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May 9, 2017
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Your Guide to Kentucky MBA Programs

There are many programs and methods for pursuing the most popular post-graduate degree

By Esther Zunker

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The rise of entrepreneurial MBAs is one of the top education trends, according to QS topuniversities.com, the global career and education network for professionals. Generations Y and Z increasingly prioritize values of entrepreneurship and independence, and firms are recognizing the value of innovation and autonomy when hiring and promoting graduates.

The masters of business administration has long been the gold standard credential for a career in business, and is considered to develop valuable management skills. It provides structured education in foundational business practices, such as accounting, finance, marketing and management. An MBA remains the most sought after post-graduate degree in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Some of the reasons are: adding an opportunity to think globally about business issues; learning from experts, with academic programs often augmenting their teaching with private-sector leaders; gaining options and connections for switching careers; building leadership skills via team assignments; learning to give good speeches; connecting with like-minded people; and up-skilling more quickly than reading books and listening to tapes on your own.

Those job hunting or aiming for career advancement are expected to prove their value as a thought leader and industry expert, topuniversities.com says in a piece about MBA trends. Soft skills are growing increasingly crucial and a good MBA includes teaching how to capitalize on the latest online marketing strategies to impress recruiters, investors and your bosses.

MBA specializations are making a big comeback, too. The most popular specializations according to topmba.com are: international business; strategy; marketing; operations management; supply chain management; and human resources. Other key specialty-track MBAs are entrepreneurship, as previously mentioned, corporate social responsibility, innovation and information management.

There are many benefits of obtaining a MBA, the most significant being greater employment opportunities in business management.

And today there are an array of ways to earn an MBA in Kentucky, from the traditional full-time classroom instruction route, to evening or weekend-only sessions, to fully online teaching, as well as various hybrid programs.

Following is a list of MBA programs at public and private colleges and universities with details about each to help make the all-important decision of which program to choose.

PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

Eastern Kentucky University

Location: Richmond

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost: $15,750

Minimum Credit Hours: 30

GMAT Required:  450

Minimum Time Commitment:
18 months

Concentrations/Online Concentrations:
General

Campus Requirements: Most MBA courses are a web-enhanced hybrid format. Each course meets four times per semester for face-to-face interaction with the rest of the course utilizing modern online learning technology.

Why choose this program: Excellent program leadership, world-class faculty, hands-on learning, small class sizes, convenient class schedules, with a competitive cost.

Kentucky State University

Location: Frankfort

Type: Public university

Accreditation: ACBSP

Base Program Cost: Not available

Minimum Credit Hours: 30 hours with a bachelor’s in business; 42 hours without a business bachelor’s

GMAT/GRE Required: Yes

Minimum Time Commitment: Varies based on schedule preference

Concentrations/Online Concentrations:
General; marketing, management, and accounting concentrations began in fall 2015

Campus Requirements: On-campus classes

Why choose this program: The Master of Business Administration degree programs are designed to prepare strategically thinking business professionals for successful careers in the private and public sectors.

Morehead State University

Location: Morehead

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost: $579 per credit hour or $1,737 per course; $17,370 total

Minimum Credit Hours: 30 semester credit hours

GMAT Required: Yes, but GRE is also accepted.

Minimum Time Commitment: varies

Concentrations/Online Concentrations:
General; health systems management track requires 33 semester credit hours.

Campus Requirements: None

Why choose this program: The MBA program is offered in a 100 percent online environment. Students may complete the program in as little as one year with no residency requirement. It is designed for individuals seeking to improve their career success and is focused on working managers.

Murray State University

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost: $19,950 including all tuition and fees (online only). $15,090 for on-campus instruction.

Per Credit Hour: $640 (+$75 per online course fee)

Minimum Credit Hours: 30

GMAT Required: Yes, but GRE is also accepted.

Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months

Online Concentrations: MSU has the general MBA online as well as four completely online concentrations (global communication, finance, marketing, and human resource management). Other concentrations possible soon.

Campus Requirements: No

Why choose this program: Murray State University launched one of the nation’s first 100 percent online MBA programs in 2005 and thus has the depth and breadth of experience to advance the national and international business education needs of today’s student, who need come to Murray only for commencement. All faculty have traditional Ph.D.s, international experience and the mindset that students invest in an MBA to get value for money. Faculty go out of their way to be helpful. Under a rolling admissions process, students may start in the fall, spring or summer and finish at their own pace, taking a minimum of one graduate course at a time. Murray State’s large MBA program draws students from across the United States and a few from abroad; the majority are from Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois.

