January 12, 2016

Online MBA program moves up in rankings

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- According to national rankings announced today (Jan. 12), Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s online MBA program just keeps getting better and better. 

For the third consecutive year, the program was ranked among the “Best Online Graduate Business Programs” in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. SIU moved up to No. 34 on the 2016 list, an improvement of two spots from last year and up considerably from the 2014 rank of No. 51. SIU’s program earned the highest ranking in Illinois. The online education program rankings were established five years ago.   

“We are pleased that our program is ranked among the top 50 programs for the second year in a row,” Jason Greene, interim dean and Henry J. Rehn Professor of Finance, said. “While these rankings don’t tell the whole story, they do give us an indication of how our programs are perceived by others. We are always seeking to improve, so it is nice to see those efforts reflected in a higher ranking.” 

The rankings are based on a variety of factors, including student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology. All institutions of higher learning with online MBA programs having an enrollment of at least 10 students were included in the evaluation process. 

There are 87 students enrolled in SIU’s completely online MBA program. It is taught by many of the same full-time faculty who teach in the on-campus MBA program. A new online MBA cohort begins each summer, and applications are now being accepted for early admission to the summer 2016 online MBA session. The program takes 23 months to complete and students take courses together in an interactive format. 

“We are very proud of our online MBA program, which attracts motivated and accomplished students to whom we provide outstanding instruction in a flexible, totally online format,” Greene said. “One key aspect of our program is that it fits the schedules of working professionals who seek to advance their careers. We have worked hard to design and deliver a program that has immediate relevance to students, their careers and the firms for which they work.” 

Beginning this summer, there will be also a new option for online MBA students. The College of Business has partnered with the College of Agricultural Sciences to offer an optional agribusiness economics concentration. SIU is among fewer than 10 public universities in the country with an MBA concentration in agribusiness designed for professionals interested in career advancement in this growing field. 

All online students complete the core MBA coursework but those who choose the agribusiness economics concentration will replace four traditional business courses with agriculture business courses in their curriculum sequence.