Total Program Cost In-State: $49,204
Total Program Cost Out-of-State: $49,204
Program Length: 12-23 months
Naz ErengucDirector of AdmissionsHough Hall 310 1404 Union Dr.Gainesville, Florida 32611
Application Deadlines: December 1, 2020 (for Spring 2021 start) March 1, 2021 (for Summer 2021 start)
Intake Dates: Online One-Year MBA: January 2021, April 2021 Online Two-Year MBA: January 2021, May 2021
Est. Weekly Time Commitment: 15-20hrs
Total Enrollment: 425
Acceptance Rate: 64%
Average GMAT: 576
Average GPA: 3.39
Average GRE: 305
Age Range: 39
Average Age: 29
The University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business has been delivering MBA content online since the 20th century. Back in 1999, when the online program was launched, the school would mail VHS tapes to students, says John Gresley, assistant dean and director of the Florida MBA.
In coming years the school began using iPods, pre-recording all course materials and giving the students each a device so they could download an entire semester’s worth of lectures while on one of the required campus visits. The students then would consume the material at a distance. In time, Hough began using iPads.
Gresley tells this story to illustrate that the school has been in the online MBA space since before it was as easy and convenient as it is now. “This is not something that we decided to start doing when it became popular and easy for everybody,” he tells Poets&Quants. “We’ve been committed to offering students a quality MBA education at a distance for as long as we’ve been able to do so.” That commitment includes several faculty who have taught in the online program since its launch: “They’ve grown up with the technology, so as the technology has gotten better, they’ve gotten better,” Gresley says.
“The reality is, they’ve been creating content and designing classroom experiences to be consumed at a distance in an asynchronous way from the very beginning.”
FOUR FOCUS AREAS REPRESENT ‘STRENGTHS OF THE COLLEGE’ UF MBA, ranked No. 4 in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report online MBA rankings, actually offers two online MBA options: a two-year, 48-credit program that takes 24 months to complete and involves six to seven visits to the school’s Gainesville campus; and a one-year, 32-credit accelerated program for…
FOUR FOCUS AREAS REPRESENT ‘STRENGTHS OF THE COLLEGE’ UF MBA, ranked No. 4 in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report online MBA rankings, actually offers two online MBA options: a two-year, 48-credit program that takes 24 months to complete and involves six to seven visits to the school’s Gainesville campus; and a one-year, 32-credit accelerated program for undergraduate business majors who already have foundations in core subjects and takes 16 months to complete.
In the academics realm, the Florida Hough online MBA student population boasts an average undergraduate GPA of 3.39, average GMAT of 576, and an average GRE of 309.
Each program has three annual intakes, in the fall, spring, and summer. Each member of the two-year cohort that will start in spring of 2021 will pay a total $59,807; members of the one-year program will pay $49,205. Students can choose from four focus areas: Finance, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Global Business — “focus areas, not concentrations,” Gresley says, “so they’re a deeper dive in the curriculum for students to find areas that may be more applicable for them, but it’s not something that is officially recognized on a transcript. … Those four areas are really the strengths of the college. That’s where we have the concentration of faculty and the availability — we use the same senior faculty and tenure-track faculty we would use in our full-time and professional programs. They’re teaching courses already and using that same teaching experience and learned knowledge in the online space, as well.”
“Unique among every other program I researched”
Will Critz (MBA ’20) enrolled in the UF MBA Online program while serving on active duty, but he found the program’s flexibility to fit exactly into his schedule.
“I found the flexible course structure at University of Florida’s online MBA program.
The UF MBA online program is unique among every other program I researched. Unlike some of the lengthy timelines at other schools, it’s only 24 months long and executed in a flexible course structure.
“The result is UF’s online MBA is a predictable, “steady strain” of effort. In the Navy, we know mooring lines (and people) can hold plenty of “steady strain” but they can snap under short bursts of tension. The traditional structure of several classes at once always felt to me like walking for the first few weeks of the semester and then sprinting when all my papers and finals are due in the same week at the end – I don’t see many marathon runners using that technique! Good luck telling my boss “sorry Captain, can’t do it, I have three finals and a group project!”
