An ex-student of mine who is applying for an online MBA asked me what the academic level of an MBA is. His comment was that when he looked at the outline of each of the individual subject courses, they appeared to be higher than a bachelor-degree level but not quite the same as other masters’ degrees.
Of course, in a way he was right. One of the reasons that the MBA is set apart from other graduate degrees is that it is graduate level, but different from other graduate programs. The subject courses are informational, but the graduate elements of an MBA program are in the project work. This has to be completed in a much more integrated fashion than is normal in other areas of education. MBA project work requires finding unique solutions, integrating actions across functional disciplines, and creating new strategies and tactics to enable the strategies to work.
Make no mistake, studying for an online MBA is a tough intellectual exercise, but is more focused on preparing for a senior management career than further academic work.