Western Michigan Launches MBA Concentration in Aviation

New concentration to launch this fall

Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business will launch an MBA concentration in aviation beginning this fall, according to a news release from the school.

To complete the concentration, students will need to complete three elective courses in safety management, supply chain management, and governance in a global environment, in addition to the MBA's core curriculum.

The program is offered in partnership with the university's College of Aviation, which also offers flight training and other technical programs.

WMU Haworth is accredited by AACSB.

According to Satish Deshpande, associate dean for graduate programs and operations for the Haworth College of Business, the concentration is aimed both at those who already work in the industry, as well as those who would like to transition into it. "We will be positioned to offer students a valuable education that will prepare them for the many diverse roles that exist within the aviation industry," Deshpande said, and that the "concentration is ideal for those who seek a career in aviation management or those who already work in the aviation industry and want to advance.”

Although the aviation industry in the US has generally recovered from an economic recession, it is facing new challenges, including increased global competition. Some states (like Michigan) have solid aerospace manufacturing operations, and for management jobs in this area, an MBA concentration in aviation could help. (For instance, the headquarters of GE Aviation Systems is in Grand Rapids, not far from WMU.)

With the new concentration, WMU is joining a select group: Only a handful of internationally-accredited business schools offer aerospace or aviation focused business programs. In the US, for instance, there are only two other AACSB-accredited business schools which offer aviation or aerospace-specific programs: The University of Tennessee at Knoxville offers a one-year "Aerospace and Defense MBA," while the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs offers an MBA concentration in "Space Systems Management."

Other internationally-accredited business schools offering aviation-focused curriculum include the UK's Brunel Business School, with its MBA s in "Aviation Management," and France's Toulouse Business School, which offers an "Aerospace MBA."

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