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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Magazine praises U?s business program for returning students

By Mike McFall

BusinessWeek magazine named the professional master’s in business administration program at the U’s David Eccles School of Business as one of the best in the nation for people returning to college to change their profession.

For instance, take associate professor Bala Ambati. He works at the Moran Eye Center as a researcher after becoming the world’s youngest person in the world to graduate from medical school at the age of 17, according to Guinness World Records. He decided to go back to school to earn his PMBA from the business school’s program.

“There’s quite a few people here looking to use the MBA as a launchpad into other fields,” said Ryan Merrill, a graduate student in the program. “Plus, a lot of them are paid by their employers to come.”

Most of the program’s 160 to 170 students work full-time and have prior obligations to their families, said Brad Vierig, assistant dean of executive education for the business school. The school holds classes in the evening, which, besides its ranked reputation, is one of the reasons the program is attractive to employed students, he said.

Overall, BusinessWeek ranked the program as the 50th best in the nation after weighing the value of 99 different programs. Specifically, it placed sixth in the nation for highest program graduation rate and 11th in the percentage of tenured faculty teaching in the program.

The overall ranking was based on three factors: quality of the academics, students’ success after graduating from the program and a survey of the students’ overall satisfaction.

Although the first and third categories are at least partly subjective, the second does have a quantitative support. There’s been a 25 percent increase in the average salary of the program’s graduates during the past two years, according to BusinessWeek’s survey.

“They do this ranking every two years,” Vierig said. The program went from nowhere on its list to halfway up8212;a promise of better times to come, he said.

The professional 48-credit-hour MBA program is one of the business school’s eight master’s degree programs.

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