Set to Launch an Online MBA Program

Published May 26, 2018

Graduate programs banner at a meeting
There are a lot of changes going on in the CBA Graduate Business Programs.  Since 2015, CBA has added three Master of Science programs (Accountancy, Information Systems, and Supply Chain Management) to our three core MBA Programs, and by 2019, we will two more MS programs (Finance and Marketing) and an Online MBA (OMBA) program.  The strongest growth in business graduate programs is in the online MBA space, and we realized that to continue to grow our programs and be competitive in the Southern California market, having an online program is a strategically important.  We launched this initiative last summer with a task force that reviewed the online MBA ecosystem.  The resulting white paper provided the foundation for moving forward with the planning and design for the OMBA program which will be kicked off in 2019. 

The task force is continuing to work on three important aspects of the design of the OMBA program.  First is the question of resources needed to launch this program.  A working group of the task force developed the course “carousel” design that allowed us to determine the number of faculty, teaching assistants, and other support that we need to have two intakes a year (fall and spring semester) with two 8-week sessions per semester.   A second working group is developing the budget needed to design, plan, and launch the OMBA program while a third working group is developing the tools and strategies required to successfully start with a cohort of 25-30 students.

We are developing a program structure based on the task force white paper and best practices learned from other large online MBA Programs at top schools (e.g., Arizona State, Penn State, Temple, and UT-Dallas, among others). We are developing an exciting partnership between our Marketing and IS faculty and a digital advertising agency run by a Google Digital Coach. Through this partnership between our faculty and business professionals, we can create a marketing strategy that can better target prospective applicants for our OMBA as well as for our other graduate programs. 

There are several challenges that we face in this second phase of our planning for the OMBA program. First, having the platform that can allow us to launch a truly state of the art online MBA program that has both strong touch points with the students as well as allows for the flexibility required by this target segment.  This would allow us to design courses through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous delivery modes. 

Second, ensuring that we have strong touch points with students throughout the program means we need to develop residentials that would bring faculty and students into a face to face environment 2-3 times during their program.  For example, starting out with an orientation where students learn the foundational skills (case discussion, teamwork, academic integrity, etc.) required in an online (and face-to-face) MBA program is important to ensure success. Another possibility is a culminating experience that has students meeting at the end of the program to present their client project in a face-to-face environment and going through graduation together.   

Third, consistent with other business schools with online programs, we need to develop an online career services program.  By doing this, we continue to minimize the difference between face-to-face and online modalities for the respective target markets.  Using technology such as webinars and Zoom/Skype we are able to overcome the digital divide in the career services realm.

By this time next year, we hope to be doing the final preparations for admitting and launching our first cohort of online MBA students meeting here at CSULB for their orientation.  So stay tuned for our next big news.

MS in Information Systems Ready Kicking Off in Fall 2018


Entering its first cohort in Fall 2018, our new Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) is a STEM-designated program designed to provide students with an advanced and highly sought-after expertise necessary in the field of information systems. The program provides training in advanced technical, managerial, and analytical techniques with a focus on digital transformation, data analytics, and cyber security. These skills will help advance student career prospects and prepare them for lifelong learning in a global economy.

The program has drawn interest from both international and domestic applicants. 85% of international applicants reside in India with academic backgrounds in Engineering, Technology, or Computer Science.  Domestic applicants come from a variety of academic and work backgrounds including Business, Education, Homeland Security, and Law enforcement. The program will accommodate both fulltime and working professionals through a two-track system.  Fulltime students will take three courses per semester with an internship during the summer. Working professionals take two courses per semester and one course each summer. The full-time track is 21 months program while the professional track is 24 months.