According to indicators listed in BusinessWeek's 2009 Top Part-Time MBA Programs report published this month, students who choose the University of Nevada, Reno to pursue their MBA program already show some pretty good business savvy, just by virtue of choosing to attend Nevada. Notably, the report indicated:
- Nevada's part-time MBA program ranked 21st in the country and 5th in the West.
- Nevada's cost-per-credit-hour is only one-third of the cost-per-credit-hour of the next most affordable school ranked in the top 25.
- The Nevada program had a 99 percent completion rate. Only one school on the list, which included the top 69 part-time MBA programs in the nation, had a better completion rate (100 percent).
- Only four of the 69 programs that made the list had a lower cost-per-credit-hour than Nevada.
- The Nevada program ranked 10th in the nation in the academic quality category.
- In the eight-state Western region, Nevada was the only school outside of California to rank in the West's top five.
- Graduates of the Nevada program report an average salary increase of 21.7 percent.
"We are very pleased to once again be ranked in the top 25 by BusinessWeek," said Kambiz Raffiee, director of the program and associate dean of Nevada's College of Business. "We work hard to live up to the expectations of our students who come to the program knowing of its high-quality reputation."
The rankings are based on surveys sent to more than 12,000 students across the country; graduate surveys; and data provided by the schools and other sources, such as average class size and number of tenured faculty.
For example, students of Nevada's program rated the caliber of their classmates an "A." Lisa Longway, a course developer at IGT who is graduating from the program this December and received the 2009 Top MBA student award agrees.
"There are a lot of smart people in the program - they're just brilliant, and from all different age groups," she said.
She also appreciated how "easy they make it for working adults," such as herself, and the professors. "They were very accommodating. There was never a situation when I couldn't get the help I needed. I think the world of them."
Andy Gagnon, a 2006 alumnus of the program, also said that he appreciated the "high-caliber" faculty. He cited a couple of managerial sciences professors as examples, stating that Rafik Beekun was "world-class," and Sheri Faircloth, "spectacular." "They were exceptional and tough," he said.
But, the Yale graduate said one of the best things about the program was the networking it afforded. He said that he landed his current job as a manager at Microsoft Licensing through the program's networking opportunities. He also enjoys being able to provide input into the program as an alumnus, and helping to build the relationship between the University and the local business community.
Students in the program can choose areas of emphasis in accounting, finance, gaming management, information technology or supply chain management. Raffiee said that offering these areas of emphasis is helping to fill local and state employment needs, which factor into building a strong state economy.
BusinessWeek began its rankings two years ago, when Nevada also ranked in the country's top 25. The rankings are published every other year. Raffiee said that this year the field was much more competitive, so he is very pleased that the program fared so well.
"When you see that nationally, we ranked just two below USC, and ranked two above NYU, that's pretty good company," Raffiee said.
Just last month, the program was also listed in the Princeton Review's Best 301 Business Schools: 2010 Edition, the second year in a row the program was listed in the Princeton Review's prestigious guidebook.