MBA Course Descriptions

Core Courses

The course descriptions below list current core courses. Please refer to the Full-time MBA course sequence chart, Professional Evening MBA course sequence chart or Professional Online MBA course sequence chart for planning and details on when/where/how courses are typically delivered. Courses are always subject to change.

MBA 501: Financial Accounting for Decision Makers (1 hr)
This course provides students with the foundational knowledge in financial accounting for decision makers. In this course, students will focus on understanding how accountants record economic events such as operating, investing, and financing activities, in the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. Students will learn to analyze financial statements and disclosures. Students will also learn how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process. Students must successfully complete all required MBA Math modules prior to taking this course.

MBA 502: Managerial Accounting for Decision Makers (1 hr)
This course is designed to provide MBA students foundational knowledge in managerial accounting for decision making. It assumes that you have no prior formal coursework experience in accounting. The course provides you an understanding of internal uses of accounting information for decision making within the organization. In this course, students will identify and assign revenue and cost information to business processes in order to conduct break even analyses, assign product costs, complete operational budgets, assess performance, and complete other management decision-making processes. Prerequisite: MBA 501

MBA 503: Accounting for Managers (3 hrs)
Accelerated survey of basic concepts underlying accounting in profit-oriented firms; concepts for decision making in manufacturing; content and interpretation of published financial statements; data measurement; product costing; budgeting.
Note: this class was offered for the last time in 2016-17 and is only for those students who started the program prior to Fall 2016.

MBA 504: Statistics and Quantitative Methods (3 hrs)
Formulation and estimation of statistical models consistent with a managerial objective. Decision making and forecast generation based on data derived from models.
Note: this class was offered for the last time in 2016-17 and is only for those students who started the program prior to Fall 2016.

MBA 505: Essential Economics for Managers (2 hrs)
Survey of microeconomic concepts applied to managerial decisions. Competition. Market power. The firm, production, and cost. Pricing practices. Economics of information and innovation.

MBA 506: Data-Driven Managerial Decisions 1 (1 hr)
Business cases and problems where data analysis is part of the decision-making process. Applications to finance, management, marketing, and operations. Proficiency in Excel methods commonly used in management. Completion of a project where students follow a business problem from formulation to solution using data analysis. Restricted to MBA students. Students must also pass a proficiency test on basic statistical concepts before taking this class. Students must successfully complete all required MBA Math modules prior to taking this course.

MBA 507: Data-Driven Managerial Decisions 2 (1 hr)
Continuation of a series of business cases and problems where data analysis is part of the decision making process. Estimation of linear relationships among variables, with applications to finance, management, marketing, and operations. Proficiency with Excel methods commonly used for estimation. Completion of a project where students follow a business problem from formulation to solution using the methods covered the course.
Prerequisite: MBA 506

MBA 510: Critical Thinking for Managers (formerly MBA 590 Critical Thinking & Writing) (1 hr) The primary objective of this 1-hour course is to give you a structure for critically analyzing and evaluating a claim, text, or speech. These are skills that you will use extensively in this program, as well as in your work life. Using the Paul and Elder model of critical thinking, you will complete assignments to progressively develop your ability to reason through an issue, increasing the likelihood that you will make the best decisions.

MBA 520: Managerial Finance (2 hrs)
Financial decision making at profit-motivated businesses: decisions about what to produce and how and decisions about how to finance the assets needed for production. Cash as the basis of asset valuation. Capital budgeting decisions under certainty and uncertainty. Capital market theory. Cost of capital. Bond and stock valuation. Students must successfully complete all required MBA Math modules prior to taking this course.

MBA 530: People Management (3 hrs)
Management of people in organizations. Processes of staffing, motivating, and managing within the cultures of technology-intensive organizations. Leadership. Diagnosis of organizational culture. Conflict management and negotiations. Innovation and change management.

MBA 540: Operations and Supply Chain Management (2 hrs)
Design and management of an organizational operation, including both service and manufacturing. Analysis of strategies, process design, planning and control, operations organizational structures, work design, scheduling, materials management, and advanced operations techniques using a variety of managerial and quantitative models.

MBA 560: Marketing Management and Strategy (2 hrs)
Market segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Channels of distribution, promotion strategy, product development strategy, and pricing strategy. Relationship marketing and marketing strategy. Applications in high-tech environments.

MBA 580: Creating Value in Organizations (formerly Global Strategy) (3 hrs)
Practice-oriented capstone course that integrates the concepts, knowledge and skills of the MBA program. Strong global emphasis. Strategic thinking, strategic analysis, creation of competitive advantage. Creation and monitoring of entrepreneurial opportunities. Corporate and business level strategies. Strategic alliances, acquisitions, and restructuring.

MBA 590: Raleigh Residency #1 (1 hr) – Required for Professional Evening & Online MBA students only.
Professional Evening and Online MBA students will complete a mandatory Raleigh Residency, which is a 1- credit hour, 3-day course (Thursday-Saturday) held in Raleigh, NC during the first semester of the program. The focus of the first Raleigh Residency is to provide important lessons on non-verbal communication, presentation, and networking skills. Active duty military may substitute this residency requirement with another elective course. Students should plan to be involved in residency activities for three full days, including dinner Thursday evening.

MBA 590: Raleigh Residency #2 (2 hrs) – Required for Professional Evening & Online MBA students who started the MBA program Fall 2016 or later. If you have taken MBA 530 you cannot take this course.
This course is about the fundamentals of managing people. The course focuses at three levels of analysis: the individual, the team, and the organization. Students will gain exposure to topics and issues in the field of organizational behavior and human resource management. Module one focused on communication, leading self, learning to work in teams, and managing change. Module two focuses on human resource issues, managing teams (including both virtually and geographically co-located), influencing without authority, and decision-making. Students should plan to be involved in residency activities for three full days, including dinner Thursday evening.

MBA 610: Managerial and Career Effectiveness (1 hr) – Required course for Full-time MBA students only. Formerly MBA 500.
Frameworks, concepts and tools for management and career effectiveness. Assessment of managerial strengths, weaknesses, and potential. Team building, public speaking, networking, decision making, creativity and problem solving. Career development techniques including data mining, job search, behavior based interviewing, and negotiation skills with practical application of those concepts.

Practicum RequirementAll MBA students are required to complete a practicum course.
Practicum course options are included in the “Elective and Practicum Courses” descriptions of this document and indicated with a *P.

Advanced Analytics CourseAll MBA students are required to complete an advanced analytics course.
Course options to meet this requirement are included in the ‘Elective and Practicum Courses” descriptions of this document and indicated with an *A.

Elective and Practicum Courses

In addition to the elective courses described here, the Jenkins MBA offers a portfolio of one-hour credit elective courses each academic term. These one-credit hour courses are listed separately on the One Hour Courses schedule located on the MBA website. Practicum courses are marked with *P. Advanced Analytics courses are marked with an *A.

MBA 511: Data Privacy & Security (3 hrs)
Data security and privacy necessary for today’s business environment. Common vulnerabilities, securing data, encryption, policies, privacy management, standards, and compliance.

MBA 515: Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (3 hrs)
Content includes market and evolution of ERP systems, business process reengineering, process mapping, the ERP life cycle, ERP functionality, ERP bolt-ons, and ERP security and risk issues. Hands on experience with SAP, the ERP market leader. SAP modules taught include SD, PP, MM, HCM, FI/CO and WM.
Students should take MBA 501 Financial Accounting prior to taking MBA 515 [as per professor].

MBA 516: Ethics and Fraud (3 hrs)
This course provides you with both practical and theory-based knowledge in the area of occupational fraud. You will discover how and why fraud occurs in organizations, develop skills to detect fraud, and be able to identify and classify the various types of fraud. The course will also provide you with an understanding of controls and their implementation to help prevent the most common types of fraud. The course relies less on lectures and more on active learning through case analysis, problem-solving, quantitative reasoning, role play, group projects, discussion, and debate.

MBA 518: Enterprise Risk Management (3 hrs)
Integrated approach to managing the risks that can prevent an organization from achieving its objectives, both financial and non-financial. Core elements of an effective enterprise risk management process. Links to management strategy. Risk assessment methodologies.

MBA 519: Enterprise Risk Management Practicum (3 hrs) *P
Semester-long team project to work with an organization to begin the process of implementing enterprise risk management. Student teams will interview management and conduct surveys to identify risks the organization faces as it executes its strategy, develop metrics for assessing risks and work with the organization to use those metrics to determine the top priority risks, and develop key risk indicators to track the most significant risks. A faculty member will provide close supervision of the project team. Prerequisite: MBA 518. Application required.

