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Examples grad school admission essays

Advance your career in an award-winning MBA program that can help you gain the skills and abilities desired by today’s employers.

The Master of Business Administration at University of Maryland University College can help you learn how to strategically manage an organization for growth and success. Develop and advance your competencies in finance, marketing, human resources, strategy, and leadership. Apply your learning from multiple disciplines and specializations to real-life business problems.

Courses in the MBA curriculum use comprehensive online learning resources and emphasize teamwork, information literacy, technology fluency, systems thinking, ethics, communication, problem solving, and critical thinking. Additionally, the MBA offers you the opportunity to learn from highly qualified experts with significant managerial and leadership experience in emerging areas relevant to your career growth.

  • Create and implement a personal leadership development plan
  • Foster mutual respect, trust, and high standards of ethics, performance, and teamwork
  • Assess and manage critical knowledge and skill gaps related to core organizational functions and managerial responsibilities
  • Complete a comprehensive analysis of the costs of operations, pricing options, financing, product mix, distribution channels, and supply chain relationships
  • Evaluate your cultural intelligence, ethical values, and skills in decision-making, and implement specific actions to leverage your strengths and further develop areas of relative weakness
  • Evaluate your organization’s policies for managing legal and ethical risks, with a focus on contracts, agency, and tort law
  • Complete an audit of the technology and information systems and processes in your organizations
  • Design and develop a marketing plan for a new product or service in both domestic and international markets
  • Prepare a comprehensive project management plan for an initiative in a new location that presents business, language, cultural, legal, and other challenges for your organization
  • Prepare a personal professional portfolio that includes your key achievements, a brief summary of your strategic leadership skills, and your plan for goal and career advancement

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Analyze costs of operations for an organization using managerial finance techniques
  • Determine optimal prices for goods and services by analyzing costs, revenues, and profitability
  • Evaluate the opportunities and risks involved in an organization’s decision to expand its operations to a global market by assessing issues of culture, business ethics, employment law, contracts, and criminal law in the context of a global business
  • Design and present a marketing plan for a new product or service, including a comprehensive situation analysis, a strong value proposition, an effective marketing mix strategy, and a holistic marketing communications plan

This program can help prepare you for the following certification exams

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

You must complete each course with a grade of B or better to advance to the next course. The grade of C is not available for these courses.

The courses in this program will have seven-day and 60-day options for the grade of Incomplete.

If you wish to improve your graduate writing skills, you may take ASC 601.

If you want to brush up on your introductory computing skills, you may take ASC 605.

  • You must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher at all times.
  • All degree requirements must be fulfilled within five consecutive years.
  • Any transfer credits must have been earned within the five-year time frame to be applied toward a graduate degree.

Collegiate Professor in the Master of Business Administration

Courtney Elizabeth Anderson has been teaching in UMUC's MBA program for more than 10 years. Her main academic interests are workplace interpersonal relationships that impact organizational outcomes, applied experiential entrepreneurship, and distributed/international workplace management–related issues.

She received the 2013 Stanley J. Drazek Teaching Excellence Award and the 2012 Teaching Recognition Award, both for the Graduate School at UMUC.

Anderson is a lifelong entrepreneur and has been an attorney since 1998. She received the 2011 Strategic Leadership Award at the World HRD Congress in Mumbai, India. She is a keynote speaker and coauthor of Ordinary Women. Extraordinary Success. published by Career Press. She has coauthored two personal empowerment books and served as an on-air legal and business expert for Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. Anderson has also been quoted in USA Today, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, the Huffington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor as well as numerous other media outlets.

Anderson is a staff editor of the Atlantic Law Journal and a member of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, the State Bar of Texas, and the State Bar of Nevada. She has been recognized for her pro bono services for children in foster care by the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and in 2016, she was admitted to the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas for delivery of legal services to low-income Texans.

Anderson holds a JD from the University of Texas School of Law, an MBA and MS in liberal studies (with emphasis in psychology, criminal justice, and human resource management) from Tarleton State University, and a BA from the University of Texas, Austin.

