University of Portland Bulletin 2015-2016

Master of Business Administration, M.B.A.

Degree Outcomes

The M.B.A. curriculum focuses on contemporary leadership by challenging graduate students to think cross-functionally about a variety of large and small business issues. To operationalize these objectives, the basic structure of our M.B.A. program consists of the following components:

  • A prerequisite class in statistical and quantitative analysis.
  • Values perspective courses introducing students to issues of leadership, sustainability, understanding cultural differences and developing multicultural skills, and the role of business in society.
  • Core courses exploring the application of analytic tools in economic analysis, marketing, finance, operations and technology management, and accounting to identify and solve contemporary business problems.
  • A concentration component allowing students to specialize in an area of interest in entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations and technology management, strategy, or sustainability. Students may also choose to design their own concentration by selecting courses from more than one field.
  • A capstone course providing a final integration of the themes covered in the M.B.A. program with an emphasis on the strategic role played by top management in integrating corporate policies.

Learning Goals and Objectives for Master of Business Administration Graduates

Students who successfully complete all requirements for a Master of Business Administration should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad core of business knowledge and be able to integrate and apply this knowledge to business situations requiring interdisciplinary and global perspectives. M.B.A. graduates will be able to demonstrate competency in the underlying concepts, theory and tools taught in the core curriculum of our M.B.A. program. They will be able to use their knowledge of different business disciplines to identify, analyze, and recommend solutions to complex business problems requiring interdisciplinary and global perspectives.
  2. Demonstrate analytical and critical thinking skills needed by middle and upper-level managers. M.B.A. graduates will acquire the analytical and critical thinking skills to identify, analyze, and evaluate alternatives solutions to business problems. They will develop the skills needed to craft and implement strategic and tactical plans. M.B.A. graduates will be able to articulate and defend their analysis solutions to a business audience.
  3. Demonstrate research skills necessary to study business problems and evaluate the impact of managerial actions. M.B.A. graduates will be proficient in data collection using surveys, electronic databases, the World Wide Web, library, and other sources. They will be adept at creating and interpreting statistical and financial tables and appropriately presenting facts, analysis, and conclusions.
  4. Demonstrate interpersonal skills needed to be effective managers and leaders. M.B.A. graduates will be skilled at leadership, team building, interpersonal influence, and the management of change. M.B.A. graduates will be able to communicate and work effectively with others in work settings involving cultural and demographic diversity.
  5. Evaluate the ethical and societal implications of managerial decisions. M.B.A. graduates will be able to identify the important ethical dilemmas facing business enterprises, analyze them from multiple ethical and stakeholder perspectives, and recommend appropriate resolutions to those dilemmas. They will be able to identify and evaluate the economic, social, and environmental tradeoffs resulting from business decisions.

Admission Requirements

M.B.A. applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university recognized by the University of Portland. Current admissions standards are a score of 500 on the GMAT and a G.P.A. of 3.00. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) can be accepted in place of the GMAT exam. The minimum GRE score must be equivalent to earning 500 on the GMAT using the comparison tool. The GMAT/GRE requirement can be waived if an applicant has significant and relevant work experience (a minimum of three to five years); has successfully completed 12 hours of coursework at an AACSB accredited graduate business program with a cumulative G.P.A of 3.0 or higher; has a business-related graduate degree from an accredited program; or has taken six hours of graduate business courses at the University of Portland as a non-matriculated student and earns a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. or higher. Admission to the M.B.A. program is based on the entire application including two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of goals, not merely quantitative factors. It is strongly recommended that applicants have two to three years of professional experience after their bachelor’s degree to fully benefit from the program. Application requirements may be subject to change.

Applicants whose native language is not English or who did not complete their degree at a university or college in the United States must achieve a minimum score of on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of 88 iBT (internet-based test) or 570 (paper-based) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 7.0.  See the M.B.A. program director for specific requirements.

Jesuit Transfer Agreement

The University of Portland is a participant in an educational consortium with more than twenty other faith-based and AACSB-accredited institutions. This program allows M.B.A. students exceptional flexibility if their education is affected in such a way as to require a move to another geographic location.

Under this agreement, students who have completed at least 50 percent of their credits at the University of Portland may attend another AACSB-accredited M.B.A. program at one of the participating schools involved in this consortium and transfer units back to the University of Portland to complete their degree. If a student has less than 50 percent of the credits required to award an M.B.A. degree, they may apply to a participating school and transfer the credits already earned at the University of Portland to that university. Under this agreement, the student transferring out of the University of Portland is required to meet all application and admission criteria of the receiving school and will, in turn, earn their degree from that school. For further details please see the M.B.A. program director.  

