The Part-time Flex MBA core has been carefully crafted to give you a broad understanding of foundational business practices and principles, allowing you to build your strategic leadership skills in any organization, no matter your functional background.
Preliminary Core Courses
Designed to launch your MBA experience, these courses build understanding of principled leadership, business strategy and ethical decision making. Taking these courses early in your program will have the greatest impact on your subsequent courses.
Leadership is about insight, initiative, influence and impact. You will explore principled leadership in this class, gaining a framework and skillset for developing your ability to make meaningful impact within dynamic and complicated organizations. Leading self and others incorporates insight into individual strengths and diversity, interpersonal and team dynamics, taking initiative and having influence both with and without formal authority, and examining the larger impact on organizational systems and the common good. This core MBA course, taken in the first year of the program, is designed to help you discern that leading is challenging and critical for success in both your career and the MBA program.
This class explores the fundamentals of ethical decision making in the business context. It covers the psychology of ethical decision making, including individual and situational factors influencing the decision process, as well as the ethical theories needed to understand the dimensions of an ethically complex situation. The class introduces a framework for analyzing ethical situations and developing a managerially defensible solution. It also explores various strategies for dealing with ethical challenges in the workplace and ways to effectively communicate your decisions.
Competitive Strategy is designed to help you learn about the nature of business and the principled leadership and governance of firms. This course focuses on the formulation of business-level strategy to help you gain a practical understanding of how the functions (finance, marketing, accounting, operations, human resources, etc.) are aligned with business-level strategy to support the mission, goals and objectives of a firm. Major questions explored in this course include: Why are some industries more profitable than others? Why do some firms consistently outperform others? How can a firm build and sustain a competitive advantage? A variety of industry contexts and firms will be used to illustrate the application of the analytical tools and frameworks covered in the course to any type of firm, including for-profits, nonprofits and not-for-profits.
This is a brief, introductory course designed to help the general manager understand what it takes to identify and evaluate new opportunities, and to transform innovations into profitable businesses. In this course, you will begin developing key skills and knowledge necessary for applying the entrepreneurial process within the corporate context.
The course examines how the law impacts daily management decisions and business strategies and provides managers with tools to use principles of law to minimize risk, create value, attain core business objectives and resolve legal issues before they become problems. The course uses exercises, simulations and business cases designed to provide hands-on skill development and practical application of key legal concepts. Because contracts are an essential element of business, much of the course is organized around negotiating and analyzing critical business agreements covering a range of topics, including sales of goods, intellectual property, employment, and dispute resolution with the goal of developing understanding of how to structure agreements to minimize legal and business risk, enhance economic value and relationships, and aid the organization in achieving its goals.
Prerequisites: OPMT 600
This course focuses on the application of microeconomic tools and concepts to business decision-making. Every organization faces numerous decisions. Every decision-maker faces limits of money, resources, technology and information. Optimal decisions must balance the marginal benefits of a decision with the decision’s marginal costs. The tool of constrained optimization is applied to cost minimization, output maximization and profit maximization. Concepts covered include: optimal output volume; demand analysis and estimation; production and cost; market structure and strategic positioning; and optimal pricing strategies.
Marketing Frameworks is designed to build a practical understanding of the frameworks and tools that are frequently used to solve marketing problems. The course will examine strategy formulation and the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion) tied to a thorough assessment of the marketplace (company, competitors, customers, etc.). You will develop essential skills related to using marketing research, performing quantitative and qualitative analysis, and critically thinking about marketing decisions related to strategy and tactics.
Prerequisite: OPMT 600
This course provides an introduction to the management of business operations. It focuses on the strategic role of the operations function in the survival and success of manufacturing and service organizations. You will explore a variety of strategic issues related to the design of operational systems and their connection with other functional and business strategies. The course will provide a multi-functional perspective on challenges and opportunities in managing operations, emphasizing the use of state-of-the-art concepts and quantitative methods for making critical choices in a dynamic business environment.
Financial accounting is an integral part of the planning, reporting and control functions of every business. It is a means to achieving insights about the firm's financial condition, operating results, cash flows and ownership and capital structure. This course covers the fundamental terminology and calculations of financial accounting and reporting, as well as the comprehension and interpretation of financial statements. Ethical aspects of accounting are included.
Prerequisites: OPMT600, ACCT601, GBEC600 or GBEC625
This course will focus on the financial management of business. It will cover the following subject matter: risk, return, evaluation, cost of capital, capital budgeting, long-term financing, capital structure theory, financial analysis and planning, and working capital management. The international aspect of financial management will be covered as it applies to the subject matter outlined above.
This course provides you with a basic understanding of the role of statistics in gathering data, creating information and their use in decision-making. You will learn methods for summarizing data, both numerically and graphically, and for drawing conclusions from sample data. Statistical analyses will be carried out using the computer and statistical software. The focus of the course is on how statistical methods can be placed on the design of statistical studies, collection of data and the interpretation of results (rather than the details of computation).
Each Part-time Flex MBA student is expected to complete 45 credits of coursework. You may be eligible to waive a core course requirement with appropriate prior business coursework, credential (e.g. CPA), or by waiver exam. Core course waivers imply that you have the essential knowledge and understanding of the core course material, and are properly prepared for any future core or elective course for which the waived course was a prerequisite. If you are granted a waiver, you will replace those credits with elective credits.
We invite you to learn more about our courses. To view additional course descriptions and schedules, visit the St. Thomas class finder.