UWA announces MBA program to launch this fall

Published 4:41 pm Thursday, July 11, 2013

The University of West Alabama will offer for the first time in the fall 2013 semester the master of business administration degree from the College of Business. The new graduate degree program will be offered with two concentrations, general business and finance.

Approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education in June, the MBA is the first graduate degree offered by UWA’s College of Business. The MBA program is an extension of UWA’s currently offered bachelor of business administration degree. Designed to build on the strengths of the current program, the MBA offering will enhance educational opportunities offered to business students at UWA.

“One of the many benefits to adding an MBA program at UWA is that it will give our current students a viable opportunity to further their business education at the graduate level, thus enhancing their career prospects and earning potential,” said Dr. Ken Tucker, dean of UWA’s College of Business. “Our MBA program will provide quality instruction with a real-world focus, delivered at convenient times and at lower cost than typical MBA offerings.”

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In the southeastern U.S., Alabama’s neighboring states report multiple MBA programs within each state, Florida offering as many as 30 MBA programs, and Georgia offering 26. This program is one of only 10 in the state of Alabama, and is designed to serve the state’s Black Belt Region, especially the West Alabama and East Mississippi market area.

“Having a more educated workforce positively impacts our local and regional economy, making companies more productive and enhancing quality of life for area citizens. Research clearly shows that the greater the level of education attained, the more money an individual will make, the better job they will have, and the healthier life they will live,” Tucker said.

UWA’s College of Business is nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs to offer bachelor of business administration and bachelor of science degrees. The MBA program will also fall under this accreditation.

“Accreditation assures students that they are receiving excellent instruction from highly qualified faculty and assures potential employers that they will receive a well-rounded employee with the enhanced skills, knowledge, and ability to help them be more successful,” Tucker explained.

According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, demand and growth for graduate business programs will continue throughout the remainder of the decade and into the 2020s. Both federal government and private estimates indicate that opportunities will exist within the labor market for individuals possessing graduate business degrees.

Detailed reports in the BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook with 2010-2020 Projections suggest that master degree occupations are expected to grow the fastest with a 22 percent increase. The report also suggests that employment for business and financial graduates is projected to increase 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average.

“Our MBA program will also be beneficial to current or aspiring supervisors, managers, executives and professionals in business and industry, non-profit organizations, and professional services. Obtaining an MBA degree will make these employees more valuable to their respective organizations and better position them for promotions and pay increases,” Tucker said.

The program will require successful completion of 36 hours of credit. The required studies include business administration, management, marketing, accounting, economics, statistics, computer information systems, and other business and finance elective courses. Courses will be offered Monday through Thursday evenings (one course per evening) from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Wallace Hall.

To complete the program, students may choose from a project culminating in an oral defense, or a passing score on a comprehensive examination administered during the final semester of enrollment.

Students interested in the MBA program at UWA are admitted under the same enrollment standards as the University’s other graduate programs. Admission is granted to those who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum of 2.75 grade-point average on a four-point scale and a 475 or greater GMAT score. Applicants with a master’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university are expected to have a minimum of 3.00 GPA on a four-point scale.

A student who has an undergraduate grade-point average between 2.5 and 2.75, or a graduate grade-point average between 2.75 and 3.00, and a GMAT score between 425 and 475, will be admitted conditionally and will be allowed to take 12 hours of graduate work. If a grade-point average of 3.00 or higher is achieved in the first 12 hours, regular admission to the graduate program may be granted and these credit hours may apply toward a degree.

Established in 1967, the University of West Alabama’s College of Business offers undergraduate programs in accounting, finance, business administration, management, marketing, technology, computer information systems, industrial technology and industrial maintenance. For more information about the college, visit www.uwa.edu/cob, email ktucker@uwa.edu, or call Dr. Ken Tucker at (205) 652-3471.