UA’s MBA Program in U.S. Top 5 for Professors, Facilities and Program Administration

  • September 23rd, 2004

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama’s Manderson M.B.A. program is among the nation’s elite, according to The Princeton Review. In the national rankings just released, Alabama ranked fourth for Best Campus Facilities, fourth for Best Administered Program, and fifth for Best Professors.

The Princeton Review surveyed 11,000 students attending 143 different schools, and ranked M.B.A. programs in 11 categories, from “Best Overall Academic Experience” to “Toughest to Get Into.” The surveys asked students more than 40 questions about themselves, their career plans, and their schools’ academics, student body, and campus life. Stanford University, Yale University, and Dartmouth held the top positions in “Best Overall Academic Experience.”

“Our goal is excellence as measured by national standards. Our alumni and supporters, in partnership with the faculty and staff, have helped us take major steps towards achieving that goal,” said Dr. J. Barry Mason, dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce.

Alabama’s No. 4 ranking for Best Campus Facilities is based on student assessment of the quality of classroom, library, and gym facilities, ahead of the University of Virginia (6th) and Emory University (9th). Specifically, students referred to the Alabama business school’s cutting-edge technology, the multimedia podiums in every classroom, the computer labs, and the wireless network. They also noted “the campus is beautiful, and the architecture is superb. The grounds and facilities are well maintained.”

“I have the good fortune of working in state-of-the-art facilities with an outstanding group of colleagues who are dedicated to the individual student’s development and the continuous improvement of our M.B.A program,” said Dr. Brian Gray, professor of statistics in the Alabama M.B.A. program. “Our small class size allows the professors to get to know the students on a more personal level, which makes for a better learning environment.”

Alabama’s No. 4 Best Administered ranking is based on how smoothly the school is run, and the ease with which students can get into required and popular courses. Surveyed students note “the flexibility of the program allows students to take on more than just a general degree but allows study abroad and dual concentrations.” Students receive personalized attention and counseling from the program’s professional staff, which includes career placement specialists and financial aid experts.

According to Aaron Vold, a second-year M.B.A. student and Alabama M.B.A. Association president, the program’s office staff goes out of its way to place students’ needs first. “From the recruiting process to career services, the M.B.A. staff is efficient and thorough,” he said. “I’m not at all surprised that the administration has been recognized nationally by the Princeton Review.”

The No. 5 Best Professors ranking is based on student assessment of how interesting the instructors’ delivery styles are and on how accessible professors are. Alabama trailed top-ranked University of Indiana but finished ahead of Dartmouth (9th) and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (10th). Surveyed students note Alabama’s “lectures, case studies, and current-event publications create an interactive learning experience.” Students also add that “the class atmosphere encourages participation, and the instructors do an excellent job of letting class discussion lead the direction of the course, while still providing all the necessary tools to be a contributor in the business world.”

“It is rewarding to see our M.B.A. faculty gain this national recognition for their teaching excellence and dedication to students,” said Dr. David L. Funk, director of the Alabama M.B.A. program, adding, “it is particularly gratifying to know that feedback from MBA students went into the rankings.”

The Alabama’s Manderson M.B.A. program is nationally recognized for excellence, and consistently ranks among the top M.B.A. programs in the nation for return on investment, most recently ranked by Forbes Magazine as ninth in the nation for investment recapture in 2003. By allowing 50 to 60 students entry each year, the hallmark of the program is the selection of a diverse academic and professional class that has in common high achievement and high potential for leadership. The Manderson M.B.A. program prepares students for success through innovative programs, a relationship-intensive learning environment, and strong career services to help them compete in today’s job market.

The Manderson M.B.A. program at The University of Alabama is a two-year program, including a summer internship. Enrollment takes place in August each year. The first deadline for submitting applications for enrollment in 2005 will be Jan. 5.

For additional information, visit


Dr. David L. Funk, 205/348-4501,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.