There is a narrative around higher education that it is ossified and unchanging. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the UConn School of Business is testimony to the dynamic nature of higher education. Today I am excited to share several major changes in our programs. The biggest is the realignment of our MBA programs.
Specifically, we are reducing the number of required credit hours by 25% to better align our offerings with our competitors. We are also eliminating the requirement that students must complete a concentration. Taken together, these changes give our students greater control over what they study, and allow them to tailor their program to knowledge required for their chosen career path. These changes give more decision making and autonomy to our students and reduce mandatory requirements of the degree programs.
Historically, concentrations were deep learning in core areas such as finance, accounting, management, marketing, or management information. Today the world is changing, and aspiring professionals seek targeted knowledge and more diverse opportunities. Rather than a deep-dive concentration in finance, they may seek some data analytics and some project management. Our revised curriculum opens these doors to allow students to design the program of study that they seek, and their employer may prefer.
The core curriculum is little changed. The total credit hours are reduced, which shortens the time to degree and the program’s cost. The reduced electives allow students to tailor their education to their needs. As work lives grow longer and the pace of change accelerates, we expect the notion of life-long learning to grow apace. Young professionals and their employers will look for periodic enhancement of their skills and knowledge. UConn will stand ready to provide shorter updates on important topics in the form of certificates, badges, or other affirmations of additional knowledge.
In the last few years, and especially in response to COVID, we have learned how important flexibility is to our students. In response, we have created a fully online MBA offering. Equally important, we have enabled students to seamlessly combine some courses in the online format and some courses in a face-to-face modality as the demands of their personal and professional lives dictate.
Our admissions professionals are ready to talk with interested candidates about how these changes may affect their plans.