Isenberg School MBA Program shines in rankings

By Lou Wigdor

The Isenberg School of Management has received two top 10 national rankings in the 2005 edition of the Best 143 Business Schools, published by The Princeton Review. In the publication, which ranked MBA programs in 11 categories, the Isenberg School placed fourth in the nation in the category of “Best Professors,” and 10th in “Best Overall Academic Experience”

“The survey did not provide a single, overall ranking of business schools, but placing 10th in the ‘Best Overall Academic Experience’ bracket says a great deal,” says Eric Berkowitz, the school’s dean for Professional Programs. “In that category, we were in the company of Stanford, Yale, Northwestern, and other Ivy League schools. Besides us, the other public institutions were UCLA and the University of Michigan.”

For each MBA program, the academic experience rating considered GMAT scores and undergraduate grades of enrolled students, the percentage of students accepted and enrolled, the student-faculty ratio, and student responses to survey questions about faculty, fellow students, and achievement of academic excellence.

“Our outstanding faculty was certainly a factor in our overall academic performance; the Princeton Review, in fact, acknowledged them separately by ranking us fourth in the nation in the ‘Best Professors’ category,” says Berkowitz.

Based on student satisfaction ratings, that category comprised two factors—teaching effectiveness and accessibility to students outside the classroom. “For years, our students have given our MBA faculty high points for their dedication and teaching prowess,” Berkowitz adds. “Faculty accessibility is ingrained at the Isenberg School. It’s part of our culture. That same faculty, in fact, helps distinguish our Professional MBA Program and its online version. Ninety-five percent of our courses in those programs are taught by our full-time, on-campus faculty.

The Isenberg School’s two-year, full-time MBA program is small but highly selective and occupationally and internationally diverse. This year’s incoming class includes 43 students, just over half of them women. The school’s Professional MBA program serves 430 students. It offers part-time courses on-site in Springfield and Pittsfield as well as a full curriculum of courses online to 199 students throughout the U.S. and overseas.