College of Business & Technology

MBA students outside the university union MBA students working in the library MBA students outside sherman hall
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WIU's Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program Guide

Prospective Students

Learn about the MBA program and discover if it's a good fit for you. Steps 1 - 3 will give you an overview of the program and provide details on the application process.

Newly Admitted Students

Congratulations on your acceptance into the MBA program! This guide will assist you throughout the process of pursuing your degree. Please begin by reviewing steps 4 - 8. As you progress through the program, you will be able to refer back to this guide for assistance.


MBA Program Highlights

The College of Business and Technology offers graduate work leading to the Master of Business Administration (MBA). MBA courses are offered by the Departments of Management and Marketing; Accounting and Finance; Economics and Decision Sciences; and the School of Computer Sciences. The WIU MBA is open to business graduates and those in liberal arts, engineering, mathematics, science, and other fields. Individual degree program requirement are based on previously completed coursework and may range between 33 and 54 semester hours.

Mission

The mission of the MBA program at Western Illinois University is to prepare individuals for leadership and socially responsible managerial roles in an interdependent, multicultural, and diverse business world.

Benefits
  • Diverse Class Delivery: On Campus (Macomb and Quad Cities), Online, or Hybrid/Blended.
  • Daytime and evening course schedules that fit into busy lifestyles.
  • Affordable tuition rates that can put an MBA degree within reach.
  • Internship and assistantship opportunities allow students to combine work and education.
  • Faculty with doctoral and law degrees from more than 40 internationally recognized universities.
  • Accesible faculty who pride themselves on student mentoring.
  • Classes with an average size of 16.
Accreditation

Western’s MBA has earned accreditation in both business and accounting by the AACSB International, designating Western Illinois University as among the best business schools in the world. Less than one-third of U.S. business schools and only 15% of business schools worldwide meet the rigorous standards of AACSB International accreditation. As a member institution, Western’s MBA has confirmed a commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review process. AACSB International accreditation ensures that Western’s MBA degree program is committed to providing the highest-calibre education and experiences for our student professionals. Additional information is available at www.aacsb.edu.

Degree Requirements

The MBA program at Western Illinois University is available to students with both business and nonbusiness backgrounds. Depending upon academic performance, students with business degrees from AACSB International accredited schools may progress directly into the MBA courses. Students without business degrees or with degrees from non-AACSB International accredited schools may be required to take one or more background courses to assure adequate preparation for advanced study.

MBA Courses - 33 semester hours
  1. Core Courses: 18 s.h.
    • ACCT 547 Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis (3)
    • DS 533 Applied Business Forecasting and Planning -or- MGT 540 Applied Business Research (3)
    • ECON 538 Economics for Managers (3)
    • FIN 565 Financial Management: Theory and Practice (3)
    • IS 524 Corporate Information Systems (3)
    • MKTG 576 Decision Making for Global Markets (3)
    • BAT 611 MBA Outcomes (0)
  2. Directed Elective: 3 s.h.
  3. Concentration Courses (department determination) 9 s.h. Learn more about the concentration options.
  4. Integrative Course: MGT 590 Strategic Management 3 s.h.
Required Background courses (or equivalent)
  • ACCT 307 Accounting for Managers and Management Decisions -or- ACCT 201 Principles of Financial Accounting -and- ACCT 202 Principles of Managerial Accounting
  • ECON 408G Economic Theory for Decision Makers -or- ECON 231 Principles of Macroeconomics -and- ECON 232 Principles of Microeconomics
  • FIN 331 Financial Management I
  • IS 340 Management Information Systems
  • MGT 349 Management and Organizational Behavior
  • MKTG 327 Marketing Principles
  • STAT 171 General Elementary Statistics

Specific background courses may be waived on the basis of a student’s prior completion of equivalent course content or relevant experience. Courses must have been completed within five years preceding entrance into the MBA program with a grade of C or better and with an average GPA in the background courses of 2.75, from a recognized college or university. It is assumed that entering students will possess necessary mathematical, communication, and computer skills.

