Executive MBA Curriculum Chart

Executive MBA Curriculum

Joining our top-ranked Executive MBA program means challenging coursework, learning from faculty whose scholarship and extensive professional experience gives important context to the curriculum. The dynamic classroom environment is enhanced by collaborative classmates from a variety of industries.


The EMBA begins and ends with intensive off-site residential weekends that are devoted to examining leadership. Bridging these weekends are four academic terms lasting about three months each. Each term focuses on two interdisciplinary themes, and comprises a major team project and additional individual and casework assignments. Additionally, early in the first term, students travel to a country such as China, where various business models are examined.

Term 1 : The Context of Business

Prior to the start of term, students participate in Just-in-Time (JIT) Boot Camps emphasizing preparation in accounting and quantitative modeling principles. Themes for Term I are Navigating the Business Environment and Business Analytics, which help prepare students for the international trip taking place in this term.

Term II : Building Business

Finance and Managerial Economics are covered in the Bootcamps, and the themes in this term are Creating Value and Operating in Global, Finance, and Product Markets.

Term III : Application in Business

After Marketing and Operations JIT Bootcamps, the EMBA curriculum focuses on Bringing Technology to Market, and Supply Chain Management. This term includes the Cutting-Edge Immersion, where students visit a leading Silicon Valley company to work directly with managers, review business processes, and debrief with executive teams.

Term IV : Business Creation

The Immersion experience moves to an area VC firm as the curriculum rounds out with Managing Innovation and Change, and New Business Ventures. A business plan is developed in teams and presented to a panel of venture capitalists.


The following is a detailed description of the Executive MBA program. The total program requirement is 62 units. There are no pre-program requirements although solid quantitative ability is necessary.

Opening Weekend (Residential)

EMBA 900A. Leadership Is Everyone’s Business

The program begins with a three-day residential weekend taught by Dr. Barry Posner, an internationally renowned leadership expert. In this intensive weekend seminar students receive 360-degree feedback about themselves as leaders, learn about and develop skills related to the practices of exemplary leaders, and determine action plans for improving themselves as leaders back in their workplaces. The weekend also helps orient students to setting personal goals, working effectively in small groups, and expanding their learning processes. (3 units)

Term One

EMBA 801. Quantitative Modeling Bootcamp

Introduces the student to the concepts and techniques that will be essential to the mastery of the EMBA program content including representing relationships quantitatively, representing uncertainty, structuring data for analysis and decision-making, and spreadsheet modeling practice. (3 units)

EMBA 804. Financial Accounting Bootcamp

Covers two primary areas—financial accounting and cost accounting. Cost accounting focuses on the collection, analysis and interpretation of economic information at the firm level for the purpose of supporting better microeconomic decision-making and external financial reporting. Financial accounting provides participants with a basic knowledge of financial reporting and financial statements and the use of those statements. (1 unit)

EMBA 901. Business Analytics

Focuses on building the foundations upon which every cutting-edge BA application is built: statistics and mathematical optimization. Students learn about computational algorithms and software that are essential to implementation. Students will also engage in the crucial steps such as asking meaningful questions, structuring a framework in which their answers are to be pursued, and extracting actionable insights from numerical findings. (6 units)

EMBA 902. Navigating the Business Environment

The aim of this course is to understand the relationship between the firm and its various environments and how firms can navigate through these environments. The world economic community is undergoing tremendous changes. The unification and integration of global markets, the rise of India and China, the increasing concern with environmental and social issues, the increasing impact of the internet and other media, the current period of constrained resources and declining economic prosperity, the growing power of interest groups in our society, and rising concerns about ethics in business, all present significant challenges to the business firm and its managers. These changes and developments create both threats and opportunities for the firm. The firms that will be successful will be the ones that can best navigate through this vast sea of changes steering toward opportunities while avoiding shipwreck on looming threats. This course focuses on selected topics and approaches to understanding and navigating the environment of business. Approaches emphasized are business and society studies, strategic management, business ethics, and globalization studies. Topics included are business/ government relations, the media, private and public politics, analysis of the market and nonmarket environments, the international environment, strategy in both market and non-market environments, business ethics and social responsibility. (6 units)

Term Two

EMBA 802. Financial Management Bootcamp

Introduces students to the accounting concepts required for financial management, spreadsheet skills, interpretation of financial statements, forecasting, basic discounting, risk and return. These basic skills are required for the more rigorous and extensive financial topics covered in EMBA 903. Students learn how to understand and analyze a firm’s financials with a view to better financial management using traditional analysis of balance sheets and income statements. Cash flow and working capital will also be analyzed. Discounted cash flow techniques will be introduced to learn about the firm’s investment decision. Also introduces the basic concepts needed to understand how investors and market participants interact with the firm. (1 unit)

EMBA 803. Managerial Economics Bootcamp

This course introduces the analytical tools and theories used for managerial decisions in economic issues. Course will analyze economic behavior of individuals and firms and explore how their interactions in markets affect managerial decisions. Discussion of some basic concept of market, price elasticity, and the theory of firm to analyze managerial decisions made in the real world. (1 unit)

