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Grand Valley State University    
 
    
 
  Nov 22, 2017
 
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Master of Business Administration


Master of Business Administration (M.B.A. and F.I.M.B.A.)

In a world of changing opportunities and challenges, individuals must enrich their skills and increase their value in the marketplace. Seidman offers two M.B.A. options, both providing strategic advantages that make a real difference in students’ careers. The traditional part-time M.B.A. program is primarily for working professionals, while the Full-Time Integrated M.B.A. best meets the needs of individuals who have limited or no work experience.

Master of Business Administration (Traditional M.B.A.)

The traditional M.B.A. serves primarily working professionals. Most students attend classes part time while working full time. This facilitates a synergistic connection between the classroom and the workplace. Traditional M.B.A. students bring diversity of academic and professional backgrounds, making the classroom a dynamic environment for the exchange of perspectives and ideas.

Admission to the Traditional Master of Business Administration Program

Candidates are admitted to the traditional M.B.A. program based on criteria that have been shown to predict success. Applicants must submit official documentation of all previous college course work, including a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent international credential). Any major is acceptable. Additionally, applicants must submit:

  • GMAT score
  • Personal Statement
  • TOEFL score (if English is not the applicant’s first language)

Admission requirements are provided in detail in “The Seidman College of Business” section of this catalog. There are no prerequisite courses required for admission to the traditional M.B.A. program, although foundation courses are required prior to 600-level course work as described below.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of nine semester hours of transfer credit will be given for appropriate graduate courses completed with a grade of B or better from another AACSB-accredited college or university. These credits may be substituted for required courses, area of emphasis courses, or general elective credit as determined by the program director. University policy on transfer of credit also governs such courses.

Academic Review

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in all 600-level courses that fulfill graduation requirements for the M.B.A. A grade of C or better must be earned in all graduate courses that fulfill graduation requirements for the M.B.A. Additionally, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher is required in all graduate-level courses.

Program Location

The M.B.A. program is offered in the Pew Campus DeVos Center in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Website: www.gvsu.edu/mba

Graduate Outcomes/Time to Program Completion

The Seidman faculty has identified the following learning objectives for M.B.A. students, and objectives are assessed regularly to ensure that they are being achieved:

Seidman M.B.A. graduates will be:

  • Effective managers of business organizations
  • Effective communicators
  • Internationally literate
  • Proficient with information and information systems
  • Prepared to recognize and respond to ethical questions encountered in the practice of business
  • Critical and analytical thinkers
  • Skilled in strategic analysis

The Seidman faculty has adopted APA as the standard citation style for M.B.A. course work. Unless a faculty member indicates otherwise, students are expected to use this citation method where appropriate in their written course work.

Requirements for the Traditional M.B.A.


The M.B.A. program consists of 33 semester hours of 600-level coursework. Foundation work equivalent to the undergraduate business core must also be completed. Students who have completed an undergraduate business degree will have completed some or all of the foundation. Students who have undergraduate degrees with non-business majors may need up to 11 semester hours of accelerated foundation courses.

Foundation Courses (up to 11 credits)

Foundation requirements may be met by completion of either the 500-level accelerated courses or the undergraduate courses as indicated below:

Background Area   GVSU Undergraduate Course(s)
 Accounting   ACC 212 and 213 (6 credits)
 Quantitative Methods   STA 215 and FIN 320 (6 credits)
 Legal Environment   BUS 201 (3 credits)
 Economics   ECO 210 and 211 (6 credits)


The relationship between foundation requirements and the M.B.A. curriculum requires that all foundation studies be complete by the time the student enrolls for 600-level course(s). An exception is made for those students who are completing their background studies during the same semester in which they enroll for their first 600-level course(s), in which case the specific prerequisite(s) for the 600-level courses, as documented in this catalog with the course description, must be complete.

Students who have completed GVSU undergraduate courses listed above with a grade of B or better or the equivalent at another college or university are not required to complete additional 500-level coursework in the respective areas. A background assessment showing the status of the student’s foundation requirements is provided each student at the time of admission.

The M.B.A. is a program designed for working professionals. Classes are offered in the evenings and afternoons.  Student who have completed the foundation requirements and enroll for six credits each semester graduate in two years. The M.B.A. can be completed in three or four semesters of full-time study if the student has completed all foundation requirements and attends full time.

Core Courses (28.5 credits)

The following core courses are required of all M.B.A. students:

Students who have majored in accounting, economics, finance, marketing, or operations management will not take the corresponding core course but are required to substitute a graduate business elective. Graduate business electives include courses in accounting, business, economics, finance, management, and marketing.

Students with 12 or more credits, but not a major, in any of the following areas will be required to substitute an elective in the same area: information systems, international business, economics, finance, marketing or operations.

Students who have completed an undergraduate or previous graduate cost accounting course will be required to substitute a graduate business elective for ACC 611. However, students with 12 previous accounting credits which do not include cost accounting will be required to complete ACC 611.