View the graduate catalog for course descriptions.

Admission Process

MBA Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission must meet the minimum requirements of the School of Graduate Studies for degree-seeking students. The director of the MBA program and the MBA advisory committee will review applications and approve candidates for admission based on undergraduate GPA, GMAT score, and other evidence of preparedness.

Automatic Admission

Applicants who meet the following criteria will be automatically admitted and can follow the application process below.

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a GMAT score of at least 500.
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.6 in an AACSB accredited bachelor’s degree in a business discipline.
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 in a bachelor’s degree from the WIU College of Business and Technology and a minor in either business or Pre-MBA.
Application Process
  1. Apply online
  2. Request official transcripts to be sent to the School of Graduate Studies.
  3. Submit required departmental documentation.
  4. Watch your email for updates and notifications from the School of Graduate Studies.
  5. Receive an official notification letter from the School of Graduate Studies.
Optional Requirements for Admission

Applicants not meeting the criteria for automatic admission should proceed as follows:

  1. Apply online
  2. Request official transcripts to be sent to the School of Graduate Studies.
  3. Fill out the request form and attached the following:
    • a current resume
    • an essay detailing the petitioner’s educational goals, work experience, and any extenuating circumstances affecting any deficiencies in past academic performance
GMAT Requirement/Waiver

The purpose of the GMAT requirement is to assess the readiness of the applicant for the level of rigor in the MBA program, particularly in quantitative areas. While the GMAT is the preferred standard, GRE scores of at least 150 in both the quantitative and verbal sections will be accepted in lieu of GMAT scores. Exceptions to the GMAT/GRE requirement will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Qualified applicants may petition the MBA Director for a waiver.

Visit the official website of the GMAT exam for details.

Applicants wishing to request a GMAT waiver should proceed as follows:

  1. Apply online
  2. Request official transcripts to be sent to the School of Graduate Studies.
  3. Fill out the request form and attached the following:
    • a current resume
    • evidence of a graduate degree in a relevant field or at least five years of relevant professional experience with increasing responsibility
    • strong verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills as substantiated by graduate transcripts, professional certifications, or other qualifications.

Degree Planning

Follow the steps below to begin planning your degree.

  1. Download the MBA Degree Plan (pdf) to track your progress through the program.
  2. Compare Degree Plans: Online, On Campus, Hybrid, Integrated to see what will be the best fit for your lifestyle.
  3. Learn about the concentration courses.
  4. Schedule an appointment with your advisor before registering for classes.

Course Schedules

The list below includes MBA core courses and popular concentration/elective courses. It is not a guarantee of course availability in any specific location at a specific time. All students should consult with their MBA advisor prior to registration. Please visit the Student/Alumni Records System (STARS) for up-to-date schedules.

Fall
  • DS 533 (core): QC Hybrid and Macomb
  • ECON 538 (core): QC Hybrid or Macomb
  • FIN 565 (core): QC Hybrid or Macomb
  • IS 524 (core): Online
  • MGT 590 (integrative): Online
  • MKTG 576 (core): QC Hybrid or Macomb
  • MGT 481G: QC Hybrid and Macomb
  • MGT 483G: QC and Macomb
  • MGT 520: QC Hybrid
  • HRM 532: Online
  • SCM 465G: Online
  • SCM 531: Online
Spring
  • ACCT 547 (core): QC Hybrid or Macomb
  • ECON 538 (core): Online
  • FIN 565 (core): Online
  • IS 524 (core): Online or Macomb
  • MGT 590 (integrative): Macomb
  • MKTG 576 (core): Online
  • HRM 532: QC Hybrid
  • MGT 481G: Macomb and QC Hybrid and Online
  • MGT 520: Macomb
  • MGT 540: Macomb
  • SCM 457G: Online
  • SCM 531: QC Hybrid
  • SCM 539: Online
  • SCM 549: Online
Summer
  • ACCT 547 (core): Online
  • DS 533 (core): Online
  • MGT 590 (integrative): QC Hybrid

Helpful Hints

  • Download the MBA Degree Plan (pdf) to track your progress through the program.
  • It is highly recommended that students schedule an advising appointment before registering for classes.