Northern Kentucky University

Location: Highland Heights

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost: $627 per credit hour

Minimum Credit Hours: 33 credit hours

GMAT Required: The GMAT/GRE is no longer required as long as the applicant can submit proven competency of readiness for the quantitative rigor of the program, as evidenced by all other submitted documents (resume, transcripts, writing sample etc.).  A portfolio approach is still used in evaluating prospective students for acceptance into the MBA program.

Minimum Time Commitment: Two years, but may be able to complete sooner depending on how many courses are taken and the course rotation.

Concentrations/Online Concentrations:  N/A

Campus Requirements:  Courses are five to eight weeks in duration and hybrid based, so students usually meet one night a week for each course, with some online work and some Saturdays required as well. Students can decide how many courses they want to take in a semester.

Why choose this program: The new MBA program from NKU meets the needs of professionals at all career stages and retains some of the best elements of the preceding program.  The program includes  an emphasis on real-world cases and applied, experiential learning with abundant faculty interaction, all while introducing greater degrees of flexibility in scheduling and the opportunity for students to customize their experience. The total curriculum consists of 33 credit hours, broken up into eight core business essential courses, two stack focus areas that allow students to tailor their degree to their own interests and career paths, and will conclude with a capstone experience that will allow students to apply what they have learned in a student-designed team project with a local organization. The introduction of the stacks is an exciting new piece to the program and different from competitors in the region as stack course offerings will vary and evolve each semester to explore current hot topics in the marketplace. Currently admitting for fall 2017.  

University of Kentucky One-Year Accelerated MBA Program

Location: Lexington

Type: State land grant, research university

Accreditation: AACSB and SACS

Base Program Cost: $33,486

Minimum Credit Hours: 51 credit hours

GMAT Required: GMAT or GRE can be used. This is waived if the applicant has a professional degree (Pharm.D., M.D., D.M.D., J.D. or Ph.D.) or professional work experience as determined by the admission committee.

Minimum Time Commitment: 11-month
program, June to May

Concentrations/Online Concentrations:
General MBA, but a number of certificate programs are available with additional classroom work, including project management, global commerce and strategy and a green belt in Lean Six Sigma. No MBA courses are online, but all prerequisites can be completed online, including options through IVY software.

Campus Requirements: On-campus classes

Why choose this program: Gatton College of Business and Economics’ accelerated option is an intensive, cross-disciplinary, hands-on experience to make graduates world ready for business. The teaching philosophy incorporates core business processes, including marketing, management and finance, as well as more technical courses in quantitative analysis, operations (supply chain) management, global management, and data analysis. It includes corporate-critical areas such as leadership, communication and presentation skills, ethics and strategic thinking. The curriculum includes interactive corporate-setting learning laboratories through the Project Connect team internship program.

University of Kentucky Professional Evening MBA Program

Location: Lexington

Type: State land grant, research university

Accreditation: AACSB and SACS

Base Program Cost: $34,622 (two-year track) and $33,458 (three-year track)

Minimum Credit Hours: 36 credit hours

GMAT Required: GMAT or GRE can be used. This is waived if the applicant has a professional degree (Pharm.D., M.D., D.M.D., J.D. or Ph.D.) or professional work experience as determined by admissions committee.

Minimum Time Commitment: Two-year or three-year tracks; fall and spring semesters; start dates are August and January each year.

Concentrations/Online Concentrations:
General MBA, but a number of certificate programs are available with additional classroom work, including project management, global commerce and strategy, and a green belt in Lean Six Sigma. Also, included is a healthcare track. No MBA courses are online, but all prerequisites can be completed online, including options through IVY software.

Campus Requirements: On-campus classes

Why choose this program: The UK Gatton College of Business and Economics Professional evening track is designed for working professionals looking to succeed in a wide variety of professional contexts. Anchored by a series of rigorous foundation courses in economics, finance, marketing, management, accounting and information systems, the curriculum seeks to build upon the knowledge a working professional has already attained during his/her career. During the program, students will enhance their leadership, communication, problem-solving, critical-thinking and team-building skills.

University of Kentucky/University of Louisville Joint Executive MBA Program

Location: Lexington and Louisville

Type: Public, research universities

Accreditation: AACSB and SACS

Base Program Cost: $67,500 total cost, paid in four equal installments

Minimum Credit Hours: 46

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months

Concentration: Executive skills for mid- to C-level professionals.

