Ashford University Catalog
Applicants seeking admission to a hybrid graduate program must meet the following admission requirements prior to the start of the first course at Ashford University:
- Have a Bachelor’s degree or graduate level degree from a regionally accredited or approved nationally accredited college or university with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above. Applicants with a grade point average of 2.0 to 2.74 will be placed on Academic Watch;
- Have access to a computer with an Internet connection for the Web-based programs and meet the minimum technology requirements and minimum computer skills, abilities, features, system configurations, hardware, and software outlined in the General Academic Information & Policies section of this Catalog;
- Have the ability to attend in-residence and synchronous instructional requirements for each core course in the program, as follows:
- Attend a 1-2 hour synchronous webinar, Skype, or teleconference that will be scheduled during Week 1 of each core course.
- Attend a 7-8 hour in-residence class at the Clinton, Iowa campus on a scheduled Saturday of Week 3, 4, or 5 of each core course.
- Have the ability to study in English indicated by one of the following:
- Earned a Bachelor’s degree in which the primary language of instruction was English; or
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination taken within the past two (2) years. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 550 paper-based or 79 internet-based is required. For the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.5 is required. Copies of official scores must be submitted prior to provisional enrollment, and official scores must be submitted prior to full admission.
Bachelor’s degrees from nationally accredited institutions granted accreditation by the following accrediting agencies may be considered for admission:
- Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, Accreditation Commission (AARTS);
- Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE, formerly known as AABC);
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET);
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC, formerly known as ACCSCT, NATTS or CCAACICS)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS, formerly known as AICS or CCAACICS)*;
- Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies (AIJS);
- Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, Commission on Accrediting (ATS);
- Council on Occupational Education (COE, formerly known as SACS-COEI);
- Distance Education and Training Council, Accrediting Commission (DETC, formerly known as NHSC);
- National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS);
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission (TRACS); and
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
*Credits earned from Colleges and Schools with this accreditation will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if the accrediting body was approved and in good standing when credits were earned.
Students with Bachelor’s degrees accredited by the aforementioned institutions may be required to submit unofficial documentation to the Registrar’s Office at the time of provisional admissions.
Ashford University reserves the right to deny admission or re-admission to any applicant. Ashford University recognizes the importance of protecting student privacy and reserves the right to request documentation to establish or verify any student’s identity at any time, for administrative or compliance purposes. Students are expected to provide such documentation, and failure to do so may be considered a violation of the Student Community Standards. The University may deny or rescind admission to any student for failure to authenticate his or her identity.
Applicants are conditionally admitted to a Master’s degree program when they submit a completed application indicating that they meet admission requirements outlined for that program and are approved by the Registrar’s Office. Applicants in a conditional admission status are not eligible for Title IV funds and are not considered regular students until granted provisional or full admission.
Admission Period or Ashford Promise Provisional admission status must be attained by the end of the second (2nd) attempt of the Ashford Promise, while a student is in conditional standing. Students who fail to attain provisional admission by the end of their second (2nd) attempt of the Ashford Promise must wait six months from the date they were denied admission to re-apply, or they may appeal the University’s decision using the process outlined subsequently to request a thrid (3rd) consecutive attempt of conditional admission in the Ashford Promise.
Disagreements over academic quality will not be considered as an appropriate basis for such appeals. In cases of appropriate cause, the Ashford University Admission Appeals Committee reviews the appeals and renders a decision to the student. The decision will be communicated to the student via email from the Registrar's Office. Appeals must include an explanation of the event that occurred, which caused the student to not attain provisional admission to the University after two attempts.
Students must appeal in writing to the University Registrar. The appeal must be submitted to [email protected] and approved prior to enrollment in any future courses. Additionally, the student’s appeal letter must include:
- A reasonable explanation for the student’s academic performance to date, which includes mitigating circumstances such as student injury/illness, death of a student’s family member, or other reasons resulting in the undue hardship to the student;
- Compelling evidence that they have the ability to succeed in an academic program due to changed circumstances, experience, and/or successful completion of college-level credits during their period of absence; and,
- A plan for completion of the coursework required to meet basic academic requirements during their coursework at Ashford University.
Appeal decisions will be communicated from the Registrar’s Office to students via email.
Students must attend beyond Week 3 of their first course in order to be provisionally admitted to a Master’s degree program at Ashford University:
Attendance beyond Week 3 constitutes a student’s confirmation of their intention to continue in the program as a regular student. Upon attendance beyond Week 3 of their first course, students are considered matriculated, regular students in their degree program. Students who meet the requirements for Full Admission will be fully admitted into the degree program.
Upon being granted provisional admission to a graduate degree program, the Ashford University Registrar’s Office staff will begin requesting official transcripts from schools where any graduate-level credit was earned, using the signed Transcript Request form.
