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    Harding University
  Sep 23, 2023
2014-2015 Graduate and Professional Catalog 
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2014-2015 Graduate and Professional Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration

    List of Programs  - List of Concentrations

Program Description

The mission of the College of Business Administration is to prepare Christian business professionals for lives of service. Currently, the College of Business Administration Graduate Studies offers the following degree:

Master of Business Administration in Management and Business Ethics (MBA) with the option of multiple concentrations:

  • Health Care Management
  • Information Technology Management
  • International Business
  • Leadership & Organizational Management

This degree program is highly flexible because it is designed with the needs of working professionals in mind. Students will take a minimum of twelve 600-level courses, of which ten are core courses required of everyone.

Students may choose from two tracks. Each track will normally lead to the MBA degree in 18-24 months.

The Accelerated Track: This program of study requires the completion of 36 hours (10 core courses of 3 hours each plus 2 elective courses of 3 hours each).

The Concentration Track: This program of study requires the completion of 42 hours (10 core courses of 3 hours each plus 4 elective courses of 3 hours each). Students may choose to take 2 additional electives, a total of four, in one concentration area to obtain a concentration for their degree. The MBA curriculum at Harding has been uniquely designed to serve several constituent market needs at once. Students who wish may choose a concentration area that serves one of these constituent markets. Concentrations are listed below.

Students entering either of these tracks will be evaluated upon entry and will be given structured guidance to help them plan their journey through the MBA curriculum.


Dean: Bryan D. Burks, D.B.A., CPA


Rich Brown, Ph.D.
Marguerite Cronk, Ph.D.
     Chair of Management Information Systems Department
Mark Davis, D.B.A.
      Chair of the Marketing Department
Randall M. McLeod, J.D.
     Director of Professional Sales Department
Jim Shelton, Ph.D.
Steve Williams, D.B.A.

Associate Professors:

Rich Brown, Ph.D.
Bryan D. Burks, D.B.A., CPA
Allen Frazier, Ph.D.
     Associate Dean and Chair of Management Department
Glen Metheny, M.B.A.
     Chair of the Graduate School of Business
Mike Oliver, D.B.A.
Jake Stewart, Ph.D., PMP

Assistant Professors:

Mike Allen, M.S.
     Director of the International Business Department
Kenneth Moran, M.B.A.
Norm Stone, M.B.A.
Dan Summers, M.B.A., CPA
     Director of Health Care Management

Mission of the College of Business Administration

The mission of the College of Business Administration is to prepare Christian business professionals for lives of service.  With the mission as our focus, the MBA Program strives to achieve the following program outcomes: 

(1) Students will demonstrate effective management knowledge and skills in Christian business ethics,
(2) Students will demonstrate effective management knowledge and skills in critical thinking process,
(3) Students will demonstrate effective management knowledge and skills in problem solving techniques, and
(4) Students will demonstrate effective management knowledge and skills in communication.


The College of Business Administration is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).


Admission Requirements

Admission to the Harding University MBA program is determined on an individual basis with the following criteria considered: (1) academic preparation, (2) character, (3) educational interests and (4) academic potential. Effort is made to admit all students who qualify and who can benefit from the unique educational program and opportunities available at Harding University irrespective of their religious faith, national origin, sex, race or color. When applying, students should be aware of the distinct purpose of Harding University and be willing to commit themselves to upholding institutional values.

 As a general rule, application requirements for the MBA degree program include:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Two letters of recommendation. Recommendations should preferably be from professors or employers.
  3. Three writing samples (essay questions in application form.)
  4. Official copies of all transcripts from the college or university that granted the bachelor's degree and any other institution attended before or after that time.
  5. Students are required to submit a current resume with their application for admission.
  6. Test Scores:

           GMAT (target score of 500) or GRE (target score of 900) is required unless the applicant has one of the following: 
                  A Cumulative Bachelor Degree GPA of 3.5 with less than 5 years full-time work experience.
                  A Cumulative Bachelor Degree GPA of 3.0 with a minimum of 5 years full-time work experience.
          TOEFL scores for international students (550 PBT, 213 CBT, 80 IBT minimum score)

Application Procedure

The MBA program at Harding University operates on a semester basis (fall, spring and summer). Students may begin study in August or March for the fall semester, in January or March for the spring semester, and in May or June for the summer semester. Students will be required to complete the MBA Tutorial (BUS 600). This online orientation provides students with essential information about Harding and the MBA program.

Applicants are urged to apply as early as possible in order to avoid being denied entrance due to lack of space.

There are two ways to apply to the College of Business Administration:

  1. An online admissions form is available at:
  2. A hard-copy application form for admission to the MBA program may be obtained by calling the MBA office, 501-279-5851, or from the Harding University Web site, at

    The completed hard-copy application form should be sent to:

Graduate School of Business
Harding University
Box 10774
Searcy, AR 72149-5615

The following is required to be on file in the MBA admissions office before an application is considered complete:

• Master’s program application form
• $50 application fee (subject to change)
• GMAT or GRE scores (unless exempted)
• TOEFL scores (international students)
• Graduate and undergraduate transcripts*
• Two (2) completed MBA recommendation forms
• Writing sample (essay questions in application form)
• Proof of immunization form 

Upon receipt of the completed application, the Admissions Committee will begin the admissions review process. To speed the admissions process, applicants should collect copies of transcripts and recommendation forms and forward them as a package to the MBA Office. It should be noted that all undergraduate and graduate course work must be supported by official transcripts sent directly from the original school to the MBA office at Harding. (NOTE: If the baccalaureate degree was earned at Harding, the Registrar’s Office can send a “Campus Copy” of the transcript directly to the MBA office).

*Note: Initial submissions may contain unofficial copies of documents to speed admissions consideration, but original official copies must be sent directly to the MBA office, and the admissions packet will not be considered complete until official copies of these items have been received.
When the application is complete, an admissions decision can usually be made within two weeks. Applicants are urged to complete their applications early in the review period, as openings may be filled well in advance.

Application Review and Candidate Selection

Entrance into the masters-level graduate business program at Harding University is selective. The Admissions Committee seeks to admit the best-qualified individuals from a large applicant pool.
In reviewing an application and the accompanying essays from the potential student, many different indicators of performance are evaluated, including undergraduate and graduate records, work history, recommendation letters and extracurricular activities. Additionally, an attempt is made to see if there is congruence between the program’s goals and the applicant’s interests, as well as an attempt to determine student motivation for seeking the degree.

We seek candidates who are academically strong and who will not only benefit from, but also contribute to, the program. Undergraduate study in business is not required for admission. Additionally, work experience is not required for admission to the program, but will strengthen most applications.
In reviewing students for admission, a variety of criteria are considered. These criteria are used to determine the candidate’s demonstrated or potential abilities as a student, manager and leader. While not all inclusive, these are some of the indicators examined by the Admissions Committee: past academic performance, general intellectual ability, demonstrated ability to assume responsibility and achieve measurable results, personal statements made by the applicant (including goals, challenges and experiences), interpersonal and communication skills, and two letters of recommendation.

Students may be granted admission based on the following criteria*:

Fully Matriculated Standing: Students entering the program with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and who have completed all documentation necessary for entry, may be admitted without condition.
Provisional Standing due to Incomplete Documentation: Students entering the program who have not completed all documentation necessary for entry may be granted provisional admission with the condition that all necessary documentation be submitted prior to the student’s enrollment for the first semester. Upon receipt of all materials, the student will be granted full matriculation.
Provisional Standing due to Academic Reasoning: Students entering the program with an undergraduate GPA of 2.99-2.50 may be granted provisional admission with the condition that the student maintains a GPA of no less than 3.0 on the first 9 hours of graduate work completed. Upon satisfying this condition, the student will be granted full matriculation.

NOTE: The MBA Program Admissions Com­mittee will meet during the last week of the last month of the semester (after all grades have been posted) to determine the status of any student in provisional standing due to academic reasoning. The student will be notified as soon as is practical if any changes in status are deemed necessary by the committee.
*Students may be admitted to the program under both provisional standing due to completion of records and provisional standing due to academic reasoning.

Prerequisite Course Work

Based on their transcript records, students entering the MBA program are evaluated regarding their exposure to common business proficiency components. Proficiency is indicated if the student has had reasonable exposure (experience or coursework) in each of these major areas: finance, research and/or statistics, and accounting. Routinely, primer courses are available to help students satisfy one or more of these proficiencies. However, students may be given the option to acquire such course work at the undergraduate level and enter the MBA program. If such arrangements are made, the student must satisfy the prerequisite before taking the same course in the MBA program. For example, a student may not take BUS 652, QBA/Research, before clearing the undergraduate prerequisite. Under no circumstances may students take an undergraduate prerequisite at the same time as they are taking the related graduate course.

The College of Business Administration reserves the right to require additional course work in any area if it is deemed that a student’s prerequisite preparation is deficient.

