SMU Cox Announces New MBA Program: Cox MBA Direct

by Anna Martinez|

New Degree Allows Recent Grads to Gain Work Experience While Working Toward MBA

Dallas, TX (SMU) May 5, 2020 — A crisis demands boldness and learning. The Cox School of Business has identified a new path toward earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) for recent college graduates with less than two years of post-degree work experience, including Class of 2020 graduates completing their undergraduate degrees this month. The new Cox MBA Direct program will allow recent college graduates who are working full-time to begin MBA studies online upon completion of their undergraduate degree. It will also prepare them to secure MBA-level employment by obtaining needed work experience as they complete their MBA degree. Motivated students can achieve MBA-level salaries within three years of finishing their undergraduate degrees. SMU Cox will waive the GMAT/GRE for applicants of all Fall 2020 Cox graduate programs, including this new program. The deadline to apply under this temporary waiver policy is August 2, 2020.


“During this unprecedented time of uncertainty, we at Cox recognize the need to exercise bold, agile leadership. It’s time to throw out yesterday’s playbook encourage experimentation, embrace action and adapt quickly to get ahead of the changing circumstances,” says Shane Goodwin, associate dean of graduate programs and executive education at SMU Cox School of Business. “We leveraged our existing Online MBA infrastructure to create the Cox MBA Direct program, which allows recent college graduates to work full-time while pursuing our highly ranked and educationally rigorous MBA program. This enables students to begin their MBA studies when they complete their undergraduate degree and prepares them to secure a “true MBA-level” role by attaining the required work experience.”


The Cox MBA Direct program is a 53-credit MBA that will be taught online over eight consecutive terms (33 months), a pace deliberately designed to enable students to maintain high performance in their full-time professional roles. Our blended learning classroom format allows students to complete their electives on-campus.  


“We designed this program from the ground-up not only to meet the needs of recent college graduates eager to immediately begin working toward an MBA degree, but also to meet the needs of our recruiting partners who seek applicants that possess the requisite professional experience to qualify for MBA-level positions,” according to Jason Rife, the executive director of Cox’s Career Management Center.


Applicants are required to have accepted a full-time job offer that will start shortly before or about the same time as the beginning of their first academic term in the Cox MBA Direct program. Candidates for this particular degree may apply during their senior year and up to two years post-graduation. SMU undergraduates may apply as early as their junior year, pending final academic performance and post-undergraduate job acceptance.


The Cox School will host an informational webinar on Thursday, May 28 at 12:00 noon CT. Register here. Applications for the Cox MBA Direct program are currently being accepted. Interested applicants should contact SMU Cox Working Professional Programs Director Jill Melton,, 214-768-4648 or MBA Direct Admissions Associate Director Hannah Nousain,, 214-768-4666. More information is available at





About SMU Cox
In 2020, the
SMU Cox School of Business celebrates 100 years of business education. The Cox School of Business is committed to influencing the way the world conducts business via prolific research that provokes innovation, change and global thought leadership. SMU Cox offers a full-range of business education programs including BBA, Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA (part-time), Online MBA (OMBA), Executive MBA and Master’s degree programs, as well as Executive Education. Consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools, SMU Cox maintains an active global alumni network. SMU Cox is accredited by AACSB.