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Kenan-Flagler Launches Pilot MBA Program

Kenan-Flagler School MBA students leaving the McColl Building on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. UNC photo

Kenan-Flagler Launches Pilot MBA Program

The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School is launching a pilot MBA program that allows graduating seniors with minimal work experience an opportunity to earn an MBA.

The program, NC Business Next, is designed for graduates from UNC and North Carolina residents from other universities with up to two years of professional experience, The Daily Tar Heel reports.


NC Business Next is best fit for “students with proven quantitative skills, internship and leadership experience, and an analytical mindset are encouraged to apply,” according to UNC’s website.

Unlike more traditional MBA programs, which generally require three to five years of work experience, NC Business Next is specifically for recent graduates or rising seniors.

“So traditionally, almost the entire class has many years of experience,” Brad Staats, associate dean of MBA programs at Kenan-Flagler, tells The Daily Tar Heel. “What is unique is that we are changing the admission standards for this group.”

But that doesn’t mean the standards are particularly lower for acceptance. In fact, according to UNC officials, applicants applying to the program will still be held to a high academic standard.

“We know that they’re already accustomed to the academic lifestyle, and in most cases, we expect that they’re going to excel in the classroom,” Melissa Hlavac, associate dean of MBA programs at Kenan-Flagler, tells The Daily Tar Heel. “We’re looking for strong candidates who have clear goals, those who are extremely motivated, that are accomplished and accomplish more so than their peers.”


Kenan-Flagler offers a variety of MBA programs, such as full-time, online, evening, and weekend.

NC Business Next will fall under its full-time MBA programs. And while the candidates may be younger, they will be on the same academic track as others in the full-time MBA program.

“So that program itself is not new, it is well established,” Staats tells The Daily Tar Heel. “We’re just going to apply it earlier in their career — for most, it’ll be right after graduation.”

The program will feature fellowships, mentorship support, and an Analytical Skills Workshop to bolster students’ knowledge of critical business topics.

The final application deadline for NC Business Next is July 13.

Sources: The Daily Tar Heel, UNC Kenan-Flagler, Magoosh