Master of Business Administration, MBA

Dr. Jennifer Plantier , Program Director

The MBA is a 45-hour program open to qualified students with bachelor’s degrees, regardless of major. The objective of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is to prepare managers and leaders to manage successfully in a dynamic business environment. More specifically, the program provides advanced study in all functional areas of business: accounting, management information systems, economics, finance, marketing, and management. In addition, the program is designed to help students further develop and refine such important broad skills and abilities as analytical thinking, problem solving, computer applications, communications, and teamwork. Through lectures, papers, simulations, seminars, and case studies, the graduate student will enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills while solving real world managerial problems.

The MBA is a fully online program to provide students with needed flexibility in completing coursework.

Admission Criteria

Requirements for Full Admission

To receive full admission to the program, students must provide:

  1. An official score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) which, combined with a student’s undergraduate record, indicates the likelihood of success in the program. To be admitted to the program, the GMAT score plus 200 times the overall undergraduate GPA must equal or exceed 1,000. Note: All MBA applicants must submit an official GMAT score to the Office of Graduate Studies as part of the admission process. The GMAT must have been taken within the last five years prior to application. The GMAT may be waived for students with undergraduate business degrees from a 4-year institution and overall GPA of 3.2 and students who hold a Master’s Degree at the discretion of the program director.
  2. Official transcripts from all schools attended.
  3. A score of 4 or better on the essay portion of the GMAT or an essay which demonstrates the ability to write at the graduate level.
  4. A detailed resume.
  5. An interview (in person, online, or telephone) with the program director.

International Students

International students who wish to participate in the MBA program can take it fully online from their home country.

A student whose native language is not English must provide an official TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based exam, a 213 on the computer-based exam or a 79 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT). TOEFL scores must be sent directly from the testing agency. HSU school code: TOEFL- 6268

Residency Requirements

A maximum of 12 semester-hours of approved graduate work may be transferred into the MBA program provided the student did not complete the previous degree. A maximum of six semester hours may be transferred from a previously completed degree. These courses must have been taken within 10 years prior to the first enrolled semester at HSU.


Complete the following:

Foundational Courses

BSAD 6310Issues in Management and Marketing


BSAD 6311Business Reporting and Finance


ISCI 6320Advanced Business Analytics


BSAD 6330Legal and Ethical Issues in Business


ECON 6330Economic Analysis


BSAD 6310: waived for students with BBA

BSAD 6330: waived for students with BBA

ECON 6330: waived for students with BBA

Core Courses


ACCT 6311Managerial Accounting


BSAD 6322Quantitative Research Methods


ECON 6331Managerial Economics


FINA 6341Financial Management


MKTG 6364Marketing Strategy


BSAD 6357

Core Curriculum (33 Credits)

Non-Thesis Program

Core Curriculum (33 Credits)

Approved Electives (12 Credits)


Total Credit Hours:45

Thesis Program

Core Curriculum (33 Credits)

Thesis (6 Credits)

Approved Electives (6 Credits)

Total Credit Hours:45

For a student with an undergraduate degree in business, up to nine hours of foundational coursework may be waived: BSAD 6310, BSAD 6330, and ECON 6330. Some students without an undergraduate degree in business may have completed some business course work or have extensive experience in various areas of business. The program director may waive one or more foundational courses or substitute electives as deemed appropriate.

Graduation Requirements

A student is eligible for graduation from the MBA program when the student has achieved:

  1. Successful completion of all course work required for the program.
  2. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and no D, F, or WF.
  3. Successful completion of the comprehensive exam.
  4. Satisfaction of all other criteria for acceptable academic progress as defined in this catalog under Academic Policies.

Early Admission to Graduate Learning (EAGL)

Business students who are approaching the senior year of undergraduate work at Hardin Simmons University are encouraged to apply to the EAGL program. Admission requirements are the same as those for full admission to the MBA program, except that the cumulative GPA for all HSU coursework to date can substitute for the overall undergraduate GPA. Admitted students may take up to six hours of MBA coursework in their senior year to apply toward their business undergraduate degree. By completing the remaining MBA core curriculum, electives, and all other requirements of the MBA, the student may receive the master’s degree upon the completion of 36 hours of graduate hour work that includes up to 6 hours taken as an undergraduate. The graduate degree will be awarded upon completion of all requirements for that degree program.

Undergraduates in Graduate Courses

In accordance with the standards of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), courses in the MBA program must be normally reserved for graduate students admitted to the MBA Program. Exceptions will be made only under the following circumstances:

  1. The undergraduate has been admitted into the EAGL Program.
  2. The undergraduate is a senior with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2.
  3. There is some extenuating circumstance which justifies allowing the undergraduate to take a graduate course.

Enrollment in the graduate course must be explicitly approved on a case-by-case basis either by the director of the MBA program or by the dean of the Kelley College of Business.

Time of Course Offerings

MBA courses are offered fully online. Classes are offered in 8-week formats with few exceptions. The calendar of course offerings allows select students the possibility of completing their MBA in as few as 12 months. Contact the program director for additional information.

Comprehensive Exam

The Master of Business Administration’s comprehensive examination will require knowledge of specific information drawn from accounting, finance, management, and marketing, or a combination of these, as well as some knowledge of international business, the legal and regulatory environment of business, ethics and social responsibility in business, statistical analysis, and economics. The student must successfully complete this exam (scale of 220 to 300) with a minimum score at the 25th percentile. Students who score below the minimum score, will be required to pass a written and oral exam.


Students selecting the thesis program must prepare their theses in accordance with the guidelines of the Kelley College of Business and the Office of Graduate Studies. A committee composed of three graduate faculty members will supervise the thesis. After beginning the thesis, the student must be continuously enrolled (fall, spring, and one summer term) for either Thesis or Thesis Renewal until completion. Students selecting this option must have the thesis completed and approved by the Kelley College of Business committee approximately six weeks prior to graduation. The approval process includes an oral defense of the thesis. The thesis program requires a minimum of six hours of thesis. Note: A thesis processing fee is assessed.

Time Limit

The student must complete the Master of Business Administration in five years from the semester of first admission.