Female university student with blue hat and glasses talking with fellow classmates

Add business management to your skill set

The one-year Master of Science in Management (MSM) at Gies Business teaches you the fundamental business skills to build upon your undergraduate education. Whether you majored in anthropology, psychology, English, sociology, or urban planning, a Gies MSM can make you the type of problem solver today’s employers demand.

Applications for 2020 are now open. Application deadlines are as follows:

  • Round 1 Deadline - January 15, 2020
  • Round 2 Deadline - March 15, 2020
  • Round 3 Deadline - April 15, 2020*
  • Extended Deadline - June 15, 2020 (further extended from May 15)

*Final deadline for international applicants requiring a visa.

No application fee for domestic candidates.

A strong return on investment

By combining business knowledge with a degree in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and other non-business majors, you can achieve greater earning power and gain a competitive advantage.  Career opportunities include management, consulting, analytics, entrepreneurship, and other high-demand jobs.

If you want to take your undergraduate degree and really put it to work, the MSM program at Gies Business will give you the tools and skills you need.

Curriculum designed to launch your career

The Department of Business Administration features faculty who design a customized curriculum to propel the careers of emerging leaders. The curriculum includes business fundamentals such as marketing, process management, global business, communicating with data, project management, finance, and quantitative reasoning. You can also customize your degree with electives in design, entrepreneurship, sustainability, and nonprofit management. These courses will allow you the flexibility to tailor your degree experience to your specific interests.

The program is specifically designed as a graduate degree to help develop the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to prepare students for a career in management. A Gies Business MSM provides talented undergraduate students without prior training in business an opportunity to enhance their understanding of management principles.

Dennis Kostidis Portrait from the Master of Science in Management Program

"I chose this program to combine the skills I got from my undergraduate degree in biology with some business knowledge. I am learning things about both business and myself through this program that will benefit me for my entire life."

Dennis Kostidis, MSM '19

Tiffany White Faculty Portrait

"A student can augment their education in liberal arts and sciences with a world-class business education at Gies. It’s a game-changing combination that’s tough to beat."

Tiffany White, Academic Director

Client-based projects in each semester

Real-world, client-based projects are integrated into the culture of the MSM program. This hands-on experience prepares our students for success in their careers, and employers recognize this added value from day one.

Our hands-on projects are designed to solve business problems and provide a valuable connection to support your career. Students consistently have a better story to tell recruiters, improve their ability to work in a team, and enhance their ability to solve complex problems.

Learning by doing is not just a feature in the MSM. It’s in our DNA.

Accelerate your career

The MSM degree complements any non-business undergraduate degree program, giving you a strong foundation in business to help accelerate your career. You’ll learn the language of business, so you will be prepared to speak with a chief financial officer, read a balance sheet, set up a marketing plan, and more.

You will challenge assumptions, invent new approaches, and discover your own path. Learning doesn’t stop in the classroom, though. Using a collaborative learning format, case-based learning, and a global perspective, this program produces graduates who quickly develop the skills needed to launch a business career. In addition, you will have opportunities to participate in professional development workshops, career coaching, networking events, corporate tours, and activities that ready you for success.

University students sitting around a table in the business instructional facility with laptops

Enhance your career in just one year!

Expand your business network, and turn your passion into purpose with our one-year Master of Science in Management.


Gies News and Events

Gies Business students creating - with a purpose

May 6, 2019, 09:49 AM by System
Vishal Sachdev’s Digital Making Seminar course is focusing on accessible product design, infusing purpose into digital making.

University of Illinois students are infusing purpose into digital making. This spring, Vishal Sachdev’s Digital Making Seminar course is focusing on accessible product design. The mission of the course is to teach students how to create products with digital fabrication and share them with the world – but now a renewed purpose is being injected into that mission.

Sachdev and Deana McDonagh, a professor of industrial design, have brought their courses together into a revamped sequence where students create products that are meaningful and provide a pathway to impact in the real world. They took a cohort of 21 students from Gies Business, Fine and Applied Arts, and Engineering, and they paired the students with Adam Bleakney, head coach of the University of Illinois wheelchair track and field team. Bleakney helped frame the students’ discovery toward opportunities in the life experiences of differently abled athletes, rather than their challenges.

Digital Making 3“Wheelchair super-users inspire us,” said Sachdev, who is spearheading Gies Business’ collaboration with the Siebel Center for Design and the School of Art+Design. “Whether it’s the hot sun or an icy day, they’re out there training. If our students can create something these users will like, it will likely also appeal to a broader audience.”

Bleakney is coordinating a group of mentors from the university’s Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services, who work hand-in-hand with the students to inspire and guide them. Their focus is designing solutions with people with disabilities, instead of for them. Students are trained on empathetic design, opportunity identification, and concept refinement.

The students start by learning to empathize with the end user, working with mentors who are differently abled. One of those mentors, Jenna Fesemyer, is a prosthetic user and member of the university’s wheelchair track team. She and the other mentors inspire the students to find opportunities to contribute.

“The idea that students are working with me, and not for me, to create a design that will improve my quality of life is extremely rewarding,” said Fesemyer. “My favorite moments are when the students completely light up from their continued interest and understanding of disability and design.”

Digital Making 5After meeting with their mentors as the beginning of the semester, students began the process of empathetic design and 3D modeling in the Illinois MakerLab. The course then moved to the Champaign Urbana Community Fab Lab, where students learned to use everything from micro-controllers to laser cutters. They even used a sewing machines to fabricate a wrist accessory that tracks motion.

“Business students get a unique opportunity to work with design and engineering students, and they learn to integrate diverse perspectives and learn from each other,” said Sachdev, co-founder and director of the Illinois MakerLab, the world’s first 3D printing lab inside a business school. “Instead of writing business plans, they get to create a product, and some of them may find pathways to building a social enterprise out of this product.”

AJ Poe is one of the students involved. Her team is prototyping an attachable tread to help prosthetic users walk on ice without slipping, since traditional boots are too heavy for the residual limb.

“The experience has been incredibly inspiring and eye-opening,” said Poe, a sophomore accountancy major. “With the focus on accessibility and affordability this semester, it has been especially enlightening to learn about the struggles of people with disabilities and learn about how difficult it is to obtain products that help them.”

Students continue working on their ideas, create mock-ups of their products and then move into design audits and prototyping. They also get input from an external consulting firm, Milestone Labs, which specializes in accessible product design and taking those products to market.

It all culminated with a weekend Make-a-thon April 12-14 inside the Fab Lab. More than 60 students from three different courses working in teams to create solutions that can improve the lives of those who are differently abled and ultimately the lives of consumers everywhere. They brainstormed, designed, and built their prototypes over the course of the weekend before presenting their final products to a panel of judges.

After the Make-a-thon, which has the backing of several sponsors including Clark-Lindsey and Ultimaker, students tested and demonstrated their prototypes, reviewed them with their expert users, and gave their final portfolio presentation. Throughout the semester, Sachdev emphasized that the journey is just as important as the end product. Week by week, students have built essential metacognition skills—the ability to understand their own thought processes—reflecting on what they learned by writing a blog. These are skills, Sachdev said, that cannot be automated.

“With a focus on real users, and the prompt to design real products that can go into the world, the students learn the principles of ‘human-centered design’ with a focus on empathy,” said Sachdev. “These skills in design thinking and quick prototyping will help them deal with ‘wicked’ problems in the real world while designing a product, service, or experience.”