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UNR’s part-time MBA earns rank as nation’s fourth-best

NNBW staff

The College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno, put one of the skills that it teaches part-time students in its MBA program to good use.

A tight focus on service to customers in this case, the 205 students in the part-time program leading to a master’s in business administration degree helped vault the UNR program to fourth in the nation in rankings compiled by BusinessWeek Magazine.

The fourth-place ranking compares with a 21st-place rank for the UNR program in 2009 and a 17th-place ranking in 2007. The rankings, which are issued every two years, are based largely on student surveys.

“When you look at the survey, students graded our program an A+ in all three categories teaching quality, caliber of classmates and curriculum,” said Kambiz Raffiee, the program’s director and associate dean of the College of Business.

He said the ranking reflects good customer service for part-time MBA students service such as class schedules that allow them to take all of their required coursework in evenings and weekends, as well as networking that allows students to jumpstart their careers even while they’re finishing the graduate program.

BusinessWeek said students experience average salary increases of 28.7 percent after they finish the part-time MBA program at UNR. Its graduation rate of 99 percent ranks second of any part-time MBA program in the country.

Its cost $239 per credit is the lowest of the 76 part-time MBA programs ranked by the magazine. By comparison, tuition costs at the University of California, Berkeley, and Rice University which rank just below UNR at No. 5 and No. 6 nationally run seven to 10 times higher than the UNR program.

“This high ranking was a fantastic surprise to us,” Raffiee said.

Along with the student surveys and graduation rates, the rankings are based on factors that include class sizes and the average score of students on the Graduate Management Admission Test.

The UNR program has been offered for more than 40 years.

This autumn, an online executive MBA program was launched by the UNR College of Business and UNR Extended Studies. The 36-credit program, taught by the same faculty as the part-time program, is open to students who have a bachelor’s degree and significant professional work experience.

A few weeks ago, UNR was included in The Princeton Review’s “Best Business Schools” guidebook for the fourth year in a row.