Collegiate Professor in the Master of Business Administration

Subash Bijlani's distinguished academic and business career spans more than 40 years. Prior to his current position at UMUC, he was executive-in-residence from 2003 to 2004 and professor of practice from 2005 to 2011. Before joining UMUC, Bijlani served as director of the Institute of Management and Technology in India, executive-in-residence at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, and visiting faculty at the Administrative Staff College of India. Bijlani received the Shiromani Award for Extraordinary Excellence from Mother Teresa.

Bijlani served as CEO and managing director of Molins of India, a leading British multinational corporation, from 1982 to 1996. He has consulted for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and the Government of India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

He currently serves as an independent director on Max Ventures and Industries, Max Speciality Films, and Vardhman Textile Mills. In the past, he held board positions at the Export-Import Bank of India, Max India, and Inalsa.

Bijlani was coleader of the trade delegation of the Governor of Maryland to India. He was a member of the Advisory Board for the India-U.S. World Affairs Institute. He served as chairman of the northern region for the Confederation of Indian Industry, president of the Chandigarh Management Association, chairman of the research council for the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, and chairman of the Advisory Board for the Government of India's Patent Information System.

Bijlani earned a Doctor of Management from UMUC; a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, United Kingdom; and postgraduate diplomas from University of Bombay and Panjabi University in India.

Collegiate Professor in the Master of Business Administration

Mohamed Ezz has taught international business management, global strategy, and marketing management at UMUC since 2009. He is a medical doctor, graduate professor, general manager, and global marketing executive, with extensive international experience in management, marketing, business development, sales, and training. He has traveled to more than 20 countries for business and lived in six countries.

Prior to joining UMUC, Ezz was the general manager of Alcon Labs and the global marketing manager for Fresenius Kabi, both based in Saudi Arabia. Before that, he was a product manager for Abbott Laboratories in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Germany. He also served as consultant of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology at the United Nations Development Programme in Cairo and Rome.

Ezz holds an MD and a master's degree in clinical biochemistry and microbiology from Cairo University as well as a Doctor of Management, Master of International Management, and Master of Business Administration from UMUC. He is also finalizing a Master of Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland, College Park.

In his free time, Ezz is an assistant coach for cycling with the Special Olympics of Orange County, North Carolina. He also presents in the parent panel of the TEACCH Autism Program of the University of North Carolina. His hobbies include sailing and scuba diving. He is a certified PC repair specialist.

Collegiate Professor in the Master of Business Administration

Michael Frank has held executive-level positions in the private and public sectors for many years. As an executive vice president and chair of the Asset-Liability Committee for a large Maryland financial institution, he supervised several hundred people, drafted strategic and business plans, oversaw reorganizations and staffing, and controlled approximately $1 billion in assets. He also founded the institution’s retail service subsidiary and became its president and a member of its Board of Directors. Prior to that, he was human resource director for two of Maryland's largest jurisdictions, where he managed all personnel and collective bargaining activities for several thousand employees.

Frank served as chair of two departments—information and technology systems and management and accounting and finance—and later as the dean and senior vice president of academic programs, all in the Graduate School at UMUC. After his service in the aforementioned administrative roles, he returned to UMUC's teaching faculty.

He is the recipient of numerous official commendations, a leadership award, a teaching excellence award, and several professional awards, including the Professional Writers Award from the International Personnel Management Association and the Sustained Outstanding Quality Award from the National Capitol Area's Management Association.

His teaching, research, and publication interests reside in the field of human resource management and organization theory. He is a coauthor of The Development of Management Theory and Practice in the United States and coeditor of Knowledge Management and E-Learning. published by the Taylor Francis Group in 2011.

He earned a PhD at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he focused on statistics, research methods, and organizational management. He has several years of postdoctoral work in finance and banking, which he completed at the University of Texas, Austin.

Collegiate Professor in the Master of Business Administration

Robert Goodwin teaches international business, legal issues in international business, ethics, and other subjects. He has taught at UMUC for more than 20 years and served as acting vice provost and dean of The Graduate School from 2011–13. Previously, he directed the MBA program and the International Management program.

