Course Descriptions

View Master of Business Administration major and specialization course descriptions below.

Major Course Descriptions

This course starts by introducing non-accountant managers to the accounting framework, classifications of assets, liabilities, and equities, and the interconnectedness of the financial statements. Special emphasis is be placed on ratio analysis, managing working capital, the cash conversion cycle, and recognizing the importance of accounting concepts such as matching, recognition, accrual, and the accounting period to managerial decision-making. The fundamentals of cost analysis including job-order costing, cost-volume-profit analysis, activity-based costing, and standard costs and variance analysis will be given in depth coverage. Finally, students will examine the role of incentives created by the regulatory environment as well as a firm’s governance structure, compensation policy, and code of ethics on a firm’s internal control systems.

Prerequisites: ACCT 2311, ACCT 2312, or comparable courses

In managerial finance, students will be introduced to tools used to measure and evaluate the financial health of a firm for the purpose of improved managerial decision-making. Financial statements are used to conduct ratio analysis, to perform sustainable growth analysis, and to construct percent-of-sales forecasts and cash flow proformas. Students will also explore the merits of using debt versus equity to take advantage of market opportunities. Students will expand upon their knowledge of the time value of money and risk analysis to value investment opportunities in stocks, bonds, and capital budgeting projects including mergers and acquisitions. In depth coverage will be given to valuation tools including discounted cash flow analysis, the weighted average cost of capital, leveraged beta, and market multiples. The assumptions underlying base case analyses will be evaluated using logic, sensitivity analysis, and scenario analysis. Finally, the role of effective corporate governance and ethical decision-making will be covered./p>

Prerequisite: BFIN 3321 or a comparable course

Quantitative methods and research applies quantitative methods including decision theory, linear programming, regression analysis, simulation, etc. to real-world business problems in the areas of marketing, finance, and operations. Operations applications will be extended to include concepts related to business process improvement, supply chain management, and job, facility, and office design. Students will also learn techniques to collect, organize, and structure data for analysis including sampling, measurement, and the evaluation of survey worth. This course will culminate in research that applies knowledge to a real-world business problem. Key steps include defining a problem, assessing current knowledge, determining the value of additional information, measuring where information value is high, and using the results to prepare a detailed action plan.

Prerequisite: BMDS 3370 or BMDS 3371 or the equivalent in the past five years (or the instructor’s approval)

Managerial economics and decision-making applies economics, strategy, and critical thinking processes to solve real-world problems in business. The course begins by introducing students to utility-maximization theory, production, cost, and institutional economic theory to explain how individuals and organizations make decisions in different types of market structures. Special emphasis is placed on the effect that the competitive environment and the role of incentives have on policies regarding price, output, and strategy. Strategic decision-making is further broken down using game theory, Porter’s five forces analysis, and Porter’s four corners analysis. Strategies to get employees and business units to work in the firm’s best interests will also be reviewed. Finally, traditional economics is elaborated upon to review problem-solving models that reduce the negative effects of cognitive biases and decision-making traps. Prerequisite: Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 2301) or Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 2302).

Prerequisite: BMDS 3370 or BMDS 3371 or the equivalent in the past five years (or the instructor’s approval)

This course introduces students to concepts related to managing the design, development, and implementation of new technologies including computer hardware, software, networks, and telecommunications. Additional topics include e-business systems, enterprise business systems, e-commerce applications, and security and ethical challenges faced by managers of information technology. Emphasis will be placed on developing skills for managing technological transitions, managing industrial research and development, and integrating creativity and organizational learning. Emphasis will also be placed on concepts related to strategic change management including leveraging alliances, networks, relationships, and high-technology ventures to obtain a competitive advantage. Finally, students will be introduced to information technology, security, and intellectual property law to obtain a better understanding of how incentives for technological change are created.

Prerequisites: COMP 1310, BINF 2321 or equivalents

Managing organizations and human resources explores the values and psychological underpinnings that explain why people behave the way they do. Special emphasis is placed on how managers can use this information to enhance communication to construct effective teams and to lead others by building relationships based on trust and mutual respect. Emphasis is also placed on understanding the relationship between beliefs, emotions, motivation and behavior with implications for situational leaders in the areas of discipline, managing performance, and employee training, development, and empowerment. Students will build upon their understanding of leading human resources by examining policies related to employee selection, training, retention, promotion, compensation, and labor relations. Finally, students will cross-examine the relationships between law and ethics, ethics and leadership, and leadership and cultivating relationships with employees, customers, and the community.

Prerequisite: BMGT 3340 or a comparable preparatory course

Students will learn the 5-C framework to support choices related to market segmentation, target market identification, and product positioning. Tactical decision-making related to pricing, product characteristics, promotional activities, distribution channels, brand recognition, communication, and other aspects of the marketing mix will be covered. Special emphasis is placed on techniques used to increase market share including expanding internationally, defining boundaries for a firm’s product portfolio, and the strategic utilization of data. Emphasis will also be placed on formulating, implementing, and evaluating a firm’s integrated marketing communications strategy. Finally, students will do research to solve marketing problems. Key steps include defining the problem, generating hypotheses, selecting methods, analyzing data, and providing recommendations.

Prerequisite: BMKT 3331 or a comparable course

This course starts by providing students an overview of the gains from trade, exchange rates, international trade policy, and business policy as applied to the nation and state. Special emphasis is placed on monetary, fiscal, social, and industrial policies as they relate to global strategic decision-making. Students will also be introduced to antitrust law for the purpose of managing the risks associated with pricing decisions, vertical agreements, and horizontal acquisition. The importance of instilling a vision, adhering to a well-articulated value system, and aligning human resources, intangible assets, and boundaries for multiple lines of business to obtain a global competitive advantage will be covered. Students will also explore the benefits to stakeholders of using a balanced scorecard to assess organizational performance. Finally, the strategic implications of cross-national models of corporate governance, market structures, and industry characteristics will be studied.

