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Southern Miss MBA Program jumps in Fortune Education Rankings

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 12:00pm | By: Courtney Robinson

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Master of Business Administration program (MBA) program has been ranked No. 31 nationally in the Best Online MBA programs for 2024 by Fortune Education. The current ranking represents a gain of 17 spots from its 2023 rankings.

Housed in the College of Business and Economic Development the program has restructured its curriculum in the last academic year by removing prerequisites barriers and allowing students more flexibility in their elective course selection.

Noted Dr. Bret Becton, Dean of the College of Business and Economic Development, “As the Dean of the College of Business & Economic Development, I am thrilled by our recognition as the No. 31 Best Online MBA Program by Fortune Education.”

Fortune Education ranks programs based on several factors, including price, student backgrounds, and alumni outcome. Other data factored into the decision include graduation rates, retention rates, yield rates, and average undergraduate GPA.

Dr. Steven Stelk, MBA Director, added, “Fortune’s recognition of our MBA program is gratifying. The College of Business and Economic Development faculty and staff have continued to invest in and refine the online MBA program since it was established in 2014.”

Becton added, “This achievement stands as a testament to the dedication and expertise of our MBA faculty and staff, whose tireless efforts have played an integral role in shaping our program into one that empowers future business leaders for success in today’s dynamic world.”

Stelk credits much of the improvement to the new curricular structure, which has attracted students with more diverse academic backgrounds.

“The recent rankings are based on the previous academic year, which gives us an opportunity to celebrate the results of our investments and provides fresh motivation to continue refining the program. We implemented novel curriculum changes in Fall 2023,” Stelk stated. “MBA students are now required to take fifteen hours of core business courses in accounting, finance, marketing, management, and strategy. They use the remaining 15 hours of focused electives to develop an area of expertise.”

Available focus areas include management, economic development, sport security management, supply chain/logistics, human capital development, instructional technology, public health, communications/public relations, non-profit studies, and public history. The MBA also now collaborates with the Sport Management MS and Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) programs to support dual programs. 

“We are continuing to develop and test new ideas to increase the value of our MBA, and I am excited to see what the future holds,” Stelk said.

Students can complete the degree fully online or in-person at the Hattiesburg campus in as little as one year, full-time. Additional information can be found online. For inquiries about the MBA program, please contact (601) 266-266-4659.

Learn more about the Fortune Education Best Online MBA Programs for 2024.