The Economist Online MBA Ratings

March 1, 2010 · Leave a Comment 

The Economist magazine just released its online MBA program ratings. Many publications have come out with their own rankings of universities and on-campus MBA programs, but few have attempted to rate online MBA degrees. The Economist is one of these few (Financial Times is the other one), and it has been doing so for a few years now.

The Economist Online MBA Rating Methodology

Before I name the top-rated programs, there are a couple of things you should know about this rating. First, it is a rating and not a ranking: online MBA programs are assigned ratings of excellent, good, average, and poor—not a number. Second, it is a rating of 15 “handpicked” online MBA programs, not all the programs that are available.

The Economist based its rating on ten quality measures grouped into three broad, equally weighted categories: program content, student quality, and effectiveness of distance learning elements (such as learning materials).

Most of the information for the rating comes from the online MBA schools themselves or surveys of students in the programs.

The Economist Top-rated Online MBA Programs

So who came out as winners? In the “excellent” category, only two schools made it:

  1. the Internet MBA offered by University of Florida and
  2. the International Executive MBA offered by IE Business School in Spain.

Here’s what The Economist had to say about these two programs:

Both schools scored well across the board. IE’s students, for example, have an average of 13 years of work experience, and although students are spread as widely as Nigeria and Turkmenistan, they also say they feel incredibly connected to the school. Furthermore, despite its hefty price tag—programme fees of €52,000 ($76,440) make it the most expensive surveyed—students still consider it to be excellent value for money. It is a similar story at Florida. Although its students have much less work experience than those at IE, they do rate their classmates as being the best of the schools surveyed. They also rave about the quality of the distance-learning materials used by the school. And it, too, scores well on value for money. Both schools also have a low student attrition rate.

In the “good” category, there were three schools:

  1. Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business,
  2. Thunderbird School of Global Management, and
  3. the Euro MBA, a partnership among schools in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, and Poland.

Download The Economist online MBA program ratings

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