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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Dual Five-Year Baccalaureate–MBA Program eliminated

Lack of student interest caused alternative options such as the VU2MBA program to take the place of the 3+2 program.
owen graduate school of management
Anjali Chanda
Interior of the Owen Graduate School of Management, as photographed on Feb. 25, 2020. (Hustler Multimedia/Anjali Chanda)

The Dual Five-Year Baccalaureate–MBA program (3+2 program) is no longer offered by Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management (Owen) and the College of Arts and Science (A&S).

Per an email to The Hustler from Andrea Hearn, the assistant dean of undergraduate education in A&S, the program allowed students to combine three and a half years of study in A&S with one and a half years in Owen to obtain both a baccalaureate degree and MBA degree in five years.

“There was extremely low interest in the 3+2 program,” Director of MBA Admissions Bailey McChesney said. “We received less than a handful of applicants—if that—every year.”

McChesney explained that this lack of student interest and a low number of applications caused the program to “fizzle out” over the past couple of years.

“We evaluated our portfolio of programs and created options that were stronger options for undergraduate students,” McChesney said. 

In January 2018, Vanderbilt launched the VU2MBA program. It has proved to be a more popular option for students as the 3+2 program faded out around the same time, per McChesney. VU2MBA is a deferred admission program that allows admitted students to spend two to four years in the workforce before beginning their MBA classes.

“Work experience is often critical in pursuing MBA level roles,” McChesney said. “Our goal is to set [students] up for success academically and career-wise.”

McChesney also said Owen offers specialized master’s programs that last for one year, amounting to the same time frame as the 3+2 program. These include Masters in Finance (MS Finance), Masters in Accounting (MAcc Assurance and MAcc Valuation), Master of Marketing (MMark) and Master of Management in Health Care (MMHC).

Logan Bolton, a student in the MMark program, said the program includes 16 courses that are divided into a quarter system of four modules. She stated it allows for students to get a refined knowledge of the marketing industry in a short period of time, which was an important factor in her decision to apply for the program. She also said it gives students opportunities for real-world application of marketing with events such as BrandWeek

“We do a lot of group projects, group presentations, collaborative work, things that will definitely be implemented specifically in the marketing world,” Bolton said. 

Per Bolton, her cohort (the Class of 2022) includes 60 students. She said there are two sections for every course and all students in the cohort simultaneously take the same courses.

“The small program feel is really helpful,” Bolton said. “I feel like I know every single person in my cohort; there is a very close, tight-knit community.”

Bolton also said Owen administrators have been diligent in connecting Owen students from different programs, such as through weekly Closing Bell events.

Other dual programs that Owen currently offers include MBA/M. Div. and MBA/MTS (Master of Theological Studies) with the Divinity School, MBA/MALAS with the Center for Latin American Studies, MBA/JD with the Law School, MBA/MD with the School of Medicine and MBA/MPP (Master of Public Policy in Education) with Peabody College.

Per McChesney, the School of Engineering also discontinued its 3+2 program with Owen about two years ago. Owen still offers a 3+2 program with Blair School of Music, allowing students to obtain both their B.Mus. and MBA in 5 years.

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About the Contributors
Mae Monette
Mae Monette, Former Senior Staff Writer
Mae Monette ('25) is a student in the College of Arts and Science from Minneapolis, Minnesota, majoring in Psychology with a minors in Data Science and Japanese. In her free time, she likes to read books, listen to musical theatre songs and watch K-dramas. You can reach her at [email protected].
Anjali Chanda
Anjali Chanda, Former Staff Photographer
Anjali Chanda (’23) is from Beverly, Massachusetts. She majored in sociology and English with a focus in creative writing. In the past, she wrote for the Arts and Society Section of the Greyhound Newspaper at Loyola University Maryland. In her free time, she can be found painting, writing stories or rewatching New Girl. She can be reached at [email protected].
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