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Higher Education Guide

Advance your career and gain the edge you need by enrolling in higher education programs at these 3 leading universities.
By D Partner Studio |
Bret Redman

In a year of acute economic disruption, more professionals and executives are turning to higher education to help them make a strategic career move. Fortunately, Dallas-Fort Worth has numerous colleges, universities, and higher education programs offering advanced degree programs recognized throughout the country for excellence and results. Whether the next step is a second degree, an MBA, or an executive MBA, the pursuit to set you apart from the rest starts here.


Cox School of Business

Admissions/Recruitment Contact: Jason Rife, Executive Director, Graduate Admissions & Career Management Center | [email protected] | 214-768-1214

Format Options and Length:

  • Full-Time Two-Year MBA: 21 months
  • Full-Time One-Year MBA: 12 months
  • Professional MBA: 24 months, flexible schedules (evenings/weekends)
  • Executive MBA: 21 months, alternating weekends (Friday/Saturday)
  • Online MBA: 27 months (evenings/weekends)
  • MBA Direct: 33 months (evenings)

Campus Location: Dallas

Total MBA Enrollment (all programs): 946

MBA Tuition:

  • Full-Time Two-Year MBA: $112,054
  • Full-Time One-Year MBA: $75,387
  • Professional MBA: $101,950
  • Executive MBA: $126,495
  • Online MBA: $91,624
  • New MBA Direct: $93,386


  • EMBA – No. 16 in the U.S., Financial Times, 2020
  • No. 6 Potential to Network, The Economist
  • No. 10 Faculty Quality, The Economist
  • No. 6 MS in Management in the Nation, The Economist

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB

  1. Businesses need quality leaders to grow, innovate, and thrive. How does an MBA from SMU Cox prepare professionals to assume leadership roles? In August 2020, SMU Cox launched the new NextGen MBA Curriculum, designed to shape future leaders who are not just job-ready, but also future-prepared. The NextGen Cox Curriculum integrates three foundational pillars to develop graduates who can confidently navigate any business environment. Cox graduates are equipped with a curriculum anchored in analytical rigor, refined leadership skills to support complex problem solving, and knowledge with practical application gained through hands-on experiential learning.
  2. What types of partnerships should higher education, businesses, and the community be engaged in? Like many organizations, SMU Cox promotes partnerships that support diversity and inclusion. One way we advocate for inclusive leadership is through our Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI). Research shows a nationwide lack of diversity at the executive level. As the country’s demographics shift, that lack of diverse leadership limits potential for business growth. The LLI builds a pipeline to support recruitment, development, and retention of high-performing, diverse talent. The LLI delivers executive leadership programs for individuals and customized corporate solutions.

  3. What are some of the things MBA applicants should consider to be certain the program they choose provides lifelong learning and networking opportunities? We encourage applicants to research program attributes and the school community. Applicants should look for a program that meets their current needs, but also supports future development. In 2020, SMU Cox celebrates 100 years of business education. To support lifelong learning, Cox offers a range of degree and non-degree programs. By joining SMU Cox, students gain access to the broader SMU community, hundreds of corporate partners, and our worldwide alumni network— 40,000+ members strong.

  4. How has SMU Cox demonstrated agility and perseverance through COVID-19? In March 2020, SMU Cox swiftly and successfully pivoted all courses online, leveraging knowledge and assets from our Online MBA. This fall, we welcomed one of our largest and most competitive MBA classes, including members of the new MBA Direct program. The MBA Direct is designed for recent college graduates and early career professionals who want to accelerate their professional goals of achieving an MBA while working full-time. The three-year program enables students to gain valuable work experience while earning their degree, preparing them to take on MBA-level jobs upon graduation.


