The UH System Board of Regents today (Feb. 16) approved UHD's MBA proposal, and the plan now moves to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for final review.
"This has been a dream for the College of Business and the University for many years," said UHD President Bill Flores. "Our proposal would increase the number of area students who pursue an MBA and would help the UH System meet Houston's need for professionals with graduate degrees in business."
UHD's College of Business Dean Don Bates said the degree is flexible and will help Houston meet the Greater Houston Partnership's goal of "helping create an additional 600,000 jobs in the next 10 years."
"Our MBA program is designed for full-time workers who can attend school part time," Bates said. "Most students with a recent undergraduate degree in business will be able to finish in two years. Beginning this fall, we will offer leveling classes covering 16 semester credit hours of business core courses for students from other disciplines who want to complete the degree."
UHD's proposed format will fit the career and educational needs of working professionals. Students will take one concentrated class every seven weeks in a hybrid format that will blend online and face-to-face instruction. Each course would meet in person only once a week for about two hours, allowing part-time students to focus their attention on fewer courses at a time while holding full-time jobs.
Many employers in the region offer tuition reimbursement for employees who pursue MBAs, and nearly 80 percent of the employers surveyed said they would be interested in hiring graduates of UHD's proposed program.
"Our students and alumni have been asking for this degree for some time," Bates said. "We project enrolling about 90 students the first year."
UHD is also ideally suited to meet the area's need for MBA graduates with diverse backgrounds, he said. UHD is one of the most diverse universities west of the Mississippi with a student body that is 39 percent Hispanic, 29 percent African-American, 20 percent white and 9 percent Asian, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as both a Minority Serving and Hispanic Serving institution.
UHD's College of Business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB-International, an honor granted to only 15 percent of the world's business schools.