$25 Million To Accelerate Johns Hopkins’ MBA Makeover

Alex Triantis, dean of the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, says a new $25 million gift from the school’s namesake foundation will go toward accelerating the transformation of the MBA curriculum into a much more healthcare-oriented experience, among other uses. Carey photo

At Johns Hopkins University, nearly a quarter of the Carey Business School’s full-time faculty study or teach in health-related fields. About 38% of current full-time MBA students and 35% of part-time MBA students focus on health-related areas of study.

Carey School leadership wants to get those numbers up. They want to go deeper, becoming a one-stop shop for the business of health through interdisciplinary study, dual degrees, and emphasis on quant skills like analytics to build on Johns Hopkins’ world-renowned authority in medicine, nursing, public health, and biotechnology. Starting in fall 2020 the Baltimore, Maryland-based school will begin to do just that — and now it will have the help of a recently announced $25 million gift from its namesake foundation.

“We’re really excited about the gift,” says Alex Triantis, dean of Johns Hopkins Carey. “It’s going to enable us to do a lot of exciting things in terms of being able to continue to recruit outstanding faculty and doing some great things in our programs. And it’s going to do a lot of things in terms of making sure that we’re doing everything we can for our students and launching their careers.”


William Polk Carey was the founding benefactor of the school that bears his family name. He died in 2012. Carey School photo

The $25 million from the W.P. Carey Foundation is the largest single gift since the Carey School was founded in 2007. Among its chief applications will be the recruitment of four of what Triantis calls “renowned” faculty, professors like Dan Polsky, the distinguished professor of health economics who joined Johns Hopkins from Wharton last April. Polsky is helping the Carey School further its ambitions in the business of health area, Triantis says, and the new hires — “some really top talent from around the country and the world” — will be expected to do the same. The new funds also will enhance academic programs, launch an array of student career services, and underwrite research, particularly research related to the business of health. It will be matched with commitments from Johns Hopkins and other donors for a total of $50 million.

The funds come at an auspicious time for the Carey School, which recently completed a comprehensive, two-year overhaul of its full-time MBA curriculum that will get its first airing in fall 2020. The new-look Carey MBA includes two pathways of study for students: In Health, Technology, and Innovation, students “explore technology-driven, human-centered solutions to complex health challenges,” completing “experiential courses and co-curricular activities focused on a broad range of health-related fields”; while the Analytics, Leadership, and Innovation pathway “systematically blends leadership and behavioral science skills to prepare them to understand the unique opportunities and threats facing any organization.” Both pathways — mirroring the entire MBA curriculum at the Carey School — have a heavy focus on data-driven and interpersonal skills.

Does the latter fact portend a STEM MBA at Johns Hopkins, where already students can pursue four specialized STEM degrees, each of which is “going strong”? Triantis tells Poets&Quants he isn’t ruling it out.

“We haven’t made a decision on that. We know that a lot of other schools are doing that,” says the dean, who joined Johns Hopkins last year from the University of Maryland Smith School of Business, where he was dean for six years. “I think much of that is driven by the student outcomes in terms of employment. We are finding we are placing most of our students out of the MBA program really well. Almost all of our students, 90 days out, were placed last year. So I don’t know. We’ll continue to think about it, but I think it’s more critical for the MS programs, where having that extra OPT time really can help the students find jobs here in the U.S.”


Johns Hopkins Carey has 2,300 total students, including nearly 1,000 students across its graduate programs; its full-time MBA has about 130. Tuition for the two-year, 54-credit program is currently about $61,000 per year. The Carey School lists its MBA graduates’ average starting salary and bonus as $108,931, with average additional guaranteed compensation of $16,750; 93.2% of Carey MBAs accept jobs within three months of graduation. The school also offers a part-time MBA and several dual-degree programs, including an MBA/MD, MBA/MSN in Health Systems Management, MBA/Master of Public Health, and an MBA/MS in Biotechnology. Students can study and attend classes in both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., about an hour south by train during rush hour.

Carey is a school, Triantis says, that is just emerging from its infancy, having only existed for about 13 years (though Johns Hopkins has taught business courses for the better part of a century). Phase one of Carey’s development was building up programs and faculty; full-time faculty has grown from 21 to 107 members, including 14 tenured professors and eight endowed faculty positions. The school established a full-time MBA program and specialized Master of Science programs in finance, marketing, business analytics, information systems, real estate and infrastructure, and health care management. In 2017, after ten years, Carey Business School earned accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and began to look ahead to phase two.

“Now I think we’re in a position to do several things,” Triantis says. “The first is that the school and the reputation of the university allows us, I believe, to be a premier provider of education in the business of health, obviously a huge sector of our economy and one that is changing dramatically — and where innovation is reshaping what health is going to look like in the next decades. So this is an area in which we have significant faculty excellence. We have a lot of students who come to Carey to get deeper into the health industry, so that’s one area that we’re going to continue to focus really deeply on.

“The second is that we’re part of a fabulous university environment. We are working really closely with many of the schools on campus, whether it’s to have dual degrees, such as with the med school, nursing school, other schools on campus; but also to do joint interdisciplinary research and to start working with other partners that we had not worked with in the past, such as the School of Advanced International Studies, SAIS, which is a fabulous school on campus. So we’re really digging into what we call the ‘One Hopkins’ phenomenon, where we’re working as a university really closely together to provide that breadth in education.

“And another one of the exciting things that is down the pike, not too far from now, is this beautiful new building right near Capitol Hill, which is where the Newseum used to be located. That’s going to allow us to have a fabulous facility downtown in D.C., so we’re doing a lot of planning in terms of how we can work together with other schools down there to impact policy and to have a big presence for Hopkins in the D.C. area — which we already have, by the way. We have our programs down there as well.”

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