W.P Carey MBA program ranked among top 25

PRESTIGIOUS DEGREE: In the most recent executive MBA rankings from The Wall Street Journal, ASU's W.P. Carey MBA program ranked 13th among the top 25 in the nation. In the last top 25 executive MBA rankings in 2008, ASU was not on the list. (Photo by Scott Stuk)

A W. P. Carey School of Business program was ranked 13th among the top 25 executive MBA programs in the country by The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

Beth Walker, the associate dean for the W. P. Carey MBA program, said the school’s ranking was a product of the high satisfaction level of the program’s alumni.

“Our students see that they can apply what they learn in the classroom to the business world the very next day,” Walker said.

The Journal’s rankings were based on surveys of recent executive MBA graduates, companies who are familiar with these programs, and each program’s ability to impart “management and leadership skills identified as crucial in the surveys of recent graduates and companies.”

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business ranked first, and Washington University’s Olin School ranked second.

ASU’s program was the least expensive degree on the list and is different from a regular MBA, Walker said. Students who choose the program are already in the business profession and return to school for the additional degree.

“Our students have on average 12 years of work experience,” she said. “The executive MBA is definitely crafted for folks who are already leaders in their organizations.”

The students in the highly competitive program are also working full-time in their fields, she said.

“Each applicant is interviewed and has to have the requisite work experience, experience with budgets, et cetera, in order to be admitted to the program,” Walker said. “Students get individualized attention on helping them develop their leadership skills.”

Geared toward professionals who want to rise to the next level in their firms, the 21-week program prepares students to become leaders in their organizations, she said.

“Ultimately, many become C-level executives in their companies,” Walker said, meaning they advance to top-level executive positions. “They may become leaders in their communities for not-for-profits. They have a very diverse set of career paths.”

Reach the reporter at ymgonzal@asu.edu