The Education of American Businessmen: A Study of University-College Programs in Business Administration

By Frank C. Pierson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
MASTER'S PROGRAMS IN BUSINESS

The emphasis on managerial decision making is more appropriate at the graduate than at the undergraduate level. Even this approach, however, does not differentiate the two levels of study sharply. The difference between graduate and undergraduate work in business largely depends on the quality of the faculty and students involved. This suggests that business schools should not endeavor to offer advanced degree programs unless they have the resources needed for high-quality work.

The historical discussion in Chap. 3 pointed to the increasing importance of graduate work in business administration. As a result of developments which have chiefly occurred since World War II, there are today 12 separate graduate schools of business and 146 other schools and departments of business which offer general graduate programs in this field. In 1955-1956, these institutions awarded approximately 4,500 master's degrees and 158 doctor's degrees in business; in 1939-1940, the number of second- and third-level professional degrees in business as defined by the U.S. Office of Education totaled only 689.1

In the coming decades there is every likelihood that graduate programs, certainly in terms of total enrollments and probably in relation to undergraduate work, will become still more important. At many of the older schools this shift in emphasis is already well under way, as new

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1
Estimates for 1955-1956 based on data from the Survey Questionnaire. Contrary to the classification method employed by the U.S. Office of Education, all work for which a master's degree is granted is usually referred to as graduate study in this field even though many of the students have taken their undergraduate work in nonbusiness subjects; this usage is followed here. The data on graduate business degrees contained in this chapter and in the reports of the U.S. Office of Education are not comparable since the latter groups graduate and undergraduate degrees together if the "graduate" degree is the first the student has earned in the field of business. In 1955-1956, for example, the U.S. Office of Education reported only 3,106 master's or second professional degrees in business. Earned Degrees Conferred by Higher Educational Institutions, 1955-1956, U.S. Office of Education Circular 499, p. 6.

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