Core Courses & Required Workshops

MBA 501

Introduction to the MBA

Taken as students begin the MBA, this non-credit workshop introduces students to the campus, one another, and, at the same time, provides skills that can help them be successful in the program. Students in MBA 501 work on development goals they hope to achieve in their MBA education. They also participate in a leadership development exercise intended to identify their preferred leadership style while providing guidance about how to develop and improve these skills. Students also go through advanced Excel training to ensure they have the skills they will call upon throughout their coursework.

MBA 502

MBA Case Competition

Taken as students near completion of the MBA program, this workshop revisits topics addressed in MBA 501. Students evaluate the progress they made in reaching the goals set as they began the program and articulate new goals focused on the next phase in their careers. The signature element of MBA 502 is the Graduating Class Case Competition. Students are challenged to provide solutions to a complex, current business case. Professional managers evaluate the group presentations, provide feedback regarding the solutions suggested, and then select each year’s winning team.

MBA 511 (3 sh)

Enhancing Managerial Communications

This course focuses on the development of skills and behaviors required for successful leadership. Emphasis is placed on enhancing the students’ communication skills, both written and oral. Extensive coverage of the techniques of report preparation and presentation, negotiations and public speaking are included. This course is designed to follow immediately after MBA 501.

MBA 521 (3 sh)

Economic Policy and the Global Environment

An application of microeconomic theory to management decisions. A review of traditional neoclassical production and cost theory is used as a platform to delve into modern business economics. The focus is on how firms fit in the analysis of market activity, how economists see the problem of organizing economic activity, understanding when markets solve that problem and why sometimes they do not. The course ends with an examination of the impact of macroeconomic policies (fiscal and others) on business decisions, and the importance and impact of these decisions on businesses when viewed from a global economic perspective.

MBA 531 (3 sh)

Accounting for Managerial Decisions

The use of accounting information in management decision making is examined. Specific topics include cost/volume/profit analysis; product costing systems; use of accounting data in pricing, capital expenditures and product decisions; and planning and control systems, including budgeting and measures of divisional performance.

MBA 541 (3 sh)

Marketing Management

Concepts and techniques of planning, implementing and controlling the marketing function are the focus of this in-depth study. Monitoring conditions and assessing opportunities, delineating target markets, consumer/buyer research and planning and strategy procedures are given considerable attention.

MBA 551 (3 sh)

Financial Management

Selected topics in corporate finance are examined through case and seminar approach. Major topics include enterprise valuation, risk management strategies using financial derivatives such as options and futures and international financial management.

MBA 562 (3 sh)

Management & Organizational Behavior

The second in our series of three courses (MBA 511, MBA 562, MBA 585) that focus on the development of the skills needed to manage and lead organizations. Analysis of work behavior from the viewpoint of both behavioral research and managerial practice. Understanding of issues such as motivation, individual differences and managing change provides students with the foundation needed for managing performance, quality and operations. Students will focus on the traditional and nontraditional approaches to leadership, followership, and gaining an understanding of leaders and leadership.

MBA 567 (3 sh)

Analytics I: Quantitative Methods

This course examines the foundational business analytics skills and tools required to make effective managerial decisions. Specifically, using statistics and probability, this course examines business decisions related to marketing, supply chain and operations such as market basket analysis, RFM analysis, market segmentation, queuing, quality control and forecasting consumer demand and input availability and simple visualization techniques. In addition to Excel, this course incorporates more advanced business analytics software such as SAS Enterprise Miner and Guide.

MBA 581 (3 sh)

International Business

Students can complete this course in one of two ways. They may elect to participate in the MBA Study Abroad experience or they may elect to take the on-site course offered each winter.

Study Abroad: Students who elect to take the study abroad experience select from two trips that are offered each year; a January trip to Asia and a June trip to Europe. The emphasis of this course will be research and analysis of factors involved in establishing and operating an international business. Topics include foreign exchange, finance, regulatory requirements, and assessment of socioeconomic and political condition of off-shore destinations. We will discuss strategic positioning, marketing and organizational structure. These trips typically last eight or nine days and are scheduled to ensure that a student does not miss more than one work-week. The MBA program provides a partial subsidy toward the cost of travel.

