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Graduate School

There are two schools of thought when considering graduate school. Some believe that because a master's degree is a specialization in a particular field, prior work experience is necessary to determine the area in which an individual really wants to specialize. Others think that they should continue on to graduate school directly after their undergraduate degree. This is a very personal decision that should include several discussions with family, friends, professors, and your academic advisor.

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Descriptions of each of the COB masters programs are listed below with additional information to consider should you decide to apply for a masters degree. For more information on NIU's Graduate School, see http://www.grad.niu.edu.

NIU College of Business Masters Programs

Master of Business Administration. The evening MBA 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 terms papers, case presentations, and classroom discussions. Two years of work experience are preferred for acceptance into NIU's MBA program. See http://www.cob.niu.edu/mba for more information.

Executive Master of Business Administration. The Executive MBA program is designed to meet the needs of working executives who desire to earn the degree while continuing to work full time in an organization. Students must have had five or more years of previous managerial experience and be sponsored by their employer. While participating in the executive M.B.A., students continue working full time. Courses are offered on Saturdays for four semesters. Students may begin the Executive MBA only in the fall semester. See http://www.cob.niu.edu/emba for more information or email emba@niu.edu.

Leadership Master of Accounting Science. The objective of the Leadership MAS program is to integrate professional accounting knowledge with the specific leadership development skills and competencies needed to be successful in a variety of career paths. Leadership experiences complement the balance of a 30 semester hour program which provides students with foundational accountancy knowledge that is not covered in an undergraduate program and essential business knowledge from the strategy, information technology, and financial management areas. See http://www.cob.niu.edu/accyLMAS for more information or email accy@niu.edu.

Master of Science in Taxation. The objective of the MST program is to provide its graduates with technical expertise and competence in the area of taxation for advancement in the accounting field. The program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals who desire to earn the degree while continuing to work full time in an organization. See http://www.cob.niu.edu/accyMST for more information or email accy@niu.edu.

Master of Science in Management Information Systems. The MS program in management information systems prepares students to assume leadership roles in the area of business information systems. The program effectively integrates the technical area of computer technology with business administration. The purpose of the program is to expose students to current information technologies and contemporary information management theories as means to maximizing organization performance in the new economy. See http://www.cob.niu.edu/omisMS or contact omis@niu.edu for more information.

Admissions Criteria

All graduate programs have some sort of admissions criteria. Here are some of the most common things that may be required:

Undergraduate Grade Point Average. Your academic record as an undergraduate will be important. NIU's Graduate School requires a minimum 2.75/4.0 (some programs required a higher gpa). The last 60 hours of your undergraduate program are probably the most important. The rigor of your undergraduate degree program will also be considered.

Testing. Most graduate programs are going to require that you take a test. Most business degrees required the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Depending on what you want to study, you could have to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Check with specific departments for minimum qualifying test scores. Study for the test! Material, classes, programs, etc., are available.

Selecting a School. If you are interested in a business degree, you may want to check whether a school is AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accredited. NIU is fully accredited by AACSB! Another thing to think about is the program structure. Some are full-time day programs, while others can be done on a part-time basis in the evenings or on weekends while the student is working full-time. Be aware also that individual programs within the same university may have varying requirements. Check with the department to see if there are specific departmental minimum standards. Again, do your research.

Application Deadlines. Most schools have application deadlines that are very strict. Typically, if your plan is to begin in the fall term, your application may be due early in the prior spring semester. The best advice is to apply early as schools may fill their courses for fall term early in the summer semester.