As a student begins to research pursuing an online MBA program, their mind is filled with many questions. What will an online experience be like? What does the MBA program entail? How will the online education be different from being a residential student? Will future employers see my education as credible? Will my job prospects expand? Will the program be worth the time, money and effort I put into it?
Online MBA Today is sitting down with Professor Rosemary Hartigan, Associate Vice-Dean, Business and Management and Chair, MBA and Professor Ravi Mittal, Chair MBA of the Graduate School at the University of Maryland University College, to help answer some of these important questions. Located in Adelphia, Maryland, UMUC is a four-year public, not-for-profit, university of higher learning delivering degrees to over 90,000 students worldwide, with a strong education history dating back to 1947. And today, being a global leader in online education, in just 18 months, students can attain a respected online MBA degree. This 36-credit hour program is designed to "help you prepare for management careers in business, government, or nonprofit organizations in areas including team leadership, project supervision, and creation and implementation of business solutions." The Graduate School is accredited through the highly respected International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), and the university holds a regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. UMUC's online MBA program has been ranked in several Online MBA Today rankings including: #1 in the Top Online MBA Programs in Maryland, Top 100 Most Affordable Online MBAs, Top 50 Best Value Online MBA Programs, and the Top 50 Online MBA in Management Programs.
Online MBA Today: What are some key differences between an online MBA and a residential MBA that prospective students should be aware of?
Professor Hartigan and Professor Mittal: UMUC offers the MBA degree in two formats: totally online and hybrid. In the hybrid format, students who live in the Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland area have the option to attend face-to-face sessions to supplement their online classes. The key differences between a residential MBA and an online MBA is that in an online MBA there are no face-to-face meetings and learning is asynchronous in the online MBA. Students are not required to be in one place at one time. Students can work at whatever times fit their schedules. Residential MBAs were designed for traditional graduate students who can devote full-time to their studies. The online MBA is ideal for working adults.
Online MBA Today: What do you think are some advantages of an online MBA program versus a residential program?
Professor Hartigan and Professor Mittal: The online environment doesn't confine students to attend a school in a particular geographic location or to be available to attend classes at any particular time. For example, if a student had to move, she could still continue her education uninterrupted online. The online environment allows students to interact with classmates from all over the world. In addition, in an online MBA, talented faculty from around the country teach in UMUC's MBA program.
Online MBA Today: What makes your program unique among online MBAs?
Professor Hartigan and Professor Mittal: University of Maryland University College is a public university that has a long history of serving working adults and has been a leader in online education since its inception. UMUC offers you a respected MBA degree that you can earn entirely online in just 18 months for about $25,000. Plus, you can complete an MBA without paying for a single textbook. All course materials are available as no-cost electronic resources through UMUC's online classroom. UMUC's MBA is focused career-relevant competencies that employers expect MBA graduates to be able to do rather than abstract theories. UMUC employs scholar-practitioner faculty who have experience in the workplace as well as in the classroom.
Online MBA Today: What do you look for in successful applicants to your program?
Professor Hartigan and Professor Mittal: UMUC is an open university. We are more interested in what students can do in the future than what they have done in the past. You must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited degree-granting university or college, to qualify for admission to the MBA program. The MBA Program does not require students to take the GMAT.
Online MBA Today: What has been the experience of your graduates in the job market?
Professor Hartigan and Professor Mittal: Most of our UMUC MBA students are working adults who are already in mid-level management careers. Many alumni have reported that their UMUC MBA has helped them to improve their career opportunities, either by getting a better job, a raise, or a promotion.
Online MBA Today: Anything else you'd like to say about your program?
Professor Hartigan and Professor Mittal: The UMUC MBA is proud of its academic quality, career-relevant course offerings, diversity, low-cost, accessibility, and its history of innovation in higher education. UMUC is a top-ranked military- and veteran-trusted school, and our MBA Program has many military students.
Big Take Aways
ONLINE EXPERTISE: UMUC has been serving working adults, military personnel, and veterans in Maryland and around the world for over 65 years, providing them with opportunities and a top-quality education. As technology advanced in the 1990s and UMUC continued to improve higher education platforms, it became a part of the first universities to offer degree programs entirely online. This allowed, for the first in our time, people whose time cannot be spent sitting in a classroom, the opportunity to obtain a solid education anywhere in the world. As they have now won numerous awards for their achievements in distance learning for adults, UMUC continues to work hard at finding new and improved online learning experiences. The expertise that comes with so many years of experience in the online education world, gives UMUC a large advantage over other distance learning institutions.
GLOBAL INFLUENCE: As UMUC was the first university to educate military personnel actively serving in Europe by sending faculty to them, they have been involved in global education since 1949. That is almost 70 years of global impact and in that time, they have built numerous connections with faculty, students, leaders, institutions, cultures, and many more entities from around the world. With the online abilities and the network of connections, UMUC can provide an incredible, globally infused, multiculturally influenced education to where working adults are interacting with faculty and other students all over the world.