From 1992 to 2005, he served as the executive vice president and general counsel and director of Chindex International Inc. a NASDAQ-listed company that is the largest independent American distributor of healthcare products and services to the Chinese marketplace and owns and operates international-standard hospitals in China. Goodwin still consults regularly with Chindex.

Prior to his role at Chindex, Goodwin was engaged in legal private practice in Washington, D.C. representing companies engaged in international business. He also served for 10 years in several senior legal positions in the U.S. government, where he handled matters ranging from the drafting of international trade statutes to representing the government in international negotiations. He was a member of the Senior Executive Service.

He has testified before Congress on Chinese legal developments, is the editor of two books, has written numerous articles on China’s legal regime, and lectures regularly on international business issues.

Goodwin earned a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he concentrated on international legal issues, a focus he has retained throughout his career. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Thailand prior to attending law school.

Associate Vice Dean of Business and Management
Program Chair of the Master of Business Administration

Rosemary Hartigan has been teaching in UMUC's MBA program for more than 12 years. Her main academic interests are the legal environment of business, particularly employment and labor law, critical thinking, and business ethics. Hartigan has more than 25 years of experience teaching adult students in diverse institutions, including the Rochester Institute of Technology, Babson College, and the McGregor School of Antioch University.

Her professional experience includes law practice, product development, marketing management, and writing publications on labor and employment law. She led product development and marketing teams for high- and low-tech products, including search systems and electronic legal databases for LexisNexis.

In 2012, she was awarded UMUC's Provost's Best Paper Award for a paper on online case studies. In 2009, she won the Best Paper Award from the North East Academy of Legal Studies in Business for "Gossip, the Office, and the First Amendment."

She is a staff editor of the Journal of Legal Studies in Business and author of numerous legal publications. Hartigan is also a certified Senior Birkman Method consultant and has provided leadership, team building, and professional development consulting and coaching to organizations and individuals across the United States.

She earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s in management from Antioch University-Midwest and a master’s in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is a member of the Wisconsin and Massachusetts Bar Associations and the American Association of University Women.

Program Chair of the Master of Business Administration

Ravi Mittal has taught in UMUC's MBA program since 2005: first as an adjunct professor, later as a collegiate professor, and since November 2014, as the MBA program chair. His main academic interests are in the areas of international business, strategy, project management, and information systems. Prior to joining UMUC, Mittal served on the faculty at North Carolina State University, East Carolina University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Wake Forest University. In addition to his academic teaching experience, Mittal has eight years of industry experience in enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and airline revenue management.

Mittal earned a PhD in industrial and management systems engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, an MS in industrial and systems engineering from the Ohio State University, an MTech in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, and a BE in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai.

In 2015, Mittal was elected to serve as a graduate collegiate representative on UMUC's Faculty Advisory Council. Subsequently, he was closely involved in UMUC's development of the Enhanced Learning Model. Mittal has played a central role in creating a new learning model for the MBA program.

Sandeep Patnaik has more than 10 years of experience teaching graduate-level marketing and management courses in the United States, India, and Europe. Patnaik is an active researcher in the area of marketing communications. He has led research on advertising strategy at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, resulting in the publication of the handbook “Persuasive Advertising.”

Prior to joining UMUC full time, Patnaik was the research director at Gallup and Robinson, a leading market research firm affiliated with the Gallup organization. In that role, he was involved in promoting facial electromyography techniques to measure emotional reactions to TV advertisements. His current research explores the synergistic relationship between traditional media and social media and developing strategies to successfully integrate both into marketing campaigns.

From 1997 to 2000, he was a research fellow at the University Of Pennsylvania.

Patnaik earned a PhD in management from the University of Delhi in India. He is a member of multiple professional organizations and has published research articles in peer-reviewed journals. He was awarded the 2012 UMUC Teaching Recognition Award based on student recommendations.

Collegiate Professor in the Master of Business Administration

Michael J. Riley teaches finance, economics, and accounting to students in UMUC's MBA program. In addition, he has taught marketing and strategy. He has served as course manager assistant dean in the Undergraduate School at UMUC.

