University of North Georgia to launch online MBA

BY Sydney LakeMay 06, 2022, 3:06 PM
University of North Georgia’s Gold Steeple on top of the Prince Memorial Hall, as seen in December 2018. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa—LightRocket/Getty Images)

During the past five years, the number of online MBA programs in the U.S. has jumped 85%—from 284 to 526, according to data from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Eyeing that trend, the University of North Georgia will move its in-person, part-time MBA program online, the school announced Wednesday, and the new online program will launch this fall. 

“The current face-to-face part-time program will only be available to students currently in the program and only for the next academic year,” Mary Gowan, dean of UNG’s Mike Cottrell College of Business, tells Fortune. UNG’s current part-time offering landed on Fortune’s ranking of the top part-time MBA programs. “The fully online program will be offered starting in the fall semester and will be the only Cottrell MBA for new students going forward.”

UNG’s decision to transition to an online program was motivated by trends with other MBA programs across the country, and being able to expand access to the program nationwide and even worldwide, Gowan said in a statement. The online format allows working professionals more flexibility, Wendy Walker, Cottrell’s associate dean for faculty and graduate programs, said in a statement announcing the change.

“I’ve talked to a number of deans around the country who have had great success with such a move, so we are paying close attention to lessons we can learn from their journeys to make sure we have the resources lined up for success,” Gowan said in a statement.

What’s changing in UNG’s MBA program

The curriculum for the first year of the program will remain the same as the current part-time courses, but the school plans to “roll out a new version of the MBA the following year,” Gowan tells Fortune. She didn’t provide further details of what the curriculum changes would entail, but said revisions are “under construction” now.

As was the case for the in-person, part-time program, UNG students can start their online MBA in the summer by completing one of the school’s graduate certificate programs. These programs include cybersecurity, technology leadership, and entrepreneurship and innovation. The school plans to add a fourth graduate certificate, ethics and compliance, in summer 2023. MBA students also have the option to start their classes in the fall or spring.

Most classes will be asynchronous—or recorded—but there will be some live sessions during the program to “help better connect students for networking,” Gowan says. Students must complete 32 credits to graduate with a general MBA, or 36 credits to graduate with an MBA with one of the graduate certificates. 

UNG makes admissions to its online MBA program during several rounds each year, with the next priority deadline coming up on June 1. 

See how the schools you’re considering landed in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s in public health programsbusiness analytics programsdata science programs, and part-timeexecutive, full-time, and online MBA programs.