January 15, 2019

SIU’s Online MBA program tops for Illinois public universities

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s online MBA is the highest ranked public university online MBA in the state of Illinois and among the top 1/3 of all rated programs in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report’s “2019 Best Online Programs” rankings released today.

SIU is tied for the 58th spot on the list.

Ranking testifies to quality of program

College of Business administrators say they are pleased with the national ranking and that it speaks well of the program itself as well as all of those affiliated with it, including faculty, staff and students.

“I am proud of the work of Nick Hoffman and his online staff in the College of Business Graduate Programs Office, and I also applaud our Online MBA faculty who deliver the courses,” John C. Goodale, director of MBA Programs and associate professor of management, said.

Online MBA launched a decade ago

SIU’s Online MBA Program celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and it’s fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB.) The program is 100 percent online; students never need come to campus at all, although they are welcome to attend commencement to receive their diploma in person if they wish.

Classes begin each fall and students move through the 23-month program as a group, with about 85 percent of the courses delivered by the same faculty who teach the on-campus classes.

Program evolves

“Every year the competitive landscape changes and becomes more complex and challenging, but we simply strive to deliver the best quality programs and student experience that we can. That is our primary focus. An important part of this is developing new initiatives that better serve the needs of MBAs today,” Goodale said. “This ranking places us in good company among the outstanding public and private research universities in the United States.”

Students can pursue three different variations of SIU’s Online MBA, depending upon their interests and career aspirations. The university offers the general online MBA or students can choose from two optional concentrations: agribusiness economics or analytics for managers.

“We are optimistic about the future as we introduce and recruit for our new analytics for managers concentration, which begins this fall,” Goodale added.

Several factors determine scores

U.S. News determines the rankings by scoring each program in these categories:

  • Engagement – how the program enables students to interact with one another and faculty and how responsive faculty and staff are to students.
  • Student excellence – the proven abilities, accomplishments and ambitions of students, showing they can handle the coursework and succeed.
  • Expert opinions – based on results of surveys of high-ranking MBA program academic officials and employers.
  • Faculty credentials and training.
  • Student services and technologies.

The scores are calculated and weighted, with the first three categories accounting for a larger percentage of the overall score.