online MBA ASU Penn State
October 7, 2010 9:53 AM   Subscribe

How math intensive are the online MBA programs from ASU and Penn State?

I am seriously considering enrolling in ASU's or Penn State's online MBA program. My main concern is how advanced the math work will be in the program. Business concepts come easily to me, but my math skills are average at best. Does anyone have first hand experience in either of these programs? If so, are they math intensive? Does anyone have any recommendations as to prep work that I could do to prepare myself? I appreciate you taking the time to share your input. Have a great day!
posted by gibbsjd77 to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't have experience with these programs, but academic programs usually have a list of prerequisites for the various courses. Why don't you look at their respective course catalogs and view the course listings? Perhaps the necessary math background is indicated in there.

My broader experience with working with MBAs is that the various schools that offer MBAs require math skills all over the chart, so to speak, depending upon one's concentration (marketing vs. finance, for example).

Relatively few MBAs would ever use calculus, for example.
posted by dfriedman at 10:20 AM on October 7, 2010

MBA programs area always going to have either core courses or prereqs that involve math - namely accounting, statistics, economics and finance. Some schools will let you test out, or use undergrad courses as exemptions.

After your core courses, you generally won't have to do math unless you choose to - if you stick with marketing or strategy for example, you won't have to deal with any math. However if you concentrate on finance or accounting, you may be out of luck.

That said, math-based courses are the last thing I would ever want to take online.
posted by radioamy at 10:48 AM on October 7, 2010

//Relatively few MBAs would ever use calculus, for example.//

I remember doing quite a bit of calculus in microeconomics in grad school, using derivatives to find the min or max of a price curve, for example. Granted, that was probably the last time I did any calculus, and derivatives are pretty easy to master. I seem to remember people in the class that didn't have an engineering undergrad having to work a little harder to get the hang of it though. But I don't think it was a deal killer, even for the liberal arts undergrads.
posted by COD at 12:07 PM on October 7, 2010

You may want to try taking practice versions of the GMAT quant section -- that's the level of math they expect you to be able to do. As far as I recall, there is no calculus involved :).
posted by elmay at 1:20 PM on October 7, 2010

I remember doing quite a bit of calculus in microeconomics in grad school, using derivatives to find the min or max of a price curve, for example.

What I meant, and perhaps was not clear about, is that most MBAs do not need to use calculus in their careers. It's a fair point that some economics classes require its use.
posted by dfriedman at 2:32 PM on October 7, 2010

I'm going to be doing a lot of GMAT prep. Hopefully that will help prepare me adequately. Any other suggestions?
posted by gibbsjd77 at 3:24 PM on October 8, 2010

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