Kenan-Flagler Announces Online MBA

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on November 17, 2010

Soon, MBA aspirants will be able to get an MBA from a top-ranked program from the comfort of their own homes, thanks to a new program at North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School (Kenan-Flagler Full-Time MBA Profile).

UNC is accepting applications for the first class in its new online MBA-degree program, which will kick off in July 2011 and is the result of a partnership with 2tor, Inc., a company that provides the technology platform, instructional design, marketing, and infrastructure to deliver courses online. The first class, which will be capped at 50 people, will have to meet the same admissions criteria of the on-campus MBA program.

Kenan-Flagler professors will design and deliver the online courses for MBA@UNC, which will feature materials that are available 24 hours per day and accessible at the student’s convenience, pre-arranged live sessions that use live streaming video, and face-to-face immersions at different locations around the world. The two-year program will cost $89,000 in tuition, which includes books, texts, fees, and lodging and food for weekend immersions.

“The new MBA@UNC program will continue our tradition of excellence based on the quality of the students, faculty, and curriculum,” said James W. Dean Jr., dean of Kenan-Flagler, according to a press release issued by the school. “What will be radically different is how we deliver the program. This exciting new approach will transform UNC Kenan-Flagler as we define the direction of global business education.”

This announcement comes on the heels of news that the Thunderbird School of Global Management (Thunderbird Full-Time MBA Profile) plans to announce "a commercial venture on the professional training side that will provide non-degree programs around the world through an online format," said Thunderbird President Ángel Cabrera.

More business schools, with the help of commercial partners, are starting to offer these alternative programs for working professionals who don't want to move or give up their careers to get a graduate degree in a still suffering economy. In addition, the schools are motivated by a desire to re-invent education, said Cabrera.

"This is a revolution," he said.

The MBA@UNC program wants a piece of that action, said Douglas Shackelford, associate dean of MBA@UNC and the Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation, according to a press release.

"High-quality teaching and learning experiences are critical to our approach, and we are ready to shatter perceptions about online education," said Shackelford. "Technology has transformed all parts of our lives and, ultimately, it will redefine education, too. We have the opportunity to rethink how we teach what our students need to know, and UNC Kenan-Flagler has a rare opportunity to lead a transformation. We are excited to be in the vanguard of that change."

-By Francesca Di Meglio

Reader Comments

Tim Westerbeck

November 17, 2010 6:01 PM

This represents a natural evolution from the hybrid programs offered by many institutions "bricks and mortar" institutions. Clearly, based on the growth of proprietary educators, there is a proven business model out there. The question is whether institutions in the upper tier will suffer any lost of brand equity or reputation as they move into the online world more aggressively. The leap into "all online" (or close to it) is a leap of faith, based on the advancement of technology that now allows much more sophisticated learning experiences. All of the institutions that are pushing these boundaries should be congratulated, but it will remain to be seen what the level of market acceptance will be.

Tim Westerbeck

Dr.Ali ihsan Ozeroglu

November 19, 2010 12:06 PM

Can I launch your program in Turkey. How can we make cooperation ?

Dr. Ali ihsan Ozeroglu


November 23, 2010 3:54 PM

I agree with Tim, schools that are launching online programs for MBAs and the like should be congratulated. I think they will be successful. I actually am going to enroll in one of the online executive courses through Thunderbird. I live in Arizona and could go to the campus, but I'm on the other side of town so for me the online courses are worth it to be able to be a Tbird and not worry about getting to campus. With out the online programs I'd have to completely rearrange my schedule in order to get to campus, so I think it's a great addition. Plus people can enroll from all over the country and world, which gives someone like me the opportunity to make new business relationships with people all over the place.


January 28, 2011 11:33 AM

Many releases on Chapel Hill’s new program are insinuating that it is the first “top ranked” or “high quality” program to offer an online MBA. That sentiment is faulty. Indiana has offered an online program for over a decade, and is a direct peer of Chapel Hill. Depending on the year and source, Indiana and Chapel Hill trade order in the rankings. How about valuing these programs like any investment – what is the outlay and what is the return? Indiana’s cost differential alone outweighs any trivial perceived difference in prestige. And other areas where Chapel Hill might have a real advantage over Indiana – like geography and career services – are rendered null in the online format. Selecting an MBA should be viewed as a business decision, but far too many MBA aspirants eschew good business sense altogether when presented with some fleeting notion of “prestige”.

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