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Carnegie Mellon Enters Online MBA Market

The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University today (Dec. 10) said it would offer a new online and in-person MBA program starting in the fall of 2013. Tepper joins the Kenan-Flagler Business School and Indiana University’s Kelley School as the top-ranked schools with online options.

The 32-month program will feature 15 so-called “access weekends” on Tepper’s main campus in Pittsburgh as well as New York and Silicon Valley where students will meet face to face with professors. Those in-person sessions will be used to begin and end the online courses will be run two at a time in seven-week intervals. Each live course is expected to meet once per week for 90 minutes online. During the Internet sessions, students will be able to see their professors and classmates.

The school said that although current trends suggest increasingly larger online classes, Tepper’s FlexMBA approach would deliver the MBA program to sections of just 20 to 30 students.

“The new FlexMBA model draws on our school’s experience earned over nearly two decades of successful graduate-level distance-learning programs and combines that knowledge with our expertise in traditional full- and part-time MBA education,” said Michael Trick, senior associate dean for education at the Tepper School, in a statement. “Maintaining quality and consistency across all our MBA delivery platforms is paramount. The flexibility of the FlexMBA format makes it convenient for students anywhere in North America to access our curriculum and faculty.”

The school said that its access weekends will offer three full days of lectures, testing, group development and presentations, career services, and access to alumni and corporate programs from within the region. The weekly online class for each course will provide the opportunity for students to interact with the faculty to clarify and strengthen their command of the weekly material and apply it to relevant business situations through case discussions.

“Going forward, we plan to maintain an adaptive open architecture for the delivery technologies that the program uses, so that we can take advantage of new online technologies as they are developed,” Trick added. “The integration of new technologies and channels to offer this flexibility in delivering our MBA, while maintaining a high level of interactivity is a credit to a committee of thoughtful faculty members with input from all facets of our school community.”

The school said that admission requirements for the FlexMBA program remain the same as for the Tepper School’s full- and part-time MBA programs. The Tepper School is now accepting applications for the new Flex MBA program.