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February 14, 2018

SIU's online MBA program earns national recognition

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Once again, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s online MBA program has earned national recognition, claiming the No. 24 spot on the inaugural Poets & Quants Online MBA Ranking list. 

Just 25 programs across the U.S. were ranked. According to the list, which was released today, SIU has the top program in Illinois. 

Significant ranking

“This is a wonderful external endorsement proving the quality of our program,” Terry Clark, dean of the College of Business, said. “It is a validation of our product from someone who sets the standards.” 

Clark noted that Poets & Quants founder/editor John Byrne is the former editor of “Business Week” and the originator of the concept of ranking business schools. He said Byrne, who recently chaired a session on rankings at a major conference, is highly regarded in the world of business schools and rankings. So, earning this ranking from Byrne’s publication is a significant honor for SIU. 

“This is a very impressive ranking to get,” Clark said. “Just look at the field of schools we are in. We have great company there. We benchmark to see what other schools are doing and work hard to differentiate ourselves and our program and this proves we are doing that well.” 

Repeat recognition

This is the second time in as many months that SIU’s online MBA program has garnered national attention. 

The university tied for the No. 54 spot in the country on the U.S. News and World Report Best Online MBA Programs rankings released in January. On that list, SIU was also given the top spot in the state and was the only Illinois program in the top 60. 

What sets SIU apart

Poets and Quants used three factors in determining its rankings: the quality of the incoming students, an assessment by graduates of the academic and extra-curricular MBA experience, and the career outcomes for graduates. 

Clark said one of the ways SIU sets itself apart from other schools is when choosing students to admit to the online MBA program. 

At Carbondale, the professional and personal experience of prospective students as well as grades and other factors are taken into account. Doing so affects the university’s admission selectivity data; SIU would have ranked even higher otherwise. But, the career success of program graduates has been proof that admissions decisions have been wise, Clark said. 

The U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Programs rankings are based on program student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, peer reputation and admissions selectivity. 

New MBA concentration in analytics for managers

SIU’s online program is just a few years old, but has continued to grow and evolve, all the while racking up numerous national rankings. 

Recently, the university added a new option to the online MBA program – a concentration in analytics for managers. This new concentration, offered for the first time in summer 2018, prepares graduates for careers involving the analyzation of data. It’s a growing and exciting field, Clark said. 

In addition, in partnership with the College of Agricultural Sciences, the College of Business launched an optional agribusiness economics concentration online MBA in 2016 for professionals who are interested in career advancement in the growing field of agribusiness. 

Few institutions of higher learning in the country offer either concentration. But, at

SIU students can choose three paths for their online MBA: a traditional MBA, an MBA with concentration in analytics for managers, or an MBA with concentration in agribusiness economics. 

Completely online

The online MBA program at SIU is exactly that – completely and totally online. The program takes 23 months to complete and students participate in courses together via an interactive format.

A new online MBA cohort begins each summer and applications are now being accepted for the summer 2018 class.