Executive MBA Program

The Executive MBA program offers an accelerated path to the degree for experienced managers. The program is organized around cross- functional themes focusing on contemporary business challenges. Tailored to meet the needs of Silicon Valley executives, all aspects of the curriculum center on issues of substantive and pragmatic concern. In particular, course work and assignments are constructed to integrate current work challenges students face. Highlights of the program include degree completion in 20 months, a Friday/Saturday biweekly schedule, and a rigorous curriculum that meets Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) requirements.

Students have the opportunity to connect with Silicon Valley companies that are globally renowned for being on the forefront of business practices. The design places great emphasis on innovation throughout the curriculum. A key component is an international experience in the midterm of the program.

Entrance Requirements

To be admitted to the Executive MBA program, the applicant must have at least eight-plus years of full-time work experience and a record of accomplishment leading people, projects, or programs. Strong applicants will be those who already hold the kind of leadership positions that many people attending conventional MBA programs hope to attain. Successful applicants also will show a high degree of academic aptitude as measured by prior coursework. Knowledge of basic statistics is a program prerequisite; however, no prior business education is necessary. Admission is in the fall term only.

Policies and Procedures

Executive MBA students must adhere to the policies and procedures described in this bulletin. Please refer to Chapter 3 in this bulletin for tuition and refund policies.

Course Descriptions

The following is a detailed description of the Executive MBA curriculum. The total program requirement is 62 units, comprising 56 core units, 6 units of electives; 4 off-campus immersion trips; 12 workshops; and 3 Executive Branding and Career Coaching sessions.

Term One

Leadership Immersion Week

  • Communication workshop

In this highly interactive, two-day workshop, you will develop and enhance your verbal and nonverbal leadership communication skills across a variety of relevant contexts. Specifically, through interactive lectures and hands-on activities and exercises, you will learn the skills necessary to deliver effective and impactful communication in presentations, meetings, emails, slides, and when delivering feedback and responding to Q & A.

After participating in the workshop, you will be able to:

  • Create and deliver well structured, supported, and engaging messages that resonate with specific, targeted audiences to achieve a desired goal.

  • Design slides that add impact to your presentations and messages.

  • Develop and deliver feedback that gets results.

  • Respond clearly, concisely, and confidently to questions.

  • Better organize and facilitate meetings.

  • Communicate nonverbally in a manner that enhances confidence and executive presence in person and virtually.

  • Strategic Innovation Training Workshop

In this workshop, students will learn the Competing Values Framework, one of the most powerful frameworks for creating value and innovating, and will identify their personal strengths as well as how to complement their strengths with those of others. Working in teams to tackle live innovation challenges, students will deepen and refine their skills in human-centered innovation, starting with the "fuzzy front-end" of innovation all the way through prototyping and user testing. The students will improve their ability to reduce the uncertainty and risk inherent in innovative opportunities.

  • Executive Decision Making Workshop

Students will learn to diagnose and address the human, organizational, political, and cultural factors and forces that make executive decision-making difficult.

  • Foundation of Analytics Bootcamp

EMBA 900. Leadership in Dynamic Environments

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)

EMBA 901. Strategic Management

Strategy is inherently dynamic. This course focuses on the processes by which 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 not to do is as important as choosing what to do. As a result, the course will expose you to frameworks and concepts for analyzing a firm's environment and competitive position to inform the strategic decision making process. By uncovering the factors that make some strategic positions strong and viable, we shall develop the ability to evaluate the effects of changes in resources & capabilities, industry forces, macro-environmental forces, and technology on industry structure and firm behavior and, in turn, on a firm's opportunities for creating, capturing and sustaining superior profits relative to rivals. (4 units)

EMBA 902. Managing Organizations & Teams

Regardless of your particular industry, functional role, or technical expertise, as you advance in your career, your time will increasingly focus on managing, motivating, and communicating with individuals and teams in your workplace---and on designing jobs, reward systems, and entire organizations for accomplishing these tasks. Indeed, organizational leaders estimate that they can spend up to 30% of their time focusing on interpersonal issues. This course is concerned with understanding the behavior that takes place within organizations to help you become a more influential leader and to increase the effectiveness of both you and your organization. It focuses on helping you better understand the nature and dynamics of social behavior as they relate to performance in real-world business settings, and draws heavily on research from the fields of psychology, social psychology and sociology. Using a combination of case analyses, videos, exercises, and field projects, the course relates existing theory and research in the social sciences to organizations by reviewing basic concepts about interpersonal, team, and organizational behavior. (3 units)

