Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ross School adds weekend format to part-time MBA program



Getting a world-class business education while balancing personal and professional responsibilities is demanding. Now the Stephen M. Ross School of Business offers two part-time formats so students have more options.

Beginning in May 2010, the Ross Part-time MBA Program will offer a weekend format in addition to its evening format. Generally, students take three to four years to earn a Master of Business Administration degree in the evening format. In the weekend format, students will earn a Ross MBA by attending class two weekends a month for two years.

“The Michigan Ross MBA is a credential recognized and respected around the world. We’re pleased now to be able to offer two part-time formats so that students can choose how best to integrate their studies with their other commitments and responsibilities,” says Robert Dolan, the Edward J. Frey Dean of Business at Ross.

“The traditional evening format offers maximum flexibility of schedule and courses; the new weekend format offers students the chance to complete the program in two weekends a month for two years.”

Students in the weekend format will take classes Friday afternoon and evening and all day Saturday during six 14-week terms. Most of the courses will be in Ann Arbor, although a few may take place at the Ross Southfield campus near Detroit. Weekend students will take all of their courses in lockstep with a cohort of peers.

“In the world of part-time MBA programs, one size does not fit all,” says Valerie Suslow, associate dean for degree programs. “It’s important, especially during a difficult economic time throughout our region, to offer as many options as possible. Both formats offer a great general management education and draw on the Ross School’s commitment to connecting business education with real business through action-based learning.”

The core curriculum for the two formats is virtually the same, with courses in accounting, finance, strategy, marketing, operations, business economics, and management and organizations forming the foundation of a rigorous general management education. In addition, the Ross School’s distinctive Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP) course is a core requirement of the weekend format.

In MAP, teams of students work with faculty advisers to address real business challenges faced by sponsoring organizations. For more information about MAP, go to www.bus.umich.edu/MAP.

Because all students in the weekend format will have the same schedule, the second year of the weekend format will feature a creative multidisciplinary approach. Second-year courses are woven into three themed groups in which students will examine a common case across several disciplines.

“The benefit of this approach is that it trains students to synthesize many perspectives so they can assess different kinds of risks and opportunities,” says Paul Clyde, academic director of the Part-time MBA Program. “Our integrated, multidisciplinary approach is designed to give graduates the broad perspective they’ll need when they get involved in key decision-making that requires cross-functional collaboration and communication. That’s a quality many companies have told us they want in their managers and leaders.”