Curriculum

The 46-credit Online Master of Business Administration includes 28 credits of core coursework in central business areas like accounting, analytics, business law, economics, finance and management.

To fulfill the final 18 required credit hours, students may choose to complete two of three available concentrations: business analytics, finance and marketing. Students also have the option of completing a general track, instead selecting any elective courses to complete their degree. While concentrations are available, students do not need to make a decision about pursuing a concentration at the time of enrollment.

Daniel Mochon

“The Freeman School of Business is a very collegial environment where the faculty know the students, and the students know the faculty.”

Daniel Mochon, Associate Professor

Coursework will primarily be completed asynchronously, with one hour of synchronous engagement weekly. Assignments will vary by course and will cover real-world business issues designed to prepare students for a changing business environment. Students collaborate through group work, discussions and activities. Synchronous meetings may include case studies, presentations, application-based assignments and guest speakers.

Course Descriptions

Core Curriculum (28 credits)

This course introduces basic concepts underlying the reporting of economic activities to external users. It emphasizes the concepts and relationships underlying the income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows and statement of changes in shareholders’ equity.

The course covers ESG accounting standards, and it builds the accounting skills necessary to help understand and value firms, assess performance and effectively engage in the capital markets.

Managerial accounting is concerned with providing information to managers for use within the organization. Managerial accounting is a company’s internal language and is used for planning, directing, controlling and decision-making activities in the organization. The course covers topics like cost-volume-profit analysis, budgeting, variance analysis, performance measurement and differential analysis.
This course focuses on the economic principles and knowledge necessary for effective enterprise management in the modern business environment. The course is divided into two modules, one focused on applied microeconomics, the other focused on the macroeconomic foundations of the U.S. and world economy. The microeconomic module applies the economic theory of the firm and consumer behavior to analyze household and firm behavior. Applications include market demand analysis and marketing strategy, production and cost efficiency, pricing, product quality and other competitive strategies. The macroeconomic module examines the U.S. and world economy in relation to national income, international trade and patterns of investment. Topics include the determination of interest rates, inflation, investment, wage levels, real output growth, exchange rates and international trade and investment patterns. Also included is a study of the role of financial and governmental institutions in domestic and world commerce.
This course provides an introduction to the discipline of finance and gives students the tools they need to make capital budgeting decisions for firms. It begins with the study of the time value of money and how to value stocks and bonds. From there, it moves into capital budgeting techniques including net present value and internal rate of return. Students will learn how to evaluate an asset’s risk and expected return within the context of a portfolio, leading to the fundamentals of asset pricing theory. Cash flow analysis, inflation and a firm’s cost of capital are all topics that are covered. By the end of the course, students will be familiar with the basic tools used to analyze the investment and financing decisions made within firms.
This course introduces the basic concepts of contracts, labor laws, discrimination, torts, partnership, corporations, securities and bankruptcy, and gives students an understanding of the relationships between parties in a typical business setting. Tax consequences relative to various entities used in business transactions are also examined.
A successful manager must analyze communication situations, develop communication strategies and demonstrate appropriate behavior leading to intelligent, flexible decisions. Specifically, students evaluate communication issues in both internal and external environments and communicate orally and in writing. In addition, the course examines corporate communication issues such as communication management, corporate image, identity, reputation, media relations and crisis communication. Topics such as data protection and privacy, employee engagement and community relations are covered.
This course is designed to teach students the vocabulary, framework and critical thinking skills to help them understand and manage individuals’ behavior in organizations. The content and process aspects of this course should be helpful to students as they plan their careers, manage relationships with others and work to achieve goals in dynamic organizational settings. As the result of this course, students should 1) gain an understanding of key concepts and frameworks for understanding individuals and teams in organizations, 2) apply these frameworks to diagnose work situations, evaluate options and propose solutions to organizational problems and 3) effectively communicate observations about organizational behavior in both oral and written form. Topics such as workforce diversity and employee engagement are covered.

