Online MBA to help busy adults advance in their careers with degree in 18 months

Online MBA

The College of Business Administration’s new Online MBA program is a fully online, cohort-based program, with teaching and support from expert faculty members, that can be completed in 18 months. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Working adults have a new avenue to pursue a Master of Business Administration to help them get ahead in their career.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis’ College of Business Administration is launching the Online MBA, a fully online, cohort-based program, with teaching and support from expert faculty members, that can be completed in 18 months.

“UMSL’s commitment to increasing educational access and opportunity extends to our graduate student population as well,” Dean Joan Phillips said. “We are excited to provide more ways for busy, working adults to get the knowledge and skills they need to advance in their careers. Although the format and delivery method are new, UMSL’s online MBA maintains the same high standards that UMSL’s AACSB-accredited College of Business programs are known for.”

Francesca Ferrari, the director of graduate business programs, said the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that UMSL can deliver quality business education in an online format.

“Our faculty really know how to organize a 100 percent online course while supporting their students with real-time guidance,” Ferrari said. “In addition, the dedicated staff create a support system that helps students succeed in and out of the classroom. We know they can learn all the things they need to be ready to take on more responsibility and bring greater value to their employers.”

The Online MBA will take advantage of the cohort-based model that has been a hallmark of UMSL’s PMBA program for more than 20 years. Students will complete each of their courses with the same peer group throughout the program. This allows students to continue building their professional network while enhancing their skills and capabilities.

They will take nine credit hours each in the fall and spring semesters their first year, six credit hours over the summer and nine credit hours in their final fall semester to complete the program. The classes in the spring and fall semesters will feature two eight-week courses and one 16-week course so that students are never taking more than two courses at one time.

“We have experience with this format, and we know how much a student can handle while working full time,” Ferrari said. “We’re not cutting down on content, we are organizing it in a way that enables and empowers students to receive an excellent education in an eight-week-long session.”

All of the classes are asynchronous, but faculty members will hold regular office hours via Zoom each week to support the students, so that they can get help when they need it with more difficult topics or concepts. The program is accelerated while still providing the support and connectivity today’s business environment requires.

Tuition for the program includes all course materials as well as professional advising, executive mentoring and leadership coaching. Based on the students’ goals and backgrounds, they will be paired with one of 150 executives who serve on the college’s six advisory boards. These executives will serve as mentors for the students throughout the program.

In addition to the excellent classroom instruction and executive mentoring, Online MBA students will benefit from professional leadership coaching. Through the integrated leadership coaching, students will build confidence, develop a customized career path, improve interview skills and enhance their negotiation skills.

The first cohort will begin in August with the program welcoming successive cohorts each fall.

For more information or to apply to the program, visit https://mba.umsl.edu/degrees/online-mba.html.

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