2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
    Oct 16, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Business

Dr. John B. Duncan, Dean of the School of Business
Dr. Darin L. Gerdes, Director of Graduate Programs, School of Business
Mrs. Rachel Wagner, Administrator of Graduate Programs, School of Business


Dr. L. McTier Anderson, Mr. Theodore Blanchard, Mr. Mark A. Crawford, Dr. John B. Duncan, Dr. Dana Garner, Dr. Darin Gerdes, Dr. Arnold J. Hite, Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr., Dr. Sharon G. Johnson, Dr. R. Scott Pearson, Dr. Mark Rieman, Mr. Maxwell Rollins, Mr. Larry Smith, Dr. James Wilkerson, Dr. Mela Wyeth

Offices of the Dean, Director and Administrator are located in Jones Hall. 

The School of Business offers the Master of Business Administration with emphases in Finance, General Management, Leadership, Management Information Systems, Human Resource Management and Accounting and the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.


Charleston Southern University has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), located in Olathe, Kansas.  The business programs in the following degrees are accredited by the IACBE:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Financial Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Marketing
  • Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics.
  • Master of Business Administration with emphases in Accounting, Finance, Human Resource Management, Leadership, Management Information Systems and General Management.

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

The mission of the School of Business is to honor God by preparing individuals for success in life through programs that integrate best business practices and timeless biblical principles.

Master of Business Administration 

The Master of Business Administration consists of a minimum of thirty three (33) semester-hours of credit.  The thirty three hour requirement will include a core curriculum, three elective courses, and a series of required integrative courses including the capstone course.  In addition, those students who enter the program lacking adequate background in specific areas of business, as determined by our graduate faculty, will be required to take foundational courses in those fields.  Any foundation courses (BUSI 501-506) that are required as prerequisites must be completed prior to beginning the appropriate courses, and may include as many as six additional courses for students with no business background.

Purpose and Objectives


The Master of Business Administration is designed to provide students with an opportunity to advance their business studies as they relate to the changing forces within the business community while the United States and other nations enter a world of global competition and international business relationships. This program has been developed to present challenges to students in all business activities in order to enhance students’ capabilities as leaders in business, government, and industry. The MBA degree allows students to increase their relative worth within the organizational setting and to improve the overall productivity of their respective organizations. In today’s society, the need for individuals with solid problem-solving, interpersonal, and communication skills that understand how to operate in a global economy is increasing. An MBA is rapidly becoming the necessary requirement for job security and career advancement.


1.        To enhance analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills of individuals;

2.        To enhance the student’s management, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills; 

3.        To develop the student’s understanding of the business and economic relationships among industry, government, and society; 

4.        To develop the required quantitative and technological skills necessary to operate in today’s environment of rapid change and greater use of computational methods in the business organization;

5.        To enable the student to acquire advanced knowledge that will permit him or her to improve productivity at an existing job or to improve the student’s ability to achieve greater aspirations; 

6.        To meet the demand of the business community for highly qualified individuals with a solid theoretical background in business studies coupled with real-world experience and applications;

7.        To enable the student to understand the dynamic economic forces that all business must cope with to compete in today’s increasingly globally competitive economy.

MBA Curriculum:

Master of Business Administration  

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership consists of a minimum of thirty three (33) semester-hours of credit.  The thirty three hour requirement will include a foundation of three courses, a core curriculum of four courses, a capstone course, and three elective courses.  

Purpose and Objectives


The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership was developed to provide leaders from all walks of life with the opportunity to grow and develop. Students will be taught various aspects of leadership including the nature of leadership, culture, alignment, organizational behavior, communication, and the change process. The program was created with the working professional in mind.  Courses can be completed online or in the evening.


The student will be able to:

       1.  Understand the nature of leadership and the nature of the leader-follower relationship. 

       2.  Recognize the interplay between leadership and management in a diverse, increasingly global environment.

       3.  Examine himself or herself and construct an ongoing leadership development plan in order to fully mature as a leader.

       4.  Choose the appropriate tools to lead effectively at multiple levels within an organization.

       5.  Develop a set of intrapersonal tools designed to help leaders deal with change, culture, communication, organizational behavior, and ethical decision making.

       6.  Evaluate the most current understanding of leadership theories in the academic literature and evaluate them in the context of a biblical understanding of the nature of man. 

