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HCBPS | Online MBA | University News

UCM’s Online, Part-time, Affordable MBA Recognized by Fortune Education

By Jeff Murphy, February 20, 2023


WARRENSBURG, MO – Students who want to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, but require a flexible pathway to degree completion, may want to consider the University of Central Missouri. Recent rankings by Fortune Education list UCM’s MBA among the best online and part-time programs in the nation. This follows other rankings throughout the 2022-2023 academic year which have named UCM’s MBA among the best programs locally, regionally and beyond.

Recognizing that classrooms are evolving into a more digitalized environment opening up more options for students to pursue their college degrees, Fortune Education developed its rankings to help students navigate what it calls the “new, rich and somewhat overwhelming world of education.” During the current academic year, Fortune named UCM #9 on a list of Midwestern institutions that offer the Best Online MBA Programs, and #55 nationally for both the Best Online MBA and Best Part-time MBA programs. It also ranked UCM #16 among institutions with the Most Affordable Online MBA.

This recognition was most recently followed by UCM’s MBA being named #3 in the metropolitan region by Kansas City Business Journal, which considered factors such as fall 2022 enrollment, cost of tuition, and credit hours. The MBA also was ranked nationally this academic year by sources such as US News & World Report,, and University HQ.

UCM’s MBA is offered within the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies (HCBPS) under the leadership of Dan Jensen, an associate professor of management who serves as the program director.

While rankings aren’t as widely discussed by faculty and students as other aspects of earning a degree, including accessibility, cost, course delivery, and accreditation, Jensen and colleagues in HCBPS believe the rankings help validate the dedication and hard work of individuals who contribute to the success of the MBA program and its students. Students who enroll in the MBA, whether it’s online, part-time or in-person, can be assured that the courses they are taking are taught by faculty members who have a high level of real-world experience combined with academic business training, and who have knowledge that is current in their field. Additionally, these faculty members are affiliated with a college that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a designation that means business programs including the MBA have met a rigorous set of international standards in business education. 

In its online feature, Fortune Education notes the value of an MBA stating that in 2020 recruiters reported median salaries of $115,000 a year for top MBA graduates. Considering job opportunities and potential for career growth, the publication added, “Not only is the MBA alive and well – it’s thriving.” 

In discussing rankings, Mark Suazo, who became dean of HCBPS in July 2022, said the college “takes pride in being mentioned” by Fortune Education and other ranking organizations. He added that the “MBA is the flagship program” of the business college so this is a designation that will catch the attention of many students, particularly those who want to advance in their careers.
Betsy Kreisel, associate dean of HCBPS, echoed that sentiment, but added, “This shows value. It is recognition for the hard work of our faculty. Sometimes you don’t get to see that if you’re not in the classroom, or get to hear about it, so it is great external recognition.”

UCM’s MBA has proven to be an attractive option for working professionals who are looking to move up the career ladder either through promotions or transitioning to a different employer. This may apply to a variety of management positions in various settings, ranging from corporate jobs to work with nonprofits, small businesses and other types of organizations. A student who enrolls in the MBA program is required to complete 33 semester hours of study. On the road to degree completion, they take core and foundations classes and specific courses that are tailored to one of many specialized concentrations. These range from finance and general business and marketing to the nation’s first AACSB-accredited MBA in Airport Management, which prepares aspiring airport executives. The first graduate of this program will complete their degree this spring.

Jensen said the MBA is offered in “minimesters,” which consist of eight-week classes that allow students to begin their studies on one of five different start dates during the year, two of them in the fall, two in the spring, and one in the summer. A student never has to wait more than eight weeks to start their classes. 

Many students who enroll in UCM’s MBA program will appreciate not being required to take the GMAT or the GRE for program admission. Anyone who is just now becoming an online learner also need not be concerned about the opportunity for interaction with professors. MBA program faculty continue to seek new ways to reduce “transactional distance” so that students still feel a strong connection to professors and other students enrolled in the course, Jensen said.

“There are a lot of different educational technologies that will allow us to shrink that transactional distance to feeling almost like we are in the same room together. That is what we are focusing on,” he added. “We are known for our small class sizes in our online programs, so you are going to get to know other students, and you are going to get to know your faculty member who is teaching the class.”

Suazo stressed that the college faculty are committed to employing the best practices in the field. This not only applies to in-person learning but particularly to the online educational experience, which is continuing to evolve.

“We know that teaching online is different from teaching in person, it takes a different skill set,” he said.  Suazo noted that faculty members who are actively engaged in online teaching understand the difference between educating students in a digital environment and teaching face to face, “and they are good at it….They don’t just replicate what they do in their (in-person) classroom.” 

In addition to recognition by Fortune Education and other rankings organizations related to the MBA, UCM also has been ranked in many other areas by
organizations across the nation. To learn more about UCM’s rankings, including those that apply to  programs within the College of Business and Professional Studies, please visit the rankings website

Individuals who want to know more about UCM’s MBA program are encouraged to visit the program website at, email Jensen at, or call him at 660-543-8039.



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