MBA and MA in Communication Joint Degree

The Palumbo-Donahue School of Business MBA/MA in Communication prepares you with the managerial acumen to become an effective communicator in the workplace. Administered with the Graduate School of Liberal Arts, you will uniquely position yourself for a leadership career. 

A combined 72 credits for these two degrees (30 credits for the MA in Communication and 42 credits for the MBA) is reduced to 60 credits through credit-sharing.

How to Apply


Students may begin their study in either the School of Business or the Graduate School of Liberal Arts. However, students must apply and be accepted to both programs of study. The GMAT or GRE is required for application to the School of Business (unless waived).

Tuition Information


Student will pay the tuition rate of whichever program they were accepted into first.

 

Program Type

Dual Degree

Degree

Master's

Required Credit Hours

60

MA in Communication

3 credit hours

Provides students with a variety of practical projects including written and oral components that will prepare them for professional communication. Included will be exercises in preparing brochures, annual reports, articles, public relations documents, technical reports, and business correspondence, and related presentations. 
Lecture, Online. Offered fall only.
3 credit hours

Examines how human beings persuade and are persuaded by one another, particularly in the marketplace. The course introduces students to social scientific and rhetorical approaches to everyday persuasion. 
Hybrid Course, Lecture, Online. Offered fall only.
3 credit hours

Examines the theory and practice of organizational communication in the context of ethical leadership and advocacy. 
Lecture. Offered fall and summer.
3 credit hours

Prepares students to interpret and design qualitative and quantitative research in the field of communication. Attention is given to experimental design, surveys/questionnaires, and qualitative methods of research within the context of asking and answering questions about communication processes and preparing research reports. Course may include design of a study and interpretation of results. 
Hybrid Course, Lecture, Online. Offered irregularly.
3 credit hours

Provides an applied understanding of communication ethics. The course brings ethical discussion to the workplace and to professional life while providing a philosophical foundation for understanding the history and significance of civility for public life. 
Hybrid Course, Lecture, Online. Offered spring and summer.
6 credit hours fulfilled through MBA Courses

MBA - Master of Business Administration

1.5 credit hours

This course provides graduate business students with an introduction to fundamentals of accounting for corporations.  Topics will include the accounting cycle, an introduction to the basic financial statements of a corporation and determinations of corporate profitability and solvency.
1.5 credit hours

The course is a prerequisite for ECON 520 and covers introductory topics in both microeconomics and macroeconomics.
1.5 credit hours

Financial Management is about decisions firms make in two broad areas: the investments it makes and how it pays for them. The first involves expenditures for physical capital, human capital, technological capability, brand capital, and so forth. The second involves raising money in financial markets. In business decision making, the objective is to maximize shareholder wealth. Why the emphasis on shareholders? Among stakeholders generally (i.e., customers, employees, suppliers, government, communities, etc.), shareholders alone possess a uniquely comprehensive and long-term view of the firm’s viability as an ongoing enterprise.  This perspective arises from the residual nature of shareholders’ claim to earnings and assets.  Wealth is created when the return from investing business resources exceeds their opportunity cost. 
FINC 501 Finance Fundamentals provides an introduction to fundamental topics which are prerequisite for FINC 530 Financial Management:
• Financial Statements and Ratio Analysis
• Financial Statement Forecasting
• Time Value of Money

PR: ACCT 501
1.5 credit hours

This course provides the necessary foundation in probability and statistics necessary for students looking to go on to study the application of statistics to business. In this course, students will learn the rules of probability, how to identify and use common probability distributions, and how to conduct basic hypothesis tests.
3 credit hours

In this course, students will learn how to apply statistical methods of inference, produce and interpret statistics that attempt to answer typical business questions, and use probability theory and statistical methods to draw conclusions. Students are required to arrive having a working understanding of basic probability and statistics up through and including hypothesis testing. This course places heavy emphasis on the application of statistical techniques to business problems and the interpretation of results for a non-technical audience.
PR: STAT 501
1.5 credit hours

The primary responsibility of all managers is to make decisions in situations in which there are multiple competing objectives. This course introduces students to a set of tools that can be applied to scenarios in a variety of business environments. Specifically, this set of tools will include data summarization, data visualization, optimization methods, Monte Carlo simulation, multi-criteria decision analysis, and decision trees. Subsequent courses in the program will utilize these analytical methods within their specific decision environments.
PR or CONCURRENT: STAT 501
1.5 credit hours

The primary responsibility of all managers is to make decisions in situations in which there are multiple competing objectives. This course introduces students to a set of tools that can be applied to scenarios in a variety of business environments. Specifically, this set of tools will include data summarization, data visualization, optimization methods, Monte Carlo simulation, multi-criteria decision analysis, and decision trees. Subsequent courses in the program will utilize these analytical methods within their specific decision environments.
PR or CONCURRENT: STAT 501
3 credit hours

