Campus: Fort Collins, Colorado
Base Program Cost: $39,052
Per Credit Hour: $918
Minimum Credit Hours: 42
GMAT Required: Yes
Minimum Time Commitment: 21 months
Online Concentrations: Finance, Computer Information Systems, Certificate in Federal Financial Management
On Campus Requirements: No
The Colorado State online MBA program offers an AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accredited program that brings the on-campus classroom environment to working professionals around the world via Web learning and streaming video. The program is designed with working students in mind, so they can maintain their careers while obtaining a graduate degree. The program is built around students fully grasping key business concepts before progressing.
The program is completely online and there is no requirement to visit the Fort Collins campus. Along with the online delivery method, Colorado State also sends DVD “live” recordings from the on-campus professional MBA program.
Demographically, a typical Colorado State online MBA student is in his or her early 30s, averages 12 years of professional work experience, held a 3.2 undergraduate GPA and scored a 580 on the GMAT.
While 580 is the average, Colorado State considers a prospective student’s complete admissions portfolio. For instance, if a student has an extensive work history that will be weighted heavier than a GMAT score.
CSU keeps class sizes small—between 30 and 40 students—by running multiples of popular classes. At this time, there is no cap on the number of MBA slots in the program.
Colorado State’s business school is accredited by the AACSB, a distinction given to only about 5 percent of the world’s business schools. The college is also accredited regionally by the North Central Association of The Higher Learning Commission.
The Colorado State online MBA program is strictly a professional degree program (Plan C); therefore, students are not required to complete a thesis, final project or comprehensive final examination. Transfer credits are not accepted.
The online MBA program can be completed in 21 months or extended up to five years. The 21-month program requires students to take two courses concurrently, while longer plans allow students to take only one class at a time.
The program is based on eight-week long semesters (three per calendar year) where students begin by taking core classes that provide a foundation for the next set (also called a “lock-step curriculum”). The online MBA is set up as a mirror of the in-residence Colorado State MBA program, with the same syllabus, material, lectures and class discussions—delivery is the only difference.
Through an alliance with the Graduate School-USDA (the major training organization for the federal government and the Department of Defense), Colorado State offers an MBA with a Certificate in Federal Financial Management.
Colorado State also has three new specializations beginning in the fall 2012 semester: marketing, business sustainability and beverage business management.
The requirements for applying to the Colorado State online MBA program include:
- Completion of the graduate school application
- Statement of Purpose
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 from an accredited four-year undergraduate school or a previous graduate degree and transcripts from that institution
- Four or more years of full-time work experience
- Resume and professional references
- GMAT scores
- A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is mandatory for international students who have not graduated from an American university or whose country has an official language other than English. The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is also accepted at Colorado State University; a score of 6.5 or better is required.
There is a $50 application fee.
Students can request a GMAT waiver if they held a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies and they have at least eight years of full-time work experience.
Tuition and Financial Aid
In the 2011-2012 academic year, proposed tuition is $795 per credit hour for all core curriculum credits and $600 or $795 per credit for electives.
Tuition for the entire program ranges from $31,020 to $31,800, and these rates will be locked in until at least May 2013. Textbooks and other course materials and a $20 per semester technology fee are the only other expenses.
The Colorado State College of Business offers corporate partnerships for companies that refer or support multiple students in the online MBA program simultaneously. The program provides both the student and the business with valuable benefits as a long-term relationship is forged.
Active-duty military, reservists, the National Guard and veterans, as well as federal and state employees (other than for the state of Colorado) may qualify for the Tuition Reduction Program.
Colorado State University Resources
To help students in the virtual classroom, Colorado State developed “distance section coordinators (DSC).” These real-life working professionals (who have all gone through the master’s degree process themselves) wear many hats. They serve as mentors, sources, class monitors, assignment graders, discussion leaders and faculty assistants to bolster the learning environment.
Along with DSCs, online students will also have access to the school’s academic advisers and career services team members.
Colorado State online MBA students are able to earn credits by taking part in the MBA international trip. Students pick the destination and arrange their own air transportation to the city, while Colorado State University takes care of finding a company to host them and in-city transportation and accommodations.
Last year, the cost was less than $2,000 per person for a nine-day trip to China, which included visits to Shanghai and Beijing. Students are encouraged to bring a guest. Approximately half do, and the travel company (World Strides) puts on a separate guest program during the times when students are occupied with business visits.
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