The Owen MBA: What You Need To Know
Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management’s mission statement is “world-class business education at a personal scale.” At a university that is built to have students interact and explore multiple disciplines with business at its center, Owen has much to offer candidates.
“If you’re looking for a school to be anonymous, don’t come here,” says M. Eric Johnson, dean of Vanderbilt’s Owen.
Owen is unlike other business schools in that it is exclusively a graduate school, which makes the environment at Owen an intimate one.
“We invest heavily in providing high touch highly customized programming for our students, and creating a culture whereby everyone really knows each other,” Johnson says.
The culture at Owen has become one where students make it a priority to invest in their peers.
“We have a program we started a few years ago, the students started, called humans at Owen, which is a weekly time before our kind of happy hour on Thursday where students will get up on a stool and tell their stories,” Johnson explains.
Students have the opportunity to take on any topic from issues of race to what it’s like growing up in a different country. Owen prioritizes the needs of its students not only on an educational scale but on a personal one as well.
The multifaceted community at Owen is also a result of Vanderbilt’s connection with its other graduate schools. Full-time Owen MBA students may take courses for credit at other Vanderbilt graduate schools with approval. Many students choose to take interdisciplinary classes at the Law School, Divinity School, Peabody School of Education, Medical School and the Nursing School.
Owen’s MBA is based on a modular system of intensive courses, each seven weeks in length with a week of exams. Because students are required to take at least 32 classes to graduate, they are able to really explore particular areas of interest and branch into different disciplines. They’re also able to focus on a particular discipline like accounting or finance while fulfilling requirements for concentrations or specializations.
Owen requires 11 core courses of its MBA students, the majority of which are taken during the first two mods. Students are then able to tailor their degree to their career goals. Each student must complete at least one 12-credit hour concentration in a single discipline beyond the core. Those interested in a “deeper dive” into a discipline may choose to pursue a career-focused specialization of 20 credit hours.
Short breaks between mods are reserved for brief courses, immersion experiences, holidays, and more. Students interested in gaining real-world experience can take immersive courses and participate in excursions, in which students gain industry knowledge and learn about job opportunities.