Master of Business Administration courses

Thirty credits in core courses and nine credits in electives are required to graduate.

All admitted students will be required to enroll in BUAD 500 Fundamentals of Accounting and Finance. However, if a student has successfully completed undergraduate accounting and finance course work, the dean may waive enrollment in BUAD 500.

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Core courses

BUAD 500 Fundamentals of Accounting and Finance (2 credits)

This course is an introductory study of the accounting and finance theories used while making business decisions. It assumes no prior accounting or finance knowledge. The two major learning objectives for the course are that students learn how to use basic financial statements to make business decisions, and how to evaluate various business decisions using relevant quantitative and qualitative managerial accounting information. At the discretion of the dean of the Schneider School, the successful completion of relevant prior coursework in accounting and finance may waive enrollment in this course. Students are required to complete BUAD 500 as a prerequisite to BUAD 519 Financial Management.

BUAD 510 Introduction to Business Leadership (1 credit)

This course is the gateway to the Schneider School MBA program for every student. Students are expected to take it as soon as possible after entering the program. The course is intended to provide a common experience for all MBA students by exploring self-awareness and positive leadership behaviors, investigating elements and principles of successful 21st century leadership, and examining the foundations and philosophy of the Norbertine order and St. Norbert College and their impact and influence on leadership.

BUAD 511 Leadership and Managing Organizational Change (3 credits)

This course prepares innovative leaders to put fresh ideas to work and to do so responsibly. It examines the skills and tools required to be a transformational, charismatic leader. Students explore how successful leaders influence groups, understand behavior and lead people toward the achievement and realization of the organizational vision. (Taken early in the program.)

BUAD 512 Business Ethics and Values-Based Leadership (3 credits)

This course examines the roles played by values and ethics in the many decisions faced by business organizations. Students examine how their values are determined and how values inform responsible behavior in organizations. Further, the course analyzes the role of firms in promoting sustainability in the communities in which they operate. (Taken early in the program.)

BUAD 515 Microeconomics for Managers (1.5 credits)

This course provides students with an introduction to applied microeconomics for business decision-making. It considers how markets function, how the government may interfere in the market, production and cost in the short and long run, and price determination.

BUAD 516 Macroeconomics for Managers (1.5 credits)

This course provides students with an introduction to the macroeconomic variables that managers should understand in order to assess changes in the business environment. Further, it examines major models of how the macroeconomy functions with the intent of informing managers of how policy will impact the macroeconomy and, in turn, their business.

BUAD 518 Financial Analysis (1.5 credits)

This course emphasizes the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial decision-making. Topics include the time value of money, the determinants of interest rates, the valuation of financial assets, the risk-return relationship and the basics of capital budgeting. This course requires mastery of required material through homework and examinations.

BUAD 519 Financial Management (1.5 credits)

This course provides an overview of the financial management aspects of business organizations, emphasizing case analysis. Topics include evaluation of performance through financial-statement analysis, capital-budgeting analysis, financial planning and capital structure, working capital management and dividend policy. Prerequisites: BUAD 500, BUAD 518.

BUAD 520 Strategic Human Resource Management (1.5 credits)

This course develops an understanding of how human resource management practices influence organizational success and how general managers acquire the skills needed in order to successfully manage its people. This course will draw on economics, psychology, sociology, and legal issues to inform students about job analysis, human resource planning, recruiting, selecting, training, evaluating and compensating employees in order to develop and maintain a highly committed and high performing workforce.


BUAD 521 Fundamentals of Business Analytics (1.5 credits) 

This course explores how business analytics combines domain knowledge, statistics, and technology to make data-driven business decisions for solving business problems. Students are introduced to a 4-step Business Analytic Process involving: getting data, preparing data, analyzing data and communicating results to improve business performance. Online tutorials and exercises are used to master spreadsheet and database skills required to pass several MS Office certifications. Finally, students will be introduced to Tableau and R-Studio so they are prepared to take additional data analytic MBA electives.

