How Temple University’s Fox School Remains King of the Online MBA (UPDATED)
UPDATE: Since the release of this article, U.S. News & World Report has removed the Fox School of Business from its 2018 Best Online MBA ranking for reporting falsified application information. This article does not reflect the changes in the ranking.
The Temple University Fox School of Business Online MBA program has been named the best in the United States for the fourth consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report. We recently spoke with Darin Kapanjie—Fox Temple associate professor, Academic Director of the Online BBA, Online MBA, and part-time MBA programs, and the Managing Director of Online and Digital Learning—about the school’s miraculous online supremacy and what the future holds.
Staying at the top of any MBA ranking, not just in one region, but across the entire U.S. for four years, is unprecedented. For Kapanjie, it’s been long enough for him and the rest of the Temple Fox team to start guessing when, if ever, another school will take over.
“We keep waiting for someone else to claim the top spot,” he says. “To be honest, the end of the day we built a program that we believe to be the best in land. We don’t tailor our program to the rankings, it just so happens that the program we built does well in the rankings.”
Unlike many new online MBA programs, which are designed for applicants with less experience, the Fox School of Business Online MBA caters to a more “mature” demographic, he notes.
“The design of our program speaks to a more mature business professional. [Students] average over 12 years of work experience, which is unusual for an online program. That mature population helps with some of the ranking criteria. We’ve also invested heavily in the product we are delivering, we have a team of instructional designers, instructional technologist, technical support specialists, and web developers. We have built our program, marketing, recruiting, and instructional design teams from within, nothing is outsourced. As a result, this team is dedicated to the success of this program. There is a sense of pride and community around the Fox Online MBA.
Despite the Online MBA’s miraculous rise to prominent among business schools, Kapanjie acknowledges that Fox and other schools like it are still competing against traditional MBA programs. However, there are plenty of reasons to prefer the digital format.
“This is more of a personal preference or pressure from a busy travel schedule from work, than a more attractive alternative,” he explains. “We at Fox understand the market is changing and that online/hybrid learning is the now and will continue into the future. Personally, I believe that in a few years the hybrid and online MBA’s will dominate the market. Online education is being accepted more and more, it’s no longer viewed as a cheaper and easier solution. It’s schools like us and Carnegie Melon, UNC, Indiana, University of Florida, etc. that are dedicated to delivering quality online opportunities that are helping change that perception. Personally, I believe our online program stacks up well against most of the top ranked traditional MBA’s.”
Even with a rich tradition of forward-thinking business school programs located in and around Philadelphia, Fox manages to stand out—particularly among schools offering an online degree.
“We have made a significant investment in online education here at Fox,” he says. “Our entire operation is run in-house and is built for the future. We put a great deal of effort around the entire student experience, from inquiry to alumni. I can’t speak for other schools in the region, I can only say that we believe there is a vast market in need of a high-quality online MBA program and we are listening to that market.”
But to keep Fox’s top spot, Kapanjie acknowledges that the program cannot remain stagnant.
We are building more and more concentrations (mini-major within our MBA) and integrating several dual degree opportunities to widen our net,” he explains. “I personally believe that the dual degrees, MBA/MS, will become more popular in the next few years.”
For more information on the Online MBA at the Temple University Fox School of Business and other MBA offerings, check out our profile on the business school and head over to the official Fox Temple site.