Other Program Requirements

Course Load: Students are considered to be full-time students if they are taking 9 graduate hours. The maximum number of courses which may be taken in any semester is four (12 semester hours). No more than 2 classes may be taken per block. There are no exception to these policies.

Computer Requirements: Each student entering the MBA program at Harding University must have convenient access to a personal computer and the Internet. Students will be expected to provide any hardware, software, or other technical resources necessary to communicate in an online environment. This is especially important for those taking online courses. Harding uses Canvas as the interface for online classes as well as web support for some traditional on-ground classes. This is an asynchronous platform allowing students and instructors to visit the classroom independently during the class week. You will be provided detailed instructions regarding accessing and using this system.

Harding University’s Web portal, Pipeline, is continuously available for student and faculty access, and is an integral part of the communication link in the MBA program, providing convenient access to Harding’s email platform.

As a minimum, the student should provide the following hardware and software specifications:

  1. A modern computer with 5-10 GB of hard drive space available. We recommend investing in Norton Anti-Virus or McAfee Anti-Virus software with an update subscription. While Apple computers are adequate for most courses, there may be isolated situations where software accompanying textbooks may require a Windows operating system, thus requiring Apple computers to support dual platforms.
  2. An Internet connection of at least 56K bandwidth is required. DSL, cable modem, or other broadband communication is recommended.
  3. Microsoft Office suite of products will be the standard office tools used in the program. Students are required to have versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint that are no more than two versions old (i.e. in 2013, either MS Office 2007, MS Office 2010 and MS Office 365 products are acceptable). This software is available at special student pricing through the Harding University Bookstore (HUB).
  4. Access to online information: The online world provides an opportunity to be in touch with fellow students, with faculty, and with administrators on an almost constant basis through the use of computers and other digital devices.

Due to the breadth of our coverage, the following guidelines are used: 

  1. Every student is expected to check for announcements and information posted online regularly via Harding email. Even in terms when students are not enrolled in a course and have no need to be online, they should make it a habit to log in at least weekly to check for announcements and other valuable information.
  2. Registration may be accomplished completely online. If students are not logging in regularly, they may miss registration and possibly a course needed to stay on schedule.

In short, we expect students to be online regularly. We post anything of importance online, typically by Harding e-mail. It is the students’ responsibility to keep current.

Full-Time Option - All Tracks: The full-time MBA program is an integrated 12-15-month program of study. Although many students will enter with differing requirements, all students will emerge together at the end of the process. Every student shares the core business experience spread out over several terms. The program begins with an emphasis on essential skills necessary to be successful in Harding’s MBA program. Students move on to explore core business fundamentals presented in a logical flow to facilitate the learning process, culminating in an experiential capstone course.

The MBA program offers excellent flexibility through the scheduling of elective courses in each of the three major terms. Students are encouraged to take the elective courses which most closely satisfy their career goals. Those taking such courses outside the College of Business Administration should talk with their adviser to make sure the course will count toward the MBA.

One of the unique things about the Harding MBA is that every course includes an emphasis on Christian business ethics, presentation skills, critical thinking processes and problem solving - all necessary skills to succeed in the business world. Another strength of the program is that each track is offered simultaneously, thus giving students from one track the opportunity and flexibility to add courses to their program of study which may suit their individual career goals and aspirations.

Part-Time Option: Individuals may elect to pursue their MBA degree on a part-time basis. The curriculum is presented in the Harding MBA in such a way that students can plan for and “slow down” the process if they so desire. One traditional concern of most part-time graduate students is the lack of continuity in both curriculum and class make-up. The program is structured to eliminate this classic concern. Multiple core courses are offered each term. The arrangement of courses allows the student to become a member of a class, and provides the opportunity to establish relationships with other students who desire to work at a slower pace. The program is designed to allow a student to complete all degree requirements in as little as 12-15 months. Working at a slower pace, the student may expand this time window.

As a general rule, MBA classes are conducted through three formats: weeknight, weekend or online. Weeknight classes meet one night a week for 8 weeks from 6-9:45 p.m. (for example, Monday, Tuesday or Thursday nights). Because of the compression of the summer term, courses typically meet from 6-9:45 p.m., two nights a week for four weeks.  Weekends meet for three weekends, not consecutive, on Friday from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Online classes are conducted in six-week blocks with two blocks per semester. To ensure successful progression through the course, students are strongly advised to participate five out of seven days per week.

