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Online MBA Course Descriptions

The unique structure of the online MBA course work at the University of Kansas School of Business is designed to keep students engaged. Students take one course at a time throughout the 14-course, 42-credit hour program, with each course lasting eight weeks. This enables students to immerse themselves in specific subjects and truly master the material.

Core courses covering essential business subjects make up 10 of the classes in the KU online curriculum, and the first six of these are the same courses that comprise the Foundations of Business certificate program. The abbreviated certificate program can be completed in as little as one year, and students can apply its credits directly toward the online MBA afterward.

With their remaining four courses, students have the option to narrow their studies to one of three focus areas: Finance, Marketing or Management & Leadership. However, students are not required to choose one, and may instead opt to take a mix of courses across all three areas. This ability to pursue either a specialized or general MBA gives students the freedom to tailor their studies at the KU School of Business to their career goals.

The KU online MBA program has three annual starts, in spring, summer and fall, so it can flexibly accommodate a variety of student needs.

Click on the boxes below to expand a description of each of the online MBA courses. And learn more about the talented faculty for the online MBA, the same respected faculty that teach in our on-campus programs.

Core Classes

ACCT 706 Accounting (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the creation and application of financial accounting information and financial statements for decision making by corporate stakeholders, and to the use of internal accounting information for decision making by firm management.

FIN 706 Finance (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of the challenges associated with the financial management of firms. The focus is on the practices followed by managers in raising and investing capital so as to maximize value. Topics include cash planning, working capital management, operating and financial risks, valuation of real and financial assets, and the cost of capital. Prerequisite: ACCT 706.

DSCI 706 Statistics (3 credits)

This course covers basic statistical tools for understanding data in organizations. The principal objectives of the course are to learn data gathering and data analysis techniques and to learn how to apply statistical tools to help understand common problems in organizations. Course content includes data gathering and problem analysis tools, probability distributions and features of distributions (means, standard deviations, Normal distribution, and Binomial distribution), stratification analysis, Pareto analysis, correlation, confidence intervals, simple hypothesis testing, linear regression, and analysis of variance.

MGMT 706 Managing People (3 credits)

This course addresses topics, challenges and processes associated with business-related people issues. The principal objectives are to increase understanding of human and group behavior in organizations; to learn how to effectively motivate and lead individuals and groups; to increase effectiveness in managing oneself and others in team settings; and to increase understanding of human resource policies and practices that help create and sustain competitive advantage through people. Course topics include individual differences, motivation, groups, leadership, strategic HR, employment law, staffing, compensation, performance management, and training and development.

MKTG 706 Marketing (3 credits)

This course is designed to equip students with basic concepts associated with the marketing function. Principal objectives are to discuss the role of marketing in an organization, to describe the processes of buyer behavior and the impact of these processes on marketing decisions, to develop an understanding of approaches used to segment markets and factors influencing the selection of target markets, and to develop an understanding of elements of the marketing mix (product, price, communications, channels) and factors affecting decisions in these areas, and to integrate these concepts into an effective marketing strategy.

MGMT 718 Business Law and Ethics (3 credits)

This course has two purposes: 1) to provide a foundation for understanding the relation between law and business and 2) to address ethical decision-making and the management of ethics in the workplace. Topics include classifications of law, legal processes, emerging legal issues, alternative dispute resolution, recognition of ethical issues, ethical analysis frameworks, and the management of ethical responsibilities in a global business environment.

BE 718 Managerial Economics (3 credits)

This course covers principles of microeconomic analysis and methodology used in managerial decision-making. The focus is on the role of markets in determining business and individual opportunities to create value, the behavior of individual markets reacting to supply and demand forces, and the consequences of alternative market structures for business strategy. Course content includes demand, cost and production analysis, supply and demand analysis, price and non-price competition, market structure, the basic elements of game theory, and the economics of information.

DSCI 718 Operations and Supply Chain Management (3 credits)

This course covers a wide set of topics to develop both strategic and analytical skills in supply chain management. The course will provide a conceptual framework and a set of analytical tools to analyze, coordinate, and improve organizational processes. Objectives of the course include an introduction to the strategic and operating issues and decisions involved in managing the operational and supply chain processes within and across firms; an understanding of the concept of supply chain coordination by managing information and inventory; and to develop a basic understanding of purchasing, supplier relationship management, and outsourcing. Topics include process and cycle time analysis, lean/JIT production system, six sigma, inventory management, managing information flows in supply chains, and purchasing and supply management. Prerequisite: DSCI 706 or equivalent.

