team is creating new curriculum
for transforming gifted teens into
MBA-equipped leaders. Classes and
extracurricular opportunities are
continually tweaked for evolving needs.
Since graduates may be immediately
propelled into decision-making
positions, Morgan has introduced a
business virtues curriculum component.
In a beyond-ethics-education effort
based on proven positive psychology
research, the curriculum explores
six virtues associated with personal
character and effective leadership.
Meanwhile, each student’s business
education also begins their freshman
year, incorporated seamlessly within
their major. Semester-long classes on
marketing, accounting, global business
and other traditional topics allow these
future engineers, physicians, physicists
and others to intuitively understand
their role’s relationship to big-picture
Teamwork is mandated. Every five
weeks, students are randomly assigned
to groups of four, tasked with developing
a presentation for the larger cohort
that details a new product, service or
business based on assigned themes.
Some students expand their
teamworking opportunities, organizing
discussion groups on startup and
implementation ideas. A nursing
student might consult computer majors
on new infection-tracking software,
while future engineers explore better
factory-floor designs. Future financial
analysts focus on assessing each idea’s
All of that is in addition to UA-
sponsored “Crimson Startup” in which
students can develop new services
and products. Morgan and his team
also facilitate participation in national
startup competitions. Meanwhile, guest
speakers, field trips and networking
events further open students' minds
That, in a nutshell, is the Culverhouse
STEM Path to the MBA backstory. As
to what will happen next, Darzi has
no doubt the program will fulfill its
potential, in an enhanced Alabama
economy and far beyond.
“The STEM Path to the MBA has
absolutely proven to be a phenomenal
program. I commend Dr. Morgan and the
University for taking a calculated risk,”
Darzi says. “It has paid off in spades,
attracting highly motivated, energetic
students who will come from anywhere
to participate. This is a very attractive
way of differentiating The University of
Alabama as a competitor in the global
• STEM is a common acronym for science, technology,
engineering and math.
• Although many universities are emphasizing STEM-
600 students. The first class is set to complete their
related studies (chemical engineering, computer
science, physics, nursing, etc.) due to increased
demand, The University of Alabama’s STEM Path to
the MBA is different. It allows students to earn their
undergraduate degree in four years and an MBA with
one additional year of study
• Initiated in 2011, the program has accepted more than
MBAs in 2016.
• STEM students’ diverse cohorts within honors-level business courses cross real-world disciplines.
Future marine biologists, pharmacists and software
developers learn with and through others’ expertise
in hands-on, business-research projects.
• Culverhouse facilitates students’ additional aims,
from international study to co-ops and from
internships to startup businesses.
DEFINING THE STEM PATH TO THE MBA