Required Curriculum

UConn MBA Required Curriculum

UConn’s required curriculum consists of integrated coursework and milestone experiences to provide a broad foundation and understanding across functional business areas, and to develop perspectives and capabilities to lead and manage the complexity of business organizations in a dynamic global environment. Its breadth and perspective complements deep functional knowledge gained from concentrations or other graduate degrees. Courses in the required curriculum consist of three broad areas: business foundations, core functional knowledge, and finally business leadership with a focus on self-leadership, ethics and sustainability.

The required curriculum is completed primarily in an eight-month cohort, with coursework delivered in 1.5-credit modules from August through May. Knowledge from these courses is then applied in a required experiential learning milestone prior to graduation.

Business Foundations

Business Foundations course modules cover fundamental concepts and skills for dealing with quantitative business information, and key concepts and institutions that construct the environment in which businesses operate. 7.5 required credits and one required milestone.

Core Statistics

Business leaders are faced with an abundance of data generated by organizations, industries, and third parties. This course covers classical inference procedures and basic statistical concepts often essential to interpretation of business data. Students will learn to ask probing questions about the specifics of data and statistical techniques, to understand the conditions for drawing reliable inferences, and to assess the validity of statistical evidence. Topics include: discrete and continuous random variables, sampling, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. (BADM 5180, 1.5 credits)

Spreadsheet Modeling for Business Analysis

In today’s data driven environment, spreadsheets dominate as a primary tool to model, analyze and communicate analysis of business problems and opportunities to aid decision making. This course builds students’ abilities for effective quantitative business analysis and communication, using a spreadsheet program such as Excel. Spreadsheet modeling uses such as regression, forecasting, simulation and decision models will be covered, in different functional areas including finance, marketing, operations, and management. (BADM 5181, 1.5 credits)

Value Creation and Competition

A primary objective of business is to produce value for its owners. In this course, students analyze the challenges inherent in navigating competitive markets with the objective of adopting strategies to achieve value creation, and assess the fit between internal capabilities and the competitive landscape to identify and plan for potential threats and opportunities from environmental change. (MGMT 5181, 1.5 credits)

Foundations of Economic Environments

Provides students with applied knowledge of key economic and psychological concepts that ground interactions among individuals and organizations in the global business environment. (BADM 5170, 1.5 credits)

U.S. Capital Markets and Institutions

Given their role in the global economy, an understanding of the unique structures of U.S. capital markets and other institutions governing business in the U.S. is important for successful business performance. Completion of this noncredit module satisfies the MBA milestone requirement for demonstrated understanding of US capital markets and business institutions. (BADM 5151)

Government and the Legal Environment of Business

This course covers the legal and ethical environment of business, including an introduction to legal institutions and legal process, intentional torts and negligence, product liability, corporate governance, securities regulations, employment law, intellectual property and related topics. This course delivers the essentials of ‘legal astuteness,’ enabling students to ensure regulatory compliance, manage legal counsel, minimize liability and reach value-added business decisions in an increasingly complex regulatory environment. (BLAW 5181, 1.5 credits)

Core Functional Knowledge

Core Functional Knowledge modules address core concepts applicable to the key functional business areas of marketing, operations, IT, accounting, and finance in which much of the “business” of business occurs. Strong business leaders have a solid understanding of all of these areas in order to integrate their functional responsibilities with others in an organization. Course content and sequencing is designed to provide an integrated perspective. 18 required credits.

Customer Insights and Marketing Opportunity

This course offers a strategic and analytical approach to marketing decisions. Students will develop basic proficiency with key marketing concepts and skills including: identifying opportunities and threats in the market environment; forecasting market growth; evaluating customers and competitors; and segmenting, targeting, and positioning. (MKTG 5181, 1.5 credits)

Financial Accounting and Reporting- Fundamentals

In order to make effective decisions, managers must be able to understand, analyze and evaluate financial statement data regarding the outcomes of previous decisions. This course is oriented towards ‘users’ (i.e., versus ‘preparers’) of financial statements and aims to help students develop a basic understanding of the financial accounting concepts and procedures that underlie corporate financial statements. The course objective is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of accounting methods and terminology so that the financial statements in corporate annual reports can be analyzed and evaluated. (ACCT 5181, 1.5 credits)

Fundamentals of Financial Management

Managers must understand how the firm is financed and the effects on decision making. In this course, students gain tools and frameworks to analyze financial decisions based on principles of modern financial theory. The course covers concepts such as discounted cash flow techniques, and its applications to valuation of common stock and bonds and lease vs. buy decisions. The time value of money is examined for both personal financial planning and business applications, and is used to value financial instruments, including common stock and bonds. (FNCE 5181, 1.5 credits)

