The Georgetown University McDonough School of Business (MSB) will launch an online program for students to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from anywhere in the world.
The new online option will be offered to students enrolled in the Flex MBA program, an alternative to the traditional MBA meant to accommodate students who balance working full time alongside a business course load. The Flex MBA Online program, which is set to begin in the Fall 2023 semester and, will be the university’s third online business master’s degree, alongside online options for the Master of Science in Finance and Master of Science in Business Analytics. Students have between 24 and 60 months to complete the degree.
After adapting to remote learning conditions during the 2020-21 academic year, university administrators felt confident developing a successful virtual option for Flex MBA students, according to Prashant Malaviya, professor of marketing and senior associate dean of MBA programs.
“When deciding to develop a virtual modality for the Flex MBA program, it was important that we maintained the academic rigor and enriching community our MBA programs are known for, while maximizing the convenience and flexibility of online learning,” Malaviya wrote in an email to The Hoya. “The online format was intentionally designed for working professionals who desired the Georgetown MBA experience but needed greater flexibility to balance their work and life commitments.”
The online program will make the Flex MBA more accessible for graduate students who are also working, as well as those who live around the globe and cannot pursue a Georgetown degree in person, according to Malaviya.
“We are hopeful that many students in the online program will be able to take additional in-person courses of their choice and participate on campus in the many exciting Georgetown and McDonough events and activities,” Malaviya wrote. “We are confident that these elements of the program design will ensure the online students build meaningful relationships with their classmates and peers, and gain exposure to the global perspectives that define the Georgetown MBA.”
Ensuring students of the online program experience the same bonding and support network as those studying in person was a priority when designing the degree, according to Shelly Heinrich (GRD ’18), associate dean of MBA admissions and director of marketing in the MSB.
“The two week-long D.C. residencies and Global Business experience will allow students to continue building on those relationships they’ve established through the cohort-modeled program. There will be select student and career experiences created just for the virtual community,” Heinrich wrote to The Hoya. “Additionally, online students who are able to come to campus will be able to participate and have access to all MBA student and career programming opportunities.”
Flex MBA Online will encourage connections across the student body through synchronous cohort classes, two in-person weeklong residencies at Georgetown, team-based learning strategies and the MSB’s Global Business Experience consulting project.
Following success with previous online programs at Georgetown and given the advancement in technological resources, providing more online classes is the natural step forward, according to Nathan Miller, an associate professor of strategy and economics at the MSB.
“I think that there’s always going to be a demand for high quality business education, and what’s changed is that Georgetown has developed the capabilities to deliver that, to meet that demand,” Miller told The Hoya.
Miller said the pandemic reshaped the way he understands the value of virtual learning and the efficacy of online programs.
“Through our experience with using technology over the pandemic and even before that, it’s given us the capabilities to provide high quality programs online,” Miller said. “It makes sense to try to provide that to students who are less able to get to campus.”
The new Flex MBA Online program is built from Georgetown’s past experience with offering remote courses and should become a significant asset for future MSB students, according to Malaviya.
“We believe that in the near future, the Flex MBA Online program will be a significant offering of the school, and it will only grow in size and reputation,” Malaviya wrote.