Cancel Forgot Password?

Today's Reinvented M.B.A. Program: New Curricula and New Programs

By Peterson's Staff updated on Friday, October 25, 2013

As the global business landscape shifts and changes, M.B.A. programs are following suit. New curricula and emerging programs are reshaping today's graduate who leaves business school with an M.B.A. degree in hand.

M.B.A. courses feature cross-functional, interdisciplinary curricula

You'll hear these phrases so often they'll sound like a mantra. Across the country, graduate-level business schools are reshaping curricula to teach students the importance of solving problems by synthesizing a variety of subjects, such as combining marketing courses with information technology to prepare marketing managers for using data mining, customer relationship management, and other IT-based tools.

Faculty members from different disciplines coordinate their syllabi and teach in teams to students who work in teams. When Stanford added a new course in human resources management, for example, it was designed by professors of organizational behavior and economics. Cross-functional approaches have also proved resoundingly popular with students, who give them the thumbs-up in surveys.

To stay at the top, M.B.A. programs revise their emphases

Whether they are specific sequences or subjects woven into the fabric of M.B.A. courses, you'll find strong mentions of entrepreneurship, ethics, innovation, and leadership development in nearly all basic and advanced business programs whether you are looking at an on-campus or an online M.B.A. program.

Purdue's PL+S Program (Preparing Leaders and Stewards) provides additional course work, community service opportunities, self-assessment, and self-directed team consulting projects with real-world companies, all as avenues for developing leadership skills. Harvard's "foundations" program places heavy emphasis on career planning, self-assessment, working in groups, and business ethics.

An emphasis on entrepreneurship reflects the reality that "the majority of M.B.A. graduates will not work in Fortune 500 companies, because they have been downsizing the most," notes Charles Hickman, former director of projects and services at AACSB International, which accredits M.B.A. programs in the United States.

For those who do work inside large organizations, a new perspective has emerged: intrapreneurship. Employees with breakthrough ideas are being encouraged to establish new businesses in-house by developing them as separate ventures under the corporate roof. Schools are also placing greater emphasis on social entrepreneurship, preparing managers to bring their business skills to the non-profit sector.

On an individual level, the trend in curricula has been toward flexibility. Graduate-level business programs are introducing initiatives to personalize the management development process. If a student's skills are underdeveloped in a certain area, such as finance, the M.B.A. program will be sure the student has the opportunity to take courses that will address that weakness. A growing number of business schools address the need for flexibility by offering an online M.B.A. program that features residency requirements that range from zero-residency to two or more on-campus conferences during the course of the program.

MBA Programs
About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

More articles by this author
Find a graduate school that's right for you!
1Choose a state

2Choose a major
3Choose a degree type


Graduate Schools you might like...

View Full School Profile
  • Type Public
  • Setting Not
  • Size Not Reported
  • In-State Not Reported
  • Out-of-State Not Reported
  • Degrees Not Reported
View Full School Profile
  • Type Private
  • Setting Not
  • Size Not Reported
  • In-State Not Reported
  • Out-of-State Not Reported
  • Degrees
    Master's in Applied Mathematics and Doctorate in Applied Mathematics
View Full School Profile

Advanced Search Options

Search your needs below, and view information about the schools that meet those needs by clicking "Search."
Step 1: Select Subject Area(s)
Step 2: Select Program(s) that Interest You
Complete step 1 before selcting a major
Step 3: Select Location
Complete step 1 and 2 before selecting a location
Step 4: Select Degree Level
Search

Forgot Your Password?

To reset your password, simply enter your email address in the field below and click the Reset Password button. You will receive an email with a link and instructions to reset your password.

Check your email.

Please check your email and click on the link provided in the message to reset your password.