As demand for alternatives to the full-time two-year MBA gain steam, Carnegie Mellon University has added a new choice for prospective students: A part-time program that gives students credit for past business courses. That’s a potential savings of up to one year and up to $36,812 in tuition and fees.
CMU’s Tepper School of Business announced this week the launch of its new part-time accelerated MBA program, allowing incoming students to receive up to two semesters worth of credits for similar coursework from their undergraduate degree.
“Our MBA students all have different needs based on their personal lives, the progression of their careers, and so on. Especially for a part-time student, flexibility is key. We believe this program provides that flexibility while recognizing the business foundations built into their undergraduate degrees,” Kelly Wilson, executive director of masters admission, tells Poets&Quants.
“We wanted to be able to serve this segment of MBA applicants.”
AN ANALYTICS-FOCUSED MBA
The current part-time MBA at Tepper takes about three years, Wilson says, while the new accelerated version will take about two. Students can apply for credit for foundational business courses taken within the last seven years. These are accounting, finance, marketing, micro economics, and operations. Students who receive these credits will take a refresher business fundamentals course in their first semester at Tepper.
Otherwise, the accelerated part-time program is the same rigorous degree as Tepper’s other MBA programs, all taught by the same faculty, Wilson says. Tepper’s full-time MBA was ranked No. 16 in Poets&Quants’ latest ranking while its online program ranked No. 2.
“Our approach to the MBA focuses on a combination of analytics and leadership. We like to say ‘the science of management and the art of leadership,’” Wilson says. “That’s integral in our MBA programs across the board. We consider all of our programs to be analytics focused.”
A FLEXIBLE DELIVERY APPROACH
The structure of Tepper’s MBA programs mean students can hop between programs that best suit them as they progress. For example, students starting in their online program can spend the last year taking classes with the full-time MBA students if they are looking to pivot or decide it’s a better fit.
“We consider the CMU MBA to be one program,” Cindy McCauley, Tepper’s executive director of online programs, told Poets&Quants this fall. “We don’t see that wall (between different MBA programs) because everything is the same. The admissions standards are the same, the coursework is the same. It’s not different, it’s just delivered differently.”
The same is true with the accelerated part-time program. Students will have the option to transfer into the full-time program after their first year. “This may be of particular interest for students who are seeking a career change as they will be able to do an internship in the summer following year one and participate in corporate recruiting in the fall of their second year,” Wilson says.
GLOBAL NETWORKS, COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
The part-time program will have both synchronous and asynchronous coursework delivered online with optional on-campus classes. Tepper’s Access Weekends offer students a chance to network with their classmates, connect with Tepper alumni, and help build their professional networks.
“As we continue to work toward a more intelligent future, flexible and accessible options are a priority for us at the Tepper School,” says Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean of the Tepper School of Business, in a release. “This new program provides a fast-track Tepper School MBA degree to propel graduates into the next levels of their careers.”
The ideal candidate is someone with 3 to 7 years work experience with either an undergraduate business degree or with foundational business courses who wants to keep working while earning their MBA.
Tepper is now accepting applications for its accelerated part-time MBA for the first cohort in fall 2022.
Learn more about the program here.