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Grand Valley State University    
2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
    
 
  Dec 10, 2018
 
2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Master of Business Administration


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

The professional 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. 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 Professional Master of Business Administration Program

The Seidman College of Business seeks individuals who want to build a meaningful career. Admission to the MBA program is competitive because the MBA Admissions Committee carefully considers each applicant. The MBA Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach to candidate evaluation with consideration of relevant professional experience, potential for career growth, academic ability, leadership qualities, communication and interpersonal skills, and motivation for success. Applicants with managerial, operational, or decision-making experience receive preference for admission. Seidman purposefully maintains a relatively small class size and values candidates with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, cultures, and talents. No particular undergraduate major is necessary for students applying to the MBA program. Instead, candidates must demonstrate competency in background business subjects.

To apply, students should

  1. complete the MBA application (including essay/personal statement);
  2. submit official transcripts;
  3. submit a recent resume;
  4. provide two letters of recommendation; and
  5. provide official GMAT scores (if applicable).

International students may be required to submit additional documents as part of their admission materials.

Individuals who submit all required documents may be selected for an interview as part of the admission process.

Waiver of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Requirement

Most prospective graduate business students take the GMAT. The GMAT is strongly recommended and may be used to strengthen the applicant’s profile. A GMAT waiver is an option for highly qualified individuals.

To be considered for a GMAT waiver, candidates must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Document at least three years of relevant professional experience that shows increased responsibilities over that period.
  • Document having earned an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); other graduate exams may be considered by request.
  • A transcripted undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher from an AACSB-accredited business program.
  • A transcripted undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher from a regionally accredited university in any major.
  • Documented having earned a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited program.

Meeting the criteria to waive the GMAT does not guarantee admission to the MBA program. Even those who are eligible to waive should consider taking the GMAT because a strong score increases the likelihood of admission.

Transfer Credit

No transfer credit is accepted for the M.B.A. program.

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 College of Business 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

The cohort-based program is typically completed in 22 weeks.

The Seidman College of Business 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 Professional M.B.A.


The M.B.A. program consists of 36 semester hours of graduate coursework. Foundational competencies may need to be proven by students based on undergraduate major and performance.

Foundational Business Competencies

Foundational competencies may be met by:

  • Completion of courses
  • Successfully completing the test-out exams for each area
  • Completion of accelerated self-study segments and exams

Please see the Seidman College of Business Graduate Programs office for specific foundational tests.

M.B.A. Courses(36 credits)

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

Summer Starter Courses (M.B.A. Boot Camp)

Fall Semester 1

Winter Semester 1

Spring/Summer Semester 1

Fall Semester 2

  • MBA 631 - Leading People and Organizations Credits: 3
  • MBA 660 - Operations and Supply Chain Management Credits: 3

Winter Semester 2

  • MBA 610 - Management Information Systems and Business Intelligence Credits: 2
  • MBA 683 - Strategic and Global Competitiveness Credits: 6

Spring/Summer Semester 2

The 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 academic director and evaluated by the academic director and supporting faculty.

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 E.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.

Website: www.gvsu.edu/seidmangrad

Graduate Outcomes/Time to Program Completion

The Seidman Center faculty has identified learning goals for executive 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 EMBA 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.