University of Illinois Graduating First Class of Online MBAs

May 9, 2018

The University of Illinois is hosting its first graduation ceremony for its online-only Master of Business Administration program.

About 73 percent of the 66 students graduating Saturday don't live in Illinois. 

Arshad Saiyed is the executive director for online programs. He says the online MBA program has increased the school's visibility, with students living in 46 states and 56 countries.

The university created the Gies College of Business' iMBA program in order to get in on the growing market for online MBAs and give students a more flexible and affordable degree option. The online program costs $22,000, while the on campus MBA program costs almost $60,000 for residents.

Gies College of Business Dean Jeffrey Brown says most students enrolled in the program already have careers and are looking to advance to a managerial position.