Riley is a member of the Board of Directors of Church Mutual Insurance Company and chairman of its Audit Committee. Previously, he was chairman of the Audit Committee of the Architect of the Capitol and chairman of the Audit Committee for the Government Printing Office.

His professional history includes stints as the CFO of the U.S. Postal Service, Lee Enterprises, and United Airlines; treasurer of the Michigan Bell Telephone Company; and assistant controller of Northeast Utilities. In his early career, he was a naval aviator, flying P-2 airplanes and serving as a survival school instructor for the U.S. Navy.

Riley earned a DBA from Harvard University, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Naval Academy. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Harvard University, Boston University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Michigan, and George Mason University.

Anna Seferian joined UMUC in 2007 and has since taught multiple courses in the MBA and Doctor of Management programs.

Seferian’s expertise lies in marketing. Her research interests include the effectiveness of online education, marketing communications, and brand placement. She regularly presents and publishes in these areas and received UMUC’s Faculty Research Grant in 2012 for her research on student multiple-goal conflict and motivation while completing their online programs.

Prior to working in academia, Seferian held various positions in the marketing and market research fields. She was the marketing manager for the largest carpet production company in Armenia and served as a research and strategy adviser for a large dairy products manufacturer. She continues to maintain a connection with industry through occasional consulting projects and various programs that focus on experience and knowledge exchange between industry and academia.

She was an Advertising Education Foundation visiting scholar at the advertising agency Leo Burnett Worldwide.

Seferian earned a PhD in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from the American University of Armenia, and a BS in international economics from Yerevan State University in Armenia. As someone who worked full time while earning her academic degrees, she can relate to the challenges of juggling family, school, work, and various social commitments. But her experience has also convinced her that those same real-world challenges prove beneficial in enhancing classroom learning.

Seferian has served as UMUC’s representative on the University System of Maryland Women’s Forum. She is also an active member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, which supports women in higher education.

Assistant Program Chair of the Master of Business Administration

James J. Stewart has been teaching management, technology management, marketing, human resource management, international business and information systems policy, strategy, and ethics at UMUC since 1989. His research interests include organizational leadership and academic pedagogy, focusing on teaching working adults.

Stewart became a professional soldier at the age of 18, rising to the level of colonel of Marines, serving in war and peace as commander or deputy commander of seven organizations. He has lived and worked for more than two decades in Asia, Europe, and Mexico. While teaching at UMUC Europe, Stewart concurrently taught for 13 years at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences.

Stewart earned a Doctor of Science from The George Washington University, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School, a Master of Science in Management Technology from The American University, a diploma in National Security Management from National Defense University, and a diploma in Hemispheric Defense from Inter-American Defense College.

Stewart holds professional certifications in information and computer science, information technology project management, supply chain management, and agile project management methods.

He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), IEEE Computer Society, IEEE Technology Management Council, The Association for Operations Management, the Project Management Institute, and the Scrum Alliance.

The discount for Federal employees and their spouses and eligible dependents will be applied to out-of-state tuition and specialty graduate programs. It does not apply to doctoral programs.

Undergraduate and standard graduate program tuition for students who meet the criteria for Maryland residency will be the applicable in-state rate. Undergraduate and standard graduate program tuition for active-duty military. members of the Selected Reserves, National Guard, and the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the spouses and dependents of these student groups will be the applicable military rate. If you are a student using Post 9/11 benefits, please contact an advisor at 800-939-UMUC to determine if you can apply both benefits..

View important information about the education debt, earnings, and completion rates of students enrolled in certificate programs.

All students are required to pay tuition for all courses in which they are enrolled. Tuition rates are subject to the approval of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. They may be changed, or other charges may be included, as a result of the Board of Regents decisions. Notwithstanding any other provision of this or any other university publication, the university reserves the right to make changes in tuition, fees and other charges at any time such changes are deemed necessary by the university and the USM Board of Regents.

