SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Dean D. Guthrie
Vice Deans S. Kang, P.W. Wirtz
Associate Deans R. Achrol (Interim), I.G. Bajeux-Besnainou, L. Riddle
First organized as the School of Government in 1928, the School of Business has been responsible for more than 80 years for the professional development of individuals assuming leadership roles in society. The School has eight departments—Accountancy, Decision Sciences, Finance, Information Systems and Technology Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, and Strategic Management and Public Policy. The use of a multidisciplinary approach in educational programming helps prepare both the generalist and specialist for professional careers in today’s complex, organizational society.
The School of Business is a member of AACSB International–The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration and accounting are accredited by the Association.
Vision—To be a preeminent business school recognized for scholarly research, teaching excellence, and innovative curricula focused on the responsible management of organizations in the global environment.
Mission—To deliver an outstanding education, advance knowledge, and provide practical experience in diverse organizational settings, leveraging the unique advantages of our location in the Washington, D.C., area, in order to enhance the capacities of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the business community to be productive and principled members of society.
Values—Integrity: demanding transparency, accountability, and ethical behavior; leadership: encouraging problem solving, commitment, and entrepreneurship; scholarship: emphasizing discovery, learning, and innovation; service: responding to the needs of students, academic professions, and the community; relationships: fostering communication, collaboration, and collegiality.
Students from Other Schools Within the University—Degree candidates from other schools of the University cannot register for more than 12 hours of credit from the Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Finance, or Master of Business Administration degree programs.
The Master’s Degrees
To be considered for admission, applicants must present a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Admission to master’s programs is highly competitive. Previous academic history, performance on the applicable entrance examination, letters of recommendation, motivation and aptitude to do graduate-level work, and professional experience are all taken into consideration.
Applicants for admission to programs leading to the Master of Business Administration, Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Finance, and Master of Tourism Administration must submit scores on the Graduate Management Admission Test or the Graduate Record Examination. Test scores that are more than five years old are not accepted for admissions review.
Additional Requirements for International Students—Students who are not citizens of countries where English is the official language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English– Academic (PTE).(Specified possible exemptions from this policy can be found at graduate.admissions.gwu.edu/english-language-requirements.)
The Master of Science in Finance program requires a minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL, an overall band score of 6.0 on the IELTS with no individual band score below 5.0, or a score of 53 on the PTE. All other School of Business graduate degree programs require a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based), or an overall band score of 7.0 on the IELTS with no individual band score below 6.0, or a score of 68 on the PTE. In some instances, an interview will be required of applicants.
Students with the following English language test scores are exempt from taking English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses: IELTS, overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0; TOEFL, 600 paper-based or 100 Internet-based; PTE, 68. In their first semester at GW, all non-exempted international students are required to register for an EAP course. The EAP course that is required is indicated in the student’s letter of admission. In the first EAP class meeting, the EAP Diagnostic Test is given to confirm the correct EAP placement. Students assigned EAP courses should anticipate additional tuition expenses as well as a possible extended period of time required to complete their degree program.
Transfer Within the School—Currently enrolled students wishing to transfer from one graduate degree program to another within the School must complete a new application for admission through the appropriate degree program office. Applicants for transfer are subject to requirements in effect at the time of transfer. In addition, students must submit all required credentials no later than the established completion dates for the term for which the transfer is requested. Students must be in good academic standing (3.0 grade-point average) for transfer consideration.
Readmission—A student who withdraws, is suspended, or is otherwise absent without authorization from the University for one semester or more must make formal application for readmission to the director of the student’s degree program and resubmit all supporting credentials including transcripts from previous schools attended, including George Washington University, and entrance examination scores. If readmitted, the student is subject to the rules and regulations in force at the time of return. If the student has attended one or more regionally accredited colleges or universities during absence from the University, complete official transcripts must accompany the application for readmission.
The application fee is waived for a student applying for readmission who was registered as a degree candidate at the time of last registration at the University and has not since registered at another college or university.
