VIII. Graduate Programs
The minimum requirement for admission to the program is a baccalaureate in an honours undergraduate program or equivalent from a recognized university or college with an average standing of at least a 'B-' (second-class honours or 70-72%) 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. A minimum of two years of relevant industry experience in a managerial capacity is preferred. A resume or CV is also required outlining relevant work experience. Applicants must also submit a statement of interest in agribusiness management. The program has a single entry, in the Fall Semester.
The University of Guelph MBA program involves a core group of courses that build and develop key managerial skills, and specialization courses that allow participants to apply concepts and skills to management situations in a particular industry. Case studies are widely used.
Participants normally complete their program by a research project or thesis and may substitute two courses for the research project or thesis. Program prerequisites include supervisory and management experience in Agriculture and Agribusiness.
The minimum number of semester-long courses (or equivalents) required for the MBA in Agribusiness degree is 15 which may include a major project. 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 three semesters over twelve months for completion of the major project paper.
The business core required for all students includes the basic "tools" courses found in most business programs: accounting, marketing, research methods, 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, global market, environmental issues and their impact on agribusiness, the impact of government policy on agribusiness, the development and implementation of effective strategies for dealing with price risk in financial and agricultural markets. The importance of written and verbal communications and formal presentations is recognized in all courses.
Electives allow students to tailor their studies to fit their individual interests and goals. Students may choose from a number of different courses from across the university to increase their breadth of knowledge and understanding. The selection of electives must be approved by the MBA in Agribusinss Program Committee.
Students may elect to complete a major project paper which will be a capstone project. It will be the equivalent of a two-semester course, taken in the second and third semesters of the program. The subject and content will be jointly determined by students and their advisory committees and must be approved by the MBA in Agribusiness Program Committee. 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 any other topic 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.
Students who elect to complete a major project 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 third semester in collaboration with the MBA in Agribusiness Program Committee.