Each year a relatively large number of Willamette graduates enroll in graduate programs in business management at universities in all regions of the nation. It is also quite common for Willamette graduates to embark on business careers without additional formal academic work. The Willamette liberal arts program prepares students well for either possibility.
The most popular College of Liberal Art's major for careers in public or private management is Economics. It is possible to tailor sequences of Economics courses to individual needs and objectives. In addition to a major in Economics, many other majors have relevance to business careers in view of the broad perspective and basic analytical, quantitative, and communication skills necessary for success in management.
Willamette University also offers a five year BA/MBA (Bachelor of Arts/Master of Business Administration) degree program. The BA/MBA prepares students for careers in business, government or not-for-profit management. Students apply to the BA/MBA program during their junior year at Willamette and begin MBA study during their senior year. The BA/MBA is open to eligible Willamette University College of Arts & Sciences students from any major area of study.
General Graduate Study
Graduate schools frequently require that basic courses in the chosen field of study be pursued on an undergraduate level. Most graduate schools have a language requirement which must be met before the student may become a candidate for an advanced degree. A reading knowledge of one modern language is often required for a Master of Arts degree, and two languages for a Ph.D. degree. All candidates for graduate work should have demonstrated outstanding ability as students, including successful results on the Graduate Record Examination.
A study of undergraduate origins for Ph.D.s, which compared Willamette to approximately 1,000 other liberal arts colleges, showed that Willamette ranked in the top seven percent nationally in terms of alumni who have been awarded Ph.D.s.
Information about graduate education and entrance tests for various professional and graduate programs is available in the Office of Career Services.
Students wishing to pursue graduate studies in government are encouraged to take courses which emphasize research and writing, in addition to those that develop an understanding of the political, economic, legal, and managerial factors involved in governing municipalities, regions, the state and the nation. As supplements to their interdisciplinary classroom work, qualified students are encouraged to take advantage of the convenient and diverse research and internship opportunities afforded by Willamette University's proximity to the State Capitol and the city's downtown area.
Students who are interested in careers in journalism are advised that a liberal arts program with a regular academic major or a strong area of specialization (such as economics, the sciences, the arts, or politics of third-world countries) is the best preparation. Excellent writing and speaking abilities and analytic and research skills are crucial. Students are also strongly encouraged to take advantage of internships available with the media. Such experiences have included work with local newspapers and radio stations, internships with Portland television stations and employment with Willamette's own campus publications and the University Office of Marketing Communications.
The completion of the undergraduate liberal arts program with a bachelor's degree and a record of excellence is the best preparation for the study of law. For additional information about pre-law activities at Willamette, see the section entitled College of Law.
Ministry and Religious Service
Students who plan to attend theological schools to prepare for the parish or other specialized ministries should take diversified courses covering as many areas of learning as possible. Completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree in any of the humanities is recommended.
Social Service and the Helping Professions
Students interested in a career in counseling, social work, or other "helping" professions should plan to complete a program of graduate training. The Departments of Psychology and Sociology offer courses relevant to programs of study leading to careers in social service. The University is fortunate to be located in the immediate vicinity of various state agencies. Selected students, particularly in the social sciences, can gain practical knowledge and experience at these sites while at the same time achieving credit toward graduation.