Fundamental Competencies

College of Business

Fundamental Competencies

Students who do not receive advanced standing based on undergraduate coursework, but who have substantially mastered the foundational competencies by other means, such as life experience, may prepare documentation of these competencies at the time of application or at any time before taking the graduate level coursework requiring the competency.

Financial Accounting

This foundational competency emphasizes the interpretation, analysis, and use of key financial issues, which include an understanding of the balance sheet, the income statement, statement of cash flows, as well as cash budgeting and financial forecasting. This competency is required for GM541 and GM561. Students may demonstrate this competency through academic coursework, or by completing a program of self-study administered by the business faculty.


This foundational competency includes an overview of the use of statistics and statistical procedures, with emphasis on probability theory and its applications. Topics covered include computational measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; probability distribution functions; multiple and bivariate regression; decision theory; population parameters; and statistical inference. This competency is required for GM542 and GM564. Students may demonstrate this competency through academic coursework, or by completing a program of self-study administered by the business faculty.

Programming Competency

Programming competency includes an understanding of the fundamentals of object oriented programming. While students will not be required to write and interpret code, they are expected to understand basic computing concepts including data structures, classes, encapsulation, inheritance, interfaces, return values, and state. This competency is required for GI551. Students may demonstrate this competency through academic coursework. Equivalent work experience may be accepted with approval from the business faculty.

Course Sequence

Students normally begin their studies with GM510. Students are encouraged to take courses generally following the numbering hierarchy. GM691 is the capstone course in the M.B.A. program and is intended to be the final course in the sequence. Generally, a student will not be advised to register for the capstone course unless all 500 level courses have been completed. No transfer of GM510 or GM691 is allowed.

Independent Study

Independent study offers an opportunity to explore an area of study not included in the Catalog listing of approved courses. The topic of an Independent Study should be selected and carefully designed by the student and faculty sponsor, and must meet with the approval of the Program Director and Dean no later than the end of the add/drop period of the term in which the Independent Study is to occur. Normally, the student will be expected to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 and possess the appropriate background and interest to pursue the proposed area of study. A “Proposal for Independent Study” form may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.