Campus Requirements: Classes on campus Fridays/Saturdays – half at UK, half at UofL

Why choose this program: The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville have partnered to create an executive MBA program that will help students advance to the next stages of their professional careers. Designed for mid-level to C-level executives from for-profit, nonprofit and government organizations, the UK/UofL Executive MBA presents the leadership skills and hands-on tools needed to propel their careers. Designed with busy schedules in mind, the joint EMBA program is a cohorted program meeting every other Friday and Saturday over 20 months. Students also participate in a 12-day global experience. The heart of the program allows students to study and network with other business leaders while learning from top-notch faculty at both institutions who are on the cutting edge in their respective fields. The program was designed to bring the best and most experienced faculty together to work collaboratively with an elite set of business talent.

University of Louisville Full-Time MBA

Location: Louisville

Type: Public, research university

Accreditation: AACSB and SACS

Base Program Cost: $32,000

Minimum Credit Hours: 45 (internship or non-internship track)

Minimum Time Commitment: 13 months

Why choose this program: The full-time MBA is a 13-month accelerated program ideal for recent college graduates and those seeking practical work experience. Eduniversal ranks it the 37th best full-time MBA program in North America. The competitive paid internship option allows students to gain work experience while offsetting the cost of tuition. The class of 2015 saw a 94 percent job-placement rate. Students attend classes in the evenings while working the internship during the day. An international trip is integrated into the program (excluding airfare), exposing students to businesses and cultures around the world.

GMAT Required: Yes

Campus Requirements: UofL Belknap Campus

 University of Louisville Professional (Part-time) MBA

Location: Louisville

Type: Public, research university

Accreditation: AACSB and SACS

Base Program Cost: Tuition is $32,000 and includes an international trip

Minimum Credit Hours: 45 hours

Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months

Why choose this program: The professional MBA is a 20-month program for working professionals with convenient evening or weekend class schedules. U.S. News and World Report ranks it in the top 100 professional MBA programs in the nation. Its cohort- and team-based learning environment allows students to complete the program with the same group from start to finish. Focused electives allow specialization: choose between healthcare, marketing, and business analytics. An international trip is integrated in the program (excluding airfare), exposing students to businesses and cultures around the world.

GMAT Required: Yes

Campus Requirements: UofL Belknap Campus

 University of Louisville Entrepreneurship MBA

Location: Louisville

Type: Public, research university

Accreditation: AACSB and SACS

Base Program Cost: $32,000

Minimum Credit Hours: 45

Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months

Why choose this program: The entrepreneurship MBA was created to give students the skills needed to successfully launch a new business or provide innovative leadership within an existing organization. Eduniversal ranks it the 23rd best Entrepreneurship MBA program in North America. The cohort- and team-based learning environment offers energizing team-building and problem-solving experiences. A track is available for students who want to compete in business plan competitions for real start-up capital and business plan feedback. The business consulting track delivers learning experiences to students in real-world environments. An international trip is integrated into the program (excluding airfare), exposing students to businesses and cultures around the world.

GMAT Required: Yes

Campus Requirements: UofL Belknap Campus

Western Kentucky University 

Location: Bowling Green

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost (includes fees): Full-time accelerated MBA is $17,700 for tuition and fees for Kentucky residents, $25,080 for tuition and fees for non-residents (domestic); professional MBA tuition and fees is $27,710; online MBA tuition and fees is $23,570 (estimated 3-5 percent tuition increase for 2018-2019).

Minimum Credit Hours: 30 hours

GMAT Required: Yes for the full-time and online programs but not for the PMBA program, which requires five years of qualifying managerial or professional experience.

Minimum Time Commitment: One year for full-time MBA; less than two years (five semesters) for PMBA; one year to five years to complete online MBA.

Concentrations: General in business administration

Campus Requirements: Yes for full-time MBA; PMBA meets off campus in Bowling Green every other Saturday.

Why choose this program: WKU has flexibility with three separate program options to meet the diverse needs of today’s students with online, weekend and accelerated-delivery methods. The quality of the programs is reflected in WKU graduates’ scores on the national MBA exit exam. Last year the PMBA ranked in the top 1 percent nationally; the online program ranks in the top 10 percent.

PRIVATE FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES

Sullivan University

Location: Louisville

Type: Four-year, private

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Base Program Cost: $28,320

Per Credit Hour: $590

Minimum Credit Hours: 48

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months

Concentrations: Accounting, healthcare management, hospitality management, public management, strategic human capital management

Campus Requirements: Offered on campus and online

Why choose this program: The masters in business program at Sullivan University is a career-focused program that enables students to individualize their educational interests. They follow a curriculum designed to develop skills in leadership, team-building, communications, decision-making, critical thinking, analysis, and research techniques. Students have the ability to specialize their education with concentrations in areas such as accounting, human capital, conflict management and others. The program meets the marketplace need for professionals with managerial skills (both qualitative and quantitative) in the problem-solving realm. The commitment is to the student and their career through focused, hands-on education.

