Online MBAs heading to the ivory tower

While online MBA programs are nothing new, elite business schools are starting to offer the option to students, with UNC's Kenan-Flagler school the latest to join the party

When the dean of the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School first broached the idea of launching an online MBA program, his faculty and students were highly skeptical.

"Many of our full-time MBA students are not convinced this is a good idea," says Dean James Dean. "They underestimate the challenge of what it is for people to remain in their jobs and work and study for the degree."

Even Dean concedes that he had doubts. "To be honest, I was initially skeptical," Dean says. "I wondered: Can you really do an MBA online that you could be proud of? I came around to the idea that this was a great opportunity for us and could change the nature of business education at the top schools."

The upshot: This July, Kenan-Flagler will be the highest ranked business school in the U.S. to offer an online MBA program. The school expects to enroll 50 students in its initial class at a cost of $89,000 each, a price tag that includes up to four weekend residencies at different locations around the world. UNC is partnering with 2tor Inc., a company that provides the technology platform and instructional design to deliver courses online...


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