New MBA concentration in aviation takes flight

contact: Stacey Markin
| WMU News
Photo of two businessmen shaking hands.

New MBA concentration in aviation

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business and College of Aviation will offer a new concentration in aviation within the MBA program geared toward students interested in management roles in the aviation industry.

Available beginning in fall 2014, the concentration developed out of a need for such a program and the synergy between the business and aviation colleges for designing a program to teach managerial and operational best practices.

“Business and aviation are inseparable components of a multi-trillion dollar international industry. As such, aviation is vital to the United States and the global economy,” says Capt. Dave Powell, dean of the College of Aviation. “This MBA with an aviation concentration enhances our students’ opportunities for employment within the very dynamic aviation industry as well as related industries. A formal survey and discussions among current and future students revealed a strong demand for such an opportunity to exist at WMU. We have created what we believe will be a joint world-class international graduate program.”

Students will complete all requirements for the MBA degree as well as three aviation-focused courses centering on safety management, supply chain and governance in the global environment. A number of aviation case studies will be used in these courses to teach the problem-solving skills needed in the complex, global aviation industry.

“An aviation concentration within an MBA program is very unique,” says Dr. Satish Deshpande, associate dean for graduate programs and operations for the Haworth College of Business. “There are very few universities that have both an outstanding aviation program and an AACSB-accredited Master of Business Administration program. 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. 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.”

More information

For more information, contact Barb Caras-Tomzak, MBA advisor, at (269) 387-5086 or