WSB announces new, innovative MBA program
Acknowledging the need for greater flexibility in the delivery of the MBA degree, the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is launching a new program to complement its MBA portfolio. The new Wisconsin Professional MBA will be delivered 50 percent online and 50 percent in person.
The Wisconsin Professional MBA reimagines the School’s existing evening MBA. Delivered through a customizable platform, it will allow students to personalize their experience through both their time and career interests.
Students will be able to choose their pacing since the program can be completed in as little as two years or as many as five years. Students entering with certain prerequisites will be able to graduate in as little as 15 months.
Starting in Fall 2021, face-to-face courses will take place once a month on the weekend, and the rest of the class content will be delivered online. “By delivering half of our content online, we are giving students the flexibility they need to advance in their careers, lead a meaningful personal life, and enhance their education,” says Enno Siemsen, associate dean of MBA and master’s programs.
The program also allows students to select up to four badges (i.e., micro-credentials) to personalize their experience. This new curricular approach responds to the need for learning on demand: it unbundles traditional MBA programs. Badges will focus on topics such as innovation, analytics, health care, marketing, manufacturing, corporate finance, social responsibility, and international business.
“By delivering half of our content online, we are giving students the flexibility they need to advance in their careers, lead a meaningful personal life, and enhance their education.”
By structuring the program around modules that can be easily added, resequenced, or removed, the program allows for greater agility. The School plans to make the badges accessible to professionals outside of the program.
“Our faculty will be able to create meaningful new badge courses in response to industry demand, fostering a practice of continual innovation and agility that will add real value to our students,” says Siemsen.
Designed for a generation that grew up in a digital-first environment, WSB performed significant research to identify how to offer greater flexibility in the program’s delivery mode. The School compiled multiple research studies, including consumer insights and feedback from stakeholder groups such as current and prospective students, alumni, and employers.
An intentional online design where in-person still matters
The new program recognizes that some elements of the MBA experience strongly benefit from real-time interactions. This new degree maintains WSB’s globally recognized strengths, including participation from engaged faculty and a collaborative learning environment where students develop a tight-knit network of high achieving peers.
“Our faculty will be able to create meaningful new badge courses in response to industry demand, fostering a practice of continual innovation and agility that will add real value to our students.”
Some content of an MBA program is well suited for virtual classrooms, while other content benefits from more active class participation to learn how to apply the learnings to make better decisions. A blended model allows the School to provide more flexibility while providing a high quality, intentional learning experience. ”As we designed this new program, we wanted to keep a high-touch, immersive experience for our students,” says Siemsen.
Every course will go through a thorough design process to identify what content and activities are best suited for online learning versus face-to-face instruction.
An important time for business leaders
In a time of change, WSB faculty have provided expert direction on current local and global business challenges. “Today’s environment calls for the best and brightest to advance business,” says Siemsen “Getting an MBA now is important, since it will position students to lead with confidence through times of uncertainty.”
WSB has a record of accomplishment in engaging students in the challenges of the day and preparing them to become the well-rounded decision-makers and problem solvers business requires. By combining learnings from renowned faculty with career support from dedicated staff, students will be prepared to advance in their careers and broaden their impact.
“Today’s environment calls for the best and brightest to advance business. Getting an MBA now is important, since it will position students to lead with confidence through times of uncertainty.”
WSB’s existing full-time and executive MBA programs are not affected by the introduction of the professional MBA. Recruitment for the professional MBA is beginning now for enrollment in Fall 2021, and prospective students can learn more and submit application materials at wsb.wisc.edu/mba/professional.
“We look forward to welcoming students into this exciting new program,” says WSB Dean Vallabh “Samba” Sambamurthy. “In a climate of disruption, this innovative MBA degree will empower professionals to lead in the fast-changing business world.”
Learn more about the Wisconsin Professional MBA.