On-Site Course: Students who elect to take the on-site course will gain an awareness and appreciation of different cultures while they gain an understanding of international trade and its impact on business. This course will focus on such topics and U.S. business practices in foreign markets, the threats and opportunities facing firms and industries as they embark on the globalization process. Students will develop and/or clarify personal perceptions of foreign countries and business customs and practices of selected markets and gain an understanding of the factors of success for international firms.

MBA 585 (3 sh)

Strategic Management

This course focuses on the competitive and environmental issues confronting organizations, and discusses how firms identify, seize and defend market opportunities in today’s rapidly changing global economy. The key to organizational success in this environment is not a static strategic plan, but the agility of strategic thinking. Borrowing heavily from marketing, industrial economics and strategic management literature, related concepts such as competitor analysis, target marketing, strategy formulation, environmental analysis, market research and critical success factors are integrated throughout the course.

Organizational Systems Requirement

Students can satisfy this requirement by taking one of the following courses. Additional courses from the two listed below may be taken as electives.

MBA 561 (3 sh)

Advanced Operations and Supply Chain

This course provides tools for the assessment of performance, analysis of business processes, and evaluation and implementation of process change. The course demonstrates the importance of the integration of information systems technology in organizational change processes. It introduces database tools for managing and analyzing information and explores the implications of emerging eCommerce, supply chain and cross-functional software applications.

MBA 565 (3 sh)

Project Management

This course provides an overview of the knowledge, skills and processes associated with project management. The course covers project planning, scheduling and controlling, and will provide students with skill building using project management tools, techniques and software.

Elective Courses

MBA 591 (3 sh)


These courses are designed for MBA students who are interested in learning the steps, processes and skills that are needed for launching their own business. This two-course sequence (total 6 hours) uses discussion, mentoring, case studies, field-based research and hands-on experience to guide students in the development and understanding of the concepts of entrepreneurship and the competencies, skills, know-how and experience that are required for successful pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities. The course should culminate with the presentation of a complete business plan sufficient for presentation to potential investors and lenders.

MBA 594 (3 sh)

Topics in Advanced Financial Analysis

This course is designed to provide MBA students with opportunities to build their competency in and understanding of areas of finance not usually covered in an MBA corporate finance class. The course will address a particular topic or particular topics in finance. Its content can vary from offering to offering, but its format will normally include readings, class discussions and practical applications.

Human Resources Concentration

MBA 546 (3 sh)

Employment Law

Adopting a managerial perspective, this course addresses the various employment laws with which businesses must comply and the legal rights and responsibilities of employees and employers. Topics covered include: the classification of workers; wage and hour laws; legal frameworks governing equal employment opportunity; occupational safety and health; workers’ compensation; and work-related privacy issues.

MBA 547 (3 sh)

Human Capital Management

This course introduces students to human capital management issues that affect any manager and focuses on principles and practices using a framework that defines the relationships among human resource, work design, competencies and motivating attitudes and behaviors. Through readings, discussions, cases and semester team projects, students should complete the course with a broad understanding of the complexities involved in managing employees.

Organizational Analytics Concentration

MBA 564 (3 sh)

Systems Thinking: Integrating Analytics into Managerial Decision Making

Managing the quality of the decision making across all organization levels is increasingly important, particularly as environments grow in turbulence and complexity. This course presents students with analytic tools that will enable them to employ analytics to better understand and improve the decisions made by their teams and organizations.

MBA 568 (3 sh)

Analytics II: Spreadsheet Decision Making

This course is designed to provide students, primarily in the fields of business and economics, with a conceptual understanding of the role management science plays in the decision making process. This course focuses on the development of decision models and their application to management problems. The emphasis is on models that are widely used across a wide variety of industries and functional areas, including operations, supply chain management, finance, accounting, and marketing.