BUAD 523 Strategic Marketing (3 credits)

This course takes a strategic and analytical approach to the study of consumers, products and markets. Attention focuses on the recognition of opportunities, the development of marketing strategies and the design of an effective marketing mix both for consumer and business markets. Work with simulations makes participants aware of the financial impact of marketing strategies.

BUAD 525 Leading People and Teams (3 credits)

Contemporary organizations are increasingly reliant on teams to innovate and implement creative solutions to complex problems. This course is designed to improve participants’ effectiveness as leaders by introducing concepts for understanding and leading both individuals and teams in organizations. Students are exposed to leading-edge research and are given an opportunity to practice some of the principles introduced through discussions and exercises.

BUAD 526 Managing Operations, Systems and Processes (3 credits)

This course focuses on how to use operations and systems to gain strategic advantage. Transforming inputs into outputs and using information to improve that transformation are the keys to the success of firms – from manufacturers managing their supply chain to service providers.

BUAD 527 Global Strategy and Venturing (3 credits)

Managers make significant strategic decisions as part of their jobs as they seek to grow a business. Such decisions may include developing and introducing a new product or process, acquiring another firm, responding to a competitor or to a crisis, forming a strategic alliance, or entering a new market. These decisions are complex and must take all business functions (finance, marketing, human resource management, operations) into consideration.

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Elective courses

Elective courses will typically be 1.5 credits and will draw from a wide variety of specialized topics. Electives are rotated through the program based on student demand and faculty schedules. Past electives have included:

BUAD 589: Anti-Racist and Inclusive Pedagogy/Practice
In response to the racial reckoning in the United States during the summer of 2020 and continuing into today, this course familiarizes students with the wealth of resources and discussions centered on the essential themes of anti-racism, intersectional experience, and inclusive pedagogies. Students will engage with varied texts and diverse voices, applying their knowledge to their own work and life situations in transformative ways. A particular focus will be placed on how a pedagogy/framework informed by anti-racist and inclusive practices contributes to engendering sustainable changes in the classroom and workplace, including the opportunity to redesign teaching materials and professional writing genres, implement anti-racist writing assessment paradignms, employ inclusive strategies for interpersonal communication, and more. The course helps students find pragmatic strategies to accomplish equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives that contribute meaningfully to their embodied practices and lived experience.


BUAD 589: Building Inclusive Workplaces
This course develops an understanding of practices for engaging in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. Drawing on sociology, history, and women's and gender studies, this course will introduce students to a range of issues related to race, gender, sexuality, and other axes of identity. This course will offer tools to engage employees in complex conversations around identity, and will offer practical tools for creating equitable and inclusive workplaces where a diverse range of professionals can thrive.


BUAD 589 Building IP Portfolios

This course focuses on the four types of intellectual property and how these assets may be created and exploited by individuals and businesses. Each type of intellectual property asset is discussed separately, including how to identify and how to protect each one. The course focuses on combining and coordinating these different assets to build a robust and valuable intellectual-property portfolio. Strategies for individual creators, start-ups and on-going enterprises are discussed.


BUAD 589 Business Communication

This course is designed to develop the participant’s communication skills by applying principles of communication science and the psychology of persuasion in a contemporary business setting. Crafting messages that are not only effective, but also ethical, is of foremost concern in this course. Communication strategies with which leaders can appeal to audiences both internal and external to their organization will be explored. A variety of message forms will be considered and rehearsed, including oral presentations, traditional written discourse and digital messaging.


BUAD 589 Collaborative Innovation & Design

This course explores the concept of Design Thinking; a proven, systematic approach for developing solutions using creative problem solving techniques. Starting with a foundation of understanding unmet customer needs and then applying a structured framework for innovation, organizations substantially enhance the chances for new products and services success. Through lectures, assignments and a group project, learners will learn the basic concepts that drive design thinking and people centric design, understand how to translate unmet needs into ideas and prototypes, analyze the economics of innovation, and how to apply informed decision making.


