School of Business

MBA in Business Administration, Sustainability Concentration

Sustainability in business acknowledges the value of managing financial, environmental, and social performance to achieve resiliency and provide long term returns to investors. Students select from a variety of courses offered within the School of Business and through course offerings at the Muskie School of Public Service (Community Planning and Development), the University of the Maine School of Law and the University of Maine Business School.

The master of business administration program at the University of Southern Maine is composed of twenty-seven credit hours of core courses and nine credit hours of elective or concentration courses. In addition, up to fifteen credit hours of foundation courses may be required depending on the student's previous academic background.

Foundation Courses (0-15 credits)

M.B.A. courses numbered below MBA 610 are not applicable toward the thirty-six credits needed for graduation. Admitted students whose educational background is lacking the foundation courses are required to satisfactorily complete each of these courses or their equivalents as stipulated in their letter of admission.

Grades earned in M.B.A.-level foundation courses are included in the student's grade point average. Any foundation courses in which a student earns less than a C grade (2.0) must be repeated.

Faculty strongly recommend that students, who do not have a solid recollection of foundation course content, retake or, at a minimum, review content material independently prior to enrolling in core courses. Students may consult the School of Business web site or faculty for information on course content.

A minimum grade of C (2.0) from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or successful completion of an equivalent CLEP exam or departmental exam (if available) is needed to meet a foundation course requirement. Coursework from non-accredited institutions will be evaluated on an individual basis. After admission students needing foundation courses are expected to enroll in the graduate courses to meet the requirement. In extenuating circumstances a student may petition the director for permission to enroll in undergraduate equivalent courses to meet M.B.A.-level foundation course requirements. Any undergraduate courses taken will not be included in the computation of the student's graduate grade point average.

     EDU 671 Organizational Behavior
     MBA 501 Economics Analysis
     MBA 502 Accounting Concepts
     MBA 504 Probability and Statistics for Business Decision Making
     MBA 505 Financial Management

Computer application skills

All students are expected to have basic computer skills in word processing and spreadsheet usage, either through prior experience or education. Students lacking in computer application skills are responsible for seeking coursework that will fulfill these expectations.

Core Courses (27 credits)

     Alpha Course:  MBA 611 Introduction to Organizational Change
     Accounting (Select one)
          ACC 630 Management Accounting Systems
          MBA 631 Financial Accounting
     Ethical and Legal Issues: MBA 615 Ethical and Legal Issues in Business
     Finance (Select one)
          MBA 623 Financial Engineering
          MBA 625 International Finance (may not double count in International)
          MBA 626 Strategic Valuation
          MBA 627 Investment Management
          MBA 628 Financial Markets and Institutions
          MBA 629 Financial Modeling
     Information Systems: MBA 674 Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation
     International (Select one)
          MBA 612 Topics in International Business
          MBA 625 International Finance
     Marketing: MBA 660 Managerial Marketing
     Operations: MBA 672 Supply Chain Management
     Capstone: MBA 698 Practicum

Electives (nine credits; select three courses)

     PPM 612 - Sustainable Communities (USM Muskie)
     PPM 665 - Transportation Planning and Policy (USM Muskie) 
     MBA 648 - Launching Sustainable Ventures
     MBA 657 - Socially Responsible Business and Marketing 
     MBA 659/LAW 637 - Environmental Law (UMaine Law: requires special permission)
     BUA 527 - Business & Sustainability   (UMO: requires special permission)

Applicant Qualifications

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.

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.

Application Procedures and Required Materials

Application Deadline:

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to complete applications by August 1 (for fall admission), December 1 (for spring admission), and April 1 (for summer admission). 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.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

  • Application: Online Application
    •  In the required essay (300-500 words), please state your reasons for pursuing graduate business education, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. Make sure to touch on the following points, as applicable: performance in outside activities, evidence of creativity and leadership, and record of accomplishment.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
    • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
  • A résumé that includes post-baccalaureate, full-time work experience including military experience.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Recommendations should be from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience wiht your academic or professional work, to comment on your ability to undertake graduate study and your chosen profession.
  • Standardized test scores. Official scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). GRE may be submitted in lieu of 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.)
  • 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.

International Applicants

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.