The objective of the Manderson MBA program at The University of Alabama is to prepare high-achieving, high-potential students for successful business careers in a globally competitive environment. The MBA program has a commitment to providing a high value-added experience within a diverse and collaborative learning environment. The curriculum emphasizes fundamental business concepts, knowledge, and skills through an interdisciplinary perspective. Case studies, projects, teamwork, and technology contribute to a dynamic applied learning environment.
MBA Program Formats
The Manderson MBA Program is offered in a variety of formats. The Traditional MBA is a full-time, two-year program that requires a concentration. The STEM Path to the MBA is also a full-time, two-year program integrated with University of Alabama undergraduate STEM majors that requires a specialization. The Executive MBA is a weekend program for mid- to upper-level managers offered in two formats, one in Tuscaloosa and one in Huntsville.
Students take a prescribed program of courses and cross-discipline work that blends the analytical tools of management and the functional areas of business into a general management perspective. Topics include accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing, operations, strategy, communications, information systems, and statistics. In addition, each student pursues elective courses leading to a mandatory area of concentration. All course selections for the area of concentration must be made with the advice of a designated graduate faculty member. Teaching methods combine cases, lecture-discussion, and projects. The small size of the program allows faculty members to use a variety of techniques for enhancing learning.
STEM Path to the MBA
The STEM Path to the MBA is a five-year program designed for entering University of Alabama freshmen majoring in a STEM area (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics). This program integrates STEM business honors courses with the undergraduate STEM program and culminates in the MBA program.
During each semester of their four years of undergraduate study, students enroll in a 1.5 credit-hour STEM Business Honors course. These honors courses focus on communication and leadership skills. Students work in teams on community projects to develop both an appreciation for and a basic understanding of the importance of management skills in science and technology careers and to create an opportunity to interact with other STEM students, as well as with executives from technology companies and MBA faculty members.
The STEM Business Honors courses are taught by a faculty member who is assigned to the cohort in the freshman year, and works with them through their senior year. This provides continuity of contact and allows the faculty mentor to track the students through the program.
During the sophomore, junior, and senior years, STEM discipline students can expect to be off campus and involved in internships, cooperative-learning experiences, and other online learning activities. The STEM Business Honors courses include extensive use of digital technology: streaming video of presentations from guest speakers, teleconferencing for student presentations and class meetings using Skype and similar technologies, and the use of course-management software that allows off-campus students to remain engaged and participate in coursework.
Executive MBA (EMBA) Weekend Program
The Executive MBA program provides working professionals with the tools, skills, and knowledge essential for expanding and/or pursuing new career options in business. Weekend classes allow students to pursue the MBA degree without sacrificing current employment. This program requires 48 semester hours of coursework in a lock-step cohort format. Classes meet on Fridays and Saturdays. The program is offered in two formats. The Tuscaloosa EMBA program meets roughly every other weekend in a face-to-face format over 17 months. The Huntsville EMBA program meets one weekend per month in a blended in-class/face-to-face format over 21 months. Both programs include an international trip/experience in the final term where students visit with the senior management of global companies of a particular country. Technology is used to enhance classroom learning and to facilitate student and faculty interaction when students are away from campus.
JD/MBA Joint Degree Program in Law and Business
The University of Alabama School of Law and the Manderson Graduate School of Business offer students who are interested in combined business and legal career opportunities a law and MBA curriculum culminating in the awarding of the juris doctor (JD) and MBA degrees within four years. Admission is required into both programs. Further information about the joint JD/MBA Program may be obtained by contacting the director of the MBA Program and/or the Law School admissions office as well as by visiting the respective websites.
MBA Dual Degrees in Engineering
The Manderson Graduate School of Business and the College of Engineering offer students from an engineering background an opportunity to receive both their MBA and Master of Science in engineering (Civil or Mechanical) within two calendar years. Prospective students must be admitted to both programs before being allowed to pursue the dual curriculum. Further information about the dual MBA/ENG programs may be obtained by contacting the director of the MBA Program and/or the Engineering admissions office as well as by visiting the respective websites.
MBA/MFA Dual Degree
The Manderson Graduate School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences offer students an opportunity to receive both their MBA and their Master of Fine Arts (Theater Management) within four years. Prospective students must be admitted to both programs before being allowed to pursue the dual curriculum. Further information about the dual MBA/MFA program may be obtained by contacting the director of the MBA Program and/or the Theater Management office as well as by visiting the respective websites.
For general admissions policies of the Graduate School, click below.
Admission to the MBA program requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants also must show evidence of career interest in management. Relevant employment experience may be considered in the admissions decision but is not a prerequisite. GMAT or GRE scores are required. Candidates who have already completed a post-baccalaureate degree or who have seven years or more of appropriate full-time post-baccalaureate work experience may request a GMAT/GRE waiver. Strong quantitative and verbal skills are required. Students are encouraged to provide evidence of those skills, especially if they are not evident in other application materials. Students whose native language is not English are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Following an initial review of completed application materials, qualified applicants are asked to arrange campus interviews. When campus interviews are not feasible, video interviews may be substituted. Admission recommendations are made by a faculty admissions committee after reviewing a candidate's application materials and are based on an assessment of the candidate's suitability for the Manderson MBA program; the Graduate School makes the final determination on each applicant's recommendation by the faculty admissions committee. A strong academic record is a necessary but not a sufficient criterion for admission. Applications should be submitted by April 15 prior to the fall of the year of intended enrollment. Applications received prior to February 15 will receive priority for financial assistance. Students must begin the program in the fall semester and must be enrolled for four consecutive semesters plus the summer of the intervening year. During the summer, students are expected to be involved in meaningful internships to further enhance their professional experiences.
A student entering the MBA program is expected to have a good working knowledge of word-processing and spreadsheet software.