Graduate programs in business

Bluffton University offers two graduate programs in business. The master of business administration (MBA) and the master of arts in organizational management (MAOM) share a common core of courses that are taken by both MBA and MAOM students. Each program also has program specific courses that are taken only by MBA or MAOM students.

Within the MBA program, students have the option of completing an MBA with a concentration in health care management. All students take the same courses during the first year of the two-year program. Except when noted otherwise, admissions policies and academic procedures are identical for both programs.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Organizations today seek leaders who offer creative approaches to problems, respect diversity and embrace change. The MBA program prepares graduate students for enhanced roles in their organizations and the larger society. MBA students examine carefully the roles organizations play in an era of rapid and global change. In the process, students increase their capacity for use of quantitative concepts and tools in productive and strategic managing. Grounded in the historic peace church tradition of Bluffton University, the MBA program assists students to develop and nurture healthy organizations and a just society.
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Program characteristics

The MBA program enjoys these unique characteristics:

  • Admission to the MBA program does not require an undergraduate business degree. Graduates are employed in the for-profit, not-for-profit and public sectors and have a variety of educational backgrounds.
  • Students enhance their managerial skills through extensive investigations of management issues. Class presentations, materials and assignments relate closely to the managerial challenges which students confront.
  • Classes are interactive in nature with substantial opportunities for experiential learning. Student evaluations are based on papers, class participation and presentations.
  • Students enjoy support from a creative, interactive community of advanced learners. They also receive personalized attention from faculty members who hold appropriate advanced degrees in relevant fields of study.
  • Evening classes permit students to continue full-time employment.

 

Program requirements

Required courses:
MGT 505 The Theory and Practice of Management (3)
MGT 510 Organizations, Management and American Culture (3)
MGT 515 Data Analysis and Decision-Making (3)
MGT 520 Professional Ethics and the Common Good (3)
MGT 525 Financial Decision Making (3)
MGT 615 Organizations and Information Technology (3)
MGT 620 Organizations and the Global Economy (3)
MGT 625 Strategic Issues in Contemporary Management (3)
MGT 635 Managerial Economics (3)

Three hours of credit from among the following:
MGT 531 Managing Across Cultures (1)
MGT 533 Conflict Resolution in the Workplace (1)
MGT 534 Leadership Skills Self Assessment (1)
MGT 535 China Business Study Experience (1-2)

Three courses from the following list of optional courses:
MGT 530 Managing People in Organizations (3)
MGT 610 Foundational Theories in Marketing(3)
MGT 630 Organizational Financial Management (3)
MGT 640 Production and Operations Management (3)
MGT 645 Leadership Communication in the Workplace (3) 

Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Health Care Management (MBA)

The MBA with a Concentration in Health Care Management was designed in consultation with area health care leaders to combine the broad cohort based experience of the MBA program with the specific needs of health care institutions. The MBA with a Concentration in Health Care Management includes three specialized courses in the areas of health care informatics, health care financial management and health care economics and policy. >>> more

Program requirements

Master of Arts in Organizational Management (MAOM)

Organizations today seek leaders who offer creative approaches to problems, respect diversity and embrace change. The MAOM program prepares graduate students for enhanced roles in their organizations and the larger society. MAOM students examine carefully the roles organizations play in an era of rapid and global change. In the process, students increase their capacity for imaginative, productive and strategic managing. Grounded in the historic peace church tradition of Bluffton University, the MAOM program assists students to develop and nurture healthy organizations and a just society. >>> more

Program characteristics

The MAOM program enjoys these unique characteristics:

  • Admission to the MAOM program does not require an undergraduate business degree. Students are employed in the for-profit, not-for-profit and public sectors and have various educational backgrounds.
  • Students enhance their managerial skills through extensive investigations of management issues. Class presentations, materials and assignments relate closely to the managerial challenges which students confront.
  • Classes are interactive in nature with substantial opportunities for experiential learning. Student evaluations are based on papers, class participation and presentations.
  • Students enjoy support from a creative, interactive community of advanced learners. They also receive personalized attention from faculty members who hold appropriate advanced degrees in relevant fields of study.
  • Evening classes permit students to continue full-time employment.

