Posted by Kara Kennedy on 2011-04-22

Samford University’s Brock School of Business has added concentrations to its Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.  Beginning this summer, students will have the option to focus their area of study either in entrepreneurship or international business.

"These concentrations add another important component to our continuous efforts, at the Brock School, to provide students with a quality, global and relevant coursework,” said Jim Reburn, Acting Dean of the Brock School of Business. “Entrepreneurship and international business are important drivers of economic growth and the ability to recruit foreign investors to the state of Alabama, so programs like these help prepare our MBA students to respond to a rapidly changing business environment.”

In order for students to add a concentration, they will have to take one additional elective beyond the two normally required for the MBA degree.  Most electives are offered during the summer semester, and students can complete a degree in as little as 22 months by taking two classes per semester.  The option of pursuing an MBA without a concentration will remain intact.

Students adding an international business concentration will take three courses emphasizing important topics such as how to manage employees and sell products to customers from other cultures.  They also will have the option of choosing an elective that focuses on international ethics or they will be able to take a class overseas.

“We take some MBA students to London every year to study international business, but over the past several years, some also have traveled to Tokyo, Prague and Kiev as part of their MBA coursework,” said Larron Harper, MBA Program Director.  “This concentration should be useful not only for students who want to work overseas, but also for those who want to work locally for an international company.  Alabama continues to have a growing number of international businesses that are locating here as well as a growing number of people from different cultures who are moving to our state.”

Students adding an entrepreneurship concentration will take an introductory entrepreneurship and a business plan writing course. They will then have several options for their third elective to customize their studies to their interests.

“Entrepreneurship occurs in many settings including new, small, large, for-profit and non-profit organizations,” said Franz Lohrke, who holds the Brock Family Chair in Entrepreneurship. “Thus, contingent on student demand, we plan to offer electives in website design, corporate innovation, social entrepreneurship/nonprofit management and other entrepreneurship topics.”

Lohrke also noted that adding the entrepreneurship concentration makes sense from a strategic perspective.  “Our goal at the Brock School is to offer a world-class entrepreneurship program.  We were selected as the Best New Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program in the U.S. in 2010, so adding this concentration to our MBA degree is the next logical step in elevating our program to the next level.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.