MBA Options for Candidates Living and Working in Texas |

MBA Options for Candidates Living and Working in Texas

By Francesca Di

Updated October 5, 2020 Updated October 5, 2020

Everything in Texas is big, as the saying goes, and business is no exception. Obviously, the state is best known as the hub of the oil and gas industry in the US. While the energy sector is a big part of the economy, there are other industries also attracting businesspeople. Among them are construction and technology, and Cybersecurity has become a big force in the economy.

According to Career Builder – reported by the Dallas Morning News – the fastest growing industries in the state between now and 2023 will be home health, nursing, and renewable energy. Of course, NASA calls Texas home too, which is appealing to scientists as well as innovators interested in turning discoveries into practical businesses. While these industries don’t necessarily demand graduate business degree holders, having MBAs on hand won’t hurt. There are opportunities to be had in Texas.

If you’re hoping to earn an MBA while continuing to work in the Lone Star State, take a look at some of these programs in the most bustling parts of Texas:

The University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business

The part-time MBA program offered by McCombs School of Business runs across all campuses. Classes are held in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston campuses on the weekends, and classes are held weekly on Monday and Tuesday evenings in Austin.

These programs are consistently ranked among the top 10 part-time MBA programs in the US. One of the strengths of part-time MBAs is it features the same faculty teaching on the full-time program, with Rodrigo Malta, Managing Director, MBA Recruiting and Admissions admitting students earn the same degree. One of the benefits of earning a degree at Texas at Austin (regardless of the campus) is the practical curriculum that teaches students how to apply theory to practice.

A highlight, says Malta, is an opportunity for experiential learning. He says, “Front and center in this area is our MBA+ Program.

“MBA+ is designed to help students discover, strengthen, and polish their leadership style, so they can step confidently into their new career, ready to create a lasting impact. This optional program offers an individually tailored journey that includes seminars with industry leaders, micro-consulting projects, and one-on-one coaching with seasoned business professionals.”

All students complete the Directed Studies in Global Management course, which combines learning about the culture, politics, and economy of a particular country followed by a weeklong in-country experience during the summer. Some countries visited by students include Thailand, South Africa, and Argentina.

Malta adds that the career services offerings for McCombs’ part-time MBA is another strength. Students can take advantage of one-on-one advising, networking sessions, career fairs, recruiting events, and more.

The rigor of the admissions process is virtually identical to that of the full-time program. Resume, letter of recommendation, essays, test scores, previous GPAs, and interviews (by invitation only) are required to determine eligibility into the program. Malta says, “Successful students and alumni at Texas McCombs are enterprising, tenacious, curious and authentic.

“Our MBAs have a competitive yet collaborative spirit and an innate ability to succeed in leading and working with diverse teams.”

Recently, the school opened its new graduate business school building, Rowling Hall, in Austin. And there are more additions on the horizon as the school is constructing a new home for the MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth. It will be 17,000 square feet and includes interactive classrooms, group study and breakout rooms, individual study nooks, and open community spaces.

MBA in Dallas: UT Dallas v SMU Cox

SMU - Cox School of Business

The Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas offers both the Professional MBA (a traditional part-time program), and an online MBA. In addition to its Executive MBA, these two options provide a holistic business education to those who need to continue to work while studying.

The two-year Professional MBA sees students come to campus for classes during weeknights and some Saturdays and includes specializations in 11 different areas of study. Much like a full-time MBA program, this has students tackling the core curriculum in the first year as a cohort, meaning they take the courses together in a designed order – taking two classes at a time in seven-week modules. As second-year students, they take electives to specialize in a specific area.

In contrast, the online program offers weekly classes that are completely virtual – it’s a more intimate program with only 15 students per class. Students work in groups between class sessions to review material, discuss case studies, and work on homework assignments. The focus is on developing leadership and analytics skills through experiential learning, says Jillian Melton, director of Professional MBA and Online MBA Admissions. It includes two required four-day immersions where students’ partner with international corporations to help solve a complex business problem.

Part-time students (in the EMBA, Professional, or Online program) can opt to take global study trips. Melton says, “These take many forms depending on the program, but all students have the opportunity to go on a global trip where they will study the local economy, political climate, and relationship with the US.

“Different trip focuses can include industry, such as real estate or entrepreneurship, or students can work on specific consulting projects with corporations, or students can visit a wide variety of companies and industries to learn more about macro-trends.”

In addition, students in these programs can take advantage of seminars or coaching to develop leadership and communication skills at the Business Leadership Center. Through the center, they may also participate in a nonprofit consulting project and partnership with the Disney Institute. Similarly, the Career Management Center offers professional development workshops and on-campus corporate recruiting to part-time students wishing to change or accelerate their career.

To make the process easier on part-time or online students who continue to work while studying, the school provides a full offering of student services and career coaching.

Students, faculty, and staff can come together and chat at Community Coffees; similarly, the school offers free dinner during finals week and food trucks during night classes, so people can grab a bite. The Student Advisory Board aims to place importance on the needs of part-time students, and there are also social events, including the end-of-the-year party for students to look forward to.

Applicants undergo the same rigorous application process – replete with resume, essays, references, standardized test scores, and undergraduate transcript – as they would for a full-time program. Melton says, “Across all three part-time options SMU Cox is looking for individuals who have demonstrated leadership ability, resiliency, and a deep desire to invest in oneself and future career.”

Top 10 MBA Programs in the United States

This article was originally published in October 2019 . It was last updated in October 2020

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Written by

Francesca Di Meglio has written about higher education for two decades. She covered business schools and all aspects of management education for what became Bloomberg Businessweek from May 2004 to December 2013. Di Meglio was the consultant editor for the book Admitted: An Interactive Workbook for Getting into a Top MBA Program (85 Broads Publishing, 2011), which was written by admissions consultant Betsy Massar. In addition, she is a family travel and parenting blogger at the Italian Mamma website


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