Warhawk Almanac: Online MBA Program 25th Anniversary

Written by Ashley Bowe

The University of Wisconsin Whitewater is well known for its elite business school, particularly its online MBA program. The program has been ranked number one in Wisconsin for years and has held many honors throughout its history. In recognition of the College of Business and Economics celebrating the 25th anniversary of the online MBA program during the 2023-2024 academic year, we reflect on the program’s success as well as its impact on UW-Whitewater students.[1] 

Early version of the online MBA program logo
An early version of the logo for the online MBA program[2]

The online MBA program opened its virtual doors in 1998 as one of the few universities to offer a completely online MBA degree at that time.[3] It was the first to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).[4] The online MBA was a visionary program in 1998 as it demonstrated a foresight into the future and popularity of online learning.[5] As an early adopter of online learning, the program was designed to accommodate all students, specifically marketing to students with full-time jobs and families. “It was designed for working adults”, said John Stone, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs in 2016, “it was a way for people who were working full time who wanted a college degree.”[6] Although the program did not start with servicing non-traditional students, as many were students taking classes online from their dorm rooms, the average age of enrolled students in the online MBA program today is 30 years old with 90% of students taking classes while employed full-time.[7] 

Today, the program continues to hold its ranking as the number one online MBA degree in Wisconsin and 55th in the nation.[8]  As of the 2023-2024 academic year, 760 students are currently enrolled in the program.[9] The top three concentrations within the MBA program include Management, Project Management, and Data Analytics. In addition to being a continuously highly ranked program in the state and nationwide, the online MBA strives to be an economical program. It is credited to be an affordable degree program offering great value at $678 per credit whether you are a Wisconsin resident, an out-of-state student, or an international student. [10]

Photo Master's Hooding Ceremony for College of Business and Economics
Master’s Hooding ceremony for 2023 MBA graduates[11]

The online MBA at UW-Whitewater was a game-changing and forward-thinking program from the outset and twenty-five years later it continues to be an influential program. Its flexibility and customization possibilities, including 13 emphasis and 50 electives, provide students with choices to “tailor [their] degree to meet [their] career goals.”[12] Over the years, the MBA program has grown steadily and remains the top graduate program at UW-Whitewater in terms of enrollment and degrees awarded. As a program, it has lived up to its potential as a degree that develops aspiring professionals who are “capable of thinking globally, behaving ethically and leading innovation.”[13]


[1] “UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics celebrates 100th anniversary,” College of Business and Economics, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, March 1, 2024, https://www.uww.edu/cobe/news/cobe-110th-anniversary

[2]“About the Program,” University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Internet Archive, http://academics.uww.edu/business/business.htm.  

[3] Michael O’Herron, “New online program lets MBA students stay at home,” The Royal Purple, October 28, 1998.

[4] Kimberly Wethal, “Online Program Ranked in Top Ten,” The Royal Purple, February 9, 2016, https://royalpurplenews.com/18408/campus/online-program-ranked-in-top-ten/

[5] Dylan Piccolo, “Pioneer Program Stays on Top,” The Royal Purple, February 11, 2019, https://royalpurplenews.com/24509/womens-sports/pioneer-program-stays-on-top/.

[6] Kimberly Wethal, “Online Program Ranked in Top Ten,” The Royal Purple, February 9, 2016, https://royalpurplenews.com/18408/campus/online-program-ranked-in-top-ten/

[7] “University of Wisconsin – Whitewater – College of Business and Economics,” The Princeton Review, https://www.princetonreview.com/business/university-wisconsin-whitewater-college-business-economics-1036185?program=online.  

[8] “Online Master of Business Administration,” University of Whitewater – Online, https://www.uww.edu/online/masters/mba.

[9] “Business Administration – Enrollment by Major & Emphasis,” Institutional Research & Planning, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, May 7, 2024.

[10] “Online Master of Business Administration,” University of Whitewater – Online, https://www.uww.edu/online/masters/mba.

[11] Nick Pook, 051223_CoBE Masters Hooding 2023_010, May 12, 2023, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.

[12] “Online Master of Business Administration,” University of Whitewater – Online, https://www.uww.edu/online/masters/mba.

[13] “Online Master of Business Administration,” University of Whitewater – Online, https://www.uww.edu/online/masters/mba.

This entry was posted in Archives & ARC. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *