Business Studies

Faculty | MBA | Courses

Graduate co-ordinator - Thomas F. Funk (222 MacLachlan, Ext. 3427/2771) (Email:
Graduate secretary - Audrey Donley (302 MacLachlan, Ext. 2771)

Ann Armstrong - Assistant Professor, Hotel and Food Administration
M. Rick Bates - Assistant Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
Francesco Braga - Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
William M. Braithwaite - Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
George L. Brinkman - Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
Julia Christensen-Hughes - Assistant Professor, Hotel and Food Administration
Thomas F. Funk - Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
Wayne H. Howard - Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
Larry J. Martin - Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
David Sparling - Assistant Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
Francis Tapon - Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
Calum G. Turvey - Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
Erna van Duren - Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business
Alfons J. Weersink - Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics and Business

The university offers an interdepartmental program of study leading to the degree of master of business administration (MBA) in the field of agribusiness administration. The participating units are the Departments of Agricultural Economics and Business, Consumer Studies, and Economics, and the School of Hotel and Food Administration.


Admission Requirements
   The minimum requirement for admission to the program is a baccalaureate in an honours program or equivalent from a recognized university or college with an average standing of at least a `B' (second-class honours) in the last four semesters or two years, and two letters of recommendation from former professors and/or employers or colleagues. GMAT scores may be requested in certain cases where it is difficult to judge an applicant's suitability. Some industry experience is preferred.

Degree Requirements
   There are four components to the MBA program: 1) a core of business courses required by all students, 2) a specialization of agribusiness courses, 3) approved electives, and 4) a management project.

Course Requirements
   The minimum number of semester-long courses (or equivalents) required for the MBA degree is 16 plus an acceptable two-course project paper; a total equivalent of 18 courses. Course performance evaluations will be based on examinations, participation, presentations, written reports, and problem sets. Students will be evaluated on an individual basis and as part of group efforts. The program will normally take four semesters over sixteen months with provision for additional time if necessary for completion of the special topics/project paper.
   The business core required for all students includes the basic "tools" courses found in most business programs: accounting, quantitative methods, marketing, information systems, communication, finance, economics, human resource management, and operations. Where appropriate, case studies will be used extensively to illustrate and demonstrate applications of these tools. The similarities between agribusiness industries will facilitate using industry-based cases rather than "generic" case studies found in most business programs. Thus, industry issues can be explored concurrently with the teaching of a basic set of business tools.
   The specialization core focuses on the unique aspects and issues facing agribusiness industries. Subjects include strategic management and business policy in an ever-changing, globalized industry, environmental issues and their impact on agribusiness, and the impact of government policy on agribusiness. The importance of written and verbal communications and formal presentations is recognized in all courses.
   Approved electives allow students to tailor their studies to fit their own interests and goals. The electives will range from examining strategies for agribusiness firms to maintain and increase their competitive position in a globalized market, to effective strategies for dealing with erratic prices and varying yields on the farm. Students may choose from a number of different courses from across the university to increase their breadth of knowledge and understanding.
   The project paper will be a capstone project for all students. It will be the equivalent of a two-semester course, taken in the third and fourth semesters of the program. The subject and content will be jointly determined by students and their advisory committees. The project paper will focus on an issue or a problem in the industry. The project paper could be a business feasibility study, a marketing plan, an in-depth case study, an industry analysis, or anything that the students and their committees deem appropriate and worthwhile. It is an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom and to concentrate on an area or issue that interests them.

Advisory Committee
   Students will select an advisory committee no later than the end of their second semester. The advisory committee will consist of the advisor (who will serve as committee chair) and at least one other graduate faculty member (who may be from a second department). The committee will be responsible for advice and guidance on curriculum and progress, selection of an appropriate topic for the project paper, work on the paper, and final evaluation of the paper. The project paper will be presented in an open seminar at the end of the fourth semester. The advisory committee together with all interested faculty and students will be present. The advisory committee will evaluate the oral presentation and a written version of the project paper.

See graduate co-ordinator.

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