“This degree has already started to open doors for me that otherwise would have been closed… it has opened my eyes to thoughts, concepts, and ideas that I never would have thought of, had I not pursued the iMBA.” That statement comes from Joe Bloise, who pursued his iMBA at the Penn State World Campus while serving as an officer in the army. (For the record, iMBA stands for intercollege Master of Business Administration; four Penn State business schools created it together.) It’s designed for students who want to advance their careers without upending their lives—students like military personnel, working parents, and people whose jobs require frequent travel.
Still, the program is designed to promote interaction through web conferencing, forums, and other tools. Six themes make up the backbone of the curriculum: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market, information and analysis, human resources, and process management. Each course entails one lesson per week, which students work through on their own time. Students turn in a mix of individual assignments (e.g. participating in discussions on the forums, taking online quizzes, et cetera) and team-based assignments.
The program also includes two residencies. In the first, each students spends a week at a prominent U.S. firm, and in the second, everyone convenes at Penn State University Park for a team business simulation. Students can even walk at commencement with the traditional MBA graduates.
Latest Up-to-Date MBA Rankings:
Poets&Quants (2013): 4
U.S. News & World Report (2014): 17
Financial Times (2014): NR
Tuition & Fees: $930
Average GMAT: 580
Average GPA: 3.36
Acceptance Rate: 73%
Average Age: 31