New MBA Curriculum Emphasizes Flexibility, Customized Career Plans

  • By Lisa Litzinger-Drayton

PHILADELPHIA – Nearly one-third of the classes in the new MBA curriculum at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business are now electives that students can use to combine traditional disciplines such as finance, marketing and accounting with the study of broader topics such as corporate governance, reputation management and entrepreneurship.

The new program, launching in September, also includes a co-curricular skills-building component, in which students are offered customized sets of workshops, training and speaking engagements designed to aid their career advancement, and it introduces two new areas of concentration: business analytics and healthcare.

“These enhancements will give Drexel LeBow MBA students the intellectual depth required of thought leaders as well as the pragmatic skills necessary to lead others and advance their careers,” said George P. Tsetsekos, Ph.D., dean of Drexel’s LeBow College of Business. “Nobody has been better than Drexel LeBow at preparing students with both the intellectual depth and pragmatic skills necessary to succeed. Now, the Drexel LeBow MBA also provides more flexibility and greater opportunity for cross-disciplinary study than is typically found in MBA programs.”

The new curriculum takes advantage of Drexel’s 10-week quarters (most schools have 16-week semesters) to streamline the introductory accounting, finance and economics courses required of all students, while creating the ability for each student to take five elective courses, including two offered by one of Drexel LeBow’s Centers of Excellence. 

For example, students will continue to take courses in management, statistics, organizational behavior and other core subjects, which now incorporate a global focus. In addition, all students will choose one of five areas of concentration: finance, entrepreneurship and innovation management, marketing, business analytics, or healthcare. But going forward, the new electives will give unprecedented access for students to take courses offered through Drexel LeBow’s Center for Corporate Governance, Center for Corporate Reputation Management, Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship, and Sovereign Institute for Strategic Leadership.

“Drexel LeBow MBA students will have a choice about how focused or how broad they want their education to be,” Tsetsekos explained. “Some students will want to concentrate in marketing and go even deeper by taking electives in reputation management, or concentrate in finance and go deeper with electives in corporate governance. But others will want to concentrate in business analytics and broaden their perspective through electives in entrepreneurship or in strategic leadership. Some will concentrate in finance but pursue electives in reputation management.”

The new elective courses mark the first time that Drexel LeBow has directly integrated its Centers of Excellence into the curriculum. The Centers of Excellence will continue to facilitate faculty research and host programs that bring executives and academics together to explore business challenges.

The new Drexel LeBow MBA also includes a co-curricular skills-building component in which each student will be offered a customized set of training in skills ranging from budgeting and negotiating to evaluating staff and working with boards.

“Some students come to us with little professional experience; others arrive with more than 10 years of significant management experience behind them,” Tsetsekos said. “We have created a training program that serves a role similar to that of a personal career coach. We will help each student acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the next step of his or her career.”

The Drexel LeBow MBA is offered in Philadelphia, Malvern, Pa., and Sacramento, Calif., through a variety of full-time, part-time and online programs. The LeBow College of Business is one of only 25 percent of U.S. business schools to be accredited and ranked. Its programs have been recognized among the nation’s best by Financial Times, BusinessWeek, Princeton Review, Entrepreneur magazine and others.

Since its founding in 1891, Drexel University has distinguished itself by emphasizing experiential learning in its curriculum through its cooperative education program. Drexel is the nation’s 14th largest private university and is ranked second among national universities in the U.S. News& World Report list of “Up-and-Comers.”

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