All students must complete the prescribed minimum number of credit hours of graduate course work. A maximum of 6 credit hours of graduate course work may be approved for transfer to the School of Business from enrollment at GW in nondegree status or from another degree-granting school of this University, or another regionally accredited college or university under the following conditions: The course work must be approved as part of the student’s program of studies; it must not have been applied to the completion of requirements for another degree, it must be at the graduate level, it must have been taken within the two years prior to acceptance into the program, and the student must have received a grade of B or better. A transcript and description of the course work must be on file before the petition can be considered. Should advanced standing be granted, the credit will count but not the grade.
Master’s degrees are awarded by vote of the Faculty on completion of the required course work and completion of an acceptable thesis (if one is elected) in the chosen degree or field of concentration.
Although work counted toward a bachelor’s degree may not be counted toward a master’s degree, a student who has completed the equivalent of a Master of Accountancy or Master of Business Administration core prerequisite course with a grade of B or better as part of the bachelor’s degree program may request a waiver of that course at the master’s level. A grade of B or better is required to waive remaining core prerequisite courses on the basis of equivalent graduate-level courses completed at GW or another AACSB-accredited college or university prior to admission to the program. All courses presented for waiver consideration must have been taken within five years prior to the first semester of enrollment into the program. Students should contact their degree program director for specific waiver criteria and deadlines for requesting waivers.
A full-time student may register for a minimum of 9 to a maximum of 15 credit hours each semester and 6 credit hours each summer session (the maximum is 18 for full-time M.B.A. students). Excluding those enrolled in the Professional Master of Business Administration, a graduate student who is employed more than 20 hours a week may not take more than 9 credit hours each semester and 3 credit hours each summer session. All work for a master’s degree must be completed in five years.
Students who expect to continue studies for a doctoral degree after receiving the master’s degree should ask for assistance in planning their programs of study.
No credit is granted for work done in absentia or without formal instruction, except for supervised field experience, independent study, and the thesis, which may be completed in absentia with the permission of the department, designated faculty advisor, or committee concerned.
Independent Study Plan—A graduate student of demonstrated capacity, with a special interest in the subject matter of a course, may be permitted to undertake study under the personal direction of an instructor, in accordance with the rules of the appropriate department. Credit under this plan is limited to the specific credit hours normally allowed when a course is taken on a class basis. A petition outlining the student’s specific study plan must be submitted to the student’s degree program director prior to beginning any independent study. The student may petition to complete a maximum of two independent studies in two separate semesters.
The University’s general scholarship requirements, including information on grades and computing the grade-point average, appear under University Regulations in this Bulletin. A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 must be maintained and is required for award of a graduate degree. All graduate courses and undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit after matriculation as a degree candidate (except those audited or taken for the grade of CR) will be used in the calculation of the grade-point average.
Probation—A student whose grade-point average falls below 3.0 at any point after completing 9 credit hours will be placed on probation. This probation extends through the period in which the student next attempts up to 12 credit hours of work, including prescribed courses. A student’s program may be restricted by the program director if deemed necessary. During this period, the student’s performance will be monitored to determine suitability for continued study. A student who fails to raise the cumulative grade-point average to 3.0 or better during the period of probation will be suspended. Incomplete grades are not allowed during the probation period and are grounds for automatic suspension. A student who is subject to probation for a second time at any point during the program is automatically suspended.
Grade of F—A master’s degree candidate who receives a grade of F is required to present cause, for consideration by the director of the student’s degree program, as to why continued study should be permitted. Once a grade of F is earned in a core, required, or elective course, it remains a part of the student’s permanent record and is calculated into the grade-point average. A master’s degree candidate given the grade of F in a core or other required course, and permitted to continue in graduate studies, must repeat the course and achieve at least the grade of B. If the grade earned is below B, the student will be denied further registration as a degree candidate.
