MBA Curriculum

Note: Refer to designated chapters for curriculum details specific to the Masters of Science in Information Systems, Finance, Business Analytics, and Executive MBA Programs.

The Santa Clara MBA program is designed to develop leaders with a broad business, economic, and social perspective who are capable of managing change in dynamic environments. Students develop breadth of understanding through coursework in accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing, and operations management and information systems; and depth by concentrating electives in particular functional cross-disciplinary areas.

The below information describes the curriculum for students entering the Evening MBA Program Winter 2017 and later, and those continuing students who choose to change to the 2017 curriculum.

Program Design

The design of the curriculum was guided by several overarching goals:

  1. To provide students with the skills and bodies of knowledge that support successful, fulfilling careers.

  2. To continue to strengthen the curriculum alignment with the LSB's primary points of distinction: Engagement with Silicon Valley

  3. Strong content related to Entrepreneurship and Innovation (in both new and established firms) Blending theory and practice to help students put ideas into action

  4. Commitment to the Jesuit ideals of ethics, integrity and corporate and individual social responsibility

Overview of Curriculum

The Santa Clara MBA curriculum consists of 70 units across 15 core courses (44 units), and 26 additional units of free electives. While entering students are recommended a particular schedule for their first year, there is considerable flexibility in the order in which courses are taken (with the caveat that all prerequisites must be satisfied before enrolling in a particular course). Math analysis/calculus and basic statistics proficiency is expected when entering the MBA program. Please note that the Evening MBA and Online MBA follow the same curriculum and requirements.


During the fall, winter, and spring quarters, classes generally meet twice per week for ten weeks for 95 minutes per session. 2-unit courses generally meet twice per week for five week covering the first or second half of a quarter. In all quarters, final exam periods are two hours.


Core (44 Units)

ACTG 3000, Financial Accounting (4 units)

Introduces the roles, concepts, principles, legal requirements, and impacts of external financial reporting. Covers basic financial statements and the analysis and recording of transactions, with a focus towards interpretation of reported results. Studies the more common and significant transactions impacting firms.

Prerequisite: None

ECON 3000, Managerial Economics (4 units)

This course will introduce economic foundation for managerial decisions. The course analyzes the economic behavior of individuals and firms and explores how their interactions in markets affect managerial decisions. Basic concept of market, price elasticity, theory of consumer and theory of firm will be studied to incorporate economic theories in managerial decision making. How key managerial decisions are made in different industrial structures will be discussed.

Prerequisite: OMIS 3202

FNCE 3000, Financial Management (4 units)

This course provides an introduction to finance. It addresses the theory and practice of financial management, the generation and allocation of financial resources. The main objective is to provide a foundation in the basic concepts of finance, including the time value of money, cash and working capital management, the role of financial markets, portfolio theory, asset pricing, and the risk-return tradeoff, and to expand awareness of institutions and practices in business and finance.

Prerequisite: ACTG 3000

IDIS 3700, Effective Business Communications (2 units)

Intensive practice in forms of communication specifically for business settings, geared to the student's level of prior preparation. The focus will be primarily on oral communication and writing to support the oral communication. Emphasis on communicating complex issues and quantitative data to inform, advocate or persuade.

Prerequisite: None

MGMT 3000, Leading People and Organizations (4 units)

Provides students with theories, frameworks, and empirical research on the topic of leadership and team dynamics to help students enhance their own leadership capabilities. Topics include empirically-grounded models of leadership, importance of self-awareness in leadership, effective group & team dynamics, group decision-making, conflict resolution, and design thinking.

Prerequisite: None

MGMT 3200, Ethics for Managers (2 units)

This course is an introduction to business ethics that focuses specifically on the kinds of ethical issues that managers typically encounter. Course topics include the psychological factors that influence moral decision-making, normative approaches for dealing with ethical issues in management, and application of these concepts to cases describing real life ethical dilemmas managers have faced in a variety of organizational and environmental settings.

Prerequisite: None

MGMT 3050/3519, Strategy (4 units)

This course focuses on how managers position their businesses to create and sustain an advantage relative to rivals in the face of uncertainty, rapid change, and competition. Strategy involves understanding the utility of different choices and tradeoffs -- choosing what actions to avoid is as important as choosing what to do. As a result, the course covers a variety of tools, frameworks, theories and concepts for analyzing a firm's strategic position and the environment in which it is operating. By uncovering the factors that make some strategic positions strong and viable, students develop the ability to evaluate the effects of changes in resources and capabilities, industry forces, macro environmental forces, and technology on industry structure and firm behavior and, in turn, on a firm's opportunities for establishing and sustaining a superior position relative to rivals.

