What is an MBA?
According to mba.com, a graduate business degree is earned by completing a graduate business school program, in which students engage in traditional academic coursework and instruction based on real business challenges. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an internationally-recognized degree designed to prepare students and further develop their business and management skills. Not only will you learn about the functional areas of business (accounting, finance, marketing, economics and various aspects of management), but you will also develop your skills in communication, decision-making, and analysis. The value of the MBA is not limited strictly to the corporate environment. An MBA can also be useful for those pursuing a managerial career in the public sector, government, not-for-profit, small business and other arenas.
Why would I get an MBA after my career is already begun?
As people progress within organizations, the specific job-related knowledge, skills and abilities that helped them obtain entry-level jobs often becomes less important, and the expertise to plan, manage others and participate in complex decision-making become more critical. As the environment of an organization becomes more complex, there is an increased demand for mangers with the skills and understanding to engage in these difficult demands. Many persons who earned their MBA through a part-time program use their degrees to find the career path that's right for them. Of those contacted by Bloomberg Businessweek (April 2011), “[N]one regret having made a sizable investment in business education, and all say their degrees have resulted in significant advantages—giving … the tools they needed to advance in their careers, and ultimately the confidence to strike out on their own.”
Realistically, what will a graduate business degree do for me?
MBA programs present a theoretical context for solving many business problems, including problems that don’t even exist today. With advances in technology and the globalization of business, many new, unexplored issues are presented to managers. MBA students of 10 years ago had not even discussed social media and its role in business – but those students had the concepts from their coursework that helped them quickly adopt this tool A good theoretical background provides the tools to attack and solve new problems. Participating in an MBA program will also broaden your network. Both classmates and professors can provide useful information and contacts that may be vital in accomplishing efforts in both your work and personal life. The accounting concentration will also provide additional technical skills and knowledge for accounting professionals, especially those seeking CPA credentials.
Can I still have a job and attend graduate business classes?
Yes. Most of our students do have a job while getting pursuing their degree. If you are working around 40 hours a week we recommend not taking more than 2 classes a semester. We also have full time students. Full time students typically take 3 or 4 classes a semester.
I've been out of school for a long time. How will I adjust?
The anxiety of returning to school after a long interval is one of the bigger obstacles to starting a graduate business program but it is one you will share with many of your classmates. Peer support is critical. Your business experience will allow you to make significant contributions to class discussions. And often you will discover that a topic discussed in class can be applied in short order at work. One of the biggest challenges new students find is redeveloping reading and writing skills. The volume of reading required in some classes requires advanced planning, but a beginning-of-term syllabus can help with this. You may also find that your research and report-writing skills have grown a bit rusty. Graduate classes are an excellent opportunity to revitalize those skills. Our faculty also realize what incoming students are experiencing and work with you as much as possible to alleviate these concerns and help you manage the work.
How long will it take to complete the MBA program?
The amount of time it takes to complete a graduate degree in business varies from student to student. This is because our programs have “foundation” courses; timely completion of equivalent courses with a required grade will result in the award of advanced standing. Most working professionals will take three or six credit hours a semester and will take two to three years to complete the degree. A full-time student may complete the MBA program in three to four semesters.
Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in business administration?
No, an MBA program is designed for persons with a variety of backgrounds. If you do have some undergraduate coursework in business, economics or statistics, you may be awarded advanced standing for foundation coursework. In the MBA with an accounting concentration, advanced courses require accounting prerequisites. If you are interested in a graduate degree in accounting, but your undergraduate program did not include a significant number of accounting courses, you may want to consider Bridgewater State University’s Master of Science in Accountancy program.
Should my recommendation be from work or from a professor?
The most useful recommendations are those from individuals who are able to speak with confidence about your professional and/or academic achievements and potential. It is important, for those who are currently employed, that at least one of your evaluators be someone in a position to judge your professional performance.
What if I have been out of work for awhile and cannot contact my professors for a letter of recommendation?
If you have been out of school for more than five years, you may submit professional letters of recommendation.
How much work experience do I need?
There is no minimum work experience required for admission. However, work experience is recommended so that students are able to receive full benefit from their class work.
What if I begin an MBA program elsewhere and want to transfer a course?
You can transfer up to six credits from another accredited MBA program. The course must be less than five years old, you must have achieved a grade of “B” or better in the course, and you must provide us with an official transcript indicating the grade for the course along with a course description.
Can I waive MBA courses based on work experience?