EMBA 903. Analytics

A recent EMBA student noted, "Knowledge of analytics will be table stakes in just a few years." For this reason we have made Analytics one of the major pillars of our business curriculum. This course does not aspire to produce data scientists; more often our executive graduates will have responsibility for how much and what kind of data to use, analytics technology selection, interpretation of findings, and how to perform the human intervention that remains necessary until we are prepared to let machines directly call the shots. These tasks require balancing considerations such as accuracy of the algorithms, time and cost of computing, interpretability of outputs, and susceptibility to bias. But competence at making these tradeoffs is simply not attainable without at some point examining the math and accruing hands-on practice. To that end, we will study the technical details enough to develop an instinct about whether the outputs make sense, and we will use data and software in every session. Our specific technical content will be the foundations upon which every cutting-edge Machine Learning/AI application is built: statistics and mathematical optimization. Students will learn to take a dataset (e.g., attributes of past customers) and explore it numerically and visually. They will use this to create models that predict something about the next customer (e.g., how much will this customer spend?). Students will then construct models that can recommend a course of action, accounting for constraints on the allowable actions (e.g., due to resource limitations) and the consequences of the actions (e.g., profit margins). (6 units)

Mindfulness Workshop

This workshop will address what mindfulness is and how it impacts creativity, emotional intelligence and overall leadership effectiveness. Students will learn different methods to develop a daily mindfulness practice, understand why it is critical to practice mindfulness with empathy for leaders, and how to put it in action as a servant leader.

Term Two

EMBA 904. Macroeconomics in the Global Economy Theory, Empirics, and Policy

The macroeconomic and global economic environment in which businesses operate can profoundly influence firm performance. This course helps managers understand the determinants of national output, income, and expenditure, employment and unemployment, inflation, interest rates, financial crises, international movements of capital, exchange rates, and many other macroeconomic variables. Economic models are utilized to explain how these variables are interrelated and to predict how they change over time, enabling managers to make well-informed decisions important to the success of their businesses. The course has a strong empirical component and utilizes economic data extensively to examine recent and historical economic events to illustrate how the models work. Emphasis is placed on the role of government policy (fiscal, monetary, and regulatory) in promoting economic growth, reducing the output loss and unemployment associated with recessions, controlling inflation, preventing or mitigating the consequences of financial crises, and reducing inequality. The course stresses the importance of the global economy to U.S. businesses and covers the international linkages among countries in goods and financial markets, including the determinants of exchange rates, the current and capital account balances, and international debt. (3 units)

EMBA 905. Financial Accounting

Every day businesses and markets generate data that must be quickly and accurately captured and reported for use by decision makers. This course introduces the roles, concepts, legal requirements and impacts of financial reporting. We cover the basic financial statements and the analysis and recording of transactions, with a focus towards interpretations of reported results. By the end of this course, students should be able to demonstrate a specific working knowledge of the following course objectives: The impact on accounting of a changing regulatory environment, globalization and politics, including the role of the SEC and international standard setters; The accrual basis of accounting, including the double entry accounting system for recording business transactions and adjustments, as well as the key issues in the timing and recording of revenues and expenses; The application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), an introduction to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and how GAAP is used to prepare, explain and analyze the primary financial statements; The ability to perform a financial analysis and make investment and lending decisions using a set of corporate financial statements. (3 units)

EMBA 906. Corporate Finance

This course covers valuation and how valuation is used to make corporate business decisions. It goes into the details of building financial models for decisions ranging from undertaking a new product to acquiring a company. It also covers the determination of funding needs, sources of funding, and general capital structure policy (6 units).

Learning With Improv Workshop

This workshop is designed to help students adapt core messages to suit different audiences and to develop creative thinking skills where they can spontaneously generate and present feedback and insights without preconceived ideas. The learning objective is to teach how one can change their mental approach to recover from mistakes or failures in a quicker manner, how a leader can use \"yes, and\" thinking to communicate and support cross-functional partners, and how to work through uncertainty with the support of colleagues. Students will practice when and how to best assert oneself as an expert in a situation and when to step down to allow others to lead.

