Celebrating 60 Years of MBA Excellence
If you’re a graduate from the past six decades, you have seen the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business change tremendously since your days in the Cathedral of Learning or Mervis Hall.
Among the most discernible changes for the school, like the move to Mervis Hall in 1983 and the official naming of Katz in 1987, the MBA program has evolved and adapted to fulfill the mission: to leverage the opportunities created by our urban location and strong research culture to prepare students to be catalysts for change, and merge communities of knowledge with communities of practice to create exceptional integrated learning outcomes for students and relevant insights for business leaders. We prepare leaders to shape organizations that embrace and impact humanity.
The MBA program has always been rooted in strong traditions, faculty excellence, and high-quality students. Sixty years since its founding, the program has seen its highest ranking to date—No. 30 MBA program in the world by The Economist. This outstanding achievement marks a jump of 23 spots from the last global ranking in 2019.
Katz has also seen major improvements in other rankings from Poets&Quants, Fortune, and U.S. News & World Report. The rise can be attributed to the school’s continuing evolution of new integrated learning opportunities, courses, and programs to adapt to the ever-changing business world. Students are prepared to enter the workforce as agile business leaders—something that has been increasingly noticed and sought out by employers.
Additionally, the MBA program is annually recognized as being among the best for salary growth and graduates’ return on investment. In a ranking by Forbes, Katz ranked No. 1 in “Years to Payback,” averaging 3.6 years for graduates to pay for their investment in an MBA, the shortest amount of time in the country.
Dean Emeritus H. J. “Jerry” Zoffer
“After an unprecedented and challenging year due to the pandemic, Katz continues to rise to the occasion to come out on top,” says Sara Moeller, associate dean for graduate programs and executive education. “These recognitions not only solidify our success as a program, but they encourage us to keep working and to keep reinventing, in order to push the edge of what’s possible.”
As so, Katz has reimagined its program, incorporating a new Signature MBA program, designed to be completed as a cohort experience in only 18 months, getting students back to work sooner than a traditional two-year program.
“The rigor, quality, individualized service, and reputation of the Katz MBA is evident,” says Arjang A. Assad, Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean.
Katz owes part of its success to its talented faculty. This year alone, faculty members have been recipients of countless awards across the University and around the globe, received research grants, elected to prestigious research editorships, fought for racial justice, and more—all while transitioning to online education in the midst of a global pandemic.
The journey to reach these heights wouldn’t be accurately described without mentioning Dean Emeritus H. J. “Jerry” Zoffer. In fact, there wouldn’t be a Katz MBA without him.
“During his 28-year tenure, Jerry built one of the world’s strongest and most influential faculty groups in business ethics and corporate social responsibility,” says Assad. “In the process, he put Pitt Business on the map, taking us from a regionally recognized institution to one with global acclaim.”
With global acclaim, comes a far-reaching alumni base—which is why Katz is ranked No. 1 in “Breadth of Alumni Network” in the world by The Economist.
Some recent notable alumni achievements include Rosalie Myers (MBA ’98), selected to the Diversity MBA’s Top 100 Under 50 Emerging Leaders of 2020, and several Poets&Quants Top 100 Best and Brightest MBAs, such as Malena Hirsch (MBA ’21) and Bianca Joi Payton (MBA ’21).
Throughout the last six decades, Katz has emerged as a global frontrunner. As we look to the future, Katz continues to prioritize and challenge students to use business as a force for social good. Starting in the fall of 2021, a bold, new full-time MBA-level program will provide an accelerated track and more flexibility for students, enabling them to customize the duration and contents of their education.
“I am certain the next 60 years will be filled with even more outstanding accomplishments,” says Assad. “I look forward to seeing how our future graduating classes will leave a lasting impact on the business world.”