 

Program requirements

Required courses:
MGT 505 The Theory and Practice of Management (3)
MGT 510 Organizations, Management and American Culture (3)
MGT 515 Data Analysis and Decision-Making (3)
MGT 520 Professional Ethics and the Common Good (3)
MGT 525 Financial Decision Making (3)
MGT 530 Managing People in Organizations (3)
MGT 610 Foundational Theories in Marketing (3)
MGT 615 Organizations and Information Technology (3)
MGT 620 Organizations and the Global Economy (3)
MGT 625 Strategic Issues in Contemporary Management (3)
MGT 645 Leadership Communication in the Workplace (3)
MGT 690 Integrative Seminar (3)

Three hours of credit from among the following:
MGT 531 Managing Across Cultures (1)
MGT 533 Conflict Resolution in the Workplace (1)
MGT 534 Leadership Skills Self Assessment (1)
MGT 535 China Business Study Experience (1-2)

Courses

MGT 505 The Theory and Practice of Management   (3)
Examines the theory and practice of management from early times through the era of scientific management. Learning organization theory also is investigated.

MGT 510 Organizations, Management, and American Culture   (3)
Provides students with an understanding of models for organizations and management based in historical and cultural realities. Organizations of the industrial revolution to those of our post-modern, multicultural society are examined.

MGT 515 Data Analysis and Decision-Making   (3)
Explores business use of tools and processes to enhance corporate decision-making. This course presents the basics of decision analysis as applied to value-focused thinking, decision modeling risk and uncertainty, sensitivity analysis, and efficient use of statistical decision making and heuristics.

MGT 520 Professional Ethics and the Common Good   (3)
Aristotelian virtue ethics and the concept of the common good are used to provide a framework for understanding ethical issues in management. Case studies are used to illustrate course concepts.

MGT 525 Financial Decision Making   (3)
Emphasizes the use of analytical and critical thinking skills in financial decision-making. Topics include opportunity costs, breakeven analysis, operational and capital budgeting. Spreadsheets are used for decision-making purposes throughout the course.

MGT 530 Managing People in Organizations   (3)
Surveys selected topics related to the management of people in organizations, including personnel selection and training, motivation, leadership, team building, the organization of work hours and space.

MGT 531 Managing Across Cultures   (1)
Examines current issues associated with managing in a multicultural workplace. Students will identify and develop some of the understandings and skills needed to work effectively across cultures.

MGT 533 Conflict Resolution in the Workplace   (1)
This course examines skills useful for resolving conflicts in the workplace. Theory relevant to conflict resolution, management and conflict transformation will be discussed.

MGT 534 Leadership Skills Self Assessment   (1)
Uses the conceptual framework of emotional intelligence to offer students a chance to assess their own skills and approach to leadership. Students will complete various self-assessment tools including an Emotional Competence Inventory.

MGT 535 China Business Study Experience  (1-2)
This is a two week overseas study experience. It can be taken for 1 or 2 hours of credit. The experience is open to alumni and friends as well as current students, with students having first choice. Participants wishing to receive credit will keep a journal and write a follow up paper appropriate to the amount of credit earned. This study experience will introduce participants to the various facets of Chinese history, language and culture for greater understanding of its people and issues. An emphasis of the study experience is the role of business, business development and trade in China. We will visit a variety of businesses and will meet with local business people to learn of their experiences with management, finance, trade, legal, business development and marketing-related issues. Additionally, we will visit MBA and other education-related programs to learn about the curriculum and education experience of students trained in China to compete within the global economy. 

MGT 610 Foundational Theories in Marketing   (3)
Foundational Theories in Marketing provides students with a historical overview of marketing theory. This course examines and evaluates each of the 12 major schools of marketing thought and places a specific emphasis on today's dominant theory of market orientation. The course will utilize specific case studies of current marketing strategies.

MGT 615 Organizations and Information Technology   (3)
Explores the impact of rapid change in information technology and the opportunities such change creates, positioning these changes in the context of collaborative knowledge generation and identifying potential applications of such technology for their organizations. Students will actively use emerging technologies as an integral part of the course structure.

MGT 620 Organizations and the Global Economy   (3)
Provides students with an understanding of the increased interdependence of national economies and the spread of common political and economic ideologies. Students use economic tools to research the effects of increased globalization on individual organizations and countries.

MGT 625 Strategic Issues in Contemporary Management   (3)
Combines theory with case analysis to investigate the development and implementation of strategy in the public and private sectors. Key topics include strategy formulation in various environmental contexts, strategy analysis and organizational and managerial impacts on strategy formation.

MGT 630 Organizational Financial Management   (3)
This is an advanced course designed for students who are potentially financial managers of organizations. The primary goal of the course is to operationalize financial value evaluation techniques and value adding processes in both the profit and non-profit arenas.

