Executive MBA Course Descriptions

The Saint Mary's College Executive MBA course descriptions outline the various curriculum you will learn in order to graduate with improved critical thinking, leadership and decision making skills.

Click here for course descriptions for EMBA students enrolled before Autumn 2017.

Quarter I:

ORB 551: Managing & Leading Organizations
The course provides you with theory-based knowledge of managerial and organizational processes from a behavioral point of view, along with the necessary tools to enable you to design those processes prudently and optimize their uses. You will develop leadership skills that promote, in yourself and others, ethically and socially responsible behavior as you engage others in areas such as motivation, job satisfaction, commitment, positive team dynamics, effective negotiation, and cross-cultural understanding. You will emerge from the course with a solid understanding of organization structure and the key principles of organizational design, as well as gain not just theoretical approaches to organizational change, but practical methods useful for building momentum around the need for change and widespread acceptance of change objectives.

MKT 552: Leadership Communication
This course is designed to evaluate and sharpen your business writing and speaking skills and to show you how language can be used as a tool to identify issues solve problems and communicate policy. You will be introduced to argumentation as an advanced form of communication that is crucial for effective managerial performance. You will also gain expertise in the various forms of professional writing, oral presentation, audience analysis, and copy editing.

Quarter II

ECON 553: Applied Economics
This course introduces the requisite micro and macroeconomic tools needed to analyze business problems. The emphasis is on establishing a practical link between basic economic concepts and a wide range of contemporary business problems, including economic data analysis for business decision-making, forecasting, demand analysis, pricing and cost analysis. Topics include market structure, cost and production, international trade and finance, national income determination, and monetary and fiscal policy.

OPS 554: Data Analytics for Executives
This course arms you with knowledge of probability theory and inferential statistics and demonstrates their uses in business decision-making. You will become skilled in the many uses of data as critical components in organizational decision processes. In particular, you will learn quantitative tools such as data visualization, probability models, interval estimation, hypothesis testing and regression analysis which you will use as the analytical foundation for other courses in the program.

Quarter III

OPS 555: Supply-Chain Management
The course provides you with a broad overview of operational issues in manufacturing and service organizations, and equips you with an assortment of quantitative and qualitative techniques for analyzing and optimizing business processes. Your managerial tool kit will be considerably enhanced by learning how to make use of time series analysis, process analysis, queuing theory, models of inventory management, total quality management and the six sigma approach, and global supply chain management.

ACCTG 556: Accounting for Executives
We begin our comprehensive approach to accounting by sharpening your understanding of the accounting concepts, principles, and conventions underlying financial statements, and what motivates a manager to select a particular accounting treatment, and how this choice affects financial statements as well as how it affects the analysis of those statements. We then move on to demonstrating how you can use accounting information for best-practice organizational planning, control, and decision-making. You will develop skills in such areas as cross driver analysis, budgeting, variance analysis, cost-volume-profit analysis, capital budgeting, differential cost analysis, and optimal performance evaluation schemes which incent ethical managerial behavior rather than the reverse. Much of what you learn is also applicable globally.

Quarter IV

FIN 557: Goal-Centered Finance
In this course, you will learn how to apply the key principles of finance in managing contemporary organizations. Centered on the measurement and creation of value, this course will make you adept at analyzing financial statements and financial markets responsibly, in both domestic and global contexts, and will give you considerable expertise in present value analysis, the theory of risk and return, portfolio theory, asset pricing models, and cost of capital, capital budgeting, and capital structure.

MKT 558: Global Marketing
Here is where you will acquire the analytical tools and frameworks that will enable you to make effective and responsible marketing decisions in support of your organization’s overall strategy and in service to the organization’s economic and social objectives. You will learn how to investigate consumer behavior, analyze industries, segment and target markets, create customer value through product policy, position brands, design channels of distribution, as well as how to develop communication channels and pricing policies. Through practical case studies you develop a keen appreciation for how global markets function.

Quarter V

ORB 559: Firm Governance and the Regulatory Environment
This course introduces the student to think critically about business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and corporate governance concepts. The course addresses how the regulatory environment affects business operations and management. The subjects covered include employment law and relevant federal regulations, including civil rights, and equal employment opportunity legislation affecting employer/employee relationships; intellectual property and unfair business practices; and how contract law affects various business transactions and relationships, focusing on compliance and responsible business strategies that are preventative rather than reactive.

