Student Handbooks

MBA Student Handbook - MBA/JD Graduation Requirements and Academic Regulations (entering class of 2007 or before)

For MBA/JD Students Who Started the MBA in 2007-08 or Before

The MBA/JD joint degree program enables students to obtain the Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) and the MBA degree in four (4) years.

Students must apply and be admitted to both the College of Law and the Atkinson Graduate School of Management and be in good academic standing in the MBA and law programs to be considered joint degree candidates. Students may begin the program at either the Atkinson School or the College of Law. During the first two years of the program, students complete the required first-year curriculum of each school (one academic year is spent at each school). During years three and four, students fulfill additional required and elective courses in both the College of Law and the Atkinson School.

MBA students may apply for admission to the Joint Degree Program by applying to the College of Law during the first year at the Atkinson School. If accepted by the College of Law, the student should advise the Office of Admission of the Atkinson School.

MBA/JD Graduation and Program Requirements

Each MBA/JD student is responsible for a thorough knowledge of graduation requirements. The Willamette MBA for Business, Government and Not-for-Profit Management will be conferred on MBA/JD students who satisfactorily complete all of the following requirements as listed below.

  • MBA/JD joint degree candidates who entered the MBA program fall semester 2007 (or before) must complete a total 126 semester credits of course work. The 126 semester credits include 72 semester hours of course work in the College of Law and 54 semester credits of Atkinson School course work.

  • As per College of Law regulations, the 72 credits of College of Law course work must include all required courses for the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree and a minimum of fifty-nine (59) credits of graded College of Law course work. In addition, credit for law internships shall not be counted toward the required 72 semester credits.

  • The 54 credits of MBA course work must include the thirty-six (36) credit core curriculum and eighteen (18) credits of MBA elective courses.

  • The thirty-six (36) credits of MBA core course work must include the following 12 courses of the core curriculum:
    GSM 501 Managerial Economics and Finance
    GSM 504 Macroeconomics and the Financial System
    GSM 511 Foundations of Quantitative Analysis
    GSM 512 Statistical Inference and Model Formulation
    GSM 534 Accounting for Managers
    GSM 535 Managing Processes and Systems
    GSM 540 Managing Organizations
    GSM 541 Managing Organizations
    GSM 550 Marketing: Creating Satisfied Customers
    GSM 551 Managing Globally
    GSM 598 Integrated Professional Development & Strategy
    GSM 599 Strategic Management
    The eighteen (18) credits of MBA elective course work must include one course (3 credits) from the following list of approved integrated elective courses:
    GSM 631 Strategic Marketing for Not-for-Profit Organizations
    GSM 634 Organization Design
    GSM 641 Industry Analysis
    GSM 649 Project Management
    GSM 645 Advanced Management Controls
    GSM 656 International Management
    GSM 665 Not-For-Profit Management
    GSM 681 and 682 New Ventures to Launch (Fall and Spring Semesters)
    GSM 689 Advanced Management Capability in Government
  • MBA/JD students must satisfactorily complete the IKEW requirement of the MBA program.

  • Fifty-one (51) semester credits of the 54 MBA semester credits required of MBA/JD students must be from graded course work.

  • The MBA/JD joint degree program must be taken over no less than four academic years.

  • MBA/JD candidates must have a cumulative Atkinson School grade point average of 3.00 (B) or higher, comply with requirements determined by the School's faculty, and be in Good Standing within all policies of the Atkinson School and Willamette University.

  • A maximum of six (6) credits of courses numbered GSM 653 may be applied toward MBA graduation requirements.

  • MBA/JD students may enroll in Independent Study for Joint Degree Students (GSM 752J - graded) and/or MBA Internship for Joint Degree Students (GSM 750J – graded) as elective courses. A maximum of six (6) total graded credits from GSM 752J and GSM 750J may apply toward MBA graduation requirements. MBA/JD students may not take these courses on a Pass/Fail basis.

  • MBA/JD students may earn a maximum of 15 credits from Atkinson School international exchange programs (Foreign Study - GSM 740 or 741) in France or Denmark. GSM 740 and 741 are graded courses for MBA/JD students and will be graded on an A - F scale. The A - F grade received from the international exchange institution will be recorded on the Atkinson School transcript.

  • As a condition of graduation, the College of Law requires all students (including joint degree students) to be enrolled for six (6) semesters of course work totaling ten (10) credit hours for each of those semesters. After year two of the program, Joint Degree students may combine Atkinson School and Law credit hours in the same semester to fulfill the residency requirement of ten (10) credit hours per semester.

  • Regulations governing the courses for the degree program at either school shall apply unless they are inconsistent with these joint degree regulations.

