Chicago broadens student choice

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Next year’s MBA students at the University of Chicago will get even more choice when it comes to their studies. The school has announced that the curriculum for those starting their MBA in 2009 will be even more flexible than at present - Chicago already has the reputation for being the school with the most flexible core curriculum.

Students in Chicago’s full-time MBA still need to complete nine required (core) courses plus a leadership course and nine elective, or optional, courses. However the selection available to students for those nine core subjects has been increassed. In terms of electives, students can select from hundreds of courses at both the business school and other departments at the University of Chicago.

One reason for the changes in the core curriculum is to take into account the different training and experience of students entering the programme. “We have added a hybrid finance class containing five weeks of corporate finance and five weeks of investments that will allow all the standard corporate and investment classes to be taken up a notch in difficulty,” says Chicago dean Edward Snyder. “A flexible curriculum is important because there is no single curricular path to career success,”

Chicago students have also been given an additional concentration, or specific area of study, in analytic management - the fourteenth concentration on the programme. The other 13 are accounting, econometrics and statistics, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, analytic finance, general management, human resource management, international business, managerial and organisational behaviour, marketing management, operations management and strategic management.

Chicago is not the only business school to have introduced these sorts of measures. Stanford and Yale have been the forefront in the US of developing curriculum which is more student-centric and other top schools such as Columbia have followed suit.

Meanwhile participants on the Chicago weekend and evening MBA programmes will be required for the first time to study a core course in leadership - this is already a requirement for the full-time students.

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