Master of Business Administration (Competency-Based)

Colleges and universities traditionally award credit for classroom hours attended, conferring degrees based on students’ completion of a certain set of courses for a given number of credit hours.  The focus of a competency-based program is on the mastery of student learning outcomes – what they know and can do – rather than on how many hours, semesters, or years a student spends in school.  A competency-based program allows students to demonstrate through assessments that they have acquired the set of competencies (levels of knowledge, skill, or ability) required for a particular degree.  Some students may have acquired much of the knowledge and many of the skills and abilities necessary for a degree through their life or previous work experience. University of Massachusetts Global’s competency-based Master of Business Administration program allows students to prove their competency through assessments thereby reducing the time needed to earn a degree.

This self-paced online program of study emphasizes the foundations and application of business administration and operations using a theory to practice approach. Students interested in attaining and advancing in leadership, management and supervisory roles and organizations today, would benefit from this degree program.

The quality focus of this degree program requires students to demonstrate mastery of all competencies required for the competency-based Master of Business Administration degree program. Students with leadership and business experience who are self-motivated, goal oriented, and excel at working independently are ideal candidates for the competency-based Master of Business Administration degree program.

This program is pending WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and U.S. Department of Education approval.


The mission of the competency-based Master of Business Administration program is to provide an experience-driven, relevant, business curriculum for gaining knowledge, skills, and abilities to plan, execute, monitor, evaluate, and create value. This program will proactively address dynamic challenges at a strategic level, for students to become effective business leaders in a competitive and diverse environment.

Program Learning Outcomes

The focus of the competency-based Master of Business Administration program is on the development of the people and conceptual skills which are essential to success at all levels of administration.  Students in this program will focus on the following Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Communication: Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills in varying business settings.
  • Equity and Inclusion: Apply fundamental practices and tools for successfully building and leading global organizations that are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just.
  • Strategic Operations: Evaluate business functions and processes to plan and formulate business strategies.
  • Business Analytics: Evaluate data to identify emerging trends and provide viable data-driven recommendations to analyze and solve complex problems.
  • Building Relationships: Create a model to foster an internal collaborative culture that drives positive relationships and change that impact organizational success.

Requirements for Admission

The prospective graduate student in the MBA program must demonstrate their readiness to succeed in graduate-level academic coursework by satisfactorily fulfilling one of the following admission options. All graduate admissions options listed below require an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Admission by GPA

A 2.75 grade point average (GPA) calculated over the most recent 30 graded semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. All credits used for GPA calculation must be from a regionally accredited institution. For graduates of regionally accredited institutions that do not conduct a GPA calculation, an official letter from the University determining grade equivalency will be accepted.

Admission by Prior Graduate Degree

An earned master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.

Admission by Portfolio

Submission of a portfolio of evidence that shows adequate preparation for graduate studies. The portfolio will contain: writing samples that show graduate level communications and analytical skills; a detailed resume showing professional development and achievements; awards; professional recognition; letters of reference from persons who can attest to the applicant’s ability to do graduate level work; and a letter of explanation detailing the reasons the student believes they are a good candidate for graduate study in the field they wish to pursue. If the portfolio meets substantive approval of the committee, the applicant may be invited for an interview. The decision of the School Graduate Admissions Committee will be final.

At time of admission, students must select an appropriate track to meet degree requirements for Domain 3.  Students must submit documentation to satisfy requirements in their chosen track. 

Military Track. The service member must submit applicable documentation as outlined below.

  • Active Duty, active reserve, retired and prior service military members in the following ranks are eligible: Commissioned Officers (any rank), Senior NCO (E7 or above) or CW2 or above.
  • Commissioned Officers must be graduates of a commissioning program (OCS or equivalent, ROTC, Military Academy) and a basic officer career course. Senior NCOs must be E7 or above and graduates of a career NCO Advanced Course. Warrant Officers must be CW2 or above and graduates of a Warrant Officer Candidate School and a Warrant Officer career course.
Transfer of Coursework

In the Elective Track, a maximum of twelve credits, which equates to 4 competency equivalencies, may be accepted in transfer toward the core supporting competencies Elective Track in Domain 3. No transfer coursework is permitted for Domain 1 or Domain 2.

Alternative to university policies concerning transfer of coursework, the competency-based Master of Business Administration program will accept transfer of course work, which specifically meets the following criteria:

Military Coursework Five Competency Transfer:  Eligible Active Duty, Reserve National Guard, retired and prior military service members who successfully petition for this transfer will be awarded mastery of five competencies for comparable military course work, which includes OLCC 614, Team Leadership and Collaboration in Domain 1, and all four Domain 3 competencies by using the following substitution competencies; OLCC 641 Leadership in Military Communication, OLCC 643 Military Operations Leadership, HRCC 618 Career Management, HRCC 646 Training and Development. This is a block transfer approval only. Partial transfer of competencies is not authorized. Recipients of the five competency transfer must complete all remaining competencies for the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree from University of Massachusetts Global in accordance with academic policy.

