UAB Collat School of Business program enrollment increases amid pandemic

The MBA program, which offers five specialty concentrations, is currently accepting applications for fall 2021.

Interior of the Chad Thomas Hagwood Finance Lab inside the Collat School of Business, 2019.The MBA program, which offers five specialty concentrations, is currently accepting applications for fall 2021.The University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business is drawing a record number of students to its highly ranked Master of Business Administration program.  

The graduate program enrolled 568 students in fall 2020, a 19 percent year-to-year increase over fall 2019 and a whopping 167 percent five-year increase over fall 2015, according to UAB’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

“COVID-19 heightened the need for an MBA,” said Ken Miller, Ed.D., director of the UAB MBA program. “People found themselves working in a dynamically ambiguous environment and looked to an MBA to give them leverage in the workplace.”

UAB’s program, streamlined and revamped in recent years, caters to working professionals and attracts students seeking a flexible, versatile MBA education. The UAB MBA emphasizes quantitative and soft skills while teaching students how to manage through uncertainty with a strong emphasis on ethics.

“In today’s workplace, workers need to update their skill sets on a regular basis, about every four years given today’s fast-paced environment and technological advances,” Miller said. “An MBA gives you the ability to do that.” 

The UAB MBA began offering a fully online program in 2018 for greater flexibility and added opportunities for students to concentrate in five different areas: marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, management information systems and health services. 

The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, a worldwide recognition in the highest standards for business education, and it offers several dual degree programs with professional schools on campus.  

As have many business schools nationwide, UAB has waived the graduate management admission test requirement for admission through fall 2021. The application deadline for the fall 2021 semester is Aug. 1.

“That complete package is what an MBA is about, a degree that will change the way people look at you,” Miller said. “They’ll see you not as just someone who works here but as someone who can run the place.”