University of Tennessee—Knoxville to launch online MBA

BY Sydney LakeJune 06, 2022, 6:45 PM
Tennessee mascot, Smokey, performs with students during the NCAA football game between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Tennessee Volunteers, as seen in September 2021. (Photo by Kevin Langley—Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

The University of Tennessee—Knoxville is joining the growing list of top business schools to launch an online MBA program. In late May, the Haslam College of Business announced it has started accepting applications for its online MBA program, which will launch in spring 2023. 

An online MBA program has been in discussion for years but during the pandemic, “interest in online graduate education from both students and faculty grew tremendously,” Stephen L. Mangum, dean and Stokely Foundation leadership chair at Haslam, tells Fortune. Other business schools including the University of North Georgia, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School have launched online MBA programs this year.

“Now seems like a good time to expand our MBA offerings to include an online option,” Mangum says. “This program will be one of the first, if not the first, online MBA to enter the market with all classes developed after the pandemic. Thus, all courses will have that pivotal business experience and perspective fully integrated into the curriculum.”

The University of Tennessee—Knoxville also offers a full-time MBA program, which Fortune ranks as No. 41 in the country, as well as a professional MBA program and an executive MBA program. Haslam partnered with edtech company Noodle for its online MBA program, in addition to its first online graduate program, the master’s in supply chain management. The program has “grown very quickly,” and makes up about 25% of the business school’s graduate student enrollment, Mangum says.

New online MBA program offers part-time, flexible format

Haslam’s online MBA program will be a part-time, flexible program, and applicants aren’t required to submit a GMAT or other test score. For that reason, the school anticipates this will attract candidates with a range of backgrounds, including those students looking to make a career change. 

The online program is the only MBA option at Haslam in which classes can be taken on a part-time, flexible basis. Online MBA students can start the program during the spring, summer, or fall semester and choose the number of classes they want to take at a time. Other MBA programs at the University of Tennessee—Knoxville are cohort-based, meaning that students must start and complete the program at the same time.

“As an example, individuals in the military, those who work for companies with an annual employee education reimbursement program, or those who need to take a semester off from time to time for professional or personal reasons may find this format preferable,” Mangum says. 

Students must complete 12 core courses and three electives to graduate from the program, which the school estimates will take students about 32 months to 36 months to complete.

Haslam opened applications for the new online MBA program at the end of May. Applicants need two references and must submit responses to short essay questions to be considered for admission. To start in spring 2023, candidates must apply by Sept. 15 for priority consideration. Nov. 30 is the final deadline to apply to start the online MBA program next spring. The program costs approximately $54,000 to attend.

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