Curriculum: Master of Business Administration - MBA

June 06, 2022
June 22, 2022
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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

For the Master of Business Administration online, the curriculum includes the program courses (26 semester credit hours) and five to six elective courses (12 semester credit hours).

Ten hours of Business Foundations courses can be waived with demonstrated previous undergraduate coursework and/or professional experience. To find out if you qualify, contact your Enrollment Advisor.

To learn more about our course offerings, review a sample of our curriculum.

MBA Core Course: Accounting for Managerial Decisions

Understand how managerial decisions are made in corporations using accounting data. Special emphasis is given to cost allocation, break even analysis, ABC costing, product costing and budgeting decisions.(MS Accounting students cannot earn credit by taking this course.)

MBA Core Course: Decision Models

Topics include regression modeling and analysis including simple and multiple regression, decision analysis for making decisions under uncertainty, risk analysis and simulation of complex models in a spreadsheet environment, what-if models and spreadsheet engineering, optimization models and solving them with spreadsheet tools, optimization models in business applications such as marketing and finance.

MBA Core Course: Managerial Economics

This course is designed to introduce students to economic tools useful in managerial decision-making. The course proceeds from describing the general demand and cost conditions faced by a firm, to its market environment characterized by few to many other firms in the market, and finally to its extended environment of potential competitors and upstream and downstream members of its supply chain.

Besides the substantive aspects of the course, students will be expected to describe consumer demand and costs using spreadsheet software. Specific topics include profit and revenue maximization, consumer behavior and demand, production and cost, competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, social welfare, merger policy, limit pricing, vertical arrangements such as franchising, and game theory.

MBA Core Course: Financial Management

Building on the foundational material covered in FIN 7000 (time value of money, stock and bond pricing), the main goal of this course is to develop a set of techniques for valuing capital investment projects in privately and publicly traded companies.

To support this goal, the course (1) develops a set of investment criterion, (2) examines valuation techniques, (3) develops asset pricing models (the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT) in particular) to determine the appropriate required or opportunity cost of capital for discounting future cash flows, (4) considers basic risk management techniques, (5) examines how firms raise capital, and (6) analyzes the effect of financing choices on shareholder wealth, firm value, risk, and tax payments.

The course also defines real options and examines how real options are valued and affect capital budgeting decisions.  To support this task, the course examines the definition, use, and pricing of derivative securities such as financial options.

A secondary goal of the course is to consider what firms should do with the profits they generate given effective financial policies and decisions.  In particular, the course examines payout policy.  Throughout, the goal is to have students develop intuition on financial issues so that they are not only able to analyze a variety of standard finance problems but are also capable of analyzing new issues that will arise in the ever-changing business environment.

MBA Core Course: Information and Technology Management

This course employs the case method to discuss the managerial and strategic implications of the use of Information Systems in organizations. The course starts with a review of concepts related to Information Technology in the realm of networking,databases, application development, and architecture. Next, it examines the value of Information Technology in modern organizations. Finally, multiple cases are discussed, covering themes like Enterprise Resource Planning, Digital Convergence, e-Marketing and Social Media, Disruptive Innovations, Virtual Teams, and IT Resources and Capabilities.

MBA Core Course: Strategic Management

MBA students should not enroll in this course until they have completed the core accounting, finance and marketing classes.

This course focuses on both the analytical and structural framework for competitive analysis, as well as the formulation of policy and strategic decisions, the balancing of short run and long run plans, and the evaluation and control of strategic decisions for the business corporation. The academic basis for the class will be largely industrial organization and a resource based view (as a framework for industry analysis and competitive positioning).

Our discussion of competitive analysis will focus on understanding the environment the firm competes within and then developing strategies that create a sustainable advantage in that industry. Finally, corporate strategy analyses move beyond the single business arena, and address what businesses the firm should compete in and resource allocation among those units. Thus, we will concern ourselves in this course with both business level and corporate level strategy development and implementation.

