Skip to main content

W. P. Carey School revamps MBA curriculum

Dean Robert Mittelstaedt
July 28, 2011

Already recognized as one of the top business schools in the nation, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is now building on its achievements with an update of its MBA curriculum. The school designed changes based heavily on feedback from successful business leaders and alums. The objective is to better prepare MBA grads for the tough job market and evolving business environment, now and well into the future.

“We focused on three areas significantly shaping the business world right now,” said Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We are changing the way students learn and apply world-class practices in leadership, the global marketplace and critical thinking/decision-making across all business subjects, so graduates can immediately add value in the real world. Every CEO will tell you that great technical skills won’t overcome a lack of leadership in career success.”

The W. P. Carey School of Business already has a very high placement rate for its graduates. More than 1,300 recruiters and job postings come to the school annually. Arizona State University, overall, recently ranked No. 5 in the nation for recruiter preference in a survey by The Wall Street Journal. However, the school is committed to continue giving its MBA students the best possible advantages in landing their first jobs and in building successful long-term careers.

The school’s executive MBA program will have one of the most forward-thinking leadership sequences at any business school. It begins with a 360-degree peer review process for every student, followed by creation of a customized professional development plan, participation in a high-impact leadership course, real-time feedback from members of their own companies, individualized meetings with an executive coach, leadership skills workshops, a thought leadership speaker series with prominent business leaders, and a final 360-degree review at the end of the program. Companies sending students to this program can expect direct application of what is learned.

The school’s full-time MBA students will also take part in leadership activities spread throughout their two-year program, including peer reviews and required organizational leadership training. They will participate immediately in personal-branding lessons, resume workshops and mock job interviews. They also will take a required business communications class, since company officials have emphasized how much this is needed for business graduates.

Besides adding extra depth to its leadership experience, the evening MBA program is also supplementing classroom work with technology-driven components, including podcasts, simulations and multimedia tools.

“We’re also emphasizing more team-teaching across courses,” said Stacey Whitecotton, associate dean of the W. P. Carey MBA. “Our world-renowned faculty members know this is the way decisions are made in the real world – using many business disciplines, not just one – so we are applying that principle in our programs.”

To emphasize the increasing worldwide connectivity of businesses, global business cases will play a larger role in all courses and MBA formats. Because of interest in new business ventures and creating more entrepreneurial cultures in large organizations, an entrepreneurship class will be required for all full-time and executive MBA students. Every full-time MBA student will be required to help create a business plan.

Unlike many other schools, the W. P. Carey School also allows students to specialize in areas, including finance, marketing and supply chain management, a subject in which the W. P. Carey School of Business graduate program is ranked Top 5 in the country.

U.S. News & World Report currently ranks the W. P. Carey School of Business No. 27 in the nation for its full-time MBA program and No. 17 for its evening MBA program. The Wall Street Journal ranks the school’s Phoenix-based executive MBA program No. 13 in the world. The school also offers one of the best-established, most highly regarded online MBA programs from any university.

For more information about the MBA programs offered at the W. P. Carey School of Business, visit