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MNU's MBA Now Offers Degree Customization and More Options for Students

MidAmerica Nazarene University is offering graduate students more options in the field of business and management through its MBA and accelerated one-year Master of Arts program. Both programs now allow students greater flexibility to customize their degrees according to the students’ area of interest and needs.

MBA students can now choose to complete a traditional MBA for 36 credit hours or choose to add one of several available concentrations for a total of 42 credit hours, which program director, Dr. Alex Hapka, calls the MBA plus.

“An MBA is the new normal,” Hapka says. “So to get a competitive edge people are moving to the MBA plus concept.”

Options for concentrations include a directed-study entrepreneurship track, coursework in organizational leadership, healthcare administration, not-for-profit, finance, or international business, and a customizable master’s thesis in the students’ area of interest or work.

“This is so unique,” Hapka says. “No other local MBA program has the option to truly design your own emphasis.”

Hapka envisions students will choose to study things related to their business such as green energy or IT security. They will propose their ideas for approval to faculty and, if approved, will work with a mentor to research and solve a problem, then present their findings to their employer.

“I can see students making a name for themselves in their organizations through this option. The possibilities are enormous.”

Some of the same options also apply to MNU’s one-year Master of Arts program. Students complete courses in a broad cross-section of business, then choose a 6-hour emphasis in one of the following: organizational leadership, healthcare administration, not-for-profit, finance, or international business.

Some students may be interested in refreshing their skills by earning a certificate, according to Hapka. MNU offers that option as well. Each of the concentration areas offered through coursework may be completed by themselves for a certificate.

“Potentially one could have a degree in an unrelated subject and take our courses to earn a certificate that would update his or her education and skills in any of our concentrations,” Hapka said. “The only prerequisite to do this is to already have a bachelor’s degree.”

MNU was one of the first area universities to offer accelerated graduate programs more than 20 years ago. Students may complete the MBA program in as little as two years by attending class one night a week. The Master of Arts program is completed in one year by taking one in-class course and one online course at the same time. A total of 12 eight-week courses are required in the 36-credit-hour programs.

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