Jun 17, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Hans A. Nielsen College of Business

Dr. David Palmer, Dean of the Hans A. Nielsen College of Business
Dr. Maxwell Rollins, Director of Graduate Programs, Hans A. Nielsen College of Business
Anne King, Executive Assistant to the Hans A. Nielsen College of Business


Dr. Heather Chadwick, Mr. Mark A. Crawford, Dr. Darin Gerdes, Dr. T. Christopher Holdorf,  Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr., Dr. Kenneth LeVan, Dr. Kyeungrae Oh, Dr. David Palmer, Dr. Mark Rieman, Dr. Maxwell Rollins,  Dr. Rachel Smith, Dr. Mela Wyeth, Dr. Jeffrey Yost

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

The College of Business offers the Master of Business Administration with emphases in General Management, Supply Chain Management, and Healthcare Management,  Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and the Master of Science in Human Resource Management.


Charleston Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  Charleston Southern University has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), located in Olathe, Kansas.  The business programs in the following degrees are accredited by the IACBE:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Mission Statement

The mission of the Hans A. Nielsen College 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  (30) semester hours of credit.  The capstone must be completed as three of the last six credit hours. 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 that are required as prerequisites must be completed prior to beginning the appropriate 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.

CSU’s graduate business programs require students to be able to reflect on their learning. The MBA and the MA in Organizational Leadership programs require students to present independent and group projects and papers, reflective essays and journals, discussions with citation of supporting resources, and papers and other assignments that review the relevant business and organizational leadership literature.

The graduate programs in the Hans A. Nielsen College of Business require students to successfully complete a comprehensive assessment exam and a capstone course. This process requires students to demonstrate knowledge of the literature and the ability to interpret data and synthesize results in a meaningful context relative to the business discipline.

Click here for the program requirements for the MBA:  Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in General Management, Healthcare Management, or Supply Chain Managment (30 hours)  

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership consists of a minimum of thirty (30) semester-hours of credit.

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. 

Click here for the program requirements for the MA Curriculum: Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (30 hours)  

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

The Master of Science in Human Resource Management consists of a minimum of thirty (30) semester-hours of credit.


The Master of Science in Human Resource Management (HRM) provides current and aspiring HRM practitioners with the theoretical and practical tools necessary to practice effectively in the field and to prepare for HRM professional certification testing. The program was created with working professionals in mind offering course online and in the evening.


The student will be able to do the following:

  • Understand the nature of the HRM function in organizations.
  • Recognize the interplay between HRM and strategic management in a diverse, increasingly global environment.
  • Apply concepts to professional practice, being equipped with the tools necessary to execute HRM tasks and to assess one’s own HRM abilities.
  • Demonstrate the skills (including writing skills) necessary to create and apply standard HRM practices through academic papers, projects, and presentations.
  • Acquire most of the core HRM body of knowledge that will aid students pursuing initial HR professional certification.

Click here for the program requirements for the MS in HRM: Master of Science in Human Resource Management (30 hours)  

Certificate program

The Hans A. Nielsen College of Business offers a certificate in Personal Financial Counseling Certificate (15 hours)  .

Admissions Process and Requirements of the Master of Business Administration, MA in Org. Leadership and MS in Human Resource Management 

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 to the Office of Enrollment Services. Exceptions to this policy require the permissions of the Director of Enrollment Services, Hans A. Nielsen College of Business programs, Dean of the Hans A. Nielsen College 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 as soon as possible, to allow the Graduate Recruitment Associate to begin processing the file. After the application has been received, a Graduate Recruitment Associate 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. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) detailing professional experience
  3. 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.)
  4. Two letters of recommendation as described below.
  5. Additional documentation for International Students, as listed under International Students’ General Admission Requirements.
  6. 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 under International Students’ General Admission Requirements.

  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 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. 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 recruitment associates 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.  

Conditional Admission

Students who are granted conditional admission must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 in the first 15 graduate hours (five courses) attempted.  A student who earns a grade of “F” during this conditional admission period shall be expelled.  An expelled student may not be considered for readmission to the program.  A student who earns a grade of “C” during this conditional admission period shall be suspended if their GPA falls to or below a 3.0. Suspended students will be required to sit out a major semester and reapply for admission before being allowed to return to Charleston Southern University. Students who have been suspended will remain on probation until they graduate.

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) submit complete application including essay and (2) 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.

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 Hans A. Nielsen College 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 or MS programs. If you are accepted to the MA or MS programs, your previous graduate transcript will be evaluated to determine which, if any, courses will transfer from the MBA program. Pass/Fail courses may not be transferred into the program.

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 Hans A. Nielsen College 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.

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.

Hans A. Nielsen College of Business Graduate Students:

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. 

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 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 their advisor 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 College 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 BUSI 699 - MBA Exit Assessment BUSI 697 - HRM Exit Assessment  or BUSI 698 - M.A. in Organizational Leadership Exit Assessment .  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.

Second Master’s Degree Requirements

Students who have earned one master degree from a regionally accredited university in business and would like to earn a second degree must take 24 new hours. The Director of Graduate Programs in the Hans A. Nielsen College of Business will determine which course(s) to accept (up to six hours) towards the second master’s degree.