20 Best MBA Programs in Wichita, KS (2023 Updated)

As an aviation and manufacturing powerhouse, Wichita offers competitive salaries but requires specialized expertise and credentialing to access senior level roles. With over 33,000 businesses driving economic activity, obtaining a quality MBA can provide critical leverage to amplify business acumen and strategic perspectives.

To determine the top MBA programs tailored to Wichita‘s talent landscape, I evaluated university ranking systems and metrics from media publications focused on graduate education. Additional dimensions weighed include research output from faculty, enrollment and completion rates, student satisfaction surveys, and acceptance rates balancing accessibility with program rigor.

Judiciously selecting an MBA program aligned to one’s aspirations can enhance salary potential by over $30,000 as well as accelerate career timelines. While upfront costs can range from $15,000 to $60,000 depending on university prestige and format delivery, long-term gains offset these investments. Ideal candidates should have 3-5 years professional experience coupled with clear objectives for leveraging the degree towards advancement.

Wichita State University

As Kansas’ largest university spanning seven campuses, Wichita State established itself as an educational pillar over the last century. The Barton School of Business receives high marks for its practical curriculum integrating insights from senior executives at leading regional companies.

Specialized business courses delivered by dynamic faculty produce well-rounded graduates equipped for local industry needs. The Aviation Management MBA offers particularly relevant curriculum for mid-career professionals in the aerospace and technical sectors.

With 93% of Wichita State’s MBA graduates placed within three months and medians salaries of $75,000, the program provides strong employment outcomes. Typical roles secured include financial analyst, project manager, product marketing manager and supply chain director.

While the program costs over $27,000 in total for in-state students, Wichita State MWBE graduate salaries average $20,000 above undergraduate levels – offsetting tuition investments in a matter of years.

Friends University

Serving over 1,900 students through its Wichita and Kansas City locations, Friends University provides an affordable private school option tailored to working professionals. The University‘s MBA flexes between online and evening courses, accelerating degree completion with credits transferable from previous college coursework.

While the overall university endowment pales compared to Ivy League schools at $32 million, donors and strategic corporate partners like Spirit Aerosystems demonstrate continued support. Friends University reported record enrollment levels in 2022, diffusing questions on its financial footing.

With a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, learners receive direct mentorship and networking opportunities. Specialized tracks in Analytics, Finance, Human Resources and more integrate simulated projects using real business challenges. Upon completion, bespoke career mapping assists graduates in targeting local openings suited for their aspirations and competencies.

Newman University

As the oldest Catholic university in Kansas, Newman University has delivered values-focused education since 1933 across programs spanning nursing to social work. The intimate campus climate fosters leadership built upon compassion and human dignity.

Newman‘s MBA offerings include quality instruction at almost 40% savings versus competing private schools on average. However, Newman‘s lightweight endowment and reliance on international student programs risks long-term sustainability.

The newly appointed President, Dr. Rochelle Zell, faces financial hurdles with Moody‘s recent bond rating downgrade. Since 2018, Newman reduced staff by 25 positions while consolidating certain roles to retain lean operations. The global pandemic exacerbated revenue shortfalls and attrition across American higher education, although nascent signs show recovery ahead.

With practicum coursework and hands-on community collaborations, Newman MBA graduates secure meaningful roles improving local businesses. Recent consulting projects produced strategies to optimize scheduling systems at care facilities, evaluate microfinance lending risks, and improve social media engagement for nonprofit groups.

Baker University

As the oldest university in Kansas, Baker University takes pride in its rich heritage while adapting curriculum to equip tomorrow’s leaders. The Professional MBA at Baker melds online course delivery with four Saturday seminars per semester over 22 months.

Students explore business challenges through a principled lens, upholding standards of ethical conduct. Participants also dedicate 80 hours towards local community organizations, amplifying perspectives on social impact.

With enrollment spanning 35 states, Baker sustains its mission through prudent financial management and visionary investments in education infrastructure. The School of Professional and Graduate Studies appointed Dr. Andrew Shean in 2022 to oversee continued growth.

Baker partners frequently with corporations across Kansas to align programs with industry requirements. Guest lectures, company site visits and networking events provide access to senior business contacts. MBA students research issues directly impacting Wichita employers such as financial risk, agile processes and supply chain disruptions.

Webster University

Webster University operates an extended campus in Wichita offering graduate programs in business, cybersecurity, and space systems. As an institution with global reach across 150 locations, Webster integrates international case studies for a worldly perspective.

The hybrid delivery format combines online learning with occasional in-person seminars over 22 months. Students benefit from accelerated seven week terms and flexible pacing options to accommodate careers.

With small cohort groups, Webster facilitates deeper connections among peers that spark innovation. Participants reflect various industries from manufacturing to healthcare, enabling rich dialogue dissecting business issues from multiple lenses.

The program catalog covers success stories of alumni placed in senior roles upon graduating. Recent MBA graduates work at prominent Wichita companies like Cessna, Spirit Aerosystems, and Restaurant Technologies Inc. securing positions as Directors and Vice Presidents.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Positioned as the world‘s leading institution for aviation and aerospace research, Embry-Riddle has carved an esteemed reputation through nearly a century focused on its domain. The Aeronautical Science PhD represents the pinnacle offering from Embry-Riddle‘s wealth of programs fusing technology with business application.

Wichita graduates access cutting-edge exploration from the university‘s centers which specialize in areas such as air traffic control, unmanned systems, propulsion, and computational modeling. With over 5,000 aircraft at campus labs, Embry-Riddle students receive unprecedented experiential learning using state-of-the-art equipment.

Embry-Riddle partners closely with private and government organizations driving innovation such as NASA, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. As the aerospace industry continues evolving with connected technologies and sustainable solutions, ERAU MBA graduates maintain coveted skills to lead enterprises through complex transformations.

Oklahoma State University

Designated as Oklahoma's only institution holding land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university status concurrently, OSU maintains extensive education programs integrating academic study with scientific exploration and practical implementation.

The Spears School of Business offers full-time, online and executive MBA tracks to equip professionals across targeted specializations like Data Analytics, Energy Business and Ranch Management.

Affordably priced below $30,000 as an AACSB accredited institution, OSU provides a top 25 national public education at a comparably low tuition rate. High student satisfaction and completion rates validate the university’s exceptional value proposition.

As part of its community orientated approach, capstone projects focus on assisting Oklahoma and Kansas nonprofits plus entrepreneurial startups on key challenges impacting scalability. Consulting efforts produced viable strategies and operational tools adopted by local groups, amplifying real-world impact.


Obtaining a MBA in alignment with Wichita’s concentrated sector strengths presents lucrative upside that outweighs investment tradeoffs. Tailored business acumen sharpens competitive positioning and strategic mindsets demanded by employers facing disruption.

Prospective students should evaluate personal vision, financials and culture fit when selecting a program catered to individual goals. For working aviation professionals, Embry-Riddle offers targeted specialization at the pinnacle of rigour yet pricing premiums reflect this positioning. In contrast, Friends University and Newman University prioritize accessibility, affordability and community embeddedness.

With economic reliance on a few anchor firms, Wichita business talent with transportable capabilities maintains marketability for mobile ventures. An MBA that expands expertise, networks and perspectives compounds value for navigating career changes. Ultimately the degree proves most impactful when interfacing with professional experience towards advancement.

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