Introduction to Data Analytics

A developing major focus in information systems is the area of data analytics. This course introduces students to key issues and concepts in data analytics. The course begins by delineating the differences between standard statistical analysis, including model estimation and evaluation, and the data driven approach of data analytics. A good deal of emphasis is placed on critical issues underlying almost all data analytics projects, including data quality (accuracy, objectivity, and reliability), missing values, outliers, and data standardization. The course introduces students to basic analytics techniques and processes. (OPIM 5181, 1.5 credits)

Managing and Delivering Customer Value

This course builds on the strategic perspective developed in MKTG 5181 (Customer Insights and Marketing Opportunity). Students will learn how to determine product, price, place and promotion components of marketing strategies and how to assess marketing performance. (MKTG 5182, 1.5 credits)

Capital Budgeting and Corporate Financial Policy

Firms must generate sufficient returns for their owners, and new project valuation is an important tool to assess competing use of funds. In this course, students apply the tools and techniques of the time value of money framework to capital budgeting issues and corporate financial policy. They focus on corporate capital budgeting and valuation, investment decisions under uncertainty, market efficiency, and corporate financial policy including financing and dividend decisions. Students evaluate capital investments with a focus on how companies analyze the risk associated with future cash flows and how that risk is incorporated in the required rates of return, as well as how financing choices (stocks and bond issues) and payout policy affect the cost of capital of large projects. Students apply two widely used models, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) to capital budgeting problems. (FNCE 5182, 1.5 credits)

Financial Accounting and Reporting- Applications

This course focuses on financial accounting for certain, specific economic transactions (e.g., debt issuance, granting stock-based compensation). The course objective is to provide students with an introduction to fundamental finance concepts and, in turn, a more nuanced understanding of the financial accounting concepts and procedures that underlie corporate financial statements. (ACCT 5182, 1.5 credits)

Introduction to Operations Management

Operations Management deals with the management of value-creating processes that transform inputs into outputs (goods and services). This course provides an overview and introduction to operations management. It focuses on the process view of operations and develops a framework for process analysis and improvement with and without variability. (OPIM 5183, 1.5 credits)

Cost Analysis

This course provides a micro-level understanding of various costing systems, e.g. job-order costing, process costing, and activity-based costing. Students comprehend the nature and behavior of cost and how cost is directly affected by resource (people, materials and capital) acquisition and allocation decisions. Students explore how management solves the interrelated problems of efficiency, productivity, and pricing. (ACCT 5183, 1.5 credits)

Operations and Supply Chain Management

Built on the concepts in Introduction to Operations Management, this course covers critical and specific topics in operations management, including inventory, quality, lean operations, and operations across firms (supply chains). It introduces both qualitative strategies and quantitative models concerning these topics. (OPIM 5184, 1.5 credits)

Managerial Controls

This course takes a macro-perspective of applying cost concepts to real-world managerial scenarios to make rational decisions, e.g. product pricing, transfer pricing, make or buy, performance measurement, and budgeting. Students explore how management solves the interrelated problems of capacity, sourcing, pricing, and profitability. (ACCT 5184, 1.5 credits)

Management Information Systems

Information technology (IT) has had a dramatic impact on how individuals and organizations work, and is an important force shaping entire industries and value creation by firms. Most business school graduates will have IT related responsibilities during their careers, no matter which functional area they are in, and will be involved in efforts to select, adopt, and exploit information technologies in support of business goals. The goal of this course is to prepare students to execute these responsibilities effectively, and to be able to do so even as the set of available technologies changes over time. The course presents students with frameworks that let them analyze business situations involving IT in a structured way. It will also help them develop sophisticated understanding of the links between IT, business strategy, and business process. They will also gain an appreciation of the organizational and management practices that complement IT investments. (OPIM 5182, 1.5 credits)

Business Leadership

Business Leadership core curriculum components focus on concepts, skills and perspectives that are key to playing leadership roles in business organizations. This includes developing strategic, global perspectives in decision-making that build sustainable organizations and take into account the role of business in society. It also focuses on self-leadership: strengthening your personal abilities to understand, communicate with, and motivate yourself and others to perform in ethical and value-creating ways. 10.5 required credits and one required milestone.