IBUS 718 International Business (3 credits)

This course examines the basic concepts, institutions, and practices of international business, and their implications for business decision-making. The main objectives of this course include developing an understanding of cross-national differences in political, economic, legal and socio-cultural systems. The course will place special emphasis on understanding the unique institutions of emerging economies and their implications for doing business in these countries, and the effects of differences in culture on the practice of managements in different parts of the world. Topics include the principal theories of, government policies on, and international institutional arrangements for international trade and foreign direct investment. The course will examine the key factors affecting a firm’s foreign market entry decisions.

MGMT 719 Strategic Business (3 credits)

The principal objectives of this course are to learn how to perform strategic analyses of competitive contexts external to the firm, how to leverage firm specific resources and capabilities for competitive advantage, how to exploit specific strategic perspectives such as game theory and real options, and to learn how to make more effective strategic decisions within the firm. Topics include: industry analysis, firm level strategy, resources and capabilities, intangible resources, firm structure, industry evolution, game theory, real options, managerial discretion, and multinational strategy. Prerequisite: BE 718 or equivalent.

Finance (Focus Area)

FIN 751 Corporate Finance (3 credits)

This course explores how businesses evaluate investment opportunities, deploy capital to enhance firm value, and raise capital to support business investment and growth. Principal objectives include: understanding the application of discounted cash flow techniques to evaluate investment opportunities and potential acquisitions; understanding alternative valuation techniques and their use in the analysis of real options; understanding how both young and mature firms raise capital from financiers and financial markets, as well as the factors that affect how firms choose to raise capital; and understanding the interaction between a firm's financing structure and its investment and payout policies. Topics include discounted cash flow techniques, real options analysis, capital structure, dividend payout policy, security issuance, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance. Prerequisite: FIN 706 or equivalent.

FIN 752 Financial Institutions and Markets (3 credits)

This course explores the financial institutions that create credit and liquidity for businesses and other borrowers, the financial instruments that facilitate credit and liquidity creation, and the markets in which those instruments are sold or traded. Current issues in conjunction with historical and evolutionary developments are a hallmark of this course. Throughout the course, the determination of interest rates, as well as the sources and implications of credit risk, liquidity risk and interest rate risk, are central to the discussion. The course closes with an introduction to risk management at financial intermediaries using on-balance sheet (e.g., loan underwriting, asset-liability management) and off-balance sheet (e.g., asset securitization, interest rate and credit derivatives) tools. Prerequisite: FIN 706 or equivalent.

FIN 753 Investments (3 credits)

This course introduces theoretical concepts and analytical tools essential to investment management by individual investors and portfolio managers. The goal of this class is to provide a structure to address investment problems in a systematic manner. Topics include security risk and return; portfolio theory; valuation of financial instruments such as bonds, common stocks, and options; asset allocation; and performance evaluation of portfolios and portfolio managers. Prerequisite: FIN 706 or equivalent.

FIN 754 Advanced Topics in Finance (3 credits)

A variable-topic course open only to graduate students who have completed the Foundations and Pillar certificate courses. Topics can include international finance, derivatives and risk management, alternative investment strategy, entrepreneurial finance, fixed income, real estate finance, or other similar topics in finance, investments or valuation. Prerequisite: FIN 706 or equivalent.

Marketing (Focus Area)

MKTG 751 Consumer Behavior (3 credits)

This course is designed to review behavioral science concepts applicable to understanding behavior of consumers in the marketplace. It investigates the specific processes of consumer decision-making and purchasing, and the implications these have for marketing strategy. Topics covered include: effect of internal and external factors on consumer decision making, information processing, learning and memory, attitude formation and change, post-purchase behavior, ethical/social issues, and effects on marketing strategy. Prerequisite: MKTG 706 or equivalent.

MKTG 752 Integrated Marketing Communications (3 credits)

The goal of this course is to enable the student to evaluate and devise a product/service marketing communications program. Emphasis will be placed on the efficient use of resources to accomplish communication goals through effective promotional strategy involving advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and publicity. Topics covered include the communication process, determination of promotional objectives, promotional budgeting, media planning, measuring effectiveness and ethical issues. Prerequisite: MKTG 706 or equivalent.

