MBA Specialization Proposal Requirements

Specializations vary from student to student, and should be carefully thought out and designed with the assistance of the MBA Academic Advisor.

A student walks through the Samson Student Center on her way to the William Tell Coleman Library. (Photo by Lucyna Jodlowska.)

Requirements for Specialization

Specializations should comprise a minimum of 5 courses AND the equivalent of 15 credits of elective level coursework.  Semester-length courses, workshops, and directed studies, may be included.  You may supplement with courses from other graduate programs if they tie into your topic.  Partial credit may be granted for some courses not on approved lists with approval from the Dean.

The following guidelines must be followed when designing a specialization:

  • In all courses, whenever you have a chance to choose a project, it should be tied to your area of specialization.  Keep copies of all projects to build a portfolio.
  • If possible, participate in an International Business Plan project directly related to your specialization.  At minimum, your role in the IBP should incorporate skills that tie to your specialization (i.e. perform the financial analysis if your specialization is "Finance", etc)
  • An internship in which you are gaining skills directly related to your specialization is highly recommended.

Specialization Proposal

Early in your academic career, start discussing your specialization with the MBA Academic Advisor.  Define your career goals and do some research on topics of interest.  Review courses available and descriptions on the Monterey Institute website.  Speak with alumni working in the field to obtain input.

Once the specialization topic is identified, a written proposal (one to two pages in length) should be submitted to the MBA Academic Advisor.  This proposal must be presented during the first semester for Advanced Entry students, and during the second semester for Two-Year students.  The proposal should include the following information:

  • Your proposed topic
  • How will this specialization help you reach your future career goals
  • The courses you intend to take to meet the credit requirements
  • Any internship that is tied to your specialization
  • Any student clubs or organizations in which you have performed duties or focused on your topic

Once reviewed and refined with the MBA Academic Advisor, your proposal will be submitted to the School Dean.  Upon the Dean's approval, the specialization must be registered with the Office of Records and Research, for use in degree audits.  The specialization will appear on your permanent Transcript upon successful completion of all approved courses and projects.  A grade of "B" or higher must be achieved for coursework to be included.  No audited coursework will be included in consideration.

Sample Proposals

Remember, pursuing a specialization is a privilege.  Careful planning is necessary in the design of your proposal and planning for appropriate courses.  Do not wait until your last semester and assume you can package a specialization in hind-sight.  Specializations may require additional time and expense, particularly for Two-Year students.

For more information on MBA Specializations, contact the MBA Academic Advisor.