The M.B.A. program is available to students who have no previous coursework in business administration, as well as anyone whose background includes an undergraduate degree in a business discipline. Consequently, required M.B.A. coursework ranges from a minimum of 33 semester hours to a maximum of 42 semester hours. Specific degree requirements will be determined upon admission. Pre-program proficiency requirements include statistics, accounting and finance.
The M.B.A. program is broad in nature and aimed at developing managerial competence from a general perspective. Specifically, the M.B.A. curriculum
- strengthens critical thinking skills that involve the ability to structure and analyze problems creatively and to process data to yield useful information
- fosters thinking that is global in scope and integrative of the economic, technical, political-legal, and social-cultural dimensions
- provides pragmatic managerial decision-making skills through instruction in the fundamentals of the functional areas of business (accounting, financial analysis, etc.)
- develops skills in dealing with behavioral issues including the ability to function effectively as a decision maker, motivator, and leader
- increases awareness of and appreciation for ethical values, human dignity, cultural diversity, social responsibilities, and the need for continuous self-development
- develops the ability to think strategically and to function effectively in an environment of rapid change
- enhances written and oral communication skills
Integrity Assurance Program (IAP)
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The IAP policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduate-school. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the first semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Admission to The University of Southern Mississippi's M.B.A. program is selective. Regular admission is contingent on having graduated from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional accrediting agency. In addition, the Graduate Admissions committee of the College of Business recommends admittance only for those applicants whose academic background, work experience, demonstrated leadership, and communication skills meet the challenging demands of graduate programs in management and accounting.
In evaluating applications, the admission committee utilizes the following criteria:
Undergraduate record—The cumulative grade point average (GPA) from all institutions, the area(s) of concentration, the balance of verbal/communication and quantitative/analytical courses, and the trend of grades are considered.
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Records Exam (GRE)— A candidate should strive to achieve a good balance of verbal- and quantitative-area scores. Official scores must be submitted to the Graduate School. Applicants who have previously earned a Master's degree or higher qualify for a test score waiver. Applicants who can demonstrate 5 years or more of progressively responsible, managerial work experience may request test waiver consideration; work experience test waivers are reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee in the College of Business and are approved on a case-by-case basis.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)—Students whose native language is not English must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 71. Students may also submit an IELTS score (minimum=6).
Work Experience—While work experience is not required for admission, two or more years of relevant managerial responsibility strengthen the likelihood of admission to the program. Applicants are asked to submit resumes showing job responsibilities and accomplishments.
Letters of Recommendation—The admission committee reviews letters of recommendation to gain a more personal understanding of the applicant's leadership ability in terms of communication and interpersonal skills. Each applicant should request three recommendation letters, at least one of which addresses the applicant's academic preparation. Letters of recommendation should be from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study.
Essay—The essay requirement provides the applicant an opportunity to demonstrate writing competency and communication skills. It also enables the applicant to provide specific examples of demonstrated leadership, to discuss career plans, and to supply additional information that will assist in selecting those individuals who can most benefit from and contribute to the graduate management or accounting programs.
Students may enroll in College of Business courses reserved exclusively for graduate students if they have regular admission to specific Southern Miss graduate programs and have taken the necessary prerequisites. In rare cases, students may be admitted conditionally. To remove conditional admission status, master's students must earn a B in each class on the first nine (9) semester hours of coursework numbered 600 or above or on all courses taken while completing this nine (9) hour requirement. Students with an undergraduate degree in business who have been accepted into the M.B.A. program may start on a full-time basis in the fall semester. Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in business must complete business pre-requisite requirements prior to acceptance into the M.B.A. program.
Students transferring from other graduate schools must meet the admission requirements stated above. At the time of admission, transfer students may request that up to six (6) semester hours of approved credit be applied toward degree requirements. Once enrolled, transfer of credit for courses taken at other institutions must be approved in advance.
More detailed information on the admissions process is available online at www.usm.edu/mba
Application of credits and dismissal—Students who receive a grade of C in more than six hours of coursework or fall below a 3.0 GPA will be placed on probation. Students who are placed on probation must increase their GPA to a 3.0 in their next 12 hours of coursework. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to be in good standing.
Upon approval by the program director, students may repeat only one course to improve a cumulative grade point average. Students whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) or whose program GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation. Students must attain a cumulative 3.0 GPA by the end of the following (probationary) semester or they may be dismissed from the program subject to review by a faculty committee and the program director.
Graduation requirements—Students must complete course requirements with at least a 3.0 GPA for all graduate courses taken. In addition, all general requirements of The Graduate School must be met; this includes a comprehensive examination.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.