Master of Business Administration Coursework

There are three different levels of coursework for students enrolled in the Valpo MBA Program.

  1. Foundation Courses: These courses are required of students who do not have an undergraduate major or minor in business or who have not completed corresponding coursework in a satisfactory manner (with a grade of C+ or better). Transcripts are evaluated on an individual basis as many students, even those without an undergraduate major or minor in business, qualify for waivers of one or more courses.

  2. Core Courses: These courses are required of all students enrolled in the MBA Program. If a students has satisfactorily completed Master's level coursework elsewhere they may qualify to transfer in three courses, or six credits, worth of work.

  3. Enhancement Courses: Our unique way of saying "Elective Courses", students enrolled in the MBA Program must take six of these courses. Please note that this is by no means a comprehensive list of our current Enhancement offerings.

Foundation Course Descriptions

ClassMBA 501 (2 credits) Managerial Economics
This course provides a foundation in economics for business decision making. Topics include demand and supply, production, cost and pricing theory in competitive and non-competitive product and input markets, the macro-economy and the Federal Reserve, international trade and finance, and environmental economics.

MBA 504 (2 credits) Business Law
This course provides a study of the legal aspects of business. Topics explored include contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code, cyber law, and different legal forms of business organizations such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, sub-s corporations, etc. In addition, the legal traditions and rules of different nations are compared with a particular focus on legal conflicts and international contracts. The course finishes with strategies on selecting and working with legal council.

MBA 510 (2 credits) Financial Accounting
This course involves a study of basic accounting theory and practice, the nature of assets, liabilities, and owners' equity, income measurement, and financial statement preparation. The course is taught from a "user" perspective, stressing the understanding, interpretation and analysis of financial statement information. Special emphasis is placed on alternative accounting methods and accounting estimates that may cause similar companies to report different results.

MBA 520 (2 credits) Financial Management
This course provides a survey of financial management. Major topics include the financial environment, working capital management, the time value of money, financial statement analysis, capital structure, valuation of securities, capital budgeting, assessment of risk, and international finance. Consideration is given to these topics as well as to ethical relationships among the firm's contract holders. Prerequisites: MBA 501, MBA 510, and MBA 540 or equivalent

MBA 530 (2 credits) Marketing Management
Emphasis is placed on the ethical application of marketing concepts, theories and principles as they relate to product policy, promotional mix decisions, distribution and logistical planning and pricing. The international business environment, including social, cultural, economic, political-legal, competitive and technological variables, is studied and compared with American markets. The areas of buyer analysis, the utilization of market planning and analysis are also stressed.

MBA 540 (2 credits) Managerial Statistics
This course presents the fundamentals of statistics as they apply to relevant business problems. The use of statistical software and spreadsheets is emphasized. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, random variables, selected discrete and continuous probability distributions, sampling distributions, estimation, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. Prerequisites: Calculus or Finite Mathematics.

MBA 550 (2 credits) Psychological Foundations of Management
Professor StuckThis course examines the foundation of knowledge from the behavioral sciences as it applies to business. Included are discussions of emotions, social and self-perceptions, social influence, decision making, and creativity and innovation. Students will learn about the nature of people and how organizations can enhance or repress human growth. Of particular importance is how organizations can be both productive and humane. These topics are examined by reading the classic writings in each area.

Core Course Descriptions

MBA 601 (2 credits) Business, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Students are introduced to topics related to business as a contemporary social institution. Emphasis is placed on the role of business in modern society, ethical frameworks for business decision-making, the perils and promises of new technology, sustainable business and the natural environment, issues of social and economic justice, and values-based leadership. This course should be taken early in the MBA program.

MBA 602 (2 credits) Managing Technology and the Natural Environment I
This is the first of a two-course sequence built around a speaker series coordinated by faculty from the colleges of Business Administration and Engineering. Experts are invited to speak on topics related to technology's role in both creating and resolving the critical environmental challenges confronting society. Emphasis is placed upon the environmental strategies and the technology choices that business leaders must face. Speaker classes are augmented with seminar classes addressing current concepts in environmental management including sustainable business practices.

MBA 604 (2 credits) Contemporary Legal Issues
This course is comprised of a series of lectures on topics relevant to current legal issues confronting managers. Topics explored may include business planning, environmental law, electronic commerce, international business transactions, white-collar crime and employment issues. The course focuses on identifying actions, or areas of inaction, that could result in a business violating statutes, incurring legal liability and possibly being subjected to litigation. Prerequisites: MBA 504 or equivalent.