Suspension—A graduate student who does not meet the conditions of probation (see above) will be suspended. A student who is suspended or withdraws under these conditions may apply for readmission after the lapse of one semester. An outstanding Incomplete grade at the time of suspension will become an F. To be readmitted the student must submit evidence that indicates academic success if readmitted. A student so readmitted will continue on academic probation and must achieve a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 in the next 12 credit hours of graduate study. Should the student fail to achieve this minimum grade-point average, a second suspension will result and subsequent readmission will be denied.
Conditions under which the symbol I (Incomplete) may be assigned and changed are described under University Regulations. The symbol I must be changed by a date agreed on by the instructor and the student but no later than the last day of the examination period for the fall or spring semester immediately following the semester or summer session in which the symbol I is assigned. An Incomplete that is not changed within this period automatically becomes an IF. In cases of well-documented extenuating circumstances, an instructor and a student may jointly petition the director of the student’s degree program for additional time in which to complete the work of the course. Such petitions should be submitted within the same period. The symbol of I cannot be changed by re-registering for the course here or by taking its equivalent elsewhere, and remains on the student’s permanent record even after the course has been successfully completed.
Students contemplating doctoral study are strongly urged to include the thesis as an elective in their master’s program. The thesis subject should be selected as early as possible to permit effective integration with the course work.
The subject must be approved by the professor in charge of the student’s field. The thesis in its final form must have the approval of the professor in charge. All theses must be submitted electronically and meet the formatting and other requirements set forth on line at www.gwu.edu/~etds.
Payment of tuition for the thesis entitles the candidate, during the semesters in which registered for thesis seminar and/or thesis research, to the advice and direction of the member of the faculty under whom the thesis is to be written. In case a thesis is unfinished, additional time is granted. The student must, however, be enrolled continuously in the program. If the preparation of the thesis extends more than three semesters beyond the date registered for thesis research, the student must register for the entire required hours of thesis again and pay additional tuition.
Master of Accountancy
The Master of Accountancy program is designed to be flexible, allowing students to prepare for the fields of financial management, public accounting, and taxation. The program may be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis.
The program requires 30 to 37.5 credit hours, depending upon whether the student holds a B.Accy. or has similar academic preparation.
The 30-credit program requires 13.5 credits that may be waived on the basis of approved prior preparation with substitution of other course work in accountancy. The required but waivable courses are Accy 6104, 6105, 6301; MBAd 6233, 6234, 6242, and a statistics course. Elective requirements are 16.5 credits of graduate courses in the School of Business, which must include 7.5 credits in accountancy.
On the basis of approved prior preparation, the 37.5-credit program requires 16.5 credits that may be waived with substitution of approved graduate course work in the same field of study and 3 credits that may be waived without substitution (thereby bringing the minimum credit requirement to 34.5): required but waivable courses are Accy 6101, 6201, 6202, 6104, 6105, 6301; MBAd 6233, 6234, 6242, and a statistics course. Elective requirements are 19.5 credits of graduate courses in the School of Business, which must include 7.5 credits in accountancy.
Students who intend to take the C.P.A. examination should be aware that the course work required for admission to the examination varies from state to state. Students are advised to consult the Board of Accountancy for the state in which they plan to take the examination and choose electives that meet that state’s requirements.
Master of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration is designed to prepare business and community leaders with integrity for the global environment. M.B.A. students pursue careers in management and leadership positions in both the private and public sector. Students acquire a comprehensive foundation in the fundamentals of business, the global environment in which they will function, and the analytical tools for sound decision making. Students may apply to the Global M.B.A. program, the Professional M.B.A. program, or the World Executive M.B.A. program, depending on academic and professional background. International students who must maintain full-time status for student visa requirements may apply to the Global M.B.A. program or the accelerated cohort of the Professional M.B.A. program. Requirements for both the Global and Professional M.B.A. programs are described immediately below. See www.business.gwu.edu/emba for the World Executive M.B.A. program, which is briefly described under Special Programs at the end of this section.
