1. Is this MM degree for students whose majors do not include a capstone experience?
This MM degree is for recent college graduates (0-2 years out) with any undergraduate major who wish to strengthen their skills in management to compete more effectively in the job market. Our program includes 10 courses on the fundamentals of managing complex coupled human and natural systems. All courses include project-based learning (like a capstone experience), as well as real-world applications and analyses of innovation, sustainability, and technology for service and resource management.
2. What’s the difference between the MM and MBA degrees? Will students eventually need to get an MBA in addition to the MM degree?
The MM degree is for graduating seniors or recent graduates with BS/BA degrees who have little or no management experience. It complements their undergraduate degree with a competitive set of practical, project-based management skills for addressing the cross-functional challenges commonly faced by professionals in for-profit and non-profit enterprises and public organizations. In our program, particular focus is paid to management problems associated with the San Joaquin Valley. In consultation with regional employers, our program is designed around relevant case studies and integrative team projects that foster valuable discussion, oral presentation, professional writing, and leadership skills for solving complex problems about sustaining our environment, society, and economy. Along these lines, the curriculum will highlight the challenges of finding solutions that simultaneously balance corporate profitability and stewardship of natural resources.
Notably, the MM degree is not a substitute for nor a condensed version of an MBA degree, which is for professionals with management experience looking to move into leadership roles. This U.S. News article provides additional perspective on the distinction between the MM and the MBA.
3. Are international students encouraged to apply?
Yes – our program is oriented around principles of long-term sustainability of people, planet and profit (PPP), a 'Triple Bottom Line' framework that is increasingly relevant to decision-making across the globe. Moreover, the MM program is STEM eligible, and qualifies for the STEM OPT visa Extension Program.
4. Are GRE or GMAT scores required for admission? Can graduating seniors apply for admission before degree completion?
The MM degree program does not require the GRE or GMAT for admission. Graduating seniors can apply for admission before they complete their BS/BA degree although program enrollment is contingent on undergraduate degree completion.
5. Do all students in a cohort take the same classes at the same time? How big are the cohorts?
Yes, all students complete the same courses at the same time with a cohort of peers. Cohort size will not exceed 35 students, so there will be ample opportunity for one-on-one interaction with faculty.
6. Can students double-up on classes in the fall and spring to avoid taking summer classes?
No, students have to take all courses with their cohort in the specified sequence.
7. What happens if a student fails a class? Are they able to retake it, and when?
Students will have one opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in course modules that they may have failed - at the end of the semester and prior to subsequent coursework.
8. What does “interdisciplinary” mean? How does the MM degree curriculum balance depth with breadth of content?
The MM degree curriculum provides students with well-rounded exposure to the fundamental disciplines generally involved in the management of businesses, agencies, non-profits, and organizational units. It is taught using an innovative cohort model in which students seeking careers in for-profit, not-for-profit, and public agencies go through the program together – in a setting in which values that guide corporate profitability are blended with values that stress resource stewardship. The objective is to develop alumni that come from an academic experience that stresses the importance of people, planet, and business sustainability as compatible ideals rather than as adversarial positions.
9. What types of jobs are available to students with this MM degree? Does the MM degree enable students to enter a profession at a higher level than an undergraduate degree?
As the MM is not a disciplinary degree, MM graduates will leverage their personal undergraduate education to work in the fields of their choice, and we expect them to enter the workforce at a higher level than those with a bachelor's degree alone. Students with this MM degree will be highly desirable to employers because they will have mastered a skill set that is not easily automated - see a recent article by McKinsey & Company, "Where machines could replace humans - and where they can't (yet)".
For example, the MM program aligns with one of the main areas of distinction for UC Merced, the sustainable environment, which applies to both natural and engineered environments. Therefore, students with this MM degree could work as environmental specialists within industry or a national lab. According to a recent report by the , the median annual salary earned by environmental specialists was about $69,000 in 2016.
10. How does career counseling in this professional program differ from what’s already available on campus? How will we guarantee 100% job placement?
Our program offers highly personalized, career coaching for enrolled students given an enhanced staff-to-student ratio for placement services. Furthermore, students will participate in high-impact professional networking with outside organizations that actively recruit our MM degree students.
11. Is financial aid available?
As a professional degree program, the MM will cost more than normal tuition and fees. Part of these additional fees will be returned to students in the form of financial aid. Specifically, at least 33% of these fees will be returned for student financial aid in a broadly defined, strategic manner to ensure that qualified students admitted to the program have the greatest possible chance of attending.
The intention is that no qualified student will be unable to pursue a MM degree because of financial need. Program faculty and staff will work with the Graduate Division Financial Support office to award fellowships to meet 100% of student need, leveraging returned program revenues, federal loans, and other sources of student funding. If student need exceeds available funds, program faculty and staff will work with the Graduate Division Financial Support office and industry sponsors to raise additional fellowships to support our mutual diversity goals.
Students, including the inaugural cohort, will receive awarded financial aid and/or fellowships at the time of program enrollment when tuition and fees are assessed.
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