Are you looking for an online MBA program with both a leadership development and global business orientation focus? One that includes a professional development coach and strong leadership curriculum, as well as courses in international business and international finance? Are you a little older than the average, already employed, and not at all interested in taking the General Admission Management Test? The Rochester Institute of Technology may have the program for you — and lucky you, it’s a very highly regarded one.
Indeed, the relatively small RIT Saunders Online Executive MBA, currently home to 39 enrolled students, has been on the rise, claiming a tie for 36th in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report ranking. It’s a small-format course that boasts of creating high-touch peer-to-peer and student-faculty engagement. And it can be completed in 17 months.
“From our own surveys as well as industry research, we know that executive MBA students want more than a simple transfer of business and management theory and concepts; they want a high level of engagement with faculty and especially with their peers,” the school declares at its online EMBA program website. “The opportunity to discuss, argue, compete, and collaborate with other seasoned managers on strategic and topical issues and projects is an essential feature of a strong EMBA program, and one that has direct and immediate applicability to their own professional development. The RIT EMBA is designed to deliver exactly these experiences.”
LARGE FULL-TIME TECH STAFF
The RIT Saunders Online Executive MBA has a 48% acceptance rate and students boast an average 2.93 undergrad GPA. All have prior work experience, with 184 months the average; all in the latest cohort were employed when enrolled. The average age of a Saunders online student is 39.
The 47-credit program has a relatively high rate of minority enrollment, at 23%, and is not overwhelmingly male, with 48.7% female enrollment. Nearly half of enrollees — 44% — receive some sponsorship from their employers.
The program features 24 credit-granting courses taught by 12 full-time and four part-time instructors. There are also eight full-time tech staff.
YOU’LL GET TO KNOW YOUR COHORT WELL IN THIS PROGRAM
In the RIT Saunders Online Executive MBA, collaboration between online and campus-based students is mandatory. (Additionally, all students must attend a three-day on-campus orientation session prior to the start of classes, and a seven- to 10-day international seminar near the end of the program.) The program is on the Desire2Learn platform and includes both recorded and live streaming video and audio and has a nearly 100% student retention rate. Students take two courses every six weeks, with a curriculum identical to the on-campus program and many of the same faculty teaching in both formats. Classes are delivered via weekly synchronous sessions offering high-quality video and audio functionality for optimal interaction, and all sessions are recorded for later viewing. Faculty also are available in all the usual ways: email, phone, etc.
The Saunders program is an AACSB-accredited, 17-month, four-semester program with two starts each year: late August and January. The 24 courses are evenly distributed across the four semesters, with some modification over the shorter summer semester. It’s a cohort-based program, which means that all students enter the program at the same time, take the same classes, and move through the program with their initial cohort; some courses are taken with another cohort (i.e., dual-cohort). Students are assigned to teams at the start of the program and will remain with their team for the duration.
The RIT Saunders online MBA costs $1,659 per credit hour, in-state or out, or $78,000 total. Average student financial aid indebtedness is $32,669; two-thirds (67%) of students graduate with debt.