Prerequisite: ALL Core courses

MKTG 3000, Marketing Is Everything (4 units)

Focuses on decisions faced by managers concerning market segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Covers concepts such as new product development, pricing strategies, distribution channels, customer relationships, and performance metrics within a strategic planning framework. Students apply these key concepts and frameworks to cases and to formulating a comprehensive marketing plan centered on sustainable profitability and capabilities. Cases cover various environments and industries, especially those of concern to Silicon Valley firms.

Prerequisite: None

MKTG 3200, Doing Business in Silicon Valley (2 units)

Introduces the Silicon Valley business ecosystem with a focus on how innovative new companies are launched, financed, and built into the next generation of market leaders. Includes the foundation for effective business communication.

Prerequisite: None

OMIS 3000, Business Analytics (4 units)

Business Analytics is the scientific analysis of data to make better business decisions. Students in this course will learn to use analytics platforms across a wide variety of applications such as marketing, finance, and supply chain management. They will become familiar with current technological environments for statistical/machine learning and visualization.

Prerequisite: OMIS 3202

OMIS 3200, Quantitative Methods (2 units)

Introduces probability and statistical analysis, emphasizing applications to managerial decision problems. Discusses descriptive statistics, probability theory, sampling distributions, statistical estimation, hypothesis testing, and simple and multiple regressions. Additional topics may include exploratory data analysis, analysis of variance, and contingency tables

Prerequisite: None

OMIS 3202, Analytical Decision Making (2 units)

This course covers how to rigorously formulate decision problems, understand mathematical optimization, deal with the uncertainties inherent in real business problems, while introducing computer-modeling tools like important Excel add-ons, R, Mathematica, CrystalBall, and \@Risk.

Prerequisite: OMIS 3200

OMIS 3250, Analysis, Design, and Management of Enterprise Platforms (2 units)

Introduces the information technology infrastructures that enable within and across firm operations, and the competitive advantages that information technology can offer various firms. Focuses on how firms effectively utilize information technology resources in their business models and operations.

Prerequisite: OMIS 3200

OMIS 3252, Operations Management (2 units)

This course introduces how firms get the right products and services to the right people, in the right place, at the right time and cost. In addition to firms that provide physical goods, this course covers information-enabled, supply- demand matching networks like Uber and AirBnB that vastly reduce cost and increase convenience in operationally intensive industries

Prerequisite: OMIS 3202

Required "Challenges in" Selective (2 Units)

Students are required to take at least one of the courses on the "Challenges in" elective list during their final quarter of the program. If pre-requisites and scheduling allows, students are able to take additional "Challenges in" elective as part of their free electives. These classes are case-style.

Prerequisite: Taken in the last quarter of the program.

Free Elective Courses (26 Units)

Elective courses expand a student's knowledge in areas of particular interest or importance to the student's career and educational goals. Electives may be taken any time during the program assuming the prerequisite coursework is complete. Electives can also be used to earn a concentration in a particular discipline. Any course offered in conjunction with the MBA program, with the exception of those otherwise required, is considered an elective. For descriptions of elective courses, please consult the website. New courses are continually being developed and may not be listed.

Independent Study

A student may elect to register for independent study to fulfill an elective requirement. Independent study courses are numbered 3698 (e.g., AGRI 3698, MGMT 3698, etc.). A student may take only one independent study course during their program. To obtain permission to register for independent study, students should prepare a complete proposal well in advance of the quarter in which they wish to undertake the study. The proposal must be reviewed and signed by a tenured faculty member who thereby agrees to supervise and evaluate the study. The proposal is then reviewed by the department chair who must approve the proposal. The proposal is then be submitted to the Graduate Business Programs Office for final review. A signed copy of the proposal must be on file in the Graduate Business Programs Office before registration. An independent study is graded in the same manner as all other courses.


Santa Clara University's MBA program has a general management perspective but also provides an option for students to complete a concentration. When a student petitions for a concentration prior to graduation the concentration is reflected on her/his official transcript pending completion of all required courses before the degree is awarded. Although the awarded concentration will appear on the student's official degree transcript, it does not appear on the student's diploma. Concentrations require at least 12 elective units in a specific discipline, and coursework completed outside of Santa Clara University does not satisfy concentration requirements. See below for more information.