MA Curriculum:

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership  

Admissions Process and Requirements of the Master of Business Administration or MA in Org. Leadership 

An admission decision at Charleston Southern University is based on a balanced appraisal of the applicant’s overall scholastic and professional record, aptitude for graduate study, and character. All students, regardless of admission status, must submit a graduate application with a nonrefundable admissions application fee to the Office of Enrollment Services. Exceptions to this policy require the permissions of the Director of Admissions, School of Business programs, Dean of the School of Business, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Application Procedures 

Interested persons with backgrounds in all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply. Prior study in business and/or economics is not a requirement for admission. Anyone holding a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or a parallel curriculum and degree from an equivalent international program) is eligible for consideration.

Prospective students are encouraged to submit their initial application with the application fee as soon as possible, to allow Graduate Admissions Counselors to begin processing the file. After the application has been received, a Graduate Admissions Counselor is available to help guide the applicant through all remaining admissions steps.    

An application will be considered complete when each of the following has been submitted: 

  1. Submit complete application including essay (either submitted online or paper form). 
  2. Nonrefundable application fee must accompany the application
  3. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) detailing professional experience
  4. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Must include evidence of a completed undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution or an equivalent from a foreign institution. (If the degree is in process, see Enrollment Status below.)
  5. Two letters of recommendation as described below.
  6. Additional documentation for International Students, as listed below under “International Applicants”
  7. Applicants who plan to include a graduate entry examination score, such as the GMAT score, in their application file should mark their application accordingly, so that the Admissions Committee will know to delay action on the application until that score has been received.  
Preferred Application Deadlines 

CSU’s Graduate School has a rolling admissions policy. While many applicants may plan to begin their program in the fall semester, applicants may be admitted to begin their coursework in any term. Deadlines for admission are flexible, but for full consideration, applicants are encouraged to ensure that all materials required for the application are received at least two weeks prior to the first day of the semester they intend to begin. If an applicant has particularly strong credentials, it is possible that the application may be processed more quickly, and for that reason, applications will be accepted until classes begin. International student applicants are subject to separate deadlines. Please see the section about international applicants.

  Preferred application deadlines are as follows:

Fall: August 5th
Spring: December 15th
Maymester and Summer: April 25th

Admissions Decisions 

The ideal student will recognize business and leadership as a life calling, and will show a commitment to the qualities of personal character development which are relevant to business success and ethical behavior. Application materials are also reviewed thoroughly for evidence of writing and communication skills, and of such values as initiative, maturity, commitment, leadership, teamwork, innovation, and creativity. Involvement and leadership in professional, community and collegiate activities may thus be considered by the Admissions Committee, and would strengthen the application. In order to maintain as rich a learning environment as possible, Charleston Southern University also seeks to enroll students from a variety of economic, occupational, racial, social, and geographic backgrounds.

The Admissions Committee also may consider responsible academic performance and excellence in testing as evidence of the applicant’s ability to do well in graduate study. There is no single GPA requirement that will guarantee admission. The GPA range of admitted students is very broad. To be viable candidates, applicants who did not perform well in their undergraduate academic career would typically be expected to show ability and motivation through such measures as GMAT scores and/or professional success in the business world. All applicants are encouraged to submit as persuasive an application package as possible. Some of the primary factors that will draw the attention of CSU’s Admissions Committee are: 

  1. Strong professional work experience, as reflected in a resume, C.V. (curriculum vitae), or other documentation.
  2. Undergraduate GPA - While no specific GPA is required for admission, students who bring GPA’s above 3.0 overall, or in their major, from colleges with rigorous academic programs have demonstrated that they have the necessary skills for high academic performance. However, students whose professional experience or other evidence shows that they have matured since their undergraduate record will typically be accepted with lower GPA levels. Grades earned in graduate-level coursework completed at regionally accredited American colleges or universities or equivalent programs in other countries may also be considered.
  3. Application essay. This essay on the application form describes the applicant’s interest in attending CSU’s Graduate Program, their plans for the future, and how the a graduate degree from CSU will help them achieve those goals. It will be evaluated both with respect to motivations and mastery of communication skills. A good essay should be between 300-500 words in length.
  4. Graduate School Entry Examination Scores, such as the GMAT -  Optional, but highly recommended for those whose other credentials may not otherwise be strong enough to warrant acceptance into the program. GMAT scores are preferred, but GRE or other scores may also be considered. Applicants who want CSU to consider these scores must arrange for the testing institution to provide an official score report to CSU’s Graduate Enrollment Counselor. Proof of successful completion of a post-baccalaureate professional certificate program such as the CPA, CFA, etc. may also be submitted in lieu of, or in addition to, test scores. 
  5. Recommendations.   Applicants should ask two individuals who are familiar with his/her character, work performance, academic ability, and leadership potential to provide confidential recommendation letters directly to the Admissions Office. Recommenders are encouraged to use the standard CSU recommendation form, but personal letters are also accepted. Applicants are encouraged to request recommendations from: (1) current or past supervisors, 2) current or past professors, 3) academic or business professionals, 4) pastors or religious leaders; or any combination thereof. At least one letter should come from an individual familiar with the applicant’s professional work record. At least one of the recommendations should come from an individual who can attest to the applicant’s character and ethical standards. All recommendations should come from objective sources. Applicants should generally avoid using family members or persons who they currently supervise for recommendation letters.
  6. Interview - After a preliminary review of the application, the Admissions Committee may request an evaluative admission interview for some candidates. This interview with the Director of Graduate Business Programs and/or other members of the Admissions Committee may be conducted either in person or by telephone, and is by invitation only. Applicants will be contacted by email or phone if an interview is suggested. The interview is optional, but is highly recommended for students invited to participate. The interview will evaluate an applicant’s level of maturity, interpersonal skills, career focus, and motivation.

