Jul 17, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025 
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025

Rensselaer MBA for Professionals Program (PMBA)

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The Rensselaer MBA for Professionals Program (PMBA) is a partnership between the Lally School of Management and Rensselaer at Work. The PMBA is for working professionals aspiring to management and leadership positions in today’s most dynamic organizations and industries. The PMBA fully embodies the technical and STEM excellence of Rensselaer to prepare tomorrow’s technical and business leaders.  The Program is:

  • Built around the theme of Leaders making decisions in a complex world, and then planning and executing those decisions to achieve organizational goals and objectives.  To assist in decision making, a central theme of “data analytics as a decision augmentation framework” is embedded in every course. 
  • Optimized for the career development of working professional engineers, scientists, or business specialists, and their employers, who aspire to take on management and leadership roles at the top of the organization.
  • Designed around real-world doing-focused projects that experientially develop leadership decision-making and problem-solving capacities – engaging projects in which you learn and then demonstrate that learning in real ways. Scaffolded real-world projects incorporate state-of-the-practice analytics, evaluation, and methodology to the decision-making, planning and execution of strategy. Projects are often in the context of your real-world employer – students completing the program have a far deeper understanding of their organization and markets.
  • Scholar-Practitioner Faculty Mentors who individually support students through courses and over the program, offering individual insight and feedback to help students achieve mastery through application.
  • Delivered fully digitally using Rensselaer’s digital classroom, allowing for engaging participation, collaboration and interaction from anywhere - anytime - without disrupting other life/professional commitments.

Learning Goals

  1. Leadership: influence and lead individuals and teams to achieve organizational objectives.
  2. Ethical Decision-making: evaluate ethical perspectives and utilize an ethical and legal framework for decision-making in multiple contexts and domains.
  3. The Rensselaer Analytic Framework of Decision-making: use data to evaluate and respond, in context, to a problem, decision, or research question.
  4. Change Management and Innovation:  diagnose, prescribe, plan and execute change (product and process) to ensure the organization achieves its objectives.
  5. Strategic Perspective:  design a strategic planning process, formulate a strategy, and implement a strategy to achieve sustainable competitive advantage for a firm.
  6. Communicating Effectively: communicate with purpose and clarity to present ideas in written and oral formats.
  7. Talent Management:  ensure achievement of organizational goals with strategic policies and initiatives.
  8. Technology Infrastructure: develop technical infrastructure to ensure work is efficiently facilitated, that operations are optimized, and that customer needs are fully met.
  9. Global Environment: make and execute strategic decisions in a continuously evolving global framework.
  10. Organizational Performance: analyze and use accounting, financial, and operational information to measure and influence organizational performance.
  11. Operational Effectiveness and Efficiency:  deploy continuous improvement and quality management on an organization’s production and distribution systems and/or processes.
  12. Markets: identify and evaluate markets for the organization’s goods and services, develop strategies for achieving organizational growth rates, and implement successful campaigns to specific markets.
  13. Economic Analysis:  evaluate evolving markets and anticipate how changes may impact the organization’s goals.

Program Requirements

The PMBA requires 45 credit hours to complete and can be completed in approximately 2.5 years. Students who need to adjust their time to completion for personal/professional reasons can adjust their rate of progress, but the program must be completed in five (5) years.  Core courses should be taken in sequence, and certificate courses can be taken as best fits in the student’s other commitments.  Specific program requirements are shown in the table below.

Rensselaer Leadership Experience (RLE)

During the first course/semester of the program, students are required to attend a 2-day live Leadership Seminar which is held in the sixth or seventh week of the first course.  RLEs are scheduled to be held at convenient major cities – check the website to see additional information about RLEs.  RLEs are scheduled to be hold on Fridays/Saturdays, allowing for optimal personal arrangements around work and personal commitments.  Students pay for their own travel/hotel accommodations for the RLE.  The recommended plan is to arrive Thursday and depart on Sunday.  All students are provided with travel information and schedules 30-45 days in advance of RLE

Elective Requirements

Students may choose an existing Rensselaer at Work Graduate Certificate – each of which consists of 3 courses (9 credit hours) concentrated in a specific ability set.  Alternatively, students may work with their advisor to choose three existing courses with which to complete elective requirements.  Each student receives a Faculty Advisor as they start the program – the Advisor and student work together to create a Plan of Study which serves as the process to decide and gain approval for how the student will fulfill elective requirements.  Changes to the Plan of Study can be made through the Advisor as the student’s interest change, but a final Plan of Study must be on file before graduation.

Note:  PMBA students may not choose the following certificates as part of their elective requirements:  Business Intelligence, Managing Technical Organizations, Leading Change and Innovation, and Production Analytics.  Additional eligible certificates are added occasionally – check the ewp.rpi.edu for the full set of eligible graduate certificates and courses.

Transfer Credit Considerations

Because of the cross-functional project-based nature of the core courses, transfer credit consideration consistent with Rensselaer’s transfer credit policies can likely only be considered for fulfilling elective requirements.  See Rensselaer transfer credit policies for more information or talk to your advisor.

Admissions Requirements

The PMBA is designed specifically for working professionals who have professional experience to serve as the context for their project work.  Accordingly, the program requires a minimum of 3 years of professional experience as documented on the student’s professional resume.  Other requirements include: official transcripts documenting the completion of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA; letters of reference; and additional information as described on the program admissions page – ewp.rpi.edu. 

The PMBA admissions process looks at the whole person in terms of experience, aspiration, professional growth, academic achievement, and focus.  Applicants considering the PMBA should be assured that all factors will be reviewed fully and individually. 

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