BUAD 589 Consulting Clinic

This course offers MBA students the chance to get a hands-on approach to business models and proposals. By design, firms enrolled in the Packers Protégé-Mentor Program grant access to the class in return for advice.  This advice will integrate formal marketing concepts covered in BUAD 523. Through a combination of class discussion, individual and group work, students will establish an understanding of how a particular firm faced with challenges needs to adapt to succeed. The overriding perspective of the class is entrepreneurial and marketing-centric. Students will successfully apply core management concepts from the marketing field, focusing on (1) value-proposition development, (2) target marketing assessment and (3) strategic response. The course is specifically designed for students who have a keen interest in strategic formulation and being a contributing member on a consulting team. A group-developed marketing plan is the primary work output. Week-to-week work efforts (both individual and group-based) will form the foundation of the final report. Prerequisite: BUAD 523 Strategic Marketing


BUAD 589 Creating Brand-Consumer Relationships

This course offers current and future marketing leaders the opportunity to build capability in the foundational areas of positioning and marketing brands to consumers. Material focuses on the critical components of developing brand positioning along with the creation and evaluation of advertising used to build brand relevance. Students work with examples and case studies to explore the benefits of consumer segmentation, the power of successful brand positioning, the keys to creating message relevance, effective media planning, and creating communication relevance across multicultural, millennial and consumer audiences.

BUAD 589 Data Visualization

In an ever-changing world where business leaders are beginning to rely more and more on data for decision-making, the role of data presentation and visualization is becoming increasingly important. This course helps students understand how humans process data and information, gain a better understanding of data literacy, and learn to effectively design visualizations to convey truth and meaning using data-based evidence. This course prepares participants to construct high quality visualizations via the understanding of different types of data relationships such as distributions, correlations, time, parts of a whole, spatial mapping and ranking relationships. This is a practical, hands on course where students will be using Tableau and R to construct high-quality visualizations and dashboards to better inform business leaders in the managerial decision-making process.

BUAD 589 Entrepreneurship

This course focuses on the entrepreneurial process of identifying attractive new business opportunities, exploring the feasibility of those opportunities, developing a business plan, gathering the necessary resources, building a team and growing a new venture. The leadership role of the entrepreneur is central to this process and, as such, is the focal point of the course.


BUAD 589 Ethical Leadership in a Transforming Healthcare Industry

The convergence of social, technological, economic, environmental and political forces is rapidly changing the structure of the American healthcare industry. Once described as a “cottage industry” dominated by individual practitioners and small organizations, the industry is consolidating into new structural configurations that present new challenges for leaders. This class examines how these factors and forces have created the healthcare industry we see today, how they might shape the future American healthcare system, and the required principles and behaviors of those challenged to provide leadership in this new world.

BUAD 589 Financial Crises

The Great Recession of 2008-09 has had deep and lasting impacts on the United States and around the world. While the catalyst may have been a drop in housing values, the crisis was much more severe than the direct effects on home values in that it threatened the entire global financial system. It is not the first financial crisis and it is unlikely to be the last. This course explores the history of financial crises, with special attention to the most recent. Students read several books written about financial crises and view several films that focus on the crises. This course explores the unique, nearly perfect storm of factors that made the Great Recession so severe. Participants see what lessons are to be learned in order to make crises of this sort less frequent and less devastating.

BUAD 589 Fraud Prevention for Managers

This course explores the various types of occupational fraud, including asset misappropriation, corruption and financial-statement fraud, and examines how to detect and prevent fraudulent activities. In addition to basic methods of fraud detection, course topics focus on a managerial approach to identifying and implementing techniques that can help to limit an organization’s exposure to fraud in a variety of nonprofit and for-profit settings.

BUAD 589 Health Care Management

This course presents the foundation principles and dynamics of healthcare management, the healthcare system and basic concepts and skills in administration. The institutional, social, demographic, technological, epidemiological and political forces in the field of healthcare are analyzed and topics include fundamentals of management in modern healthcare. This course is an overview of the healthcare stakeholders in a variety of settings as well as key health and medical terms. The settings explored in this foundational course include the following: health systems, hospitals, medical groups, life science companies, health plans and digital health companies. The stakeholders focused upon in this course include the patient, the licensed provider, the scientist, the manager and the policy maker as well as regulator and attorney.

