The Jindal School has achieved top standing as one of the foremost public business schools in the nation. Various academic programs — including the Executive MBA, Full-Time MBA, Professional (Part-Time) MBA and Management Information Systems program — are highly ranked by Businessweek, Financial Times and U.S. News & World Report. The school has earned these distinctions by offering relevant, rigorous curriculums developed by exemplary teachers and leading researchers.
Dr. Larry Chasteen, Director of Online Graduate Programs, spoke with us about the online MBA offered by the Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas.
What type of student typically enrolls in your online MBA program?
Dr. Larry Chasteen, Director of Online Graduate Programs
Our online MBA students are usually very internet savvy. The academic rigor and entry requirements are exactly the same as for on-campus students. The main differences seem to be that more online students have full-time jobs with travel requirements. Therefore, another skill that is required is time management since the online students must plan their schedule to incorporate school work with the other parts of their life.
Are students required to spend time on campus?
No, there are no on-campus requirements. However, some courses do require proctored exams which can be taken on-campus or at other testing centers across the US and the world.
How do students in the online MBA program interact with faculty?
We use discussion boards and email mostly, although the students can always use the telephone or set up face-to-face meetings if possible. Online faculty have office hours just like their on-campus classes so students can always set up appointments. We have also added more social media such as Facebook in the last few years.
What is unique about the structure of your online MBA program?
I think it is an “equivalent” experience although it is different. We try to make our online program as much like our on-campus program as possible – same requirements, same courses, and most of the same faculty. I think students appreciate the rigor of our approach to online courses.
Although there is less direct contact with fellow students, online allows working students who travel for their job the ability to complete an MBA. That is the main reason we have the online MBA program. It is offered in a completely asynchronous 24/7 format so students can balance their work and school schedules better.
What opportunities do online MBA students have for networking?
We encourage online students to be involved in campus clubs and activities just like our on-campus students. Some campus students also take online courses so there is interaction between on-campus and online students. Online students also get the opportunity to work in virtual teams with people all around the world.
Do you offer career services and professional resources to online MBA degree candidates?
Yes, we have Career Services staff that provides professional resources to online MBA degree candidates the same as they do for on-campus students.
What advice would you give a prospective candidate for your online MBA program?
Make a realistic appraisal of how much time you can devote to an MBA program. Discuss with the school how much time is required for each course. Discuss the online MBA program with current students to get their opinion of the time required. Make your decision based on your job and travel requirements.
One must learn to balance their work life, personal life, and academic life. Some students are better at this balancing, so our online MBA program allows each student to determine how many courses they take each semester and therefore how long the program will last.
Summary: We try to make our online MBA program as much like our on-campus program as possible. I think this is one of the main reasons our online MBA program was rated as number 6 in the country in the US News and Report online MBA 2015 rankings. Additional information can be found at http://jindal.utdallas.edu/mba-programs/pmba/
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