Carrie Handwerker 301-405-5833
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland will offer an online MBA program beginning in January 2014. Designed to accommodate working professionals, the flexible online program allows students to earn an MBA degree largely on their own time with minimal on-campus requirements. The program courses are taught by the same top faculty and adhere to the academic rigor of the Smith School's other top MBA programs.
"This is a major step forward for the university and for business professionals who need flexible access to academic excellence," said UMD President Wallace Loh. "The Smith School is combining a state-of-the-art online platform with the academic rigor that makes it a leader. University-wide we are exploring how best to use technology-based learning, and this is an excellent model."
The Smith Online MBA is modeled after the school's top-ranked and highly successful executive MBA program, but it is delivered primarily online. Students begin and end the program with structured, in-person residencies at the University of Maryland's campus in College Park. The remainder of the program is completed online. Students can earn their MBA degree in 21 months.
The online MBA program offers a broad base of knowledge on a wide range of business concepts, such as entrepreneurship, managerial economics, information systems and global economic development to prepare students with a strong business background. Students select one of four specializations — accounting, information systems and analytics, finance or marketing – to focus on their own particular area of interest or they may choose the general track, which allows course selection in each of the areas.
Courses will include two "live," approximately hour-long sessions per week, where students will log on at a specific time to interact with faculty and fellow students. Other coursework can be completed at times that work best for each student.
The program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB International, the premier accrediting agency for bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting. GMAT or GRE entrance exams will be required for admission.
"Different educational formats work best for different kinds of learners – this program is best for working professionals who can learn within a rigorous, structured program, but more-so on their own time," said G. "Anand" Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. "The elements that make our MBA degree programs so successful will still be in place with this program, but the key difference will be the level of flexibility."
The Smith School's MBA curriculum is focused on experiential learning opportunities for students and the online MBA program will also offer these experiences. Students will work together in groups on action learning projects, using knowledge gained in courses to tackle a real challenge or opportunity faced in a team member's organization. Students will self-select teams, conduct remote project meetings and deliver presentations virtually.
These team projects and online group discussions give students many opportunities to create relationships with business professionals in the program across the nation and the world. The two residencies also provide the chance to establish strong professional connections with peers and professors.
For more information about the curriculum or the program requirements or to apply, go to www.rhsmith.umd.edu/onlinemba.