Stern, Wharton Announce Virus-Caused Program Delays

The Andre Koo Tech MBA at NYU Stern will have a later start date than usual this year. Blame coronavirus. Stern photo

Coronavirus continues to cause chaos in business schools’ 2020 calendar.

A pair of prominent business schools today (March 16) announced significant delays for major programs as a direct result of the ongoing pandemic that has sickened hundreds of thousands worldwide and caused widespread shutdowns across the United States and the rest of the world. NYU’s Stern School of Business has moved the start of two MBA programs, the Andre Koo Tech MBA and Fashion & Luxury MBA, to the first week of July at the earliest. Meanwhile, the start of the pre-term for the Lauder Program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania — a program combining an MBA from Wharton with a Master of Arts in International Studies from Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences — has been pushed back from May to late July.

Additionally, Columbia Business School announced the extension to June 1 of its final application deadline for the August 2020 intake.


Martine Haas of the Lauder Institute. Wharton photo

As Poets&Quantscoverage has shown, the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on graduate business education, forcing the cancellation of trips and events and moving many classes off campus and into the virtual space. At the Stern School, the one-year Andre Koo Tech MBA and Fashion & Luxury MBA programs — highly experiential programs that do not easily transition to an online format — will have their usual start dates pushed back to the week of July 6 — if all goes well. The school is also leaving open the possibility of a further delay.

“NYU Stern informed students admitted to the school’s Class of 2022 Andre Koo Tech MBA and Fashion & Luxury MBA programs that the start date has been shifted to no earlier than July 6, 2020,” JP Eggers, vice dean for MBA programs, tells Poets&Quants. “Given the latest guidance from the CDC and after much consideration, the school believes postponing the start date for our one-year programs is the best choice to deliver on an outstanding educational experience in which experiential learning is an essential part.”

At the Lauder Institute, Director Martine Haas emailed students Monday (March 16) to inform them that the Lauder program will officially begin with a new Lauder Pre-Term on Monday, July 20, rather than May 1 as originally scheduled. The pre-term program will run through August 7; the three-week condensed version of Lauder’s usual four-week May program will be followed directly by Wharton Pre-Term, which starts on August 10.

“This is of course a major change to our planned programming for this summer, and we fully recognize how disappointing it is likely to be to you as well as all of us at Lauder,” Haas wrote to students. “We are all very sorry that it has come to this, but given all the uncertainty there is just no way for us to follow the usual plan, even on a delayed schedule.”


At Columbia, Amanda Carlson, assistant dean of admissions, wrote to prospective students that the school would extend its application deadline for the August 2020 incoming class until June 1. She write that the move was made because “admissions offices at many business schools do not know what will happen with our incoming classes.”

“You may be feeling unsettled in these uncertain times,” wrote Carlson, a 2013 Columbia MBA. “Perhaps applying to an MBA program is not exactly at the top of your mind right now. I can totally understand that sentiment. However, in my years at Columbia and as an alumna of the school, I have seen skills developed through the MBA program and the incredible community carry our students and alumni through the financial crisis and major changes in the business environment. Given that there is such uncertainty, perhaps you should consider that this could be the right time to get your MBA.”

Carlson wrote that applications are actually up slightly — 0.8% — to this point. But school officials foresee major obstacles for prospective students before a return to any semblance of normalcy.

“COVID-19 is an evolving situation and we too are trying to anticipate what comes next with our incoming class,” Carlson wrote. “We plan to admit more candidates toward the end of this application cycle in anticipation that some of our admitted students may struggle, for a variety of reasons, to start in August 2020.

“If you are thinking about submitting an application to Columbia Business School, and wonder if it’s too late, it’s not.”



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