U.S. News & World Report: CoBPA online courses among the best

Publication includes UND MBA and Applied Economics programs in its nationwide Top-50 list

UND business student

A UND business student enjoys the great outdoors while keeping up with her classes through the school’s robust online and distance learning programs. Photo courtesy of the UND College of Business & Public Administration.

Current and prospective University of North Dakota business students pursuing their master’s degrees online now have something to crow about.

In its most recent rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked the UND College of Business and Public Administration’s (CoBPA) Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science in Applied Economics (MSAE) programs in its list of Top 50 online graduate programs nationwide.

The online MBA program was ranked 29th in the nation, two spots better than its 2016 ranking. The online MSAE program was ranked 43rd for the 2017. Both of these programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. Accreditation from AACSB International is a significant accomplishment, affirming high program standards, strong faculty qualifications, and active research programs for students.

Patrick Schultz, MBA program director at UND, is very pleased with the ranking results, emphasizing that the program’s hybrid technology differentiates it from others in the nation.

“Our program is distinctive from others due to our synchronous technology, which allows distance students to engage with their campus peers and professors,” Schultz said. “This ultimately leads distance students to make greater connections to the program.”

Schultz stressed that improvement is always something to strive for, noting that faculty commitment has led to a complete redesign of the program. This newly enhanced program is set to take effect in the fall 2017 semester and will place a greater emphasis on data analytics, team building, and written/verbal communication. Schultz explained that these practical skills are becoming more highly demanded from the business industry.

Chih Ming Tan, MSAE program director at UND, believes that the recent rankings demonstrate the program’s continual commitment to student success and achievement.

“We do our very best to maintain a rigorous program that teaches relevant data analytics skills informed by perspectives from economics,” Tan said. “Our belief is that by delivering the best possible program to students, we can enhance retention, enrollment and the educational outcomes of students.”

Regardless of the current rankings, Tan adds that “there is always more that we can do” to improve for future rankings. He said he plans to seek continual improvements in curriculum development and technological collaboration.

Affordability, technology integration and faculty qualifications are just a few of the selling points for UND’s MBA and MSAE programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. With these new rankings, the programs hope to attract more students and continue to work their way to the top.

By Kate Menzies, UND College of Business & Public Administration writer