U offers new Masters in global enterprise

By David Servatius, Staff Writer

To prepare students for a world in which national borders and time zones are no longer barriers to doing business, the College of Social and Behavioral Science is offering a new Master of Science degree in international affairs and global enterprise.

The 36-credit-hour degree program consists of an interdisciplinary curriculum, a relatively new approach combining coursework from the colleges of law, business and social and behavioral science.
It debuted this semester under the auspices of the Center for Public Policy and Administration and starts with three international and four U.S. students enrolled both part time and full time.

Cameron Hodges, 27, one of the new students seeking the degree, said that as he looked around for a good graduate program, he was intrigued by this one’s interdisciplinary approach.

“It was completely different from anything out there,” he said. “It doesn’t really pigeonhole you into one specific area but gives you a broader perspective and understanding of the world around us.”

Hodges and his fellow students will take required courses in international management, international trade, international investment and relations and social research methods.

Electives will include courses in anthropology, geography, marketing, management, economics, sociology and political science.

Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration David Patton, who will oversee the new program, said it is designed to appeal to different types of candidates with different backgrounds, but will primarily targets someone operating in a global environment.

“It would be valuable to someone in business who’s manufacturing in one country and shipping across the world, for example, or to someone working for a non-governmental organization providing aid in different countries,” he said.

Patton said entry into the program does not require an undergraduate degree in any specific field, but has prerequisite admission requirements in statistics, macroeconomics and microeconomics. He said a second-year competency in a language used internationally is required to earn the degree.

“Anyone completing the program will have a unique set of business, legal, cultural and social skills to use in whatever work they end up doing,” he said.

Steven Ott, the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Science said the interdisciplinary structure of the new degree program is something the college has been trying over the past two years, at both an undergraduate and graduate level.

Recent offerings have included an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a Master of Public Policy degree.

“What we’re doing is taking advantage of the strengths of the university, wherever they exist, and bringing them together so a student can access them,” Ott said. “This is the real benefit of a research university and part of the beauty of the University of Utah, that we are much more able to do this than most other places.”

The danger with this type of program, Ott said, is that the curriculum can get overly diluted if it is not carefully designed and that people from very different backgrounds might not always be in agreement about things.

“It’s more than just offering a few courses,” he said. “You have to tie all together somehow.”

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