This course introduces a toolkit of analytical approaches and theoretical concepts that can help managers better understand the nature of the competition that their company faces as well as inform their choice and execution of strategy. We will explore how firms achieve competitive advantage in a dynamic and complex environment. The course is organized around frameworks that will assist you in analyzing a wide range of strategic issues facing companies, including: 1) theories for in-depth industry and competitor analysis as well as for anticipating and predicting future industry developments, 2) an examination of the economic underpinnings of competitive advantage, and the conditions that allow firms to conceive, develop and sustain advantageous strategic positions and 3) an examination of both business strategy and corporate strategy issues and how to implement strategies.

Strategies to achieve greater climate and social sustainability are covered in this course.

This course is designed to equip students with a basic understanding of business problems, data analysis tools and mathematical techniques. Students master essential statistics concepts, spreadsheet functions, build descriptive business data measures and develop their aptitude for data modeling. They’ll also explore basic probability concepts, including measuring and modeling uncertainty, using various data distributions and the Linear/Multiple Regression Model to analyze and inform business decisions. The overarching goal is to teach students to use statistics and spreadsheets to analyze models and data for integrated decision-making across multiple domains, including finance, marketing, accounting, strategy and operations.

Business analytics refers to the skills, technologies and practices for continuous iterative exploration and investigation of past business performance to gain insight and drive business planning. Business analytics focuses on developing new insights and understanding of business performance based on data and statistical methods.

Business analytics has been widely adopted in different functional areas (i.e., accounting, finance, operations, marketing and human resources) as well as a wide range of different industries (energy, healthcare, sports, government, etc.). For example, banks, such as Capital One, use analytics to segment customers based on credit risk, usage behavior and other characteristics and then to match customer characteristics with appropriate product offerings. Harrah’s, the gaming firm, uses analytics based on tracking the consumer behavior to improve its customer loyalty programs.

This course provides students with the fundamental concepts, techniques and applications needed to understand the emerging role of business analytics in organizations, and ability to communicate with analytics professionals to effectively use and interpret analytics models and results for making better business decisions. This course will also familiarize students with R (analyses software) and Tableau (visualization software) which are widely used in the industry.

Corequisites: Introduction to Business Statistics

To achieve a competitive advantage, firms must thoroughly understand the complex processes underlying the manufacturing of products as well as the delivery of services. This course provides students with concepts, tools and techniques to design, analyze and improve the operational capabilities of organizations and supply chains. We will look at the operations function in both manufacturing and service industries and investigate how it can provide a competitive advantage along the dimensions of cost, quality, delivery and flexibility. We will then look more broadly at the importance of coordination and risk mitigation for supply chains. The course will introduce several key topics in operations and supply chain management that are essential to any organization.

Operations management is largely based on statistics. Consequently, we will devote a substantial amount of time to mastering analytical methods. The deeper issues surrounding operations and supply chain strategy and ESG implications, however, must be addressed through a broad and conceptual approach. Hence, this course will provide a mix of quantitative and qualitative treatments of the subject using lectures, case discussions, articles, instructional games and exercises.

Pre-requisites: Introduction to Business Statistics

This course is designed as a graduate-level introduction to the basic principles and concepts in marketing. The goal is to expose you to these concepts as they are used in a wide variety of business settings. The course will provide you with a framework that can help you make effective marketing decisions. This framework includes elements of a market situation analysis (company, customer, competition, collaborators, context), marketing strategy formulation (segmentation, targeting, positioning) and the marketing mix (product, price, placement/distribution, promotion) as the tactical implementation of a marketing strategy. Students will combine quantitative and qualitative analyses in applying the principles you learn in class to a variety of real-world marketing issues.

The course covers what societal marketing is and how marketers can contribute more than just product or service value.