Neely School of Business

Campus Location: Fort Worth

MBA Enrollment (All Programs): 360

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB

Admissions/Recruitment Contact:

TCU Neeley Graduate Programs:

  • Full-time Programs
    • Full-time MBA
    • Master of Accounting
    • Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • Evening/Part-time Programs
    • Professional MBA
    • Energy MBA
    • Health Care MBA
    • Master of Science in Supply Chain
  • Executive Programs
    • Executive MBA
    • Executive Education


  • MBA
    • No. 8 Best Administered MBA Program, The Princeton Review
    • No. 1 Faculty Quality, The Economist
    • No. 4 Full-time MBA in Texas, Bloomberg Businessweek
    • No. 56 Full-time MBA in the U.S., U.S. News & World Report
  • EMBA
    • No. 1 in Texas, The Economist
  1. Businesses need quality leaders to grow, innovate, and thrive. How does an MBA prepare professionals to assume leadership roles? An MBA should focus on strategic thinking—not just what’s trending now, but skills that allow you to adapt to any situation. It should also help you understand all aspects of a business, so you can not only move into any department, but develop strategies for the organization as a whole. Lastly, personalized coaching and personality assessments are important—being able to understand how different people think will prepare you to lead no matter how business evolves.
  2. What should higher education institutions do to ensure their MBA programs are aligned with the specific needs of employers in the region? It’s important to stay connected. Our faculty regularly consult for leading businesses; we’re always gathering feedback from alumni and other business executives in the community. We ensure our students connect with a variety of businesses during the program—for instance, touring companies on our international trip—and we work with companies like Korn Ferry to ensure the most sought-after competencies are embedded in our curriculum.
  3. What are the advantages of investing in an Executive MBA? Compared to earning an MBA immediately after your undergrad, an Executive MBA will give you a more advanced education through more experienced classmates. You learn as much from them as from your professors. There are also many chances to experiment with different leadership styles and strategies, hands-on. And because you continue to work while in the program, you can apply what you’re learning right away.
  4. What are some of the things MBA applicants should look for to be certain the program they choose provides lifelong learning and networking opportunities? Look for a program with personal leadership coaches who will take the time to get to know you and help you make a strategy for long-term success. Look for ongoing opportunities like seminars, workshops, and executive education. Look for an engaged and involved alumni network that is an extension of a classroom environment which fosters deeper, lifelong relationships. These will be invaluable to you both personally and professionally.

WGU Texas

College of Business

Admissions/Recruitment Contact: 877.214.7011 or online Austin Office: 512.225.6634 | [email protected]

Format Options and Length: Two six-month terms per year. The average time to graduate with a bachelor’s degree is two years, and 12-18 months for a master’s degree.

Campus Location: 100% Online; Administrative Office: 12515 Research Boulevard, Building 8, Suite 250, Austin, Texas 78759

Total Program Enrollment: 42,651

Tuition Range: Flat-rate tuition per six-month ranges from $3,225 – $4,180 (plus $145 resource fee)

Rankings: WGU Texas is consistently recognized as a leader in higher education, offering high-quality programs and courses. For more than 10 years, WGU Texas has been recognized as the No.1 most affordable and military-friendly online school and is ranked by OnlineU as one of the top 20 best online institutions based on ROI.

Accreditation: WGU Texas’ College of Business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). WGU Texas offers programs through the accreditation of its national partner, Western Governors University. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) first accredited WGU in 2003 and reaffirmed it in 2016, noting WGU’s “institution-wide focus on helping students succeed.”

  1. What should prospective students know about WGU Texas? WGU Texas is a state affiliate of Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, 100% online national university, and was established through an executive order by the Texas Governor in 2011 to expand access to higher education. WGU Texas offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.
  2. How does WGU Texas’ program ensure that it is aligned with the specific needs of employers in the region or executives looking for continuing education? Our skills-based degree programs effectively prepares graduates for the workforce because we work directly with industry in defining competencies and build a master curriculum that teaches students these skills.
  3. What types of partnerships should higher education, business, and the community be engaged in? WGU Texas is engaged in strategic partnerships with corporations, school districts, and healthcare facilities to provide high quality, affordable, and flexible degree programs for their employees to upskill or reskill. We also partner with community colleges, providing a seamless and efficient transfer process for graduates who want to earn a bachelor’s degree. These partnerships support the development of a highly skilled workforce while improving local communities and the state’s economy.
  4. What makes WGU Texas unique from other universities? WGU Texas pioneered competency-based education which measures skills and knowledge, not seat time, and remains the only institution offering these degrees at scale. The faculty provide personalized, one-on-one learning support that include program mentors who are assigned to students on their first day of enrollment through completion, to course instructors who guide students through course content they must master to pass course assessments.