Advising

The MBA advisors are here to assist you throughout your pursuit of an MBA, so please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Appointments

We are happy to answer general questions by email, but appointments are highly recommended upon acceptance into the MBA program and regarding class registration.

  • Appointments are available in person or by phone.
  • Appointments are available Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Advisors
Macomb and Online Students
  • MBA Program Director and Advisor: William Polley
    Email: WJ-Polley@wiu.edu
  • Location: 1 University Circle, Stipes Hall 101, Macomb, IL 61455
    Phone: (309) 298-2442
Quad Cities Students
  • Advisor: Ms. Alex Wenger
    Email: AL-Wenger@wiu.edu
  • Location: QC Riverfront 109
    Phone: (309) 762-5787 Ext. 62789

Helpful Hints

  • To ensure you are able to get the courses you need, call for an advising appointment during:
    • March for Summer and Fall registration
    • October for Spring registration
  • Newly accepted students are encouraged to contact their advisor to introduce themselves prior to making an appointment.
  • You may sign on to STARS to find out your earliest date and time to register. STARS will also display any encumbrances or holds you may have along with the office to contact for clearance.

Registration: Student/Alumni Records System (STARS)

The STARS provides students, alumni, and employees with online access to their university records.

Registration Dates
  • Summer and Fall course information is available on STARS in early March and advance registration begins in April.
  • Spring course information is available on STARS in early October and advance registration begins in November.
  • Sign on to STARS to find out your earliest date and time to register. STARS will also display any encumbrances or holds you may have along with the office to contact for clearance.
Locate Course Information

STARS Quick Look Course Search is available to prospective students as well as current students.

  1. Follow the link to STARS .
  2. Choose Quick Look (a new browser window will open).
  3. Choose Course Search.
  4. Select the desired term, department, course level and add any other parameters applicable and click the search button.
  5. For details regarding each course, click the small purple box to the left of the Course STAR Number.
STARS Access and Sign On
  1. Follow the link to STARS .
  2. Choose Launch STARS (a new browser window will open).
  3. Review the Access Agreement and choose OK.
  4. Use your WIU ID Number and Password to Sign On to STARS.
Registration

Once STARS is launched follow these steps:

  1. In the top left navigation, hovor over STARS and choose Registration - Add/Drop Courses
  2. This is your registration screen where you will add or drop courses.
  3. Choose Course Search.
  4. Select the desired term, department, course level and any other parameters applicable and click the search button.
  5. Click the Add Button located at the right side of each course to register.
  6. You will automatically return to your registration screen where you can repeat the process. This is also where you would drop a class if necessary.
  7. To sign off, navigate to the top right and click the drop-down arrown next to Welcome, Your Name and choose Sign Off.

Helpful Hints

  • Sign on to STARS to be sure there are no issues with access.
  • Prior to registration, access the course search on STARS to research course availability.
  • Summer and Fall course information is available on STARS in early March and advance registration begins in April.
  • Check your WIU email frequently for registration dates as well as other communications regarding the MBA Program.

Graduation

A degree plan and graduation application are required prior to graduation.

Degree Plan
  1. Download the MBA Degree Plan (pdf)
  2. Fill out the degree plan as you progress through the program courses.
  3. Upon completion of 21 semester hours make an appointment with your advisor to review your degree plan.
  4. Your advisor will sign and forward your degree plan to the School of Graduate Studies.
Graduation Application

Submission of a graduation application is the responsibility of the student.

Deadline-Spring Graduation: March 10th

Deadline-Fall Graduation: October 10th

  1. Download a Graduation Application (pdf)
  2. Complete all the information carefully.
    • Print or type your name using upper and lowercase letters EXACTLY as you wish it to appear on your diploma.
  3. Be sure to include courses you are currently taking or plan to take.
  4. Upon completion, return the Graduation Application by mail or email to:
    • The School of Graduate Studies
      Western Illinois University
      1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390
      Email: Grad-Office@wiu.edu
  5. Follow up with the School of Graduate Studies to be sure they received your Graduation Application.
Commencement Ceremonies

Visit wiu.edu/commencement for all the information regarding commencement ceremonies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the length of the program 1 or 2 years?

