Students interested in the business aspects of communication or the media can greatly enhance their career opportunities by earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Normally it would take at least two years after the undergraduate degree to earn an MBA, but with diligence and careful planning this can be achieved earlier. This page explains how students can, in a five-year period, satisfy the requirements for both the bachelor's degree in any one of the majors or tracks in the Department of Communication and Media and the MBA degree.
In a four-year period that includes one summer session, a student can accomplish the following:
- Satisfy the General Education (GE) and the major course requirements.
- Use free electives to satisfy the prerequisites (MBA foundation courses) for entry into the MBA program.
- Meet the upper division and 120-credit graduation requirements.
- As a senior, take two MBA courses for graduate credit.
You begin taking the MBA foundation courses during the first semester of your sophomore year. During your last undergraduate semester, you submit your application package for admission into the MBA program. The student can then spend one more summer plus the fifth year taking the remainder of the MBA courses.
COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA MAJORS (B.A. DEGREE)
The Department of Communication and Media has several undergraduate majors and specialized tracks from which to choose in combination with work towards the MBA degree:
- Communication (Organizational, Public, or Interpersonal/Intercultural)
- Digital Media Programming and Management
- Digital Media Production
- Public Relations
For more details about any of these majors, see the appropriate page and major plan below, also available in the Department of Communication and Media.
To apply for any major in Communication and Media, a student must have earned 30 undergraduate credits. Public Relations and Radio/Television Production majors also must have at least a 2.5 GPA. An internship is required for journalism majors and strongly recommended for all others. Please see the appropriate major brochure or check the department website for more information.
ADMISSION INTO THE MBA PROGRAM
Students will complete the foundation business courses and start taking some MBA courses prior to getting the bachelor's degree. A student's formal application to the MBA part of the program takes place upon completion of the bachelor's degree. Students must submit their completed application package and supporting documents, including the recommendation letters and essay, to the School of Business for admission review during their last semester of undergraduate studies.
These students will be guaranteed admission into the MBA program if they meet the admission requirements listed below; the MBA courses taken before earning their Bachelor of Arts degree (and which are not counted toward the undergraduate degree) will apply to the MBA program.
- An undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 or higher (4.0 basis)
- Entering MBA students must have competency in basic computer, quantitative, and oral and written communication skills. Students who need to acquire these skills will be advised to take additional credit or noncredit courses to obtain them. Credits taken to obtain basic skills will not be applied toward the MBA degree.
- The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is now required for admission to the MBA program.
Students should be cognizant of prerequisite requirements for all courses; they may not register for courses when the prerequisite requirements have not been met. Students should meet with their advisors regularly throughout their academic program to help them carefully plan their sequence of courses.
MBA Academic Program Requirements
To qualify for the MBA degree, the student must complete at least 36 credit hours of graduate level courses. Candidates with a Bachelor of Arts degree who have successfully completed the MBA prerequisite courses with a grade of "B" or better will receive waivers of these foundation courses. MBA degree requirements must be completed within seven years of acceptance into the MBA program, with a cumulative average of no less than 3.0 ( and with no more than two grades below a B-). All MBA courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher for progression in the program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q. Who can benefit from this program?
A. Any student interested in the business aspects of media (including journalism) or who wants to enhance their communication/theory skills with business skills.
Q. Does this program apply to any major in Communication and Media?
A. Yes. You can major in Communication (public, interpersonal/intercultural, organizational), Public Relations, Journalism, or Media (Media Management or Radio/Television Production).
Q. When should I begin this program?
A. In your freshman year you can start taking foundation courses in your major (for example, "Media and Society" or "Introduction to Communication"), and, if you qualify, you can declare after earning 30 credits (see major brochure or website for more details). The first semester of your sophomore year you begin to take the business foundation courses. If you plan to attend another college first, you must make sure that you take general education, major, and business courses that are the equivalent to SUNY New Paltz requirements.
Q. What are the foundation courses in business?
A. There are seven business foundation courses: "Microeconomics," "Financial Accounting," "Principles of Marketing," "Statistics for Business and Economics 1," "Managerial Accounting," "Principles of Management," and "Fundamentals of Corporate Finance." See a sample major plan for the BA/MBA degree, available below and in the Department of Communication and Media.
Q. Must I take courses in the summer?
A. Yes, you must take courses during two summers to finish both degrees in five years. The two MBA courses you take during your senior year as an undergraduate do not count towards your bachelor's degree, and you must have at least 36 MBA credits to earn your Master's degree. The summer between your junior and senior year, you need to take a general education or elective course and a business foundation course, such as "Principles of Management." The summer after you finish your undergraduate degree, you must take two MBA courses.
Q. When and how do I apply to the MBA program?
A. During the last semester for your undergraduate degree you must apply to the MBA program. In order to be accepted, you must meet certain requirements, as indicated above. To receive an application packet, you must register on the MBA Web site.
Q. What happens if I'm not accepted into the MBA program?
A. Your Bachelor of Arts degree and major are not affected by the MBA program; you can still earn your four-year degree and may have a minor in business.
MAJOR PLANS are currently being updated and are scheduled to be uploaded this Fall.