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Grand Valley State University    
2017-2018 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Feb 23, 2019
2017-2018 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Master of Business Administration

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 coursework, 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. 

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 Seidman Academic Services. University policy on transfer of credit also governs such courses.

Academic Review

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in all graduate 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.

Program Location

The M.B.A. program is offered on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus in L. William Seidman Center in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Graduate Outcomes/Time to Program Completion

The Seidman faculty has identified the following learning goals for M.B.A. students. Objectives related to each goal are assessed regularly to ensure that they are being achieved.

  • Effective business communications
  • Business acumen and strategic decision making
  • Global and intercultural competence
  • Value driven leadership

Students complete the program at various rates. Completion can take as little as 15 months with full-time enrollment. Part-time students typically take 2 to 4 years to complete the program.

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

Requirements for the Traditional M.B.A.

The M.B.A. program consists of 33 semester hours of nonfoundation level graduate coursework. Foundation work courses may be required by students based on undergraduate major and performance.

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   Credits: 3 ACC 212 and 213 (6 credits)
 Quantitative Methods   Credits: 3 STA 215 and FIN 320 (6 credits)
 Legal Environment   Credits: 2 BUS 201 (3 credits)
 Economics   Credits: 3 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 foundation coursework. A background assessment showing the status of the student’s foundation requirements is provided to each student at the time of admission.

Core Courses (28.5 credits)

The following core courses are required of all traditional M.B.A. students except as noted below:

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. 

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: Some examples are 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.

Capstone Course

  •   Credits: 3  (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

Students earning the Seidman M.B.A. may choose electives in one area if they choose to complement the breadth of the degree with some depth in a functional area. Adding on emphasis will lengthen the M.B.A. program.

The Seidman M.B.A. offers students an official emphasis in technology and innovation management. The emphasis requires four three-credit electives. 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 comprise the elective portion of the 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 Seidman Academic Services approval.

An emphasis in health sector management is also available and consists of three specific courses that complete the elective portion of the M.B.A. 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. 

Students interested in a depth of study in finance may earn an emphasis in that discipline by completing FIN 624 - Investments, and at least nine 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. 

Students interested in expanding their study of international business may earn an emphasis in that area by completing a minimum of nine credits from the following courses: ACC 617 - International Accounting; BUS 644 -  International Business; ECO 645 - International Economic Issues; FIN 629 - International Finance; and MKT 658 - International Marketing.

Students interested in expanding their study of sustainable enterprise may earn an emphasis in that area by completing the following nine credits: MGT 672 - Creativity and Social Entrepreneurship; BUS 634 - Sustainability Principles and Practices; BUS 635 - Sustainable Small Enterprises; and ECO 647 - Environmental Economics.

It should be noted that the elective courses, including those required for the above emphases, are not available with the same regularity as core courses. Consequently, it may not be possible to complete a specific series of electives required for an emphasis in fewer than four academic semesters.

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

The executive M.B.A. serves experienced professionals. The program is cohort-based, and classes meet primarily on select Fridays and Saturdays over a 22-month period. The curriculum is highly strategic and systems oriented. It culminates in a real-world project.

Admission to the Executive Master of Business Administration Program

A bachelor’s degree and at least five years of significant professional experience are required for consideration, and final selection is based on prior academic performance, potential for leadership, and employer recommendation. Applicants must submit official documentation of all previous college coursework, and personal statements, recommendations, and resumes. Any major is acceptable. 

Transfer Credit

No transfer credit is accepted for the EMBA program.

Academic Review

A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is required in all 600-level courses that fulfill graduation requirements for the executive 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.

Program Location

The executive M.B.A. program is offered in the L. William Seidman Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, located downtown in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Graduate Outcomes/Time to Program Completion

The Seidman Center faculty has identified learning goals for M.B.A. students, which are listed previously in the traditional Master of Business Administration section of this catalog.

The program is four semesters and meets over 22 months.

Requirements for the Executive M.B.A.

The E.M.B.A. program consists of 38 semester hours in a lock-step format. Preparation for M.B.A. coursework in areas of accounting, finance, business law, and economics can be fulfilled through GVSU courses and/or established online courses. Individualized program plans inform each student which foundation area(s) need to be completed and provide direction for completion. Also required is a series of workshops that integrate the academic curriculum and provide executive, focused professional development.

Additional Professional Development

Approximately 130 hours of professional development over four semesters will be facilitated by the program’s executive director. It is integral to the program’s overall goals and is required of all students.

Semester 1

  • Team building
  • Innovation
  • Content integration

Semester 2

  • Content integration

Semester 3

  • Action learning Capstone project*
  • Content integration

Semester 4

  • Action learning Capstone project*
  • Content integration

*Culminating Experience

The executive M.B.A. culminates with a real-world, integrative project that takes place during the final two semesters of the program. It is facilitated by the program’s executive director and evaluated by the executive director and academic director.