When tasked with the job of updating the Full-Time MBA program experience, a faculty committee led by Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Kate Klepper let two things be their compass: the new curriculum must stay true to Northeastern University's experiential education heritage, and it had to equip our graduates with a foundation to address current and future challenges in the technology-driven world of global business.

“Experiential education has always been and will always be our unique differentiator, and corporate residency will continue to be a constant in the educational experience we offer our students,” Klepper says. “But after talking with several alumni and employers about their needs, we discovered ways we could reshape the overall experience so our students are even more prepared for the work that will be required of them in the future.”

Highlights of the new curriculum include:

  • Core class requirements were concentrated within the first semester to allow students to take more electives and have more experiences throughout their time at D'Amore-McKim. “This allows them to get to the more in-depth and personalized learning sooner,” Klepper says. This reduced core allows for more flexibility for students to learn things they're interested in both inside and outside of their concentrations. They will begin taking electives in the spring of their first year, and they'll have the ability to take several free electives before they graduate. “For instance, a student wishing to pursue a marketing concentration will take the core marketing class in the fall, and the next level marketing course in spring along with electives,” she says. “We believe this will better prepare students for their corporate residency experience starting in the summer.”
  • Several concentrations were added.
  • Residency options were enhanced, including a three-month residency, a six-month residency, or up to twelve months of residency to suit many different needs. “We recognize that not every student needs or wants the same level of residency experience,” notes former Graduate Career Center Director Lynne Sarikas. “For those who are career-changers, the longer option may still be the best fit, but for others with more experience who we would call ‘career-enhancers,' a more traditional three-month option would work. Additionally, as we expand the residency options, we are also expanding the definition of ‘experiential' – there are a lot of opportunities to apply student learning, and the new curriculum has created a way to acknowledge and account for that learning.”
  • Students are now required to take a minimum of two electives outside of the business school. “We heard from employers that students need to think and learn beyond the business school,” Klepper says. “Organizations are not siloed, and we know students today will be working with engineers, computer scientists, designers, etc., on a daily basis, so this change will give them a jump on learning how to work across disciplines while they're in our program.”

For more information about the program and its updated curriculum, watch this video featuring Dunton Family Dean Raj Echambadi.

Photo Credit: Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University.