  • Candidates for graduation must submit a "petition for degree" at the beginning of their final semester in the MBA program.
  • In the event the curriculum is changed or graduation requirements are otherwise altered, the rules in effect at the time of the student's entry to the program will apply unless otherwise stated.

Good Standing
All students must maintain 'Good Standing' for continued enrollment and graduation. "Good Standing" is defined as adhering to the academic policies, standards of conduct and financial policies of the Atkinson School and Willamette University.

Good Academic Standing
All students must maintain a cumulative Atkinson School grade point average of 3.00 (B) or better and make satisfactory progress toward degree completion to be in "Good Academic Standing."

Full-time and Part-time Enrollment Status
MBA/JD students who are enrolled in nine or more credits of graduate level course work in a given semester during their one year of full-time study in the MBA program are considered full-time students. JD/MBA students enrolled in one to eight credits of graduate level course work in a given semester during their one year of full-time study in the MBA program are considered part-time students. All academic and conduct regulations of Willamette University and the Atkinson School govern full-time and part-time students.

Grades
It is the responsibility of the instructor to assign grades. The Atkinson School uses a letter grade system consisting of seven regular grades. Their grade point values are:

A
=
4.00
A-
=
3.70
B+
=
3.30
B
=
3.00
B-
=
2.70
C
=
2.00
F
=
0.00

Other grades in the Atkinson School MBA grading system are listed below. Each grade shown below has specific requirements and implications.

I
= Incomplete
P
= Pass for a Pass/Fail course
T
= Grade pending continuation of a full-year course
CR
= Credit
W
= Withdrawal from course



Regulations Regarding "I" Grades

A grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned at the discretion of the professor for any course to indicate that all work has been completed except a final exam or an assignment given by the instructor. If more than a final exam or assignment is required to complete a course, it is necessary to withdraw from the course.

"I" grades must be cleared from the transcript by completion of the course work during the next regular academic semester. Failure to clear an "I" before the end of the following semester will result in the "I" becoming a grade of "F.".

It is the student's responsibility to take the initiative and stay in contact with the faculty member of the course for which the "I" grade was received. It is also the student's responsibility to complete the requirements within the one semester time limit as described above.

If a student formally withdraws from school before the end of the following semester, the "I" grade will not be converted to an "F". However, the student must complete the course by the end of the first semester in which they return to the Atkinson School.


Regulations Regarding "F" Grades

"F" grades are calculated in the grade point average and result in zero credits earned toward graduation.

A student who receives an "F" in a required course must repeat the course and earn a grade of "C" or higher in the repeated course. A student who receives an "F" grade in an elective course may repeat the course.

When a course is repeated, both the "F" grade and the grade received in the repeated course appear on the transcript, and both grades are calculated in the grade point average.

"F" grades have very serious consequences. A student anticipating an "F" in a course is advised to withdraw from the course prior to the last scheduled class meeting of the course.


Grading Regulations Regarding Issues of
Academic Honesty and Ethical Behavior
Students found to have committed plagiarism, cheating, or unauthorized possession or disposition of academic materials will receive a zero (0%) grade for the specific examination, test, paper, assignment, or project in question for their first offense. A second offense will lead to automatic expulsion.

Complete information about the definitions, policies and procedures related to Academic Honesty and Ethical Behavior is presented in the Code of Conduct section of this handbook.


Grades Changes

Changes in grades recorded on a transcript are permitted only under the following conditions:

  • Error by the instructor in computing or reporting a grade
  • Completion of work in a course for which the grade of "I" has been recorded
  • Administrative error in the reporting or recording of a grade.


Grade Appeal
The Atkinson School has a formal grade appeal process (described below). Students who want to use the formal grade appeal process as their first step are encouraged to do so. Students who want to use a more informal process as their first step are encouraged to communicate directly with the professor, and/or the Associate Dean/Director of Admission. If the issue is not resolved at the informal level, the next step for the student would be to begin the formal grade appeal process.

Formal Grade Appeal Process: The first step of a specific course grade appeal must be for the student to take the issue to the instructor in question or to the chairperson of Atkinson School's Student Affairs Committee (SAC). If the faculty member involved with the grade appeal is the chairperson of the SAC, the student may take the issue to the chairperson of the previous year.

If the issue is not resolved to the student's satisfaction at this level of appeal, the student can submit two (2) copies of his/her appeal in writing to the Associate Dean/Director of Admission, who will then distribute them as follows: one (1) copy to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) Chair and one (1) copy to the instructor involved.

Written grade appeals must reach the Associate Dean/Director of Admission within forty-five (45) days following the general notification of grades, otherwise the grade will stand as posted and no further appeal will be available. It is the Associate Dean/Director of Admission's responsibility to notify both the SAC Chairperson and the instructor in question about the appeal.

