The UW’s MBA Consortium ranks nationally for the fourth time

As online programs get more competitive, the consortium holds its place

More stories from Amira Lunderville



Due to the pandemic, a lot of top schools have moved their graduate degree programs online.

The University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium program has been ranked as the top online Master of Business Administration program in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest by U.S. News & World Report, making it one of the top 10 programs in the nation.

According to the U.S. News & World Report website, the consortium ranks as the 10th Best Online MBA Program, eighth Best Online MBA Program for Veterans and 17th Best Online General Management MBA Program.

“The ranking is based on the number of criteria including faculty credentials and training, admissions selectivity, student engagement and access to services, and peer reputation,” Jessica Franson, managing director of the UW MBA Consortium, said.

More information about how the U.S. News & World Report evaluates each school can be found on its methodology page.

Bob Erffmeyer, a professor emeritus of marketing, said this is the fourth year the consortium has ranked among the top 10 programs nationally. As one of the creators of the UW MBA Consortium program, he said he was excited about this achievement.

Paula Lentz, academic director of the UW MBA Consortium Program, said she was also excited about the ranking.

“All of the faculty and staff in the MBA program work diligently to ensure that our students have a great experience,” Lentz said. “One that develops both their knowledge and skills to be leaders in their organizations.”

Due to the pandemic, a lot of top schools have moved their graduate degree programs online, Rachel Funk-Johnson, MBA Program Advisor said. 

She said noting that, with changes in the educational process from kindergarten all the way through graduate school, it shows that the UW MBA Consortium had a solid foundation.

“Since the program was originally founded at UWEC, we can take pride in the historical presence, the growth and the potential these recognitions provide for us,” Funk-Johnson said.

Each of the four original UW MBA Consortium partner campuses originally had campus-based online MBA programs which served people in their local communities, Erffmeyer said. 

The campuses began working together in 1996 to explore ways they could collaborate to offer courses online and launched the first completely web-based courses in 1998, Erffmeyer said. 

“Web formats became so popular because you could do just about anything online that you can do in an (in-person) classroom,” Erffmeyer said. “Almost everyone in the program is a working adult and needs online flexibility.”

UW-Eau Claire is one of three partner schools that currently collaborate on the UW MBA Consortium, Lentz said. The recognition reinforces the university’s commitment to be part of programs that promote the excellence it proudly stands for.

The partnership among the three universities brings faculty, instructional design staff and administrators across campuses together and gives them the opportunity to provide an outstanding program for the students, Franson said.

“To be in the realm of these professional, working adults from diverse backgrounds is absolutely fascinating,” Funk-Johnson said. “Everyone is looking to be the change, sometimes within their organization, but also culturally, or even globally.”

Students in the program are in professions such as sales directors, educators, physicians and product developers, Lentz said. The program is designed to help them become leaders in their field of choice, no matter what field that is.

The ranking came from the hard work of the students, the faculty and the staff, Lentz said.

As the program prepares to graduate its 700th student in 2021, Franson said she looks forward to exploring how the program can continue to innovate to provide future students with a flexible, personalized and affordable education while maintaining its reputation as one of the best online MBA programs in the nation.

Lunderville can be reached at [email protected].