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School of Business & Management


New Student Orientation

The New Student Orientation is conducted by the Graduate School early in the Fall semester. All new students should attend this one day orientation, where they are provided with information regarding the institution, the school, and their program.


Upon joining the program, the Program Director assigns the student an advisor in his/her department. The advisor is expected to assist the student with choosing classes and introduce the student to the research orientation of the area faculty. The student is expected to work closely with the area faculty. The student is also expected to participate in the research seminars of the department, to cooperate with individual faculty members on research projects, and to seek advice from a number of faculty members on their choice of courses and research projects. The student can also expect that the faculty will provide them with appropriate evaluations of their progress.

Students must register for 9 credits each semester in order to be considered for funding. Those who register for less than 9 credits will not be offered research assistantships. In addition, students who are funded by the university will not be allowed to pursue other employment options. Any student who secures additional employment while being funded by the university will have their funding withdrawn.

Individual Study Plan

To assure that students plan their work properly with appropriate advice from the faculty, students are required to maintain an Individual Study Plan, a copy of which is retained by the Program Office. The student submits an initial plan when registering for first semester courses. This plan must be updated every semester, before December 1 and May 1. The plan must be approved by the student's faculty adviser before a copy is submitted to the Program Office.

Annual Evaluation

At the end of every academic year, the student is provided with a written evaluation of his/her performance by the Program Director, based on information provided by the department coordinator and other faculty in the student's department. This evaluation is based on an assessment of the student's performance in coursework, research, and professional development activities. This evaluation includes one of the following statements:

  • The area faculty considers the student's progress satisfactory
  • The area faculty determined that the student needs to improve his or her performance in order to complete the program
  • The area faculty advises the student to withdraw from the program

A copy of the evaluation is provided to the Graduate School and becomes a permanent part of the student's record.

The Foundation/Methodology Requirement

The faculty in each major specifies courses, often taught outside the department administering the major, that provide students with foundations for the major course work and methodology for their research. The student must complete five to seven of these courses, depending on the major. (Insert link for list of classes)

The Professional Development Requirement

Throughout the period of study, all first and second year students who are funded by the University, full-time and part-time, must attend Professional Development Seminars. These seminars are intended to provide students with information about the university, the program, and the profession of university research and teaching. Seminars meet on a day and time specified during the academic year, but not in conflict with classes.

Students are also required to attend all departmental seminars and the research methods lecture series sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Research Methods & Analysis (CARMA). This center is hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and lectures will be simulcasted. These sessions will be viewed either in Rms. 211 or 303. A schedule of the simulcast sessions will be made available on Blackboard.

Teaching Requirement

Before graduating, a student must teach at least one course in his or her area of expertise, under the guidance of a faculty member. This assignment will be determined by the department under which the student is studying and timing will be at the discretion of the department chair. The department will identify a senior faculty member to evaluate the student's teaching performance after which feedback will be given and a grade will be assigned. The student may be asked by the evaluator to develop a plan of action to correct any deficiencies identified during the evaluation. All students, whether or not they are supported by the university are required to complete the teaching requirement. Students who may have taught classes at other institutions are not exempt from this program requirement.The student must also prepare a teaching portfolio, designed for prospective employers and containing a statement of teaching philosophy, syllabi and other teaching material, and peer evaluations of the student's teaching. Students are asked to provide the Program Office with a copy of their Teaching Portfolio upon completion of this requirement.

English Proficiency Recommendations

All students in the program must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement, and students who do not have an academic degree from a country where the primary language is English may also need to take courses to improve their English skills.

On entry, first year students who do not have an academic degree from a country where the primary language is English MUST take an examination to find out whether they need to take two of the following courses:

  • ENGL 111 Comprehension, or
  • ENGL 250 Vocabulary Development, and
  • ENGL 353 Advanced Grammar

These courses are offered every semester but students are expected to complete them by the first semester of their second year. The courses, which do not count towards graduation credits, are designed to bring the student's English and writing proficiency up to the level of a U.S. high school graduate. Taking courses in English will not count towards the requirements for a normal course load by a full-time student.