U.S.M. Graduate Business Programs


The Graduate Business Programs offers the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) as well as joint degrees in public health (MBA/Master of Public Health) and sport management (MBA/MSM). Other programs include cross-registration with other schools, cooperative programs, work-study, and joint research. The strongest areas of study and the most popular courses are in accounting, finance, and marketing. Regular programs bring distinguished speakers and visiting professors to campus, including the Boardman Speaker Series and the Business Advisory Council.

Thirty total credits are required to complete the MBA, including 9 elective credits. Required courses include:

  • Ethics * Problems in Marketing * Analytical Decision * Information Technology in Modern Organizations
  • Global Business Strategy
  • Managerial Finance
  • Communication Skills

Required courses for the MPA include:

  • Current Accounting Theory and Research
  • Advanced Auditing
  • Advanced Cost/Managerial Accounting
  • Tax Seminar I
  • Tax Seminar II
  • Communication Skills for Managers
  • Problems in Corporate Finance
  • Controllership

Students may eliminate or substitute requirements with courses that satisfy 500 level classwork.

Business students may take relevant nonbusiness courses in other departments. The minimum time permitted to complete the master’s degree program attending full time is 1 year; maximum, 2 years. For students attending part time, the minimum is 2 years; maximum, 6 years.

In a recent year, there were 27 total full-time graduate business faculty, of whom 96% held a doctorate; there was 1 part-time faculty member, who held a doctorate. Faculty salaries are rated well below average for Category I institutions, based on the AAUP rating system. Average number of courses faculty teach is 3; average business class size is 13.


A bachelor’s degree is required, along with a GPA of 2.75. The formula for using the GPA and GMAT scores is last 60 hours GPA x 200) + GMAT + work experience. Most important admissions factors are GMAT results, grades in upper-level courses, and difficulty of undergraduate major. A strong mathematics background is required.

The number of applicants for a recent class was 170; 114 were accepted; 91 enrolled. The average GPA was 3.33; average GMAT score was 504. Transfers are accepted. Minority students are actively recruited.

Students may begin the MBA program in the fall, spring, and summer. To apply, students must submit an application form, 2 transcripts, GMAT scores, a nonrefundable application fee of $25, 3 letters of recommendation, a cover letter, a resume, and a personal essay. Check with the school for current application deadlines. Students are notified within 6 weeks of completing the application of the admissions decision. The latest acceptable test date for fall entry is July 1. Once accepted, students may defer admission for up to 1 year.

Financial Aid

In a recent year, about 23% of graduate business school students received financial aid from scholarships, loans, and graduate assistantships, for a total maximum of $7626. The FFS and the school’s own financial statement are required. The application deadline is March 15 for fall entry.

Tuition for in-state residents is $255 per credit. Nonresidents pay $355 per credit. On-campus room and board costs approximately $6000; books and supplies, $1560; personal expenses, $4000. Graduate student housing consists of dormitory-style residence halls and married-student housing. Apartments and other facilities are available off campus. There is a referral service to help procure off-campus housing.


Thirty-six percent of a recent graduate business school class were enrolled full time; 81% had full-time work experience prior to entering graduate school. The greatest percentage of students were from Mississippi (84%). Thirty-four percent were women, 18% were minorities, and 5% were foreign nationals. The average age at entrance was 30; ages ranged from 19 to 50. Nineteen percent enter ed directly from undergraduate school; 3% already had a graduate degree. Students’ undergraduate majors were as follows: 62%, business; 12%, math and science; 10%, engineering; 8%, social sciences; and 4%, liberal arts. About 12% of entering students leave by the end of the first year due to academic or personal reasons; 88% remain to receive their degree. In a recent year, 62 graduate business degrees were awarded.

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