and federal financial aid.

Cameron School of Business – University of St. Thomas: $20,934 per year

The Cameron School of Business is part of the University of St. Thomas, which is the only Catholic university in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Founded by Basilian Fathers in 1947, these holy folks continue to ensure that the university provides a Catholic liberal arts education to its students. The Cameron School of Business was founded in 1979, and focuses on ethically-oriented business education that will provide the school’s graduates with the skills necessary to serve as leaders of faith in a global economy.

Students enrolled in the full-time MBA program at Cameron are required to complete 36 academic hours: Twenty-seven hours of core courses and nine hours of elective courses. Classes are held six days a week and students can complete the program in as little as two years.

We calculated the average yearly cost by looking at credit hours: The cost of the full-time (and part-time) MBA program at Cameron is $1,118 per credit hour during the summer semester. Those enrolled in the fall and spring must pay $1,163 per credit hour. Students taking nine or fewer credit hours per semester are required to pay a $47 activity fee. Those students taking nine or more hours are required to pay $82. Students must also pay a $100 new graduate student fee and an $80 technology fee. Students are required to pay all fees every fall and spring semester.

C.T. Bauer College of Business – University of Houston: $19,750 per year

Located on the 667-acre campus of University of Houston in Southeast Houston, the C.T. Bauer College of Business offers three MBA programs, a full-time MBA, a Professional or Flexible MBA program and an Executive MBA program. All of the MBA programs offered at Bauer are American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited.

Bauer has one full-time intake every fall, with students organized in a cohort structure. Students must complete 21 core credit hours and 27 elective credit hours over the course of 22 months. Students spend the first year of the program building a business knowledge foundation. During the second year, students are able to customize their education to their career goals through electives and elective certificate programs.

Tuition costs for the full-time program at Bauer are estimated at around $40,000 for Texas residents, though the school offers more than 100 merit-based scholarships to well-qualified full-time MBA students, including the Bauer Excellence Scholarship.

University of Houston – Downtown: $18,000 – $21,000 per year

Founded in 1974 when the University of Houston acquired the assets of South Texas Junior College, the University of Houston-Downtown comprises five buildings on 24 acres near the Buffalo and White Oak bayous on the north end of downtown Houston. UHD’s College of Business was founded in 1991, and in January 2012, UHD College of Business enrolled its first class of MBA students. The UHD School of Business received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in 1994.

UHD’s full-time MBA program can be completed in one year. Depending on the concentration that a student chooses,34 to 38 semester hours must be completed to graduate. Each semester consists of two eight-week terms.

Tuition costs $532 per credit hour for in-state students, so total costs vary depending on the concentration a student chooses. Students concentrating on finance, human resource management, leadership management, or business development/sales management will pay $21,840 in tuition fees. Concentrations in supply chain management, international business or accounting cost $23,940. An MBA with a general management concentration costs $18,088.

Jesse H. Jones School of Business: $7,825 per year

Founded in 1955, Jesse H. Jones School of Business is part of Texas Southern University, one of the country’s largest Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The business school was founded in response to a growing interest in business among students in the city of Houston. Today, the school offers a full/part-time and Executive MBA program options.

The traditional program consists of 36 hours of coursework, completed over a two-year period. In total, the cost for the MBA program at Jones is $15,650 for in-state residents. However, scholarships funded through both the university and private donors are available for qualifying students.

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About the Author

Max Pulcini

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Chicago, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.

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