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2U Will Add Three New Online MBAs In 2019

Rice University’s online MBA program with 2U is one of the newest

Five more universities will be launching graduate business programs with 2U next year. In announcing it’s 2019 launch cohort, the online education provider said it will add to its growing business portfolio three new online MBA programs from UC-Davis, University College London and Pepperdine University. That will bring its MBA program options to a total of ten by the end of 2019.

2U MBA programs tend to be priced at the high end of online degree options. That’s largely because the company takes 50% to 60% of all the revenue generated by schools that chose to work with the online education company. MBA@Rice, which will enter its debut cohort of MBA students in October, has a sticker price of $109,400 for the Class of 2020 for a  22-month schedule of course work. MBA@UNC now costs a total of $124,345. When UC-Davis launches its online MBA next year, it is expected to be priced above $120,000 (see table below). 2U programs feature weekly live classes on the Internet and a series of three-day immersions in both global and domestic locations. Most programs require attendance at two of these residencies.

2U’s new business additions are among 17 new graduate programs the company expects to roll in 2019. The new MBA programs are on top of the existing six programs 2U has at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, Simmons School of Business, the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, and the University of Dayton, and American University’s Kogod School of Business.


The company said it is also developing for launch in 2019 specialized master’s programs in business at Tufts, Pepperdine and Fordham universities.  At Tufts, 2U is helping the school to create a master of global business adminisration. At Pepperdine, 2U is working to develop what it calls a “suite of master’s degrees in business and management,” including the MBA. The Pepperdine online MBA, previously managed by Pearson, represents a switchover from another provider. A 2U spokesperson said Pepperdine will offer Master of Science degrees in Human Resources, Management & Leadership, and Applied Analytics. And at Fordham University, it is also working on a portfolio of specialized master’s degree programs in business and management. “The Fordham suite is still under development,” the spokesperson added.

The company’s global degree with University City London is the first non-U.S. graduate program for 2U, while its forthcoming program at UC-Davis will make that school the first in the UC system with an online MBA offering (see Lights, Camera, Action! Behind The Scenes Of UC-Davis’ Online MBA Venture)

To date, 2U said it has announced 64 graduate programs in 24 verticals and 15 multiple program verticals. The company has partnered with 34 universities across its portfolio of graduate programs and short courses.


“We are incredibly pleased to achieve this milestone because these 16 new online graduate programs represent a significant step towards 2U’s long-term target of 250 DGPs (domestic graduate programs),” said 2U Co-Founder and CEO Christopher “Chip” Paucek in a statement. “Our pipeline is stronger than it has ever been, and we are deep in the process of signing programs for 2020.”

The company’s fast growth has come at a cost. Last year, 2U reported a net loss of $29.4 million, up from $20.7 million a year earlier. Those losses are only climbing higher. The company has told Wall Street it expects net losses to climb to as high as $42.7 million this year.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.