The Fully Employed Master of Business Administration (FEMBA) is a 52-unit program designed for individuals who possess some business or managerial experience and are interested in developing their functional competencies and leadership potential. Students gain a solid foundation of current business management concepts including the impacts of globalization, technology and ethics on the future workplace. A significant amount of students’ class assignments will require ongoing integration and application of acquired knowledge and skills by the students to their professional lives.
The program is designed to meet the following student learning objectives:
- To develop fundamental business knowledge in areas such as finance, marketing, accounting, economics, quantitative analysis, law, human behavior, information systems, management and leadership, and strategy.
- To develop the skills to analyze business situations in an integrated, multidisciplinary way.
- To improve written and oral communication skills so that students can persuasively and professionally articulate their thinking.
- To understand team dynamics and gain self-awareness to enhance their effectiveness as managers and leaders of teams of people. To incorporate ethical considerations into decision making.
The FEMBA Program follows a trimester-based academic calender, and typical course-load consists of 4-8 units per trimester. For graduate-level students, the completion of 4 or more units per trimester is considered standard academic progress.
In the first trimester of the Program, FEMBA students participate in a residential workshop, scheduled over a weekend at a hotel/conference site near their home campus. Designed to promote a cohesive learning environment and establish a strong foundation for interpersonal communication, personal ethics and values, and team development, the workshop requires an overnight stay (Friday and Saturday nights) at the site. Students are responsible for covering the additional lodging and some meal expenses associated with the workshop. This course is graded on a credit or no credit basis.
Global Business Requirement
All FEMBA students must complete at least 2 units of global business course work by satisfying one of the following options:
- A global content course from any concentration.
- A one-week, 2-unit Global Business Intensive course hosted by partner schools abroad, led by a Graziadio School faculty member.
- One trimester Study Abroad at a global partner business school.
- Summer school opportunities at a global partner business school.
- A one-week, 2-unit residential Global Business Intensive course hosted at Pepperdine University taught by a visiting professor from a global partner business school.
- A 2-unit Going Global with Graziadio (G3) project.
- An appropriately scoped Global Business Directed Instruction project.
Global Business Intensive Courses
Two units of credit may be earned by attending one of the Global Business Intensive courses offered at locations in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America. These are short-term intensive courses which students take during trimester breaks.
Study Abroad Program
Students may spend a trimester abroad as a full-time student at one of the Graziadio School international partner business schools. Upon approval by the appropriate academic discipline(s), up to 12 units of course work of comparable scope and content may be taken at the international partner school to satisfy elective requirements. Students will enroll at the Graziadio School in the appropriate number of PGBS Study Abroad course units. When the courses are completed at the international partner university, their course designation will be added to the enrollment record so that they will appear on the student’s transcript. These courses will be graded credit or no credit only.
Standards and Measurements of Achievement for Fully Employed MBA Students
Standards of achievement and methods of assessing student performance in each course are delineated in each course syllabus at the outset of the academic term. Through the duration of the FEMBA Program, a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required to maintain satisfactory academic standing. Each course in the FEMBA curriculum must be passed with a grade of “C-” or better. A core course in which a grade lower than “C-” was earned must be retaken and completed with a passing grade. A grade lower than “C-” in an elective course may be made up by completing either the same course or a different elective with a passing grade. A course may only be repeated once, and in all cases, both grades will remain on the student’s transcript and be factored into the cumulative GPA.
Student academic performance is monitored by the Fully Employed Program Office at the end of each term, and any student falling below the 3.0 GPA minimum is subject to academic probation. Students placed on academic probation will be notified in writing and informed of the conditions applicable to the probationary status. Among these conditions is a reduction in academic unit load, limiting enrollment to four (4) units of FEMBA coursework per trimester for the duration of the probationary period. The probationary status will not be cleared until the student has reached the minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Students who fail to regain good standing within the time frame specified in the initial notification of probation will be subject to dismissal from the FEMBA Program. Other circumstances that may lead to dismissal include:
- Cumulative GPA falling below 3.0 at any point in the Program
- Earning any grade lower than a “B” while on academic probation
- Earning a grade lower than a “B-” in more than two courses within the Program
- Earning a grade lower than “D” in any course
Access to Online Courses
On-ground students may, upon approval, complete up to one-third of their program unit requirements through the online course modality. Those who wish to enroll in an online course may submit a request for consideration on a space-available basis. Prior to the formal submission of the request, students should consult with their advisor to understand the potential impact of taking the desired on-ground course on their overall program completion plan and timeline. Requests are individually reviewed by the Program Office, and approval is not guaranteed.