MBA 521: Advanced Corporate Finance (3 hrs) *A
This course continues and extends the discussion of the basic corporate financial management decision making process begun in MBA 520. This course covers: an overview of financial management; valuing real assets and real options; risk management and derivatives; the role of financial leverage; optimal capital structure; conflicts between security holders and management; stockholder-bondholder conflicts; financial distress, bankruptcy and reorganization; corporate control and restructuring; corporate governance issues.
Prerequisite: MBA 520

MBA 523: Investment Theory and Practice (3 hrs) *A
Students in this course will continue to evaluate new and existing stocks for consideration for the class portfolio, but the overall course focus will be on the theory and empirical evidence that surrounds active portfolio management strategies, asset pricing, risk, return and performance evaluation.
Prerequisite: MBA 520

MBA 524: Equity Valuation (3 hrs) *P *A
Advanced quantitative course on applied equity valuation. Students conduct stock valuation analysis which is then used to select stocks for the student- managed SunTrust MBA fund. Topics include the investment decision making process, empirical evidence on securities returns, forecasting financial statements, industry and macro-economic analysis, valuation models, portfolio performance evaluation and performance attribution. Students will also learn how to write computer programs using SAS software in order to generate statistical tests of investment strategies using “big financial data.” 
Prerequisite: MBA 520

MBA 525: Taxes and Business Strategy (3 hrs)
This course focuses on the importance of tax considerations in making business decisions. Developing a framework for understanding how taxes affect business strategy and financing decisions in a wide variety of settings. Course concepts are applied to such decision contexts as investments, compensation and pensions, organizational form, multinational ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and family tax planning. The ultimate goal is to provide you with a new approach to thinking about taxes (and all forms of government intervention) that will be valuable even as laws and governments change.
Prerequisite: MBA 520

MBA 526: International Finance (3 hrs)
Theory and practice of financial management in the international arena, including spot and forward markets for foreign exchange, currency futures and options contracts, international arbitrage conditions, foreign exchange exposure, foreign trade financing instruments, direct and portfolio investment abroad, and the role of country risk in determining investments.
Prerequisite: MBA 520

MBA 536: Experience Innovation and Strategic Design  (formerly Creativity in Management) (3 hrs)
Successful innovation involves creating more valuable experiences for users and customers. The course covers key concepts and methodologies for experience-based innovation, drawing on design and creativity frameworks to fully understand customer experiences. Course activities include exercises and a project to practice innovation and “design-thinking” tools and techniques in a business context. Relevant strategic perspectives for designing innovative products and services are addressed through case studies and other managerial readings with practical business application. The importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to experience innovation is emphasized, such that the course is suitable for students in all disciplines with an interest in innovation.

MBA 541: Supply Management (3 hrs)
Major themes and strategies of supply management relationships. The focus is on establishing a basis for collaborative relationships with suppliers through focused market intelligence research, relationship assessment and management, negotiation, collaborative contracting, and on-going management of relationships in global supply chains. Emphasis on the importance of collaboration through the application of practical tools and approaches that drive mutually beneficial outcomes. Core processes around initial exploration and assessment of supply chain relationships, establishing metrics/expectations for the relationship, crafting and managing contracts, and sustaining continuous performance improvement in sourcing, logistics and operations. Every student will participate in a team-based supply chain project with an organization and will learn the team-based, deadline-driven nature of supply chain initiatives in a real-company setting.

MBA 542: Supply Chain Logistics (3 hrs) *A
In this course, a variety of tools and frameworks are presented in order to help students understand the basis behind effective logistics decision making and how it relates to broader issues in managing the entire supply chain and fulfilling the strategic objectives of a firm. Methods used include a mix of traditional lecture, interactive class discussion, case study analysis, spreadsheet exercises, and independent research.

