Penn State World Campus Launches Online MBA

July 18, 2001

Abington, Pa. Penn States Board of Trustees approved an online MBA degree today (July 16). The Penn State Intercollege Master’s in Business Administration (iMBA) represents a collaboration among business faculty from four Penn State Colleges: Penn State Erie, The Behrend College; Penn State Great Valley, The School of Professional Studies; Penn State Harrisburg and the Smeal College of Business Administration.

Approved earlier this year by the Graduate Council, iMBA courses are designed and taught by a University-wide faculty group and will be delivered through the distance education technology of Penn State’s World Campus.

John Fizel, professor of economics at Penn State Erie and interim iMBA chair, noted, The collaboration of the four Penn State graduate business programs provides greater access to the University’s expertise. The iMBA will serve U.S. students, who otherwise could not participate in residential instruction programs and who desire a quality online program, as well as international working professionals, who express considerable interest in U.S.-based MBA degrees and indicate a desire for online solutions to their needs.

The iMBA curriculum reflects innovative program planning based in market research and feedback from companies and business professionals about their management education priorities. The result is a signature program that stresses organizational strategies and the global economy.

The iMBA World Campus program was developed to respond to industry needs, said Peter A. Rubba, director of academic programs for the World Campus. The program will focus on six business themes derived from values and concepts found in high-performance organizations: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market, information and analysis, human resources, and process management.

The new curriculum addresses industry-based criticisms of conventional programs as too focused on disciplines instead of organizations and not focused enough on strategy and the global economy. iMBA courses will include four core business areas: domestic and global economic environments, human behavior in organizations, creation and distribution of goods and services, and financial reporting, analysis, and markets.

World Campus student services and educational technology will also provide students with opportunities to develop networks and form collegial relationships. Students will enter the program in class cohorts and participate in the online learning community of the iMBA CyberForum. In the Forum, students will engage in discussions of business and management issues with faculty, worldwide business leaders, and classmates in the iMBA and the resident MBA programs of all four collaborating colleges.

Two, four to five day residential experiences are planned, serving as culminating learning activities for courses taken online.

The first class will be admitted to the Penn State World Campus in Fall 2001. For more information, visit the World Campus online at