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Navy School Offers Officers MBA Degrees

By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2002 – Military officers and DoD civilians can now earn a defense-focused masters of business administration degree through the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

The program covers all the elements of a typical MBA program, but focuses some of the material on military- specific issues, according to Douglas Brook, dean of the institution's Graduate School of Business and Public Policy.

Brook said this is the only defense-focused MBA program in the country.

Military officers, typically in the O-3 to O-4 ranks, attend the school for 18 months on a resident basis. Brook explained that most of the officers are from the Navy, but officers from other services and civilians are welcome to apply.

The first 50 students in the program began their coursework in January, and another 100 begin studies this summer. Brook explained new classes will start twice each year.

In September, the school will enter into a partnership with the University of Maryland to offer the same degree on a nonresident basis in Washington. Classes will meet on Saturdays with Maryland professors and instructors teaching the common subjects and military-specific subjects being taught by visiting faculty from Monterey or through distance-learning methods.

"We're taking our basic MBA program here and offering it to a different population of students -- people who would never be able to come to Monterey on a resident program but would like a defense-focused MBA," Brook said.

He said he expects 12 to 25 DoD civilians to enroll in the new program here this year.

The defense-focused MBA has three pieces, Brook said. A business core will reflect subjects covered in other MBA programs, but with a DoD focus. For instance, subjects might include economics for a defense manager, and an organizational design course would focus on defense organizations, Brook explained.

A mission-related segment of coursework would include broad courses aimed at defense management, including courses in DoD strategy and policy, DoD resource determination, e- business for defense and the budget and appropriations process.

The third piece of this degree is what Brooks called an individual concentration. "They'll concentrate course work on areas in which they might be assigned," he said. "This way they'll get what they need in terms of more direct professional qualifications."

He said individual concentration areas can include acquisition and contracting, logistics, financial management, human resource management or information management.

Individuals seeking more information on the defense-focused MBA programs through the Naval Postgraduate School should speak to their assignments manager or detailer or check the school's Web site at www.nps.navy.mil.

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