2013-14 Catalogs

Business Overview

Associate Dean: Bert Smoluk, 113 Luther Bonney Hall, Portland Campus

Director for Student Affairs: Alice Cash; Coordinator of Career Services and Internships: Melissa Burns

Professors: Artz, Gramlich, Manny, Violette, Voyer; Associate Professors: Bennett, Chene, Chinn, Grover, Heiser, Kerr, Kohli, Munger, Pryor, Shields, Smoluk, Suleiman, VanderLinden, Williams; Assistant Professors: Chen, Dean, Parker

Mission

The School of Business at the University of Southern Maine prepares and inspires current and future leaders, and stimulates economic growth by providing quality learning opportunities, valuable research, and professional service, all in partnership with the business community.

Program Description

The School of Business is a community of educators and professionals dedicated to the development of the people and economy of Maine. Our foremost responsibility is to encourage students and help them learn. The School of Business master of business administration program is designed for part-time, working professionals. The program also accommodates students who wish to pursue full-time study.

The master of business administration program is designed for students who wish to advance their careers and contribute to their companies. Partnering with the business community, the program emphasizes the skills needed to inform and guide organizational change. Students in the program develop cross-functional business solutions to "real world" problems, and cultivate a broad critical perspective, interpersonal skills, and the analytical tools of management. The program also emphasizes an appreciation of the international and ethical contexts of professional practice. Students are encouraged to apply to the program regardless of their undergraduate academic specialization.

Admission Requirements

At the University of Southern Maine, several factors are evaluated in determining a candidate's admissibility to the M.B.A. program. Included in the assessment of a candidate's potential to perform satisfactorily in the M.B.A. program are:

  • the undergraduate grade point average (GPA),
  • the rigor of the undergraduate's field of study,
  • the reputation of the institution awarding the baccalaureate degree,
  • academic performance in any previous graduate coursework taken,
  • demonstrated potential for successful completion of the program,
  • qualities likely to enhance the educational environment at USM,
  • demonstrated leadership,
  • the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score (Note: Candidates with terminal degrees, including the PharmD, normally are not required to take the GMAT. Students who have successfully passed all four parts of the CPA exam are not required to submit the GMAT. Note that the LL.B. from outside the United States is not an acceptable terminal degree, a condition which may also exist for other non-U.S. degrees.)
  • three letters of recommendation, and
  • a candidate's record of successful business or professional experience.

Although the admissions committee has no affirmative duty to seek this information, it will consider other information about the applicant including:

  • professional knowledge of faculty members, administrators, and staff at USM,
  • information within the files at USM, and
  • publicly available information about the applicant.

To be admitted either fully, conditionally, or as special or transient student, students must have no evidence of past conduct incompatible with the educational environment at USM. This is defined as conduct which, if it occurred at USM, would have a detrimental effect on: (1) the ability of fellow students to learn, (2) the ability of instructors to teach effectively, or (3) the ability of administrators and staff to engage in their normal professional activities. Examples of such conduct include, without limitation: commission of a crime, other than a minor traffic offense; commission of an intentional act resulting in physical or psychological injury or threat thereof; intentional misrepresentation; and violation by the applicant of a code of conduct at any educational institution, employer, military organization, or professional association. An applicant who has engaged in such conduct may, at the discretion of the admissions committee, be admitted based upon its judgment (e.g., because of the passage of time) that there is little likelihood that the conduct will recur in the future.

In addition to receiving strong recommendations, fully admitted students must have a formula score of 1,100 or higher and absence of evidence of past conduct that is incompatible with the educational environment at USM. (The formula is [GPA x 200] + GMAT. The GPA will be computed twice–overall GPA and GPA of the last sixty credit hours. The higher of the two scores will be used in the calculation.) For the purposes of computing this score, all undergraduate-level coursework, including courses taken after receipt of the bachelor's degree, is counted. Fully admitted students should have a minimum GMAT score of 500. Applicants whose formula score falls below 1,100 or whose GMAT is lower than 500, but who show evidence of exceptional:

  • performance in outside activities,
  • evidence of creativity and leadership, or
  • accomplishment in business, and
  • who show absence of evidence of past conduct that is incompatible with the educational environment at USM, may be granted full admission.
Conditional Admission

Applicants whose formula score is between 950 and 1,100 but who show evidence of very good:

  • performance in outside activities,
  • evidence of creativity and leadership, or
  • accomplishment in business and
  • who show absence of evidence of past conduct that is incompatible with the educational environment at USM, may be granted conditional admission.

Applicants who would normally be granted full admission but about whom the Admissions Committee has questions regarding some aspect of the applicant's background (e.g., weak recommendations, low grades in key undergraduate courses) may be granted conditional admission. Applicants whose formula score is below 950 but whose GMAT score is 500 or greater and who show evidence of exceptional:

  • performance in outside activities,
  • evidence of creativity and leadership, or
  • accomplishment in business and
  • who show absence of evidence of past conduct that is incompatible with the educational environment at USM may be granted conditional admission.

Only a limited number of applicants will be admitted with conditional admission status in any one academic year. Applications received by the recommended admissions deadlines that fall into the conditional acceptance category will be put on a waiting list and will be considered shortly after the admission deadline. Applications received after the recommended admissions deadlines and that fall into the conditional category will be put on a waiting list and considered during the next admission cycle. Applicants admitted conditionally will be required to complete a specified set of courses (either foundation, regular, or both). Successful completion of the conditions will result in full admission to the program. Failure to complete the required conditions will result in dismissal from the program, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Under exceptional circumstances, a conditionally admitted student who fails to meet one or more condition(s) and is dismissed from the M.B.A. program may be invited by the director to reapply for regular admission.

Decisions about which courses conditionally admitted students must take will be made by the Admissions Committee, in consultation with appropriate faculty members. In some circumstances, conditionally admitted students may be counseled to take undergraduate equivalents either in lieu of or in addition to foundation courses.

Transient Students

Students must send a written request to enroll in a course, including the rationale for taking the particular course. Students must:

  • submit transcripts from
    • all undergraduate institutions attended and the graduate program in which she or he is enrolled
  • have necessary prerequisites for the desired course,
  • submit a GMAT score. (This requirement is waived for students in good standing enrolled in programs at AACSB accredited schools. Students whose programs use GRE, LSAT, MCAT, or MAT (Miller Analogies Test) scores may submit those. Note: MAT scores are acceptable only for special students or non-matriculated student purposes, and may never be used as a substitute for the GMAT in the regular admission process.)
  • submit a letter of "good standing" from the head of the student's home program (letter should also state the course will count toward the student's degree), and
  • submit a signed non-degree release form.

Pursuant to USM policy, special students, like regular students, are expected to provide the program with a score from a standardized test. Students from programs that do not require any standardized test may be allowed to enroll, subject to very close scrutiny by the director. However, this will be done only in exceptional circumstances. Students in this situation may be asked to take the GMAT prior to being allowed to enroll, or may submit valid scores from other standardized tests they may have taken.

The program office will compute a formula score as in the case of regular applicants. Students following these procedures whose formula scores are 950 or higher, who have a "B" average in their home programs, and who show no evidence of past conduct that is incompatible with the educational environment at USM will be allowed by the director to enroll in courses, subject to permission of the instructor.

Non-matriculated Students

All students wishing to enroll in M.B.A. courses on a non-matriculated basis must follow the application process described for full admission, including submission of a GMAT or other standardized test score. However, consistent with that process, people who hold terminal degrees will not have to submit a standardized test score. (Note that the LL.B. from outside the United States is not an acceptable terminal degree, a condition which may also exist for other non-U.S. degrees.) Holders of terminal degrees normally will be allowed to enroll in M.B.A. courses with few restrictions, subject to permission of the instructor and having taken the appropriate prerequisites. Decisions on this type of study may be made by the director, alone or in consultation with the Admissions Committee.

Others seeking to enroll in M.B.A. courses will not normally be allowed to do so. Exceptions may be made if these prospective enrollees provide evidence of exceptional:

  • performance in outside activities,
  • creativity and leadership, or
  • accomplishment in business.

Decisions will be made by vote of the Admissions Committee. All students in this group must sign a non-degree release.

Other USM Graduate Students

Students matriculated in other graduate programs at the University of Southern Maine may enroll in School of Business graduate-level courses on a space-available basis providing that appropriate course prerequisites or other equivalents as approved by the director, have been satisfied. All students in this group must sign a non-degree release. This privilege does not extend to graduate students conditionally admitted to other USM graduate programs.

Application Material

In addition to the materials described in the Admissions chapter, applicants must submit:

  • A completed application. In the required essay applicants should, in addition to stating their reasons for wanting an M.B.A., make sure to touch on the following points, as applicable:
    • Performance in outside activities
    • Evidence of creativity and leadership
    • Record of accomplishment in business
  • Official scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). (Note: Candidates with terminal degrees, including the PharmD, normally are not required to take the GMAT. Students who have successfully passed all four parts of the CPA exam are not required to submit the GMAT. Note that the LL.B. from outside the United States is not an acceptable terminal degree, a condition which may also exist for other non-U.S. degrees.)
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, or 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), or an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher for students whose native language is not English.
  • A résumé that includes post-baccalaureate, full-time work experience including military experience.

Application materials may be obtained online (http://usm.maine.edu/grad) or from the USM Office of Graduate Admissions. All application materials should be submitted to the USM Office of Graduate Admissions.

Application Deadline

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to complete applications by August 1 (for fall admission consideration) and December 1 (for spring admission consideration). International applicants and applicants seeking financial assistance should complete applications by March 1. Applicants wishing to be considered for merit scholarships in graduate programs beginning in September are encouraged to submit completed applications by early January.

Additional Information

Accreditation

The School of Business is accredited by the AACSB International–the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB International assures quality and promotes excellence and continuous improvement in undergraduate and graduate education for business administration and accounting.

Program Policies

In addition to the general policies described in the Academic Policies chapter, specific policies of the M.B.A. program are as follows.

Deferred Admission

An applicant admitted for full-time or part-time study must register for that semester for which he or she has been admitted. In certain circumstances, with a written request received prior to the start of the semester in which the student has been admitted, deferred admission will be granted to regularly admitted applicants upon the approval of the director. In the event that no written request is received, a student is considered to have withdrawn from the program.

Transfer Credit

A student admitted to the M.B.A. program may apply to have graduate credits transferred from other regionally accredited institutions of higher education. Transfer credit is not granted until a student has earned nine graduate credit hours from the University of Southern Maine. A grade of B (3.00) or higher must be received in each course requested for transfer credit. To be accepted, the course also must be judged applicable to a student's program of study. A maximum of nine semester hours of transfer credit may be accepted and applied toward the M.B.A. When possible, students should ascertain whether or not transfer credit will be granted by the School of Business before enrolling in a course at another institution.

Time Limit

In order to be counted toward the M.B.A. core and elective requirements, graduate coursework must be completed within six years of the date a student enrolls in his or her first 600-level course. Graduate courses completed more than six years prior will be reviewed and may or may not be allowed. Courses considered outdated must be repeated or replaced for use toward the M.B.A.

Non-Degree Release

Students enrolling in courses on a non-matriculated basis must sign a release stating that they will not pursue an M.B.A. from USM on the basis of accumulated non-matriculated courses, unless they gain admission through the formal admissions process described earlier.

Grade Policy/Minimum Grade Point Average

All graduate courses numbered MBA 610 or higher must be completed with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in order to carry graduate degree credit. If a student receives a grade below C (2.0) in a required graduate course, the student must repeat the course and has only one opportunity to raise the grade for that course to C (2.0) or higher. A student receiving two grades below C (2.0) will be dismissed from the program.

A student whose grade point average falls below 3.00 will be placed on probation. The student will have 12 semester hours in which to bring the grade point average back to at least a 3.00. Students who fail to do this may be dismissed by the director. Any student may appeal any dismissal decision in writing to the M.B.A. Admissions Committee.

