University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics is the top-ranked single-school online MBA and largest business school in the state. Teaching business for 110 years, it has stayed at the forefront of business education for over a century and is no stranger to digital learning. “The College of Business and Economics began offering online education in the 1990s, and the department of marketing was one of the first programmes to provide many of our courses and programmes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the online environment,” says Dr. Andrew Dahl, Associate Professor of Marketing.
One unique aspect of the college’s MBA programme is that it has 13 emphases and over 50 electives. This empowers students to focus on the areas they’re interested in. These areas include unique options such as cybersecurity management, data analytics, environmental safety and health, international business and project management, as well as traditional offerings in accounting, finance, management and marketing. “What truly sets UW-Whitewater’s online business programme apart from other institutions offering similar programmes is its remarkable combination of affordability, diverse programme offerings, and the numerous opportunities it provides students,” says Salmai Valadez, MBA in Marketing graduate.
For Valadez, the 100% online format let her juggle her many responsibilities and hold down three different jobs. The flexibility and support offered helped her not only navigate her many roles but thrive while doing so. “The online programme allowed me to tailor my study schedule to accommodate my work commitments and other responsibilities effectively,” she says. “I could engage with course materials, participate in discussions, and complete assignments at times that best suited my schedule. This flexibility made it easier for me to balance my professional duties and academic pursuits seamlessly.”
The asynchronous nature of lectures means there are no required live sessions held at specific times. Not only can students earn their degree from anywhere in the world, they may also do it at their own time and pace. The programme remains interactive despite this. “Although they do not have to attend the live sessions, they are invited to email me their questions they wish me to address and watch the recording in their own time,” says He Li, associate professor of finance and business law. “Students also have the option to schedule one-on-one online meetings with me.”
The online MBA maintains a high level of interactivity to ensure that students and faculty build real relationships. “At UW-Whitewater, the learning experience is remarkably intimate, fostering close connections with professors,” says Patrice Achu, BBA Accounting (2010), MBA Project Management (2020) and DBA Accounting (2023) graduate. “The class sizes are kept small, affording ample opportunities for meaningful interactions with the instructors.”
This college of distinction ensures that students are taught entirely by full-time, doctorally qualified, professional faculty, with no teaching assistants or part-time instructors leading classes. Lecturers are active researchers with extensive industry or consulting experience, so students learn from their real-world experience. “Our graduate and undergraduate marketing programmes are responsive to market needs by continually updating the curriculum to include emerging topics and technologies that marketers need to be familiar with today,” says Dahl.
Each MBA emphasis is unique, and the online learning environment means that students can connect with a diverse group of peers and be exposed to different perspectives. For example, Dahl recalls how students in the Artificial Intelligence in Marketing and Digital Marketing courses over the past few years have included those new to marketing from smaller firms and seasoned professionals from large multinational brands.
Another standout feature of the online MBA is its accreditation — not only is it the largest AACSB-accredited business school in Wisconsin, but the college is also in the top 2% of business schools in the world with its accreditation in accounting. Li says that this ensures that students can receive sufficient faculty attention and lets faculty members maintain an active research profile to be up-to-date on the latest developments in their fields. “The AACSB accreditation is a certification held by approximately only 5% of all business schools worldwide,” she adds. “It is definitely a stamp on the CV that could elevate students’ competitiveness in the job market.”
The true proof of this online MBA’s prowess is in the achievements of its graduates. Achu secured a position at one of the world’s premier accounting firms, Ernst and Young, after graduation. He has since progressed quickly and was recently appointed as the controller for Kerry Group’s most significant acquisition in Buffalo, New York.
Valadez is currently a digital communications specialist. “The knowledge and skills I acquired during my studies have had a profound impact on my career,” she says. “I’ve been able to apply the insights gained from the programme directly to my work, resulting in improved marketing strategies and a more effective approach to my professional responsibilities.”