This course provides graduate business students with a deeper understanding of the accounting cycle used in companies to produce both internal and external financial information.  Special emphasis is placed throughout the course on understanding, analyzing and interpreting financial statements and related information.  Additionally, students will be introduced to decision making tools such as ratio analysis and challenged to utilize them to critically evaluate financial information and make effective decisions.  The basics of corporate sustainability reporting will also be covered.  Prerequisite: Online Accounting Module to be completed prior to ACCT 715; material to be tested in ACCT 715.
3 credit hours

The course covers selected topics in microeconomics. It emphasizes the integration of microeconomic theories and tools from a managerial perspective. The applied aspect of the course comes from analyzing case studies and studying empirical evidence of the theories. Topics include both traditional topics in microeconomics (quantitative demand analysis, elasticities, production and costs, market structures and profit maximization), in addition to advanced topics (game theory and pricing strategies).   CO or PR: STAT 510
1.5 credit hours

The purpose of this course is to provide business professionals with the knowledge needed to manage and utilize information systems and technology within a business organization.  As information systems have become critical to the success of modern business organizations, knowledge of information systems has become a key success factor for all business professionals within the organization. This course provides comprehensive and integrative coverage of essential new technologies, information system applications, and their impact on business models.  Moreover, this course emphasizes the conceptualization of information systems as structured technology configurations working collectively to serve the information needs of an organization.
1.5 credit hours

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the business process that has evolved from the integration of the traditional business disciplines of forecasting, demand planning, materials planning, purchasing, production, operations management, transportation, inventory management, warehousing, packaging, materials handling, customer service, and related information systems.  SCM focuses on efficient and effective customer satisfaction from the exchange of goods, services and information to complete the business transaction from supplier’s supplier to customer’s customer. This course provides insight into the goals and best practices of each business discipline included in the SCM process, and how these disciplines integrate to ensure a competitive advantage and corporate success.  Students will assess industry specific differences in managing the flow of materials, goods, services, information and cash via the processes, technologies, and facilities that link primary suppliers through to ultimate customers for both service and product industries.
3 credit hours

Financial Management is about decisions firms make in two broad areas: the investments it makes and how it pays for them. The first involves expenditures for physical capital, human capital, technological capability, brand capital, and so forth. The second involves raising money in financial markets. In business decision making, the objective is to maximize shareholder wealth. Why the emphasis on shareholders? Among stakeholders generally (i.e., customers, employees, suppliers, government, communities, etc.), shareholders alone possess a uniquely comprehensive and long-term view of the firm’s viability as an ongoing enterprise.  This perspective arises from the residual nature of shareholders’ claim to earnings and assets.  Wealth is created when the return from investing business resources exceeds their opportunity cost. 
FINC 530 Financial Management provides an advanced discussion of the analytical techniques used to assess the impact of business decisions on shareholder value.  The course covers these topics:
• Valuation—stocks, bonds, corporate valuation
• Interest rates and financial markets
• Investment decision making (capital budgeting analysis)
• Risk, return and the opportunity cost of capital
• Market efficiency
• Capital structure

PR: FINC 501, ACCT 515, STAT 510, GRBU 503
PR or CONCURRENT: ECON 520
1.5 credit hours

This course is designed to develop the legal literacy of MBA students by raising their conscious awareness of potential legal problems or challenges as they discharge their professional responsibilities. Because business decisions have legal implications, it is important that managers understand the legal environment in which they must function. In fact the significance of the law is so great it has been suggested that modern organizations are immersed in a “sea of law.”

As a part of an integrated professional MBA program students will come to understand how law affects all aspects of business. This is not a stand alone legal course. In this course we will bring a legal sensitivity to the financial, managerial, organizational and strategic dimensions of business. The larger goal of this course is to develop a legally astute manager. Although we tend to think of the law as the exclusive province of lawyers, the reality is that law is too important a matter to be entrusted to lawyers alone. To do so is in effect an abdication of the business professional’s responsibilities. The legally astute manager understands that success in business requires, among other things, the development of critical thinking skills. There is no better context in which to develop those skills than in the study of business law. Critical thinking skills honed in the study of law provide a foundation for business professionals who must navigate across a wide range of disciplines in order to achieve business success. Toward that end, MBA students will examine substantive concepts relative to such matters as contract formation, risk management, intellectual property, environmental management, employee relations and corporate form and governance.