PRIVATE NONPROFIT COLLEGES

Asbury University 

Location: Wilmore

Type: Private Christian liberal arts

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Program Cost: $611 per credit hour

Minimum Credit Hours: 36

GMAT Required: No. Students are required to take a Peregrine test.

Time Commitment: Can complete the program in as few as 20 months in a traditional cohort with a business management or nonprofit track; 4+1 programs for bachelor’s and MBA in five years and for MBA accounting; at-own-pace tracks available.

Campus Requirements: One week at end of program for capstone presentations and
graduation.

Why choose this program: Throughout the program students are intentionally prepared for corporate settings, small businesses, entrepreneurial endeavors and nonprofit or ministry-based environments. Emphasizing entrepreneurship and innovation, the Master of Business Administration program at Asbury University equips students with creative and critical thinking skills to engage today’s complex global marketplace in a faithful way. Asbury ranked top five for five straight years (2011-16) in the U.S. News and World Report regional college rankings (South).

Bellarmine University

Location: Louisville

Type: Independent, private, Catholic
university

Accreditation: AACSB accredited

Base Program Cost: Tuition is subject to change on a yearly basis. Cost per credit hour: $745 (beginning fall 2017); additional costs: $2,000 international trip; $1,100 case fees

Minimum Credit Hours: 48

GMAT Required: Combination of GMAT and Cumulative GPA taken

Time Commitment: Varies based on schedule preference

Concentrations/Online Concentrations: Finance, healthcare leadership, marketing, strategic consulting, taxation

Campus Requirements: On-campus classes

Why choose this program: Today’s business leaders need expert managers with vision, leadership and a strong sense of ethics. Bellarmine’s MBA is taught by faculty with a combination of professional and academic experience, offering real-world perspectives on practical business solutions. With Bellarmine’s flexible programs, students can earn a MBA on weeknights or weekends at the same cost as state schools.

Brescia University

Location: Owensboro

Type: Private, faith-based

Accreditation: SACS

Base Program Cost: N/A

Per Credit Hour: $500/credit hour

Minimum Credit Hours: 33

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months

Campus Requirements: Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5; completion of pre-requisite courses if not already completed during undergraduate study.

Why choose this program: The MBA program is designed to make furthering education manageable even with the busy schedule of work, family and daily life. This program typically takes about three semesters of full-time study to complete. Classes generally meet every other Saturday for eight weeks for a total of four class meetings.

Campbellsville University

Location: Campbellsville

Type: Private faith-based

Accreditation: IACBE

Base Program Cost:  $17,568

Per Credit Hour:  $488; will change to $499 beginning July 1, 2016

Minimum Credit Hours: 36 hours

GMAT Required: GRE or GMAT required. This requirement will be waived if the student has earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, or if the student has earned a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months

Concentrations: Accounting, church management, healthcare management, human resource management, information technology, international business, marketing

Campus Requirements: Campus requirements are the same as online; however, there is an international component.  International applicants whose primary language is not English and who are not a graduate of a college or university in the U.S. must submit a score of 79-80 (internet-based) on the TOEFL exam; IELTS of 6.0; Pearson score of at least 53; or earn at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. with a minimum of six hours.

Why choose this program: The MBA at Campbellsville University is affordable and customizable. Non-business students have the opportunity to work through an online primer to gain the knowledge needed to get started. Ethics is the common thread that is woven throughout the program and an aspect that is desired in today’s global marketplace. It can be completed in two years or as little as one year, depending on the student’s graduation goals. The professors are professional and available. The courses are streamlined and student friendly.

Midway University

Location: MBA program is offered online; some tourism and event management concentration courses are offered at the Midway campus.

Type: Four-year, private

Accreditation: Overall institutional accreditation is from SACSCOC; no specific MBA program accreditation

Base Program Cost: $16,800 (30 credit hours); with area of concentration $20,160 (36 credit hours)

Per Credit Hour: $560

Minimum Credit Hours: 30 hours – general MBA; 36 hours – MBA with specialization

GMAT Required: none

Minimum Time Commitment: The general MBA program can be completed in 12 to 15 months or an MBA with specialization can be completed in as little as 18 months. Most
students complete the program in 24 months or less.

Concentrations: Four unique concentrations are offered: equine studies, healthcare administration, tourism and event management and sport management.

