The Top Master In Management Programs In The United States

The MBA is the top graduate business degree in the United States. In Europe, the preferred degree has long been the Master in Management. But U.S. B-schools are coming around to the appeal of the latter program — a shorter, cheaper alternative with younger cohorts of students.

“It’s just a matter of time and not really knowing what these programs are,” says Evelyn Williams, founding academic director of the Master of Science in Management program and teaching professor of management at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “I do think that we are still just getting the message out. One is on the supply side, with parents in particular and students not understanding what they are.”

“And then there is awareness on the company side. Companies and organizations have not heard of them in the U.S.”

Chicago Booth Master In Management Specialize

THE P&Q LIST: 32 MiM PROGRAMS AT 28 U.S. B-SCHOOLS

Georgetown’s Evelyn Williams: The Master in Management “is a multiplier of their trajectory early on in their career. To add value from day one — that is what employers are expecting”

The MBA is and will remain the flagship graduate degree at most business schools in the United States. But as priorities shift and students look for a faster bridge to the world of work, U.S. B-schools are finding that MiMs, rather than competing with MBAs, are filling a needed niche by allowing some students to immediately enhance their qualifications post-undergrad, rather than enter the workforce first and return to school down the road.

U.S. MiMs are still under-appreciated: Data from the Graduate Management Admission Council are inconclusive as to whether the degree is having a moment (see table below), and the only major ranking of MiM programs remains highly Euro-centric. But observers of graduate business education trends agree that MiMs are primed to grow in importance in the U.S. as companies do away with rotational programs for humanities majors and want people who can hit the ground running, contributing quickly in the job. MiMs may well be the least developed specialty master’s market in the U.S. with the most growth potential, if schools can educate employers and prospective students about the value of the degree and the training.

Poets&Quants has compiled a list of 33 Master in Management programs at 29 B-schools in the United States, ranging widely in cost, mode of delivery, admission requirements, and class composition. (See page 3 for a complete list.) Some, like the programs at Florida Warrington College of Business and Fordham Gabelli School of Business, can be done fully online or in-person; some, like the MiMs at Texas-Dallas Jindal School of Management and George Washington School of Business, can be done in blended fashion. A few — like the Illinois Gies College of Business’ iMSM, Michigan State Broad College of Business’ Online MS in Management, Strategy & Leadership, and Northeastern D’Amore-McKim School of Business’ Master of Science in Management, are entirely online. And two — at Chicago Booth School of Business and Emory Goizueta Business School — are brand new, having been announced just this summer.

Program cost ranges widely, with tuition anywhere from $11,520 at Illinois Gies’ online iMSM to $138,640 for Stanford Graduate School of Business’ MSx program. Across the top 32 programs, the average tuition cost is just shy of $56,000.

Source: GMAC

WOMEN FLOCK TO MiM PROGRAMS

For students, a big appeal of MiM programs is in admissions. Even when they have entrance exam requirements, class score averages are much lower than typical MBA programs; for example, the Graduate Management Admission Test average for the most recent MS in Management Science class at Texas-Dallas Jindal is 610. That same school’s MBA class average in 2022 was 689.

MiM admissions teams also look favorably on students with little or no work experience; this, plus the programs’ short duration — most are 9 to 12 months long— also appeals to a sector of the population long targeted by MBA programs (with mixed success): women. Of 21 U.S. programs that have publicly reported their class percentages of women, the average is just under 48%; 11 schools have 50% or more women in their MiMs. Leading all programs is Duke Fuqua’s Master of Management Studies: Duke Kunshan University, with 64% women; small Lehigh University College of Business is close behind at 63%.

Georgetown McDonough’s Master of Science in Management program has 51% women in its latest class; the program is designed to appeal to them, Evelyn Williams says, and to under-represented minorities, as well.

“We focus on the demographics,” says Williams, who has now been involved in designing MiM courses at two universities, including Wake Forest. “From day one, we focused on over 50% of women, pre-experience. There is no excuse not to go after a lot of women and under-represented groups. Thirty-nine percent of the latest class is African-American or Latino — 41% if you include Asian-Americans.

“These new programs serve as a bridge program for first-generation students who can’t find a way to bridge into white-collar work. That was intentional. Composition is huge. The old rule that ‘Oh well the women don’t apply’ is old and outdated. Parity is important. We have had to work to get more men in the program.”

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