Business Horizons

Virginia Tech Business Horizons, Sept. 5 2019

In its newest venture in education innovation, Virginia Tech has launched a new MBA program, and in COVID-19 fashion, it will be administered completely online starting Summer 2021.

“We’ve sought to include the best aspects of our top-ranked Evening MBA, experiential-focused Executive MBA and hybrid Professional MBA, both in curriculum development and online delivery,” said Dana Hansson, university director of MBA programs. “We’ve integrated feedback from students in all formats to determine how we can offer the best educational experience online.”

This 22-month program offered through the Pamplin College of Business is the first post-grad expansion outside of Northern Virginia in eight years. Back in 2013, the Blacksburg-based program shut down due to a decline in enrollment and was replaced with a hybrid Professional MBA.

According to Pamplin Dean Robert Sumichrast, the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic led university administrators to decide to launch a fully online MBA program.

Though it will be offered completely virtually, course modality will be evenly split between asynchronous and synchronous, thus allowing students the opportunity to converse via Zoom with peers and professors.

“Most of the students I believe are going to be Virginians around the area, because that’s where our brand recognition is the best,” Sumichrast said. “But Virginia Tech has a national reputation and the nice thing about an online education is there’s no boundary to where the student will be.”

In addition, the program is cohort-based — meaning students will take courses in lockstep with the same group over their two years — to provide students with the sense of community that Hokies know and love.

Each member of the cohort will be able to choose a specialized track in health information technology, business data analytics, international business or cybersecurity if they are interested.

They will also have the opportunity to participate in an optional study abroad program and attend many career fairs. The university will give them the same benefits that any other MBA student is granted.

The inaugural cohort of students will begin classes in July 2021 and are expected to graduate in May 2023. The online MBA is estimated to cost $58,000, though official rates for the program will be finalized by Tech’s Board of Visitors in March.