MBA 610 (2 credits) Accounting Information for Decision Analysis
This course focuses on the relationship between accounting information and management planning, decision-making and control. The course begins with a discussion and review of basic corporate disclosure. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation of outcomes reported in financial statements from the perspectives of management, shareholders, auditors, and others. The course continues with an analysis of internal cost accumulation systems for costing products or services as well as interpretation and evaluation. Coverage will encompass basic cost management concepts to plan, control, and evaluate operations including the examination of a variety of manufacturing and service industries. The goal is to demonstrate the design of flexible cost systems to match the firm's technological, competitive and/or multinational environments. Prerequisites: MBA 510 or equivalent.

MBA 620 (2 credits) Financial Analysis
This course is intended to extend knowledge and experience in financial statement analysis. Further, it will deal with issues of valuation (public and private companies both traditional and e-commerce orientations), and relating to mergers and acquisitions. Prerequisites: MBA 520 or equivalent.

MBA 630 (2 credits) The Customer Challenge
This course engages the student in an exploration of the practice of marketing as it's currently evolving. With a view towards the future, attention will be given to the fundamental concepts and tools of marketing as they apply in an environment that is becoming increasingly dynamic, complex, and uncertain. Moreover, marketing's role as a driver of an organization's value chain will be emphasized as value chains are increasingly shaped by consumer demands and expectations. Consequently, special attention will be given to the topics of one-to-one marketing strategy, experiential marketing, e-marketing, globalization, and green marketing. Prerequisites: MBA530 or equivalent.

MBA 640 (2 credits) Quantitative Business Analysis
Professor StrasserThis course focuses on statistical modeling of business problems and processes. Topics include design of experiments, analysis of variance, simple and multiple regression, correlation, covariance, time-series analysis and statistical quality control in the context of Total Quality Management. The emphasis is on model building and verification using real world data. Statistical software is used with each topic. Prerequisite: MBA 540 or equivalent.

MBA 642 (2 credits) Operations Management
This course focuses on the planning and control of operations and processes in manufacturing and service organizations. Topics include facility location, layout, aggregate planning, environmentally responsible manufacturing, capacity planning, inventory management, ERP/MRP, scheduling, transportation models and project management. The models are used in the context of realistic business scenarios and computer software is used to solve the problems. Prerequisites: MBA 540 or equivalent.

MBA 645 (2 credits) Information Systems and Information Technology
This course provides managers with an understanding of information systems/technologies, and the capabilities they have to enhance company performance. Topics explored include management information systems, group decision support systems, and knowledge-based systems. Emphasis is placed on networking technologies such as internet/intranet/extranet and related connections, EDI, and other data communication technologies as they may be used to inform people, transform the firm, and change competitive rules. Prerequisites: MBA 540 or equivalent.

MBA 650 (2 credits) Creating High Performance Organizations
The rigid command and control organizations of the industrial age are being pushed aside by more nimble, high-performance, information-age organizations. This course focuses on creating such companies by examining: organizational theory and development; transformation to high commitment, learning organizations; power, influence, and politics; and building ethical corporate cultures concerned about peoples' wellbeing and the natural environment. The role played by technology - as change driver, problem solver, and problem creator - is integrated throughout the course. Prerequisite: MBA 550 or equivalent.

MBA 651 (2 credits) Leadership and Team Development
This course focuses on issues related to being an effective leader, follower, and team member in the modern business world. To foster development of leadership, followership, and team competencies, this course explores the following topics: interpersonal skills, effective leadership and followership, empowerment and delegation, conflict resolution and negotiation, team problem solving, team development, and entrepreneurship. Special emphasis is put on the importance of values-based leadership in creating ethical and humane organizations. Prerequisite: MBA 550 or equivalent.

MBA 652 (2 credits) Developing People
People are the most important part of any organization. This course focuses on recruiting, training, and developing human resources, thereby enabling employees to be competent performers within organizations. Areas covered include: designing and redesigning jobs, coaching/mentoring, conducting performance appraisals, providing feedback, and administering discipline. A major focus of the course relates to developing people and workforce environments that creatively capitalize on today's information technologies. The course addresses ethical concerns related to dealing with people and their development in changing organizations. Prerequisite: MBA 550 or equivalent.

MBA 670 (2 credits) Strategic Thinking and Action for a Changing World
This course focuses on aligning the entire organization with its environment to achieve competitive advantage. As the capstone course for the MBA program, it integrates new and previously learned concepts to address complex, unstructured strategic challenges through field projects and cases drawn from contemporary business events. Classic and new strategies are applied to information-age challenges including developing and sustaining competitive advantage, the strategic use of new technology, and creating natural environment-friendly organizations. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 16 credits of MBA core requirements.