As we live in a time in which the law, business and society nexus is so significant, it would be foolhardy to underestimate the importance of legal education in shaping our business leaders.
1.5 credit hours

This course teaches graduate students essential qualitative decision-making skills for analyzing business issues with an ethical dimension.  Conflicting and complementary conceptions of the ethical decision making model are presented that demonstrate how to critically reason through ethical dilemmas in business across all business functions.  These rational processes will enable students to effectively recognize, evaluate and resolve ethical conflicts.  Throughout the seminar, the analytical frameworks will be applied to common ethical challenges to businesses.  The purpose is for students completing this module to be able to identify which ethical framework is most appropriate for addressing a given real world issue and ultimately be able to apply that framework to facilitate responsible decision making.  Thus, the course begins with a detailed description and application of each ethical decision making framework to ensure students understand how and in what contexts these tools are utilized.  Then, attention is paid to the various individual, organizational, and institutional factors that affect ethical misconduct in the workplace.  Personal cognitive influences, common intra-organizational pressures, regulatory factors, and market forces are discussed in terms of how they moderate ethical behavior in business.  Once students learn the sources of ethical indiscretions in organizations, methods for constructing and manipulating organizational environments to increase the likelihood of ethical behavior among the firm’s stakeholders are offered.
3 credit hours

This course examines the role of marketing in creating exchanges that satisfy consumer and organizational objectives thereby creating value for the firm.  The course focuses on formulating and evaluating marketing strategies.  Students learn how marketing mix decisions – product, place, promotion and price – are made as part of a cohesive strategy.  Contemporary concepts and theories will be presented with a focus on analytical and financial models that will assist marketing managers in making better decisions.  Emerging perspectives on strategic sustainability, marketing management and the impact of digital media are also emphasized.
PR: ECON 501
1.5 credit hours

Strategic sustainability advances students’ managerial skills for identifying, researching, evaluating and communicating innovative opportunities involving the efficient and effective management of financial, social, and environmental resources.
 
Building on our commitment to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), this course experience serves as a foundation for strategic sustainability, models and tools across the curriculum. 

Students work individually, and in teams to frame problems, research and develop training seminars, and manage resources for assigned topics.  The focus is inspiring innovation, and creating competitive advantage – both short and long term – for organizations.  Deliverables include presentations of mini training seminars to peer, analytical life cycle assessment along with participation in class discussions while applying critical thinking to identify productivity gains, cost savings, revenue increases, and profit growth when implementing sustainable business practices. 

The course is taught as a seminar where sharing learning, best practices and sustainability knowledge across teams and individuals enables all to gain insight to emerging issues beyond the scope of a single entity. Students work within an integrated curriculum to analyze internal/external situations, drivers and risks; to identify problems and opportunities; to evaluate return on investment from alternative courses of action; and to value both short- and long-term prosperity.  Students independently learn about, apply, and reflect on proven models and methodologies while honing their skills as a researcher, analyst, writer, and speaker. 
PR: GRBU 503
1.5 credit hours

This course helps students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to interact and manage effectively in a global business environment.  Students will be exposed to international aspects of organizational behavior, human resource management, labor relations, corporate strategy, political risk and ethical issues.  Overall, this course is designed to raise students' international business acumen as well as their cultural intelligence.  While business is an increasingly global proposition, cultural differences impact everything from how employees are hired to how they are led to how business strategies are formed. 
3 credit hours

This is a dynamic course that provides an overview of executive leadership and opportunities to interact with senior managers.  The course draws on the collective experience and wisdom of distinguished business leaders who visit the class to provide students with executive perspectives on the challenges associated with thinking entrepreneurially, strategic leadership, developing a vision and motivating organizational change.  Students use a variety of conceptual frameworks in leadership and related areas to assess and evaluate these “executive insights” (e.g., via papers and projects) with an eye toward developing their own leadership skills, particularly their ability to seize opportunities and create effective solutions for the contemporary challenges facing business leaders.
3 credit hours

This course addresses the process of planning and implementing business strategies. In order to develop a future direction for an organization, this class builds on the formulation of a company’s mission, industry analysis, an organization’s internal assessment, innovation, and strategic planning. This course emphasizes corporate governance, sustainability, and ethics in strategic management.
3 credit hours

The second half of our integrative capstone sequence, the Capstone Project involves students teams working with a real company client to develop  a set of strategic recommendations for advancing the business.   In this course, students will assess the firm’s strategic context and diagnose its internal operations as well as its products and/or services as they relate to customer needs.  In doing so, students will experience what it is like to make high-stakes and impactful recommendations to top management under time pressure and with high expectations for quality and analysis.  Final deliverables for each team include a detailed report that lays out specific action steps and metrics (e.g., for productivity gains, cost savings, increased revenues/profit growth) as well as a sophisticated presentation to company management that highlights the team’s analysis and recommendations.  
PR or CO MGMT 540
*These courses may be waived based on previous coursework.