A while ago, I started a series reviewing my experience with the University of Phoenix Online. I attended this school through its online master’s degree program and I earned my MBA several months ago. So far, I’ve discussed how I decided to go this route, their admission philosophy and policies, and what it’s like attending a course online.
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The next part, a review of my curriculum is long past due. I’ve procrastinated this section as I originally intended to take a quick look at each course and write about the merits of each. This was a daunting task hindering me from continuing the series. I’ve decided to take a different, more general approach.
The bottom line is that there were only a few courses from which I feel I gained useful knowledge. The first course was a three-week, 1 credit course called “Managerial Communication.” The class allowed the students to get their feet wet with the format, which for some students was quite foreign and a major change. It forced us to rethink the techniques we’ve learned throughout our lives for effective learning. My prior experience with technology and online learning helped make it a quick transition for me, but others were not as successful. Here are the “highlights” of the rest of the curriculum.
- Human Relations and Organizational Behavior: the theory behind behavior I’ve observed in the workplace, and how to manage people and projects.
- Statistics: I’ll still need to use reference materials if my job every required statistical analysis, but the classes was good practice.
- Accounting: I’ve been “in accounting” for a while but never had an overview of its theories and practices, just learned on the job. The class added some technical knowledge, but not much practical ideas.
- Finance: These classes were helpful in terms of reading and analyzing financial statements and preparing budgets and forecasts.
- Project Management: I did pick up useful tools and techniques for running projects, something which I didn’t have extensive experience on the job.
- Information Management and e-Business: Nothing I didn’t already know from my own experiences, these classes added very little.
- Cases in Decision Making: This class did a good job of bringing together everything from the two years of classes and running decision-making scenarios.
My path at the University of Phoenix involved a curriculum of 46 credits for a general MBA. The University’s program description is a little different as it provides this information:
The MBA consists of 39 credit hours and includes three proficiency courses (MBA 501, MBA 502, MBA 503) which may be satisfied using an undergraduate business degree, undergraduate coursework or graduate coursework. Students may also waive an additional nine credits using graduate courses and may qualify for a 21-credit hour residency.
During my time enrolled, the University updated the curriculum several times. In the middle of my degree pursuit, I dropped to part time employment at my job to teach music full time in a high school for six months. (This time also coincided with a hiatus on Consumerism Commentary.) I paused my degree for a year, and when I returned, there were several changes to the curriculum and to my overall experience, but I’ll get to that in Part 5.
This is Part 4 of a series about my experiences with the University of Phoenix Online. Here is what has been published so far.
- Part 1: The Decision
- Part 2: Admissions
- Part 3: Course Logistics
- Part 4: Curriculum
- Part 5: The Team Experience
Updated October 21, 2015 and originally published January 29, 2007.