MKTG 753 Global Marketing (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide a set of conceptual and managerial tools to students for undertaking marketing of products and services on a global scale. The topics covered in the course include economic and financial dimensions in global marketing, social and cultural aspects of the global market environment, regional market characteristics, political and legal issues in global marketing. A significant portion of the course is devoted to the study of competitive analysis and competitive strategy for the global markets, marketing information systems, various strategies for entering global markets, organization, planning and control of global marketing, and marketing mix decisions (product, price, promotion, and distribution) in a global setting. Prerequisite: IBUS 718 and MKTG 706 or equivalents.

MKTG 754 Digital and Social Media Marketing (3 credits)

This course aims to provide the theoretical knowledge and practical insights for integrating social media and digital marketing into the traditional marketing mix, understanding and engaging social media consumers, and monitoring and measuring the results of these efforts. Students will learn how to manage digital and social media, be able to understand the psychology of online consumers, the impact of digital and social media on traditional marketing strategy, review the digital and social media marketing process, critically evaluate the various social media platforms and online content, and successfully measure the impact of digital marketing efforts. Specific topics to be discussed include: Search Engine Marketing, Google AdWords, Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. Prerequisite: MKTG 706 or equivalent.

Management & Leadership (Focus Area)

MGMT 751 Strategic Organizational Design and Change Management (3 credits)

The course focuses on the principles and methods of implementing strategies. Strategy is focused upon as the primary driver of organization structure, processes, systems, culture and skills in successful organizations. A major part of the course covers strategic and organizational change practices that can be used to motivate employees to meet the shifting needs of the firm’s strategy, theories of effective change implementation, mutual engagement and shared diagnosis, organizational redesign, reinforcing new behaviors, organizational culture and change, and the political dynamics of strategic change. Prerequisites: MGMT 706 and MGMT 719.

MGMT 752 Developing Effective Management and Team Skills (3 credits)

This course enhances skills to improve students’ capacity and ability to manage others effectively. The focus of the course is on skill acquisition and development. Topics covered include negotiation and conflict resolution in organizations, communication skills, and collaborative team skills, among other skills managers use in their day-to-day work. The course promotes self-awareness and reflection upon individual traits and abilities through self-assessments. Other pedagogy involves readings, personality and behavior inventories, and case analyses. Prerequisite: MGMT 706.

MGMT 753 Leadership Philosophy and Practice (3 credits)

This course will emphasize an exploration of ideas about leadership that are practice-oriented. A central theme of this material, some of which is philosophical in nature, is the focus on learning and the role of reflection in both in the leadership process itself and in the process of developing leaders. A variety of topics are covered, including foresight, intuition, practical wisdom, critical thinking, reflective practice, ethical judgment, and articulating relationally-responsive understandings of alternative futures. Students are provided the opportunity to reflect on and narrate their leadership-related crucible experiences, analyze those experiences using the conceptual material, and then enter into systematic dialogue on these issues with other students and the instructor. The ultimate product of this learning process will be the creation of a personal leadership development plan. Prerequisite: MGMT 706.

MGMT 754 Managing Internationally (3 credits)

This course explores the important managerial issues arising from a firm’s expansion into the international arena and examines the analytical frameworks and management techniques that are essential for an international manager. Topics covered include strategies and organizational structures for managing a multinational corporation and management of various functional areas (such as production, marketing, finance and human resources) in an international setting. Considerable attention is paid to how and why organizational communication and practices vary from one culture to another, as well as why certain values and cultural contexts might make particular management styles more successful than others. Prerequisites: IBUS 718 and MGMT 719.


Get More Information About the Online MBA at KU

If the unique, flexible online MBA course structure at the KU School of Business sounds appealing to you, please download a brochure for more information. You may also contact our Admissions Advisors at onlineinfo@ku.edu, or by calling 855-639-7799.

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Important Dates

Jan
02
Application Deadline

January 2
Spring 2019 Term

Jan
22
Next Start

January 22
Spring 2019 Term

Events

Dec
12
Financing Your Online Degree

December 12 Register Now

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