MBA Curriculum and STEM MBA Curriculum

The Santa Clara MBA programs, available online and on campus, are designed to develop leaders with a broad business, economic, and social perspective capable of managing change in dynamic environments. Students develop a breadth of understanding through coursework in accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing, operations management, and information systems, and depth by concentrating electives in functional cross-disciplinary areas. The online version of the program maintains identical program learning objectives and content as the on-campus program.

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

  1. Provide students with the skills and bodies of knowledge that support successful, fulfilling careers in business.
  2. Alignment with LSB’s primary point of distinction: Engagement with Silicon Valley.
  3. Strong content related to Entrepreneurship and Innovation (in both new and established firms) and 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.

Program requirements are completed with classes that may also include students from the online MBA program and MS programs. The same faculty teach in the MBA program as our MS programs. Both MBA programs are accredited by theAssociation to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business’s (AACSB) international accreditation.


For admission requirements, please refer to Chapter 2. Admission correspondence also may be sent via email to

  • On-campus Admissions intake twice a year (Fall and Spring Quarter; September or March start)
  • Online Admissions intake four times a year (Fall, Spring, Winter, and Spring Quarter; September, January, March, or June start)

Overview of Curriculum

The Santa Clara MBA curriculum consists of 70 units across 14 core courses (44 units) and 26 additional units of free electives. While entering students have a  recommended schedule for their first year, there is considerable flexibility in the pace and order in which courses are taken (with the caveat that all prerequisites must be satisfied before enrolling in a particular course).  

The STEM MBA program follows the same 70 unit curriculum and course schedules as the MBA program and has been designated as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and reflects a curricular focus on business skills with an emphasis on STEM applications. To complete the STEM MBA, a minimum of 12 elective units must be selected from the STEM-approved courses listed in the Data Science and Business Analytics concentration.

The Online MBA follows the same 70 unit curriculum as the Evening MBA program. Online student should refer to additional information in Chapter 6.

For information on the JD/MBA, please refer to the Combined/Dual Degrees section in Chapter 7.

Evening & STEM MBA Schedules

During the fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters, 4-unit classes generally meet twice per week for ten weeks for 95 minutes per session. The 2-unit courses generally meet twice per week for five weeks covering the first or second half of a quarter. Some elective courses are scheduled for weekend sessions throughout the term. In all quarters, the final exam periods are two hours.

Online MBA Schedule

The Online MBA Program will be largely asynchronous in learning materials such as readings, lecture videos, individual assignments, discussions, quizzes, and exams. However, courses may also involve a variety of group projects, group discussions, or office hours, requiring students to schedule some synchronous conversations with their group mates and/or professors. A few elective courses require students to attend live, synchronous learning session. Students are notified at registration if the course requires synchronous sessions.


The Online MBA program requires a 3.5-day on-campus residency at the start OF THE PROGRAM, which includes MGMT 3000 required course. The program concludes with MGMT 3060, also a 3-day, on-campus residency experience. Both residency experiences require coursework prior to and after the weekend. See Chapter 6 for more information regarding online programs.

Silicon Valley Dashboard

Designed to help turn ordinary professionals into Silicon Valley Professionals (SVPs), the Online MBA program provides a curriculum based in innovation and principled leadership. Throughout their SVP Journey, students will be able to track their progress with the Silicon Valley Professional dashboard. This integrative portfolio lets participants coordinate their elective courses and co-curricular experiences with their professional goals and invites them to reflect on their professional development during the program. The dashboard also acts as a networking resource, allowing students to interact with instructors, classmates, and mentors, and it provides a way for them to solicit and receive feedback on their current progress.

Program Outline

Students should refer to Chapter 5 regarding additional academic information policies. For course descriptions and prerequisites for core and electives, please refer to Chapter 8.

Core (14 courses)

  • ACTG 3000 - Financial Accounting (4 units)
  • ECON 3000 - Managerial Economics (4 units)
  • FNCE 3000 - Financial Management (4 units)
  • IDIS 3700 - Effective Business Communications (2 units)
  • MGMT 3000 - Leading People and Organizations (4 units)
  • MGMT 3200 - Ethics for Managers (2 units)
  • MGMT 3050 - Strategic Analysis (4 units)
  • MGMT 3060 - Business and the Common Good (4 units)
  • MKTG 3000 - Marketing Is Everything (4 units)
  • MKTG 3200 - Doing Business in Silicon Valley (2 units)
  • OMIS 3000 - Business Analytics (4 units)
  • OMIS 3200 - Quantitative Methods (2 units)
  • OMIS 3202 - Analytical Decision Making 2 units)
  • OMIS 3252 - Operations Management (2 units)

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 area. Any course offered in conjunction with the MBA program, with the exception of those otherwise required, is considered an elective. New courses are continually being developed and all elective options may not be listed, nor is every elective offered every academic year.

