WPI MBA Program Ranked #2 for "Greatest Opportunity for Women" by Princeton Review

"Best 143 Business Schools" Guidebook also Ranks WPI #9 for "Best Career Prospects"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/September 23, 2004
Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706

WORCESTER, Mass. -- September 23, 2004 -- The Princeton Review's "Best 143 Business Schools" has ranked the MBA program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as No. 2 in the nation for offering the "Greatest Opportunities for Women." The just-published, student opinion-driven guidebook also ranked WPI No. 9 out of ten schools cited, and the only program in southern New England, for "Best Career Prospects."

The Princeton Review compiled the lists of top 10 schools in a number of categories based on institutional data from the 143 schools and 11,000 surveys of students attending them in 2003-04. The survey asked students over 40 questions about themselves, their career plans, and their schools' academics, student body and campus life.

The "Greatest Opportunity for Women" ranking is based on the percent of students who are female, the percent of faculty who are female, and student assessment of: resources for female students, how supportive the culture is of female students, whether the business school offers course work for women entrepreneurs, and whether case study materials for classes proportionately reflect women in business. The "Best Career Prospects" ranking is based on the average starting salary and percent of students employed at graduation and survey questions assessing the efforts of the placement office, the quality of recruiting companies, level of preparation, and opportunities for off-campus projects, internships, and mentorships.

WPI's director of Graduate Management Programs, Norman D. Wilkinson, notes that a number of people at WPI have contributed to the No. 2 ranking in the "Greatest Opportunity for Women" category by encouraging women toward leadership in science and technology organizations. "We have worked with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Women in Technology International (WITI), Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (WEST), and the WPI Venture Forum, among others, to support women in, or who have an interest in, science and technology careers. And with such a high percentage of women on our faculty, I think these organizations and prospective students realize that we are walking the talk."

The "Best 143 Business Schools" also features two-page descriptive profiles that cover each school's academics, admission, student life and campus environment, and career and recruiting. Business programs at WPI focus on the management of technology, and feature an interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizing leadership, ethics, communications and a global perspective. The programs have been developed to meet employer and employee needs.

Each profile is laced with comments from students The Princeton Review surveyed at the school about their experiences at it. Among the student comments in the profile on WPI:

  • "WPI's greatest strength is its ability to stay ahead of the curve with respect to technology."
  • Through "a synergy of technical and business factors and real-life scenarios/case studies," WPI delivers an MBA program whose "focus is on the management of technology, with specialty areas that include IT, tech-based entrepreneurship, tech marketing, operations management, and e-business."
  • WPI's profs are "excellent, knowledgeable, always accessible, willing to help, and go above and beyond." Students also appreciate how "all the faculty at WPI have strong connections with industry, which allows them to integrate their experiences with lecture."

McRae C. Banks, head of the Department of Management, WPI's business school, attributes WPI's strong rankings to a number of factors. "We are fortunate to have great faculty members and bright, motivated students. Just as important, though, is that we recognized nine years ago that we had to distinguish ourselves from the competition. By focusing our curriculum on the management of technology we have educated our students to be effective leaders of organizations operating in today's rapidly changing business environment. Employers have recognized this, to our students' benefit."

At the graduate level, WPI offers a technology-focused MBA, an M.S. in marketing and technological innovation; an M.S. in information technology, and an M.S. in operations design and leadership; a combined BS/MBA program; and graduate certificates in technology marketing, management of technology, information technology, and information security management.

In addition to offering evening courses at its campuses in Worcester and Waltham, the WPI MBA program has been available via distance since 1979 and is the second oldest distance MBA in the nation. WPI graduate management courses are also delivered onsite to companies throughout the northeast through the university's Extended Education Division. Information about business programs at WPI is available at the Department of Management Web site (www.mgt.wpi.edu), or by calling 508-831-5218.

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a New York City-based company known for its test prep courses, education services, college and grad school admission services, and over 200 books published by Random House. Among them are "Best 162 Medical Schools" (on sale Oct. 26) and "Complete Book of Graduate Programs in the Arts and Sciences." The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University or ETS. For more information about their business school rankings, visit www.princetonreview.com/mba.