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Flores MBA Program’s No. 7 Ranking Has Widespread Impact

In September 2007, the LSU Flores MBA Program was ranked seventh nationally in The Wall Street Journal by corporate recruiters who recruit regionally. Just one year earlier, the program was ranked ninth in the same poll. Considered the flagship program of the University’s E. J. Ourso College of Business, the Flores MBA Program continues to be recognized by industry leaders and others in the marketplace as one of the nation’s hotspots for finding talented, dedicated, hard-working professionals.

“The college has made exceptional gains in the past few years,” E. J. Ourso College Interim Dean William Lane said. “As we continued to improve our offerings, the Flores MBA Program and our undergraduate programs benefited from increased competition for admission. The combination of an influx of outstanding students with the dedication of our faculty and staff and the support of our alumni and friends has resulted in the truly remarkable change reflected in these recent rankings.”

The No. 7 ranking the Flores MBA Program achieved earlier this year is based on the survey results of a joint venture between The Wall Street Journal and Harris Interactive. Information and data used in the survey is compiled from companies that recruit MBA students regionally, nationally, and internationally. Rankings are based solely on the feedback that those companies’ recruiters provide regarding 21 key attributes, including communication ability, integrity, and success with past hires and leadership potential. Rankings are also based on the recruiters’ future plans to recruit there and the number of survey respondents who said they had recruited recently at the school.

The Wall Street Journal and Harris Interactive have teamed up for these rankings since 2001,” said David Crary, associate dean of the Flores MBA Program. “Our program first appeared in the rankings in 2006 and debuted at No. 9. That is a powerful statement about how well our Flores MBA graduates are representing themselves and the program once they leave and begin their professional careers.”

According to Lane, perceptions of the E. J. Ourso College and its programs are invariably linked to the perception of the University as a whole, and the college’s goal is to make initial thoughts about LSU reflections of the college’s achievements. Last year’s No. 9 ranking and this year’s No. 7 ranking of the Flores MBA Program in The Wall Street Journal have had numerous positive impacts for both the E. J. Ourso College and LSU. Many of these impacts are part of a domino effect that will continue to have influence in the shaping of the landscape of the University for years to come.

“Recognition like this is validation,” Lane said. “Validation attracts higher-quality, in-state and out-of-state students, as well as more diverse students. Because of this, the competition for the seats we have to offer to students automatically becomes more competitive. The validation also generates increased alumni participation and aids in creating a culture of giving back to the college.”

Anyone wishing to obtain a Flores MBA can do so through three options, or tracks.

The first option is the full-time track, where students earn their degree 22 months after completing 52 semester hours of coursework.

The second option is the professional track, where students meet two evenings per week on-campus for 24 months. Two courses are completed during each academic semester and one during summer session. Students are admitted in August. Those who select the off-campus version meet one evening per week for 3.5 hours for 33 months. One course is completed every 10 weeks, and students attend 50 class sessions annually. Students can begin this second option at the beginning of the fall, spring, or summer semester.

The third option is the executive track, where students earn their degrees in 17 months over two academic years with classes held on alternate Fridays and Saturdays. Fourteen classes covering all major business fields make up the degree’s 42-hour core curriculum.

All applicants to the Flores MBA Program are required to submit their scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), a standardized test used to measure aptitude in succeeding academically in graduate business studies. The highest possible score for the exam is 800. This fall’s incoming full-time MBA class averaged a score of 637, 26 points higher than last year’s average. Of the program’s 66 newcomers in 2007, 14 posted a score of more than 700.

“We are constantly working to improve the quality of our program by seeking out the best, brightest, and most diverse group of students to admit,” Crary said. “Our admission staff’s efforts are quantifiable, and each day I am more pleased with the results.”

Timothy E. Rodrigue | LSU Office of Public Affairs
Fall 2007

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