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MBA Course

MBA core curriculum provides grounding in basic management disciplines: financial and cost accounting, finance, economics, the law and public policy, management science and operations management, marketing, statistics, and strategy. Courses in leadership, ethics, and communications are required. Students move through the core with their learning teams -- groups of five or six classmates with whom they fulfill course requirements.

Core Courses


Financial Accounting
Financial Accounting is the accumulation, analysis, and presentation of an enterprise's relevant financial data for creditors, investors, and other external decision makers. Two versions of this core course are offered. In Finance 620, students learn these basic concepts, standards, and practices. Finance 621 is designed for students with prior knowledge of financial accounting.


Fundamentals of Managerial Accounting
Unlike Financial Accounting, with its focus on external parties, this course emphasizes the use of accounting information for internal planning and control purposes. Students learn how to use accounting data to evaluate business performance and make strategic decisions.


Financial Analysis
Two versions of this core requirement are available. Finance 601 is an introduction to business finance (corporate financial management and investments); it prepares both majors and nonmajors for upper-level course work. Students gain tools and frameworks to analyze financial decisions based on principles of modern financial theory.

Finance 621 is a course for those with prior knowledge of financial analysis or with strong analytical backgrounds. It forms the foundation for subsequent courses in corporate finance, security analysis, investments, and speculative markets. Students develop a framework for analyzing a firm's investment and financing decisions.


Macroeconomic Analysis and Public Policy
Using economic theory, students learn how financial markets work and how government policies operate on, and affect, the business environment.

Economics, the Law, and Public Policy

Managerial Economics
How can microeconomics be utilized to enhance decision making within an organization? This course teaches students both how to understand the economic environment in which a firm operates and how to think strategically within it.


The Governmental and Legal Environment of Business
This course provides students with a basic understanding of how the law and the political process affect business strategy and decision making. Topics include how market infrastructure (contracts, commercial law, intellectual property, fraud law, and securities law) affect business strategy, with special emphasis on differences among countries.

Ethics, Leadership, and Communication

Ethics and Responsibility
Students examine difficult ethical conflicts and dilemmas faced by managers and corporations, anticipating issues they will confront in their careers. In doing so, they build a framework for thinking through the ethical implications of business decisions. Students take part in collaborative case discussions, exercises, and discussions of theoretical frameworks. This mini-course cannot be waived.


Foundations of Leadership and Teamwork
Increasingly unpredictable work environments now require leaders and teams to learn rapidly and change quickly. This course focuses on lateral and vertical leadership, team building and performance, and team leadership. This mini-course cannot be waived.


Management Communication
Designed to prepare business leaders for the communication challenges of the workplace, this course works with students to improve their oral presentation skills, regardless of current skill level. This mini-course cannot be waived.


Management of People at Work
The way people are managed at work affects the quality of their lives as individuals, the effectiveness of organizations, and the competitiveness of nations. The material in this course develops some of the basic themes associated with managing people, making use of theories that transcend the workplace, such as the psychology of individual behavior or of work groups.


Competitive Strategy
This course focuses on competitive strategy, examining issues central to an enterprise's long- and short-term competitive position. Students take the role of key decision makers and address questions related to the creation or reinforcement of competitive advantage.


Global Strategic Management
In an introduction to the strategic management of multinational corporations (MNCs), students learn how to create competitive advantage in a global context.


Marketing Management: Program Design
Students confront the management challenge of designing and implementing a successful combination of marketing variables to carry out a firm's strategy in its target markets.


Marketing Management: Strategy
This course introduces the concepts and theories underlying marketing decision making. Building on Marketing Management: Program Design, students weigh considerations behind each element of the marketing plan.


Decision Models and Uncertainty
This management science course has a two-fold purpose. First, it introduces simple models and ideas that provide powerful (and often surprising) qualitative insights into a large spectrum of managerial problems. Second, it demonstrates the kinds of problems that can be tackled quantitatively, the methods and software available for doing so, and the difficulties involved in gathering the relevant data.


Operations Management: Quality and Productivity
This mini-course emphasizes processes. In the first part of the course, students will see examples of a number of processes and learn how to describe a process with a flow diagram. The second part of the course focuses on process improvement and will examine some classic ideas in quality management as well as recent ideas about restructuring processes for increased performance.


Operations Management: Supply Chain Management
Matching supply with demand is a primary challenge for an enterprise. In this course, students learn how to assess the appropriate level of supply flexibility for a given industry and explore strategies for increasing an enterprise's supply flexibility.


Statistical Analysis for Management
This course considers the use of two key statistical methodologies: regression analysis and experimentation. Students learn techniques such as least-squares estimation, tests and confidence intervals, correlation and autocorrelation, co-linearity, and randomization.
Elective Courses

Students take about 10 electives. Students who have waived core courses replace them with electives to fulfill the MBA requirement of 19 to 21 course units taken over four semesters. Each student is given an initial endowment of points that they use to bid for seats in courses they want to take.

Examples of Some Electives:

  • Advanced Corporate Finance
  • Advanced Real Estate Investment and Analysis
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Cost Accounting
  • Decision Models and Uncertainty
  • Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation
  • Fixed Income Securities
  • Foundations of Leadership and Teamwork
  • Geopolitics
  • Global Strategic Management
  • Governmental and Legal Environment of Business
  • Health Care Field Application Project
  • Information: Industry Structure and Competitive Strategy
  • Innovation, Change, & Entrepreneurship
  • International Development Strategy
  • Macroeconomic Analysis and Public Policy
  • Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
  • Operations Management: Supply Chain Management
  • The Political Economy of the Public Sector
  • Seminar in Leadership: Power, Influence, and Transformational Leadership
  • Private Equity in Emerging Markets
  • Privatization: International Perspective
  • Probability Modeling in Marketing
  • Speculative Markets
  • Urban Fiscal Policy
  • Urban Real Estate Economics
  • Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance

University Resources
When choosing electives, many MBA students take advantage of the vast resources at the University. For example, at the Wharton School, the Fels Center of Government, the Graduate School of Education, the School of Social Work, the School of Medicine, and the Law School all offer courses that can be easily integrated with any number of MBA majors, supplementing interests in biotechnology, intellectual property, nonprofit management, public governance, and more. In addition, the Penn Language Center offers one of the largest selections of language study in the country - more than three dozen languages from American Sign Language to Zulu. Students may take up to four courses from the other 11 schools at the University of Pennsylvania.

> Related Topics <

> Accounting and Finance

> Analysis and Communication for Managers

> Management and Marketing

> Management Science and Information Systems




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