Business school at UB to offer fast-track MBA Instead of two years, a student can earn degree in 12 months

It'll harder to get in

$10,000 course starts in June with 20-25 students

November 20, 1995|By Ellen James Martin | Ellen James Martin,SUN STAFF

In a bid to boost its business school, the University of Baltimore next June will start a fast-track one-year MBA program.

"It's not for the faint of heart," warned Daniel Costello, dean of the University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business.

While traditional MBA programs take two full academic years to complete, the new one can be accomplished in just 12 months.

"This is really a cutting-edge thing," said Deborah Ford, the business school's associate dean and a chief architect of the new "Advantage MBA," as the program is called.

Along with the launching of the program will be a major fund-raising drive -- seeking an endowment of at least $600,000 to finance scholarships to attract bright students to the program, Dean Costello said.

Tuition for the MBA program will run about $10,000. In the first year's program -- to begin next June -- enrollment will be limited to 20 to 25 students. Of those, perhaps 15 will receive scholarships in the $4,000 to $6,000 range.

The school currently has 550 students in its regular MBA program, which is considered a "part-time" program because classes stretch over 18 academic months and are held only at night.

Dean Costello said the fast-track program will be "very competitive." To enter it, students must score in the "high 500 range" on the Graduate Management Aptitude Test.

That compares to an average score of about 500 for MBA students nationwide, as well as those in the University of Baltimore's regular MBA program, he said.

The new program "really requires students who are very disciplined and above average," Dr. Costello said.

Preference will also be given to students who have several years of job experience, or who come from science or engineering backgrounds, he said.

The fast-track MBA program should help enhance the reputation of the university's business school, Dr. Costello said.

The downsizing of American corporations has led to more people returning to professional schools to "retool" for new careers, Dr. Ford said.

"When we look at our customer base, we see a lot of people out there who are floundering or would like to do something different. But they can't afford to take out two years of their lives for an MBA," she said.

The first applications to the new program will be accepted in February of next year, with classes starting in June 1996 and ending in May 1997.

The course work will be exactly like that in the university's regular MBA program, with one exception.

Instead of taking a three-credit specialization course, students will become involved in a four-week "team project" to help solve a business problem for an outside corporation.

For instance, a student team might help a credit card company develop a new marketing program, or assist a power tool maker in tackling a manufacturing problem.

"For the companies, they may actually get a project completed and may actually get some new employees," Dr. Ford said.

Private businesses will be closely aligned with the new MBA program. Companies on the business school's 90-member advisory council will be among those who are being approached for funds to support the scholarship endowment and offer opportunities for student projects, Dr. Ford said.

Also, board members will "mentor" individual students in the program -- offering them career guidance, she said.

University officials hope the new program eventually will be expanded to include "distance learning" techniques, such as the use of interactive video programs for teaching, Dean Costello said.

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