- College or university transcripts from institutions where graduate credit was earned
- Military credits evaluated for equivalency to graduate-level college credits
Once these transcripts have been received, the Registrar’s Office staff will complete the student’s transfer credit evaluation.
At the conclusion of the third (3rd) attempted Ashford University course in a degree-seeking program, if any transcripts from institutions where graduate credit was earned have not yet been received, the Registrar’s Office staff will proceed with the transfer credit evaluation of any transcripts received to date. Additional transcripts may be submitted for evaluation at a later date, should they become available.
If it is determined prior to the conclusion of the third (3rd) attempted Ashford University course that certain transcripts where graduate credit was earned are unable to be provided, students may sign and submit an Authorization to Close File form thereby waiving potential transfer credits from previously attended schools, to expedite the transfer credit evaluation process. These transcripts may be submitted for evaluation at a later date, should they become available.
Students are responsible for reviewing their transfer credit evaluation as well as their scheduled courses with their Academic Advisor and informing them of any courses that they feel are duplicative or equivalent in content to previously completed coursework. Students may submit official transcripts to Ashford University for review of transfer credits at any time.
The following requirements must be met prior to the conclusion of the third (3rd) attempted Ashford University course in a degree-seeking program. To start the fourth (4th) course, students must complete all the requirements subsequently outlined and must meet all admissions requirements applicable to their specific degree program. Students who do not complete all requirements will not be fully admitted and will be withdrawn from the program.
- Submission of an official transcript from the regionally accredited or approved nationally accredited institution that awarded the baccalaureate or graduate level degree indicating a minimum GPA of 2.0 with a degree conferral date prior to the start of the first course at Ashford University.
- Students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements outlined in the following two options but do have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA are fully admitted on Academic Watch and are required to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and successfully complete 67% of credits attempted by the conclusion of the first payment period.
- Students who have completed only a Bachelor’s degree or fewer than 12 credits of graduate-level coursework will have their GPA calculated for the Bachelor’s degree only to meet the 2.75 GPA requirements.
- Students who have completed 12 credits or more of graduate-level coursework may have their GPA calculated for graduate coursework to meet the 3.0 graduate GPA requirement.
- Students must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores, if required for admission.
- At the conclusion of the Academic Watch period or the first payment period, any student who does not meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress will be dismissed from the University.
Appeal of Dismissal Following Academic Watch
A student who has been dismissed for not meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements following Academic Watch may appeal to the University Registrar for re-admission. Appeals are evaluated by a committee comprised of the University Registrar or designee, and a representative from Academic Affairs. The decision of the committee will be communicated in writing to the student by the Registrar’s Office. Additionally, the student’s appeal letter must include:
- A reasonable explanation for the student’s academic performance to date, which includes mitigating circumstances such as student injury/illness, death of a student’s family member, or other reasons resulting in undue hardship to the student;
- Compelling evidence that the student has the ability to succeed in an academic program due to changed circumstances, experience, and/or successful completion of graduate-level credits during the period of absence; and
- A plan for completion of the coursework required to meet satisfactory academic progress during the following payment period.
The passage of time does not substantiate eligibility for readmission or appeal for readmission. However, students who have experienced mitigating circumstances and have been dismissed from the University for failure to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements and have been denied re-admission after an appeal, may submit another appeal to be readmitted after six months have elapsed since their last appeal was received by the University. The appeal must meet the criteria outlined previously and the student must present compelling evidence that they have the ability to succeed in an academic program due to changed circumstances, experience, and/or successful completion of graduate-level credits since the last appeal was submitted.
Note: See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements in this section to review all related Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines.
Master of Business Administration students who submit official transcripts indicating that they have earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Business, Business Administration, Accounting, Finance, or Economics or have successfully completed undergraduate coursework in Accounting or Finance with a grade of “C” or higher, or graduate coursework in Accounting or Finance with a grade of “B” or higher will be exempt from the requirement to take BUS 591 Financial Accounting & Analysis.
Students who have successfully completed undergraduate coursework in Statistics, Business Statistics, or Quantitative Methods with a grade of “C” or higher or graduate coursework in Statistics, Business Statistics, or Quantitative Methods with a grade of “B” or higher will be exempt from the requirement to take MAT 540 Statistical Concepts for Research.
Students are responsible for notifying the University if they believe they have met these requirements through previous college coursework during the application process and are responsible for submitting official transcripts for verification.
Students enrolled in a hybrid graduate program are eligible for the Hybrid Graduate Program Grant as long as they remain continuously enrolled, attend the in-residence and synchronous instructional requirements for each core course in the program, and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Grants are applicable to courses for which tuition is in excess of $250 per credit hour.
The academic calendar for Ashford University graduate programs is continuous (also known as non-term), rather than defined by semester dates. Typically, students take one course at a time and move to the next course in the program sequence without a break. Cohorts are anticipated to begin in the spring and fall of each calendar year.