MBA Core Course: Leadership and Organizations

This course focuses on concepts and applications related to organizations and the individuals who design and work within them. The goal of the course is to help you better understand and practice individual and organizational management. We will cover micro-level issues (e.g., individual differences and motivation), mid-level issues (e.g., leadership, groups and teams), and macro-level issues (e.g., organizational culture and structure). By focusing on concepts, applications and issues, you will be better able to see and understand organizational phenomena that you might now take for granted. This course will also help increase your understanding of yourself and others so that you can be more effective in the organizations in which you manage and participate.

MBA Core Course: Marketing for Managers

This course aims to describe many phenomena in marketing. As consumers we develop a surface familiarity with the activities and institutions of the market place but we need a closer look at the players, decision-making issues, processes and key lessons from the commercial trading environment. We also intend to develop an understanding of system dynamics and causal linkages in the marketplace. Why do some products fail? How can we structure productive relationships? What will happen to prices when we intensify distribution or advertising? The course takes up these questions and more.

MBA Core Course: Management of Operations

Introduces basic operations principles through case studies and explores major operations problems. Areas of concentration are decisions and activities involving product and process design, the use and control of resources, scheduling and quality management, supply chain management, and project management.

MBA Core Course: Capstone

In the capstone experience, MBA students demonstrate competency in applying both the strategy and functional course concepts and tools in an integrative experience. The capstone project must be interdisciplinary in scope and integrative in nature. This course provides no new content and results in a capstone project for the student.

MBA Core Course: Managing Across Cultures

This course will focus on providing students with a foundation in knowledge and analytical skills to understand management in the global business context of the 21st century. We will examine the concept of national culture as it applies to management practice and we will examine sample cultures from several key business environments. We will focus on Brazil, Russia, India and China as these four countries represent a diverse landscape of opportunities in developing economies. Moreover, many of the basic concepts and lessons (although not the specifics of the cultures) apply universally.

Electives: Data Visualization

This course provides an introduction as well as hands-on experience in data visualization. It introduces students to design principles for creating meaningful displays of quantitative and qualitative data to facilitate managerial decision-making.

Electives: Special Topics: Management of Innovation

This course emphasis is on in-depth study of selected topics.

Electives: Negotiations

This course addresses the fundamental principles and processes of Negotiations in the context of Human Resource Issues. The course presents principles, vocabulary and strategy in negotiation and a series of interactive experiences with analytical review of negotiation case studies and scenario. Students gain practical experience through a series of exercises involving the design of a conceptual framework and current best practices for human resource professionals.

Electives: Human Resource Management

This course will provide students with a basic understanding of human resource practices and strategies for the general manager. The focus of the class is not on the technical practices carried out by the HRM function (such as developing compensation systems or designing training programs), but rather on those HRM-related practices that managers carry out on a day-to-day basis (hiring new employees, providing performance feedback, etc.). A second focus will be on examining these practices from a strategic perspective, in order to understand their impact on employee performance and, ultimately, organizational outcomes.

Electives: Managing Organizational Change

Change is ubiquitous. The pace and complexities of change, however, pose a critical challenge to all change agents: implementing change. Even when everyone seemingly comprehends the imperative for change, the typical response is to underestimate -or even fail to understand – the dilemmas inherent in the process of change because change is as much- if not more – political and symbolic as rational.

Further, as Richard Pascale notes in a piece for HBR, the most critical problem confronting organizations seeking to change is that the “whole burden of change typically rests on so few people.” This course will cover the central issues surrounding the reality of implementing change. Hopefully, new understandings about change and about you as both change agent and recipient will provide provocative insights into managing everyday work life as well as large-scale organizational change.

Electives: Innovation Tools

This course focuses on how to create value and growth through innovation in new and existing markets. Students will learn the skills of innovation and how to apply those skills within the context of a marketing strategy framework. Students will apply innovation methods across the entire marketing management continuum including strategy, segmentation, targeting, positioning, and the 4P’s. The course will be taught using interactive workshop methods and techniques throughout. Students will first experience these facilitation techniques while learning innovation. They will then learn and practice these techniques so that they can apply them routinely throughout their graduate experience and beyond.

