Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business is restructuring its MBA program in response to changing market conditions for the graduate business degree.

Starting next fall, Pamplin will redeploy resources toward expanding enrollments in its part-time MBA formats in northern Virginia and other major metropolitan areas of the state.

“We’re shifting our emphasis from Blacksburg to larger markets in response to student demand,” said Steve Skripak, Pamplin’s associate dean for graduate programs.

“Urban locations like the northern Virginia market are very attractive to our typical prospects in their 20s and 30s. We see considerable opportunity that could be seized, with additional investment in recruiting top students,” Skripak said.

Skripak emphasized that the changes will have no noticeable impact on the full-time students who began classes this fall and are expected to graduate from the two-year program in 2015. Courses and support activities for this last cohort of full-time students will go on as usual, he said.

“We will make every effort to help our current full-time MBA students to graduate on schedule. Meanwhile, we can put redeployed resources to use in meeting market demand for the part-time MBA formats more effectively and expand the overall enrollment of our MBA program.”

Pamplin will now offer three MBA formats designed to meet students’ needs for career development and advancement while remaining employed: an executive MBA in the Washington, D.C. area; a part-time program known as the evening MBA, also in metro Washington, D.C.; and another part-time program, called the professional MBA, that alternates class meetings between Richmond and Roanoke.

The evening MBA program enrolls about 150 students and is ranked 34th in the 2013 U.S. News rankings, up from 37th last year and 45th in 2011. The executive and the professional programs each have about 50 students.

While part-time MBA enrollments have held steady or increased, attracting qualified students to the full-time MBA has been a significant challenge for a number of years, due to changing options and preferences, Skripak said.