UNT Dallas new joint MBA program specializes in economic development

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Business Career FairFor the first time, The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) is partnering with the University of Southern Mississippi to offer a unique Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree specializing in Economic Development.

This joint graduate-level program begins in the Fall 2023 semester and will be taught in a hybrid format. It is a 30-hour program that can be completed in three semesters.

Students who successfully finish the program will earn an MBA with a concentration in economic development from UNT Dallas and a graduate certificate in economic development from USM.

"We are excited about partnering with USM for our new MBA Economic Development Concentration. This program equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to foster socioeconomic progress and positively impact their communities," said Dr. Cathy J. Scott, UNT Dallas School of Business associate professor of business accounting and MBA/Master of Management program coordinator.

The two universities complement each other in several ways, making the partnership a perfect fit. UNT Dallas is the only public, four-year university in the city of Dallas and prides itself on deep connections with its diverse local community. USM has an outstanding reputation as one of the nation’s leading graduate programs for educating economic development practitioners. It is accredited by the Association to Advance College Schools of Business (AACSB).

Business School Leaders"The program is focused on starting or advancing a career in economic development and we have many program alums in Texas who are eager to mentor," said Dr. Chad R. Miller, USM College of Business and Economic Development.

The USM economic development concentration courses are taught virtually by USM faculty on weekday evenings, according to a specific class schedule. Students will meet on-campus for networking and active learning exercises with their instructors on one weekend during the Fall and Spring semesters. USM faculty members will travel to Dallas for those meetings. The MBA core classes, taught by UNT Dallas faculty, meet on the Dallas campus every other Saturday.

“Professionals actively involved in the economic development field will now have the remarkable opportunity to engage with one of the longest-standing economic development programs in the United States, all while effectively managing their demanding work schedules. The hybrid format of this program ensures that valuable connections are forged with faculty members and fellow students, establishing relationships that will prove indispensable throughout their professional endeavors,” said Dr. John Hubbard, a UNT Dallas business lecturer who is a graduate of the Master of Science in Economic Development program at USM.

MBA GraduateThe rigorous curriculum will include concentration courses on economic development theory and research methods, business attraction and retention, real estate and land use planning, and entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development. The MBA core classes include economics, marketing, accounting, finance, leadership, and strategy.  

Students will gain experience with real-world projects for actual communities. They will also get exposure to successful entrepreneurs, business leaders and guest speakers from the economic development profession.

The dual program prepares students for careers in the private, public (government) and nonprofit sectors in positions such as urban planner, project manager and economic development specialist or director.

Both universities have eligibility requirements. Prospective applicants can read the course catalogs of UNT Dallas and USM for details. Fall semester classes begin August 21. For more information, contact Dr. Cathy Scott at cathy.scott@untdallas.edu.


From UNT Dallas Faculty & Students News