The first cohort of students are starting LSU’s new one-year MBA program this week, following a national trend of universities increasingly offering shorter and more specialized MBA programs.
And while some universities have completely turned away from its traditional, two-year MBA degrees, Dana Hart, the director of the Flores MBA Program, says LSU won’t be following suit anytime soon.
“We’re seeing a definite change in MBA landscape,” Hart says, “but for us, locally in this metro, Baton Rouge still has healthy numbers.”
Still, that doesn’t mean there has not been a decline. LSU had about 80 students in its full-time, two-year program about a decade ago, Hart estimates, but now has between 40 and 45 students.
The new shortened program, tailored for business undergraduates, has 21 students in its first class, with the potential to grow to 25 in future years.
Where growth has surged, however, is in LSU’s online program, where enrollment, which hovered around 70 students two years ago, now has more than 200 enrolled.
Launched six years ago, Hart believes the online program is the key to the future growth of LSU’s MBA offerings.
Even with its popularity, the program is being redesigned and will be relaunched this fall. Students will only need to take the core MBA curriculum, lowering the program’s credit hours from 42 to 33, and LSU is instead offering specialized classes as an add-on.
“We’re recognizing the shifting landscape and working to remain innovative in ways that appeal to more and more students,” Hart says. “These new programs are how we’re appealing to a segment of the MBA population that want a versatile, pragmatic experience, with a core curriculum with the opportunity to specialize.”