Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree, Full-Time Program, and a Major Concentration in Finance

Program Learning Outcomes for the MBA Degree Programs

Upon completing the MBA degree programs, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding and application of the foundational frameworks and tools of all business disciplines, including accounting, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, and strategic management.
  2. Develop, evaluate, and implement complex business strategies and operational solutions holistically, integrating management principles across the functional areas.
  3. Function effectively in a team setting both as a leader and a contributor.

Requirements for the MBA Degree Programs

The MBA degree is a non-thesis master's degree. For general university requirements, please see Non-Thesis Master's Degrees

Students who register for a standard course load of 9-18 credit hours per semester are considered full-time students. All registration and elective selection via add/drop is completed online through ESTHER. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor and maintain his or her schedule and academic record.

Waivers and Transfers of Credit

At its sole discretion, the school may allow students to transfer a maximum of 6 credit hours. Students must follow the prescribed curriculum of study and are not allowed to waive any core requirements.

Requirements for the Full-Time MBA Degree Program

Students pursuing the full-time MBA degree program must complete:

  • A minimum of 60 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements taken over a two-year period.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in required coursework with a minimum grade of C (2.0 grade points) in each course.   
  • A maximum of 6 credit hours from graduate transfer credit. For additional program guidelines regarding transfer credit, see the Policies tab. Information regarding Exchange Program transfer credit can be found in the Student Handbook under Campus Groups. 


Total Credit Hours Required for the Full-Time MBA Degree Program60

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements 1
Custom Core Courses: 2
Select 2 from the following:3-6
Elective Requirements
Select an additional 28.5-31.5 credit hours from departmental (MGMP, MGMT, or MICO) course offerings at the 500-level or above to reach 60 total credit hours 328.5-31.5
Total Credit Hours60

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Major Concentration: Finance

The major concentration in Finance provides students with a broad foundation in financial management principles and an opportunity for further specialization. Students are required to complete the primary finance electives in the MBA program and Financial Statement Analysis. Students supplement these foundational courses with at least two specialized courses from a list of approved offerings. 

Students pursuing the major concentration in Finance must complete:

  • A minimum of 12-14 credit hours as listed below to satisfy major concentration requirements*
Core Requirements
Elective Requirements
Select 2 from the following:3-5
Total Credit Hours12-14

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the MBA Degree Programs

MBA Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MBA programs must submit scores on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). International applicants, who did not earn an undergraduate degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction was English must submit a valid score report from either TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS. Admission to the MBA programs is open to students regardless of their undergraduate major, but it is highly selective and limited to those who have performed with distinction in their previous academic work and on the GMAT or GRE.

Academic and Professional Standards

Students must meet both academic and professional standards to continue academic work and to graduate. In accepting admission to the MBA program, all students agree to be governed by the standards and procedures for dismissal or disciplinary action stated below.

Academic Standards

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (B) is required for graduation. All courses taken towards the MBA degree (including approved courses taken at the university but outside the Jones Graduate School of Business) are counted in the cumulative grade point average calculation.

Students with a cumulative grade point average lower than 3.00 at the end of any semester will be notified of standing. A student who has been notified may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee of the Jones Graduate School of Business requesting to be placed on academic probation. The committee will decide, based on the circumstances of the appeal, whether the student:

  1. may resume studies on academic probation,
  2. is to be academically suspended for one semester or an academic year, or
  3. is to be dismissed from the MBA program.

Students proposing to return after a period of academic suspension must apply to the Academic Standards Committee and receive permission to be readmitted. If permitted to return, the student will pay the current rate of tuition, based upon the class of students s/he is joining.

Only grades of C and above are counted for credit toward graduation. If students receive a grade below a C in a course required for graduation, they must repeat the course. If students receive a grade below a C in an elective course, they need not repeat the specific course, but they must make up the credits. If the required course is not offered again prior to graduation, the student will be permitted to take the course the following academic year, but will be charged the current pro-rated tuition for the program in which the additional course work is completed.

Students may retake a failed course only once and then only if their cumulative grade point average is 3.00 or higher or if they have received the permission of the Sr. Associate Dean of Degree Programs to do so. Students who fail a course twice will be notified of dismissal. (Students may not take any course for which the failed course is a prerequisite until they pass the prerequisite course.)

Students on academic probation cannot be candidates for student offices and must complete all future courses with a grade of C or above. Students are removed from probation only upon achieving a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 must appeal to the Academic Standards Committee. 

Students who have completed the required number of hours for the MBA degree, the coordinated MBA/Master of Engineering degrees, the coordinated MBA/Master of Science Professional Science Masters degrees, or the coordinated MBA/MD dual degree, but who have a cumulative grade point average lower than 3.00, are dismissed without graduation.

Jones Graduate School of Business students may not take courses pass/fail to count toward their degree requirements. Jones Graduate School of Business students may audit courses with professor approval. The Audited courses do not count toward the MBA, but do appear on the transcript.

Professional Standards

MBA students are held to the high standards of professional conduct expected of managers—standards substantially exceeding those expected of them simply as students. Students may be dismissed or suspended for failure to meet professional standards, as defined in the University Code of Conduct. The dean may place a student on disciplinary probation for unacceptable conduct, giving oral and written notice that future misconduct will lead to filing specific charges. (This probationary notice, however, is not required as a precondition for filing specific charges.)

Guidelines for Appealing Academic Dismissal

The Process

A student who wishes to appeal a dismissal should address the following issues in a letter to the Academic Standards Committee. The student must send the letter to the chair of the Academic Standards Committee. These questions should be answered in the appeal letter:

  1. What circumstances led to your academic performance last semester and to what degree were those circumstances beyond your control?
  2. If your performance in a particular course(s) last semester was below par, describe any circumstances specific to that course that explain your performance.
  3. Do you expect the circumstances that created the problems for you last semester to change next semester? If so, how?

Students may include any additional information they deem relevant in the appeal letter.


If the student intends to appeal the letter to the committee must be filed within two weeks after receiving a dismissal letter. If a student plans to appeal, he/she should continue to attend classes. It is important to keep up in with studies during the appeal process. If the appeal is accepted, the student may continue progress towards the completion of their degree.


Appeals beyond the Academic Standards Committee must go to the dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business, who may seek guidance from other constituents of the school. All decisions rendered by the dean are final.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and amendments govern the records of actions related to appeals.

Grade Appeal Process

Once a course grade has been assigned by an instructor, it is generally considered final and is rarely changed for any reason other than calculation or transcription errors. The procedure below outlines the process by which a student may appeal a course grade.

  1. The student should first pursue any grading question with the instructor following the formal or informal process the instructor has outlined for the course.
  2. If the matter is not resolved in step 1 above, the student must file a written appeal to the instructor and send a copy to the senior associate dean of degree programs. This written appeal must be filed no later than two weeks after the final grade for a course was assigned.
  3. The instructor must schedule a meeting with the student within two weeks of receiving the written appeal to further discuss the appeal with the student. Notice of the appeal time and date will be provided by the instructor to the senior associate dean of degree programs.
  4. If step 3 does not resolve the issue to the satisfaction of both parties, the student may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee by sending a written notice describing the grounds for the appeal within two weeks of the date of the scheduled meeting in step 3.
  5. The Academic Standards Committee will seek out information on the appeal from the instructor and the student and, at its discretion, hold a hearing to further consider the matter. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee will be rendered within 4 weeks of receiving a written notice of appeal (step 4).
  6. Appeals beyond the Academic Standards Committee must go to the dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business, who may seek guidance from other constituents of the school. All decisions rendered by the dean are final.
  7. In the event that the protested grade is necessary for the student to graduate, an accelerated schedule will be followed.
  8. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and amendments govern records of these actions.

MBA Elective Course Add/Drop Policy and Procedures

Due to the unique term schedule followed by the Jones Graduate School of Business MBA programs, MBA students have special procedures they must follow to make schedule changes. The Jones Graduate School of Business Associate Registrar administers an add/drop policy which allows students to add/drop elective courses at various times throughout the semester.  For all elective courses, student may not add/drop a course after the deadline for the appropriate term.

MBA Course Registration Policy for non-Jones Graduate School of Business Rice University Students

Graduate students from outside the Jones Graduate School of Business may register for elective courses in the full-time MBA program and the MBA for Professionals program. To be eligible for a specific course, a student must be in good academic standing in their program, have permission from the student’s department advisor, and have satisfied the specified course prerequisites. In order to register for the course, the student should verify eligibility with the Jones Graduate School of Business associate registrar and then request approval from the course instructor.

Non-Jones Graduate School of Business students may not register for elective courses in the MBA for Executives program or core (required) courses in any of the school’s MBA programs.

Rice undergraduate students are not allowed to register for any MBA-level courses (MGMT, MGMP, or MGMW) offered at the Jones Graduate School of Business.

Class Attendance Policy

Students are expected to be in class on the first day of each term. The instructor reserves the right to exclude a student from their course who is absent on the first day. Students should refer to the specific attendance policy for each program. This information can be found in the Jones Graduate School of Business Student Handbook, which is referenced below. For special circumstances, students should see the instructor.

Withdrawal Policy

A Jones Graduate School of Business student, participating in any offered program, may voluntarily withdraw from school at any time. Upon withdrawal, Rice University applies a sliding scale to tuition, which is noted in the university's Academic Calendar posted on the Rice Office of the Registrar website.

Jones Graduate School of Business Student Handbook

Generally, the Jones Graduate School of Business adheres to the academic regulations of Rice University. However, the Jones Graduate School of Business MBA program has unique policies and procedures that vary from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regarding, but not limited to, leave of absence, withdrawals and readmission, add/drop, academic discipline, dismissal, procedures for resolution of problems, and appeal of academic regulations. A copy of the handbook is available on Campus Groups.

Financial Aid

Jones Graduate School of Business scholarships are awarded at the point of admission and are based on the merit of the application. Financial assistance is generally awarded one academic year at a time. Continuation of assistance depends on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in accordance with Academic and Professional Standards of performance, professional behavior, and is subject to the availability of funds. Academic or disciplinary probation, suspension, or general failure to maintain academic pace will result in the removal of all forms of financial assistance (i.e. scholarship, employment, Federal/State student loans, etc.). Students have the right to appeal the suspension. All appeals will be reviewed by a committee.

For additional information, please see the Business website: 

Opportunities for the MBA Degree Programs

Independent Study

Minimum Hours Requirement

Each credit of independent study should contain approximately as much time content as a one-credit course at Jones Graduate School of Business, which is 12 hours of class time, plus an average of at least 24–36 outside-class hours, for a minimum total of 36–48 hours of work. Independent study projects can be accommodated in increments of 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, or 3.0 credit hours; 3.0 credit independent study projects are rarely approved. Occasionally, a group independent study project may arise, though most independent studies are undertaken by individual students.

The number of credits for an independent study must be determined at the beginning of a project. Increases to the number of project credit hours after the project overview has been filed with the Jones Graduate School of Business associate registrar must be approved by the Academic Standards Committee. The committee will rely on input from sponsoring faculty in making its decision about ex post credit increases. Requests to increase the number of project credit hours must be made before the end of the second week of classes in the term in which the project begins.


No student may take more than three credit hours of independent study during the course of the MBA program without the approval of the Academic Standards Committee. If an independent study is proposed that would cause a student to exceed the 3.0 credit limit, the Academic Standards Committee will select two faculty members, other than the faculty member who will supervise the project, within the area most closely related to the study’s academic content to review and approve the study. Independent study exceeding 3.0 credits in total should consider current policies restricting use of independent study as well as the incremental value of additional independent study in light of past independent studies. If the study does not align with any of the Jones Graduate School of Business academic groups, the Academic Standards Committee will perform the review and make the final approval decision.

Independent study projects are for academic credit, not for hire. Students may not earn credit for paid work.

Faculty Sponsorship

Independent study projects normally are sponsored only by full-time Jones Graduate School of Business faculty; faculty typically sponsor projects only in their area of expertise. Students wanting sponsorship by a part-time faculty member must submit a project overview to the Academic Standards Committee and obtain the committee’s approval before the term in which the project is to begin.

Common Requirements

The goal of independent study projects is to advance or deepen a student’s knowledge or competency in a business discipline or activity.

To facilitate these goals, independent study projects generally fall into two broad categories:

  1. directed reading and study resulting in a research paper, or
  2. an experiential or hands-on project resulting in an outcome such as an empirical analysis with an executive summary of the “deliverable.”

While the content of individual independent study projects are at the discretion of a student and the sponsoring faculty member, to ensure relatively equal workloads per unit of independent study credit and some common requirements across independent study projects, students and/or sponsoring faculty should:

  1. Prepare and submit to the Jones Graduate School of Business associate registrar an overview of the independent study project with number of project credits, anticipated final results, and a broad timeline of anticipated project milestones.
  2. Meet to discuss the project, after the initial agreement on the project scope, at least once every two to three weeks.
  3. Prepare a final paper (in the case of directed reading and research projects) or complete a concrete deliverable (for example, computer program, survey results, empirical analyses, etc.) together with an executive summary of the project (in the case of experiential projects).
  4. File a copy of each student’s final paper, or executive summary, with the Jones Graduate School of Business associate registrar.


Independent study applications are available for interested students on Campus Groups. Completed independent study applications must be approved by the senior associate dean of academic affairs. Completed and approved applications are due to the Jones Graduate School of Business associate registrar by the first week of the term in which the project will be completed. The student will be registered for MGMT 700/MGMT 800 independent study for the appropriate credit amount, only when the appropriate permissions have been obtained.

For additional information, please see the Business website: