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UW MBA Consortium remains top Upper Midwest program in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 rankings

| Gary Johnson

Photo caption: The UW MBA Consortium, managed by UW-Eau Claire, is ranked in the top 2.5% of online programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2022 rankings.

The University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium, managed by UW-Eau Claire, remains the top online master’s degree program in business administration in the Upper Midwest and among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 rankings.

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In the rankings released Tuesday, the consortium that includes UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse and UW Oshkosh moved up one spot from last year into ninth place in the country, tying for the consortium’s highest ranking ever. This is the fourth consecutive year and the fifth time overall that the consortium has been among the top 10 online MBA programs in the U.S.

U.S. News & World report examined 358 schools, meaning the consortium is among the top 2.5% of online programs in the country.

“We are thrilled to continue being recognized by the prestigious U.S. News & World Report as a top program in the nation,” says Jessica Franson, UW MBA Consortium managing director. "We have consistently ranked among the top programs in the nation since 2015 when U.S. News & World Report began ranking online MBA programs.”

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The consortium also moved up in the rankings in U.S. News’ Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans, from eighth place in 2021 to sixth this year.

The UW MBA Consortium is the only Upper Midwest program in the top 20 programs in the nation. Other Wisconsin schools in the rankings include, UW-Whitewater, 24th; Herzing University, 171st; Cardinal Stritch and Concordia University, 252-328; and Carroll University, Mount Mary University and UW-Milwaukee, unranked.

U.S. News ranked the online programs using five categories: engagement; expert opinion; faculty credentials and training; student excellence; and student services and technologies.

Students in the UW MBA Consortium program say they are attracted to the program for many reasons, says Dr. Paula Lentz, UW MBA Consortium academic director. Among the reasons are its student-centered instruction, flexibility that enables them to balance their professional and personal priorities, and  affordability. In addition, the integrated, team-taught curriculum reflects the demands of the workplace, which allows students to apply what they learn immediately in their organizations, Lentz says.

Students also appreciate the program’s rigor, expert faculty from academic and professional backgrounds, and reputation for academic excellence, Lentz says.

“Students regularly comment on our personalized advising and responsive staff who guide students through academic advising, course support, degree planning and development of their professional goals,” Lentz says. 

The consortium’s program has experienced significant growth in recent years, expanding by 20% in the past two years. This academic year, about 400 students are in the program.

The program has graduated 726 students since degrees were first granted in 2008, with more than 70 students graduating in a typical year.

Students from four countries and 37 states currently are enrolled in the program. Thirty-one percent of the students are from Wisconsin, with 53% from the region consisting of Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.

As the program looks to the future, Franson says directors are excited to develop new pathways for students to focus their MBA experience in different professional areas. For example, the program recently received funding through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s Workforce Innovation Grant program and will add a health care management specialization option to its MBA degree.