Seventy-four students enrolled in USD’s online M.B.A. program scored in the top 2 percent (98h percentile) nationally with an average overall score of 265.7 points in the ETS’ Major Field Test. The Major Field Test, first administered by ETS in 2002, was developed by leading educators nationally to assess the skills of graduating M.B.A. students. In addition to factual knowledge, the test evaluates students’ abilities to analyze and solve problems, understand relationships and interpret material.

In addition to scoring in the 98th percentile overall, USD students were just as impressive in tests that assessed core concepts in business disciplines scoring in the 92nd percentile in Marketing, Management, and Strategic Integration; 98th percentile in Finance; 96th percentile in Management; and 92nd percentile in Strategic Integration.

“We had 26 out of 74 students score at the 90th percentile or higher nationally with a high in the 99th percentile,” stated Mark Yockey, Ph.D., associate professor at USD’s Beacom School of Business. “That means that one-third of the class ranked in the top 10 percent nationally in individual scores. Another 24 scored in the 80 to 89 percent range. So two-thirds 2/3 of the class scored 80th percentile or higher.”

The Major Field Test, Yockey described, provides the Beacom School of Business with an assessment of how well faculty are teaching basic skills across the specialty areas of business that prepare M.B.A. students for careers in business and commerce. The test consists of 124 multiple-choice questions, half of which are based on short case-study scenarios, and several skill sets are measured, including buyer behavior (Marketing), human resource management (Management), investments (Finance), and financial reporting and analysis (Accounting). USD students have taken the ETS Major Field Test for Master of Business Administration since the fall of 2007. More than 130 colleges and universities in the United States administer this exam to their graduate business students.

“Our faculty also deserve credit for a job well done,” Yockey added. “We are blessed to have good students but it is obvious that the faculty have done an excellent job teaching those students.”

For more information about the M.B.A. program at the Beacom School of Business, please visit or contact Angeline Lavin, Ph.D., C.F.A., director of USD’s M.B.A. and M.P.A. programs, at (605) 677-5232 or e-mail

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