This course is designed to expose students to the concepts integral to entrepreneurship and the identification of entrepreneurial opportunities. Students will develop their knowledge about the role of entrepreneurship in dynamic market economies and the particular challenges that come with new venture creation. This highly experiential course provides students with the opportunity to practice the basic tools of business discovery and validation, both as an instrument for new venture formation and as a core capability for addressing challenges in competitive landscapes. It also reviews the key conceptual and theoretical antecedents that underpin opportunity recognition. By the conclusion of this class, students should have a clear idea of how to take an entrepreneurial idea and engage in a series of iterative tests to determine its potential and viability in the market through the formation of a tractable business model.
The focus of the course is on the firm’s financing activities, both long-term and short term. Long-term financing includes raising cash through issuance of debt, equity, preferred stock and convertible bonds. For short-term finance, the course investigates working capital management, including bank loan, cash, credit and inventory management. The course concludes by discussing techniques for firms to maximize value by minimizing their cost of capital through appropriate financial structure policies.

Business Analytics Concentration (9 credits)
Choose three of the following four classes:

In this course, students will learn tools and frameworks to understand how companies can implement effective online and social media marketing campaigns. Using a mix of theoretical and practical exercises, students will learn to think about online tools from a marketing perspective. Following completion of this course, students should be able to 1) understand the different tools available for social media and online marketing, 2) help a company listen to and engage customers through online and social media, 3) use tools to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of online and social media campaigns and 4) develop a comprehensive online and social media strategy.
This course will provide students an overview of Web analytics so that they can measure business goals and find areas of improvement. Students will learn how to apply value measurements to the website, analyze user behavior and optimize the content for the best possible search engine ranking and conversion. In this course students will be given a comprehensive overview of key concepts, tools and techniques related to analysis of quantitative Internet data to optimize websites and Web marketing initiatives.
This course covers the use of Microsoft Excel and the programming language Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) within Excel for obtaining, managing and processing information. Example areas covered include (1) automatically producing customized mass emails and summary reports, (2) updating Excel databases with 100 or more sheets, (3) copying from a user’s workbook to a separate master workbook for analysis and returning solutions and (4) solving a series of optimization models for various exchange rates. Most of the managerial problems used for illustration involve financial and operations applications. Illustrations from actual company projects demonstrate the power and versatility of course concepts. No prior exposure to VBA or any other programming language is required.
The effective use of data across firms to deliver fast and intelligent services presents one of the most critical challenges to today’s business leaders. This course is designed to introduce students to basic concepts and techniques in the theory, design, implementation and administration of relational databases. Topics to be covered include, the database design process, the entity-relationship (ER) model, normalization, queries in Structured Query Language (SQL), distributed and client-server databases, database administration and big data analysis. We will build a database application as a completion project. This course focuses on the skills and concepts needed to design and query databases and therefore contribute to companies’ competitive positions.

Finance Concentration (9 credits)

The first half of this course takes students through an in-depth study of portfolio theory. The foundations of modern portfolio theory are rigorously developed and its principles are used to create mean/variance efficient portfolios. Students critically examine the assumptions of modern portfolio theory and its implications. Alternative multifactor pricing models including the Fama/French Three-Factor Model are also explored. The second half of the course focuses on fixed income analytics. Students learn how to price various types of fixed income securities and how to measure their interest rate risk. They learn how to hedge interest rate risk for fixed income portfolios and how to incorporate call and conversion features into the price of a bond. Students learn how to derive implied forward interest rates, how to bootstrap a yield curve and the implications of various theories of the term structure. Finally, students will have the opportunity to conduct an event study, learn the basics of options, and discuss how behavioral finance is changing the way asset pricing is viewed. Case studies will be used to learn how hedge funds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and various other investment managers operate.
The course builds on the core finance sequence by focusing on the practical applications of the tools learned in the earlier courses. In addition to lectures, the course will utilize case studies focusing on real-world financial analysis and decision making. Topics may include forecasting cash flows, business valuation, financing, mergers and acquisitions, dividend policy, IPOs, etc. Students will be expected to work in teams on projects throughout the term and to present their work to class.
This course provides an overview of the use of financial accounting information for evaluating past performance and predicting future performance of a company or division. Managerial incentives affecting various accounting and reporting policy choices are considered, as well as the related regulatory and ethical issues. While a significant part of the course centers on estimating the value of publicly-traded common stocks, the techniques covered in the course can be used in many other settings, such as credit analysis, management consulting and auditing.