Course Work in Other Colleges of Harding University: While the majority of course work at the graduate level is taken in the College of Business Administration, a student’s particular career objectives may make it desirable to take some course work in colleges outside of the College of Business Administration. Students have access to course work in most colleges of the University, providing they have the course prerequisites.

Students desiring to include course work from outside of the College of Business Administration should obtain approval from the chair of graduate business before enrolling in these courses.

Specific policies governing approval are the following: 

• Course work must be related to the student’s program of study.
• Course must be offered for graduate credit at a 500 level or higher.
• Course must count as credit toward degree for graduate students majoring in the department offering the course.

A maximum of three courses may be transferred from another graduate program with the approval of the chair of graduate business. All such courses must be 500-level or higher.
MBA Course Work Taken in Other Graduate Programs at Harding University: The College of Business Administration offers its course work to graduate students in a number of disciplines throughout the University. Occasionally, after taking business administration course work as part of another degree program, the student may wish to earn a graduate business degree.

A maximum of two graduate-level business courses taken in other Colleges of Harding University (prior to formal admission to the MBA degree program) will count toward the degree, provided those courses are 500-level or higher and are business related.

Students whose future plans include an MBA degree should seek admission to the Graduate School of Business as early as possible in order to receive appropriate guidance in planning their programs of study.

Program Advisers: The chair of graduate business will serve as the adviser to MBA students.  Please keep this in mind: Although program advisers are happy to offer assistance, it is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with all degree requirements and to enroll in appropriate courses. 

Transfer, International, and Non-Degree Seeking Students

Transfer students: In general, graduate students complete all degree requirements at Harding University. However, recognizing that students are subject to relocation for personal or professional reasons, the University has provided for a limited amount of transfer credit. Students entering either track will be evaluated upon entry and will be given structured guidance to help them plan their journey through the MBA curriculum.

Specific policies governing transfer credit are as follows:

A maximum of five courses may be transferred from another accredited graduate program with the approval of the chair of graduate business. In very special or unique circumstances, the dean may allow a sixth course to be transferred from another institution. In no instance may students complete less than one half of their degree program at Harding University.

When approved by the chair of graduate business, students may take courses from another graduate school after matriculation.

Only courses for which there is a Harding University equivalent can be considered for transfer credit.

Corporate Strategy and Planning (MGT 668) and Ethics in Management Skills and Analysis (MGT 600) must be taken at Harding University. Ethics, Legal and Social Issues in Business (BUS 601) must be completed at Harding University or a church-affiliated institution.

Course work accepted for credit at Harding must have been completed within the immediate seven years prior to matriculation. For students with significant and continuing work experience, the chair of graduate business may waive the seven-year rule for acceptance of graduate courses from an accredited institution.

International Students: The TOEFL is required of all incoming international students. Students who (1) speak English as a second language, and have (2) not previously completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited American college or university must meet a minimum score on a nationally recognized test of English language proficiency such as the TOEFL or IELTS. However, in lieu of these exams, professional programs in the health sciences may assess such students with an interview and/or a writing exam. An iBT Score of 80 with a Speaking Sub-scale 27 are the required minimum scores.

Minimum TOEFL scores acceptable for admission to the university are 550 (paper-based test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (Internet-based test). The minimum IELTS score is 6.0. Scores must not be older than two years prior to the date of application to the university. Please note that individual programs may have more stringent minimum requirements.

Non-degree seeking students: Harding University welcomes students who do not wish to earn a graduate degree, or who are working to earn such a degree at another university (and desire to take a maximum of three courses at Harding). Students who have been admitted to another accredited graduate school program and wish to take courses for transfer may establish non-degree status by submitting an application for admission and either a letter of good standing or a graduate transcript indicating good standing from the other institution.

Non-degree seeking students may not enroll in graduate courses in the College of Business Administration unless they have been granted unconditional admission to another accredited College of Business Administration or another graduate program of Harding University. If admission has not been established at another institution, such applicants must meet all of the admission requirements for degree candidates in the MBA program at Harding.

Individuals wishing to enroll in classes as transient (non-degree-seeking) students may take up to three courses providing they meet all prerequisites and there is space available in the class. (Some classes may require permission of the instructor).

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Graduate Assistantships are available on a competitive basis.