Enhancement Course Descriptions

MBA 710 (2 credits) Taxes and Decision Making
The course examines the effect of taxes on business decisions, including investment strategies and financial policies. Emphasis is placed on tax planning and evaluating the tax consequences of business decisions. The framework developed is highly integrative -investment strategies and financing policies within firms are linked through taxes. Prerequisite: MBA 510 or equivalent.

MBA 714 (2 credits) Current Events and Business Reporting Issues
Examination of important topics that are not covered or minimally covered in other accounting courses. The focus will be on current, cutting-edge issues faced by the accounting profession. The course will make extensive use of case studies and provide special research opportunities for students. Prerequisites: ACC 311 or equivalent.

MBA 720 (2 credits) Investment Management
Investment opportunities will be immediately or eventually important for most students. This course discusses many practical and conceptual factors influencing the value of the investment opportunities and the success of investment approaches. These are considered within increasingly global financial markets. The objective of the course is to equip students with the necessary tools to evaluate investment opportunities, and to apply these tools. Prerequisite: MBA 520 or equivalent.

MBA 721 (2 credits) Advanced Financial Management
This course both extends and deepens what was learned in Financial Management. The course is taught on a "quasi-seminar" basis with cases, general discussions of intellectual topics, and outside speakers. The emphasis is on cases in order to develop the skills necessary to deal with ambiguous situations in an increasingly complex world. Prerequisite: MBA 620 or equivalent.

MBA 730 (2 credits) Brand Management
This course investigates the strategies and tactical management of products and services. Using the product life cycle as its framework, brand decisions will be considered in the following situations: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Special consideration will be given to the implications of e-commerce and globalization.

MBA 731 (2 credits) E-Commerce and E-Marketing
This course explores the evolving utilization of the Internet as both a strategic and tactical tool in building customer relationships. The primary focus will be on the Internet's role as a component of an organization's integrated marketing communication strategy, thus placing the Internet in a broader strategic context. Attention will be given to both new "Internet only" businesses as well as "bricks and mortar" organizations. Prerequisite: MBA 530 or equivalent.

MBA 740 (2 credits) Management Science for Improved Decision Making
This course examines how management science models can be used to assist managerial decision-making by applying a scientific approach to managerial problems with quantitative factors. The topics include linear programming, integer programming, network optimization, simulation, multi-criteria and waiting line models. The focus of the course is on problem definition, model formulation, and computer based, spreadsheet solutions and analysis of results in the context of recommendations for management. Prerequisite: MBA540 or equivalent.

MBA 741 (2 credits) Global Supply Chain Management
This course investigates the supply chain and logistics for more effective and efficient delivery of products and services to customers in today's global environment. The focus is on continuous improvement of supply chain operations to meet the requirements of internal and external as well as global customers. The analysis of trade-offs and synergies between environmental and economic factors is included. The topics include purchasing, value analysis, supplier selection, vendor analysis, supplier audits, certification, and partnerships, evaluation of shipping and mode of transportation alternatives, JIT, supply chain optimization, ISO 14000, reverse logistics and Distribution Requirements Planning. Prerequisite: MBA 540 or equivalent.

MBA 750 (2 credits) Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs are creative risk takers often creating new industries by applying emerging technologies to commercial advantage. The explosion of the Internet's e-businesses is led by such people, some of whom will be profiled in this course. The course examines entrepreneurship and what is required for a new venture to succeed. A primary course task will be the creation of a new business. Student plans will be evaluated and critiqued by experts involved in financing new ventures. Prerequisite: MBA 550 or equivalent.

MBA 751 (2 credits) Career Development, Survival, and Success
Today's graduates are likely to change careers eight times during their careers. The reality of our modern high-velocity, high-stress work environment means individuals must take responsibility for their own career success. This course focuses on issues related to career and self-management. Topics include: self-assessment and understanding, time management, career development, stress management, balancing work and non-work issues, perspective and bias, surviving office politics, and personal ethical philosophy and behavior. A major theme of the course involves values-based lifetime learning and development in a rapidly changing technological world.

MBA 780 (2-6 credits) Global Experience
Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to study business abroad. Options range from an intensive two-week study trip to enrolling for a term in an appropriate graduate school partner abroad. Prerequisite: Permission of the MBA Program Director.

MBA 790 (1-2 credits) Special Topics
This course involves the study of special or timely topics. Students are not limited in the number of special topics courses taken. Prerequisites may vary based upon the topics covered.

MBA 795 (1-4 credits) Independent Study
A student may undertake independent study on a topic of special interest and relevance to her/his program. The student must have a supervising faculty member and a project defined and approved by the MBA Director and the Dean of Graduate Studies prior to registration. Students may take no more than four credits of independent study work as part of their program.