Penn State online iMBA

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by stock, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. stock

    stock New Member

    Pls. share your views on an MBA from Penn State online ? Is it good ? How does it measure among the top online MBA schools in the US ? Thanks
  2. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member

    The full time residential program is typically ranked by Newsweek as one of the top 50 programs in the U.S. The part time program sits in Forbes top 25 list of part time MBAs. It is an easily recognizable school that the general public respects and associates with a quality education.

    Rankings aside and polls aside, at almost $50K, you need to ask yourself if is it better than an MBA from another large state school such as UMass-Amherst or Oklahoma State University, both of which cost less than half the price.
  3. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Penn State's online program is not affiliated with the top-ranked Smeal program. It's part of the same university system (akin to UMCP versus UMUC), but it's not the ranked program. It is AACSB, however, but there are online programs that are actually part of ranked programs (rather than just the same state university system) that less expensive, such as: Florida, ASU, Indiana, UMass. I'm a bit shy of halfway through the UMass program, and all of my classes have been through the same profs as the main Isenberg program.
  4. gildeer7

    gildeer7 New Member

    I just graduated from the UMass program and thought it was outstanding. I do not believe that the Penn State online program is AACSB. According to the US News listing (, it is only regionally accredited. For half the price, I would prefer UMass. Of course, Florida and Indiana are outstanding choices. Other AACSB schools worth a look are: Auburn, Mississippi State, Florida State, and Suffolk. I have friends who have completed or are in each of those programs.

    Best of luck.
  5. A good point for potential students to consider. I chose Indiana's Kelley Direct program because my professors are tenure track from the Kelley School of Business.

    If a program isn't comparable to the B&M version I'd think twice about coughing up similar $$$. Not to say that IU is much cheaper, but if you're going to spend that much you want the degree to be indistinguishable - not only the look of the diploma but the quality of your education as well!

  6. Rivers

    Rivers New Member

    ALthough I agree with everyone here that 50k is steep! you must consider that Duke still has their program and it's 90k yet they continue to get students. It's all in what you are willing to pay. One could go to Mississippi State and pay about 12,000, yet people still opt to go to Texas A&M-Commerce, UMass and others at a considerably higher cost. I'm not so sure Umass has a better reputation nationally when you compare it to Mississippi State.
  7. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    Since I'm in Duke's Cross Continent program, I'll jump in here and make some comments. Duke offers three different EMBA programs, and the CCMBA is newest of the three. It also seems to be the one that gets the most attention, as its cost is the closest to the $80-90K number that people quote.

    Pricewise, it's actually in the middle of the three Fuqua EMBA programs. If you can attend classes on alternating weekends, the Weekend Executive program is a tad cheaper, and if you are an experienced executive at the VP level or above, you can attend the Global Executive program, but it will set you back over $100K. At the end of the day, all three programs earn the same degree, but like Vincent Vega said in Pulp Fiction, it's the little differences...

    For me, a large part of the value in the Cross Continent program is the international residencies. I currently work in the collections and credit reporting industry, which means I get zero international exposure in my current position. I'm an IT guy, not a collections guy, so as part of my MBA studies, I wanted a global component to my education, since who knows where the next stop on life's highway end up being? All of the full-time programs I considered had exchange opportunities, and when I decided to go the executive route instead, I knew I wanted a program that would give me the opportunity to venture overseas. CCMBA has residencies in Europe and Asia, and has an incredibly diverse class, with over 23 countries represented in the class of 2007.

    For your $86,400, you do get a heck of a lot. Courses are taught by tenure-track professors with top-notch experience. This term, my accounting prof is a University of Chicago PhD, and my managerial effectiveness prof is a Carnegie Mellon PhD who did post-doc work on social networks at MIT. Both are currently teaching both daytime and executive MBA classes. Fuqua has opened its on-campus recruiting to executive MBAs (except for those who are fully sponsored by their employers), and offers lifetime assistance with career planning and development. Six of the eight residencies are spent at the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center, which boasts state-of-the-art classroom space and team rooms, plus some of the best dining you'll find on any college campus. As part of the first term, students complete a mandatory team building seminar that lets you learn about your leadership style and how you interact in a group.

    Is it for everyone? Certainly not. $86,400 is a lot of money, and Duke is probably still pricing themselves based on the expectation that most students will recieve significant aid from their employers (in my class of 120, less than 10 are fully sponsored), despite trends to the contrary. Duke still manages to fill every spot in their class, despite the cost, so certainly there are those who feel that it is worth it. In the end, I picked Fuqua and the CCMBA program because it met more of my needs than the other part-time programs I considered. I was able to convince my employer to sponsor me, which meant I was able to discount cost as a factor, a fact for which I will be eternally grateful to my employer, but even if you are footing the entire bill yourself, I'd highly recommend considering the CCMBA.
  8. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Not that I like disagreeing with a fellow UMass person, but PSU is now AACSB; I was recently corrected on it myself and checked the primary source (the PSU online MBA website) to confirm it.

    This must be a recent development and USN hasn't updated yet. I've found that USN is the pits for that. I'll bet 30% of the info on their elearning guide is either out-of-date or pure fantasy. I have no idea what's going on over there: they list phantom DL PhD programs galore; they fail to include other programs that are well-known. Jonnies site isn't perfect, but it's probably more accurate than USN's.
  9. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    One thing UMass does have that MSU doesn't is that they're ranked by at least one of the most respected guides. Here I go trashing the USN elearning tool in my last post, and now I'm touting them when it serves my point, but USN ranks UMass 62nd out of over 700 total programs nationwide (approx 400 of which are AACSB).

    I think UMass has a better reputation nationwide than about all but a half dozen DL programs. If they hadn't, I wouldn't be spending my money there. That said, if I'd had an additional ten grand or so laying about, I'd have gone to Indiana (presuming they'd have had me); if I'd had an additional $70K, though, I'd still have thought long and hard before dumping it into Fuqua. Man that's a great program, but yowzers that's a steep price!

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