MGT 635 Managerial Economics   (3)
This course applies insights from economic theory to the functions of managerial planning and decision making within a market-oriented business context. Specific content includes an overview of the market system, consumer demand theory, cost analysis, profit analysis, pricing strategies, the economics of technical change and innovation, the architecture of the firm, employee incentives, international economic impacts and government regulation.

MGT 640 Production and Operations Management   (3)
This course covers the primary concepts and tools associated with rational organizing and quality monitoring of manufacturing of goods and/or provision of services. The course will make use of quantitative tools in developing approaches to particular work flow and quality management issues in the workplace.

MGT 641 Health Care Economics and Policy   (3)
An overview of the macro environment as it relates to health care organizations. Addresses issues related to health care policy/regulation/laws and fundamental concepts of health care economics.

MGT 642 Health Care Informatics  (3)
This course studies the collection, organization and utilization of public data bases and patient records in structuring the provision of care and overall management of health care systems.

MGT 643 Health Care financial Management  (3)
An overview of financial issues for health care organizations including budgeting, planning, and financing.

MGT 645 Leadership Communication in the Workplace   (3)
This course brings theories of language, narrative and performance to a discussion of the ways that communication shapes organizational identity, managerial leadership and employee identification.  All through the course, students are invited to make critical and ethical commentary on the language of management and organizations. The language, narrative and performance of nationally recognized leaders such as Rudy Giuliani, Jack Welch and Stephen Covey are used as illustrations.

MGT 690 Integrative Seminar II   (3)
Involves independent study and a student presentation related to the broad topic of understanding effective management. A final paper demonstrates the use of primary as well as applied sources related to the topic. This paper includes a reflective synthesis by the student of a coherent management philosophy.

Admissions process

Applicants should submit the following materials to the office of adult and graduate studies:

  • Official transcripts from all previous college work.
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional references.
  • An application for admission.
  • Typed responses to three short essay questions.
  • A current resume.
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $25.

 

The following are the criteria for admission to the graduate programs in business:

  • Completed application materials.
  • A bachelor s degree from an accredited institution.
  • A 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in the last half of the bachelor s degree program.
  • Four years of management experience in the for-profit, not-for-profit or public sector.
  • Satisfactory letters of recommendation.
  • Satisfactory interview with program director or other designated person.
  • Satisfactory completion of a basic algebra test and a writing sample (or completion of a defined remediation program if the results of the algebra test or writing sample prove unsatisfactory).
  • Approval for admission by the director of the graduate programs in business.

 

Special student status

Special student status may be granted to applicants to permit them to complete nine semester hours of course-work prior to regular admission to the MBA or MAOM program. During the first nine semester hours, special students must demonstrate an ability to maintain a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) to be considered for regular admission.

As space allows, special student status also may be granted to non-degree-seeking students who hold a bachelor's degree. Applicants should complete special student status forms as a part of the application process.

The MBA and MAOM programs are designed for experienced managers. As space allows, however, a limited number of managers with limited experience may be admitted to the program.

Transfer of graduate credit

If completed within five years of the application date, up to six semester hours (or nine quarter hours) of graduate credit may be transferred to the MBA or MAOM program from another accredited institution. The director of the graduate programs in business must approve credits transferred from another institution. Workshop credits are not transferable.

International students

International applicants are expected to have a minimum score of 565 on the TOEFL exam. This requirement can be waived at the discretion of the director and/or the admissions committee of the MBA and MAOM programs, provided satisfactory English proficiency on an alternative evaluative measure can be demonstrated. In addition, all foreign language documents accompanying the application must include notarized translations.

Tuition and fees

The university reviews tuition and fees annually.

Application fee

A nonrefundable fee of $25 is due with each application.

Tuition

MAOM/MBA: $485 (per semester hour)

Technology fee

MAOM/MBA: $150 (per semester)

Refund policy

Students who withdraw from the MAOM or MBA program following approved withdrawal procedures receive refunds according to the schedule available from the business office or the financial aid office.

Students who are recipients of Title IV aid have refunds and repayments distributed as prescribed by federal law. Distribution schedules are available to all prospective and current students from the business office or the financial aid office.

 

Graduation requirements

Students must complete coursework within four years of their admission to the MBA or MAOM program. Graduation requirements include completion of 39 semester hours of coursework (with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0). Students must earn a grade of C- or above in all courses. They may repeat courses to earn improved grades. Students must pay for courses each time they are taken.

June 2012