Feb 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Master of Business Administration

The M.B.A. program is designed to serve business and other organizations by preparing students to be leaders. The themes of a global view of business, leadership, ethics, and communication are important and integral parts of the program. Students are encouraged to integrate these themes into term papers, case presentations, and classroom discussions.

Check departmental information for additional requirements.

Master of Business Administration Learning Competencies

All NIU MBA graduates will:

  • Demonstrate business acumen and analytical skills
  • Communicate with impact
  • Assess key leadership skills, traits, styles, processes across various contexts and their own abilities related to each
  • Identify ethical issues and the implications on business, society, and individuals
  • Assess global impact on business decisions

Furthermore, each MBA format will have an additional competency.

NIU Online MBA graduates will:

  • Identify and respond to opportunities

NIU Global MBA graduates will:

  • Derive insights from data to inform global business decisions

NIU One-Year MBA graduates will:

  • Evaluate plans to bring a new product or service to market within an organization

NIU Executive MBA graduates will:

  • Evaluate strategies aligned with internal and external conditions to achieve long-term organizational success


Admission to the M.B.A. program is competitive and limited to those who can demonstrate high promise of success. The College of Business considers several indicators of success including, but not limited to, previous academic accomplishments, demonstrated leadership, communication skills, letters of recommendation, and scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GMAT. The GMAT is not required for the Executive or One-Year formats. All candidates are expected to have some minimal competencies in computer, mathematics, and communications skills. The College of Business requires other material in addition to that required by the Graduate School for the admission process. Contact the Office of M.B.A. Programs at 866-648-6221 for details.

NIU University Honors students who graduate with a B.A. or B.S. are guaranteed admission into the Global M.B.A. format as space permits. These students are exempt from the GMAT requirement.

Credit Requirements

For those with the minimum competencies mentioned above but without prior preparation in the business area, the M.B.A. may require a maximum of 48 semester hours. However, an individual student’s program may require fewer semester hours depending on the student’s previous education in business and economics.

In addition to maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all graduate course work completed in the program at NIU, the student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all graduate course work completed in Phase Two.

Limitation of Time

The student must fulfill all Phase Two requirements for the M.B.A. within the six consecutive years immediately preceding the date of the student’s graduation from that degree program. This time limit applies to all Phase Two graduate course work in the student’s program including work for which transfer credit is allowed.

If an NIU course taken to complete the requirements of Phase Two does not fall within the time limitation indicated in the preceding paragraph, the student may be required to retake the course for credit or may be allowed to demonstrate current knowledge of the subject matter. In the latter case, currency must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the department offering the course through successful completion of an appropriate examination or other assessment if available from the department. Otherwise, the outdated course work must be deleted from, and other course work must be substituted in, the program of courses. Transfer courses falling outside the limitation of time cannot be used in a graduate program.

Courses for Which Graduate Credit is Allowed

At NIU only courses which are numbered 500-798 carry credit toward the master’s degree.

Student-at-Large, Study-Abroad, and Transfer Credit

Students-at-large are normally prohibited from registering for graduate business courses.

The total Phase Two credit accepted in transfer from other AACSB-accredited institutions may not exceed 9 semester hours. The total Phase Two credit earned from NIU graduate study-abroad courses may not exceed 9 semester hours. The Phase Two combination of transfer credit and credit earned from NIU graduate study-abroad courses may not exceed 15 semester hours. These semester-hour limits may be exceeded on a program of courses only by the use of transfer courses and only if the total number of semester hours required on the program of courses exceeds the minimum requirements for that major by at least the same number of hours.

Phase One Requirements

Foundational business courses will be included in a student’s program of study unless he or she has met the requirements by completing course equivalents at a university, community college, or select approved online provider. See Phase One requirements listed under “Graduate Study in Business” above. The student’s program director will determine which Phase One courses will be included in each student’s program of courses.

Additional Executive MBA Phase One Requirement

For students pursuing the Executive MBA format, Phase One will consist of the following:

Phase Two Requirements

Phase Two consists of a total of 30 semester hours. Students are required to take a minimum of 21 semester hours of Phase Two course work in classes reserved exclusively for admitted graduate students.

Attendance in three College of Business colloquia as designated by the Office of M.B.A. Programs is required prior to graduation. Exception to this requirement may be approved by the Office of M.B.A. Programs.

Elective Courses

Elective courses may be selected from among the graduate course offerings in the College of Business, or elsewhere in the university with the prior approval of the student’s M.B.A. academic advisor, and should be used to meet particular career objectives. (9)

Additional Executive MBA Phase Two Requirement

For students pursuing the Executive MBA format, the following course is required in addition to those listed above:

Course Sequencing

All Phase One course work must be completed prior to enrollment in FINA 607, MGMT 635, MKTG 654, and OMIS 680.

FINA 607, MGMT 635, MKTG 654, and OMIS 680 must be completed prior to enrollment in MGMT 672.

Application for Graduation

When nearing completion of requirements for a degree, a student must file an application for graduation with the Graduate School. See “Graduation.”

Program Format Options and Locations

Contact the M.B.A. program office or webpage for information regarding delivery formats and locations. For additional information on the Online MBA, please visit the online program webpage.