Temple University’s Fox School of Business claimed a big win in US News & World’s ranking of the top US online MBA programs on Tuesday.
The Philadelphia based business school surpassed Indiana’s Kelley School and Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, which came in second and third places respectively. Last year, the trio were all in joint first place.
Fox’s program, which costs $59,760, scored highly for faculty credentials and admissions selectivity. A high-quality cohort sets online degrees apart from their open-enrolment or Mooc competitors.
Darin Kapanjie, academic director of the Fox School Online MBA, put the feat down to a flexible learning environment — made possible by cutting-edge tech, instructional designers, and video production specialists.
“The reputation of our online programs at Fox is on the rise, and we couldn’t be more proud,” he said.
The online MBA rankings highlight the explosion of digital learning at top business schools. MBA candidates have become restless with the thought of forking out upwards of a hundred thousand dollars for a two-year MBA — and the lost earnings that come with a full-time campus course.
Faced with falling numbers of prospective students eyeing traditional, bricks-and-mortar MBA degrees, schools are pushing into educational technology — a growth sector. US News ranked 163 online MBA programs this year, up from 147 last year.
“We are continually assessing the needs of our students,” said Idalene Kesner, dean of the Kelley School. She added that the field of online education is becoming “more crowded”. Kelley expects to increase its number of distance learning programs in the future. The KelleyDirect program costs $66,300.
Susan Cates, executive director of the online MBA at Kenan-Flagler, said: “We believe we are still in the early days of great online education.” Kenan-Flagler, whose program costs $99,675, scored particularly high for student engagement — 97 out of 100 — which has been a concern for online learning programs.
Florida’s Hough Graduate School of Business, Arizona’s W.P Carey School, and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School are ranked at no 4, no 5 and no 6, respectively. Completing the top 10 are Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, Lehigh University, Texas’ Jindal School of Management, and Arkansas State’s College of Business.
The top riser in the ranks is Wisconsin School of Business, which skyrocketed 76 spots, from 2013 last year to 27 today. SUNY Oswego School of Business jumped 37 spots, from 57 last year to 20 today. And UNT’s College of Business had a similarly impressive 32-spot rise, from 47 in 2015 to 15 in 2016.