MBA Curriculum

Wide-ranging courses in the essentials of economics, finance, accounting, marketing, strategy, organizational behavior and operations management form the program’s backbone. Electives in areas such as people analytics, negotiations, data management and entrepreneurship support the exploration of specific interests.

The MBA degree requires 60 units, which can be completed at an accelerated pace in 10-months or spread out over multiple years. Once admitted, students have the option of selecting a plan of study that best suits them. Courses are offered face-to-face during daytime hours typically on Monday through Thursday. Fridays are reserved for team projects, guest speakers, career services and other extracurricular pursuits.

Due to the structured nature of the program, courses are offered only once per year. Core courses remain constant. However, electives may change from year to year.

Core Courses

Required 36 units

MBA Core Courses
Course Number & DescriptionCourse TitleUnits
GSB 511

Term Typically Offered: W. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Emphasis on development of the ability to read and interpret public and internal financial reports. Public reporting responsibilities of companies and management’s responsibilities for developing and maintaining effective internal control systems. 3 lectures, 1 activity.


Accounting for Managers4
GSB 512

Term Typically Offered: F. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Focus on a variety of statistical techniques that help to transform data into useful information that can be used to make informed business predictions and decisions. 3 seminars, 1 laboratory.


Quantitative Analysis4
GSB 513

Term Typically Offered: TBD. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Application of behavioral, social and organizational science concepts to management. Individual, team and organizational levels of analysis, including such topics as expectations, perception, motivation, communications, creativity, leadership, cultural and ethical behavior, group dynamics, team effectiveness, work design, organization change and development. 4 seminars.


Organizational Behavior4
GSB 523

Term Typically Offered: F. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Managerial economics, or microeconomics, focuses on private markets. Choices made by firms and consumers within topics that include demand, supply, efficiency, marketing structure, and government intervention. Development of an analytical framework for analyzing how these topics are important for managers. 4 lectures.


Managerial Economics4
GSB 524

Term Typically Offered: W. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Introduction to marketing management. Concepts and principles necessary to plan, direct and control the product, promotion, distribution and pricing strategies of the firm. 4 lectures.



Marketing Management4
GSB 531

Term Typically Offered: W. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Theories, practices and tools of corporate financial decision making. Topics include valuation of fixed income securities and stocks, capital budgeting, capital structure, dividends, and an overview of financial markets and institutions. Introduction to valuation of derivative securities, market efficiency, and agency costs. 4 seminars.


Managerial Finance4
GSB 533

Term Typically Offered: SP. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Development of the theoretical and empirical framework of the macroeconomy in which businesses must operate. Topics include GDP, inflation, unemployment, interest rates and monetary and fiscal policies. The dynamics of the macroeconomic environment over time. 4 lectures.


Aggregate Economic Analysis & Policy4
GSB 534

Term Typically Offered: TBD. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Introduction to the operations function and its interaction with other areas in an organization. Emphasis on applying lean six sigma thinking to achieve competitive advantage in cost, quality, time, and flexibility in manufacturing and service operations. 4 seminars.


Lean Operations Management4
GSB 562

Term Typically Offered: SP. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing and GSB 511, GSB 513, GSB 523, GSB 531, GSB 533 and either GSB 512 or IME 503; and either GSB 524 or GSB 573; and either GSB 534 or IME 580, or approval from the Associate Dean.

Application of interdisciplinary skills to business and corporate strategy formulation and implementation. Analysis of interdependence between external environments and internal systems. Focus on responsibilities, tasks, and skills of general managers. Case studies, group problem solving. Integrating course of MBA core curriculum. Course satisfies comprehensive examination requirement. 4 seminars.


Seminar in General Management and Strategy4

Electives

Select 24 units

MBA Electives
Course Number & DescriptionCourse TitleUnits
GSB 510

Term Typically Offered: F, SU. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Principles of data visualization and storytelling. Data visualization tools for different types of data in the context of business analytics. Communication of results for business actionable insights. Software use includes Excel, Tableau and R. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.


Data Visualization and Communication in Business4*
GSB 514

Term Typically Offered: TBD. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Legal and regulatory environment in which business operates. Consideration of historical, societal, and global perspectives reflecting political, social and/or economic beliefs and values. Strong emphasis on fundamental concepts of law and analytical tools to understand interaction between law, ethics and management decisions. 4 seminars.


The Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business4*
GSB 516

Term Typically Offered: W, SP. Prerequisite: GSB 512 or GSE 518 or IME 503.

Analysis of customer information, using a broad range of tools and techniques including predictive, statistical, and optimization models. Integration of data into reporting platforms. Application of findings to marketing decision-making. 4 lectures.


Strategic Marketing Analytics4*
GSB 520

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Exploration of data management including relational databases, data warehouses, and NOSQL databases. Foundation for analyzing, designing, implementing and using information repositories in a business environment. Topics include the database development life cycle, data modeling, SQL programming, data quality and integration. 4 lectures.


Data Management for Business Analytics4
GSB 522

Term Typically Offered: SP. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Analysis of the challenges, successes, and failures managers face when planning for and implementing information system initiatives,particularly enterprise systems such as supply chain management,customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning systems. Focus on the strategic and operational impact of emerging information technologies in modern day business management. Design and development of knowledge worker applications including database and decision support systems. 3 lectures, 1 activity.


Advanced Management Information Systems4
GSB 529

Term Typically Offered: TBD. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Enhancement of business writing and oral presentation skills, organized around two areas: 1) preparing written business documents and reports, and 2) professional oral presentation skills. Preparation of a variety of business reports and documents. Multiple business presentations. 4 lectures.


Effective Communication Skills for Managers4*
GSB 530

Term Typically Offered: F. Prerequisite: GSB 520.

Exploration of the concepts, tools and techniques of data mining in the business context, using case study and problem-solving approaches. Topics include multidimensional data modeling, predictive analytics, pattern discovery, forecasting, text mining, and data visualization. 4 lectures.


Data Analytics & Mining for Business4*
GSB 555

Term Typically Offered: SP. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Theory and practice of negotiation in a variety of professional and managerial contexts (e.g., business acquisitions, compensation, business disputes, transfer pricing, inter- and intra-organizational) and in one-on-one, group, and team-based arrangements. Includes impact of culture, ethics, dispute resolution, coalitions and use of creativity to develop integrative solutions. 4 seminars.


Negotiation4
GSB 556

Term Typically Offered: TBD. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Exploration of entrepreneurship with emphasis on the formation and management of new business ventures. Analysis of typical operating problems of these firms and application of appropriate techniques for their solution. 4 seminars.


Entrepreneurship and New Venture Mgmt4
GSB 569

Term Typically Offered: SP. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Practical legal decisions required to conduct business for or with high technology companies. Methods to protect high technology developments in international markets, including copyrights, patents, trade secrets, trademarks and contracts. 4 seminars.


Managing Tech in the Int’l Legal Environment4
GSB 573

Term Typically Offered: TBD. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing; and GSB 512 or IME 503 or approval from the Associate Dean.

Preparation to become competent users and creators of marketing research information. Focus on collecting customer information as well as analyzing, interpreting and presenting information to be used in executive decision making. 4 lectures.


Marketing Research4
GSB 583

Term Typically Offered: F. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

An overview of the major functional and support activities in the personnel/human resource field, including strategic human resource planning, job analysis, recruitment, selection, performance appraisal, compensation, employee rights, and employee safety and health. 4 seminars.


Human Resource Management4*
GSB 595

Term Typically Offered: W. Prerequisite: OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

The knowledge and the elementary skills/competencies needed to intervene in an organization in order to improve its effectiveness. Design and use of action to improve organizational effectiveness. 4 seminars.


Managing Change4
GSB 597

Term Typically Offered: TBD. Prerequisite: GSB 523 and OCOB graduate standing or approval from the Associate Dean.

Selected economic problems analyzed at an advanced level in a particular field, such as international trade, public finance, urban, industrial organization or transportation. 4 seminars.


Seminar in Economic Problems4*

* These electives are offered through Cal Poly Extended Education and therefore have a different fee structure.

 

Graphic Communication – Document Systems Management Specialization

Students pursuing the Graphic Communication – Document Systems Management Specialization must take the following 16 units of coursework.

Graphic Communication – Document Systems Management Specialization
Course NumberCourse TitleUnits
GRC 595. Internship/Co-Op Experiential Education. 8 unitsInternship/Co-Op Experiential Education8
GRC 500. Special Problems. 8 unitsSpecial Problems8
Required Core Courses (see above)36
Advisor Pre-Approved Business Electives (see above)12
Total Units64