BUAD 589 Innovation in an Organizational Setting

Given the disruptions and turbulence organizations experience from so many external changes, this course examines roles and strategies for leading success. Students further develop abilities to generate and review ideas to identify those that deliver the most impact and to overcome organizational barriers to further business growth. Specific topics include application of design thinking, framework for business-growth strategy, analytical thinking for evaluation of opportunities, advocacy and organizational alignment, as well as creating time and space for innovation.

BUAD 589 Leading Through Adversity

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach that includes psychology, communication and management and examines some of the most historic human-error case studies. These case studies explore a variety of areas: societal problems (e.g., leadership in the face of challenging societal norms); cultural problems (e.g., leadership issues in different cultural contexts); decision making (e.g., the biases that cause human error and prevent robust decision making); and understanding how individuals interact (e.g. how humans working in groups can cause problems and how we solve them), to name a few.


BUAD 589 Managing Strategy with Focus and Agility

Organizations are finding that the industries in which they compete, and the macroenvironment that surrounds them, are becoming more dynamic. If the leadership team is unable to create a clear and distinct value proposition to customers, it will leave it vulnerable in a transforming industry. This workshop will focus on the process of managing strategy in complex organizations; making strategic choices and deploying them in a system that enables rapid-cycle learning. The output of this process is increased capability for the leadership team to think strategically and be nimble; to have a system in which the organization continually anticipates opportunities and nurtures competitive advantage. This workshop builds on the knowledge gained from core courses such as Global Strategy and Venturing.


BUAD 589 Marketing Research

This course provides an overview of the nature of marketing research and its role in decision-making with the organization. Specifically the students will concentrate their efforts on understanding the process of research design and implementation.

BUAD 589 Media for Organization Leaders

This course helps leaders understand the role of media in their organizational operations. Topics include media relations, social media in the workplace, the use of video in constructing a narrative, and crisis communications. Students develop a better understanding of how the media works and how an organization can leverage media to its advantage.


BUAD 589 Profit Planning, Control and Evaluation

This course focuses on understanding and using accounting cost information in budgeting, controlling and performance evaluation of organizations. Students learn to describe operating, financial and flexible budgeting; explain and compute various variances for performance evaluation; and compute and explain return on investment, residual income and economic value added. This course assumes prior introductory knowledge of financial and managerial accounting (BUAD 500 or equivalent).

BUAD 589 Project Management for Leaders

This course provides leaders with an understanding of Project Management (PM) principles and methodologies as developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Traditional and Agile PM approaches will be reviewed, along with transitional challenges companies may face. Students will be introduced to common PM vocabulary, PM Process Groups, and PM Knowledge Areas.

Both behavioral aspects and technical components of a project will be covered. Behavioral issues include management and leadership, stakeholders and communications, and organizational culture and structure. Technical components include Work Breakdown Structure, Cost Estimation, Critical Path Method, Earned Value Analysis, and Risk Management. Students will also be introduced to PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

BUAD 589 Social Impact

The goal of this elective is to equip students to proactively discern and evaluate opportunities for their organizations to engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR concerns the responsibilities companies have to promote a just, sustainable society both within (in their culture and policies) and without (in their communities and polities). Students learn how to develop and apply a stakeholder-focused framework for CSR, and they present an analysis that applies this framework to a local organization. Specific topics covered may include: stakeholder management, sustainability, political CSR, democratic governance, nonprofit partnerships and global CSR.

BUAD 589 Sports Marketing and Fan Engagement

This marketing course will explore the essentials of effective sports marketing initiatives including marketing sports products and services, understanding sports fans, sports marketing research and analytics, content creation, brand development and sponsorship and licensing.

BUAD 589 Theories of Leadership

This course is a critical examination of leadership theories and case studies, through which students understand and become aware of how human behavior affects the outcomes in organizations. This course develops effective leaders by giving them multiple tools, the skills to use each of the tools and the wisdom to match frames to situations. 

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