Non-business majors flock to new MBA

May 15, 2008

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SFU Business’ newest MBA program, which enrolls only non-business majors, is a hit.       

More than 160 people applied last September for only 40 seats in the new program, which was designed to meet employers’ increasing demands for more varied MBA graduates with a range of knowledge in the liberal arts as well as business.

The program targets individuals whose undergraduate degree is in a subject other than business and who have less than five years of relevant work experience. "For our first class, we sought 40 outstanding students with diverse educational and cultural backgrounds," says program director Ed Bukszar. "We offered this unique MBA at a rare value - $27,000."

Two-thirds of the program’s first cohort are female, a reversal of the usual business school male-female ratio. And the group’s undergraduate degrees are in everything from art history and engineering to medical sciences, psychology and music. They learn business fundamentals such as finance and accounting, but they also study topics such as sustainability, entrepreneurship and ethics.

Tasi Gottschlag, who joined up with a BA in psychology from the University of Victoria, likes the program because she can immediately apply it to a variety of potential careers. She also likes her group’s diversity "There are a lot of cultures and countries represented in the cohort," she says. "That makes for very interesting class discussions."

Bukszar notes that Harvard and Stanford in the U.S. have recently announced plans for similar programs that target inexperienced non-business graduates with an MBA education and internships.

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