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Columbia College of Missouri

Graduate Programs

Graduate Course Catalog


Program Description
Course Descriptions


Program Description

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) offers a balance of theory and practice. The mission of the MBA program is to prepare working adults in the early stages of their careers in small or middle-sized organizations with the knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics that will enhance their performance in their present occupation, and to prepare them for advancement to upper-level management in the future.

A principal strategy for achievement of this overall goal is to employ a balanced educational approach that includes a rich mixture of business theory and practice. The MBA program complements management development activities which, in combination, prepare working adults for advancement within an organization. To this end, the MBA program enhances career opportunities in the management of business firms or other formally organized enterprises. Therefore, the program centers on a Professional Approach which balances business theory with practice in the search for knowledge, skills, and methodologies that are useful in formulating strategies for the future in an uncertain and often turbulent business environment.


Serving the needs of working adults with graduate studies in business is a guiding principle in the MBA program. To this end, admission to the MBA program rests heavily upon the extent to which the applicant has had the opportunity for work-related experience that would complement further study in business at the graduate level. Applicants who have recently completed undergraduate studies are encouraged first to enter the world of work and then later to seek admission to the MBA program after obtaining a larger experiential base, unless there is a compelling reason to waive this fundamental requirement for admittance.

Applicants who have successfully completed graduate admission procedures required by Columbia College listed on page 8 will be evaluated by the Department of Business Administration for acceptance into the MBA program. The MBA program is open to all who are qualified and show promise for success in graduate study.

Students who have not completed a baccalaureate degree in business administration must complete with a grade of B or higher the following concept courses (or their equivalent) before being considered for admission to the MBA program:

ACCT 280 Accounting I (Financial) 3
ACCT 281 Accounting II (Managerial) 3
FINC 350 Business Finance 3
MKTG 310 Principles of Marketing 3
MGMT 330 Principles of Management 3

The following factors are considered in the admission process:

  1. A baccalaureate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above from a regionally-accredited institution, as represented by official transcripts from the degree-granting institution.
  2. The potential of the student to achieve academic and career goals by enrolling in the MBA program. This factor requires evaluation of the narrative component of the application and three letters of reference/recommendation forms attesting to the ability of the student to complete the MBA program.

Conditional Admission

Students not meeting the standard admission requirements may be approved for "conditional admission," at the discretion of the Department Chair, based on appropriate work experience. Students must earn a grade of B or higher in each of the first two courses for which they are enrolled in order to be fully admitted.

Program Requirements

The degree requirements include common core courses and integrate foundation courses for a minimum of 36 semester hours. The foundation courses must be among the first 18 hours of course work in the MBA program.

Required Graduate Foundation Courses (12 hours)
BUSI 508 Managerial Mathematics 3
BUSI 510 Managerial Economics 3
BUSI 562 Managerial Accounting 3
BUSI 570 Managerial Finance 3
Required Graduate Core Courses (24 hours)
BUSI 502 Information Systems for 3
BUSI 504   Business Communication 3
Theory and Practice
BUSI 506   Legal and Ethical Environment 3
for Business
BUSI 522    Organizational Theory and 3
BUSI 526   Human Resource Management 3
and Theory
BUSI 528  International Marketing 3
BUSI 544 Marketing Strategy 3
BUSI 595  Strategic Management 3
(Capstone Course*)
Minimum Total Sememster Hours


 *The capstone course is to be taken during the last two sessions of enrollment in the MBA program. Students must earn a B or higher in this course in order to graduate.


Competent performance as a manager requires both context and judgment. As a result, assessment will rely less on purely knowledge-based experiences, and more on the studentís ability to prepare for and master various "roles" and situations that competent professionals encounter in their work. The goal in assessment is to use methods that replicate authentic challenges and conditions rather than isolated drills or tests. Use of the case method and discussion learning is a primary component of courses in the MBA program.

Skilled managers recognize that judgment in adapting knowledge to the situation at hand is, perhaps, more important than the acquisition of knowledge alone. Therefore, students will be challenged to perform or execute tasks or processes using a knowledge base effectively and in a novel or creative way. The process adapts to changing environmental situationsómuch like those that are dealt with on a day-to-day basis in the course of managing a formal organization. The assessment process not only provides the opportunity to evaluate the completion of performance tasks but also measures skills and personal characteristics that are essential for managers and to foster further learning.

Projects and assignments other than tests will be emphasized. The process requires the student, under time constraints, to present his or her case clearly, concisely, and persuasively, a skill that is invaluable to effective managers. The principal product of the MBA program will be a graduate who has learned how to think strategically and critically and is able to present his or her thoughts orally or in writing in a competent manner. The relevant measure becomes the studentís capacity to apply critical thinking and analytical skills in whatever occupation is chosen.