The balance of the program, typically 4.5 to 10.5 credits of business electives, will depend on the student’s objectives and career interests. All students regardless of undergraduate major, must complete at least 33 600-level credits.

 Capstone Course

  is a capstone course and may not be taken until other core courses are complete, or concurrently with other required courses if it is the student’s final semester.

M.B.A. Emphasis Areas


The M.B.A. is a degree of breadth rather than depth. However, for a variety of reasons, some M.B.A. candidates benefit by completing all electives in one area. Students earning the Seidman M.B.A. may choose all three electives in one area if they choose to complement the breadth of the degree with some depth in a functional area. 

The Seidman M.B.A. also offers students an official emphasis in the innovation and technology management. The emphasis requires four 3-credit electives, which lengthens the M.B.A. program by between 4.5 and 7.5 credits. The emphasis in technology and innovation management is designed to provide participants with the requisite management, business, technical, and strategic skills needed to better manage the technological resources of an organization. The interdisciplinary combination of courses that comprises the elective portion of the student’s M.B.A. are BUS 656, Management of Technology; MGT 665, Enterprise Information Systems; MGT 669, Process Analysis and ERP Systems; and one additional technology-related course offered at Grand Valley with the graduate programs director’s approval.

An emphasis in Health Sector Management is also available and consists of three specific courses that complete the elective portion of the MBA program, as well as the substitution of PA 634, Health Care Law and Ethics, for core course BUS 677. Electives for the emphasis are PA 630, Health Administration/Services; PA 631, Health Policy and Politics; and PA 633, Health Economics. This emphasis increases the total credit hours for the MBA program by between 2 and 5 credits.

Those students interested in depth of study in finance may earn an emphasis in that discipline by completing FIN 624, Investments, and at least 9 credits from the following: FIN 626, Advanced Managerial Finance; FIN 629, International Finance; FIN 680, Special Topics in Finance; ACC 613, Financial Statement Analysis; FIN 627, Derivative Assets; and FIN 699, Independent Study.  This emphasis increases the total credit hours for the MBA program by between 4.5 and 7.5 credits.

Master of Business Administration (Full-Time Integrated M.B.A.)


The Full-Time Integrated M.B.A. (FIMBA) program is designed to jump-start students’ business careers. Students with undergraduate business degrees and little or no work experience pursue study in a cohort program for 14 months. It is differentiated from the traditional program by an extensive real-world business fellowship, professional development, study abroad, and participation in a Washington, D.C. program.

Admission to the Full-Time Integrated Master of Business Administration Program

Admission to the FIMBA program is competitive. Applicants must submit official documentation of all previous college course work, including baccalaureate degree (or equivalent international credential) with a business major. Applicants must also submit:

  • GMAT score
  • Personal Statement
  • Brief essays as directed
  • TOEFL score (if English is not the applicant’s first language)

The academic record and admission test scores (GMAT) are important indicators of the student’s ability to succeed in the program. Finalists are interviewed, and the cohort is selected by faculty and the corporate fellowship sponsors. Admission requirements are provided in detail in “The Seidman College of Business” section of this catalog.

Transfer Credit

No transfer credit is accepted for the FIMBA program.

Academic Review

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in all 600-level courses that fulfill graduation requirements for the FIMBA. A grade of C or better must be earned in all graduate courses that fulfill graduation requirements for the program.

Program Location

The FIMBA program is offered in the Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Web site: www.gvsu.edu/mba

Graduation Outcomes

The Seidman faculty has identified the following learning objectives for FIMBA students, and objectives are assessed regularly to ensure that they are being achieved.

Seidman FIMBA graduates will be able to:

  • write effectively,
  • analyze and respond to leadership and ethical questions encountered in the practice of business,
  • integrate international strategy dimensions in their analysis of business situations,
  • integrate various business disciplines into their business analysis and strategies, and
  • view and analyze an organization as an integrated entity utilizing an ERP platform.

Requirements for the FIMBA


The FIMBA consists of 42 credits of 600-level coursework. Access to special ERP software enhances technology skills and serves to integrate the curriculum. Students complete the following courses in a cohort group:

Summer Semester:

Fall Semester:

Winter Semester:

Spring/Summer Semester:

During the fall semester, all students must attend the Washington Campus program in Washington, D.C. for 3 to 5 days where they study the business/government relationship and the political and economic environments. Winter semester courses are enhanced by the mandatory study abroad, where all students spend two weeks exposed to the global marketplace. Travel and other accommodations are made by the Seidman College and included in the cost of the program.

Business Fellowship

Integral to the FIMBA program is the Business Fellowship, which provides students real-world experience. Student fellows are compensated by the employer, which helps to defray the costs of their studies. Fellowship placement is facilitated by the Seidman College of Business Graduate Programs and Career Services.

Click here for the program description.