New fast track program combines IT, MBA
Freshmen entering the University of Missouri College of Engineering in the fall of 2014 will have the opportunity to take advantage of a new Information Technology (IT)/MBA Fast Track program in the college’s Computer Science Department (CS). The program allows students to complete their undergraduate IT degree and earn a master’s in business administration in five years.
“At the annual CS leadership meeting, we discussed what we could do to create opportunities for more efficient graduate degrees,” said Dale Musser, director of the IT program. “We met with the MU [Trulaske] Business College and they were agreeable.”
Musser said there is a close relationship between the field of IT and management and the new fast track program makes graduates more marketable and will take them much further along in their jobs and careers.
“They will evolve to higher positions because they have a high degree of technological background combined with management and business,” he said.
Adrianna Wheeler, the Computer Science Department’s academic adviser, said that because the program is condensed, the curriculum for the fast track program is less flexible than some and students will need to decide when they are freshmen that they want to participate.
Wheeler will work with interested students to include the business school’s recommended undergraduate courses as they schedule classes.
“We want them to consider it early and to take the GRE or GMAT [graduate school admissions tests] when they are sophomores to make sure they can get in and so they have a chance to take the tests more than once, if necessary,” said Wheeler.
Students are notified of their acceptance into the program in their junior year. The department waives six hours of required classes for an IT degree, which can be filled with business classes during a program participant’s senior year.
Space in the program is limited and fast track students will pursue the MBA portion of their degrees in “cohort” groups, attending classes together.
“This program gives students a jumpstart into the MBA program, Wheeler said, adding that there are always some MU IT students who opt to earn an MBA after getting a bachelor’s degree in IT and that option is always open.
“The [fast track] combination makes it a stronger program that can be completed in less time,” she said.