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Master of Business Administration

Optional Independent Research Project (MBA 601/602)

MBA students have the option of completing an Independent Research Project as part of their Phase III elective course work. Students choosing this option will take MBA 601, or MBA 601 and MBA 602, for up to six semester hours.


The Independent Research Project (IRP) is chosen by the candidate and approved by the IRP project review committee with the consent of the primary and secondary faculty advisors who will direct the candidate’s research project. To enroll in MBA 601/602, students must have a 3.50 grade point average when the project application is submitted for approval to the MBA executive director (forms available from the MBA Programs Office). Before beginning work on the project, students must have completed 15 semester hours of core subjects, including MBA 501, MBA 503, MBA 505, MBA 507, and MBA 511.

Proposal Approval

A committee of three MBA professors, comprising the Independent Research Project Committee, will review the project proposal and approve or disapprove it based on relevance to the learning experience of the student. In most cases, the MBA executive director will assign two faculty members as primary and secondary advisors to work with the student throughout completion of the project.

Style and Typing of Project Report

Guidelines given in the standard style manuals [by Turabian or by the American Psychological Association (APA)] should be followed. Students are also responsible for the typing and copying of the research project.

Oral Defense

The project process will culminate with the oral examination of the candidate by a faculty committee. This group consists of the student’s research advisors, the MBA executive director, two readers, and others invited to the oral review.

Registration and Completion

The student should register for MBA 601 in the semester during which he or she expects to begin the project. Failure to complete the assignment for MBA 601 during that term will result in an “IP” (In Progress) grade for the course. This grade will not adversely affect the grade point average of the student for that particular term. However, the required work must be completed within one year of the posting of the IP grade. Completion of the work will result in a change to the earned grade. Failure to complete the work within one year will result in an "F."

Students are reminded that the MBA project, as part of the MBA curriculum, must be completed within the five-year time limit. Also, completion of the project will rarely take less than a year.

Once the final thesis is completed and changes or corrections made, the MBA Programs Office submits the text for binding. A student should submit at least three copies to be bound for himself or herself, the MBA Programs Office, and the Ashland University Library. The student pays only for his or her personal copies; however, the student's first bound book is available at no charge, and the additional student copies are available at $11.00 each.

Student Honor Society

Master of Business Administration students who have completed at least one-half of the Master of Business Administration requirements with a GPA of 3.8 or higher are eligible for membership in Delta Mu Delta, an international honor society in business. Candidates must receive faculty approval to be accepted.

Additional Information

For additional information regarding the Master of Business Administration Program, please contact:

Call: 419.289.5211

Write:  MBA Office

Ashland University

401 College Ave.

Ashland, OH 44805