RSU Makes Graduate Education More Accessible

View of Herrington Hall.Rogers State University has adjusted its Master of Business Administration degree to make it more efficient for working professionals, allowing students to earn a graduate degree in as little as 18 months.

University officials have implemented a three-tiered strategy to streamline the process of beginning and finishing an MBA, even for those students who enter the program without a business background.

Dr. Susan Willis, Interim Dean of the School of Business and Technology, said the changes are designed to meet the needs of students, especially for working professionals.

“Our program modifications are designed to make our MBA program more accessible for non-business majors, while also speeding up the degree completion time,” Willis said. “We want to be responsive to our students’ needs so that they succeed both in school and in the workplace.”

Starting in January, all MBA courses will be offered in an eight-week format, which will allow students to complete coursework in an accelerated timeframe. The university previously offered the MBA coursework in traditional 16-week classes, which would take students up to three years to complete the program. This fall, RSU offered a handful of eight-week MBA classes, which were well received by students.

Utilizing the eight-week format, a student could complete the 36-hour MBA program in as little as 18 months. The eight-week format will allow students to begin or complete their MBA at five times during the academic year, with two sessions of eight-week courses offered each fall and spring, and one session of eight-week classes planned for the summer.

If a student enters the program without the required business courses, RSU will begin offering a single, eight-week foundation course to provide working knowledge needed for the graduate business curriculum. RSU previously had required students to take up to 24 hours of undergraduate business courses in order to enroll in the program if they did not hold a business degree.

Finally, RSU now is offering provisional admission to its MBA program. Provisionally enrolled students may take up to six credit hours of graduate courses while waiting for admission requirements such as test scores to be submitted to the university.

RSU’s MBA program launched in fall 2014, and Willis said the recently announced program changes are the result of feedback from current students, prospective students and area employers.

“We recognize that our students want to earn a graduate degree, but competing work and life obligations can make it difficult for students to follow a traditionally scheduled degree program,” she said. “With these modifications, we hope to remove barriers that would otherwise keep students from earning their MBA.”

Enrollment for the spring semester begins on Oct. 29, and spring classes begin on Jan. 11, 2016. For more information about the RSU MBA program, visit www.rsu.edu/graduate.