Building the MBA-SBP Class at a Difficult Time

by Chris Rouhier
Director of Graduate Admissions

Like so many others, my working environment has changed dramatically over the last several weeks. My commute to the office is now measured in feet rather than miles, my windows overlook a quiet residential street instead of the bustle and excitement of Downtown Pittsburgh, and I’ve traded face-to-face interactions with my colleagues for Zoom meetings and phone calls.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic changes to how we work, live, and learn. At Duquesne, these changes directly affect our MBA – Sustainable Business Practices. We’ve acted quickly to adapt this one-year, cohort-based MBA, with a summer semester start term, to the present situation. Future MBA-SBP students can expect these major changes to their application process and student experience:

  • An online summer semester – We’ve moved the first semester of the 2020 cohort to an online environment. Despite this, we will continue to offer the same highly-interactive experiential learning opportunities – including a consulting project – that our students have come to expect and appreciate.
  • Test-optional admissions – We will not require future applicants to the Summer 2020 MBA-SBP cohort (or Summer/Fall 2020 start terms for our other degrees and certificates) to submit GMAT or GRE scores. At a time when so many people are working to adapt to new situations, we hope this removes one item from MBA candidates’ to-do lists.
  • ESL testing and transcript flexibility – At the university level, Duquesne now accepts the Duolingo English Test, which can be taken online in the comfort of your own home. In addition, we are temporarily allowing applicants to upload their unofficial transcripts directly to their application portal.
  • Online interviews – One of my favorite parts of MBA-SBP admissions is interviewing candidates. Given that face-to-face meetings are not currently possible, we’ve moved all interviews to Zoom.

The changes that myself and my colleagues have had to make are relatively minor compared to the disruption that many others feel right now. At this unprecedented time, we are doing our very best to ensure that we can make the application process a smooth one – and keep delivering meaningful and unforgettable experiences that make our MBA-SBP one of the best MBAs in the world.