2011-2012 Graduate Studies

Master of Business Administration


Paul C. Stumb, Ph.D., Dean

Mary Lewis Haley, DA

Beverly A. Swisshelm, Ph.D.

Max Melnikov, DA

Eric A. Landis, DBA

Russ Cheatham, Ph.D.

Wendi Dalby, Ed.D.

Ron D. Ford, DBA

H. Lee Martin, Ph.D.

Gil Sanes, MD, MBA

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is offered by the University in keeping with ’s to provide opportunities for advanced study in fields appropriate to the needs of the community. The program primarily seeks to provide individuals who have earned an accredited baccalaureate degree in any field with an opportunity to acquire advanced business expertise while continuing to work full-time during the period of enrollment. The program of study was instituted in 1995 and the first graduates of the program were awarded the MBA degree at the May, 1997 Commencement Exercises.

Enrollment in the MBA Program is subject to acceptance. A qualified student may begin studies in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. A student can complete the program by attending as few as three semesters in any sequence. A student’s matriculation must be completed within a maximum period of seven years.

MBA Program Vision

The vision of the Cumberland University MBA Program is to contribute to the enhancement of organizational leadership in the Middle Tennessee area and beyond by graduating persons with advanced business decision making skills and heightened sense of ethics.

MBA Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Cumberland University MBA program is to equip qualified adult learners with an enhanced set of skills and knowledge that can be deployed in the successful management of a business and/or technology related enterprise. The MBA curriculum is designed to afford students the opportunity to work both independently and in teams, to hone both analytical and communication skills, and to assimilate and deepen their understanding of the following core elements of an advanced business education: Marketing, Management, Finance, Managerial Accounting, and Strategic Leadership. This mission is achieved by using a blend of traditional classroom learning experiences, online eLearning experiences, and extra-classroom assignments.

MBA Program Learning Goals

Faculty members are committed to help persons accepted into the MBA Program at Cumberland University to meet four learning goals:

  1. To demonstrate advanced business and economics knowledge and high ethical awareness;
  2. To demonstrate advanced decision making skills;
  3. To demonstrate advanced competence in gathering and analyzing organizational information from internal and external sources using technology and literature;
  4. To demonstrate advanced competence in the synthesis, evaluation and communication of information.

While the core curriculum for the MBA program (as defined by the nine core courses) is designed to achieve these four learning goals, students may additionally opt to pursue one of three specialty tracks. These are as follows:

Track 1: Entrepreneurship

This track is designed for the student who desires to start, manage, own, or run a small business. Emphasis is placed on the creation of business plans, debt and equity financing alternatives, and the importance of sales and marketing.

Track 2: Education Leadership

This track is designed for students who desire to pursue a career in the business aspects of education – e.g. academic administrators, school superintendents, principals, etc. This program draws heavily from the Cumberland University Master of Arts in Education (MAE) Program.

Track 3: Services

This program is focused on the service sector of the economy – including but not limited to: banking, insurance, retail, entertainment, hospitality, sports management, health care, etc.

The pursuit of any one of these optional tracks is made in consultation with a student’s academic advisor and is based upon the selection of the three elective courses most appropriate to the selected track and a student’s individual interests and abilities.

Application Regulations

The rules and regulations found elsewhere in this Catalog and in the Cumberland University Student Handbook apply to MBA students. These regulations include, but are not limited to, admissions, registration, schedule changes, withdrawal from class and/or the University, graduation participation, grade-point average, release of information, student services, class availability, use of English, class attendance/preparation, grade reports, enrollment, certification/verification, change of name/address, and academic misconduct.

Application Requirements

Cumberland University makes no distinction in its admission, policies or procedures on grounds of age, sex, religion, race, national origin, or physical handicap.

A person may be admitted into on a provisional basis using “QUICK ADMIT” but take no more than six semester hours of MBA courses by providing each of the following items:

  1. A completed application form;
  2. A $50 application fee;
  3. An official transcript from the accredited institution which granted the student a baccalaureate degree.

The provisional admission of a person to take a limited number of courses is offered to provide the person time to complete all requirements for acceptance by the MBA faculty into the MBA Program. Such acceptance is necessary in order to continue studies beyond the initial six hours.

A person may be accepted into the MBA Program to pursue the Master of Business Administration degree by providing each of the following items:

  1. A completed application form:
  2. A $50 application fee;
  3. An official transcript from the accredited institution which granted the student a baccalaureate degree in a business related discipline. (Note: Additional requirements for students who do not hold a baccalaureate degree in a business related discipline are outlined below);
  4. An acceptable score by the student on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test);
  5. An acceptable cumulative undergraduate grade point average [either all four years or the last two (junior, senior) years] earned by the student;
  6. Three recommendations, one of which is from the student’s own employment supervisor;
  7. Official transcripts from all other higher education institutions where the student earned course credit, if any;
  8. An interview with the MBA Director.

