BALTIMORE (AP) _ The first six graduates of the University of Baltimore's online Master of Business Administration program on Sunday received their degrees _ and met for the first time.

Baltimore's all-Web MBA program, launched in 1999, was the first of its kind offered at a university accredited by the International Association for Management Education. Students could earn degrees without ever having to visit the campus.

The program matches Baltimore's Merrick School of Business classroom program and is taught by full-time faculty.

David Gerlowski, 34, of Carnegie, Penn., began the online program to prepare for a career change from medical technology. Shift work and overtime made it impossible for him to consider an evening or weekend program in the Pittsburgh area.

``What you don't need to do is drive to campus, fight for a parking spot and sit in a classroom,'' he said.

The online graduates, from as far away as Massachusetts and Florida, range in age from their late 20s to their late 40s, and include a married couple in high-tech jobs, young professionals and a security guard.