Independent Study

A student may elect to register for independent study to fulfill an elective requirement (2 or 4 units). Independent study courses are numbered 3698 (e.g., OMIS 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 at least one quarter in advance of the quarter in which they wish to undertake the study. The proposal must be reviewed and signed by a permanent 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 must then be submitted to the Graduate Business Programs Office for final review. A signed copy of the proposal must be on file with the Graduate Business Programs Office before registration. An independent study is graded in the same manner as all other courses.

GBP Anywhere Program

The GBP Anywhere Program allows MBA and MS students to take on-campus or online electives from other Graduate Business Programs. The GBP Anywhere Program will offer greater flexibility and course availability for all Online and Evening students.  Evening MBA students may take up to 16 units of elective credit in the Online MBA program and vice versa as long as the student has met the prerequisites. Tuition fees are based on the student’s original program.

Evening students taking courses in any Online programs must complete an online student success seminar before they begin their first online course.  Students will have access to the online student success seminar approximately 4 - 6 weeks before the course begins.  Online courses are asynchronous, structured with weekly modules, and students log in at their convenience each week to complete their coursework.  Some group work may require synchronous conversations. For all courses, Module 0 provides an overview of each course (including the syllabus) and opens the Friday before the first day of instruction. Students may access the entire course beginning on the first day of class.  Online courses must be accessed through the Online Camino tile on the My SCU single-sign-on portal.  If you encounter technical difficulties, call 833-822-2276 or email

Online students taking in-person courses must access all course materials through the Camino tile (not Online Camino) on the My SCU single-sign-on portal. If you encounter technical difficulties, email and

International students can take one online course as long as they  are enrolled in a minimum 8 units of on-campus classes. Additionally please note that international students may not be solely enrolled in an online course in their graduating term. They must be enrolled in at least one on campus course as well. In Summer quarter however they may take only an online course. Please contact ISS if there are any updates, questions or concerns regarding online courses and visa repercussions.


Santa Clara University’s MBA program has a general business management perspective but also provides an option for students to complete a concentration. Pending completion of all required courses, the awarded concentration will appear on the student’s official degree transcript. It does not appear on the student’s diploma.

A student is required to declare their intended concentration during or before the term in which they reach 52 completed program units.  The concentration declaration form can be found on the Student Services website. Concentrations must be declared before applying for program competition. Concentrations declared after you have applied for program completion will not be applied.

Concentrations require at least 12 elective units in a specific area, 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 Coordinator: Tao Li

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, prerequisites noted below each course:

Entry-level courses with no prior business analytics prereqs

  • ECON 3430 - Game Theory and Strategic Behavior (4 units)
    Prerequisites: ECON 3000
  • FNCE 2409 / ECON 2509 - Econometrics (2 units)
    Prerequisites: FNCE 3000
  • MKTG 3588 - The Analytics of Optimal Pricing and New Product Decisions (4 units)
    Prerequisites: MKTG 3000
  • MKTG 3597 - Marketing Analytics  (4 units)
    Prerequisites: MKTG 3000
  • IDIS 3802/MSIS 2X07 - Data Analytics with Python (4 units)
    Prerequisites: None
  • MSIS 2X02 - Math for Finance & Analytics  (4 units)
    Prerequisites: Requires Calculus
  • MSIS 2529 Dashboards with Tableau (2 units)
    Prerequisites: None
  • OMIS 3366 - Database Management Systems: Fundamentals of SQL (2 units)
    Prerequisites: None
  • OMIS 3374 - Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (4 units)
    Prerequisites: OMIS 3000 and prior programming experience
  • OMIS 3385 - Supply Chain Analytics (2 units)
    Prerequisites: OMIS 3000
  • OMIS 3392 - Econometrics with R  (4 units)
    Prerequisites: OMIS 3000

Second-Level courses require at least one course from above:

