Program accreditation
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Program goal

Master of Business Administration

The purpose of the Master of Business Administration program at VCU is to prepare individuals for the responsibilities of management. As students at VCU, individuals will learn the functions and techniques of effective management. The student also will come to understand the environmental and economic factors that affect decision-making in organizations. In short, the student will know what to do as future events unfold that affect his/her firm or organization.

An M.B.A. from VCU benefits students at various points in their careers. Individuals who have recently received their baccalaureate degrees may choose to refine their business skills while their undergraduate training is fresh. Individuals with work experience often find that an M.B.A. is the key to rapid promotion or a career change. Finally, an M.B.A. from VCU meets the needs of students who recognize that the best preparation for an uncertain future is continuous learning.

Master of Science in Information Systems

The Master of Science in Information Systems program is designed to prepare students for specialized roles in information systems. The program is intended to provide a graduate-level, technically oriented curriculum that focuses on the design and development of information systems to solve real-world problems. The department’s curriculum is focused on the rapidly emerging area known as enterprise information systems. Students may choose a curriculum with no concentration or a concentration in information risk, security and assurance. Graduates of the program are expected to be able to take significant roles in planning, organizing, managing, designing, configuring and implementing EIS systems using state-of-the-art technologies within organizations.

Student learning outcomes

For M.B.A. graduates

  1. Students should be able to demonstrate the capacity to apply business knowledge in new and unfamiliar circumstances.
  2. Students should be able to demonstrate the ability to work in teams and other groups.
  3. Students should understand and be able to develop the ethical and social responsibilities of organizations.
  4. Students should be able to describe the factors involved in key operation decisions and to apply appropriately techniques that provide insight and structure for management decision-making.
  5. Students should be able to identify and understand major issues faced by organizations with evolving information technology and investigate issues and challenges faced by managers with changes in information technology.
  6. Students should be able to describe the factors involved in key operation decisions and to apply appropriately techniques that provide insight and structure for management decision-making.
  7. Graduates of the program should be able to critically evaluate and use accounting and other information for managerial decision-making.
  8. Graduates should be able to evaluate marketing programs.
  9. Students should be able to think critically and systematically about financial issues in businesses to develop techniques to analyze these issues numerically.
  10. Graduates of the program should be able to develop an analytical framework for identifying the objectives of the firm and to provide some tools for evaluating the firm’s performance.

For M.S. in Information Sciences graduates

  1. Graduates should be capable of communicating and networking effectively within their profession and within their organizations, serving the profession by applying this knowledge broadly and maintaining key technical expertise in order to sustain required levels of competitiveness.
  2. Graduates must have an understanding of information technology as it applies to business contexts and the skill to apply this technology effectively in specific circumstances.
  3. Graduates must be able to develop efficient and effective IS solutions using appropriate technologies that can deliver competitive advantages to organizations.
  4. Graduates must be able to develop and incorporate changes in the planning and management of IS resources based on an increased understanding of the dynamic changes in the organization, IS and global environments.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Business policies and procedures for graduate master’s degree students are available on the school’s website at

Apply online at

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.B.A. Fall Jul 1 GMAT or GRE
Spring Nov 1
M.S. Spring only Feb 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants to the combined Master of Business Administration and Executive Master of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in information technology management program must submit an up-to-date resume.

Degree requirements

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students can earn both M.B.A. and M.S. in Information Systems degrees by having 12 credit hours counted toward both degrees, thus requiring only 54 credit hours total of advanced course work (not counting foundation courses), rather than the 36 and 30 credit hours normally required for the two degrees.

To obtain both degrees, students will complete the entire 30 credit-hour information system master’s program plus six M.B.A. core courses (ECON 610, FIRE 623, ACCT 608, MGMT 642, SCMA 675 and MKTG 671) plus two elective courses. Students must also complete any designated required courses. The course ISTM 671 will substitute for MGMT 641; ISTM 672 will substitute for INFO 661; and ISTM 677 will substitute for INFO 664. ISTM 673 will count toward one of the three required M.B.A. elective courses.

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
Foundation courses (Not included in 54 hours required for combined degree program.)
ACCT 507Fundamentals of Accounting3
ECON 500Concepts in Economics3
FIRE 520Financial Concepts of Management3
MGMT 540Management Theory and Practice3
MKTG 570Concepts and Issues in Marketing3
SCMA 524Statistical Fundamentals for Business Management3
SCMA 530Fundamentals of the Legal Environment of Business3
Total Hours21

M.B.A. course work

Course Title Hours
Advanced core courses
ACCT 608Managerial Accounting Concepts3
ECON 610Managerial Economics3
FIRE 623Financial Management3
MGMT 642Business Policy and Strategy3
MKTG 671Marketing Management3
SCMA 675Operations Management3
Electives (two)6
Total Hours24

M.S. in Information Systems course work

Course Title Hours
ISTM 671Organizational Culture and Team Building3
ISTM 672Information Systems Management3
ISTM 673Analysis and Decisions3
ISTM 674Emerging Technologies3
ISTM 675IS Planning and Project Management3
ISTM 676Information Systems Assurance and Security Management3
ISTM 677Structuring Information for Decision Making3
ISTM 678IS in the Digital Economy3
ISTM 679Enterprise Information Systems3
ISTM 691Topics in IT Management3
Total Hours30

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 54

Students in the combined program who wish to have an M.B.A. concentration other than information resources management would need to complete an additional three courses for the concentration area.

Graduate program director
Austen Gouldman
Director, graduate programs
Phone: (804) 828-4622

Additional contact
Graduate Studies in Business
Phone: (804) 828-4622

Program website: