Published

The University of Georgia's Terry College of Business has approved a second version of its Executive MBA program. The Atlanta-based graduate program replaces the college's Evening MBA program and will be known as the Fast-Track Professional MBA.

The new program will be one of three MBA degree options offered by the Terry College, alongside its Full-Time program in Athens and Executive MBA program, which meets at the Terry Executive Education Center in Buckhead.

What remains from the former Evening MBA program is the location and scheduling of classes. The Fast-Track Professional MBA will hold class sessions on weeknight evenings and select Saturdays, and will still enroll students at Terry's Buckhead or Lawrenceville locations. Entering students are expected to take all of their courses at the same location.

The Fast-Track Professional MBA will incorporate many of the most distinctive elements that had been exclusive to the Terry Executive MBA program structure. Beginning with the class that will enroll in August 2009, those changes will include:

  • A two-year, lock-step course of study that allows a cohort of students to move through the program together, developing stronger relationships with one another along the way and, ultimately, graduating as a class.
  • A more focused program theme of personal leadership development, which has become a core competency of Terry's other two MBA programs.
  • A delivery model that combines face-to-face interaction with structured distance learning, with about half the program's content being delivered using asynchronous technologies. This blended model is a more convenient approach that working professionals who must balance their education with significant commitments at home and on the job find appealing.
  • An accelerated schedule that allows students to complete the degree requirements in just under two years.

However, Richard Daniels, director of MBA programs at Terry College, stressed that the new program's accelerated schedule was not the impetus for the name change.

"The term 'Fast-Track' modifies the word 'Professional' — not the word 'Program.' We're targeting working professionals who are rising quickly in their organizations, who are looking for an MBA program that is going to help them advance their careers without interfering with their jobs."

"We're certainly proud of the fact that we've managed to reduce the length of the program from the eight semesters it took for the Evening MBA to six, but we're maintaining the rigor and quality of the program content," Daniels said.

Daniels said the combination of traditional classroom instruction and distance learning was one of the Terry Executive MBA's competitive strengths when that program was started in 2001. "Our model of blended delivery was unique when we began, but we also believed it would be very appealing to busy professionals," he said. "We're very confident that the teaching model we developed for the Executive MBA will work just as well with the Fast-Track Professional MBA."

The Fast-Track Professional MBA is also capitalizing on the Terry College's recognized strength in the area of leadership development. "We include three leadership courses in the core curriculum and let students choose from elective courses in the second year of the program," Daniels said. "We'll also offer workshops with leadership topics and address important leadership issues in each of the core business classes."

The program is currently accepting applications for the fall 2009 semester. For more information on MBA program options from the Terry College of Business, go to the Terry MBA website.