No single criterion will be decisive. Each item will be considered in relation to the applicant’s total qualifications. Although Charleston Southern University has preferred levels for such criteria as applicants’ undergraduate GPA and GMAT scores, each application is evaluated on an individual basis. 

Applicants are notified as soon as the MBA Admissions Committee has made their decision. If the student does not attend within 2 major terms (major terms are Fall and Spring) of their acceptance, then their acceptance will expire, and if they decide to attend later, they will need to reapply, regardless of prior acceptance.

The Admissions Committee 

The Admissions Committee is composed of the Director of Graduate Business Programs and two other graduate business faculty members who will serve staggered one-year terms. Under the guidance of the Director, the committee will be involved in the decision-making process for applicants. In consultation with The Graduate School, the Committee will typically set admission guidelines for the year, based significantly upon such factors as program capacity and volume of applications received, but always keeping the primary focus on maintaining program quality. The Committee will apprise the admissions counselors of the guidelines for acceptance, rejection, and further consideration. The committee will then evaluate in detail the individual applications for those candidates who merit further consideration, and at times meet with prospective students to evaluate their potential for success at CSU. 

Enrollment Status

Enrollment for graduate study in business is granted in the following categories:

Regular Admission 

Regular Admission requires that the student has met all of the requirements for admission to the graduate program as listed in the section on Application Procedures.  

Provisional Admission 

A student seeking a graduate degree from Charleston Southern University who has not submitted all of the required documentation and materials for Regular Admission may be accepted on the provision that he or she submit the missing required materials as determined by The Graduate School prior to preregistration for the next term. The minimum requirements for Provisional Admission are (1) the completed graduate application, (2) the application fee, and (3) evidence of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution. Enrollment cannot exceed 9 credit hours of graduate-level courses during the provisional period. Students admitted under Provisional Admission will not be eligible for financial aid.

Nondegree Admission 

Nondegree Admission is granted to students who do not intend to apply for regular admission. Such students must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution and have at least a 2.50 undergraduate GPA, or permission of the Director. A student may take a maximum of nine graduate hours of graduate coursework under the nondegree admission status. Financial aid is not available to nondegree students.

International Applicants

Academically qualified students from foreign countries are encouraged to apply for admission to Charleston Southern University. Applicants must be sufficiently proficient in English to be able to study entirely in the English language. The following must be sent to the Enrollment Services Office in addition to the admission materials for the graduate program:

1. Official Bank Statement
2. Official Course by Course Evaluation (See admissions application packet for approved agencies)
3. Official TOEFL (Students from countries where English is not the primary language will be required to submit a minimum TOEFL score of 550; computer-based score of 213 or Internet-based score of 79).
4. International Student Eligibility Form

Due to Immigration and Naturalization Service requirements and the necessity of having transcripts evaluated, the deadline for admission applications from International students is one calendar month prior to “registration day” (according to the CSU Academic Calendar) of the academic term of entry.

Applications received after the deadline may be considered for a future entry term if the applicant desires. Students are required to have their academic transcript(s) evaluated by an outside agency prior to admissions acceptance. All fees for these services are paid by the student directly to the party or agency providing them. You may call The Graduate School for more information.

When an applicant has been accepted by the University, a Certificate of Eligibility for the nonimmigrant (F-1) student, known as Form I-20 A-B, will be mailed along with an acceptance letter. Students entering Charleston Southern University must assume full financial responsibility for tuition and charges incurred. In the event a student is being sponsored by an individual or company, an Affidavit of Support and supporting financial documents must be submitted by the sponsor on behalf of the student. After issuance of Form I-20 A-B and prior to the drop/add deadline of the respective term, an advance cash deposit is required to be on file within the business office in the amount of the total cost of the term, including any necessary insurance premium. Otherwise Charleston Southern University reserves the right to deny the student attendance for that term. 

