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Year 1: Core

Look at issues from every angle to see the big picture

The series of first-year core courses is carefully planned to build your understanding of the whole organization, eventually building to big questions of business’s impact on society.  Orientation to Management gives you the tools and the frameworks that you’ll need for the remainder of your MBA career. In the Organizational Perspectives courses, you’ll learn to rigorously apply those tools and draw on a variety of disciplines to illuminate the perspectives of various stakeholders. All of those perspectives come together in The Executive, which teaches you to take a CEO’s view of the entire organization and tackle major challenges. 

Curriculum diagram

We believe you make better decisions when you take into account the many stakeholders affected by your actions, rather than looking at things through a single disciplinary lens. Our curriculum is built around engaging with real problems and accounting for the extended effects of leadership decisions on organizations, communities, and individuals.

Orientation to Management Courses

Orientation to Management is a series of foundational courses. This series of courses teaches you the skills and language you will need in any career in business and management.

Inside a core course: Modeling Managerial Decisions

Managing Groups and Teams

Get a conceptual framework for analyzing group dynamics, diagnosing performance problems, and designing appropriate interventions, and develop practical skills for building effective groups and teams.

Basics of Accounting

Learn the bookkeeping mechanics and the economic concepts, such as assets, liabilities, and income, that provide the foundation of accounting systems around the world.

Probability Modeling and Statistics

Understand and apply concepts and statistical methods including probability, simulation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and applied regression modeling.

Basics of Economics

Learn the analytical tools needed to tackle economic problems, which arise whenever agents engage in trade or make economic tradeoffs. Topics include supply and demand, consumers, production, equilibrium, imperfect competition, and competitive strategy.

Modeling Managerial Decisions

Learn how to approach, analyze, and solve complex problems in a structured way, using Excel tools, linear optimization techniques, and decision trees. View problems through multiple lenses and think across disciplines to clarify and define problems. Understand risk and the biases that distort decision making.

Introduction to Negotiation

Learn a conceptual framework for analyzing and shaping negotiation processes and outcomes. The course presents strategies for creating value and capturing as much of that value as possible.

Global Virtual Teams

A short course on the theory and practice of leading, managing, and functioning in teams that are distributed around the world. This course helps prepare you for a virtual team assignment in the Operations Engine course, providing real-time, hands-on practice in implementing the lessons of the Managing Groups and Teams course and this course.

Organizational Perspectives Courses

Courses that look at how organizations really work with their many constituencies. Drawing on expertise from all the traditional business school disciplines, these courses teach you what you need to know to lead a thriving organization. Many of the class sessions are co-taught by faculty who bring diverse perspectives to the questions under discussion.

Inside a core course: The Executive


Learn to use tools from economics, marketing, organizational behavior, accounting, and politics to achieve success in competitive environments. This course emphasizes anticipating the actions of the marketplace participants, including governments, nonprofit organizations, and corporations, that function as competitors and cooperators.


Learn to develop a deep understanding of customer behavior, integrate that understanding across an organization, and align the organizational structure to satisfy current customer needs and adapt to changes in customer needs, using tools from economics, psychology, and sociology.


This course is about investors: what they do, how they think, and what they care about. Course topics include returns, risk, and prices; asset allocation; efficient markets; valuation and fundamentals-based investing; the capital asset pricing model (CAPM); quantitative equity investing; bond markets; evaluating money manager performance; futures and options; and investment errors and human psychology.

Sourcing and Managing Funds

This course considers groups within the firm tasked to raise money from different sources as well as manage different aspects of those funds within the organization. Topics include measuring corporate value creation, company valuation, capital structure decisions, and capital budgeting.

State and Society

This course helps students understand how organizations interact with the societies that surround them, examining the role of nonmarket constituencies such as public officials and NGOs; legal and regulatory environments around the world; and the impact of societal trends on the opportunities and risks faced by businesses.


The purpose of this course is to enhance the student’s capability as a manager and leader to take actions that align employees’ actions with organizational goals and objectives, using levers such as recruitment and selection; employee evaluation and development; extrinsic rewards, compensation systems, and job design; and the connection between the employee’s identity and organizational objectives. The course concludes by discussing how employment relationships are shaped by values and ethics—those of the manager, as well as those of the larger organization.


This class studies issues of idea generation, idea evaluation and development, creative projects, and fostering and sustaining innovation in organizations. Students generate ideas in a number of contexts, and evaluate ideas that they and others have generated in terms of customer adoption and feasibility.

Operations Engine

The course broadens the traditional operations management course by including and emphasizing linkages to organizational behavior and workforce management, strategy, accounting, finance, and marketing. At its heart, this course is about using quantitative models to provide managerial insights into the improvement of work processes, the design and improvement of the supply chain, and the competitive strategy.

The Global Macroeconomy

This course develops a framework for understanding the causes and consequences of macroeconomic events in real time, a useful input to the management of any enterprise, local or global, profit or nonprofit. We compare countries’ economic structure and performance over time and consider models in which the choices of private and public agents interact to produce aggregate outcomes in response to policy or economic shocks.

The Executive

This course consists of series of interdisciplinary cases structured to describe challenges faced by leaders of organizations of differing size, scope, and sector, asking students to bring together skills learned throughout the core curriculum. All of the cases involve current situations, and much of the class material is “raw,” consisting of financial filings, data sets, news reports, company material, and other primary source data.