Hofstra University is expanding into Manhattan with a fast-track MBA program designed for working professionals to begin in the fall semester, school officials announced Wednesday.

The degree will be offered through the university's Frank G. Zarb School of Business. It will include online instruction and classes in rented space at Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital on the East Side.

"We really have to go where the market is. Our location precludes a lot of people who want to take our program because of commuting time," said Patrick Socci, dean of Hofstra's business school.

"People can literally walk from work to their classes. We wanted to make it as convenient as possible but also have all of the rigor of our on-campus programs."

The move marks the first time that Long Island's largest private university is offering a degree program at a site other than its main campus in Hempstead.

Tuition will be $65,000 for the 41- to 48-credit master's of business administration, which officials said can be completed in 28 months. The first class will be limited to 25 people. An MBA usually takes three years to complete.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Total enrollment eventually would be capped at about 100 students. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1, Socci said.

The hospital where on-site instruction will be held is at 64th Street and Second Avenue. The facility is part of Lenox Hill Hospital, a member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

The university partnered with the health system to open the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in 2011 on the north side of the Hempstead campus.

In addition to launching the medical school, Hofstra has worked to diversify its program offerings in recent years by opening a School of Engineering and Applied Science and a School of Health Sciences and Human Services.

The Zarb business school, which opened in 1952, has seen its enrollment climb in recent years as the recession and layoffs in the financial sector drove people into MBA programs. The number of students in its graduate business degree programs went from 750 in 2010 to 1,200 in 2014.

Nearly half of the school's students are international students, with the majority hailing from China and India, Socci said.

The school has 76 full-time faculty members. For the first year, the Manhattan site will not require hiring additional faculty or staff, Socci said.

Other graduate business programs in Manhattan include those at Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, Pace University, Fordham University, Baruch College, New York Institute of Technology and St. John's University.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Stony Brook University holds some of its MBA classes at its Manhattan campus on Park Avenue and 28th Street.

"We are well-positioned to compete in the Manhattan market," Socci said. "It's a quality program."