Transfer Credits 

With prior approval, a maximum of six semester hours of transfer credit may be accepted from a graduate business program at a regionally accredited institution, toward the fulfillment of requirements for graduate programs at Charleston Southern University. Approval of the Director or the Dean of the School of Business must be obtained during the application process, and the decision whether or not to award credit at that time is final. Students may not attempt to transfer previously-taken courses at a later date. Credit will not be given for courses taken more than six (6) calendar years prior to the awarding of a graduate degree at Charleston Southern University. Transfer credit cannot be revalidated if the time limit expires. Only courses with grades in the “B” or “A” range will be considered for transfer.

This also applies to students who are expelled from the MBA program at CSU and wish to apply to the MA program.  If you are accepted to the MA program, your previous graduate transcript will be evaluated to determine which, if any, courses will transfer from the MBA program to the MA program. Pass/Fail courses may not be transferred into the program. Credit will not be given for courses taken to obtain another master’s degree.

Students currently enrolled in any of the programs at CSU must have prior written approval to take courses from another institution for transfer credit. This approval form must carry the signatures of the Director or the Dean of the School of Business, and the Registrar. Courses accepted in transfer are recorded as credit only: grades are recorded on a transfer evaluation form, but no grade points or grade point averages are computed. The grade point average used for administering policy and for graduation is computed on academic credit earned at CSU. The primary purpose of the transfer credits policy is to grant incoming students credit for work previously completed. Students are expected to take the appropriate courses offered by Charleston Southern University once they enter the program. Students may be granted the opportunity to take courses offered by other institution. 

Student Progress (MBA Program Only)

Students must take the following quantitative courses among their first five MBA-level courses: BUSI 625 and 635. Students who fail to take two of these quantitative courses among their first five cannot proceed further in the MBA program.

Course Limits 

Under no circumstances may any student take more than three regular Graduate level courses (9 hours) unless or until they have completed all requirements for regular admission, including any required prerequisites. This includes regular admission students, nondegree students, or any other enrollment status. 

Satisfactory Progress 

Some students who are required to complete prerequisites for our MBA program elect to take undergraduate courses to satisfy their prerequisites.  While these courses do not count towards their graduate GPA, students must demonstrate satisfactory progress in these courses.  Students must maintain at least a “C” average in these courses to be eligible to continue in our MBA program.  If a student’s GPA falls below this requirement, they will be placed on probation and given one semester to increase their GPA.  Students who still do not have satisfactory process after their probation semester is complete will be expelled from the MBA program - see “Expulsion” section for further details. 

Grades earned in prerequisite courses that are 500-level and above will be calculated in the student’s graduate GPA and the warning, probation, and expulsion rules outlined in the catalog will apply.   

Academic Probation 

Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 for graduation from either graduate program. Students whose graduate GPAs drop below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation, and may take a maximum of six (6) graduate credit hours per semester until a GPA 3.0 is obtained. Any student who earns a grade below a “B” will receive warning letter from the Director and will be required to meet with the Administrator of Graduate Programs to discuss their commitment to graduate education and their ability to continue in the program. If a student should receive a second grade below B, that student will be placed on academic probation for the remainder of their tenure in the program. Students on academic probation may be required to meet with the Administrator regularly for academic advising and monitoring. 


A student who earns one “F” or one “WF” or who earns their third grade lower than a “B” in any course shall be expelled from the graduate program. An expelled student may not be considered for readmission to the program for at least one major semester (Fall or Spring). If and when the student’s application for readmission is submitted it must be accompanied by a letter from the student justifying why he or she should be readmitted. The student’s request for readmission must be approved by a majority vote of the graduate faculty before the student can be readmitted and begin taking classes again. Expelled students may only petition for re-admission once. If their first request fails, further requests for re-admission will not be entertained. 

Graduation Requirements 

In order to graduate from a graduate program from the School of Business, students must have a 3.0 GPA and no more than 2 “C’s” on their graduate transcript.  Students who earn a third “C”, even in their last course, will be expelled from the program - see “Expulsion” section for further details.

All students must apply for graduation in the Office of the Registrar.  Please refer to the Academic Calendar for graduation application deadlines.  Once their application is received, qualified students will be registered for

  or  .  This is a non-credit course related to program assessment.  Qualified students must earn a “P”  for their degrees to be conferred in the Office of the Registrar. 

Time Limits 

All credits for the graduate program, both local and transfer, must not be more than six (6) years old at the time the degree is awarded.