Honors Pledge

The faculty of the Pamplin School of Business Administration encourages students to acknowledge the ethical component of teaching and learning that is an essential factor in fulfilling the University’s mission in the classroom. Students are asked to reflect upon the core value of academic integrity and make this an integral part of their work at the University. Students are asked to sign an honors pledge and attach it to all submitted course work to affirm the integrity of their scholarship to all concerned. 

Prerequisite Course and Waiver Exam

All students must take the prerequisite course BUS 500 (Statistics) or pass a statistics waiver exam in one of the first two semesters in the program. A student passing this exam will have the BUS 500 class waived from their course requirements and will have a 36 hour program. (See the M.B.A. program director for details on the statistics waiver exam.) Please note: students are expected to have some familiarity with statistics and a basic proficiency with Excel applications before entering the BUS 500 class. Students are also expected to attend a statistics workshop before the program begins.

Values Perspective

The values perspective courses are designed to provide a common set of managerial experiences that foster thinking across functional disciplines. The courses provide a framework for considering ethics, sustainability, social responsibility, diversity and multiculturalism, and the changing role of managers. 

Core Classes

Students complete core courses in five discipline areas. If the basic course is waived then a more advanced course must be completed to fulfill the requirement of five core classes.

The core courses are designed to provide students with the quantitative and qualitative tools used in business problem solving. Students take economic analysis, marketing, finance, operations and technology management, and accounting. The emphasis in these courses is on applying analytic tools and concepts to emerging issues in business practices.

Students may be waived from one or more of the basic core courses if they have completed comparable courses from an AACSB-accredited school with a grade of B or better within eight years of acceptance to the M.B.A. program. Where appropriate, work experience directly related to the core course will be taken into account. These waivers must be approved by the M.B.A. program director. If a waiver is approved, students will substitute an advanced course in that discipline from a list of eligible courses. If a student has coursework from a non-AACSB accredited school, it will be further reviewed for acceptability by the M.B.A. program director. 


Students may select a concentration from one of six areas: entrepreneurship and innovation management, finance, marketing, operations and technology management, strategy, and sustainability. Alternatively, students who do not want to focus in one particular area may select courses from two or more fields. Many students find that a specialized concentration helps in marketing their degree to prospective employers. Others find that selecting courses from different fields gives them a broader foundation for management. Students choosing not to concentrate in one area may select any four elective courses. 

Capstone Class

The M.B.A. program closes with the capstone strategy course (BUS 580) taken in the student’s last semester. This course brings together the skills learned within the program through a final interdisciplinary look at problem solving strategies and solutions. 

International Component

All M.B.A students are required to take an international-experience course before they graduate. The courses with the international experience will be identified prior to the beginning of each academic year. The international experience will focus on a course-related project that will require a week-long trip to a foreign destination. The international course can be used to fulfill a values course in the M.B.A program. Additional travel fees will be collected at the beginning of the course.

Degree Requirements

The M.B.A. program consists of 36-39 hours of course work: a 3 credit hour prerequisite in statistics (if necessary), 6 credit hours of values perspective courses, 15 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of electives, and a 3 credit hour capstone class.

Prerequisite—3 hours

BUS 500Statistical and Quantitative Analysis


Values Perspective— 6 hours

Choose 2 of the 5 courses below:

BUS 508/ENV 501Innovation for Sustainability


BUS 510Economics and Metrics for Sustainability


BUS 511Cross-Cultural Management


BUS 512Leadership and Higher Level Management


BUS 513Social Responsibility in Organizations


Core Courses — 15 hours

BUS 501Economic Analysis


BUS 505Introduction to Operations & Technology Management


BUS 506Principles of Accounting


BUS 520Applied Marketing Strategies


BUS 530Corporate Finance


BUS 501: if waived based on completion of microeconomics and macroeconomics, students can substitute any business elective.

BUS 505: if waived based on completion of three OTM courses including operations management, students may substitute any OTM elective.

BUS 506: if waived based on completion of managerial and financial accounting, students may substitute BUS 560 or 568; students who are CPAs may substitute any business elective.

BUS 520: if waived based on completion of three marketing courses, students may substitute any marketing elective.

BUS 530: if waived based on completion of three finance courses, students may substitute any finance elective.

Capstone Component — 3 hours

BUS 580Strategic Issues and Applications in Management