Campus Requirements: None. The general MBA program can be completed 100 percent online. Three area of concentrations can also be completed 100 percent online: equine studies, healthcare administration and sport management. The tourism and event management area of concentration courses are offered on the Midway campus and provide hands-on training in the cultural aspects of Kentucky’s bourbon industry.

Why choose this program: The program offers students a high level of personal attention and is affordable, with a competitive credit-hour tuition rate in the market and many financial options. Midway’s faculty supports students in the online learning environment, is responsive to individualized needs and always available for in-person, phone or online chat sessions to answer questions. The unique areas of concentration allow students to all have the same foundation coursework but specialize in one of four workforce segments that are important to the regional economy of Kentucky: equine, healthcare, tourism and sports.

Spalding University

Program: Master of Science in Business Communication (MSBC)

Location: Louisville

Type: Private, faith-based

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Base Program Cost: $20,295

Per Credit Hour: $615

Minimum Credit Hours: 33

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: As few as 10 months

Concentrations: Organizational leadership, healthcare management or accounting

Campus Requirements: This program can be completed face-to-face or entirely online.

Why choose this program: The MSBC curriculum prepares students to be business professionals who can identify and solve organizational issues and enhance team performance. In this program, students will integrate business theory, practice and communication, and cultivate leadership skills to emerge as a compelling communicator. Employers consistently rank written, oral and presentation skills as the most desired characteristics in new hires. Unlike MBA programs, Spalding’s MSBC program is an integrated business curriculum with a focus on the development of these communication skills. The university collaborates with business leaders in the community to ensure it is delivering the most in-demand business education in the marketplace.

Thomas More College

Location: Crestview Hills, Ky., and
Blue Ash, Ohio

Type: Private

Accreditation: SACSCOC and ACBSP

Base Program Cost: $20,280

Per Credit Hour: $520

Minimum Credit Hours: 39

GMAT Required: Yes, if applicant GPA below 2.7

Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months

Campus Requirements: Available online or in classroom

Why choose this program: Thomas More College has helped professionals throughout Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area earn their Masters of Business Administration degree while maintaining their professional and personal commitments. The accelerated program, TAP, provides its students with an excellent environment for academic and professional growth. The Thomas More College graduate program offers a comprehensive look at decision making from a broad-based perspective. The Masters Project in the Thomas More curriculum allows students to apply business-research techniques in a very hands-on approach. Students find that this allows them to establish a critical link between academic theory and business application.

University of the Cumberlands

Location: Williamsburg

Type: Private, faith-based

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Base Program Cost: $9,450 (tuition); $50 technology fee (per bi-term)

Per Credit Hour: $315

Minimum Credit Hours: 30

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months

Concentrations/Online Concentrations: Accounting and strategic management

Other concentrations coming online this summer and fall: Entrepreneurship, marketing, nonprofit administration, and healthcare administration.

Campus Requirements: No

Why choose this program: University of the Cumberlands has been teaching tomorrow’s business leaders for over 120 years. The MBA program offers support and flexibility for working professionals while also providing students with a rich curriculum with challenging assignments, group projects, online courses and the most current and relevant case studies. Students will have instructors who are experts in their field and advisors who are knowledgeable and accessible, as well as unique networking opportunities and career preparation.

University of Pikeville (UPIKE)

Location: Pikeville

Type: Private

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Base Program Cost: $14,796

Per Credit Hour:  $411

Minimum Credit Hours: 36

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 16 months

Campus Requirements: Yes

Why choose this program: UPIKE graduate students participate in an internationally award-winning entrepreneurship course with the opportunity to travel across North America and win thousands of dollars. The award-winning capstone course for business consulting emphasizes experiential learning and assists real businesses to enable growth with cost transformation and operational improvement. The Coleman College of Business offers two options in the MBA program: the professional MBA and the healthcare MBA. The programs are delivered in the evenings and online.

Union College

Location: Barbourville

Type: Private

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Base Program Cost: $10,200

Per credit hour: $340

Minimum Credit Hours: 30 Credit hours

Minimum Time Commitment: Less than
two years

Concentration: General business

Campus Requirements: None; 100 percent online

Why choose this program: Union College has an affordable tuition and is 100 percent online to cater to the needs of busy professionals. There are no hidden fees or costs, and the program offers convenient, eight-week schedules for its students. Union students have access to a user-friendly platform with around-the-clock support from faculty. With adult-oriented and experienced faculty, as well as professional academic advisors, Union is also regionally accredited. There is financial aid available for the MBA program, which is approved for veterans and active duty military. 

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