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Pitt-Greensburg to offer Katz MBA program

As the former dean of Fordham University's business school, Sharon Smith is well-versed in the value of a master of business administration degree.

When Smith took over as president of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg two years ago, she soon realized that faculty and staff thought an MBA program would be well-received at the campus.

"I know the pressures on a working professional who generally does not want to give up their job to go to school," Smith said at a news conference Thursday. "(I learned of the) desire for an MBA in this location to meet the needs of the community and the reluctance to travel into Pittsburgh to do that."

Starting this fall, the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business will offer the Katz Immersion MBA at the Hempfield campus.

Students will be able to complete the MBA in two years by attending classes for one three-day weekend a month without ever leaving Pitt-Greensburg.

Faculty from the nationally accredited Katz school will teach the courses. Classes will be scheduled from 8 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Students typically will complete three courses over a four-month period.

Students will need to complete 52.5 credits to earn their degree. Each credit will cost approximately $1,100.

"This experiment in Greensburg is an opportunity for us to extend our reach to students we would not normally see on the Oakland campus," Katz Dean John Delaney said. "This is a program that is meant to bring the same quality of education here that is available on the Oakland campus."

While the MBA will be the first master's program at Pitt-Greensburg, Smith said there are no plans to add other graduate programs.

Smith said she was familiar with the immersion-style program because she ran one at Fordham.

"It was an enormously popular and effective program with a different dynamic within the student body," Smith said.

Students will attend classes in cohorts of approximately 20 students. They will remain in the same cohort for the two-year period.

Delaney said that gives students an opportunity to work together in teams to expand the learning experience.

Potential students must have at least three years of work experience to apply for the program. Smith said the campus plans to enroll at least 20 students in the first cohort but could expand to two groups if there is enough interest.

"We think this is the way of the future for those who want to invest in themselves for the rest of their careers," Smith said.

Potential students must apply by Aug. 1 for the classes that begin in September.

For more information, go online or call 724-836-9893.

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