Hopkins to offer MBA in fall; Program changing to meet competition, graduates' concerns


The Johns Hopkins University, in an effort to boost its graduate business education program in the face of stiff competition, said yesterday that it will offer an official MBA program in the fall.

The university's first version of a business program came in 1972, when it began offering its master of administrative science. In 1992, that program evolved into the MSB, or master of science in business, said Stanley C. Gabor, dean of Hopkins' School of Continuing Studies.

The impetus for the change to an MBA program has been competition from near and afar, and concern from Hopkins' graduates, Gabor said.

Loyola College, the University of Maryland College Park and Georgetown University are well known in the region for their highly regarded MBA programs. And out-of-state schools such as New York University and nearly two dozen others have also begun offering business courses in the area.

Hopkins' business graduates have often asked why the university does not offer an MBA program, said H. Gene Swanson, the Hopkins MBA director.

"Graduate business education is becoming increasingly competitive nationwide. That's just a fact of life," Swanson said. "Students have much more choice now than they ever had. Our changing was to respond to our students."

All of the approximately 2,000 students who have received MSBs from Hopkins since 1992 can trade in their MSBs for MBAs if they return to Hopkins and enroll in the managerial communication and quantitative analysis courses at their expense.

Last year, there were 500 students in the university's program, and Hopkins officials are expecting the switch to a MBA program to attract more students. "A Hopkins MBA has a real nice ring to it," Swanson said.

The soon-to-be MBA program will remain a part-time, unaccredited program, Gabor said.

Of 1,400 business schools nationwide, 350 are accredited, he said.

Accredited schools in the area include University of Baltimore, the University of Maryland, College Park and Loyola College.

"Clearly, there are alternative ways to earn a higher business degree, but Loyola sees accreditation as confirmation of the quality of our programs," said Peter Lorenzi, dean of Loyola's Sellinger School of Business and Management.

The school offers a part-time program.

Hopkins had considered converting its MSB program to an MBA for years because the latter is recognized as the "coin of the realm" for graduate business education, Gabor said.

Pub Date: 2/16/99

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