Ross School Offers New Weekend Option for Part-time Students

Posted by: Alison Damast on August 4, 2009

In recent years, business schools have been looking for better ways to accommodate the harried schedules of their part-time students, many who juggle families and full-time jobs. Early morning, evening and distance-learning courses are just some of the solutions schools have come up with. Now, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business is adding to that growing list of options. The school is introducing a new weekend master’s in business administration program for part-time students, which will launch in May of 2010, according to a school press release.

The new program is an alternative to the current part-time evening MBA program offered by the school, where it generally takes student three to four years to earn an MBA degree. The weekend MBA program will be a quicker option for part-time students, allowing them to complete the degree in two years, the school says. Most of the classes will take place at the school’s Ann Arbor campus every other weekend during six 14-week terms, and about 25% of the school’s coursework will take place through distance learning.

Valerie Suslow, associate dean for degree programs, says the school felt it was important to offer an alternative to the school’s evening MBA.

In the world of part-time MBA programs, one size does not fit all. It’s important, especially during a difficult economic time throughout our region, to offer as many options as possible.

The core curriculum for both the part-time evening and part-time weekend MBA program will be virtually the same, according to the school. Unlike the evening MBA program, weekend students will be required to take place in the school’s Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP) course, where students work with faculty advisers to come up with solutions to problems facing real businesses.

Another advantage? All students in the weekend program will be on the same schedule, allowing them to take their second-year courses in three themed groups, where students will look at a common case across several disciplines. In the evening program, students take their courses at different paces and, instead, take electives.

Readers, what do you think of the school’s weekend MBA format? Should more schools be offering different frameworks for part-time students?

Reader Comments


August 12, 2009 9:26 AM

I think Ross is once more setting the pace for others to follow. This program is certainly going to attract a lot of professionals who, otherwise, wouldn't have considered an MBA; much less a Ross MBA. The demographics this program will attract will further enrich the diversity of experiences and depth of intellect that are hallmarks of Ross MBAs. I say way to go Michigan! I expect others to follow suit once this program proves to be a success.


August 12, 2009 8:40 PM

Ous - Great insight... or could it be possible that Ross is actually following the lead of the University of Chicago and other leading business schools??? It is hard to set pace when you follow!


August 23, 2009 8:54 PM

If I’m not mistaken, UCLA, Northwestern, Chicago, NYU and others have been offering a weekend part-time MBA program option for years.

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