Redesigned M.B.A. Provides Greater Access

Giovanni Fernandez, Ph.D., executive director of Stetson’s Graduate Programs and associate professor of finance

Stetson’s School of Business Administration Master of Business Administration Program has undergone a comprehensive redesign that allows unprecedented flexibility, personalization and program accessibility for students with differing lifestyles.

“This redesign of the M.B.A. is an important step in enhancing the accessibility of Stetson’s business graduate programs to meet the goals of students in Central Florida and beyond who want to build their business acumen,” said Neal Mero, Ph.D., dean and professor of management in Stetson’s School of Business Administration.

Three major curriculum changes — taking affect for the Fall 2019 semester — help students intentionally plan a personalized course of study that will translate into success in the real world. 

The first, and perhaps most significant, change is tied to the recognition that many students who pursue an M.B.A. do not have an undergraduate business degree. Whether a student wants to transition to a new career, move up the management ladder or enter the business world from a different background, Stetson’s redesigned M.B.A. program can work for them. Instead of going back to school for the undergraduate degree, these students are able to begin their M.B.A. experience by taking two foundation courses designed to prepare students of all backgrounds with both the business acumen and graduate-level rigor needed to succeed in the 36-credit-hour program. Following completion of the foundation classes, students dive into their core M.B.A. courses and more elective offerings, giving them the ability to concentrate their study in the areas of greatest interest to them.

In addition, the academic term structure has morphed into two, eight-week terms per semester, giving students flexibility to respond to life’s demands. This is particularly useful for working professionals who in the past may have had to take a break from school for work commitments.

The third change is related to the delivery format, which will now be 100 percent online. The combination of prerecorded lectures and live online sessions affords students — including working professionals — the ability to more seamlessly juggle work, family and school responsibilities through a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous classes.

Neal Mero, Ph.D., dean and professor of management in Stetson’s School of Business Administration

“The transformation of the M.B.A. program addresses two very critical student needs,” explained Giovanni Fernandez, Ph.D., executive director of Graduate Programs and associate professor of finance. “First, a majority of our students are working full-time while taking classes, so an online format is essential for their busy lifestyle. Shifting to this model of delivery also allows students with different learning styles the ability to shape the courses to their own mode of learning, promoting a successful experience for each student.”

“We are thrilled to add this online option for pursuing an M.B.A. to our portfolio of graduate programs and believe these students will experience the superb business education for which our business school has been known for well over a century,” added Mero.

The redesigned M.B.A. program will still be offered to both full-time and part-time students.

Stetson is one of 187 elite institutions worldwide with both its business school and accounting program accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The School of Business Administration offers several distinct graduate programs for students looking to expand their career opportunities in the business world. The Executive M.B.A. program provides business leaders with the business acumen for senior leadership success, while the J.D./M.B.A. is an avenue for those looking to provide a legal context for managerial activities and an M.B.A. to sharpen administrative and managerial decision-making skills. Additionally, Stetson’s hybrid M.B.A. — being restructured and expected to re-launch in Spring 2020 — is designed to bring high-touch, high-value, face-to-face experiences with faculty while providing asynchronous online content as well.

-Marie Dinklage