Upon receipt of the written appeal, the SAC Chairperson will make a written request for the involved instructor's position, also to be submitted in writing. The SAC Executive Committee will then meet to review and discuss all appeal particulars, including but not limited to interviewing the parties involved in the appeal. If a conflict of interest arises within the SAC Executive Committee, the SAC Chairperson will replace the said compromised individual with an ad-hoc member of similar standing.

The process of appeal will occur during the semester (fall or spring) following the initial filing of the appeal. The appeal process is complete when the SAC reaches a consensual decision and the said decision is rendered in writing and distributed to the student and to the instructor in question.

If either party is dissatisfied with the Committee's decision, they may make a written appeal to the Dean, whose decision is final and binding.


Academic Probation

All students must maintain a cumulative Atkinson School grade point average of 3.00 (B) or better and make satisfactory progress toward degree completion to be in "Good Academic Standing."

MBA students who, after completion of a minimum of twelve (12) MBA credits, fails to obtain a cumulative GPA of 3.00, but have a GPA greater than 2.40, will be placed on probation and receive written notification from the Dean. Academic probation is noted on the student's transcript until a student raises his or her cumulative GPA to 3.00 or better.

After being placed on academic probation the student has two (2) semesters (Fall/Spring or Spring/Fall) to attain good academic standing with an overall cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better; otherwise he/she will be ineligible for further course work. Appeals to the Dean must be submitted in writing and will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Quality of student's experience while at Atkinson
  • Evidence of academic and professional growth
  • Assessment of ability to successfully complete the program
  • Evidence of commitment to complete the program within six year requirement.
The Dean's decision is final, and no further Atkinson appeal is available.

Students will be placed on academic probation, or removed from academic probation only at the end of a semester. Students who have questions about academic probation should contact the Associate Dean/Director of Admission.

Academic Termination
MBA students who, after completion of a minimum of twelve (12) MBA credits, has a cumulative GPA of 2.40 or less will be automatically terminated from the Atkinson School and receive written notification from the Dean.

The termination of enrollment may be appealed to the Dean by the student within the time limit stated in the letter of notification. Appeals to the Dean must be submitted in writing and will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Quality of student's experience while at Atkinson
  • Evidence of academic and professional growth
  • Assessment of ability to successfully complete the program
  • Evidence of commitment to complete the program within six year requirement.
The Dean's decision is final, and no further Atkinson appeal is available.

Academic termination will also occur when a student on probation for three consecutive semesters does not receive approval of their appeal for continued enrollment.

Students will be academically terminated, placed on academic probation, or removed from academic probation only at the end of a semester.

Grades and Expulsion Related to Academic Honesty and Ethical Behavior Regulations
Students found to have committed plagiarism, cheating, or unauthorized possession or disposition of academic materials will receive a zero (0%) grade for the specific examination, test, paper, assignment, or project in question for their first offense. A second offense will lead to automatic expulsion. Complete information about the definitions, policies and procedures related to Academic Honesty and Ethical Behavior is presented in the Codes of Conduct section of this handbook.

Core Course Waivers
MBA/JD students may be eligible to receive a “substitution waiver” for core course work, but are not eligible for “credit waivers.” Students granted a substitute waiver must take a specific elective course in place of the specific core course. The total number of required MBA credits required for graduation for an MBA/JD student remains 54 credits.

General Waiver Policies: Students who waive a core course are responsible for the content of the waived course as it is applied in other MBA core and elective courses. There is no limit to the number of core courses which can be waived via a Substitution Waiver. Students on academic probation are not eligible for course waivers.

Core Course Waiver Processes: Criteria for granting a waiver for a core course are determined by the faculty member responsible for the course. There are two waiver request processes:

1) In cases where a student's academic record exactly matches the requirements described in "Waiver Requirements for Core Courses," an administrative waiver decision may be made by the Associate Dean/Director of Admission.

2) In cases where an exact match does not occur, students requesting a waiver must submit a formal "Request for Waiver of a Core Course" to the Associate Dean/Director of Admission by the end of the first week of the semester. A formal "Request for Waiver of a Core Course" must include supporting information that includes but is not limited to: a statement of rationale for the waiver request, a copy of the syllabus and catalog course description of each previous course related to the request, and a photocopy of a transcript showing completion of the course and the grade received. The Associate Dean/Director of Admission will process the request with the faculty member for a decision. Upon receipt of the waiver request, the faculty member may approve the waiver request, deny the request, require an interview with the student, require the student to complete a waiver examination, require the student to enroll in an elective course as a substitute for the core course, or choose another option. Following the decision, the faculty member will return the form and its supporting documents the Associate Dean/Director of Admission, who will notify the student of the decision. In cases where a substitute course is required, no credits are granted for the waived course.