The most critical element of the assessment process occurs as part of the studentís culminating experience. Both product and process components that form key outcomes or performance tasks must be completed satisfactorily as part of the culminating experience (BUSI 595: Strategic Management). The evaluative process emphasizes satisfactory ratings on a minimum of two course examinations and a final comprehensive examination, as well as on preparation of a learning portfolio.

The portfolio is the central product for demonstrating the learning that has occurred from graduate study in the MBA program at Columbia College. The portfolio includes sections devoted to accounting and finance, management, and marketing. Case work from BUSI 595 affords the opportunity for students to demonstrate competency in each area. With the approval and guidance of the instructor, the student may also experience a real-world analysis and presentation of material specific to the studentís place of employment. Each component of the portfolio is measured against standards developed by faculty in the specific teaching areas (accounting and finance, management, and marketing) and these standards are included in the course syllabus. Students refer to their study of Strategic Management and case analysis as the process for developing the portfolio and demonstrating their level of critical thinking, judgment, analytical skill, and the ability to communicate in writing and/or orally.

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Course Descriptions
BUSI 502 Information Systems for Management

3 hours

Examination of the value and uses of information systems for business operations, management decision-making, and strategic advantage. Discussions and applications focus on spreadsheet software and its usefulness as a managerial aid.

BUSI 504 Business Communication Theory and Practice

3 hours

This course is designed to strengthen studentsí written and oral presentation skills. Topics include proposal writing, resume preparation, interviewing, public speaking and listening. Discussions focus on processes of self-criticism, feedback from others and rewriting and rehearsing.

BUSI 506 Legal and Ethical Environment for Business

3 hours

Examination of topics in the area of law, regulatory controls, and ethical issues. Topics include contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code, agency agreements, partnerships, corporations, and product liability. Discussions focus on the implications of these legal situations in management.

BUSI 508 Managerial Mathematics

3 hours

Examination of quantitative skills useful to managers. Discussions focus on selected algebra topics, descriptive statistics and probability. (Knowledge of College Algebra and Excel or another computer spreadsheet applications is important.)

BUSI 510 Managerial Economics

3 hours

Examination of the impact of the economic environment on business decision-making. Discus-sions focus on macro- and microeconomic topics with particular emphasis on marginal analysis and supply and demand considerations.

BUSI 522 Organizational Theory and Practice

3 hours

Examination of modern concepts of effective management. Discussions focus on foundations, theories, models, and literature for designing effective organizational relationships. Cross-listed as MSCJ 522.

BUSI 526 Human Resource Management and Theory

3 hours

Examination of the organizational human resource function and contemporary techniques for managing human resources. Discussions focus on workforce diversity, managing change, staffing, training and development, compensation and benefits, EEO and other human resource and labor legislation, and labor relations. Cross-listed as MSCJ 526.

BUSI 528 International Marketing

3 hours

Examination of global issues and concepts relevant to all international marketers, regardless of the extent of their international involvement. Topics include cultural environment, competition, changing marketing structures, ethics and social responsibility, collaborative relationships, and the development of marketing for the 21st century. Emphasis is on the strategic implications of competition in different country markets. This course provides an approach and framework for identifying and analyzing the important cultural and environmental uniqueness of any nation or global region. In addition issues specific to exporting are discussed. Prerequisite: BUSI 544.

BUSI 544 Marketing Strategy

3 hours

Examination of the marketing function through case analysis to successfully integrate the elements of the marketing mix. Topics include segmentation methods, models of consumer behavior, branding and life cycle concepts, channels of distribution, promotion, planning, evaluation and control, pricing and forecasting of marketing results. Discussions focus on developing and managing a marketing plan.

BUSI 562 Managerial Accounting

3 hours

Examination of the process involved with development, interpretation and application of accounting information for managerial decision-making. Discussions focus on the use of financial information within organizations for the purpose of planning activities, controlling operations and making decisions.

BUSI 570 Managerial Finance

3 hours

Examination of the process of evaluating financial resources and planning and controlling activities within the firm. Discussions focus on ratio and funds flow analysis, financial forecasting, development and use of budgets for management and planning and control.

BUSI 595 Strategic Management

3 hours

Examination of the practice of strategic management leading to the formulation and implementation of strategies for each level of an organization. Case analysis is used extensively as a business simulation tool for development of skills in assessing the internal and external environment as a prelude to strategy selection. This course is required of all students as the culminating experience for the MBA program. Prerequisites: BUSI 544, completion of 30 semester hours in the MBA program.

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