A business degree can provide working adults with skills and knowledge they can use in a variety of career paths in many industries. They can learn about the foundations of business administration, management, leadership, and other business-related topics, such as marketing, finance, and accounting.
Working adults may need flexibility if they decide to return to school to complete their bachelor’s degree in business. They may have to balance their full-time jobs, families, and households with their schooling. Enrolling in a business degree program online gives them the chance to achieve this goal because they can complete its course work when it is convenient for them.
At Penn State, working adults will find a comprehensive selection of undergraduate degrees in business that are offered online through Penn State World Campus and taught by Penn State faculty.
Respected business degrees offered online
A business administration bachelor’s degree is among the most popular majors at universities nationwide, and the Bachelor of Science in Business is among the most popular undergraduate degree programs offered online at Penn State.
This major provides students the chance to study the foundations of business, such as management, planning, and negotiation, while gaining exposure in closely related disciplines, such as finance, marketing, supply chain management, and more. Students will choose a specialization in accounting, entrepreneurship, financial services, health services, or management and marketing, or they can create their own course of study in consultation with their academic adviser. The degree program requires an internship that will give students practical experience.
Graduates say their bachelor’s in business has helped them find career success.
Other traditional degrees in business include the following:
- The Bachelor of Science in Accounting has earned accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and can help aspiring accountants prepare for the CPA exam. Students will take courses on traditional business topics, and in later semesters, they will complete specific accounting courses of their choosing.
- The Bachelor of Science in Finance is another degree program that has earned AACSB accreditation. Through the course work, students will learn about investments, corporate finance, markets, and more. The program has been designed to prepare students for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and/or Certificated Financial Planning (CFP) designations.
- The Bachelor of Science in Marketing provides students with the skills and knowledge to develop strategic marketing plans and market research. Students will take courses in retailing, advertising, research, e-commerce, and more. This program is also accredited by the AACSB.
- The Bachelor of Science in Economics has been designed to provide students with strong quantitative knowledge in mathematics theory, research, and more, to represent and interpret individual and group behavior.
- The Bachelor of Arts in Economics allows students to focus on the qualitative aspect of this field. It emphasizes social behavior, culture, international relations, and foreign languages in its curriculum.
I have been very fortunate in my professional career to get to where I am, but I am now more prepared for any opportunity that may come my way.
—Brittany Anderson, Finance major
Degrees in HR
Students who want a major that focuses on how human resources operates within businesses and organizations can consider two degree programs.
The Bachelor of Science in Labor and Human Resources is designed for students who want to learn about HR with a quantitative and analytical perspective. Students will choose between two tracks: the human resources option focuses on human resources management while the labor and employment relations option explores the labor movement.
The Bachelor of Arts in Labor and Human Resources provides a solid foundation in the field through its course work while focusing on the humanities and social sciences. Students who choose this degree may want to pursue HR careers in organizational culture, workforce diversity, and more.
A long history of offering undergraduate business education online
The first Bachelor of Science to be offered online at Penn State was in organizational leadership, and the offerings in this field have expanded to include a Bachelor of Arts.
The Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership integrates more core courses into the curriculum, providing a solid foundation to students who are newer to leadership. The Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership offers a higher degree of customization that may appeal to those with significant leadership experience.
Penn State has a long history of offering an agricultural education, both on campus and at a distance, and the Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management continues this legacy. This program has been designed for students who want the business skills and knowledge to work in industries related to the food system. It combines the study of agriculture and business management with supply chain, marketing, and consumer behavior.
New offerings in emerging fields
The newest additions to the robust portfolio of bachelor’s degree programs in business are in fields in which the skills and knowledge are in demand in today’s fast-paced business world.
In a data-driven world, professionals need to not only use data but also communicate findings in the most understandable and appropriate way for the audience. The Bachelor of Science in Functional Data Analytics has been designed to take a deep dive into four data analysis models (descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive) while encouraging the development of communication skills to clearly transmit findings through written, visual, and spoken formats.
The Bachelor of Science in Project and Supply Chain Management was designed to help students develop the quantitative and people skills necessary to design and operate complex management systems. Students learn how to manage critical components in organizational supply chains and apply business analytic methods for organizing and fully integrating supply chain practices throughout the organization.
I know that I am capable of tackling any tough challenges that come my way after having taken on the goal of earning my degree and following through with it. I would not be where I am in my career today without this degree.
—Danielle Myrick, Business major
Highly ranked and accredited undergraduate degrees in business
U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked the selection of bachelor’s degree programs offered online through Penn State World Campus among the top institutions in the country in its Best Online Programs rankings. The rankings consider student engagement, services and technology, faculty credentials, and more.
Specifically, the bachelor’s in business was ranked as one of the top 5 online programs for that major in the country by U.S. News.
Several programs have earned accreditation from the AACSB. This accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business education, as programs must meet the highest quality standards. The bachelor’s degrees in finance, marketing, and accounting have received this accreditation through the academic campuses at Penn State that offer them.
Business courses taught by Penn State faculty
The professors who teach the students enrolled in these online business programs are Penn State faculty, many of whom also teach business courses on a Penn State campus.
Professor Ellen Ranieri, who teaches in the bachelor’s in business program, has provided opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research and have their work published. She worked closely with three students who published their research in peer-reviewed chapters in a book in 2022.
The faculty are also involved in research. For instance, Professor Brian Redmond is the lead faculty member for two programs, organizational leadership and labor and human resources. He teaches and authors courses in leadership, and he has published and presented research. Mary Beth Pinto, a marketing professor and the lead for that program, is the author of more than 60 scholarly publications.
My business degree will help me beyond measure moving forward.
—Artie Cressman, Business major
Business degrees for military students
Military students often choose majors that align with their military backgrounds and provide skills that can be applied to a wide range of industries and job roles. That is why business degrees are among the most popular majors for service members, whether they are active duty while completing their degree or veteran students who have separated or retired from the military.
The military provides extensive training in leadership and management, shaping members into effective decision-makers and problem-solvers. Majoring in business allows military learners to build upon these skills by strengthening their abilities to lead teams, analyze complex situations, and make critical decisions.
Service members possess a unique understanding of hierarchical structures, teamwork, and organizational dynamics. These insights can be invaluable in the business world or a corporate setting.
After serving in the military, veterans may seek opportunities to create and lead their own ventures. A major in a business-related field provides a solid foundation in entrepreneurship, exposing students to the intricacies of starting and managing a business. Armed with their military training, these individuals possess the determination, resilience, and resourcefulness required to navigate the challenges that come with launching and sustaining a successful enterprise.
25 years of online education at Penn State
Through Penn State World Campus, Penn State has offered a way for people to complete their degrees online for 25 years. The first courses were offered in 1998.
Since then, Penn State World Campus has expanded its offerings to a comprehensive portfolio of more than 175 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, including these degrees in business.