  • OMIS 3367/MSIS 2X13 - Database Management Systems: Development, Design & Administration (2 units)
    Prerequisites: OMIS 3366
  • MSIS 2510 - Prescriptive Analytics (4 units)
    Prerequisites: IDIS 3802
  • MSIS 2X34 - Natural Language Processing (2 units)
    Prerequisites: IDIS 3802
  • OMIS 3490 - Machine Learning (4 units)
    Prerequisites: ECON 3000 and  IDIS 3802
  • MSIS 2627 - Big Data Modeling and Analysis  (4 units)
    Prerequisites: OMIS 3366 and IDIS 3802
  • FNCE 3489 - Mathematical Finance (4 units)
    Prerequisites: FNCE 3000 and MSIS 2X02
  • FNCE 2404 - Intro to Time Series (2 units)
    Prerequisites: FNCE 2409 / ECON 2509
  • FNCE 3483 - Applied Time Series Analysis (2 units)
    Prerequisites: OMIS 3000 and OMIS 3392

Third-Level courses require at least two from above as prerequisites

  • FNCE 2408 - Analytics of Finance (2 units)
    Prerequisites: FNCE 2400 or FNCE 3000, FNCE 2409 and R programming
  • MSIS 2636 - Deep Learning (4 units)
    Prerequisites: OMIS 3490/MSIS 2508/MSIS 2431
  • MSIS 2X37 - Reinforcement Learning  (2 units)
    Prerequisites: OMIS 3490/MSIS 2508/MSIS 2431

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation Concentration

Faculty Coordinators: Jennifer Woolley (Management)

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


  • MGMT 3802 - Entrepreneurial Opportunities and Innovation (4 units)

The remaining 8 units may come from any of the below courses:

  • FNCE 3460 - Mergers, Acquisitions & Corporate Restructuring (4 units)
  • FNCE 3480 - Emerging Company Finance (2 units)
  • FNCE 3481 - Emerging Company Finance II (2 units)
  • FNCE 3482 - Business Valuation (4 units)
  • MGMT 3504 - Innovation in Silicon Valley (4 units)
  • MGMT 3543 - Global Food, Startup Culture and Climate Change: A Look Forward (4 units)
  • MGMT 3548 - Social Benefit Entrepreneurship (4 units)
  • MGMT 3718 - Venture Capital Essentials (2 units)
  • MKTG 3569 - New Business Ventures (4 units)
  • MKTG 3572 - Product Management - Concept to Execution (4 units)
  • MKTG 3590 - Go-to-Market Strategy (4 units)
  • MKTG 3592 - Internet Marketing and eCommerce (4 units)
  • MKTG 3728 - Social Media Marketing (2 units)
  • MKTG 3801- Social Media Marketing (4 units)
  • OMIS 3391 - Accelerating Innovation: Procure, Partner or Invest (4 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 elective courses. Core FNCE courses may not be used to satisfy concentration requirements.

Food Entrepreneurship Concentration

Faculty Coordinator: Gregory Baker (Management)

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the unique characteristics of the food and agricultural industries
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic food industry segments and value chains
  • Identify how socio-economic trends and technological progress provide emerging food industry opportunities
  • Survey the institutions, policies, laws, and regulations that are relevant to the operation of food and agribusiness firms
  • Explain food branding strategies and the foundational principles of new product development as applied to food products
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the techniques and practices used by successful food industry innovators and entrepreneurs to discover and develop new opportunities
  • Apply innovation strategies to the analysis of firms and segments in the food industry


Three, four-unit courses are required to complete the curriculum. Currently, only the first three numbered courses, below, are regularly offered in the MBA program, and all students completing the concentration in Food Entrepreneurship will complete all three to ensure that they have a broad perspective of the industry. Each of the three courses has been offered at least once every two years, so students will have the opportunity to take all three courses during their time in the MBA program. Students may enroll in MGMT 3698 only with approval of the Faculty Coordinator.

  • MGMT 3540 - Food Industry Management (4 units)
  • MGMT 3541 - Strategy Development in Food & Beverage Industries (4 units)          
  • MGMT 3543 - Global Food, Startup Culture and Climate Change: A Look Forward (4 units)
  • MGMT 3698 - Independent Study          

Leading Innovative Organizations Concentration

Faculty Coordinator: Kelly Patterson (Management)

Learning Objectives

  • Apply a systems-based approach to leading innovative organizations, demonstrating an understanding of key concepts from organizational behavior, organizational theory, and leadership
  • Apply these conceptual frameworks to the composition and evaluation of organizations, teams, and individual contributors, for the following purposes:
     Developing interpersonal competencies that facilitate collaboration within and across organizational subunits
     Creating strategies for organizational change in dynamic environments

Requirements: Minimum of 12 units

  • MGMT 3512 - Leadership of Dynamic Organizations (4 units)