A student who has completed the program of study must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 to receive the M.B.A. degree. If a student has completed all requisite courses with a cumulative grade point average below a 3.00, a maximum of six additional credits of 600-level courses may be attempted in order to raise the cumulative grade point average to at least a 3.00.

Readmission

A regularly admitted student who is dismissed from the M.B.A. program may not be readmitted. Under exceptional circumstances, a conditionally admitted student who fails to meet one or more conditions and is dismissed from the M.B.A. program may seek permission to reapply for regular admission.

Special Policies

In order to receive graduate credit toward the M.B.A. degree, a student must be registered in a graduate course as a graduate student. Please refer to the transfer credit policy for possible use of prior graduate credit.

Dual Degree Options

M.P.H. and M.B.A.

The joint degrees program in business administration and public health offers the master's of business administration (M.B.A.) through the USM School of Business, and the master's degree in public health (M.P.H.) through the Muskie School of Public Service. The program allows students to earn both the M.B.A. and M.P.H. simultaneously by designating a certain number of crossover courses that satisfy the graduation requirements of each degree. Full-time students may thus complete both degrees in three years instead of the four years that would ordinarily be required. Separate admission is required.

J.D. and M.B.A.

The joint degrees program in law and business administration offers the juris doctor degree (J.D.) through the University of Maine School of Law, and the master's degree (M.B.A.) through the USM School of Business. The program allows students to earn both the J.D. and the M.B.A. simultaneously by designating a certain number of crossover courses that satisfy the graduation requirements of each degree. Students may thus complete both degrees in four years instead of the five years that would ordinarily be required. Separate admission is required.

M.S. in Nursing and M.B.A.

The dual master's degree in nursing and business administration at USM is designed for students in the health professions who wish to combine advanced nursing skills with the analytical tools of business. See the College of Nursing and Health Professions section of this catalog for more information on this option.

3-2 Program

The master of business administration (M.B.A.) program allows interested and qualified students to complete a bachelor's degree and an M.B.A. in five to six years depending on the undergraduate major. (Degree requirements for some majors necessitate a longer completion time.) Generally, students in the 3-2 program focus on their bachelor's degree requirements during their first three years, a mix of bachelor's and M.B.A. requirements in the fourth year, and mostly M.B.A. requirements in the fifth and sixth year. Each degree is awarded once the specific degree requirements are successfully met.

Admission Requirements

Students may enroll in the 3-2 program either directly or after the end of their first semester of undergraduate studies. Students entering directly need an SAT combined score of 1,200 or higher. Students currently enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program may enter the 3-2 program by meeting the regular M.B.A. admission criteria of a formula score of 1100 or higher with a minimum GMAT score of 500. (The formula is: undergraduate GPA x 200, plus the GMAT total score.) Students entering the 3-2 program will be required to attain a GPA of 3.0 or higher after 90 credit hours of undergraduate coursework to remain in good standing and be allowed to continue in the program.

Enrollment in M.B.A.-level courses

In either admission path, a 3-2 student may not enroll in M.B.A.-level courses until they have accumulated 90 credit hours of undergraduate coursework.

Internship Programs

Students are encouraged to participate in an internship to experience on-the-job learning. Employment in a professional setting provides opportunities to apply and evaluate classroom learning, develop work-related skills, and explore careers. Credit may be received for paid or non-paid positions with new employers, or for new responsibilities with current employers. Credit is not granted for past work experience. Students are encouraged to contact employers to develop internship positions, or they may learn of positions through the program manager and by contacting the School of Business internship coordinator. In a typical three-credit internship, a student works a minimum of 140 hours on-site and will be advised by a faculty member during the internship process. With the faculty sponsor, the student negotiates a learning contract that contains a job description, the student's learning goals, self-directed learning activities, and the evaluation process. Grading is pass/fail. Refer to MBA 695 for prerequisites and restrictions. For further information, contact the program manager or the School of Business Internship Office at (207) 780-4020.