MBA 543: Planning and Control Systems (3 hrs) *A
Design and management of operations planning and control systems for manufacturing firms. Capacity management, master production scheduling, production activity control. Just-in-time and time-based competition concepts. Multi-week simulation of decision making in manufacturing environment. Prerequisite: MBA 540

MBA 545: Decision making Under Uncertainty (3 hrs) *A
The primary objective of this course is to develop and improve students’ modeling skills through a variety of realistic situations. We start with problems requiring “back-of-the-envelope” analysis and extend this framework to strategic conundrums requiring extensive investigation. Through realistic examples, cases, and projects students develop their ability to identify the problem at hand and its essential features, to develop a structure for analyzing the problem, to identify and make explicit the sources of uncertainty in the decision environment, to carry out a cogent analysis, and to present the analysis and insights to interested parties in a compelling manner.

MBA 549: Supply Chain Practicum (3 hrs) *P
This is a required capstone course in the Supply Chain Management concentration. The course is comprised of a team-based project working on a Supply Chain Resource Consortium (SCRC) partner company’s SCM issues. These projects will be as varied in scope as are company’s SC issues and improvement initiatives, but will focus on SC Relationships, SC Physical Flows and/or SC Information Flows. Students will study technical supply chain issues particular to each project and will learn the team-based, deadline-driven nature of supply chain initiatives in a real company setting. Prerequisite: MBA 540. Application required.

MBA 553: Business Process Design and Analysis (3 hrs) *A
This course examines the major aspects of developing, analyzing, improving, and managing business processes, from a variety of perspectives. We will consider both strategic and executional issues critical to high-performance processes. We will also examine processes in a number of different industries and functional areas within firms, to identify similarities and differences of well-run processes. The course is practice-oriented, using cases, exercises, and discussions in order to learn and apply BPM skills and concepts.

MBA 554: Project Management (3 hrs)
Life cycle view of organizing and managing technical projects, including project selection, planning, and execution. Methods for managing and controlling project costs, schedules, and scope. Techniques for assessing project risk. Use of popular project management software tools. Application of project management tools and methods to product development, software, and process reengineering projects.

MBA 555: Product Design and Development (4 hrs) *P
Also known as “Product Innovation Lab.” This course presents and utilizes an integrated approach to new product design, development, and launch with corporate-sponsored projects. Cross-disciplinary teams of students from management, engineering, and design apply the skills they learned in the foundation courses to develop a new product and prototype. The course provides a team experience of formulating, evaluating, and developing a new product concept.

MBA 561: Consumer Behavior (3 hrs)
Concepts, theories, and techniques applicable to obtaining a sophisticated understanding of consumer motives, attitudes, decision-making processes, and satisfaction determinants.

MBA 562: Methods in Marketing Research (3 hrs) *A
A systematic approach to structure, implementation and analysis of marketing research for decision making. This course will focus analysis of information about the customer as well as information about the customer’s wants and needs for the purposes of developing marketing promotional campaigns, developing new products and refining current product offerings and for improving customer service efforts. Appropriate models of consumer behavior and firm behavior will be analyzed in a marketing context.

MBA 563: Product and Brand Management (3 hrs)
This course focuses on creating and managing product and brand portfolios for long-term profitability. Students will apply strategic and implementation frameworks for managing mature products for profitability, transferring existing competencies to new products, exploiting evolving market opportunities, and strategic management of a product portfolio. The course will also focus on building and managing brand equity, examining the impact of brand equity on product line and firm performance, evaluating opportunities for extending brands, and repositioning existing brands.

MBA 564: Business Relationship Management (3 hrs)
This course focuses on strategically and successfully managing the multitude of business relationships that contemporary marketing managers (as well as general managers) face. Topics broached in this course include market orientation, customer relationship management, managing a sales force, supply chain partnerships, buyer behavior, managing internally as well as other relationship marketing topics. This course is research and theory based but is strongly grounded in marketing practice.

MBA 569: Consumer Innovation Practicum (3 hrs) *P
Work on a team and with faculty advisors from the Consumer Innovation Consortium, and partner companies, on custom-designed research projects based on questions posed by the participating firms. Prerequisite: MBA 561. Application required.

MBA 570: Managing the Growth Venture (4 hrs)
Entrepreneurial planning as an iterative process continually driven by a stream of strategic choices. Social networks, organizational structure and culture, opportunity creation, discovery and evaluation, firm growth and change, intellectual property, employment practices and incentives, innovation, financing, and entrepreneurial improvisation. Creation of a strategic growth plan for a venture. The class type for this course is a hybrid-lecture/practicum. Some class meetings will be in Nelson Hall; others at the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic (310 S. Harrington St., Raleigh). Students will need to provide their own transportation for this class for weekly activities outside of Nelson Hall.