Change in Program Modality
Students are generally expected to complete their program coursework in the same modality they had chosen upon program entrance. Under compelling and verifiable circumstances, a student may formally petition for a permanent change in program modality (i.e., from online to on-ground). Petitions should be directed to the Program Office, detailing the nature of the circumstances and providing relevant documentation.
Transfer of Graduate Credit
Students who have completed equivalent graduate-level courses at other AACSB and regionally accredited institutions may, upon the approval of the Program Committee, transfer up to 12 units into the FEMBA Program. However, certain course requirements for the degree - specifically BSCI 650 Personal and Leadership Development Workshop, BSCI 651 Behavior in Organizations, PGBS 670J Integration in Business Operations (1), and STGY 659 Strategic Management - may not be satisfied through transfer credit.
To be considered for a transfer, courses must have been taken within five years prior to the student’s start of enrollment in the FEMBA Program at the Graziadio School. Only courses in which grades of “B” or better were earned will be accepted. Accepted transfer courses appear on the student’s Pepperdine transcript as “credit” only and are not factored into the cumulative grade point average.
Requests for the consideration of transfer coursework must be submitted in writing to the Program Office within the first trimester of enrollment and accompanied by the following:
- Syllabus and catalog description of the previously taken course as the basis for requesting the waiver
- Official transcript from the institution at which the course was taken, indicating successful completion
- Any other information that the FEMBA Program Committee may require to evaluate the equivalency of the previously taken course
Decisions regarding transfer credit requests will be communicated to students in writing by the Fully Employed Program Office.
Fast-Track Fully Employed MBA Option
The Fast-Track degree completion plan within the Fully Employed MBA Program is available for candidates who have earned an undergraduate degree in business from an AACSB accredited program and meet the following additional criteria: (a) minimum grade point average of 3.5 in their undergraduate major (business) related coursework; (b) minimum GMAT score of 600; and (c) minimum of two years of professional work experience. The Fast-Track option allows for the waiver of up to 12 units of MBA core courses, excluding the course associated with the student’s intended concentration. The only exemption to this policy may apply to students who have earned an undergraduate degree in the same discipline as their intended FEMBA concentration (e.g., Accounting, Finance, Marketing, etc.).
In addition to meeting the criteria above, Fast-Track candidates must have earned grades of “B+” or better in their undergraduate upper-division courses that correspond with the FEMBA core courses to be waived. The upper division undergraduate coursework must have been completed within seven years of their initial term of enrollment in the FEMBA Program.
Pathways to FEMBA Program
Admission Requirements for the Pathways to FEMBA Program
To be considered eligible for admission to the Pathways program, a student must have an earned grade point average of 3.0 or higher in the Graziadio School’s BSM program in one of two situations:
Graduated with a BSM degree from the Graziadio School no more than five years prior to the term of matriculation.
Currently admitted to and have completed 40 or more units of the Graziadio School’s BSM program and have no outstanding lower-division course work.
- Applicants must have a minimum of three years of work experience.
- A minimum grade of “B” is required in each BSM course for which the equivalent FEMBA core course is waived through the Pathways to FEMBA program. Students who have not achieved this minimum “B” grade in the BSM course will be required to complete the equivalent FEMBA core course in addition to the normal course requirements of the Pathways to FEMBA program.
- The number of units required for the Pathways to FEMBA program is based on the earned grade point average (GPA) in the Graziadio School BSM program, as follows:
- 3.4 GPA or greater in the BSM program may qualify for the MBAJ program and waive up to 22 units and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) (see MBAJ section for further information and application process).
- 3.30 - 3.39 GPA in the BSM program may waive up to 16 units and the GMAT. A minimum of 36 units to be completed at the MBA level.
- 3.20 - 3.29 GPA in the BSM program may waive up to 12 units and the GMAT. A minimum of 40 units to be completed at the MBA level.
- 3.10 - 3.19 GPAin the BSM program may waive up to 8 units and the GMAT. A minimum of 44 units to be completed at the MBA level.
- 3.00 - 3.09 GPA in the BSM program may waive the GMAT. A minimum of 52 units to be completed at the MBA level.
- For GPA’s lower than 3.00, the standard requiements for admission and completion of the FEMBA program apply.
An Application for Admission packet may be obtained from the Program Office. The completed application must be submitted to the Graziadio School Admission Office.
Notification of Admission
The Admission Office will inform the applicant of the status of the application, but it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documents are on file by published deadlines for admission. Admission will be confirmed by a letter from the associate dean.
Course Requirements for the Pathways to FEMBA Program
- The following courses may not be waived: