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New MBA Prgram

In an effort to help women create powerful professional careers in business, the department of economics is hosting a new five-year Bachelor/Master program in business administration this fall.

Mills is the first women’s college in the United States to offer a Master’s degree in business administration, a program that will help students acquire the necessary skills to manage employees in the workforce, said junior Amber Norton, an economics major and student in the master’s program.

Women are currently underrepresented in business schools, and generally make up one-third of a school’s student body, said Professor of Economics Nancy Thornborrow.

Usually, after a student finishes undergraduate work, he or she is required to have two years of professional experience, before applying to a two-year master’s degree program at a business school. However when students, especially female students, reach the point where they have to get professional experience, some may never apply to business school because of factors such as marriage or children, said Thornborrow.

“With our program, a woman can earn two degrees [a bachelor’s degree in four years and master’s degree in one year] in five years,” said Thornborrow.

“This new program will give very solid MBA training, but with very little investment of the student’s time,” said Associate Professor of Economics Roger Sparks.

According to the undergraduate course catalog, undergraduate students majoring in economics or another field are eligible to participate in the program. Transfer students and majors in other fields must declare their intent to be in the master’s program two years before earning their bachelor’s degree.

All students, regardless of undergraduate major, must complete five prerequisites in the areas of General Economics (Econ 100&101), Accounting (Econ 73&115), Quantitative Methods for Business (Econ 81&164), Managerial Financial Analysis (Econ 136) and Corporate Finance (Econ 116), before the fifth year. In the area of General Economics a student will learn about microeconomics and macroeconomics. The Quantitative Methods area involves learning statistics and Managerial Financial Analysis involves the application of economic analysis to real-world managerial decision-making.

In addition to the prerequisite courses, students are expected to complete a summer internship between the fourth and fifth years of the program, according to the Mills web site.

During the fifth year, students in the program will have the opportunity to take five core courses, as well as five elective courses. Some examples of core courses are Ethics, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and Human Resources Management. For electives, students will have the choice of courses like Women and Business, Organizational Theory, Legal Aspects of Business and Global Management, noted the Mills Web site.

According to Norton, the program will help make its students marketable after the fifth year.

“This program is going to be good for the advancement of women in the workplace,” said Norton. “I hope to be a CEO someday!”

“We hope that the program will arouse a lot of success”, said Sparks. “We have a good group of students in the program already.”

Thornborrow said there are 12 graduate students in the program this year. All of them earned their bachelors degrees at Mills.

“It’s terrific,” said Thornborrow. “The students seem enthusiastic.”

However, in the future, Thornborrow hopes to have the masters program branch out so that it will include students from other colleges.

Students interested in pursuing the masters program in business administration can obtain applications for the program are from the graduate Office of Admission in Mills Hall. Applications are due February 1.