New MBA program open to all undergraduates

Joshua Lloyd, Managing Editor

Francis Marion University is now accepting students into its newly designed Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program, the only business graduate degree at the school.

The program began this fall and is designed to give graduate students from all walks of academia a better understanding of the business side of their field, according to program director and marketing coordinator Dr. Kay Lawrimore-Belanger.

“It’s beneficial for a student who has an undergraduate in business because it expands their knowledge but it’s also very good for those who haven’t majored in business,” said Lawrimore-Belanger.

An undergraduate degree in business isn’t required to participate in the MBA program, and the department is encouraging students from all areas to consider the business aspect of their career field when thinking about graduate school.

“We’ve really tried to design a program that beneficial to the business and non-business major to give each the tools they need to be successful in a career in business,” said Lawrimore-Belanger.

Previously, the program was held in the evening and on weekends. The department found, however, that many students we’re not able to regularly attend classes during the allotted time and maintain their jobs.

“We’re now able to deliver the content through technology that allows students to watch the professor at home or listen to their lectures from home,” said Lawrimore-Balenger. “This keeps them from having to drive here each time and it also expands our market somewhat.”

The improved course hours and additional technological assets will give students in the program greater flexibility to manage career and other life challenges while enrolled in the program.

The degree is designed to cover 10 courses, which includes two courses each semester for four consecutive semesters, including two summer terms. Students that do not have an undergraduate in business will be required to take an additional foundation of business course prior to beginning the core MBA classes.

Since Florence and the surrounding areas have attracted large businesses such as Otis Elevator, Honda, QVC and McCall Farms, the MBA program will play an important role in helping students stay ahead of the curve in the various industries.

Even though the MBA program is primarily seen as a business oriented degree, Lawrimore-Balenger explains that it can be a major asset to those seeking non-profit and medical careers as well.

The tuition for the MBA is similar to that of an undergraduate degree at the university and is specifically designed to help students within the community become more immersed in local business practices.

For more information on the MBA program and inquiries about application to the program contact Dr. Kay Lawrimore Bealnger at