Montana’s only master of business administration program is now more convenient for anyone in the state – or the world – to access. The University of Montana College of Business has redesigned its MBA so students can earn the degree regardless of their schedule or where they live. The program lets students choose between attending traditional face-to-face classes, teleconferencing into live classroom discussions or viewing recorded lectures online. Students can even blend all three content delivery options depending on their individual needs throughout the semester.
“This program is ideal for anyone who needs flexibility because it meets you wherever you are,” said College of Business Dean Chris Shook. “Members of the military, someone who might have a move on the horizon or anyone who plans to continue to work through the program would benefit from this redesigned curriculum.”
Shook said the program works especially well for students in UM’s dual-degree programs in law, physical therapy and pharmacy because they can continue coursework through clinicals or other demands on their time. Students joining class by teleconference can do so from any location, including one of six group sites around Montana.
“The trend for MBA programs is going to online delivery,” said Dawn Hambrick, the program’s interim director. “We’re known for having a personal touch where we’re dedicated to each student’s success, so we’re offering this flexible delivery option to maintain that.”
Courses in the 32-credit curriculum last five or 10 weeks and take place during evenings and select weekends, though students can complete all coursework through distance education if they choose. Full-time students with a previous undergraduate degree in business can complete the accelerated program in one year. Part-time students can earn their degree in two to five years. For those who do not have an undergraduate degree in business, UM provides the required prerequisites in five online courses. Not only is the program accelerated and affordable – TopManagementDegrees.com ranked it the 13th in the nation for affordability in 2017 – administrators say the program is designed to deliver flexible high-level executive education.
“If we don’t have the expertise in a particular topic among our faculty, we bring in outside professionals to deliver electives,” Hambrick said. “We look to our many connections in industry to get the right people from companies like Nike, Starbucks, Patagonia and FAST Enterprises to teach those courses.”
Students graduate with a general MBA, but are encouraged to specialize through their choices of electives such as sustainability or digital marketing. They also can earn a certificate in entertainment management or entrepreneurship along with their diploma. All MBA students, on and off campus, also have access to the Gianchetta Student Success Center, which includes individualized academic advising and internship and career development through the College of Business.
No matter where they are, geographically or in their careers, now is a great time for students to pursue an MBA, Shook said.
“Businesses are operating in a rapidly changing environment,” he said. “Now is the right time for working professionals to ensure their knowledge and skills are sufficient to meet today’s challenges and succeed in the workplace of the future.”