Elective Transfer: Upon verification of completion of organization-specific training, and approval by the Dean, students may receive a twelve credit transfer of elective competencies in disciplines related to Business Administration, Management and/or Operations.

Seven-Year Limitation. The seven-year rule for completion of all competencies toward the competency-based Master of Business Administration degree applies, including credit for transfer of competencies for military schooling. (See Seven-Year Limitation in Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.)

Requirements for the Degree

The competency-based Master of Business Administration program consists of three Domains, each with four competencies, for a total of 12 competencies overall.  Domain 1 focuses on business foundations. Domain 2, which includes a capstone competency to reinforce the application of concepts and theories learned throughout the degree program, focuses on business practices.  Domains 1 and 2 make up the competency-based Master of Business Administration required core program of study.

Domain 3 has two options; 1) an Elective Track which consists of 12 approved equivalent credits where students may choose from a selection of competencies provided below under Domain 3 Elective Track or request to transfer in existing credits; 2) Military Track for eligible military and veterans only.

Domain 1: Business Foundations – Core

BUSC 621: Economic Analysis

Apply economic research and analysis to global and contemporary issues to better understand the business climate.

MKTC 605: Marketing Management

Adapt a current marketing strategy using innovative concepts and tools to improve target market outreach and profitability in alignment with organizational strategy.

OLCC 614: Team Leadership and Collaboration

Utilize team-building principles to promote organizational effectiveness.

OLCC 654: Inclusive Leadership

Apply cultural intelligence practices by utilizing strategies and tools to create inclusive workplace environments.

Domain 2: Business Practices – Core

ACCC 605: Accounting for Business Decisions

Analyze and interpret financial data to make business decisions.

BUSC 610: Data Analysis for Decision Making

Utilize various statistical methods to analyze data for improved decision-making.

FINC 607: Financial Management

Apply financial theory and concepts to optimize business finance resources in support of the organizational strategy.

BUSC 689: Strategic Business Operations Capstone

Create a project plan for improving organizational operations based on diverse perspectives, data and information analysis, collaborative relationships, and global challenges.

Domain 3: Elective Track

An elective track which consists of the equivalent of twelve credits selected by the student from elective competencies in disciplines related to Business Administration, Management and/or Operations may be applied to fulfill the requirements of Domain 3 for this degree program. Competencies can be selected from the following approved list or Dean approved transfer of up to twelve credits:

BUSC 600: Leadership and Business Operations

Examine the impact of core business functions essential to organizational decision-making.

BUSC 683: Strategic Project Management

Create a strategic project management plan that aligns with the organizational mission.

GISC 505: GIS Research Methods

Apply multiple research methods, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and quantitative and qualitative data for data driven decision making and policy creation.

GISC 633: GIS for Emergency Preparedness and Planning

Apply GIS technologies to improve decision-making in Emergency Management.

GISC 634: GIS for Emergency Response and Recovery

Examine how geospatial information and GIS tools can be used to support emergency response and post-event recovery operations.

GISC 637: Economic Development

Evaluate strategies toward economic growth using benchmarks and data analytics.

GISC 638: GIS and Community Economic Development

Explore the relationship between data analysis using GIS and building strong communities and economies.

HRCC 603: Globalization and Diversity

Assess inclusive leadership strategies as they relate to leadership in a global and diverse organization.

HRCC 630: Conflict and Negotiation

Apply conflict resolution strategies within an organizational setting.

MKTC 624: Seminar in Marketing Research

Examine marketing methods and applications, the scope of market research, buyer and industrial applications, and research methodologies.

MKTC 635: Seminar in Advertising and Promotion

Examine the role of advertising and promotion in the marketing mix and the critical role advertising plays in marketing success.

OLCC 501: Data-Driven Decision-Making and Planning

Analyze research and scholarly sources to make sound organizational decisions.

OLCC 600: Foundations of Organizational Leadership

Evaluate classical and contemporary leadership theories to refine leadership practices.

OLCC 601: Ethical Leadership and Decision Making

Apply ethical principles to inform decision-making.

OLCC 613: Organizational Theory and Behavior

Apply motivation and behavioral theories to impact organizational performance.

OLCC 615: Change Management

Evaluate theories and models that leaders implement to effectively lead change.

OLCC 632: Leadership and Innovation

Apply innovative frameworks and strategies to address organizational problems.

PADC 607: Public Policy Analysis

Interpret data to provide recommendations about public policy development and application.

Domain 3: Military Track

HRCC 618: Career Management

Create effective personal and organizational career development plans.

HRCC 646: Training and Development

Apply effective training and development practices to meet individual and organizational needs.

OLCC 641: Leadership in Military Communication

Apply appropriate communication strategies, formats and principles in military scenarios.

OLCC 643: Military Operations Leadership

Apply military operations principles and theories to meet established objectives.