Motivating Individuals and Teams

This course focuses on the development and improvement of “people skills” as they relate to managing individuals and teams in organizations. It prepares students to understand how to best organize and motivate the human capital of the firm, how to solve problems effectively, influence the actions of individuals and lead successful teams. Topics include personality, perceptions and perceptual distortions, decision making, developing a motivational climate and effective incentive systems, creative problem solving, managing conflict and negotiations, designing and managing diverse teams and team processes. Through the use of experiential exercises and role playing, participants are given a “hands-on” opportunity to practice and refine their management skills as well as to gain significant insight into their own strengths and weaknesses as a manager. (MGMT 5182, 1.5 credits)

Communicating for Impact, Modules A and B

Creating value for an organization depends on the ability to effectively translate expertise into business results. This requires the ability to connect with and communicate with others across the organization, to gather information to identify challenges and opportunities, to frame these in ways that build momentum for change, to work with people across functional and geographic lines to develop solutions, to gain buy-in for those solutions in a form that resonates with stakeholders, and to implement solutions in ways that are sustainable for the people they touch. This course focuses on understanding this consultative process and improving student performance in the integrative skills on which it depends. These skills include oral and written communications, effective collaboration in a variety of environments, adapting communications and implementation approaches to different audiences, and improving the ability to perceive, evaluate, and manage emotions. (BADM 5182, 1.5 credits,  BADM 5183, 1.5 credits)

Organizational Behavior in Context

This course builds upon the individual and team managerial skills developed in MGMT 5182 (Motivating Individuals and Teams) by focusing on “people skills” as they relate to managing oneself and others within an organizational context. It prepares students to navigate and succeed in a complex organizational environment. Topics include organizational design, culture, managing diversity, understanding and managing social networks, power, politics, and organizational communications. Through the use of cases, experiential exercises and role playing, participants are given a “hands-on” opportunity to practice and gain insight into their managerial skills as they pertain to the larger organizational context. (MGMT 5183, 1.5 credits)

Business Responsibility, Accountability and Ethics

This course focuses on the four pillars of responsible business conduct – business ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and business and human rights – and is designed to facilitate values-driven decision-making in the social and ethical environment of business. Topics also include fairness in the workplace, shareholder resolutions, bribery and corruption, health and environmental stewardship, and firm-regulator relations. (BLAW 5182, 1.5 credits)

Sustainability in the Global Business Environment

Increasingly business leaders worldwide are recognizing the importance of organizations and broader business systems that enable stewardship of long-term value creation for all their stakeholders. This course examines approaches to meeting complementary and competing needs of shareholders, customers, employees and communities through the design and maintenance of global value chains. Students will assess alternative business models and management practices designed to enhance sustainability for an increasingly global array of stakeholders. Specific topics may include social enterprise management, environmental strategy, corporate social responsibility, serving “Base of the Pyramid” markets, socially responsible investing alongside issues relating to social, environmental and economic ecosystems. (BADM 5190, 1.5 credits)

Strategic Fit and Coordination

In a competitive global arena, firm survival and success depends on proactive coordination to achieve specific goals that are uniquely suited to the firm’s situation. In this course, students focus on the needs of key organizational stakeholders and the understanding the impact of decisions by individual functional areas on the entire organization. Students will draw upon knowledge from multiple academic disciplines to develop organizational strategies, designs, and resource allocations that can improve firm performance from a holistic perspective. (MGMT 5184, 1.5 credits)

Management Elective Milestone

Students will complete one additional management elective of their choice. Courses in topics such as leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and negotiations complement the specialized technical skills developed in concentrations.

Experiential Learning Milestone

Experiential learning has been core to the learning model at the UConn School of Business for over fifteen years, and is a key component in the design of the UConn Full-time MBA program. There is a wide range of ways in which students can meet this milestone, and use it to advance their personal and career goals. These include a project in one of UConn’s Accelerators, a paid or unpaid internship or co-op, or an individual or group student project course, which can include student start-ups. It is up to the student, with guidance from faculty and staff, to propose to the MBA Program Director how this milestone will be met, to obtain approval, and to complete it prior to graduation. One required milestone; students planning substantial career turns are encouraged to plan for multiple experiential learning projects.

Accelerator Projects

See Experiential Learning Accelerators for more details. Accelerator projects count towards the milestone, and also count towards elective course credits.

Internships or Co-ops

Paid or unpaid internships or co-ops with a Program-approved company or organization. This requires an approved application that indicates responsibilities or tasks that will draw on concepts or skills in the MBA curriculum. International students must also meet visa requirements for paid internships or co-ops. Unpaid internships or co-ops can be considered for course credit.

Group Student Project

Participation in a student-startup, or a sponsored company or nonprofit organization project that has been approved by the MBA Program Director in advance of project work. Projects may be student or faculty-initiated. Student initiated projects require identification of a faculty sponsor. All projects require a final written deliverable. Projects will be completed for elective course credit.

Individual Student Project

Similar to the group student project, but without project co-workers. Students can apply for grants for individual projects through the UConn CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research) Program.