Texas executive MBA program ranked ninth in the world

2012-01-25_McCombs_Ranked_Whatever_Thomas

Thomas Allison

A student descends the escalators inside the McCombs School of Business Tuesday afternoon. The MBA program at McCombs maintained its rank as the ninth best in the world according to a survey conducted by graduate school ranking website Poets & Quants.

Tracy Frydberg

The McCombs School of Business maintained their ranking of ninth best Master of Business Administration program in the world for the second year, according to Poets & Quants, a site dedicated to giving information on graduate business schools.

This year also marks the centennial for the accounting program as it celebrates its No. 1 rank for the seventh year in a row, said Department of Accounting chair Lillian Mills.

The study, conducted by Poets & Quants, ranked schools by averaging four different surveys together. Each study evaluated different aspects of the graduate programs.

Stephanie Carlton, a graduate MBA student and health policy advisor to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, said she is not surprised by the ranking. Carlton commutes to Austin to attend lectures every two weeks from Washington, D.C.

“I chose to come to UT over Georgetown [University],” she said. “UT has a top [Executive] MBA program and a fantastic national reputation.”

Even with the cost of commuting, Carlton pays between $20,000-80,0000 (depending on the program) less than if she had gone to Georgetown. Out of the top 10 schools listed, UT has the only program that costs under six figures, Carlton said.

Eric Hirst, the associate dean for graduate programs in McCombs, said price is not the only factor that attracts students to the program.

“We have a very high level of collegiality,” Hirst said. “Most MBA programs are cutthroat. This is not the case for us. We have a culture of collaboration. People learn from each other. Students are paying a lot of money to be here and are not easily impressed.”

The ranking is a reflection of the quality of students who are attracted to the program, said John Burrows, director of the Executive MBA program. Burrows said students in the program have an average of 14 years of business experience upon entering.

“The amount of experience both students and faculty have is directly reflected in the culture of the program,” Burrows said. “We attract a high caliber of students. We are very selective. When students and teachers come together, they are always excited to see each other and are a very tight knit group.”

Carlton said the professors and classmates she gets to learn from and work with are what make her commute to Texas worth the trip.

“The professors are top notch people with experience in the world as well as the ability to teach,” Carlton said. “The people here are very real.”

Leah Moss, accounting department spokeswoman, said the hands-on faculty and students are dedicated to learning beyond the books, and as a result the school continues to reach and exceed the goals and standards that are set.

“The rankings are high because the students do more than become solid accountants,” Moss said. “With exposure from professors who have been to the real world, the students become ethical and want to protect their clients.” 

Printed on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 as:Business school ranked nine in world for second year