Electives: Buyer Behavior

Consumer behavior is the study of human responses to products, services, and the marketing of these products and services. The topic is of critical importance to managers because the focus on the consumer is the key contribution of marketing to business practice; other business functions (e.g.,finance, accounting, production) ignore the consumer. Managers who really understand the consumer develop better products and services, and also market their products and services more effectively.

Electives: New Product Development

Students will study the process of market analysis, customer needs assessment, new product concept development, and market launch strategy.

Electives: Advertising

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to elements of advertising and promotion.The course is designed from the perspective of managers who will need to make decisions about marketing communications programs.

Topics covered include: setting objectives, positioning, target audience selection, creative strategy, media strategy, advertising research and evaluation. The marketing communications program is seen as one part of the overall marketing mix. The material covered in the course is relevant for all types of organizations (large, small, public, or private).

Electives: Marketing Ethics

This course is designed to provide MS/MBA students with a broad, practical overview of ethical issues in marketing. Drawing from moral philosophy and cognitive psychology, students will acquire and refine analytical and managerial decision-making skills through the application of ethical principles to moral dilemmas represented in case examples. The primary emphasis of this course is on managerial decision-making. A central theme of this course is that good decisions are informed by a thorough understanding of the subjective biases to which individual human judgments and group decisions are prone.

Electives: Marketing Strategy for Managers

This course aims to develop a conceptual framework for strategic planning and introduce a handful of analytical tools. Importantly, strategy involves wrestling with knotty problems and testing solutions in a group context. Therefore, we develop descriptive familiarity and some analytical prowess around real problems and develop vital points of reference we can utilize in future, analogous circumstances. We analyze marketing cases that pivot on substantial, contemporary issues involving branding, market selection, business definition, program development and management, among others.

Electives: Quality and High Performance Organizations

This course develops knowledge and expertise about world-class quality management practices, focusing primarily on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria for Performance Excellence. It develops students’ abilities to assess the strengths and weaknesses of an organization’s management approaches and develop strategies for improving excellence in organizational performance. The key topics addressed include strategy, customer focus, human resource practices, process management, measurement and information management, leadership, and performance excellence implementation.

Business Foundation Course: Marketing Foundations

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation in Marketing. Concepts such as segmentation, targeting, positioning, customer and market analysis, and basic marketing planning will be introduced.

Business Foundation Course: Organizations

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation in the study of Organizations (Management) in preparation for the MBA or MS program. The goal is to provide students with an introduction to the study of organizations (strategy, structure, design, and context) to help students navigate through the advanced graduate course work and to become a more effective manager. This entails understanding how organizations work as well as developing requisite personal skills in problem analysis and writing.

Business Foundation Course: Foundations in Accounting

This course educates students in the fundamentals of finance and accounting. The methods covered are used extensively throughout the MBA program. Topics include: the accounting process that results in the preparation of financial statements for external users, techniques for analyzing a basic set of financial statements, using accounting information to support management decisions, and using time value of money techniques to evaluate capital asset decisions. (MS Accounting students cannot earn credit by taking this course.)

Business Foundation Course: Data Analysis

Introduction to data analysis and statistical methods with focus on practical decisions using quantitative models in a spreadsheet environment. Topics include sources of data, descriptive and graphical statistical methods, probability, distributions, sampling and sampling distributions, estimation, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing.

Business Foundation Course: Foundations in Economics

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of economics at the graduate level for students without previous economics coursework. Students will be exposed to the essentials of both microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Microeconomics topics to be discussed include the supply and demand mechanism,how markets are affected by regulation and taxation, costs of production, and how market structure affects outcomes. Macroeconomic topics to be discussed include the fundamental measures of the aggregate economy, the sources of economic growth, explaining short-run fluctuations in economic activity, and how government policies can affect these fluctuations.

A particular focus will be to understand how fundamental economic principles at both the micro and macro level can affect companies, investments, industries, and national economies.

Business Foundation Course: Foundations in Finance

This course educates students in the fundamentals of Finance.  A primary focus of the course is on using time value of money techniques to evaluate capital asset decisions.

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