“My professors at UF have been flexible as well, each very upfront about expectations and willing to shift dates around to accommodate special circumstances, as long as I communicate early. Basically, they’re willing to work with us on a case-by-case basis. And if “life happens” and I need to drop a class for any reason, it’s simple. I can either stay with my cohort and make up the class, or even pause the program and roll-back into the next cohort.”
Despite being an online program, it still provided Critz with a network of likeminded professionals.
“My cohort was selected by UF as superior candidates to represent diverse perspectives in our cohort. We’re all busy but motivated to learn and get real-world functional knowledge out of the program. When I’m assigned groups, I know we’re all going to pull our weight and even have fun. We’ve actually had a good time on video conferences during office hours and group projects. In fact, I keep in touch with several classmates as they provide an invaluable sounding board and help to expand my professional network and stay connected.
“Networking is one of the most valuable benefits I looked for in an MBA program, and can separate the haves and the have-nots when it comes to marketing myself after graduation. As an online MBA student, I’m getting the full force of The Gator Nation behind me – one of the largest alumni networks in the world. In addition, UF has an entire dedicated Business Career Services department giving me one-on-one coaching to generate and evaluate my career plan. And when the time comes, they’ll link me up with alumni at any companies of interest when I’m preparing for interviews.”
PRAISE FROM STUDENTS AND ALUMS
Other voices weigh in with views on the University of Florida Online MBA program:
“The University of Florida is routinely ranked a top online program,” says Nancy Oswald (MBA ’20), Senior Project Manager, Modernization at Otis Elevator. “The folks in the MBA office were exceedingly kind and helpful when I made my initial inquiries, so I knew I’d found the program for me. I needed and loved the schedule flexibility. I could watch a lecture and do my assignments anytime that was convenient for me.
“I feel much more informed of why some business decisions that might seem strange on the surface are made. Previously, I didn’t always see “the big picture.” I also feel confident when reviewing financial results and competent in understanding the relative importance of various metrics. My very first course, Professional Writing, was probably the most impactful course of all!
“University of Florida promises transformation during the program. I am absolutely transformed in very unexpected ways. Some of which didn’t have much to do with the program, but I believe that my reactions and responses to external events are more measured – more thoughtful, reasoned, and consistent because of the program. I feel led to shift my focus from driven solely by money-making to truly benefiting others. I don’t know where that will go, but I am looking forward to the future!”
Patrick Brennan (MBA ’20), who earned his MBA while on active duty in the Air Force, also was able to strengthen his future through the online program.
“I cannot overstate how thrilled I was to be a part of the UF MBA program. I highly recommend it, not only to active duty military members, but also anyone with a career that constrains their attendance in a traditional MBA program and wants to take themselves to the next level. The extremely high quality of the cohort, the knowledge and willingness of the faculty to go above-and-beyond to assist and the challenges of the course material make this program everything I wanted it to be.”
‘WE HAVE A TRACK RECORD AND WE CAN DELIVER ON IT’
“If you figure that a third of each class is looking to get promoted, then the outcome reporting thing there would be more money or different job title,” John Gresley says. “If you think a third of the class is trying to switch careers within an industry, you have to standardize that, because you’re giving up a certain amount of time with the company and starting over, and that may have a salary bump and it may not depending on what role you’re seeking. And if you’re looking to make a switch from, say, being a high school teacher to being a financial analyst, the salary is going to be different … and so it’s really hard to determine data on outcomes.
“Then we can start to have informed conversations on things like ROI — if you’re spending $58,000 on an online MBA and you’re making $125,000 four years later, you can start to see how that would be a payoff.”
Why choose Florida to find that payoff? Easy, Gresley says: They’ve got the experience.
“We’ve been at this for a long time and we’re good at it. The established brands are the ones that have been doing it, that have learned and know what the pitfalls are,” he says. “We’ve grown it in-house, so if there’s a problem, we have to fix it — it’s our technology, it’s our staff, it’s our faculty. Everybody is invested in the program, and it’s that type of investment in the program across the board from students, staff, and faculty that gives us an edge.
“You know what you’re going to get — we have a track record and we can deliver on it.”
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