Higher Education for Business

By Robert Aaron Gordon; James Edwin Howell | Go to book overview

chapter 11
THE MASTER'S PROGRAM IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

IN 1957-58, about a fifth of the approximately 600 colleges and universities with degree programs in business administration offered the master's degree in business. The total number of master's degrees awarded in that year, however, was less than 10 per cent of all business degrees.1 As we pointed out in Chapter 2, collegiate business education in the United States is overwhelmingly an undergraduate operation. While many others share our view that business education is best deferred to the graduate years, the vast majority of students continue to get their business training at the undergraduate level.

This phenomenon is not to be explained by the fact that graduate business programs are new or that few schools offer such programs. Forty years ago, at the end of the First World War, the ratio of graduate to bachelor's degrees in business was about two-thirds of what it is now. While the number of schools offering graduate degrees has steadily increased during the last twenty or thirty years, particularly since the Second World War, graduate enrollments have not grown much faster than undergraduate.

While approximately 125 institutions confer master's degrees in business, graduate training is heavily concentrated in a small number of the larger business schools. Nine schools accounted for more than half of all the master's degrees awarded in 1955-56. About 25 per cent of the total was awarded by two institutions, Harvard and New York University.


The Main Issues in Graduate Business Education

Graduate business education presents a number of issues with which the business schools are still struggling. While these issues can be separately stated, they are in fact closely interrelated.2

____________________
1
See Tables 1 and 3.
2
Some of these issues are briefly treated in R. L. Kozelka, Professional Education for Business ( American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, 1954), chap. 5.

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