The James M. Hull College of Business at GRU will start its first MD/MBA classes this fall with about eight students, even without a significant amount of marketing the program to the current medical students, said Dean Marc Miller. Beginning in October, the college will also start recruiting for its first MBA program for students with a degree in science, technology engineering or mathematics – also known as STEM degrees.
The MD/MBA program is the fruit of the consolidation GRU underwent that now makes it possible, Miller said.
“This consolidation is really spinning off things that beforehand I simply could not do,” he said. “And here’s the reason why: a student by law is not allowed to receive financial aid from different institutions at the same time.”
The college worked with Medical College of Georgia on the timing so that adding business classes would not interfere with medical education, Miller said.
“The last thing I wanted to do is to put anybody in jeopardy for their medical degree,” he said. “We want them to concentrate almost solely on their medical curriculum with a small amount of business to get started.”
After they take some crucial exams, then more business classes are added, Miller said. The college is trying to work up similar joint MBA programs with the College of Dental Medicine and the College of Nursing, he said.
The STEM-MBA option will aim at recent graduates who decide an advanced degree in their field might not be the way to go and who seek business training that could allow them to learn finance and marketing and leadership to move into management, Miller said.
The 15-month program, which will also target those who might have applied but failed to get into medical school, will also include an internship with local science-based industry, such as information technology, biomedical companies and nuclear energy, he said.
“We’re going to recruit statewide for this degree,” Miller said. “A young person graduating from the University of Georgia or maybe even Clemson or any of these other places will find themselves in Augusta doing an internship at a local company and we’re hoping they will stay. I think this will become an attracter for not only students who have graduated from GRU, now obviously I want to see those students in our program as well, but I think it is going to have a draw across the state.”
The program could create great opportunities for those who will learn “the business of science,” he said. “These folks will come out with an amazing degree. They’ve got incredible analytical skills, they’ve got problem-solving skills that they learned in their science program. Sometimes it’s just hard to see how that translates into the business arena. And adding an MBA to that should open up new prospects for them that they may not have even thought about before.”