Most courses are six weeks long with an annual two-week Winter Break when courses are not scheduled. The Winter Break for 2018-2019 occurs from December 18, 2018 to December 31, 2019.
Students taking online courses are expected to attend each week of the course. Attendance is defined as participating in an academic activity within the online classroom which includes posting in a graded discussion forum, submitting a written assignment or journal entry, or submitting a quiz or exam. Postings not related to graded discussion forums or written assignments or journal entries not related to the actual assignment may be reviewed and disqualified for attendance purposes. Attendance on the basis of submitting a quiz or exam is determined by submission status at the conclusion of the calendar day (11:59 pm Mountain Time Zone).
Each instructional week begins on a Tuesday and concludes on the following Monday. A student is recorded either absent or present each day based on participation in an academic activity. All recorded time stamps for assignment submissions, discussion board posts, and attendance records will reflect Mountain Time Zone.
Students who do not attend at least once in any seven consecutive day period will be issued an attendance warning. Students who do not attend at least once in any 14 consecutive day period will be dropped from the course and administratively withdrawn from the University retroactive to the last date of recorded attendance. Students who attend on the first day following 14 consecutive days of non-attendance will not be dropped from their course or administratively withdrawn.
Students who participate in an academic activity in a course prior to its official start date will not be dropped from their course during Week 1 for non-attendance as long as they subsequently attend at least once during Week 1 of the course.
Students are required to complete the synchronous and in-residence requirements within Hybrid Graduate Programs. Exceptions for mitigating circumstances such as student injury/illness, death of a student’s family member, or other reasons resulting in undue hardship to the student must be approved by the Clinton Campus President.
Please refer to drop policies for grade implications when not meeting attendance requirements. Students not meeting attendance requirements will be dropped from the course and administratively withdrawn from the University retroactive to the last date of recorded attendance. A student’s last date of attendance following successful completion of a course is the end date of that course. The University may schedule periods of non-enrollment during which no courses are scheduled. When this occurs, such as during the annual Winter Break, the non-enrollment period may extend the 14 day limit to include the break. No approved Academic Leave can exceed 42 days including University scheduled periods of non-enrollment.
Note: New students who do not meet attendance requirements for the first week of their first course or do not complete their first course, will be administratively withdrawn from the University and must work with their Enrollment Services Advisor to reschedule their enrollment in the program.
In addition to meeting attendance requirements, students attending are expected to participate in their courses by actively engaging in weekly discussion forums with substantial posts and completing the required assignments for each week. A list of all assignments can be found within the course calendar in each online class and also by week in the weekly instructional units.
Failure to meet academic participation requirements may negatively impact an assignment and/or course grade. All recorded time stamps for assignment submissions, discussion board posts, and attendance records will reflect Mountain Time Zone.
Students who anticipate being absent for an entire week of a course should contact the instructor in advance and make arrangements to complete the required assignments. While students cannot be tardy in an asynchronous learning environment, nor can they cut class in a traditional sense, acceptance of late or make-up work is at the discretion of the instructor and does not waive attendance requirements.
Students who need to take a break in attendance must complete the Hybrid Graduate Program Academic Leave Request available within the Student Portal. Academic Leave will be reviewed for consideration by the Campus President.
Students may be required to enroll in additional online courses concurrently within the Hybrid Undergraduate program if a core course is not successfully completed at the time it is scheduled.
Students who do not return on their scheduled return date from Academic Leave may be withdrawn from the program. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Campus President.
Students enrolled in an Ashford University Bachelor’s degree program may be eligible to enroll in up to nine (9) applicable credits for the MBA program toward their Bachelor’s degree and accelerate completion of a Master’s degree with Ashford University. Please see the SMART Track Program Requirements in the Online Undergraduate Programs section of this Catalog for more information.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program provides a comprehensive learning experience in key areas of business administration. The program emphasizes the interrelationships among the various functional business disciplines and provides a strong foundation in the skills appropriate to analytical management. Students may select one of several specializations to focus study areas.
Special Terms and Conditions: Successful completion of this program by itself does not lead to licensure or certification in any state, regardless of concentration or specialization. Students seeking licensure or certification in a particular profession are strongly encouraged to carefully research the requirements prior to enrollment. Requirements may vary by state. Ashford University does not guarantee that any professional organization will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any exam for the purpose of professional certification.
Master of Business Administration graduates will be able to:
- Solve managerial problems using critical-thinking skills and quantitative analysis;
- Evaluate the moral and ethical principles practiced in the organizational setting;
- Analyze the use of managerial and leadership skills used to develop productive teams;
- Evaluate the influence of internal and external forces within organizations;
- Research business information to support the decision-making process;
- Assess internal and external communication practices used in business; and
- Analyze business opportunities and challenges from a global perspective.
