The JMU MBA Difference

Why pursue an MBA from JMU? We offer top ranked programs, a unique blended class format designed to give our students the benefits of a traditional face to face MBA program with the flexibility and convenience of an online degree, and the kind of faculty engagement with students that JMU is famous for, all at a very reasonable cost. 

Exceptional Value

The JMU MBA offers unbeatable value. We offer opportunities that are not typically associated with a part time MBA program. For example, all students have the opportunity to participate in a week-long international residency in an exciting location such as China, India, or South Africa, all costs of which, other than airfare, are included in tuition. In addition, students choose one of three different MBA program which focus on either innovation, leadership, or information security. Tuition is also very reasonable, particularly for a program that has been consistently ranked among the best in the nation. These are just a few of the reasons that the JMU MBA is known for its exceptionally high ROI.

Unique Hybrid Class Format

JMU’s MBA is designed for working professionals who want to maintain momentum in their careers while gaining the knowledge, skills and experiences associated with an MBA. All of our classes involve a mixture of online and in-person sessions held at night or on weekends. The Innovation MBA holds face to face sessions in Harrisonburg and the Executive Leadership MBA and Information Security MBA hold classes in Northern Virginia. We also feature small class sizes that typically have less than 25 students.

Accelerate Your Career

Students see immediate benefits from their MBA experience. Graduates average a 20% salary increase, 68% were promoted or changed jobs, and 99% would recommend the JMU MBA program to a friend or colleague. Joining the JMU MBA program enters you into a network of more than 1,700 talented alumni working in a variety of top for-profit, not-for-profit, and government organizations. Recent student employers include Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Oracle, Sony, IBM, Microsoft, GE, CIA, FBI, FEMA, American Diabetes Association, University of Chicago, UVA Health Systems.

Our History

The JMU MBA program received its approval from the State Council of Higher Education in 1970, and the first degree was awarded in 1972.  The program has been fully accredited by the AACSB since 1985, and it was reaffirmed for five years in 2012.

Dr. Jackson Ramsey was the first MBA director, serving from program inception until 1985.  Dr. Paul Kipps served as program director from 1986 to 1993. Dr. Carl Weaver was appointed to the position in July of 1993.  He returned to full-time teaching January 1, 1996, and Dr. Paul Kipps, interim dean of the College of Business, reassumed the position.  

In 1997, Dr. Kenneth Bahn became the program director, and was instrumental in developing the Information Security concentration, which began admitting students in 1999.  This was one of James Madison University's first distance education programs, and is still in existence today.  

In 2008, Dr. Paul Bierly was appointed program director.  Dr. Bierly was responsible for developing the Innovation MBA Program (iMBA).  This program has co-curricular themes of innovation and leadership, and is offered in a "blended format" utilizing face-to-face instruction as well as online learning.

In January 2010, Dr. Michael Busing was appointed program director.

Classes were initially offered in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Winchester, and Covington.  In 1977, the Covington and Winchester classes were discontinued.  In 1996, classes were offered in Charlottesville on the UVA campus and in Harrisonburg on the JMU campus.

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