Global Master of Business Administration
The Global M.B.A. is a full-time, 57-credit-hour program designed for individuals with a minimum of two years’ work experience who are planning to take a career break to dedicate to a comprehensive one-and-one-half to two-year period of study. During the first year of the program, students work in a cohort to complete a core curriculum divided into four modules that provides experience in the School’s core values of ethics, leadership, globalization, and teamwork.
The first module concentrates on these values with course work that includes corporate responsibility and sustainability, leadership and organizations, and global perspectives. The second and third modules emphasize tools for business analysis with course work that includes micro- and macroeconomics for the global economy, data analysis and decisions, financial and managerial accounting, and financial markets. The fourth module has a strong international focus, culminating with the international residency, in which students work with a company on a real-world overseas project. A representative from an international business briefs students about a specific problem in an overseas market, and students develop a case study detailing how they would resolve the issue. Students then travel to the host country, where they provide recommendations to company executives as part of a final presentation.
The second year of the program consists largely of electives and capstone courses. The capstone courses in entrepreneurship and business strategy have intramural case-based competitions that encourage students to draw on all the core knowledge they have acquired in the program. Students customize their studies by selecting elective course work in their particular areas of interest and by choosing their pace of study—the program can be completed in 16, 19, or 21 months.
Policies governing transfer credit, residence requirements, course waivers, and proficiency exams can be found at www.business.gwu.edu/gmba or by contacting the M.B.A. program office.
Professional Master of Business Administration
The Professional M.B.A. program is designed to provide the highest quality educational experience to students who currently hold professional positions. The curriculum incorporates consistent emphasis on application of concepts and analytical tools to current management problems. There is a focus on teamwork and communication skills in team projects with an emphasis on real-world private- and public-sector issues.
The program closely mirrors the Global M.B.A. described above, except that students in the Professional M.B.A. are not required to complete the International Residency component, thereby reducing required credit hours to 52.5 instead of 57. However, Professional M.B.A. students wishing to participate in a short-term study program abroad may do so as part of their elective course work.
The program has two delivery options:
Accelerated cohort schedule—The accelerated cohort is designed for employed, mid-level managers with at least two years of professional experience who seek an intense graduate education. In addition to the general entrance requirements, a personal interview is required of candidates for the accelerated cohort. The accelerated format includes one residency prior to the first semester, followed by an intense schedule of core and integrative courses taking place one evening per week and Saturdays. The core is completed in four consecutive semesters (including summer) as a cohort class. Students are then free to select elective course work for the next two semesters to complete degree requirements.
Flexible schedule—The flexible delivery option is designed for fully employed, mid-level managers with at least two years of experience who seek a flexible, self-paced graduate education while continuing to work full time. Accepted students may begin the program in the fall or spring semester and register for one or more courses each semester, as appropriate, to complete their degree requirements. Students have up to five years to complete their program on a self-paced schedule.
Policies governing transfer credit, residence requirements, course waivers, and proficiency exams can be found at www.business.gwu.edu/pmba or by contacting the M.B.A. program office.
Master of Science in Finance
The Master of Science in Finance degree is designed to prepare students with specific career interests in the areas of financial management and research. The program of study emphasizes the theoretical foundations of finance and quantitative methods in financial management. Students will be engaged in applied research and modeling using a variety of data sets and computer software packages. The curriculum provides in-depth study of the international and federal government regulatory dimensions of finance.
The Master of Science in Finance program requires 48 credit hours of course work consisting of Fina 6271 through 6282 (6 credit hours each in calculus and economics and 3 credit hours each in financial accounting, managerial finance, and statistics are prerequisite).
The degree program is designed to be completed in either 12 months of intensive study including a summer session or 24 months of regular study including two summer sessions. Students with very strong backgrounds in a particular subject area can petition to waive up to 8 credits of required courses to be replaced by electives as approved by the program director.
Master of Science in Information Systems Technology
The Master of Science in Information Systems Technology is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of management information systems and information technology. The Executive Master’s in Information Systems Technology is offered on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus.