Emerging Tech Workshop

Introducing Emerging Technology such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, robotics, drones, VR/AR, blockchain, cloud and quantum computing, and messenger RNA. Students will get a high level understanding of the technologies and their applications. Students will work in teams to identify business opportunities where the technologies can be monetized and present their findings to the group.

Term Three

EMBA 907. Creativity for Innovative Business

Creativity is one of the most important skills needed for tomorrow's workforce. It is necessary for effective problem solving, developing successful strategies, and driving innovation. Organizations must be creative and innovative to survive. This experiential course will explore creativity in the business context and the implications for individuals. We will focus on exercises and activities designed to enhance the creativity of managers so that they can use non-obvious techniques to break down business problems and craft new and innovative solutions. Students will learn about and apply creative thinking tools, explore and develop their own creative processes, and collaborate in team creative problem solving. (1 unit)

EMBA 908. Marketing Strategy

Marketing has a rich and multifaceted role in the modern organization. It is charged with focusing on the customer, providing value and recapturing value for the firm. Strategic marketing management involves determining which customers an organization should serve by analyzing customer needs, segmenting the market by selecting a target segment and then determining the 4-P's (Product, Pricing, Promotion and Place) for the chosen segment. Product managers, channel leaders, sales leaders and CMOs are some of the stakeholders involved in this process. Today's marketers have an increasing amount of data available to them and the modern practice of marketing involves effectively using this data to inform decision making. This course provides information necessary for an experienced executive to develop a working knowledge of marketing. Going beyond the fundamental 4P's of marketing the course also introduces the rigorous lens of the three C's---the customer, competitors and the company. The course also emphasizes data driven marketing and the idea the customers are heterogeneous in their needs. (3 units)

EMBA 909. Managerial Ethics

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. (2 units)

EMBA 910. Managing Operations, Technologies & Supply Chains

The objective of this course is to consider the operations 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 both cross-functionally, within the firm, and across an industry value chain among interacting firms. These strategies include optimizing supply chain facilities, coordinating information and material flows, managing supplier relations, and managing customer order fulfillment processes. (6 units)

KitchenTown Immersion Trip

KitchenTown is a food startup incubator and global innovation platform that helps develop, commercialize, and launch impact-driven food products. The 20,000 square foot facility is designed to serve every need of a food startup business: a commercial kitchen space and scale-up facility, a food innovation lab, access to a network of investors and corporates, and, more recently, a curbside pickup program. Their makers span across the startup lifecycle and work on everything from artisan breads to lily seed snacks to plant-based ice cream. Students will learn how food businesses grow and adapt to market challenges and environmental changes. Participants will engage with real food entrepreneurs, providing insight and recommendations to help them navigate firm-specific challenges.

National Immersion Trip

Program participants will travel to Washington, DC for a national immersion experience. This is to expose students to current issues in governance, the legal and regulatory environment, and business-government relations. Meeting with regulators, government agencies, local academics and the local business community, participants will learn about how national policy and regulation impacts the business world and the innovation ecosystem. Students will also have local cultural immersion opportunities.

Term Four

EMBA 911. New Business Ventures

The objectives of this course are to provide an opportunity for a person to evaluate his or her own abilities and goals in regard to new business ventures and 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. Another objective of this course is to understand the challenge of developing viable revenue projections based on a 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 approaches maturity. Class time will be devoted about equally to a discussion of cases and concepts and presentations by guest lecturers who have had experience in business venture creation. Speakers will include entrepreneurs, risk capital investors, venture capitalists and selected Leavey School faculty. (4 units)

EMBA 912. New Product Innovation

The development, management and marketing of new and innovative products and services (or offerings) are critically important for the success of organizations, whether they are startups or large organizations. However, this endeavor is fraught with risk and uncertainty due to which many new offerings fail in the marketplace, despite a huge expenditure in money, time and resources by firms. Hence, managers need to develop a comprehensive understanding of the design, development, management and marketing of new and existing offerings in various contexts such as high tech, B2B, B2C, services, SaaS, electronics, hardware etc. In this course, we focus on state of the art quantitative and qualitative tools and techniques which are utilized by innovative companies in managing products and services. It is especially tailored for professional managers who are interested in new product development & innovation, product management & marketing as well as product strategy consulting. It is also designed to help current and aspiring entrepreneurs make better strategic and tactical decisions for their offerings. (4 units)

Legal Fundamentals for Business Workshop

This workshop will introduce students to the state and federal legal frameworks that apply to businesses. We will cover employment laws, intellectual property, privacy, corporate governance, and contracts. Most importantly, the workshop will be focused on identifying practical solutions to legal risks posed by these laws. Students will learn how to spot legal issues in common business scenarios, prioritize those issues, and employ techniques to manage company legal risk.

