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Graduate Business Options

Looking at graduate programs in business can be confusing as there are myriad choices. Options range from programs designed for students who have just completed their undergraduate programs to those for professionals interested in enhancing their career. Depending on your educational background, professional experiences, and the industry you are working in, it is important to do your research to see if this investment is necessary.

Masters in Accounting (MAcc)

If you are interested in becoming a CPA, you will need to complete a MAcc program. For admission, programs typically require 3-5 classes and either the GRE or GMAT. For the University of Michigan MAcc program, students need: Principles of Financial Accounting (ACC 300); Principles of Managerial Accounting (ACC 301); Intermediate Financial Accounting (ACC 312) ; Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 101); and Statistics (STATS 250).  

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree provides a graduate education in core business areas, including accounting, finance, marketing, and management. For most programs, previous experience and the potential to succeed in a career path are key elements of the admission process. As a result, many candidates who apply to MBA programs have substantial professional experience. The GMAT will be integral in selecting appropriate schools. For admission it is important to explain why you need an MBA and why this year is the key time for matriculation. When considering an MBA, you should check target schools for specific academic, co-curricular, and professional admission requirements.

Masters in Public Administration (MPA)

A Masters in Public Administration (MPA), sometimes thought of as a “public sector” MBA, develops the leadership and management skills of students while doing so through the lens of public service. An MPA will focus on development of ethics and efficiency from a leadership standpoint to create leaders who can manage policy development and implementation of those policies. Courses can include economics , management of government agencies and non-profits, budgeting, planning, etc. Typically the MPA is a mid-career degree, where students often times have five or more years of work experience. Generally the MPA is a one-year degree program if done full-time.

Masters in Public Policy (MPP)

A Masters in Public Policy (MPP) degree prepares students to develop policy across a broad spectrum of subject areas. Core courses in an MPP program include economics, statistics, political analysis, ethics, and public management. These basic policy courses are often paired with elective courses in law, business, education, and urban planning. A student with an MPP can work on a myriad of issues after graduation, ranging from social policy, international trade, education, and national security, to human rights, politics, and more. Many MPP programs require students  to participate in a policy-relevant internship in the summer between their first and second year of study. MPP programs are typically two year programs and students typically have several years of work experience prior to matriculation, though this is not an absolute rule.

Masters in Sport Management

A Masters in Sport Management degree can be useful if you wish to work in the business of sport and manage elements of the sport enterprise. Typically students in such a program take courses in the areas of finance, corporate strategy, marketing, organizational behavior and human resources, legal aspects of sport, and economics of sport, to name a few. Each of these topics is covered from a traditional business standpoint while also applying the subject matter to the world of sports. Many students in these programs go directly from their undergraduate work, but some students may have previous work experience in any of the above course areas. When considering a Masters in Sport Management, it is key to research a target school’s connections to the sport world via alumni, career services, internship options, etc. Many programs can be completed in one full academic year.

Other Options

Depending upon your educational background, professional experience, and ambitions, there are numerous other business degrees on offer. These vary from giving recent graduates business coursework to programs designed for advancement within a specific business industry. The potential professional value of these degrees varies and it is important to research what jobs might be available to graduates of potential programs.

Options include: There are a variety of one year programs designed to add business coursework to a liberal arts undergraduate degree. Depending upon your own individual background, this type of program may not be necessary for entry into your chosen business field.

Industry-specific options include Masters in Management, Masters in Supply Chain, Masters in Entrepreneurship, Masters of Science in Finance, etc. Choosing between these programs depends upon your longer-term interests, target schools, and desire to work within a specific subfield of business. The entry requirements for these programs vary, but typically include the GMAT and directly-related professional experience. For the options available on the University of Michigan’s campus, have a look at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.