Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business earned a No. 12 ranking from The Princeton Review in its first comprehensive survey of the nation’s top online MBA programs.
The Princeton Review based its findings on a 2014 survey of business school administrators and 2,000 students at 80 universities offering online MBA programs. The company also utilized data gained from surveys of online MBA program graduates. Data points were weighted in more than 60 unique fields with final rankings focusing on the following criteria: academics, selectivity, faculty, technical platforms and career outcomes.
"We strongly recommend Auburn’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business as an outstanding choice for anyone considering an online MBA," said Robert Franek, Princeton Review Senior VP/Publisher. "Its program is exceptionally strong both academically and in the many ways it maximizes technology that enables students to interact with and learn from its superlative faculty and students all over the world."
Franek noted the deep satisfaction that Harbert College of Business students the company surveyed and students at other top schools on the 2015 list reported about their online programs. "Ninety-four percent told us they believe their online MBA will have a positive impact on their careers," he said.
Auburn University’s track record as a leader in online education showed through in the study. The Harbert College of Business created its online MBA program in 1989, making it the second-oldest among ThePrinceton Review’s Top 25. According to students who responded to The Princeton Review, Auburn’s program offers “superb online functionality” and an “in-class feel” through live streaming and high-definition video resources that allow for the integration of presentations into lectures and discussions. Student survey respondents expressed appreciation for the program’s ability to facilitate real-time interaction with faculty and peers and described their online classmates as “bright, entrepreneurial” and “intelligent and motivated.”
According to the survey, Harbert College online MBA students possess a decade of professional experience at the time of their enrollment. Student praised Harbert College’s program for its “academic rigor” and its status as “one of the strongest business programs in the nation.”
Harbert College Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs Stan Harris said The Princeton Review’s ranking is especially meaningful because of the value placed on student feedback.
“It’s particularly exciting since the opinions and experiences of our students factored so highly in determining the rankings,” he said. “We have a long history of providing a distance-based MBA. This ranking confirms that our students not only appreciate the experience of being in the back of a classroom watching the live interaction between faculty and campus MBA students but they also appreciate being able to do so at a time that fits their busy schedules."
The Princeton Review’s ranking adds to a long list of honors earned by Harbert College’s online MBA program in the last year. U.S. News & World Report ranked the program 10th on its 2015 list of the nation’s “Top Online MBA Programs and ranked Auburn No. 2 among “MBAs with the Most Financial Value at Graduation.” Harbert College ranked No. 3 nationally in the Affordable Colleges Foundation’s survey of the Best Online MBA Programs.
The Princeton Review has published an annual Best Business Schools guide for 20 years, and, since 2005 included 11 categories of business school ranking lists (largely based on student surveys) in that publication accessible at http://www.princetonreview.com/press/law-business-school-rankings.
To learn more about Auburn University's online MBA program, visit http://harbert.auburn.edu/academics/online-programs/mba-online/index.php.