Haslam Graduate Programs Draw Largest-Ever Enrollment

September 20, 2023

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business is well known for its engaging graduate and executive programs that simulate real-world business situations, yielding lessons and results that are immediately applicable in the workplace. This focus on relevant curriculum allows students to contribute to their organizations and communities, carrying forth the Volunteer Spirit and aligning with the university’s mission of service. It’s also a reason 888 students are enrolled in Haslam graduate programs this fall, making it the largest in the college’s history and the fourth largest among the Knoxville campus’ colleges.

This fall’s enrollment represents an 11 percent increase from the 2022 fall semester. A new Online MBA, introduced in January, drove the overall increase.

Business Training for Busy Professionals and Students

Haslam is experiencing significant growth in the number of working professionals enrolling as graduate students. To keep up with this increase, the college is expanding its offerings to satisfy the needs of students throughout their careers and provide a variety of program formats that align with students’ .

Three online programs, along with residential and hybrid programs designed for working professionals, bring students with a rich variety of backgrounds to Haslam. This semester is no exception. Students beginning graduate programs this fall include a professor of chemistry, nonprofit founder, for-profit co-founder, chief financial officer, dental surgeon, 27-year Navy veteran and veterinarian, among others.

One of these new class members is Melissa Mays, a veterinarian and chief of emergency for VCA River Chattanooga. She chose to pursue her MBA through Haslam’s ProMBA program for two key reasons.

“First, my husband is in the ProMBA 2023 class, and I have gotten to see firsthand how wonderfully the curriculum is laid out,” she said. “The second reason is because I have a scientific educational background, and this program was an excellent overview of all things business. It will also allow me to get my executive-track MBA while still being able to be a full-time working professional veterinarian and manager.”

Amy Cathey, Haslam’s associate dean for graduate and executive education, said the ever-growing number of working professionals who, like Mays, choose to pursue a degree at Haslam contributes to a better educational experience for every student.

“We are excited to welcome such a strong set of program cohorts to the largest graduate class in Haslam’s history,” she said. “Many students bring tremendous work experience that enriches classroom discussions and makes real-world group projects even more impactful.”

She added that students studying in Haslam programs immediately after earning their undergraduate degrees have a track record of academic success and are professionally ready to engage in the next steps in their careers.

“Collectively, these students have the potential to make an enormous positive impact,” Cathey said.

Fulfilling UT’s Mission, Serving Society

While the current class of Haslam graduate students will use their degrees to positively enrich society and their communities, Cathey emphasized that is not the only way graduate students contribute to UT’s academic mission.

“Graduate students are vital members of our campus community and the community at large,” Cathey said. “When they apply what they learn at Haslam in their current jobs or in new positions, they make a difference for their organizations, their families and their future.”

UT recently reaffirmed the importance of graduate students to the university’s mission by raising the minimum stipend for graduate assistants and associates university wide, according to a recent message from Chancellor Donde Plowman and Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick.

Plowman and Zomchick say the university is committed to increasing stipends more over time and will continue discussing these and other matters critical to UT’s graduate students.

“These conversations will continue as we work together to show that UT is a place that values graduate students and their importance to our academic mission, community and strategic vision,” they wrote.

About the Haslam College of Business Graduate and Executive Education Programs

Haslam offers graduate and executive education programs that prepare students to reach their full potential and advance their careers. At the master’s level, these programs include the Haslam Full-Time MBA, Online MBA, Professional MBA, Executive MBA (Global Supply Chain, Healthcare Leadership, Strategic Leadership), Aerospace & Defense MBA, Physician Executive MBA, Master of Accountancy, MS Management and Human Resources, MS Marketing, MS Business Analytics, MS Supply Chain Management Tri‑Continent, MS Supply Chain Management Online, and MS in Business Cybersecurity Online. Haslam also offers a full portfolio of doctoral programs.

Haslam’s graduate programs address real-world challenges through an interdisciplinary approach that develops both analytical and leadership skills. Faculty are industry thought leaders, seasoned practitioners and accomplished researchers who work tirelessly to create dynamic, relevant and impactful learning experiences.


Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist, rmcnutt4@utk.edu