MGT 560: Competitive Strategy
This course builds upon and integrates the core functional areas of business as it delves deeply into the rich variety of strategies which enable firms to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in domestic and global markets, while upholding and promoting organizational values characteristic of a responsible corporate citizen. We equip you with concepts and models in areas essential to the formulation, analysis, and implementation of business unit and corporate strategies.

Quarter VI

MGT 569: Capstone/Project
This is a project-based course that aims to provide students with the strategic tools to address a specific problem or opportunity faced by a local organization – primarily a small business, a startup, or a non-profit in an underserved local community, or owned by a minority owner. Students will work in small teams to develop implementable recommendations to the client organization and the instructor and address the issues or leverage the opportunity the organization is facing. Final deliverables will include a presentation and a written report.

As a capstone experience a course-long project involving a real organization in the East-Bay community reinforces program-long learning by giving the students an opportunity to practice the theories covered in the classes. Our community partners will be chosen among organizations that would otherwise not have access to this level of consulting, those operating in underprivileged communities as well as minority-owned businesses. This setup fully embodies our Lasallian mission of “entering to learn, leaving to serve”.

Concentration Courses: Entrepreneurship

MGT 561: Think Like an Entrepreneur
This course will introduce you to the field of entrepreneurship with a main focus on helping you differentiate between an idea and an opportunity, increasing your awareness of the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship, as well as developing your skills in problem solving with inadequate information and in decision making under uncertainty. The course will include topics of market assessment, developing the business plan, and forming and leading the executive team.

MGT 562: Creativity and Innovation
In this course, students develop their creativity thinking, sharpen their idea generation process, and learn to stimulate creativity in more meaningful and manageable ways. Students will also gain a better understanding of the appropriate context to cultivate and implement creativity in the workplace. The purpose of the course is to help students acquire skills to form novel, useful, and fresh solutions to new and unfamiliar problems. In addition, we focus on various types of innovations, the trajectories of emerging technologies, and the distinctions between standards and dominant design.

FIN 563: New Venture Financing
This course supports the study of raising capital for new ventures involving start-up businesses, financing a new strategic unit or project within an existing company, and solving financial problems unique to small-and medium-sized firms undergoing rapid growth. Topics for the course include raising seed capital from family, friends, and angel investors; raising later-stage capital from venture capitalists, private equity, business angels, investment banking, and commercial banking sources; legal and regulatory issues that arise in new venture financing; strategies for growth and exit; and financial modeling to determine the financial health of companies and strategies for their growth.

MGT 564: New Venture Creation and Growth
This course will teach you to think strategically about creating and growing a venture through the initial fast-paced stages. We will discuss managing rapid growth with limited resources, and exit/harvest strategies for new ventures, as well as effective market positioning. We will provide you with sophisticated views on the role of intellectual property, the timing of market entry, and the latest business models, including social innovation, for bringing innovations to market.

Concentration Courses: Business Analytics

OPS 565: Business Analytics
This course is designed as an introduction to Business Analytics, with an emphasis on basic programming concepts. It covers the fundamental concepts of computer programming using a standard programming language such as Python. Topics include data structures, control structures, data input/output, and debugging. Concepts and methods introduced in the course are illustrated with simple data analysis examples.

OPS 566: Advanced Modeling
This course teaches you to recognize and translate managerial decision scenarios into structured mathematical models and find optimal solutions using Excel solver. Upon completion of this hands-on interactive course, you will enhance your problem-solving 7 capabilities and spreadsheet skills. Topics include linear programming, integer programming, and simulation.

MKT 567: Customer Analytics
This course will provide students with methods for calculating customer lifetime value, the analytical skills that are needed to judge the appropriateness, performance, and value of different statistical techniques that are related to customer acquisition, development and retention. The course content includes forecasting the adoption of new products, projecting customer retention rates, and targeting marketing activities. Examples of statistical techniques include logistic regression analysis and cluster analysis.

OPS 568: Data Visualization and Story Telling
This course prepares students to create compelling narratives to effectively present the results of their data driven analysis. Students learn various techniques and tools to present analytical results visually, communicate information clearly, and articulate the business insights effectively. Students learn data visualization software packages (e.g. Tableau) to present data effectively and dynamically.