Data Science and Business Analytics Concentration

Faculty Coordinators: Sanjiv Das (Finance and Business Analytics), Xiaojing Dong (Marketing and Business Analytics), John Heineke (Economics and Business Analytics)

Learning Objectives

Develop critical thinking skills for strategic evaluation and implementation of current data science (and big data) paradigms, including problem definition. Understand and acquire technical expertise in various quantitative fields such as statistics, econometrics, calculus, optimization, and software paradigms (e.g., R, Python, Databases/SQL, Tableau, etc.), that underlie various analyses undertaken by corporations Learn how to build models (theoretical, statistical and econometric) to characterize business situations, develop strategies, and use these models to analyze business problems. Students will learn to collect, verify and use data to achieve enhanced business decisions, and present value-added strategies to senior management.


12 units from a combination of the courses below:

  • OMIS 3392-Econometrics for Business Analytics (NEW)

  • MKTG 3597-Marketing Analytics

  • FNCE 3490-Data Science and Machine Learning

  • ECON 3436-Time Series Analysis for Business Analytic

  • ECON 3422/MKTG 3588-The Analytics of Optimal Pricing and New Product Decisions

  • FNCE 3805-Econometric Issues in Panel Data from Financial Markets (NEW)

  • FNCE 3489-Mathematical Finance

  • OMIS 3386-Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing

  • IDIS 3802-Python Programming for Business Analytics

  • OMIS 3366-Database Management Systems

  • MSIS 2627-Big Data Modeling and Analysis

  • OMIS 3374-Artificial Intelligence

  • OMIS 3385 - Supply Chain Analytics

  • OMIS 3391- Operationalizing Innovation

Marketing Concentration

Faculty Coordinators: Kirthi Kalyanam, Desmond Lo, Kumar Sarangee

Learning Objectives

Describe and apply current and evolving marketing frameworks to both high tech and non-high tech environments. Integrate marketing processes with other traditional business elements to develop creative strategies and plans to further institutional objectives. Utilize marketing concepts and approaches to optimize customer satisfaction and contribute to societal well-being


MKTG 3554 Analyzing Customers and Markets (4 units) and 8 units of any graduate level MKTG courses totaling 12 units

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation Concentration

Faculty Coordinators: Albert Bruno (Marketing), Sanjay Jain (Management), Kumar Sarangee (Marketing)

Learning Objectives

Develop an analytical framework for evaluating new business opportunities. Review 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 firm approaches maturity. This involves developing and integrating an understanding of the accounting, finance, marketing, operations and management issues that start-ups face. Identify the unique entrepreneurial challenges faced by startups in high-technology sectors of the economy--these include infotech, biotech and clean tech. This involves reviewing the salient characteristics of these sectors, identifying the key strategic issues associated with them, and providing tools/frameworks to address these challenges. Provide an opportunity for students to evaluate their own abilities and goals in regard to small business opportunities. A minimum of 12 units is required for this concentration


  • MKTG 3569 Small Business Entrepreneurship (4 units)

Remaining units may come from any of the below courses:

  • FNCE 3460 Mergers, Acquisitions & Corporate Restructuring (3 units)

  • FNCE 3480 Emerging Company Finance (3 units)

  • FNCE 3727/MKTG 3713 Business Model Frameworks (2 units)

  • MGMT 3544 Strategic Business Negotiations (4 units)

  • MGMT 3548 Social Benefit Entrepreneurship (4 units)

  • MGMT 3550 IP Strategies for Startup Technology Companies (2 units)

  • MKTG 3572 New Product Innovation (4 units)

  • MKTG 3592 Internet Marketing and eCommerce (4 units)

  • MKTG 3801 Social Media Marketing (3 units)

Finance Concentration

Faculty Coordinator: Meir Statman (Finance)

Learning Objectives

Know the valuation of financial securities such as stocks, bonds, options and futures, and their financial markets Apply finance in corporate settings, such as the choices of investment projects and their management. Apply finance in investment settings, such as the construction of investment portfolios. Know the links between finance and other business functions such as marketing and operations.


12 units of any FNCE graduate level electives


Leading Innovative Organizations Concentration

Faculty Coordinator: Barry Posner (Management)

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate how to create, organize and sustain systems and processes necessary for success in rapidly changing and turbulent environments

  • Give examples of how one can lead in complex systems with grace and competence, and how one can leverage the strengths of other people, partners, and organizations

  • Describe the impact of systems on people and people on systems

  • Delineate interpersonal competencies and awareness of the social and moral dimensions of decisions

Requirements: Minimum of 12 units

  • MGMT 3512 Practice and Morality of Leadership (4 units).

