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Degree Options

Special Options

Beyond course work, Michigan makes available several options in areas like further developing executive skills, study abroad, foreign language study, and in-company project work around the world. While most of these options require time away from work, many Evening MBA students choose to make special arrangements to take advantage of them in order to augment their management development while at Michigan.

Entrepreneurship Track

Michigan's MBA program does two powerful things for would-be entrepreneurs.

First, it provides world-class business knowledge and development that gives Michigan graduates an edge no matter what career they pursue. Second, Michigan offers a special set of elective courses that corral all that knowledge and apply the learning to everything from how to generate ideas for new businesses through learning how to found, fund, and grow a start-up. Advanced courses in the track include working with business start-ups or hatching and developing students' plans for their own businesses.

The Entrepreneurship Track cuts across disciplines, and may either be taken in a recommended sequence or as individual courses. Course offerings draw on regular Michigan faculty as well as working entrepreneurs. Michigan is also the home of the Center for Private Equity Finance, which annually runs a Growth Capital Symposium at the Business School that attracts millions of dollars in venture capital as well as dozens of entrepreneurs from around the country. That's one way Michigan faculty bring real-world knowledge to Michigan MBAs interested in entrepreneurship. Center director David Brophy, who teaches in the entrepreneurship track, was also recently selected by the White House to be the lead researcher for one of the most comprehensive studies on entrepreneurship in the United States.

Executive Skills Program

Michigan's Executive Skills seminars focus on a pivotal set of skills that research at Michigan and elsewhere has identified as the crucial difference in leadership and managerial effectiveness. The seminars complement course work by targeting important skills -- transformational leadership, leveraging company resources through networking, leading and leveraging workforce diversity, and gaining power and influence. The seminars have also included offerings in the areas of personal finance, time management, and balancing work and family.

The program transcends business functional areas, and is affiliated with Michigan's Office of Career Development--an affiliation that further sharpens the program's alignment with the latest demands of business. It draws on Michigan's prowess in executive education, bringing ideas that have been battle-tested with corporate executives from around the world into the MBA program.

Among the Michigan faculty who have conducted seminars are C.K. Prahalad, considered one of the most influential "management gurus" in the world, who coined such paradigm-changing business terms as "core competence" and "strategic intent" and co-authored Competing for the Future; Noel Tichy, a leading authority on leadership, as well as a consultant to major companies and author of Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will and The Leadership Engine and Wayne Baker, an expert on networking and author of Networking Smart. The program also brings in leading experts on key topics from outside the Business School.

Executive Skills seminars are primarily offered on Fridays, either in morning or afternoon sessions. Occasionally, seminars are held on Saturdays. While they do require time off from work for most Evening MBA students, the special insights they deliver -- and targeted skills they develop -- make them popular for part-time as well as full-time students.

Global Opportunities

International In-Company Learning

As on other fronts, Michigan offers a fresh and powerful approach to preparing for the global business world, with special attention to developing advanced capabilities in students.

Michigan's in-company learning model is a powerful way for MBAs to develop their abilities to function effectively in the global business environment by performing highly demanding assignments in a real-world situation with all of the demands of cross-cultural, cross-border commerce thrown in. It is an opportunity for advanced professional development applicable to any kind of career and specific development of international business capabilities.

International assignments are carefully designed to create an important developmental experience, and include working on substantive projects like developing market-entry or growth strategies, evaluating business opportunities in emerging markets, product development, and other major strategic issues.

In-company learning assignments require a minimum of one week of on-site work, and some require as much as 11 weeks. Since time away from the job can be feasible for some part-time students, Michigan extends the option to those enrolled in the Evening MBA program. Students can apply, once enrolled in the Business School, for participation in:

Global Project Course: Worldwide Options
The Global Project Course is offered in the winter term each year. The Global Project Course involves substantial Ann Arbor-based team work and also requires a minimum of one week (depending on project requirements) on-site at company locations outside the United States.

Students enrolled in the Global Project Course do their assignments in teams with fellow MBAs. The teams work closely with a partner company, and focus on high-level and often wide-ranging issues of significant importance to that company. In 1997, the Global Project Course roster included projects with major multinationals, including AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and Motorola as well as several projects for business start-ups. Projects' geographical focus ranged from Southeast Asia to Japan and China to Western Europe and South America.

William Davidson Institute: In-Company Learning in Emerging Markets
While a few student internships or global projects may be available in the future through the William Davidson Institute to further its applied research, the vast majority of student and global projects are now handled by the Business School's MAP (as of 9/04).  Please visit http://www.bus.umich.edu/MAP/Default.htm

Africa Business Development Corps
Africa Corps in-company learning takes place during the summer months. Assignments are of a very high-impact nature, providing important assistance to emerging economies in southern Africa and affording significant developmental opportunities for participating students. Unlike most other Michigan in-company learning programs, Africa Corps assignments are completed either individually or in groups of two. Many assignments put students in geographical proximity to each other, and students on different assignments often stay linked informally. In addition, Michigan staff provide assistance as-needed and one or more hosts is designated in the sponsoring firm to work with the student on assignment.

Prior to departing for Africa, students undergo an intensive orientation session, which draws on the University of Michigan's Africa Studies program as well as on the experiences of previous program participants. Most of the host organizations are local firms and, in some cases, appropriate government units or non-government organizations. Projects are crafted to ensure significant application of MBA's special skills and knowledge, which are in high demand in the areas served. The projects are also crafted to ensure significant professional development for participating MBAs.

Africa Corps assignments are paid positions.

Center for International Business Education

Financial Support for International Internships

In addition to in-company learning outside the United States, Michigan supports individual students who wish to arrange internships abroad. The School's Center for International Business Education provides travel funds to support such internships for U.S. citizens. While CIBE generally funds internships with for-profit firms, students securing any meaningful management experience abroad are eligible. Internships must be at least two months in duration to qualify. Students may apply for financial support of travel to and from the site of the internship.

Language Training
The University of Michigan is one of the world's centers for language education. The University offers courses in the languages used by 48 of the United States' top 50 trading partners. Many of the languages taught each year at Michigan are offered at only a very few other universities in the United States. Along with French, German, and Spanish, students have the opportunity to learn an unusually wide range of additional languages, especially those spoken in important emerging markets--such as Thai, various Chinese dialects, and more.

The Business School draws on the University's vast resources in this area, making Michigan an ideal place for the development of foreign language skills. In addition to the courses offered by the University in general, the Center for International Business Education has sponsored the development of language courses designed especially for business students, including business French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic. Michigan also offers tuition fellowships for summer language study.

Study Abroad/International Exchange Programs
Michigan has a large number of partnerships (a total of 14) with leading graduate schools of management outside the United States. These partnerships provide Michigan MBAs with the opportunity to spend a semester studying, for Michigan credit, outside the United States.

Michigan MBAs who take advantage of these study-abroad opportunities typically do so in the fall semester. Participants are granted 15 credit hours toward their Michigan MBA.

Michigan MBAs may apply for study abroad in the following locations:

  • University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Wirtschaftsuniversitaet Wien, Austria
  • INCAE, Costa Rica
  • Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
  • Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland
  • Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, France
  • Wissenschaftliche Hochschule fur Unternehmensfuhrung, Germany
  • Universitia Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Italy
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Escuela Superior de Administracion y Direccion de Empresas, Spain
  • Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
  • St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • London Business School, United Kingdom