Part-time MBA Program Skyrockets to Fourth in Nation

Students give the program an “A+” in teaching quality, caliber of classmates and curriculum

11/14/2011 - By: Claudene Wharton
Kambiz Raffiee Kambiz Raffiee, associate dean of the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business and director of the College’s Part-time MBA Program, which was just ranked number four in the country by BusinessWeek. Photo by Jean Dixon.

The Part-time MBA Program at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business has been ranked number four in the country in BusinessWeek's 2011 Top Part-Time MBA Programs report.

"I believe this is unprecedented," said Kambiz Raffiee, the program's director and associate dean of the College of Business. "I don't think I have heard of any of the University's programs being ranked so highly - not in my 28 years at the University. It really makes a statement about the quality of our faculty and how hard they work to make this program one that sets the standard for other programs in the country."

The University's College of Business has been getting noticed the past several years, not just for its quality, affordable undergraduate programs, but especially for its Part-time MBA Program, which outranked programs at prestigious institutions such as USC, UC Berkeley and Rice this year. A few weeks ago, the program was included in The Princeton Review's Best Business Schools guidebook for the fourth year in a row. In BusinessWeek's rankings of part-time MBA programs in 2009 and 2007, the Nevada program was ranked 21 and 17, respectively. BusinessWeek issues the rankings every two years.

Much of the ranking is based on student surveys of MBA graduates, with the remainder based upon other data, such as class size, GMAT scores of students and program completion rates. The Nevada program has the second highest completion rate of any part-time MBA program in the country, with 99 percent of students who enroll in the program completing the program. Raffiee said the high completion rate is a result of the program's structure, with evening and weekend classes to accommodate working professionals, as well as the fact that the program meets and exceeds the students' expectations.

"When you look at the survey, students graded our program an ‘A+' in all three categories - teaching quality, caliber of classmates and curriculum," Raffiee said. "We couldn't be more pleased."

According to BusinessWeek, the program is paying off big for its students. Graduates experience an average salary increase of 28.7 percent after completing the program, which has a per-credit cost that is the lowest of any of the 76 ranked programs in the country, at $239 per credit. Programs such as those at UC-Berkeley and Rice, which ranked five and six respectively, just below the University of Nevada, Reno program, have a per-credit cost of seven to 10 times that of the Nevada program.

Raffiee said graduates of the 40-plus-year-old program include not only statewide and regional business leaders, but also national and international leaders, including 1984 graduate Hera Siu, who was recently named one of "10 global women on the rise" by Fortune magazine and is president of operations in China for the German software giant, SAP.

"We appreciate the ranking in BusinessWeek as recognition of the global scope of our reputation," said College of Business Dean Greg Mosier. "And with our new Executive MBA Program that is delivered online, we expect to continue to expand that recognition."

The new 36-credit Executive MBA Program, a partnership with the University's Extended Studies, debuted this fall and is one of very few such programs offered by top-ranked programs in the country. It is taught by the same faculty who teach the fourth-ranked Part-time MBA Program. Applicants interested in enrolling in the program are required to have a bachelor's degree and significant professional work experience, among other requirements. The program offers an integrated blend of theory and practice, familiarizing students with current issues of business disciplines required for advanced managerial decision-making.

For more information about the Part-time MBA Program, or the new Executive MBA Program, contact Raffiee at (775) 682-9142 or raffiee@unr.edu, or visit the EMBA Program at the College of Business website.


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