It’s the battle of the executive MBAs. Yet another masters’ in business administration program in the Valley will open its doors to executives next year, increasing local competition.
The UA Eller College of Management announced Tuesday that it will enter the Valley market in August. The program is designed to train employees quickly ascending the corporate ladder, and would serve workers with at least seven or more years experience. UA has a similar program in Tucson.
Other executive MBAs in the Valley include Arizona State University, University of Phoenix and Thunderbird’s Garvin School of International Management. UA officials believe that with the region’s booming population, there is enough demand to sustain it.
"I’m a believer in competition, and this is one more opportunity for the men and women" in the Phoenix area, said Paul Portney, dean of the UA Eller College.
The UA students will stay at the Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains and take classes there because the program hasn’t found a permanent home yet.
It will serve up to 40 students, last 14 months and meet every other weekend for two days. It will cost $47,500 per student for materials and accommodations, excluding the cost of two weeklong sessions in Tucson, plus a 10-day trip to Beijing and Shanghai, China.
The Arizona Board of Regents has yet to approve the new Valley program, but Portney is confident of the board’s support. Gerry Keim, associate dean at the ASU school, is unsure how UA’s program will compare with ASU’s, besides differing in duration and costs.
ASU’s is a two-year program that meets once a week — typical of many such programs nationwide.
"I would say there aren’t too many schools that I know of that in essence have a oneyear program," Keim said. "Whether or not that affects our student demand remains to be seen."
University of Phoenix was surprised that UA is joining the competition.
Brian Lindquist, dean of the university’s graduate business college, said new competition can boost enrollment for all local programs. "The publicity they get and the advertising that they do raises awareness of the importance of continuing education," he said. "All the players benefit."
Costs of executive MBA programs
ASU W.P. Carey School:
$63,000 for the 22-month program, including trips.
Thunderbird: $65,000 for 21 months, including trips.
University of Phoenix: Up to $33,140 for as long as 25 months.
University of Arizona: $47,500 for 14 months, excluding travel costs.