Waiver Requirements for Core Courses Taught During 2007-08

  • GSM 501 - Managerial Economics and Finance
    MBA/JD students who have completed an intermediate level course in microeconomics and an intermediate level course in finance with grades of "B" or better, and who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher may be eligible for a Substitute Waiver for "GSM 501 - Managerial Economics and Finance."

  • GSM 504 - Macroeconomics and the Financial System
    MBA/JD students who have completed an intermediate level course in microeconomics and macroeconomics, and a junior level course in finance with a grade of "B" or better, and who have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher, may be eligible for a Substitute waiver for "GSM504 - Macroeconomics and the Financial System.

  • GSM 511 - Foundations of Quantitative Analysis
    GSM 511 cannot be waived via an administrative review of course work or certification. Students requesting a Substitute Waiver will be assessed through a short waiver examination provided by Professor Mike Hand at the beginning of fall semester. Contact Professor Hand during the first week of fall semester to arrange for a waiver exam.

  • GSM 512 - Statistical Inference and Model Formulation
    GSM 512 cannot be waived via an administrative review of course work or certification. Students requesting a Substitute waiver must submit a "Request for Waiver of Core Course" to the Associate Dean/Director of Admission by the end of first week of spring semester.

  • GSM 534 - Accounting for Managers
    Students who have completed a course in Financial Accounting with a minimum grade of 3.0 (B), a course in Cost or Management Accounting with a minimum grade of 3.0 (B), and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better may be eligible to substitute an approved upper division course for the core course Accounting for Managers. Qualified students should contact Professor Ken Smith during Compass Week or the first week of fall semester to review their waiver options.

  • GSM 535 - Managing Processes and Systems
    GSM 535 cannot be waived via an administrative review of course work or certification.

  • GSM 540 and GSM 541 - Managing Organizations
    Students who have completed all of the following may be eligible for a Substitute Waiver for GSM 540 and GSM 541: a bachelor degree in business from an AACSB accredited program within five years of entry to the Atkinson School with a major in Organizational Behavior, Organization Theory or Human Resources; six or more undergraduate courses in HRM/Personnel (including course work in ethics) and earned a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) in each course; four or more junior/senior level courses in Organizational Behavior, Organization Theory, Leadership or Decision Making with a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) in each course; and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Students who meet the requirements for this waiver must contact the Associate Dean/Director of Admission before the first week of fall semester.

  • GSM 550 - Marketing: Creating Satisfied Customers
    Students who have completed six credits or more of undergraduate course work in marketing with a cumulative grade point of B+ (3.3) or better in the marketing course work may be eligible for a Substitution Waiver. Students granted a substitution waiver for GSM 550 are required to complete either "GSM 660 - Research for Marketing Decisions" or "GSM 661 - Marketing Strategy" in place of GSM 550, and should complete GSM 660 or GSM 661 during their first semester.

  • GSM 551 - Managing Globally
    Students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and who completed a senior level course in International Business with a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) may be eligible for a Substitution Waiver for GSM 551. Students granted this substitution waiver for GSM 551 are required to complete the course "GSM 689 - Advanced Management Capability in Government" during their second semester.

Transfer Credits
MBA/JD students are not eligible to transfer credits from other MBA programs to the Atkinson School.

Students Enrolled Part-Time
MBA students who are enrolled in one to eleven credits of course work in any semester are considered part-time students. Part-time students must meet all academic and conduct regulations governing full-time students in the Willamette University MBA programs.

Requests for Exceptions to Academic Policies or Procedures
Students requesting an exception to academic policies or procedures must submit a written request and rationale for the request. The proposal should be directed to the Associate Dean/Director of Admission (email joneill@willamette.edu) for review. The following are required of all written proposals.

  • The student must explain the request in detail
  • The student must provide information about any discussion or tentative agreements that may have occurred between the student and a faculty member (if any)
  • If a tentative agreement has already been made with a faculty member, the student must provide the signature of the faculty member involved or the faculty member must send an email directly to the Associate Dean/Director of Admission discussing their level of support for the proposal and any other comments or suggestions
  • The student must state a clear rationale for the request as to why it is the best alternative for their educational and career goals

If the proposal is not approved, the Associate Dean/Director of Admission will notify the student via email.

If the proposal is tentatively approved, the student must complete an interview (in person or on the telephone) with the Associate Dean/Director of Admission to discuss the implications and regulations governing the requested exception and any future implications of the exception.

Following the interview, the student must sign in writing that they understand and accept the exception that has been made and the conditions and regulations governing the exception. The signature is required for the exception to be implemented. Failure to provide a written statement accepting the conditions and regulations governing an exception voids any tentatively approved exception to policy or procedures.

Students should note that the following basic requirements of the MBA degree are never modified:

  • Satisfactory completion of the minimum number of credits required for graduation
  • Satisfactory completion of required courses (or substitute courses approved by the dean)
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 in Willamette MBA course work