MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.
In 2013, the Villanova School of Business (VSB) received a $50 million gift from alumnus James C. Davis, founder of Allegis Group, and his wife, Kim. The donation—part of a $600M capital campaign—was the largest in the school’s history and was reportedly “earmarked to improve academic and career advising, increase internship and study abroad opportunities, perform technology upgrades, and provide scholarships,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The VSB also planned to use a portion of the funds to “beef up its faculty roster to include more professors focused on teaching as opposed to research.”
With a satellite campus in Center City, Philadelphia, VSB specializes in part-time programs for working professionals, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a full-time curriculum without leaving their current job. In this vein, the school offers the choice of an accelerated, two-year “Fast Track” degree option, which meets twice a week, or the more customizable “Flex Track” degree option, which typically takes three years to complete and accommodates varying course loads.
One advantage conferred by the accelerated option is the opportunity to partake in the school’s two-part consulting practicum project, which includes the Nonprofit Consulting Practicum and the Global Consulting Practicum capstone course—each lasting 14 weeks. In the former practicum, students work with local, nonprofit organizations to identify strategies in such areas as branding, funding and membership retention. Alternatively, the latter practicum entails working with a multinational corporation to gain firsthand experience analyzing market issues. VSB also hosts a variety of elective international immersion courses through which students may travel abroad over winter break or during the summer semester.