Johnson Broadens Admission Requirements for Accelerated MBA Class of 2014

3/28/2013 4:55:00 PM

Candidates with a CPA or CFA and four years of relevant work experience now may be eligible for the one-year MBA program


Starting with the Class of 2014, applicants to Johnson’s Accelerated MBA Program (AMBA) will have a new opportunity to meet necessary requirements for admission.

“We will be piloting with a small group of students who will look a little different than what we know a current AMBA student to look like,” said Christine Sneva, executive director of admissions and financial aid, of the new opportunity and change.

Traditionally, individuals applying to the AMBA Program have already earned a master’s or doctoral degree in a field other than business. Or, they would dually apply to the AMBA program and another professional or graduate degree program at Cornell. Because of these already proven graduate-level skills and degrees (or those currently being pursued dually), Johnson grants 15 course credits toward the completion of the MBA upon entering. This allows students to complete the MBA Program in three semesters instead of four – or in one calendar year rather than two academic years.

With the new change to admission requirements, individuals who have earned their CPA or CFA and have four years of relevant professional work experience will also be granted academic credit and can apply to the AMBA Program. “Thus replacing what a master’s requirement would have been for those individuals,” Sneva said.

“When you have people coming in with more work experience or who have been in school a little longer than a Two-Year MBA applicant, I think this is a program that’s designed well for them,” Sneva said. “This is a great opportunity for us to increase flexibility on current eligibility requirements.”

Unchanged are the requirements that AMBA students should have clearly defined career paths and demonstrated ability to succeed in an accelerated program that requires excellent quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Sneva notes one type of well-qualified applicant for this program under the new admission qualifications: someone who has earned his or her CFA and would want to stay in investment management or financial services but advance within their organization.

Noting the current economic climate, Sneva thinks lower opportunity costs to earn an MBA should prove beneficial for students. “I would foresee more people being interested in enhancing their career,” she added.

According to the admission office’s research, Johnson is the only business school currently offering this new admission eligibility opportunity for applicants of one-year MBA Programs.   

Johnson also differs from other schools in that AMBA students receive the same benefits as Two-Year MBA students: leadership development, career planning, access to courses across the Cornell campus, flexibility of choice in curriculum, and access to (and post-graduation, membership in) the Cornell alumni network. They can work as student portfolio managers on Johnson’s student-managed hedge fund, the Cayuga MBA Fund, and serve in student leadership positions.

“We’ve been doing our AMBA Program for a long time,” Sneva said. “We’ve proven that our students are strong.”

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