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Elon MBA ranked #1 in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek

Elon’s part-time MBA program surges to the top in the ranking by the leading business publication


Bloomberg Businessweek names Elon’s part-time MBA program the nation’s best, with the top scores in student satisfaction, post-MBA outcomes and A+ grades in teaching quality and curriculum.

The 2011 #1 national ranking is up from a #6 ranking in 2009. This year’s ranking reports that 74 percent of Elon MBA graduates reported a salary increase, with the average increase amounting to 26.8 percent. The average completion rate for the program is 92 percent. The average class size is listed at 20 and the caliber of classmates in the program is rated at “A.” The program is rated best for both job changers and career switchers. The program cost listed at $697 per credit hour is significantly below most other schools in the ranking.

“This ranking is a great affirmation of the work we have been doing to drive the Elon MBA to the highest levels of excellence,” said Bill Burpitt, chair of the MBA program and associate dean of graduate studies. “We are especially gratified to be ranked #1 in the student survey results. We are a student-centered program and we are thrilled to have such a vote of confidence from the professionals we are working with. We’re also very proud of the A+ grades earned by the faculty who have devoted their energies and talents to building the nation’s best program.”

Click here to access the ranking table.

Click here for the Bloomberg Businessweek story featuring Elon

From the Bloomberg Businessweek story:

With the increased demand for their offerings, part-time and executive MBA administrators are trying to differentiate their schools and meet the needs of students who are footing more of their tuition bill on their own. With classes on weeknights and weekends, part-timers often aren’t “truly engaged in the program or with the students who are moving through the program with them,” says Bill Burpitt, associate dean for graduate and executive programs at Elon University’s Love School of Business in North Carolina, Bloomberg Businessweek’s top-ranked part-time MBA program.

To counter this, Elon has sought to make its part-time offering as personal and engaging as a full-time MBA. Part-timers at Love start with an immersion course where they develop business goals, undergo a comprehensive evaluation, and take on a two-day, team-based business simulation to get better acquainted with their classmates. Throughout each semester, those sessions are followed up with a range of social events. “All MBA programs teach finance; they all teach marketing,” Burpitt says. “What makes us different is that we try to deliver great personal relationships.”

At Elon, part-timers have job workshops and receive one-on-one career counseling similar to what full-time MBAs get at other schools. “There’s less job security now, and more students are looking at the MBA as an insurance policy,” Burpitt says. Among respondents to the Bloomberg Businessweek survey of part-timers, 58 percent identified themselves as either a job changer or a career switcher. Help with job hunting, Burpitt says, “has become a necessity.”

Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking is based on measures of student satisfaction, academic quality and post-graduation outcomes. Students in the part-time MBA programs are surveyed about all aspects of their academic experience, and the results are combined with data on average GMAT scores, average student work experience, the percentage of teachers who are tenured, average class size in core business classes, the number of business electives available to part-timers, and the percentage of students who ultimately complete the program.

Elon leads programs at many of the nation’s finest business schools. Here are the top 20 schools among the 76 programs in the ranking:

1. Elon University (Martha and Spencer Love School of Business)
3. Carnegie Mellon University
4. University of Nevada
5. UC-Berkeley
6. Rice University
7. Southern Methodist University
8. Worcester Polytechnic University
9. University of Michigan
10. University of Washington
11. University of Texas
12. Villanova University
13. Loyola Marymount University
14. University of San Diego
15. Lehigh University
16. University of Southern California
17. University of Chicago
18. University of Richmond
19. Santa Clara University
20. Ohio State University

Other North Carolina schools ranked by Bloomberg include North Carolina State University (#30), Wake Forest University (#46) and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (#50).

Scott Buechler, interim dean of Elon's Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, credited faculty and staff for the national ranking.

"Associate Dean Bill Burpitt and the faculty of the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business have worked steadily and creatively over the past few years to move the Elon MBA program forward," Buechler said. "Achieving this #1 ranking is gratifying recognition of their efforts. The untiring support of Judy Dulberg, program coordinator, was instrumental in this great achievement, too."

Dan Anderson,
12/2/2011 3:08 PM