Students who submit official transcripts indicating that they have earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Business Administration, Accounting, Finance, Economics or have successfully completed undergraduate coursework in Accounting or Finance with a grade of “C” or higher, or graduate coursework in Accounting or Finance with a grade of “B” or higher will be exempt from the requirement to take BUS 591 Financial Accounting & Analysis.
Students who submit official transcripts indicating that they successfully completed undergraduate coursework in Statistics, Business Statistics, or Quantitative Methods with a grade of “C” or higher or graduate coursework in Statistics, Business Statistics, or Quantitative Methods with a grade of “B” or higher will be exempt from the requirement to take MAT 540 Statistical Concepts for Research.
Core Requirements (33 credits) - Hybrid Format
- BUS 600 Management Communications with Technology Tools (3 credits)
- BUS 610 Organizational Behavior (3 credits)
- BUS 620 Managerial Marketing (3 credits)
- BUS 670 Legal Environment (3 credits)
- *MAT 540 Statistical Concepts for Research (3 credits)
- *BUS 591 Financial Accounting & Analysis (3 credits)
- BUS 630 Managerial Accounting (3 credits)
- BUS 640 Managerial Economics (3 credits)
- BUS 650 Managerial Finance (3 credits)
- BUS 644 Operations Management (3 credits)
- BUS 687 MBA Capstone (3 credits) Prerequisites: Successful completion of MBA program core courses.
*Students who waive MAT 540 and BUS 591 are required to take 36 total program credits to meet graduation requirements.
Specialization Requirements (9 credits) - Online Format
- BUS 616 International Business (3 credits)
- INF 620 Management of Information Systems (3 credits)
- BUS 690 Business Strategy (3 credits)
Business Economics Specialization
- BUS 668 Macroeconomics of Financial Markets (3 credits)
- BUS 669 Managerial Economic Analysis (3 credits)
- BUS 689 Market Structure & Firm Strategy (3 credits)
- BUS 604 New Business Venture Management (3 credits)
- BUS 605 Venture Capital & Private Equity (3 credits)
- BUS 696 Strategic Thinking for Entrepreneurs (3 credits)
Environmental Management Specialization
- BUS 665 Environmental Law & Compliance (3 credits)
- BUS 667 Energy, Environment & Economics (3 credits)
- BUS 688 Business Strategy: The Sustainable Enterprise (3 credits)
- BUS 655 Financial Investment Management (3 credits)
- BUS 657 Corporate Managerial Finance (3 credits)
- BUS 694 Finance Seminar (3 credits)
Global Management Specialization
- BUS 616 International Business (3 credits)
- BUS 606 Global Comparative Management (3 credits)
- BUS 693 Global Business Strategy (3 credits)
Human Resources Management Specialization
- BUS 680 Training & Development (3 credits)
- BUS 681 Compensation & Benefits (3 credits)
- BUS 692 Strategies in Human Resource Management (3 credits)
Information Systems Specialization
- INF 620 Management of Information Systems (3 credits)
- INF 630 Systems Analysis (3 credits)
- INF 690 ISS Seminar (3 credits)
- MKT 640 Brand Publishing (3 credits)
- MKT 635 Market Research (3 credits)
- BUS 695 Marketing Seminar (3 credits)
Media Management Specialization
- BUS 635 Media Markets and System (3 credits)
- BUS 636 Media Management and Innovation (3 credits)
- BUS 699 Media Strategies and Applications (3 credits)
Organizational Leadership Specialization
- BUS 660 Contemporary Issues in Organizational Leadership (3 credits)
- BUS 661 Leading Organizational Change (3 credits)
- BUS 691 Strategies in Organizational Leadership (3 credits)
Project Management Specialization
- BUS 611 Project Planning & Management (3 credits)
- BUS 612 Advanced Project Procurement (3 credits)
- BUS 697 Project Management Strategy (3 credits)
Public Administration Specialization
- PPA 601 Foundations of Public Administration (3 credits)
- PPA 603 Government Budgeting (3 credits)
- PPA 699 Public Policy Development (3 credits)
Supply Chain Management Specialization
- BUS 631 Integrated Supply Chain Management (3 credits)
- BUS 632 Advanced Logistics (3 credits)
- BUS 698 Supply Chain Strategic Management (3 credits)
To be eligible for the Master of Business Administration degree, a student must successfully complete the following:
- The approved program consisting of 42 credits; and
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 in all coursework attempted at the University.
The degree will be noted on the transcript as a Master of Business Administration.
Note: The date of degree conferral recorded on the student’s transcript and diploma will reflect the date the student completes all academic degree requirements. However, release of transcripts, diplomas, and verifications for degrees awarded are contingent upon submission of the Petition to Graduate form, payment of the graduation fee, and payment of any outstanding balances with the University.