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Sloan Grows But Keeps Flexibility

By Jeremy Hylton
Technology Director

The Sloan School of Management will increase the size of its master's program by 33 percent over the next two years, bringing the program's total enrollment to 680 students by fall 1996.

An increased demand - both from applicants and from recruiters - prompted the school to expand enrollment, said Dean of the Sloan School of Management Glen L. Urban in a February announcement.

"We have seen a sustained demand, both from prospective students seeking a Sloan degree and from industry for Sloan master's graduates," Urban said.

"We feel we're responding to the customer," said Lawrence S. Abeln, director of the master's program. The school received 32 percent more applications this year than last, and each graduate received an average of 3.5 job offers, he said.

The increased class size will also bring "much added visibility and impact in the marketplace," Abeln said. "We'll have more alumni out there who can come back as recruiters or recommend students."

Abeln explained that the increased number of applicants reflects a more general trend in business education. "Generally there is an increased demand for the master of business administration degree. Many of business schools are experiencing similar increases in applications," he said.

The difference between Sloan and other schools is size: Next year's entering class of 340 students will still be substantially smaller than classes at the Wharton School or Harvard Business School, which number about 800.

"By keeping enrollment to 680, we will be able to preserve the small class size, as well as the spirit of collegiality and teamwork that have long distinguished the Sloan experience," Abeln said.

New building, curriculum

The school has spent several years revamping its curriculum and constructing a new building to better meet the increasing demand for business degrees.

The Tang Center for Management Education, a four-story addition to Building E51, will help the school house the new students. The center includes a 300-seat auditorium, three 100-seat classrooms, and 24 smaller rooms that will be used for teams of students to work and for recruiting interviews.

The center is scheduled to open in September.

"The new building will give us the added space and facilities we need to maintain the quality of a Sloan education while expanding the class," Abeln said.

In the fall of 1993, the school overhauled the curriculum. Students now have greater flexibility to create programs tailored to specific interests "in such areas as financial engineering, financial management, product and venture development, strategic information technology, operations management, and strategic management and consulting," Abeln said.

Early last year, the school began offering an MBA degree without thesis, in addition to a master of science with a 24-unit thesis.