Work experience is not a basis for waiving MBA course work. Under very narrow conditions, students may be awarded advanced standing for a course, but all students must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours to earn a degree. Examples of advanced standing might include a student with a CPA being awarded advanced standing in ACFI 550, a student holding the CFA designation being awarded advanced standing in ACFI 551 or a student with SHRM’s PHR designation being awarded advanced standing in MGMT 575.
What if I am admitted to the program and decide to start in a later semester?
Your admission is valid for one year from the date of admission.
What is the GMAT?
The Graduate Management Admission Test is required for admission into the MBA or MSA Program at Bridgewater State University. The GMAT measures language, quantitative and writing skills. It consists of multiple-choice questions of the verbal and quantitative assessments and two short essays for the analytical writing assessment. This test is administered in nine sections over a period of four hours. Two GMAT publications, The Official Guide for GMAT Review and The Official Software for GMAT Review, discuss the format of the test and describe the skills measured by each section. They also contain actual GMAT questions from previously administered exams to help one prepare for the real test. You can also contact http://www.mba.com/us
for more information concerning testing centers and requirements.
Why do we require the GMAT?
We use your GMAT score as one piece of evidence of your current ability to deal with the courses and concepts in a graduate business program. Studies by the Graduate Management Admission Council have found that the combination of GMAT score and GPA most accurately predicts the future success of students in graduate business programs. When undergraduate grades are used alone, they are not very good predictors of MBA success. But, when GMAT scores are included in the evaluation process, the predictive ability almost doubles.
How long are GMAT scores valid?
GMAT scores are valid for 5 years.
What if I took the GRE rather than the GMAT? Can I still be considered for admission?
We will consider GRE scores for admission on an individual basis. You must submit official GRE scores.
Where can I get more information on the GMAT?
You may visit MBA.com for more information on the GMAT, including sample questions and information on registration.
What are the advantages of a part-time MBA program?
A “part-time” program can be described as a "program for working professionals". Students typically work full-time and attend classes in the evenings. The obvious advantage is that students do not have to put their lives "on hold" while they earn their degree. Regardless of whether the program is full-time or part-time, the MBA is designed as a practical, applications-oriented degree. Taking classes while working allows you to bring ideas and challenges from your workplace to the classroom and apply class concepts to your work.
What is the teaching style for professors?
Ricciardi College of Business faculty employ a variety of teaching methods, including lecture, case study, team projects, writings, problem sets, presentations, company visits, guest speakers, and other theoretical and applied teaching methods. The teaching method used in a class is the choice of the individual professor and is chosen to best facilitate learning for that subject matter.
What is the average class size?
Classes have approximately 20 students.
Why are there courses with only 1.5 credits?
The standard means of measuring the amount of material covered in a course is the “credit hour”. On a semester system, 1 credit hour represents 15 hours of in-class work. Some of our classes are 3 credits, which means that the class will meet for 3 hours during each of the 15 weeks in the semester. A 1.5 credit course will meet for 3 hours in each of 7 weeks (plus time for a final exam). By designing courses which only last 7 weeks, we are able to present topics in a more flexible format. For example, if a student anticipates a heavier than usual professional workload in the early part of semester, s/he could opt to take one 3 credit course lasting the whole semester, and one 1.5 credit course which would meet only during the latter part of the semester.
What types of electives are available for me to take?
You can take electives from the following areas: Accounting, Finance, Organizational Development, Technology Management and Marketing. As our program grows, we will be able to offer additional courses. In addition to the classes in the College of Business, MBA students may be able to take electives in other BSU graduate programs. Taking courses in other programs will require permission from that program, and students must meet all pre-requisite requirements.
Does the MBA program have a concentration?
No, the MBA has no formal concentrations. Students select 3 electives based on career and personal interests.
Are the graduate business programs accredited?
Bridgewater State University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., through its commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the New England Association indicated that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation. The Ricciardi College of Business programs do not hold a specialized accreditation at this time. The College is pursuing accreditation, and as such, its classes, degree requirements, and management practices are designed to meet that end.
Do you offer graduate business classes during the day or online?
At this time (Academic Year 2014 – 2015) we are only offering graduate business programs in the evening. As our program grows, we will explore the opportunity of offering courses in other day-parts and through alternative delivery systems. Note that many of the Foundation requirements have undergraduate equivalents; undergraduate courses are offered in both the day and evening, during all terms (including summer) and many are offered online. Some of our faculty will make use of the University’s online course management system (Blackboard or Moodle) to deliver parts of their courses. But, at this time, we are not offering graduate business courses online. Our classroom based programs result in significant student-faculty interaction, peer-to-peer learning, and the use of outside speakers. In a survey conducted by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, MBA grads rated personal communication as the most important business skill. Our classroom experiences are designed to develop your personal communication skills.