8 additional units from the following courses (Students wishing to emphasize in Innovation should include at least some of the courses marked)**_

  • ECON 3424 Economics of Decision Making Under Uncertainty

  • IDIS 3612 Management of the High-Technology Firm Seminar

  • MGMT 3514 International Management**

  • MGMT 3516 Organizational Politics

  • MGMT 3526 Strategic HR Management

  • MGMT 3532 Managerial Communications

  • MGMT 3538 Managing Teams and Projects

  • MGMT 3540 Food Industry Management

  • MGMT 3544 Strategic Business Negotiations

  • MGMT 3546 Spirituality of Organizational Leadership

  • MGMT 3548 Social Benefit Entrepreneurship

  • MGMT_*3549 Legal Fundamentals for Entrepreneurs_

  • MGMT 3550 IP Strategies for Startup Technology Companies *

  • MKTG 3566 Small Business Entrepreneurship**

  • MKTG 3572 New Product Innovation**

  • MGMT 3714 Strategies for Emerging Cleantech Sector (1 unit)**

  • MGMT 3715 Globalization and Emerging Economics -- India (1 unit)**

  • MGMT 3716 Crowdsourcing and Expert sourcing: Strategies for Innovation (1 unit)**

  • MGMT 3801 Entrepreneurship

  • MGMT 3802 Management Consulting

  • MGMT 3803 Global Technology Entrepreneurship**

  • OMIS 3368 Software Project Management

  • OMIS 3390 New Product Development

  • OMIS 3802 The Sustainability-focused Business

  • OMIS 3801 Operationalizing Innovation

*Only one of MGMT 3549 and MGMT 3550 (but not both) will satisfy one of the four elective requirements._

*Declaring a concentration early in the program will offer us more time to forecast and justify our requests for more classes in the future..

International Perspective

The Santa Clara MBA program recognizes the increasing importance of obtaining an international perspective on business and society. Students are exposed to multinational business issues and multicultural perspectives in many of the required courses. Most departments offer electives focusing on international issues from a disciplinary or functional perspective. MBA students have the option to participate in study abroad opportunities during the MBA program. Recent study abroad locations have included Brazil, China, France, England, Vietnam, Germany, New Zealand, Turkey, and India. Leavey School of Business faculty lead all trips. The Global Business Perspectives courses are considered

elective courses. Students must be in good academic standing to be eligible for enrollment. A maximum of two global initiative courses may be taken toward a student's elective requirements.

Graduate Transfer Credit

Graduate transfer credit may be granted if specific requirements are met. A maximum of two courses (6 quarter units) of graduate credit from another AACSB-accredited MBA program may be transferred for either required or elective courses if the course was:

  • Open to graduate students only

  • Completed by the student with the equivalent of a B or better grade

  • Part of an incomplete MBA degree program when taken no more than six years prior to application to the SCU MBA program AND is Considered by the Graduate Business Policy Committee to be functionally equivalent to a course or combination of courses offered by Santa Clara's MBA Program.

Graduate transfer credit is granted on a course-by-course basis. No credit will be given for coursework done elsewhere while in the MBA program without prior approval. This restriction does not apply to students participating in the Jesuit Transfer Agreement.


Before registering for electives, students are responsible for ensuring that they have completed all the prerequisites. Prerequisites for each course are listed in the course descriptions in this bulletin. Course prerequisites are reviewed annually by the academic departments.

Although not explicitly stated in the description of individual courses, when a course is named as a prerequisite, then its prerequisites also are included by reference, and all prerequisites must be satisfied before a student can enroll.

Ecampus, the Web-based registration system, does not allow enrollment in any class or onto any waitlist if the prerequisites for that course have not been completed successfully. The system recognizes current enrollment in prerequisite classes at the time of registration. Course instructors cannot waive prerequisites. Additionally, 6-unit foundation courses must be completed in sequential quarters.

Note: Graduation will not be approved until all prerequisites, required courses, and other requirements of the program, have been fulfilled.

Graduation Petition Process

In order to graduate, all MBA students must complete and submit an online Petition to Graduate. The information provided in the petition will be used to order and mail the diploma and list all graduates' names in the SCU commencement book. If this data changes after the petition has been submitted, students must re-submit an amended petition. Students failing to do so could be omitted from the commencement book and ceremony.

To be eligible to graduate, Graduate Business students must complete:

  • All required coursework with passing grades specific to the year in which they began the program

  • The required number of units specific to the year in which they began the program

  • The program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

  • AND, not have any I or N grades on their transcripts

Deadlines to submit a Petition to Graduate are as follows:

  • June graduation February 1

  • September graduation May 1

  • December graduation August 1

  • March graduation November 1

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