The accepted student will have an undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) which is high enough when multiplied by 200 and the result is combined with the student’s GMAT score and interview score that it will total at least 1000. Thus, minimum acceptance is:

UGPA X 200 + GMAT + Interview Score 1000 (1)

IF a student has already taken the GRE at the time of admissions, then the test will be accepted.

Formula 1 is modified for the GRE by inserting the mean of the student’s verbal and quantitative GRE scores in place of the GMAT score. Thus:

UGPA X 200 + (GRE verb. + quan./2)

+ Interview Score = 1000 (2)

A maximum of 50 points are possible for an interview with the Director.

Policy for Admission of MBA Program Applicants Without Undergraduate Business Degree

Because Cumberland University and the Labry School of Business and Technology (LSOBT) believe that certain students who have not earned an accredited baccalaureate degree in business or a business-related discipline can still be very successful in an MBA program, the following guidelines for admission have been developed:

If the applicant has at least 10 years of relevant and meaningful professional business experience (as determined by the graduate faculty in the LSoBT), then only the standard formula for admission (i.e., 1000 point minimum) and associated requirements apply.

All other MBA Program applicants will be required to take the undergraduate ETS Major Field Test and to earn a minimum score of 135. This may be completed while the applicant is in a “Provisional” status (i.e., during the first two courses) but before full acceptance is awarded.

Any applicants who are not able to earn the minimum score of 135 on the MFT will be required to complete the following alternatives:

  1. Take and pass the CLEP exams for College Algebra and at least 4 of the following 6 CLEP exams:

    1. Principles of Microeconomics

    2. Principles of Marketing

    3. Principles of Accounting

    4. Introduction to Business Law

    5. Principles of Management

    6. Information Systems & Computer Applications

  2. Enroll and take the following undergraduate courses from Cumberland University or another accredited institution:

    1. Microeconomics

    2. Principles of Management

    3. Principles of Accounting I & II

    4. Principles of Marketing

  3. Enroll and successfully complete the new CU MBA Bootcamp course, a 15 week course specifically designed to rapidly introduce key business concepts to non-business degree holders. The CU MBA Bootcamp course (MBA 5053) will be offered in a traditional classroom format each summer during the months of May-August or in a self-paced online format that can be completed anytime. This course will not count toward the 36 credit hours required to earn an MBA, but will be offered for those provisionally admitted students who choose to take it as a means to qualify for full admission to the MBA program.

Once accepted into the MBA Program, the student may continue to register for courses to complete the degree requirements unless poor performance intervenes.

Degree Requirements

The number of semester hours required for the MBA degree is 36 semester hours or 12 three hour courses, for each of the core and elective classes has three semester hours of credit. All courses are scheduled for eight weeks, one evening per week for four hours and/or offered on-line. Of the 12 courses required for graduation, nine are required core courses. The other three are electives. There are two sets of course sessions during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Courses are held on the , campus in one of the “wireless” Labry Hall classrooms or on-line as hybrid classes, i.e., partially on-line. All MBA courses typically have some on-line components.

Transfer of Course Credit into the MBA Program

No more than six semester hours of course credit can be transferred for graduation credit into the MBA Program. A transferred course must be a graduate-level course and have been earned by the requesting student at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of B or better. The transferred course must be similar in content to a course offered in the Cumberland University MBA Program, and the transferred course can only be used as a replacement for the similar MBA course with the MBA Director’s approval. A minimum of 30 semester hours of Cumberland University MBA courses must be successfully completed at Cumberland University.

Degree Requirements

MBA Course Requirements

MBA 5211Managerial Economics


MBA 5550Principles and Theories of Leadership


MBA 5141Computer Information Systems


MBA 5316Project Management


MBA 5273Organizational Theory and Analysis


MBA 5292Business Policy & Executive Decisions


MBA 5121Managerial Accounting


MBA 5131Corporate Financial Analysis


MBA 5253Applied Statistics


MBA Course Electives

MBA 5254Techonomics


MBA 5321Health Care Management


MBA 5060Individual and Organizational Ethics


MBA 5080Research Design and Methods


MBA 5314Internet Marketing


MBA 5161Marketing Management


MBA 5325Managerial Planning and Leadership


MBA 5040Human Relations and Resource Issues


MBA 5311Customer Relationship Management


MBA 5262Service Management & Marketing


MBA 5980Special Topics


MAE MAE Electives

MAE Electives: As required for Track 2 (Education Leadership)

Thesis Option

A thesis option is also available. Students who wish to pursue this option will complete the nine required core MBA courses (27 hours) but will not be required to complete the 3 elective courses (9 hours). Instead these students will complete a minimum of 9 hours of thesis work. Each student thesis will be directed by a member of the full time MBA faculty and approved by a thesis committee, which consists of at least 3 appropriately credentialed faculty members.