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MBA Curriculum


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 course work 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 Spring 2017 and later, and those continuing students who choose to change to the 2017 curriculum


The design of the 2017 curriculum was guided by two 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’s alignment with the LSB’s primary points of distinction: Engagement with Silicon Valley
Strong content related to Entrepreneurship and Innovation (in both new and established firms) Blending theory and practice to help students put ideas into action, and
Commitment to the Jesuit ideals of ethics, integrity and corporate and individual social responsibility


The Santa Clara MBA curriculum consists of 70 units across 13 core courses (40 units), one required elective (2 units) and 27 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.


During the fall, winter, and spring quarters, classes generally meet twice per week for ten weeks for 85 minutes per session. 2-unit courses generally meet twice per week for five week covering the first or second half of a quarter. The Summer quarter is condensed into seven weeks, and class sessions are proportionally longer. In all quarters, final exam periods are two hours.


Core (40 Units)

Accounting 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.

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.

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.

OMIS 3000, Business Analytics (4 units)
Covers data categorization, newer statistical methods such as machine learning, and the current technological environments for programming, statistics, and data visualization. Also conceptually introduces the data storage frameworks used to build modern Analytics solutions.

Management 3200, Business Ethics (2 units)
Covers the relationship between the firm and its external non-market environment and how firms can successfully navigate that environment. The non-market environment consists of the social, political, and ethical pressures and institutions that affect the activities of businesses.

Marketing 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.

Finance 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.

OMIS 3202, Analytical Decision Making (2 units)
This course teaches how to translate business decision scenarios into mathematical models, with explicit consideration of constraints and uncertainties. Students will use software tools to analyze and interpret these decision models.

Management 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.

Marketing 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.

OMIS 3252, Operations Management (2 units)
This course illustrates how operational excellence contributes to a firm's financial and strategic success. Students will learn to manage different types of processes, and how to use data and analytics to choose and measure key process attributes such as capacity, lead time, inventory investments, and quality.

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

Management 3050, 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.

Required “Challenges in” Elective (2 Units)

Students are required to take at least one of the courses on the “Challenges in” elective list during their final two quarters 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.

Free Elective Courses (28 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 has been completed. 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, see Chapter 18 of this bulletin. New courses are continually being developed and may not be listed in Chapter 18. Please contact the Graduate Business Programs Office for information on concentrations and new electives created after this bulletin was finalized.

Experimental Courses

The MBA program occasionally offers innovative experimental courses numbered 3800 (e.g., ACTG 3801, ECON 3802, etc.). These courses are generally free electives and because they are in continuous development, their course descriptions are not listed in the bulletin. Please refer to the website for additional information.

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 the student’s 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 generally require at least 12 elective units in a specific discipline, and coursework completed outside of Santa Clara University does not satisfy concentration requirements. Please consult with the Graduate Business Office for more information on possible concentrations and the most recent concentration requirements.