Questrom School of Business Makes Poets & Quants Top 10 Business Schools to Watch
BU’s new online MBA program could put pressure on other schools to compete
An earlier version of this story misstated the Poets & Quants list that Questrom appears on. BU Today apologizes for that error.
Boston University’s Questrom School of Business appears on the prominent list of top 10 business schools in the country to watch by Poets & Quants. The news comes as Questrom is rolling out its new online MBA program under Susan Fournier, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean, in a partnership with the online education platform edX.
Now in its fifth year, Poets & Quants describes its ranking of business schools as celebrating “the MBA programs that are doing something different—or way better. These schools are staking out bold positions, defying convention, creating new markets, and expanding possibilities.”
Questrom is ninth on the list, in the company of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, and the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, among others. “Eight years ago,” Poets & Quants writes about Questrom, “the school rolled the dice, anchoring its full-time curriculum to health care and life sciences, digital technology, and alternative energy and sustainability. Back then, they were ‘growth areas’ looming on the horizon. Today, they are business staples directing company strategy.”
Fournier tells BU Today that the “Poets & Quants recognition validates how hard Questrom has been working to attract and retain star faculty, cultivate innovative new programs, build infrastructure to meet evolving market demands, and advance our credibility in digital business, health, and social impact. Questrom has momentum and lots of it. We are excited to build on that momentum and establish ourselves firmly as a world class business school.”
And in an interview with Poets & Quants, Fournier explained that Questrom’s new, less expensive online MBA is not targeting students seeking a traditional graduate degree: “This is not substituting for the full-time MBA. That is a completely different segment. On-campus, online—completely different segments. Different needs, different audiences, different programs, different programming experiences.”
BU Today reached out to Poets & Quants founder and editor-in-chief John Byrne, a past editor of Fast Company and executive editor of Businessweek, to further explain why Questrom landed in the top 10 business schools to watch.
with John Byrne
Did Questrom’s forthcoming online MBA play a role in its appearance on your list?
It’s clear that Questrom’s forthcoming online MBA will be widely anticipated. It is why we named BU’s Questrom School one of 10 Business Schools to Watch in 2020.
What trends are you seeing among leading business schools that either surprise you or that you’d like to see more of?
There are several. More and more schools are adopting STEM tracks in their MBA programs to bring back more international MBA applicants who have been concerned about their ability to get a work visa after graduation. More schools are upping the ante on experiential learning, providing students with hands-on projects and assignments with corporate partners. And more schools are putting a deeper focus on data analytics, which is something that is a response to market demand for these skills by companies that hire MBA grads.
Where do you see business school education going in the next decade that could be different from the last decade?
The big story in business education is the growth of alternatives to the full-time, two-year residential MBA. More students are likely to do one-year MBAs, specialty master’s, and online MBA programs so that they don’t have to invest the considerable opportunity costs that a two-year MBA requires. BU’s entrance into the online MBA space at a disruptive price is also a sign of the times. In the early days of online higher ed, the expectation was that long-distance learning would make education more accessible and more affordable. In many cases, however, a good many universities priced their online degrees at levels that were equivalent or nearly equivalent to their full-time residential offerings. BU’s price point at $24,000 will put more pressure on other schools to make these programs more affordable. That’s a good thing, because there is clearly demand for the MBA at lower cost.