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BHSU to offer online business degree; proposes new science master’s degree

Black Hills State University will now offer its bachelor of science degree in business administration entirely online following approval by the South Dakota Board of Regents this week.

The degree, which will be offered with an emphasis in management, is already offered on the Spearfish campus; the distance delivery option will provide opportunities for additional students, especially adult students who are unable to attend classes on campus due to their location or other commitments.

“This degree program will provide students with a strong academic background that will mirror our quality face-to-face business administration-management program in terms of content, course expectations, and faculty,” Priscilla Romkema, dean of the College of Business and Technology at BHSU.

BHSU took the beginning steps this week to create a professional science master’s degree in science entrepreneurship, a degree that is being called the MBA for scientists and mathematicians who want a career in business.
BHSU will return later to the Board of Regents with final plans. The intent is to begin offering the new degree in the fall of 2011. This academic program would be funded through reallocation of existing resources, and without new state appropriations or additional student fees.

The demand for professional science master’s degrees is growing. These degrees combine advanced science and business coursework with internship or clinical experiences. The end result is graduates prepared for careers that combine science and business. “The intent is to train a professional scientific workforce that supports South Dakota’s initiatives to increase graduate education in science and math and create more science and technology entrepreneurs,” said Paul Gough, the regents’ director of policy and planning.

The USA Today referred to the professional science master’s degree as the “21st century’s fastest ticket to the major leagues in business and government,” describing it as “aimed at future managers who will be able to move comfortably in the business of science, from a meeting about enzymes to another about intellectual property rights.”

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