Willamette rolls out newly designed MBA for Professionals

by Jennifer Bush,

To maximize value for students and employers, Willamette MBA is excited to introduce newly designed curriculum for MBA for Professionals this fall.

The Atkinson Graduate School of Management is introducing a fresh, newly redesigned Willamette MBA for Professionals program. The new curriculum design will offer students the ability to customize, specialize, and align their MBA experience with their career objectives and market demands.

Beginning with cohorts entering in fall 2019, students will have the opportunity to customize their MBA experience with new elective courses and access to Atkinson’s new data science offerings. Building on a nine-course core curriculum, students will be able to choose three elective courses, a full quarter of their curriculum, allowing them to add depth in selected areas of interest. Even more exciting, students will have the option to select elective coursework from the new Atkinson Data Science program, and to earn a Data Science Certificate in addition to their Willamette MBA.

The MBA for Professionals program is available in Portland and Salem. The Data Science Certificate will initially be offered in Portland.

A core curriculum for managers

All MBA for Professionals students will take a core curriculum, comprising nine courses designed to support working and developing managers. The core curriculum includes coursework in leadership, data analysis, accounting, human resources, marketing, finance, operations, and strategy, culminating with a capstone project to help students integrate management disciplines and to apply their knowledge in the work environment. In addition to the core curriculum, students entering in fall 2019 will select three electives from among courses designed to synthesize core knowledge, to add depth in areas of interest, or to build a specialized capability in data science. With additional coursework, students will be able to add a data science certification and graduate with both the Willamette MBA and the Certificate in Data Science.

The new Willamette MBA for Professionals retains the strong core curriculum and the in-person cohort model that have become program hallmarks of the MBA for Professionals experience. Students will take core classes with the same cohort of 20–25 colleagues, while adding the flexibility to tailor their degree and broaden their network through their elective coursework.

Student focused and industry aligned

“The new MBA for Professionals program was designed with input from prospective students, current students, and employers; in response to the demand for top-quality graduate management education that is customizable to best meet the needs of the student and the market,” says Senior Associate Dean and Director of Admission Alex Subert. “The redesigned MBA provides increased value for students and employers. The Atkinson recruitment team is now better positioned to help prospective students connect their existing skill set, and work experience with their career aspirations and employer demands.”

Data science, the most in-demand skills

Designed to align with the newly designed MBA for Professionals curriculum, Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management is also launching a new data science program, offering the Data Science Certificate beginning in Fall 2019. This innovative four-course certificate program will offer Willamette students and community professionals the most in-demand analytic skills for the 21st century — foundational data science skills featuring both R and Python, data engineering, and applied machine learning. Data science classes will be held in Portland and conveniently offered on Saturdays. The Data Science Certificate can be completed as a stand-alone graduate credential or as an add-on to the Willamette MBA.

No one is more enthusiastic about new Atkinson programs and redesigns than Dean (and Data Scientist) Mike Hand, “In less than a year, Atkinson has launched new undergraduate management offerings and a business minor, a redesigned MBA for Professionals, and a new Data Science Certificate. These new offerings will provide students with the knowledge, skills, and experience to jumpstart their careers and to stand out in the market. We are extremely proud of our new programs and excited to begin in the fall.”

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