Applicants with deficiencies in preparation may be required to take prescribed foundation courses before beginning course work in the program. Although scores are not required, applicants who have not previously demonstrated strong academic performance in a related field should submit GRE or GMAT examination scores as additional evidence of their capability to perform competitively at the graduate level.
The program consists of 33 credits of graduate course work. Students must take eight core courses and three electives in their chosen area of specialization. All students take the M.S.I.S.T. core of ISTM 6201 through 6207 and 6210. Those who select a management specialization choose electives from ISTM 6221 through 6225; for a technical specialization, electives are chosen from ISTM 6211 through 6215; for a general or customized specialization, electives are chosen from ISTM 6211 through 6225.
Master of Science in Project Management
The Master of Science in Project Management degree program is designed for professionals who want to enhance their ability to motivate people, integrate complex projects, and achieve cost-effective results. The curriculum focuses on traditional and modern techniques of managing projects in areas that range from new product development to mergers and acquisitions. The degree program is offered both on campus and by distance learning.
The program consists of 36 credit hours of graduate course work. The required courses are DnSc 6202, 6247– 6269, and two electives (6 credits) approved by the advisor.
Master of Tourism Administration
The Master of Tourism Administration degree program is designed to prepare students for career entry or mid-level management positions in public, commercial, or nonprofit organizations providing visitor services at the local, national, or international level. Students have opportunities to learn from culturally diverse colleagues and from a wide range of visitor-service organizations, as well as from the classroom. Students may choose one of the four formal concentration areas below or may develop an individualized studies program. The degree program is offered both on campus and (excluding hospitality management) by distance learning.
The program consists of 36 credit hours of course work consisting of three core courses (TStd 6249, 6251, 6270), courses in the field of concentration as outlined below, electives, and two capstone courses (either TStd 6283 and 6297 or TStd 6998 and 6999).
Sustainable tourism management: TStd 6250, 6260, 6261, 6262, 6263.
Event and meeting management: TStd 6276, 6277, 6278, 6279.
Sport management: TStd 6264, 6265, 6266, 6267.
Hospitality management: TStd 6220, 6221, 6278, 6296.
Individualized studies: The student designs a plan of study and provides a brief justification specifying the courses to be taken, and submits it by petition through the faculty advisor.
The Committee on Doctoral Studies administers and supervises the Doctor of Philosophy in the field of business administration.
The minimum admission requirement is a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, although most applicants have completed a master’s degree in an appropriate field. Applicants whose degrees are in fields other than their proposed area of focus are expected to obtain the necessary background either before or soon after admission to the program. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Admission Test are required; scores may not be more than five years old. Students from countries where English is not the official language and non-native English speakers are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Exceptions may be made for applicants who hold a degree from a university located in a country in which English is the official language and also the language of instruction at the university. Minimum acceptable scores for TOEFL are 600 or above (paper exam) or 100 or above (Internet exam); for IELTS, an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0. The Doctoral Committee does not use specific cutoff points for grade averages and test scores. It carefully reviews each applicant’s entire record and makes its selection on a competitive basis in keeping with enrollment limitations.
The doctoral program consists of two major parts: the pre-dissertation stage and the dissertation stage. The pre-dissertation stage is based on an individual study plan developed by the student under the guidance of a committee of at least three faculty advisors. All students, regardless of their specific interests, must include in their study plan two doctoral-level courses in statistics, as well as doctoral-level courses in philosophical foundations of administrative research, organization theory, and research methods. A qualifying examination covering the content of these five doctoral-level courses is administered at the end of the first year, and a research paper is required during the summer after the first year. The objective of the dissertation stage is to have the student apply the obtained theoretical and practical knowledge and analytical methods to the resolution of a research problem. The research should be original and is expected to result in a contribution, either applied or theoretical, to the existing body of knowledge.
