End of full-time MBA: Tippie invests in specialised and executive programmes

The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business is phasing out its full-time MBA programme. The changes to the graduate business education programme will favour the part-time MBA programme as well as specialised master’s degrees.

Picture: Tippie College of Business

With this decision to phase out its full-time programme, Tippie joins business schools such as Wake Forest University and Virginia Tech, both of whom have recently ended their full-time MBA programmes.

Tippie has been experiencing shifts in demand in its Iowa MBA programmes for a while now and is reacting to the fact that enrolment in the part-time Professional MBA and Executive MBA programmes makes up more than 91 per cent of all MBA enrolment currently. “Adapting to the market is key for growth in any organisation, and we’re seeing clear shifts in what students and businesses need,” said Sarah Gardial, dean of the Tippie College of Business. “Both are expressing preferences for non-career-disrupting options for the MBA, while others are increasingly drawn to the focused education provided by master’s programmes in specific subjects.”

Amongst the new specialised master’s programmes that will be introduced over the coming three years will be programmes like the Professional MBA and the Executive MBA. Another specialised programme launched three years ago is already paying dividends. Tippie introduced a Master of Science in Business Analytics degree in Cedar Rapids in 2014 and has quickly expanded it to Des Moines and the Quad Cities. Graduate enrolment in this programme has grown 517 per cent in less than three years, and courses such as Data Science and Big Data Management prepare the state’s workforce for the data economy. Due to the popular demand and increasing interest in this programme, Tippie intends to add a three-semester degree option.

The college will also introduce a master’s programme in finance next autumn. Also under development is a student-managed fixed income fundthe - first of its kind in any master of finance programme.

Tippie has recently introduced professional certificates, invested in new off-campus locations, and expanded its online course offerings within its Professional MBA. The college anticipates the entire Professional MBA curriculum will be available online in the future.

These changes will have no impact on the college’s undergraduate programme. The final cohort of full-time MBA students will graduate from Tippie in May 2019.

Read more on Tippie University Iowa

Barbara Barkhausen