Dr. John Duncan, Dean of the School of Business
Dr. R. Scott Pearson, Director of the M.B.A. Program
Offices of the Dean and Director are located in Jones Hall.
The School of Business offers the Master of Business Administration with emphases in Finance, Organizational Development, Management Information Systems, and Accounting.
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 Science in Business Administration degree with emphases in Accounting, Finance, Management, and Marketing.
- Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree with emphases in Management and Marketing.
- Bachelor of Science in Economics.
- Master of Business Administration with emphases in Accounting, Finance, Organizational Development and Management Information Systems.
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 communications 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.
- To enhance analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills of individuals;
- To enhance the student’s management, interpersonal, oral and written communications skills;
- To develop the student’s understanding of the business and economic relationships among industry, government, and society;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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.
Programs of Study
The Master of Business Administration consists of a minimum of thirty (30) semester-hours of credit. The thirty-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 must be completed prior to beginning the integrative courses, and may include as many as six additional courses for students with no business background.
Master of Business Administration
Admissions Process and Requirements of the Master of Business Administration
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 for the MBA program with a nonrefundable admissions application fee to the Graduate Center. Exceptions to this policy require the permissions of the Director of Graduate Studies, Dean of the School of Business, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
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 representatives 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:
- Official CSU Application Form, including essay (either submitted online or by mail or fax).
- Appropriate application fee
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) detailing professional experience
- 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.)
- Two letters of recommendation as described below.
- Additional documentation for International Students, as listed below under “International Applicants”
- 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 MBA Program 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 begins. 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
The ideal student will recognize business and management 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, religious, 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:
- Strong professional work experience, as reflected in a resume, C.V. (curriculum vitae), or other documentation.
- 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 shown that they can marshal 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.
- Application essay. This essay on the application form describes the applicant’s interest in attending CSU’s MBA Program, their plans for the future, and how the MBA from CSU will help them achieve those goals. It will be evaluated both with respect to motivations and mastery of communication skills.
- 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 MBA Admissions. 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.
- 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 of CSU’s MBA program. 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.
- Interview – After a preliminary review of the application, the Admissions Committee may request an evaluative admission interview for some candidates. This interview with the MBA Program Director 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 the MBA Program and two other graduate business faculty members who will serve staggered one-year terms. Under the guidance of the Director of the MBA Program, the committee will be involved in the decision-making process for MBA Program applicants. In consultation with the Graduate Center, 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 for graduate study in business is granted in the following categories:
Regular Admission requires that the student has met all of the requirements for admission to the MBA Program as listed in the section on Application Procedures.
A student seeking the MBA 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 Enrollment Services Office prior to pre-registration 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 MBA-level courses during the provisional period. Students admitted under Provisional Admission will not be eligible for financial aid.
Non-Degree 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 of the MBA Program. A student may take a maximum of nine graduate hours in the MBA program under the non-degree admission status. Financial aid is not available to non-degree students.
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 Office of Enrollment Services 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.
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 the MBA degree at Charleston Southern University. Approval of the Director of the MBA Program 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 the MBA 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. 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 of the MBA Program 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 institutions only under special circumstances.
Students must take at least two of the following quantitative courses among their first five MBA-level courses: BUSI 522, 552, 625, 630 and 635. Students who fail to take two of these quantitative courses among their first five cannot proceed further in the MBA program.
Under no circumstances may any student take more than three regular MBA-level courses (9 hours) unless or until they have completed all requirements for regular admission, including all pre-requisites. This includes regular admission students, non-degree students, or any other enrollment status.
Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 for graduation from the MBA 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 MBA program, and will be required to meet with the Director of the MBA Program 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 will be required to meet with the Director of the MBA Program 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 MBA courses shall be expelled from the MBA program. An expelled student may not be considered for readmission to the program for any term within one year after the date of expulsion. 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 MBA 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.
All students must apply for graduation in the Office of the Registrar. Those students who have applied for graduation will be registered for BUSI 699, the MBA Exit Assessment, a non-credit course related to program assessment. Refer to the Academic Calendar for deadline dates.
All credits for the MBA degree, both local and transfer, must not be more than six (6) years old at the time the MBA degree is awarded.