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Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management is to launch a part-time MBA programme for Stem professionals, capitalising on a growing focus in the developed world on graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The programme will be available to professionals with four to six years’ experience in a Stem industry and will start at the end of summer 2015 on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Thereafter students will meet every other weekend in Chicago.

Christopher Earley, dean of Krannert, said he hoped the weekend programme would help in Chicago’s ambitions to create a “Silicon prairie”.

“Our MBA for Stem professionals gives Purdue and Krannert a unique opportunity to combine our strengths in business education with Purdue’s world-class programmes in engineering, technology and science, ” he said.

Prof Earley said he understood that Stanford, MIT and Judge were already offering programmes of this type. “We have heard that Cornell is already working on a related programme,” he added. Despite the competition, Prof Earley said he thought the Purdue/Krannert programme would stand out because of the efforts being made to integrate the Stem and business education parts of the programme.

The 16-month programme will combine a standard business curriculum with electives from Purdue’s colleges of engineering, science and technology. Students will be able to focus their studies on business analytics, integrated product design, global supply chain management and customised specialisations in the biotech, pharmaceuticals or next-generation manufacturing industries.

The MBA curriculum will also include an active-learning project connected with a Stem company in the Chicago area or in connection with Purdue’s “Discovery and Research” parks.

The school already offers both part-time and full-time MBAs and both an executive MBA and an international EMBA. The international programme ran into difficulties earlier this year when the German business school Gisma, one of Krannert’s partner schools on the programme, went into insolvency. Gisma was later bailed out, but Krannert said it had no immediate plans to work directly with Gisma in the future.

The part-time Stem MBA programme will join Krannert’s full-time Stem MBA that starts in June 2014.

“For our full-time programme launching in West Lafayette we will likely get a very large number of international applicants. But our weekend programme is most likely to draw first from Chicago and then perhaps from the midwest region,” said Prof Earley.

*This article has been amended since original publication to add more detail about Krannert/Purdue Stem MBA offerings.

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