Managing Board Meetings Workshop

What a heartbeat is to a human body\'s health monitoring; is a well-established board meeting for assessing the overall health of a company. Board Meetings are the cynosure for the company as this is where the merits of the executive team, the metrics of the business and the mechanics of execution are measured by the Board.

In this 4 hour strategic workshop the executive MBA students will gather deeper understanding of the board strategies and tactics, the roles and responsibilities of the board members and the best practices and guard rails to be put in place when effectively managing board meetings. The students will gain further insights into the right frameworks and models needed to get them fully equipped and prepared for the strategic leadership role they need to play when managing the board.

Regional Immersion Trip

Students will participate in a short visit to California's wine country for a regional immersion experience. The goals of this trip include understanding the importance of sustainability, learning how business activities can lead to exhaustion of natural resources, and considering how business leaders' decisions can meet today's business needs without endangering the environment and business ecosystem of tomorrow.

Term Five

EMBA 913. Negotiating Strategies

We negotiate every day: with potential employers, coworkers, roommates, landlords, parents, bosses, merchants, service providers, spouses, and even our children. What price we want to pay, how much we want to be paid, who will do the dishes, all of these are negotiations. Yet, although people negotiate all the time, most know very little about the strategy and psychology of effective negotiations. Why do we sometimes get our way whereas other times we walk away feeling frustrated by our inability to achieve the agreement we desire? Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more interdependent parties. It is a craft that must hold cooperation and competition in creative tension. The purpose of this course is to understand the theory and processes of negotiation as it is practiced in a variety of settings. Largely experiential, the course will provide you with the opportunity to develop your skills by participating in negotiations and integrating your experiences with the principles presented in the assigned readings and course discussions. (2 units)

EMBA 914. Corporate Entrepreneurship

Business leaders of the twenty-first century must continually redefine industries, recreate differentiators, and rejigger operations to remain relevant. This course provides students with the tools for navigating dynamic competitive environments and innovation challenges. The emphasis will be on the organizational capabilities, culture, systems, and structures needed to align with strategic imperatives, to embed innovation throughout the organization, and to support corporate transformation. Experiential exercises such as case discussions, role-playing, and debate help prepare students to lead an innovation revolution in their organization. (1 unit)

EMBA 915. Strategy and Business Model Innovation

Strategic leaders of the twenty-first century must continually redefine industries, recreate offerings and strategy, and rejigger operations to remain relevant. This course provides students with the tools for navigating dynamic competitive environments with strategic innovation for both young firms and established firms. The emphasis is on how to develop and implement a robust innovation strategy and how to align the innovation strategy with business and corporate level strategies. Experiential exercises such as case discussions, simulations, and role-playing help prepare students to lead an innovation revolution in their organization. (2 units)

EMBA 916. Sustaining Impact as a Leader

The intent of the final seminar is to reflect upon your personal experiences of leadership, what it means to be leaders, and what inner issues leaders have to deal with in the course of leading (regardless of the content or context). The seminar is also an opportunity to look ahead, and develop leadership strategies for dealing with complex interpersonal, group and organizational issues. Since this seminar culminates the EMBA program and students' experiences with one another, we\'ll take advantage of the special relationships and esprit de corps formed to provide a reflective and contemplative environment. This final seminar, more than possibly any other in the EMBA program, focuses on opening students up to some of life\'s most perplexing and ongoing questions. As Socrates remarked, "The unexamined life is not worth living." (3 units)

NOTE: Some EMBA courses may "span" two different SCU quarters. When this occurs, a course will be broken down into parts A and B (ex., 906A and 906B). When this occurs, Part A of the course will be given a grade of "N" for "Continuing". The "N" grade carries no weight in the GPA calculation. A final letter grade for a "spanned" course will be given in Part B of the course and will be calculated into the student's GPA at that time.

International Immersion Trip

Students will cap off their EMBA experience with an international immersion experience. The goal of this program is to increase students' understanding of global markets and global business issues whil developing an appreciation for different cultures and perspectives. Program sessions will address how to navigate international politics and challenges and will prepare students for diverse business opportunities in product development, innovation, and entrepreneurship growth.

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