By: Chaim Book  | 

SSSB Announces Three Redesigned Graduate Programs

Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB) Dean Noam Wasserman announced the redesign and launch of SSSB’s new MBA, M.S. in real estate and M.S. in accounting graduate programs in an email to SSSB students on Nov. 9. 

The three programs, which were all launched this August, have been redesigned “from the ground up” for the post-COVID era with an emphasis on student flexibility, and high ethical and educational standards. The programs are focused on creating a model that will work for students who are early on in their careers with a less flexible lifestyle and give students choices in course content, timing and location.

“We have strengthened our educational excellence while giving students full choice over where to live during the program, the ways in which they want to tailor the program to their skills and interests, how quickly to get the degree, and even what part of the year they want to start,” Wasserman told The Commentator.

SSSB began rethinking its Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) program in 2019 in consultation with then EMBA Program Director Mark Finkel, with the goal of addressing constraints on program growth. To better focus the program’s branding on younger students, SSSB switched to an MBA model which focuses more on preparing students for entering careers, instead of an EMBA program generally geared toward experienced business professionals looking to advance efficiency in their field. Finkel is the current director of the MBA program.

The onset of the pandemic and the shift to online learning inspired the implementation of new teaching methods and increased emphasis on practical “real but relevant” training. With this new approach in mind and to increase efficiency, Dean Emeritus Moses Pava helped design a system that incorporates business ethics throughout the standard coursework instead of one compartmentalized course. Wasserman said that "The graduate programs reinforce our mission of developing values-grounded professionals who will excel in the workplace and in the community.” 

In the email to SSSB students, Wasserman pointed to the success of the past spring semester’s version of his Harvard Business School course, “The Founder’s Dilemma.” Additionally, as part of a new course-exchange agreement with Hebrew University, two Israeli students were able to attend that course virtually despite the seven hour divide. The university hopes that such exchanges, in what the university has termed as part of “YU’s Israel Superhighway,” will be more common, with students from both YU and Hebrew University attending the other institutions’ courses remotely.

To better reflect the modern workplace environment, which requires interaction with people of different functions, students across the graduate programs can now take cross-program courses — both requirements and electives — such as “Leading with Emotional and Moral Intelligences.” The redesigned programs also offer opportunities for undergraduates to take graduate level courses that count towards a graduate degree.

Currently, the new MBA program and the master’s in real estate are both bigger than the programs they replaced. Additionally, although January enrollment is historically lower than August, SSSB is currently anticipating a January larger than August. 

Photo Caption: Belfer Hall

Photo Credit: The Commentator