Factors to Consider when Deciding Which Online Program to Choose:
Is the school(s) offering the program accredited by AACSB International?
Most universities are accredited at some level. Fewer than 15% of all business schools in the U.S. have achieved AACSB accreditation. Accreditation at this level means the program meets a prescribed standard for course content and faculty qualifications. All four universities in the UW-Consortium have AACSB accreditation.
How many credits are needed for the program?
Credits may range from 30 to 48 based on the program you choose. Some programs require foundation courses as part of the program itself (those in the 48 range); others (those in the 30 range) have foundation courses as prerequisites which students may or may not be required to complete based on their undergraduate degrees. UW Consortium students who have a non-business undergraduate degree need to complete the foundation courses through the Consortium or through another AACSB university.
Does the program offer electives?
Not all MBA programs offer choices of courses for students to take. We believe that the old adage "One size fits all" doesn't work in education. Students have different needs and should select coursework that best fulfills those needs. The UW-Consortium has 17 required credits and 13 credits of electives of a wide variety of topics.
How large are your classes?
Teaching online is very labor intensive. While some programs have unlimited enrollment and use assistants to support faculty, we strive to keep our classes between 25-30 students.
Are campus visits required?
Some programs may require campus visits either for orientation or part of the program itself. Others such as the UW Consortium Program are totally online with no required campus visits.
Total program cost?
Statements of costs include tuition and may include additional fees, travel costs, books and other charges. The UW Consortium charges a per credit rate with textbooks/course materials as the only additional cost.
Faculty trained to teach online?
Online programs may or may not offer specialized training to their faculty. Our on-campus faculty in the University of Wisconsin Consortium MBA Program must pass our program-specific four-week preparation course prior to teaching online.
Does your program follow online teaching guidelines developed by WCET?
WCET developed the guidelines used by many accrediting bodies. The University of Wisconsin Consortium is a member of WCET and follows its distance learning guidelines.
Here's a table comparing features from several Consortium programs. Comparisons are based on information from each program's website as of 1/1/13.
|University of Wisconsin Consortium||Penn State World Campus||Georgia WebMBA||University of Texas Online Consortium|
|AACSB accredited consortium partners||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Number of credit in program||30 credits||48 credits||30 credits||48 credits|
|Elective credits available||Yes||No||No||Finance emphasis available|
|Campus visit required||No||2 one-week residency experiences||2-day||No|
|Faculty Qualifications||Graduate faculty from four U of Wisconsin System programs||Graduate faculty from four Penn State programs||Graduate faculty from five Georgia programs||Graduate faculty from eight Texas programs|
|Faculty online qualified||Yes||??||??||??|
|Total cost||$20,250||$59,312*||$21,000**||From $12,800 to $53,392 based on home school choice and residency|
?? = Information not located.
* Travel expenses not included. Books, room and board included.
*** Varies by state residency and school.