A female student works at her laptop inside of a coffee shop in downtown Bowling Green.
U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the student engagement of online graduate business programs at BGSU No. 1 nationally. (BGSU photo)

Quality and flexibility: Online MBA programs at BGSU hit right notes for non-traditional students

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University's online MBA programs continue to draw high marks in national rankings

When she began pursuing an Online Master of Business Administration degree at Bowling Green State University, Emily Wilhelm ’16 was admittedly apprehensive about online classes.

As a full-time professional, the flexibility of online classes fit best into her schedule, but she was pleasantly surprised to learn that she had not made any concessions by pursuing a 100% online degree: Her coursework was rewarding, instructors were helpful and the material proved valuable.

Though Wilhelm and other Online MBA students learn asynchronously, they are treated as any other BGSU student, learning from the same expert faculty and staff at the University in an AACSB accredited program.

“Coming into it, I was thinking it was just going to be discussion board posts, but I saw how much value I got from the classes,” Wilhelm said. “I saw how interested our faculty are in who we are, what we want to do and what we want to get out of the classes, and it really did change my mind because it was all so genuine.

“The way our faculty follow up with us and make sure we have what we need has been great. Faculty are really involved in the best way and you get the sense that we’re all in this together.”

U.S. News & World Report ranked the online graduate business programs at BGSU first nationally in terms of student engagement – a ranking that reflects the degree to which online students effectively interact with both faculty and each other as they would on campus. The BGSU Online MBA program soared in this year's rankings to No. 4 among Ohio public universities and No. 120 in the nation, scoring in the top 35% of programs nationally. Additionally, the University’s online master's in business programs, excluding the MBA, ranked second in Ohio and No. 77 nationally.

The business publication Poets&Quants named the BGSU Online MBA program best in Ohio – and No. 33 overall – based on the University's commitment to rigorous academic standards and student experience and employment outcomes.

The online MBA programs in the Schmidthorst College of Business at BGSU prioritize flexibility without sacrificing quality: Students take carefully crafted seven-week classes with and from faculty and staff, who are present to help them through the 30-credit-hour program. 

“Compared to other universities with Online MBAs, our faculty and staff are very responsive, so students experience that with our program,” said Connie Disbro, the assistant director of the Online MBA programs for the Schmidthorst College of Business. “Our faculty and staff are here to work with you, which is what helps make our program stand out.”

Disbro said the program’s quality, affordability and flexibility naturally draws students from all backgrounds and age ranges. 

“We have people from a wide variety of backgrounds who come into our Online MBA programs,” Disbro said. “The average age of a student in our program is 33, but we’ve had students in their mid-20s all the way up to 72, so it’s never too late to do an MBA.

“It's very, very flexible, so we have students who travel while they’re completing their degree, or students in the military who are stationed overseas – so it really fits the non-traditional student’s schedule.”

Students may opt to complete a general MBA or choose a specialized concentration in supply chain management, accounting, finance or marketing.

In addition to the freedom provided by courses that allow students study wherever they are, students are free to complete the 30 hours of coursework at the pace that is right for them.

“Most of our students take the two-year route to complete it, but we do have students who complete the program in as little as a year,” Disbro said. “Then we have students who, due to life situations, have to step out for a bit and complete it over a longer period of time. But we can work around the timeframe that a student is looking to complete the program.”

As she nears the end of her Online MBA journey, Wilhelm said she has been recommending the experience to others. 

“I’ve been telling so many of my friends to go back and get their MBA at BGSU,” Wilhelm said. “It will take me about one full year to get my MBA while working full time, and a year goes by really fast. If you’re not going to do it now, when are you going to do it? 

“I would just tell anyone thinking about it to go for it – you will not regret it.”

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349

Updated: 03/20/2024 01:25PM