The Board of Regents has authorized the university to charge a student's delinquent account for all collection costs incurred by the university. The normal collection fee is 17 percent plus attorney and/or court costs. The service charge for a dishonored check is $30. Requests for services (for example, transcripts, diplomas, registration) will be denied until all debts are paid.

Please see the USM residency policy for specific details about residency requirements.

Financial aid and tuition remission for University System of Maryland employees cannot be applied to noncredit courses. Golden ID benefits may not be applied to fees, noncredit courses, specialty graduate programs, or doctoral programs. Regular tuition rates apply for cooperative education, course challenge examinations, and EXCEL 301.

GI Bill is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More information about education benefits offered by VA is available on the U.S. government GI Bill website .

The UCSP 615 requirement may be waived if you previously earned a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. For more information, contact your academic advisor.

(Recommended preparation for students who want to improve their writing skills.) Improve your academic writing skills and become a better communicator. Enhance your grammar and punctuation skills through individualized exercises. Prepare for academic writing by summarizing and synthesizing texts, developing well-organized essays, and integrating sources into your work. Employ APA style for formatting and correct citation. Learn the steps of writing, from prewriting through proofreading, to produce clear, concise documents appropriate to your audience and purpose.

(Recommended preparation for students who want a background in the basic configurations of computer hardware and operating systems software.) Explore concepts of computing. Discuss computer systems (including computer hardware and hardware components, computer software, and networks) and the Internet. Develop your understanding of the privacy and security issues related to computing and the Internet. This course is specifically recommended for students entering the cybersecurity, cybersecurity policy, and digital forensics programs who do not have a background in computing.

Prerequisite: PRO 600. Assess and develop your leadership skills by creating a personal leadership and professional development plan that you will refine during the program. Develop a strategic understanding of your organization by analyzing its mission, vision, goals, and values. Evaluate your organization's culture, climate, and approach to decision making and assess leadership effectiveness, governance structure, and processes. Explore how high-performing work teams can be a source of competitive advantage.

Prerequisite: MBA 610. Conduct financial analysis to accomplish strategic goals for an organization. Analyze financial statements to estimate the financial risks faced by the organization. Make effective operational decisions related to pricing, product mix, and distribution channels by analyzing costs, revenues, and profitability. Use capital budgeting techniques to determine the suitability of candidate projects and determine long-term capital requirements needed to support an organization.

Prerequisite: MBA 620. Enhance your cultural competence and evaluate opportunities and risks for operations in a global market. Expand your ability to apply ethical decision-making models. Assess issues of culture, business ethics, employment law, contracts, and criminal law in the context of a global business. Analyze political, legal, economic, and cultural forces that impact multinational businesses. Recommend the legal form and organizational structure of a business.

Prerequisite: MBA 630. Critically examine technology systems and business processes in the organization. Complete a situation analysis of the organization, the environment, and customers. Organize tasks in a marketing plan, assess market risk and opportunity, and collect data required to implement the marketing plan. Develop revenues, cost projections, and suitable metrics, as well as a balanced scorecard for tracking the marketing plan.

Prerequisite: MBA 640. Assume the role of a strategy officer who reports to the CEO. Identify activities in the value chain of your organization and propose a plan to relocate one or more activities to another geographical region. Prepare a project management plan for the opening of a facility in a new country. Develop a business plan that includes an entry strategy, operational plan, competitive strategy, and financial statements.

Communicating, Problem Solving, and Leading in Professional Fields

(Required for students in the MBA program.) Make yourself more valuable to an employer by gaining and improving skills in communication and problem solving. Explore your field by developing connections to your career path, creating a professional social network presence, and using critical thinking to inform decisions. Improve and refine your skills in communication, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and team leadership as you hone your professional writing and oral communication skills and proficiency with analytical software programs, collaboration tools, and other professional software.

(Required within the first 6 credits of graduate study for all new graduate students, except MBA students). An overview of the skills needed for academic and professional success. Focus is on enhancing communication and critical thinking skills. Assignments provide familiarity with tools such as social media and library and information resources. APA style and resources are also addressed.

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