MBA 569 (3 sh)

Analytics III: Business Data Mining

This course will examine how data analysis technologies can be used to improve decision making and study the principles and techniques of data mining. We will examine real-world examples and cases to place data-mining techniques in context, to develop data-analytic thinking, and to illustrate that proper application is as much an art as it is a science. In addition, we will work “hands-on” with data mining software.

MBA 566 (3 sh)

Analytics IV: Programming Basics

Students learn to apply statistical techniques to the processing, manipulation, and interpretation of data from various industries and disciplines using statistical programming packages. Students will use statistical programming to manage data, write subroutines, make informative graphs, and apply advanced modeling techniques to build and evaluate models. This is a project-based course with a strong programming component.

MBA 595 (3 sh)

Analytics V: Data Visualization

This course is an introduction to the principles and techniques for data graphic visualization. Visualizations are graphical depictions of data that can improve comprehension, communication, and decision making. Students will learn visual representation methods and techniques that increase understanding of data. Emphasis is placed on the identification of patterns, trends and differences. Students will use several tools to refine their data and create visualizations.

Entrepreneurship Concentration

MBA 591 (3 sh)

Entrepreneurship I

These courses are designed for MBA students who are interested in learning the steps, processes and skills that are needed for launching their own business. This two-course sequence (total 6 hours) uses discussion, mentoring, case studies, field-based research and hands-on experience to guide students in the development and understanding of the concepts of entrepreneurship and the competencies, skills, know-how and experience that are required for successful pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities. The course should culminate with the presentation of a complete business plan sufficient for presentation to potential investors and lenders.

MBA 592 (3 sh)

Entrepreneurship II

This is the second course in the two-course Entrepreneurship Sequence. In this course, students will devote their attention to the development of a formal and complete business plan. Topics covered include idea conception, targeting specific markets and industries, research resources, competition analysis, risk management, identifying funding strategies, preparing pro-forma financial projections and consideration of milestones and exit strategies. Emphasis is placed on scalable venture opportunities.

MBA 563 (3 sh)

Innovation Imperative

This course will focus on the role creativity and innovation play in the development of successful organizations. Students will learn to understand and apply various innovation processes and approaches to effective change management processes. The class will use a variety of hands-on exercises and assignments with an emphasis on creativity and innovation at the individual and organizational level.

Marketing Concentration

MBA 542 (3 sh)

Marketing Research

This course will enable students to conduct, understand, use, and evaluate marketing research done for you or your company. This is a highly applied course; you will learn by conducting marketing research, not just by reading about it. You will develop a research program, collect and analyze data, report and present results, and make recommendations based on your analysis.

Corporate Communications Concentration

COM 512 (3 sh)

Organizational Communications

Every organization has internal and external communication patterns and leadership practices. This course addresses the communication theories and workplace issues related to leadership, interpersonal relations, group dynamics, and organizational culture and strategy. Students analyze change management, messaging, the use of traditional and online technologies, the influence of social media, and legal and ethical dimensions of organizational communications.

COM 522 (3 sh)

Reputation Management

Communication plays a central role in developing, promoting and maintaining a positive reputation for organizations among consumers, investors, employees, media and others. Topics include brand positioning, media relations, online strategies, internal communications, corporate social responsibility, issues management and crisis communications. Corporate communicators use audience research, engagement and collaboration to align an organization’s values with the values of its publics and stakeholders.

COM 532 (3 sh)

Corporate Presentation and Writing

Corporate communication requires effective presentation and writing skills to interact with publics and stakeholders. This course provides students with a broad pallet of skills: writing and delivering presentations; creating talking points; designing visual communications; and writing letters, memoranda, reports and articles for internal and external audiences. Corporate communication is examined as both a function of leadership and an instrument of corporate identity formation.

COM 542 (3 sh)

Global and Intercultural Communications

Corporations need communication strategies that work in a globally and culturally diverse marketplace. This course guides students to navigate across cultures, nations and organizational systems and to understand the influence of varying values, norms, beliefs and roles. With examples ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations, students learn how to effectively communicate in a global and intercultural society.