The length of the MBA program is 33 semester hours. There are required background courses which could increase the hours a student may need to complete. You can learn more about the degree requirements through the online Graduate Catalog at http://www.wiu.edu/graduate_studies/catalog/busadmin.php. Additionally, an individual’s course load per semester varies based on their study habits, learning abilities, time management skills, other commitments, and course work requirements. It is possible to complete the Hybrid program in the Quad Cities in one year, but most students take two years.

What is the cost of the tuition, books, fees for this?

Here is the current tuition plan for 2017-2018:

  • $323.64 per semester hour (which would be $970.92 for a three semester hour course).
  • Online classes have an additional distance learning charge of $50 per semester hour.
  • Macomb campus classes have an additional fee of $90.85 per semester hour.
  • Quad Cities campus classes have an additional fee of $24.88 per semester hour.
  • Details are available on the WIU website at http://www.wiu.edu/vpas/business_services/tuition/plans/s/grad.php
  • Cost of textbooks varies by course.
  • Visit the tuition page for details.
How often is class typically per week? Time of day? Length of class? Amount of time estimated outside of class needing to designate towards homework, etc?

Class meetings, time of day, and length of class are dependent upon each class. For details of each class, you can visit the STARS system at http://www.wiu.edu/university_technology/stars/#

Hybrid courses on the Quad Cities campus are mostly 8 week classes with a 2 1/2 hour meeting on a weeknight or Saturday morning every two weeks. See the course schedule on STARS for days and times.

If a class is not "full", is the class postponed to the following semester?

MBA courses are generally offered once per year in each format. Because of this, they are rarely cancelled because of lack of enrollment.

How do you accommodate students who are working full-time?

The online and hybrid formats are best for students working full time. Traditional on campus classes in Macomb are generally in the daytime, and thus more difficult for people who work full time. The MBA director can assist you will a plan that fits your individual needs.

If a student is unable to attend a scheduled class due to work commitments, how does this affect their overall grade and success for the course and program?

The attendance policy for each course is up to the instructor. Most are very understanding when it comes to work schedules for career professionals. However repeated absence, even if excused, often does affect performance.

Online class format

There are no face-to-face requirements for any of the online MBA courses. WIU’s course delivery system is Western Online which uses the course management software system, Desire2Learn (D2L).

Admission Questions

The catalog says that a GMAT score of 500 and undergraduate overall GPA of 3.0 qualifies for automatic admission. Can I still be admitted if one or both of those is lower?

Yes, it is possible. What we mean by “automatic” admission is that if you exceed both of these criteria that you do not need to provide any other documentation of work experience, certifications, or qualifications. If one of these is slightly lower and the other higher, that may work too. For example, if you fall just a little short on the GMAT but have a GPA that is well above a 3.0, we will take that into consideration.

The importance we place on GPA is somewhat less for those applicants who have been in the workforce for a number of years since completing their undergraduate degree. A GPA from 10 or 20 years ago may not be the best indicator of success in the program. In those cases, we would want to know what you have been doing lately. Do you have any professional certifications or significant work experience that is relevant to MBA studies?

Applicants not meeting the criteria for automatic admission should proceed as follows:

  1. Apply online
  2. Request official transcripts to be sent to the School of Graduate Studies.
  3. Fill out the request form and attached the following:
    • a current resume
    • an essay detailing the petitioner’s educational goals, work experience, and any extenuating circumstances affecting any deficiencies in past academic performance
Do you accept the GRE instead of the GMAT?

Yes! As a general rule, we would look for a 150 on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE coupled with at least a 3.0 GPA for automatic admission. If your scores are slightly lower, see the previous question as the same provisions apply.

Can the GMAT/GRE requirement be waived?

Yes, under certain circumstances. Exceptions to the GMAT/GRE requirement will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants wishing to request a GMAT waiver should proceed as follows:

  1. Apply online
  2. Request official transcripts to be sent to the School of Graduate Studies.
  3. Fill out the request form and attached the following:
    • a current resume
    • evidence of a *graduate degree in a relevant field or at least five years of relevant **professional experience with increasing responsibility
    • strong verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills as substantiated by graduate transcripts, ***professional certifications , or other qualifications.

* Examples of graduate degrees in a related field include, but are not limited to: economics, accountancy, finance, organizational leadership, and law (J.D.). Persons with these degrees qualify automatically for a GMAT/GRE waiver. Certain other graduate degrees, while not being closely related to business, may qualify if supplemented by other qualifications. Contact the MBA director to discuss your individual situation.

** To be considered on the basis of professional experience , you must have at least 5 years of professional experience (in a position generally requiring a bachelor’s degree) with increasing responsibility. The idea is that the experience you claim should represent evidence of your verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills necessary for success in the program. Please submit a resume with at least one reference who can speak to these skills if there are any questions. Simply having 5 years of experience is not by itself sufficient to waive the GMAT/GRE. The MBA committee will review your entire portfolio (transcripts, certifications, etc.) in their consideration of the waiver. Only applications that are complete (except for GMAT/GRE scores) will be reviewed.

*** Examples of professional certifications that would automatically qualify to waive the GMAT/GRE include, but are not limited to: CPA, CFA, and Series 7 licenses. Additionally, passing scores actuarial exams and other exams given in the insurance industry may also satisfy the requirement. Contact the MBA director to discuss your individual situation.

Integrated BB/MBA Students

Undergraduate students accepted into the integrated BB/MBA program will automatically have a status change to MBA student upon completion of their bachelor’s degree.

International Student Questions

Answers to many of the most frequently asked questions from international students are answered on the university’s Center for International Studies website. http://wiu.edu/international_studies/international_admissions/FAQ.php

Please note that foreign transcripts do not need to first be evaluated by WES or any other external service. WIU does its own in-house evaluation of foreign transcripts.

Also, please note that the TOEFL and IELTS requirements are higher for the MBA program than for the university. The TOEFL requirement is 550 (paper) or 79 (internet based). The IELTS requirement is 6.5 overall and 6.5 speaking subscore.

Contacts & Resources

MBA Advisors
Macomb and Online Students
  • MBA Program Director and Advisor: William Polley
    Email: WJ-Polley@wiu.edu
  • Location: 1 University Circle, Stipes Hall 101, Macomb, IL 61455
    Phone (309) 298-2442
Quad Cities Students
  • Advisor: Ms. Alex Wenger
    Email: AL-Wenger@wiu.edu
  • Location: QC Riverfront 109
    Phone: (309) 762-5787 Ext. 62789

View the graduate catalog for MBA details and course descriptions.

Apply for admission

Admissions

Phone: (309) 298-3157
Toll-free: (877) PICK WIU
Email: Admissions@wiu.edu
Web: wiu.edu/admissions

Billing and Receivables

Phone: (309) 298-1831
Email: Billings@wiu.edu
Web: wiu.edu/billing

Center for International Studies

Phone: (309) 298-2426
Email: International-Ed@wiu.edu
Web: wiu.edu/international

College of Business and Technology

Phone: (309) 298-2442
Email: CBT@wiu.edu
Web: wiu.edu/CBT

Financial Aid

Phone: (309) 298-2446
Email: Financial-Aid@wiu.edu
Web: wiu.edu/fa

Registrar

Phone: (309) 298-1891
Email: R-Office@wiu.edu
Web: wiu.edu/registrar

Scholarship Office

Phone: (309) 298-2001
Email: sc-office@wiu.edu
Web: wiu.edu/scholarships

School of Graduate Studies

Phone: (309) 298-1806
Toll-free: (877) WIU GRAD
Email: grad-office@wiu.edu
Web: wiu.edu/grad