A globetrotter’s MBA program: Worth $140000?

University of Virginia's Darden School has joined a growing field of business schools offering global MBA programs, with residencies in four continents, at a hefty price.

If you were a business school dean and had the chance to pull out a blank piece of paper and design the ideal global MBA program, what would it look like?

For Peter Rodriguez, an economics professor and an associate dean at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, this was no theoretical exercise.

Four years ago, Dean Robert Bruner asked him to do just that -- sketch out the best possible design for a new global MBA program for executives. "I remember him saying, 'We need to wake up every day and worry about how we are going to become more global.' I think I wake up every day and worry about it."

Now, years after studying the market, the result of that worry and work will debut this August. Darden's Global MBA program is a bold undertaking in global business education, an experience that promises to challenge current notions of what a global MBA program can be. It also comes at a time when there already is plenty of competition from other programs for global execs. And it won't be cheap. The price: a hefty $139,500, not including an estimated $12,000 in additional travel costs.

Starting in August, some 40 students will undergo six two-week residencies at Darden's home campus in Charlottesville, Va., and Washington, D.C., but also in Brazil, India, Europe, and China. A third of the course work will be delivered online, in live weekly classes, with virtual learning teams, and integrated work projects. Some 15 faculty members at Darden will be involved in delivering the program.


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