THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA’S Tippie College of Business in Iowa City is phasing out its full-time MBA program to focus on opportunities for growth in its part-time MBA and specialized master’s degree offerings. The college plans to introduce several specialized master’s programs over the next three years while also increasing investments in MBA programs that serve working professionals, such as the Professional MBA and the Executive MBA. Enrollment in those two latter programs makes up more than 91 percent of all MBA enrollment at the school.
“Adapting to the market is key for growth in any organization, and we’re seeing clear shifts in what students and businesses need,” explains Sarah Gardial, dean of the Tippie College of Business. “Both are expressing preferences for non-career-disrupting options for the MBA.”
At the same time, Gardial notes, some students are more interested in specialized master’s degrees, as evidenced by rapid growth in existing programs. Three years ago, Tippie introduced an MS degree in business analytics in Cedar Rapids; graduate enrollment in the program has grown 517 percent, and the school has expanded it to locations in Des Moines and the Quad Cities. Tippie intends to add a three-semester degree option.
In fall 2018, the school will introduce a master’s program in finance that will emphasize real-world experiences by allowing students to manage an equity portfolio and consult on projects for business clients. The school also is developing a student-managed fixed income fund.
In addition, to reach more students who are interested in business education options other than full-time programs, Tippie recently has introduced professional certificate programs, invested in new off-campus locations, and expanded its online course offerings within the Professional MBA. The final cohort of full-time MBA students will graduate from Tippie in May 2019.