Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management yesterday (Nov. 4) announced that it plans to offer an Executive MBA program in the already crowded Chicago market where there are at least nine other EMBA programs. The school said its new program will “primarily” seek professionals with degrees in STEM disciplines, four to six years of work experience in a STEM industry, and talented leaders in STEM companies from greater Chicago and the tri-state region.
Purdue is obviously hoping that its emphasis on STEM managers with a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will give it a competitive edge in Chicago which boasts two of the world’s three best EMBA programs and four globally ranked offerings. The University of Chicago’s Booth School EMBA and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management EMBA are ranked two and three, respectively, by Poets&Quants. The new Purdue program will start in 2015, in the West Loop.
Krannert made something of a splash by enlisting Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in its announcement at 1871, a collaborative workspace for digital startups at the Merchandise Mart. “Chicago is a city with many talented STEM professionals, and Purdue University has chosen to locate its Weekend MBA here in Chicago as a result of the opportunities and talent that the City of Chicago has to offer such an exceptional program,” said Emanuel in a statement. “This program will help some of the most talented engineers and computer scientists in Chicago gain the skills they need to start their own tech companies and become business leaders in the new economy.”
The sixteen-month program will start with a ten-day orientation in late summer on the Purdue campus in West Lafayette and then will meet every other weekend in Chicago. The school said the program’s modular structure would allow students will complete a pair of courses in six-week modules. The curriculum combines core business courses with elective and immersion courses offered by Purdue’s Colleges of Engineering, Science, and Technology. The MBA curriculum will also include an active-learning project connected with a STEM firm in the Chicago area or in connection with Purdue’s Discovery and Research Parks.
“The program seeks to enable students to focus their curriculum in the following specializations: business analytics, integrated product design, global supply chain management, and customized specializations in areas such as biotech, pharmaceuticals or next-generation manufacturing,” the school said. “The underlying idea is that those with a background in STEM efforts will get the training they need to launch successful businesses.”
For Krannert, the new Chicago program will join two other 20-month-long executive MBA offerings, including an international MBA that Purdue puts on in association with one of several European partner schools and a hybrid on-campus and distance learning program with a half dozen residencies. Purdue did not release tuition fees for its new program but currently charges $75,000 in tuition for its existing hybrid EMBA program.
“Our MBA for STEM Professionals gives Purdue and Krannert a unique opportunity to combine our strengths in business education with Purdue’s world-class programs in Engineering, Technology and Science, among others,” said Christopher Earley, Krannert School dean in a statement. “Through an integrated curriculum and experiential learning, peer-to-peer learning and a STEM industry context, we will transform individuals having technical backgrounds and work experience into global business leaders. With the efforts of Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago’s move toward becoming the new ‘silicon prairie’ we think this is a tremendous opportunity for us to work with one of the nation’s world recognized and admired cities.”
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