Redesigned MBA Program Launched This Fall at UW

February 25, 2010

The University of Wyoming's Master of Business Administration (MBA) program will soon begin producing students to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world.

"The current MBA format is solid in content, but dated and no longer meets the market needs for professionally trained managers," says Brent Hathaway, UW College of Business dean.

He says UW's improved program will serve industry partners and governmental agencies "very effectively and also is a talent source for non-profit organizations that need to tackle business related issues.

"The program will require a substantial increase in faculty and staff resources to fully implement the core elements into a cohesive and highly successful program," Hathaway adds.

The on-campus MBA is an accelerated 16-month program requiring 42 credit hours of course work. Students will participate in a one- to two-week team building seminar before beginning their fall course work.

Students in the fall will be required to take courses such as financial and managerial accounting, quantitative and research methods, managerial economics, organizational behavior and theory, business law, corporate social responsibility and ethics and negotiations and communications.

Applied financial management, marketing management, innovation and entrepreneurial management and decision sciences and systems analysis are required during the spring semester.

Stuart Webster, MBA program director, says a redesign task force comprised of some of the UW College of Business' best teaching faculty members was charged with raising the program's standards and quality. Among the goals, he says, is to have an MBA program that reflects the college's strengths and builds prominence in the region.

One of those goals is to build the College of Business and UW brand equity, which helps attract high quality faculty and students and provides a foundation to expand to national scope in targeted industries, Hathaway says.

He says one of the new MBA program's unique aspects is that it is designed with intra-university partnerships in mind to enhance student placement and salary profiles. Partnerships are being developed with the UW colleges of Law, Engineering and Applied Science, Health Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Resources and the School of Energy Resources.

"There will be substantial integration across academic courses and semesters, using business cases and applied content to tighten the link between theory and practice," Hathaway says. "We will focus on targeted Rocky Mountain West industries such as energy, transportation, tourism, environmental consulting and services and agribusiness."

Students will participate in an "Experiential Learning Project" during the summer, which will be conducted both on- and off-campus. Students will have access to College of Business facilities to perform analyses and develop recommendations, although it is expected that the students will spend substantial time on site at the sponsoring organizations' facilities.

"Sponsor organization teams will tackle real business issues including both problems or opportunities that will make the classroom learning come alive," Hathaway says. "Long-range plans are to also provide international opportunities for students."

In the final semester, students will take a capstone strategy course emphasizing sustainability plus nine credit hours of graduate-level electives in or outside the College of Business.

UW's Board of Trustees in November approved a tuition increase for the improved MBA program that will be launched next fall. The tuition increase takes effect at that time and for students already enrolled in the program. UW will use government stimulus funds to offset the tuition increases.

Hathaway says the College of Business already has received inquiries about the redesigned MBA program, and for the most part, the reaction has been positive.

For more information about the MBA program, visit the Web site

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