Academic Standing Requirements

The faculty of the College of Business Administration recognizes that academic disciplines in business change rapidly, and graduate students need an up-to-date curriculum relevant for today’s managers. To achieve this goal, the following policies have been established:

Any student admitted to a master’s program but unable to matriculate during the semester admitted must request in writing permission to defer admission until a later term. Deferred admission, if approved, will be honored for one calendar year. Students wishing to begin their studies more than one year after admission is granted must reapply for admission and be evaluated under current admission standards.

Any student who must take time off from graduate studies is required to submit a written request for a leave of absence to the Director of Business Professional Studies if the student expects to be absent more than one semester.

Graduate students are expected to make steady progress through the program.

The chair of graduate business will review the progress of students who do not satisfactorily complete at least five graduate courses in an academic year (Fall term through Summer II term).

A student not satisfactorily completing at least one course in three consecutive terms will be declared “inactive” and must reapply for admission before being permitted to return to the program. 

Grading System

Grades of A (4.0), B (3.0), C (2.0), I (Incomplete) or F (0.0 - Failing) are given for graduate course work in the College of Business Administration. The Registrar’s Office automatically changes an I (Incomplete) grade to an F if it is not removed by the following dates: Fall “Incompletes” must be removed by Friday of the eighth week of the spring semester; spring “Incompletes” must be removed by July 1; summer “Incompletes” must be removed by Friday of the eighth week of the fall semester. A student should not re-register for a course in which an Incomplete was received. The staff in the MBA office can advise as to the proper procedures for the removal of an Incomplete. In timing the removal of an Incomplete, students must remember the following: Professors have at least 14 days to read and grade papers or other materials submitted to remove an incomplete.

A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on all MBA coursework is required for graduation. Undergraduate courses required as prerequisites for some graduate courses are not calculated in the cumulative graduate grade point average.

Grades earned in graduate courses taken as electives within the University, but outside the College of Business Administration will be calculated in the overall grade point average, if accepted for credit toward the MBA degree program.

A grade of “F” (Failing) is calculated in the grade point average as number of credit hours attempted, no quality points earned. Generally, any student who receives two “F” grades is dismissed automatically from the master’s program.

If an “F” is received in a required course, that course must be repeated. If the student receives an “F” in the second attempt, the student is automatically dismissed from the program. Any course taken on an audit basis will not count toward degree requirements and cannot be repeated for credit.

Fully matriculated students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate. A student fully accepted into the MBA Program is expected to progress satisfactorily. The following model is provided in order to ensure students a successful and timely completion of the MBA Program:
Academic Warning

  • 1-12 hours, less than 2.75 GPA
  • 13-24 hours, less than 2.95 GPA
  • 25-graduation, less than 3.00 GPA

Academic Probation

  • 1-12 hours, less than 2.25 GPA
  • 13-24 hours, less than 2.75 GPA
  • 25-graduation, less than 2.95 GPA

Academic Discipline:

  1.  Academic Warning status is an early warning to students who are in danger of being put on academic probation, and as such, does not carry any restrictions.
  2.  Academic Probation status limits students who are in academic trouble to enroll in no more than 9 credit hours per semester. Students under Academic Probation are not eligible to represent the University in extracurricular activities.
  3.  Academic Probation policy applies to fall, spring and summer semesters. Upon the completion of the probationary terms, Academic Probation is lifted at the end of a semester. Failure to remove Academic Probation status the following semester may result in the student being dismissed from the MBA Program.
  4.  Students that have been dismissed will be on Academic Suspension for one semester. During the suspension period students will not be allowed to take any graduate classes. After the suspension is lifted, the student may return to classes under Academic Probation status.
  5.  If a student receives a “failing” grade in any course during the first semester of enrollment, he or she may be dismissed from the MBA Program.
  6.  The decision to dismiss a student for failure to meet the required standards of progress does not preclude the student from returning to Harding University in a later semester.
  7.  In all cases, a second dismissal will be final. 

Degree Requirements

All required work for the MBA degree must be completed within seven calendar years from the date of enrolling in the first graduate course.

Portfolio Requirement: In addition to completing the hours required, the student must also present an academic portfolio to a review committee during the final semester of work. The portfolio will be evaluated for compliance, content and quality as specified in the detailed Portfolio instructions, available in the MBA office. The portfolio will consist of papers, projects and cases accumulated in several of the completed courses. A narrative must be included to integrate the portfolio components with the MBA learning outcomes. Specific details of the format and content of the Portfolio requirement is available in the MBA office.


Paul R. Carter School of Business Administration


Master of Business Administration  (MBA)

Areas of Concentration 

Health Care Management  

Information Technology Management 

International Business 

Leadership & Organizational Management