All course work, other educational activities, and required comprehensive evaluations must be completed within five years of matriculation. The total program must be finished in seven years, although extensions may be granted in unusual circumstances.
For more detailed information on the program and its administration, see the Handbook on the Doctoral Program, available in the Doctoral Program Office.
World Executive Master of Business Administration
The World Executive Master of Business Administration program is designed for accomplished managers and professionals to enhance their organizational effectiveness. The program has a general management focus, with a strong emphasis on leadership, global and local environments, and mastery of key business functions. The World Executive Master of Business Administration is completed in 16 months. The 52.5-credit program includes core courses, integrative topical courses, electives, residencies, consulting practicums, and a leadership coaching component. See www.business.gwu.edu/emba.
Healthcare Master of Business Administration
The Healthcare Master of Business Administration is designed for working professionals who wish to expand their knowledge of business through an M.B.A. program with a specialization in health care administration. Structured as a part of the Professional Master of Business Administration, the 52.5-credit-hour program is delivered online, with courses in 7-week modules, and can be completed in two years. The core curriculum is the same as that of the Global and Professional M.B.A., building a solid foundation of business ethics, leadership and organizations, and global perspectives and an understanding of finance, accounting, key human resource management principles, and strategy. The Healthcare M.B.A. consists of 23 core business courses and 12 elective courses specific to health care. See www.mbahc.info for more information.
Executive Master of Science in Information Systems Technology
The Executive Master of Science in Information Systems Technology is a 36-credit multidisciplinary program for high-potential, mid-level managers and senior executives. The curriculum focuses on the role of information systems and behavioral and decision sciences in problem solving and decision making. The program is designed to meet the needs of individuals from a variety of professional and educational backgrounds; applicants generally are expected to have a minimum of seven years of professional experience. The program enrolls one cohort per year, with a fixed sequence of courses during a 15-month period. Classes meet on alternating Fridays and Saturdays. The faculty consists of a core of full-time professors, augmented by recognized leaders in particular disciplines and distinguished guest lecturers from government and industry. Courses in this program are listed in the 6400 series under Information Systems and Technology Management.
Master of Science in Government Contracts
The Master of Science in Government Contracts program is designed to give working professionals the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the world of federal acquisition and is intended for professionals from a variety of acquisition-related jobs in both government and private industry. The program blends the study of government procurement law and policy, taught by the GW Law School, with a core business curriculum taught by the School of Business. The M.S.G.C. program can be completed in 24 months in evening or online classes. The 36-credit program includes core business courses, core government contract law courses, government contract electives, and a research and writing capstone course. See www.business.gwu.edu/msgc.
Joint Degree Programs
Students may work concurrently toward both the Juris Doctor degree in the GW Law School and the Master of Business Administration in the School of Business. In consultation with their faculty advisors, students in these programs may transfer up to 14 credits of Law School course work to their M.B.A. program and 12 credits of School of Business course work to fulfill requirements for the J.D. Students must be admitted separately both to the Law School and to the School of Business and must meet all requirements in each degree program prior to receiving either diploma. It is possible for a student to complete work for both degree programs within four years.
In addition, a joint degree program is offered with the Elliott School of International Affairs. The joint Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts is available to students who plan a focus on international business. As part of this program, each School accepts up to 12 credit hours of course work from the other school in fulfillment of its degree requirements. Students must be admitted separately both to the School of Business and to the Elliott School of International Affairs and must meet all requirements for each program prior to receiving either diploma.
Within the School of Business, students may elect a joint Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Information Systems Technology, or Master of Science in Project Management. Students must be admitted simultaneously to both degree programs to be eligible for the joint degree.
School of Business Post-Master’s Graduate Certificate
The School of Business Post-Master’s Graduate Certificate is designed to provide School of Business master’s degree alumni an opportunity to build upon their previous graduate study to keep pace with today’s business climate. Participants may undertake a 12-credit program of study in an existing School of Business field or from a series of specially designed program offerings. Further information is available from the Office of the Dean.