Top Online MBA Programs: Thunderbird School of Global Management Online MBA

Thunderbird School of Global Management Online MBA

As you would expect, Thunderbird’s online MBA program is far more global than most others, with an average of 14 countries represented in a typical class. The average student here tends to be a bit older, at 35, and have more work experience as well, an average of nine full years.

Blending web-based coursework with onsite seminars around the globe, Thunderbird’s online MBA program provides students the opportunity to work across time zones and borders with diverse cohort peers – and learn quickly how to adapt your style and mindset to work most effectively in a multi-cultural environment. To further cohort interaction, you will meet your classmates during an onsite foundations course at the start of the program, study together online, travel together abroad and graduate together on Thunderbird’s Phoenix, Arizona, campus.

  • Immediate access to coursework at anytime from anywhere
  • Engaging online lectures
  • Interactive chats/bulletin boards
  • Online collaboration with global professors and classmates using technology of modern global business

The curriculum is divided into three primary categories: world business,international studies and cross-cultural and English business communications. The program is offered three times a year in the fall (August/September), spring (January), and summer (April).

During two intensive one-week international seminars, MBAs learn about the opportunities and challenges of doing business in two distinct regions of their choosing. The Regional Business Environment study tours abroad cover the history, culture, and politics of the country. Students  learn cultural insights first-hand from guest speakers and local alumni, visit local companies; and enjoy cultural excursions.

FORMAT: The program starts off with an in-residence orientation and onsite seminar. For those who start in January, the face-to-face portion of the program starts on Jan. 5 and continues through Jan. 12 on the school’s Arizona campus. There are four online courses before the next in-residence session on June 17 through June 24 in either Prague or Beijing. The next seminar in October would be held in Santiago or Istanbul. Students who are on the 19-month track can expect to spend an average of 25-30 hours each week completing their schoolwork, while those on the longer track average of 15-20 hours weekly.

COST: $69,800

START DATES: three times a year in the fall (August/September), spring (January), and summer (April).

TIME TO COMPLETE: 19 to 28 months

PLATFORM REVIEW: Not available

RANKINGS: When U.S. News & World Report debuted its first ranking of online MBA programs in January of 2013, Thunderbird came in at 25th best in the U.S. The school reported that its acceptance rate is 64%, with an average GMAT score of 584.  The average class size is 43 students. Thunderbird did even better in The Economist’s last rating in 2010. The school was put in the top five, just behind IE Business School and the University of Florida and with Indiana University and Euro MBA, a program put on by a consortium of European business schools. By virtue of the school’s overall reputation on our primary business school ranking, we rate it eighth best in the U.S.



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