Marketing Concentration (9 credits)

This course teaches students how to create a strategic marketing plan that identifies the strongest paths to sustained growth for a brand. Students will learn to build and sustain strong brands through a deep understanding of customer value creation, market analysis, the positioning of new products and services and the formation of integrated marketing plans with metrics to monitor performance. The course will combine quantitative and qualitative analyses to support brand growth decisions. Students will work on projects and make strategic decisions about designing and implementing brand strategy.

The course will address how to intentionally manage the environmental implications of growth, the responsibility of brands for promoting equity and diversity and how to build authentic brand-community relationships.

Pre-requisites: Introduction to Business Statistics or Business Statistics and Models – may be taken concurrently or Business Statistics and Modeling with R; Marketing Management or Marketing

In this course, students will learn tools and frameworks to understand how companies can implement effective online and social media marketing campaigns. Using a mix of theoretical and practical exercises, students will learn to think about online tools from a marketing perspective. Following completion of this course, students should be able to 1) understand the different tools available for social media and online marketing, 2) help a company listen to and engage customers through online and social media, 3) use tools to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of online and social media campaigns and 4) develop a comprehensive online and social media strategy.

Choose one of the following:

Maintaining or creating a competitive advantage requires innovation in process and product technologies. In many industries, top companies in one decade are struggling or absent in the next due to an inability to deal effectively with innovation development. In many cases, top companies fade from prominence due to an inability to anticipate or adjust to the introduction of disruptive technologies by other firms. In this course, frameworks and tools for managing technology advancement are introduced.
This course will provide students an overview of Web analytics so that they can measure business goals and find areas of improvement. Students will learn how to apply value measurements to the website, analyze user behavior and optimize the content for the best possible search engine ranking and conversion. In this course students will be given a comprehensive overview of key concepts, tools and techniques related to analysis of quantitative Internet data to optimize websites and Web marketing initiatives.

General Electives (9 credits)

Much managerial activity involves negotiating and the settling of disputes, and effective negotiation can improve outcomes for everyone involved. Ineffective negotiation, in contrast, usually leads to poor outcomes for everyone involved and can result in failures to agree even when agreement is possible. The course is designed to provide students with basic negotiating skills, as well as to provide specific tactics and the theoretical underpinnings for those tactics. The importance of planning is also emphasized, as well as how to avoid common mistakes in negotiations. Specifically, this course explores the behavioral processes inherent in virtually all types of negotiations, as well as the problems involved in cross-cultural negotiations.

The course involves lectures concerning types of negotiations and relevant tactics, while in-class negotiation exercises allow students to practice tactics as well as receive feedback concerning how to improve.

This course is for students who want to start their own business, manage a department or even a whole firm. In this course, we study operational risk and examine how control systems can guard against these risks. We examine how to establish controls that will provide reasonable assurance that the organization will achieve its overall goals (i.e., strategy) in an effective and efficient manner. We specifically focus on employee control; we will explore different ways to use the control system to motivate employee effort and to direct this effort towards organizational success. In the course, students extensively analyze and discuss cases of real organizations.

Managing for Success is an intensive, experiential-oriented course that is aimed at developing fundamental leadership and management skills. No matter their general mental ability, experience, or drive, managers at any level need core skills to be effective. These skills are:

  • Self-awareness: Understanding your behavior’s impact on organizational outcomes
  • Communication: Effectively communicating goals and inspiring trust
  • Influence: Being comfortable at persuading, promoting, and delegating
  • Learning agility: Knowing when to change course, and helping others to do so
  • Feedback: Effectively delivering feedback and conducting performance feedback sessions

Along with the development of fundamental skills for managing others, leaders need to know how to establish an organizational climate for success. In this course, students will learn about how to create the environment for success as well as immerse themselves in development, adapt these skills to their own leadership/management contexts, participate with peers in learning, and share ideas on how to apply their lessons learned to the workplace.

Get the Online MBA Program Brochure

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