Just two years after their strategic relocation to the heart of Oklahoma City’s Innovation District, the University of Oklahoma’s MBA programs have received their highest rankings in the last 15 years from U.S. News and World Report. According to the new report, OU’s full-time MBA program rose 18 spots, to 58th in the nation, while the professional (part-time) program rose eight spots, to 52nd. The rankings place OU’s MBA programs among the Top 35 public universities that offer MBA programs, with the full-time MBA receiving a rank of 31st and the professional MBA a rank of 29th.
The programs are housed in the Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business at OU’s Michael F. Price College of Business, which operates across all three OU campuses in Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
“The Michael F. Price College of Business is proud to be a growing part of the excellence occurring at the University of Oklahoma,” said Daniel W. Pullin, dean. “Though our rankings climb cannot fully capture the impact our faculty, students and stakeholders make each day, this latest recognition indicates the growing momentum generated by OU’s Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business at Price College.”
The full-time MBA program saw a 15 percent increase in peer evaluation scores and a 9 percent increase in recruiter scores. Fueling these scores were increases in the average starting salaries of graduates, at about $77,000, and the employment rate three months after graduation, which rose to 92.3 percent at an increase of 18 percent.
Similarly, the professional MBA also saw increases in peer evaluations of 9 percent, an increase in the average GMAT scores of incoming students, and a 15 percent increase in enrollment with these higher academic qualifications.
Catherine Hyland, who will graduate this spring with an MBA and M.S. in management of information technology degree, was drawn to OU’s MBA program after visiting the state.
“Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I was initially drawn to the University of Oklahoma MBA program while spending six months on a work rotation in Lawton,” Hyland said. “The hard-working people, the unique culture and the intriguing economy of the state inspired me to consider returning to Oklahoma. My ultimate decision to pursue an MBA degree at OU was a result of several significantly persuasive factors, including the brand-new, state-of-the-art Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business facility in Oklahoma City, the world-class faculty, the experiential learning curriculum and the scholarship and graduate assistantship opportunities.
“The OU MBA program has prepared me to reenter the workforce with a more thorough understanding of the unique privilege and obligation that comes with being a U.S. businessperson in an increasingly global world. As I start out on a new career path in consulting, I am excited to apply all that I have learned throughout my time as an OU MBA student.”
Relocating both MBA programs to Oklahoma City played an important role in the rankings increase. The university opened the 27,000-square-foot facility for the Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business in the heart of Oklahoma City at OU’s University Research Park on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2017. Strategically anchored between the downtown energy and financial sectors to the west and the growing health care and aerospace sectors to the east, the facility is now home to OU’s full-time and professional MBA programs, growing executive education programs and the Oklahoma City locations for the Ronnie K. Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth and the Office of Technology Development, two components of the college’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Division.
“Two years ago, our faculty and alumni showed vision and courage to relocate our flagship graduate programs to where our students and employers need them the most,” Pullin said. “This move allowed our students to be mentored directly by both our world-class faculty and relationships built with executives at Oklahoma City’s top energy, health care and aerospace companies, many of which are located just blocks away from the state capitol. This proximity to the leaders and organizations responsible for building Oklahoma’s future allows students to directly apply what they are learning in the classroom to benefit the great companies in Oklahoma and beyond.”
As rankings and reputation continue to climb, employers are taking notice.
“Over the years, we have worked with the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business to hire summer interns, graduates of the MBA program, and are working with current students to consult on various aspects of the Sonic business as part the experiential course curriculum,” said Claudia San Pedro, president of Sonic Corp. “The OU MBA program prepares students to contribute immediately to their employer’s business; they come to us with great analytical skills, strategic mindset and a great work ethic.”
San Pedro also understands OU’s MBA program from the inside out; she received an MBA from the Price College of Business in 2001.
The rankings announcement follows three months of similar rises in rankings for the university’s business college. Last month, TFE Times announced that the Price College of Business’s recently designed Master of Science in Management Information Technology Data Analytics program had joined the nation’s Top 20 in its 2019 Best Master’s of Business Analytics Programs. A total of 41 universities were included in the final rankings, with Price College’s rank of 20th up one spot from 2018.
In January, U.S. News and World Report issued its annual rankings for best online programs. Price received its premier ranking of 70th in the Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA) category, its first ranking score since the launch of its online Master of Accountancy program in fall 2017.
And in December, Times Higher Education and the Wall Street Journal released their research findings regarding business schools around the world. Nearly 115 business schools that offer master’s degree programs from 24 countries were ranked based on four criteria: resources, engagement, outcome and environment. Based on these criteria, the Price College of Business was ranked 29th among the top-tier one-year MBA degree programs.
“Our MBA programs are designed to develop business leaders by ensuring that every student gets not only an education signified by a diploma, but an experience that shapes their thinking,” said Laku Chidambaram, associate dean for academic programs and engagement and W.P. Wood Professor of Management Information Systems at Price. “Being located in Oklahoma City helps us provide significant experiential learning opportunities for our students, from applied field projects to business consulting practicums, and from interacting with global business leaders to individual externships. It also helps us better customize the curriculum to fit student needs and offer an array of individualized pathways. The rankings recognitions are simply a reflection of these ideas that have shaped our master’s programs.”
In addition to residential full-time and professional MBA programs, the Price College of Business offers master’s degrees in accountancy and management of information technology, with accelerated B.B.A. offerings for both, as well as an online master’s in accountancy. Price also offers doctoral degrees in seven specializations. Overall, Price College programs are featured in 28 different national and global business school rankings.
Established in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a doctoral degree-granting university and leader in research, health care, and academic activity impacting the state of Oklahoma and global community. The Norman campus enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City enroll more than 3,000 students and the OU-Tulsa campus enrolls more than 1,000. Of the 4,385 incoming freshmen in 2018, the average ACT score is 26.2 and is one of the most diverse and inclusive groups of incoming students in university history. OU began a new focus in 2018 to double research efforts in the next five years, promote OU Medicine as the health care provider of choice in the State of Oklahoma, and grow the university in northeastern Oklahoma.
The Michael F. Price College of Business, originally established in 1928, ensures the enduring global competitiveness of Oklahoma and the nation. As OU’s second-largest college, the Price College of Business educates more than 4,500 students through undergraduate, master’s, executive and doctoral programs across six academic divisions in Accounting, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Finance, Management and International Business, Management Information Systems, and Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
The Price College of Business’s website is http://price.ou.edu and the Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business’s website is http://www.ou.edu/price/mba/mba_fulltime.