All Things WPC

The evolution of the online MBA

Bringing together management and technology for over two decades

Learning Opportunities Career

he W. P. Carey School’s Online MBA program dates back to 2000, when the school began offering courses to John Deere employees who sought high-quality management training but couldn’t interrupt their careers. The college had been looking for ways to use the internet to bring its programs to a broader population and, based on the positive response from corporate partners and their employees, a dedicated Online MBA program seemed the perfect opportunity to join the “e-learning” market.

One of the first at a top-ranked business school, the W. P. Carey Online MBA was born in 2004. Back then, faculty taught courses over the web via email and CD-ROMs. Yet it was never the type of program where students dropped in, got their assignments, and were on their own.

Then and now, participants come to ASU for an intense orientation, meet with faculty, and engage in team-building activities. They also meet with faculty at the end of each five-week course. Students receive an applied project that requires teamwork and problem-solving skills. Additionally, the Online MBA delivers the same course content as the Full-time and Evening MBA.

“We bring students into the ASU fold; they aren’t faceless strangers on the internet. They are fellow Sun Devils, and we make every effort to get to know students on a personal level,” says Kate Eaton, clinical associate professor of marketing and ​​assistant dean of MBA programs.

Today, W. P. Carey offers the Online MBA three times a year — beginning in January, May, and August — instead of two. “For working professionals, life doesn’t revolve around an academic year, so the MBA shouldn’t have to either,” says Eaton. “Offering a third start date allows the MBA to fit into our students’ lives and what works best for them.”

W. P. Carey’s Online MBA program offers many more ways for students to connect, such as virtual networking events, meet-ups, and synchronous class sessions and discussions in every class to allow students to come when they can and talk to faculty and each other in real time. There are also multiple study abroad options each year.

Do you know a friend or colleague who would be an excellent fit for the W. P. Carey Online MBA? Refer them to us, and they’ll get a tuition discount. In addition, we welcome alumni referrals for other graduate degree programs designed for working professionals. Visit and to learn more.

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The program has cracked the top 10 Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News & World Report all 10 years the ranking has existed. The latest peer-reviewed rankings named the school’s Online MBA No. 7 in the country, ahead of Pennsylvania State University – World Campus; University of Maryland – College Park; and Rice University.

Visit to take a closer look.