The remaining 8 units may come from any of the below courses:

  • MGMT 3516 - Organizational Politics (2 units)
  • MGMT 3526 - Strategic Talent Management (2 units)
  • MGMT 3532 - Managerial Communications (4 units)
  • MGMT 3538 - Leading Teams and Projects (4 units)
  • MGMT 3544 - Strategic Business Negotiations (4 units)
  • MGMT 3545 - Healthcare Management and Innovation (4 units)
  • MGMT 3546 - Spirituality and Business Leadership (4 units)
  • MGMT 3551 - Coaching for Leadership Development (2 units)
  • MGMT 3565 - Understanding and Embracing DE&I at Work (2 units)
  • MGMT 3801 - Management Consulting (4 units)

Marketing Concentration

Faculty Coordinator: Desmond Lo

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


12 units of any graduate level MKTG elective courses. Core MKTG courses may not be used to satisfy concentration requirements.

Individual Studies Concentration

Students may propose an individual studies concentration, subject to the approval of a faculty advisor. The proposal must show why the planned coursework will enhance a student's career objectives or intensify an area of inquiry not offered by the existing concentrations.

Learning Objectives

The Individual Studies Concentrations (ISC) program has been established to meet the needs of students who wish to design a concentration with academic content and perspective not provided by currently available concentrations.

Students who want to pursue an ISC should begin by scheduling a meeting with the Graduate Business Programs Office to obtain a list of instructions regarding administrative details.


In addition to fulfilling the Graduate Business Core requirements for the MBA, students wishing to design an ISC must complete the following concentration requirements:

  1. Have a minimum 3.0 grade point average
  2. Submit a Petition for Admission to the Graduate Business Programs Office for review and approval. The petition must be submitted within 1 quarter of declaring the Independent Studies Concentration. The petition should include:
  • A clear, logical, and conceptually refined description of the proposed program
  • A well-developed argument, supported by appropriate evidence, showing that no existing concentration can meet the student’s educational objectives
  • A plan of study listing courses, seminars, internships, etc., that meets the student’s educational objectives and fulfills the requirement of 12 units of academic credit required to fulfill the concentration requirement
  • The name of a faculty sponsor.

Global Business Perspectives

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. MBA students have the option to participate in an elective study abroad course - Global Business Perspectives (IDIS 3695) during their time in the program.  Recent study abroad locations have included Brazil, Vietnam, Chile, Denmark, Turkey, and Canada and include both cultural exploration and local company visit opportunities.  The course is offered each Winter and Summer term and Leavey School of Business faculty lead all trips.

Global Business Perspectives is an intensive course examining the contemporary and dynamic global business environment. The course provides in-depth first-hand experience of global markets and products, leading to action and engagement, while students observe the challenges of overcoming cultural and local factors working against globalization. Students will analyze the global context of business and the human impact at hand, while practicing the skills to address such issues in Silicon Valley and abroad.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of a Global Business Perspectives course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize, classify and express different cultural patterns of significance to business and commerce
  • Compare and contrast the social, legal, and political aspects of international business environments
  • Evaluate the business risk facing US organizations operating abroad and foreign organizations operating in the US
  • Express and evaluate ethical issues associated with global business, through analysis and reflection

Application Requirements

Global Business Perspectives enrollment is through an application process. Students must complete an application and meet all requirements to be considered for the course.

Note: This course includes a course fee on top of the 4-unit tuition charges.  Students will be charged a registration deposit only if the application is accepted. Deposit is non-refundable unless the program is canceled, in which case any unused deposit monies may be eligible for refund.

Participation Requirements

All students are expected to meet the following requirements at the time of application, as well as throughout the period leading up to and including the designated Global Business Perspectives course:

  • Minimum of two quarters enrollment in the MBA program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Good standing within the University

Participation Limitation

Students may participate in a maximum of two Global Business Perspectives courses in their MBA program.


Students are responsible for submitting payment of all travel-related administrative fees prior to the travel component.

Withdrawal from Program

Students who no longer wish to participate in a Global Business Perspectives course must notify the Graduate Business Programs Office in writing and will be responsible for the non-refundable deposit. Students also may be responsible for travel-related administrative fees depending on the timeliness of the notification to the travel component. Students agree to be charged the non-refundable deposit at time of application.

Course Cancellation

The Graduate Business Programs reserves the right to cancel a Global Business Perspectives course at any time due to low enrollment and other circumstances beyond the control of the University, including but not limited to unforeseen Acts of God. If this should occur, any unused portion of the deposit may be refunded.