EMBA 903. Creating Value

This course covers the concept of valuation – how to determine valuation and corporate financial policies and decisions that can increase valuation. As such the course is split up into four sections. The first section covers the forecasting of financial statements. Accounting principles, basic financial statement analysis, rudimentary fixed income concepts, and general business strategy will be reviewed. The second section covers the calculations of cash flows from forecasted financial statements. This section will also review the concept of discounting cash flows (DCF) and extend the DCF concept to other valuation metrics. The third section covers the calculation of cost of capital. The capital asset pricing model is introduced as an example of an asset pricing model that can be utilized for computing cost of capital. The cost of capital is a function of the leverage utilized in a transaction/project/firm. This section will introduce how to quantify the effect of capital structure decisions on the cost of capital, and therefore to optimize these decisions in order to minimize the cost of capital. Finally, the fourth section puts all of the previous concepts together into an integrated application of valuation in different types of business settings – capital budgeting, project valuation, M&A, buyouts, equity carve-outs, and restructurings. This section will focus on how to utilize corporate finance as a tool in making value-maximizing business decisions. (6 units)

EMBA 904. Global Financial Markets

This theme focuses on issues central to international operations. Students learn to recognize global economic trends, international financial links, and key drivers of international trade and competition. Course will also flesh out international differences in accounting, legal, and management practices, and in markets, employees, and customers. There a particular emphasis on economics and international financial crises. (6 units)

Term Three

EMBA 805. Supply Chain Management Bootcamp

Course is designed to provide an introduction to some of an organization’s fundamental decisions and tradeoffs associated with the planning and execution of the acquisition and employment of resources so as to effectively align supply and demand for its products and services. Since profitable and efficient alignment of supply and demand is the fundamental challenge that the upcoming theme Supply Chain Management focuses on, the discussions will provide basic conceptual intuition and analytical told that will serve as a foundation for broader discussions. (1 unit)

EMBA 806. Marketing Bootcamp

This course demarcates the difference between strategic and tactical marketing and teaches how to make strategic marketing work in environments that are subject to rapid innovation cycles. Begins with the core marketing processes of segmentation, targeting and positioning, as well as mathematical choice models. Also examines conjoint analysis as a marketing technique and looks at differentiation and positioning and reverse positioning. (1 unit)

EMBA 905. Supply Chain Management

The objective of this theme is to consider the operation of a supply chain from a managerial perspective. It focuses on improving the performance of the firm and its supply chain through coordination among multiple sites, functions, and economic factors (customers and suppliers). Students learn to design and implement strategies for structure and management, both cross-functionally, within the firm, and across an industry value chain among interacting firms. These strategies include optimizing supply chains facilities, coordinating information and material flows, managing supplier relations, and managing customer order fulfillment processes. (6 units)

EMBA 906. Bringing Technology to Market

This theme will provides a framework and key constructs to put the student at the forefront of taking technology to market by designing and managing marketing channels using a value based model. It builds on the core strategic marketing constructs in the marketing bootcamp. The value based model involves the following key tools and frameworks: (1) Understanding End User Preferences for Channel Value Levers, (2) Make of Buy Decision and a Channel Responsibility Matrix, (3) Channel Enable-ment, (4) Channel Compensation and (5) Implementation. This theme also studies the Internet as a force that is disrupting channel and marketing models. Key aspects of Internet marketing and strategy will be investigated included search engine marketing, and the newly emergent world of social media. (6 units)

Term Four

EMBA 907. Managing Innovation and Change

This theme explores a number of topics dealing with innovation and change. Focus is on understanding the dynamics of organization change and how one can be an effective leader of change. Emphasizes the interplay among leadership, organizational architecture, culture and change in founding, growing, managing, and transforming organizations over time. The goal of the course is to help develop a pragmatic framework that students can use for organizational problem solving in their role as leaders. (6 units)

EMBA 908. New Business Venture

This theme conveys to students the excitement, challenge, and frustration entrepreneurs and venture capitalists face as they try to work together to build major businesses and create significant value. Provides an opportunity for a person to evaluate his or her own abilities and goals in regard to new business venturing opportunities. Develop an analytical framework for evaluating new business opportunities. A person can engage in this activity by buying an existing enterprise, starting a new firm, or participating in such activities in a larger, parent company. In these cases, it is necessary to make an analysis of existing and potential markets, competition, and the marketing strategies which may be employed. An analysis of people and facilities requirements also is essential, and ultimately all of the plans for the enterprise must be converted into a detailed financial plan. Understand the challenge of developing viable market share expectations based on coherent market logic. This market logic usually involves the need to combine several market opportunities into a “sensible but compelling” profit and loss projection. Review some of the special operating problems of new enterprises including the problems of survival in the early years, maintaining growth in an orderly fashion, and maintaining momentum as the market in which the entity competes as it approaches maturity. In particular, it is important to understand the challenge of developing viable market share projections. Understand some of the challenges associated with sustaining entrepreneurial momentum in a larger, more mature organization. (6 units)

Closing Weekend (Residential)

EMBA 900B. The Personal Journal for Leaders

The program culminates with a three-day residential weekend, again facilitated by Dr. Barry Posner, along with internationally acclaimed business ethics expert, Kirk Hanson (Director of SCU’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics). Three-hundred-sixty-degree feedback on leadership is again provided, along with multiple opportunities to examine the ethical and spiritual challenges leaders confront. A chance to reflect upon the nature of one’s legacy, and how graduates will make a difference in the world. (3 units)