MBA 576: Technology Evaluation and Commercialization Concepts (4 hrs)
Commercialization potential of new technologies, products and processes. Marketing, organizational, financial, operational and manufacturing issues. Strategic assessment and planning. Innovation management. Entrepreneurial transfer mechanisms including spin-offs, licensing and high-technology startups. Practical application with project and team management skills development.

MBA 577: Technology Evaluation and Strategy (4 hrs) *P
Development of strategies to commercialize technology based on prioritized assessments. Investigation of various commercialization approaches. Business plan development. Practical application of technology management skills to actual cases with commercial potential.
Prerequisite: MBA 576

MBA 585: Current Topics in BioScience Management (3 hrs)
This class develops major themes and emerging strategies in the pharmaceutical industry. The focus is on strategic planning, process improvement, outsourcing, globalization, federal regulation, global distribution, and deployment challenges for executives in the pharmaceutical industry. The course will be explored in a series of management presentations, frameworks, industry collaborative projects, and secondary research, with an emphasis on driving change in a dynamic and competitive global pharmaceutical industry.

MBA 586: Legal & Market Dynamics in Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Commerce (3 hrs)
This course is centered on practical issues that will help students become effective business managers in the life sciences industry. Detailed analyses of Phase I-IV clinical trials, 510(k) and PMA steps, and other roles of the FDA; pharmaceutical sales; management issues; market identification; and the IP/patent process are some of the topics covered. Off-label usage and social issues such as ethics and corporate social responsibility are also broached.

MBA 590: Decision Analytics Practicum (3 hrs) *P
This course will be focused on solving a real world business problem that includes a heavy data analytic component. The business problem will vary according to the client but could include problems from marketing, finance, supply chain, or other concentration areas.
Prerequisite: MBA 590 Predictive Analytics for Business and Big Data.

MBA 590: Building Business Plans (3 hrs) *P
Creating business models and plans is central to the skill of starting, running, monitoring, modifying, and helping new and existing for-profit and non-profit organizations. Building business plans is an interdisciplinary topic concerned with creating value. Business plans describe how an organization makes money from offering value propositions to selected customer segments. Value creation is similar in either large or small companies and particularly appropriate for venture creation, new services and products, capital investments, mergers and acquisitions, establishing new lines of business and reinvigorating old businesses. This is not an introductory course and the content assumes that students have a working knowledge of marketing, finance and other business functions.

MBA 590: Predictive Analytics for Business and Big Data (formerly Statistics for Business Analytics (3 hrs).
This course is designed around the full analytics lifecycle, which encompasses the business problem, the data, the analysis, and the decision. Students will learn to identify and clearly explain business problems that can be addressed with analytics. They will also learn to determine which analytic methods are best suited to solve particular problems and will evaluate the impact of applying the analytic methods. Finally, they will learn to clearly explain the results of an analytic model and how those results might impact the business “bottom line.” Analytical methods to be covered include a deeper dive into regression analysis; logistic regression; classification and regression trees; and clustering (segmentation) methods. Students will also develop proficiency with several statistical software packages including JMP and SAS Enterprise Miner. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing real data and understanding how analytical thinking can be applied to solve “big data” problems.

MBA 590: Value Creation Practicum *P
This practicum course is about creating new value and competitive advantage. The development, utilization and protection of technology and innovation are central to competing in in our fast paced global economy. This course is designed to give students an advantage by learning to create new value, rather than managing existing assets. Value creation through innovation follows the same logic in large and small companies. Student teams work with RTP area companies on projects that create value in a variety of ways.

MBA 590: Statistics for Business Analytics *A

MBA 590: Digital Marketing *A
Exploration, examination, analysis, and management of all major digital channels, including, SEO, social, mobile, web development, email, video, and new technologies. The emphasis will be on analytics and understanding how to deploy rapidly adapting strategies. Hands-on examples will be complemented by in-depth applications drawn from different industries.

MBA 590: Innovation and the Internet of Things Marketplace *P
Online practicum for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, such as market analysis for new IoT technologies, customer analysis and launch strategies for IoT products/services, and innovation strategies relevant to the IoT marketplace.