Prerequisite: BINT 3331 or a comparable course

Asset Management Course Descriptions

This course begins by introducing students to the investment environment, financial instruments, and how securities are traded. Emphasis will be placed on securities market mechanics including the role of financial intermediaries, ordering processes, trading securities on margin, and short selling. Students will also be exposed to modern portfolio theory, arbitrage pricing theory, the efficient market hypothesis, and the basics of behavioral finance and the psychology of investing. The capital asset pricing model, bond valuation models, equity valuation models, and valuing venture capital and the IPO process will also be covered. Financial statement analysis, macroeconomic analysis, industry analysis, and technical analysis will be used to further assess investment opportunities. Finally, students will be introduced to the markets for derivative securities including swaps, options, futures, warrants, and convertible bonds.

Prerequisite: PMBA 6311

This course focuses on how to make decisions regarding investment mix and policy, how to match investments to objectives given risk preferences, and how to allocate funds among different asset classes. The portfolio management process, portfolio management theories, and capital market theory will be examined. Special emphasis will be placed on how to distribute capital between risky assets and the risk-free asset in order to construct an optimal risky portfolio. Hedging portfolio risk using derivative securities such as options, futures, and swap contracts will be covered. Students will also be introduced to techniques used to evaluate an investment portfolio’s performance including measuring investment returns, the M2 measure of performance, the information ratio, Sharpe’s ratio, the Treyor ratio, and Jensen’s measure of portfolio performance. Finally, an introduction to the theory of active portfolio management will be provided.

Prerequisite: PMBA 6311

This course introduces students to real estate as an asset class. Students will also be introduced to present value mathematics for real estate, measuring real estate investment returns, and the basics of real estate valuation using discounted cash flow analysis, multiples-based analysis, and the use of leverage. Micro-level issues including real estate market analysis, real estate market efficiency, income tax considerations, and metrics to assess real estate performance such as the gross rent multiplier, depreciation, land measurements, profitability measures, and vacancy and credit loss will be emphasized. Students will also examine the basics of mortgages, the refinancing decision, and commercial mortgage-backed securities. Finally, students will survey macro-level topics including securitization, real estate investment trusts, and real estate portfolio theory.

Prerequisite: PMBA 6311

Data Analysis Course Descriptions

Data analytics introduces students to methods of data collection, storage, organization, and analysis. The course begins with an overview of descriptive statistics, graphical methods, probability, hypothesis testing, and modeling using linear regression analysis. Exploratory and confirmatory data analysis will be used to examine model specification issues such as dealing with measurement error, handling omitted variable bias, and determining the correct functional form. Students will then learn how to solve problems associated with the violation of the assumptions of linear regression including heteroskedasticity, multicollinearity, and autocorrelation. Finally, an introduction to maximum likelihood estimation for nonlinear, categorical, and limited dependent variable models will be provided. A portion of every class will be dedicated to learning how to use SAS in a lab-like setting to write programs to structure, estimate, and interpret statistical models.

Prerequisites: PMBA 6312 and PMBA 6311

Forecasting methods in business introduces students to quantitative techniques that use historical data to make predictions. The course begins with an overview of basic statistical concepts, time series regression analysis, and model building and residual analysis. Emphasis is placed on obtaining point forecasts, prediction intervals for mean values, prediction intervals for individual values, detecting autocorrelation, and assessing forecast error. Students will also learn how to model trend, cyclical, and seasonal variation using polynomial, trigonometric, and growth curve regression models. Forecasting using additive decomposition, multiplicative decomposition, simple exponential smoothing, trend-corrected exponential smoothing, and Holt-Winters methods will also be covered. Finally, students will use Box-Jenkins analysis to identify, estimate, and forecast time series models.

Prerequisite: PMBA 6312

Data management introduces students to techniques used to systematically collect, organize, store, and manage data. Students will build upon their statistical software programming skills to learn how to more efficiently manage data for analysis. Students will also learn how to implement smart data coding procedures so that their organizations can more intelligently store, organize, access, and analyze information to obtain competitive advantage. Emphasis will be placed on database design, management, and information extraction, particularly mining the internet and exporting and importing data to and from SQL and MS Excel. Finally, students will be introduced to computational procedures used for data mining social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Prerequisite: PMBA 6312

Human Resource Management Course Descriptions

PMBA 6309 is proposed as an elective course in EAP that replaces BMGT 6311. This course covers the fundamentals of human resource management from an applied perspective in support of a 9-hour specialization in Human Resource Management. Finally, a foundational human resource management course is a standard option for students interested in this specialization.

This course seeks to introduce students in the field of HR to critical HR metrics generated through data that impacts the organization’s bottom line. This course will include analytics: The systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data designed to improve decisions about talent and the organization as a whole. Students will be able to take a strategic view of their organization’s use of HR data to align with the strategic goals, mission, and vision of an organization.

Prerequisite: PMBA 6315

This course seeks to introduce students in the field of HR to the demands and responsibilities that include organizational leadership and strategic thinking. Students will examine the relationship between how organizational structure relates to implementing strategy, and how an organization’s strategic direction requires developing and assessing an organization’s human capital and creating the capabilities required to support the strategic direction. This course will prepare students to become strategic contributors using both business knowledge and HR skills.

Prerequisite: PMBA 6315