Evening MBA programs are as common as cornbread in the south. But it’s exceedingly rare for a business school to offer a morning MBA class for professionals who still face a long day of work.
Now American University’s Kogod School of Business joined less than a handful of schools in North America with a part-time MBA program for early risers. Starting next fall, the Washington, D.C.-based school will begin a Tuesday morning program that would allow students to earn an MBA in 27 months. And breakfast will be served promptly at 7 a.m., just before the 7:10 class start. Students will be out the door when rush hour is over at 10:10 a.m.
“Students will be given a real breakfast,” says Jill Klein, faculty director of the new program. “It will not just be a danish and a cup of coffee. We will make sure they are caffeinated and well fed.”
ONLY A HANDFUL OF BUSINESS SCHOOLS OFFER MORNING MBA PROGRAMS
Kogod is the latest of only a few schools with morning options, including the University of Toronto’s Rotman School, and DePaul’s University’s Kellstadt School of Business in Chicago. Davenport University’s Maine College of Business in Michigan is also began offering an a.m. MBA format this fall.
As Klein points out, “Night school is ingrained in our culture. We have been doing night school for over a quarter of a century so there are plenty of thriving night programs and weekend programs. But there are morning people who are completely unserved by the night school format.”
The bacon, eggs & MBA program is a blended MBA, meaning that half of the course work will be face-to-face in a cohort of up to 35 students that meets every Tuesday morning during the 27 months of the program. The virtual classroom time—including archived video of lectures by professors as well as discussion boards for students—will be completely flexible. Students take only one course at a time to make it easier to juggle work with class.
ONE SUBJECT AT A TIME, IN SEVEN-WEEKS, OVER 27 MONTHS
“We take seven weeks for just one subject,” adds Klein. “It helps to keep them focused and to get through the program. That’s all they have to keep in their heads. And what we found is that people who are parents of young children tend to have really good routines in the morning. The afternoons are just more unpredictable. So it’s easier for a parent to leave at 6:30 a.m. and get their grad school done.”
The new professional MBA morning program is an exact replica of American University’s evening format which also meets on weekly on Tuesday nights, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dinner is included in that program, which went blended two years ago. “The beauty of doing the hybrid is that the students develop deep professional relationships with their classmates,” says Klein. “That is an important part of an MBA and that is why many people go to business school.”
Also included is a week-long global immersion trip, which like breakfast, course materials and an iPad, is included in the $78,000 price. The global trip will occur in the 20th month after students have taken several courses with international business content. The trips are most likely to take place in Latin America or Europe. The evening cohort will be heading to Argentina this coming year.