Course Descriptions

Foundation I Courses

Entrepreneurship

Introduces students to tools and skills needed to create and grow a successful new venture as well as evaluate the potential of new ventures and entrepreneurs for those in venture finance. The course integrates research findings from a range of different practical and intellectual perspectives, including psychology, sociology, economics, strategic management and history into practical, hands-on lessons for an entrepreneur. Class projects provide the foundations for new, real businesses.

Strategic and Transformational IT

Examines how to identify transformational technologies and develop strategies to take advantage of them, including case studies to illustrate managerial decisions about technology as well as lectures that help frame the issues. The course is focused on management issues and is suitable for the student with no IT experience, as well as for students with technical backgrounds who want to understand how to manage IT in the firm.

Data Models and Decisions

Introduces students to analytical techniques that establish the optimality of managerial decisions via empirical (“data models”) and logical (“decisions”) means. The course may be viewed as consisting of two integrated parts. In the first part, various methods of analyzing data, including regression analysis are studied. The second part covers models for making optimal decisions in situations characterized by either an absence of uncertainty or where the uncertainty arises from non-competitive sources.

Ethical Leadership

Explores the following topics: recognize the scope of managerial agency and the economic, legal and ethical responsibilities to various stakeholders; conduct elementary ethical analyses of managerial situations using the principal schools of ethical reasoning; identify the economic and ethical properties of a market mechanism, and the means for addressing the limitations of a market; and recognize ethical leadership as the exercise of managerial agency in changing existing values and practices.

The Global Economic Environment

Provides managers with the tools necessary to intelligently interpret the national and international economic environment, including the impact of economic policies on the economy and the firm. The course develops basic macroeconomic theory to enable managers to critically evaluate economic forecasts and policy recommendations and then applies these concepts in a series of case studies.

Leadership and Human Capital

Builds on students’ leadership experience to extend their theoretical knowledge and applied skills. Using assessment tools, exercises, films, cases and other assignments, students gain a stronger understanding and skill set to excel in leadership positions today. Also provides an overview of the key issues related to managing human capital in organizations. Covers critical issues that every professional needs to know, regardless of functional area and examines them from both a strategic and a tactical level and should be relevant to all practicing managers and leaders.

Financial Accounting

Focuses on the preparation, understanding and analysis of financial statements: income statement, balance sheet and the statement of cash flows. These statements report a company’s profitability and financial health, and are useful to all economic agents who are engaged with the firm. These include investors (actual and potential), employees, customers and governments. The overall objective of this course is to provide students with the concepts and tools needed to understand and effectively use a company’s external or financial accounting information system.

Managerial Economics and Public Policy

Examines basic microeconomic principles used by firms, including supply and demand, elasticity, costs, productivity, pricing, market structure and competitive implications of alternative market structures, market failures and government intervention, and public policy processes affecting business operations.

Marketing Strategy

Focuses on the development and application of a framework governing the marketing process with emphasis on strategic decisions including market segmentation, target market selection and brand positioning. Discussions include: the marketing concept, promotion strategies, go-to-market plans, pricing and sales force management.

Supply Chain Management

Examines management decision-making in the design and implementation of supply chains, including expansion overseas. Orients the student to the field of supply chain management through cases and lectures on the importance of the field. Closely examines critical decision making in the global supply chain, including managing the overall synchronization of demand and supply; buyer/supplier collaboration; and performance score carding.

Operations Management

Examines the strategic role that the operations function can play, and offers specific tools and techniques that the firm can use for strategy execution. Covers concepts of operations management applied to both manufacturing and services, including operations strategy, analysis of process flows and bottlenecks, waiting line models, total quality management, six–sigma and lean management.

Financial Management

Presents the main concepts and analytic methods of modern corporate finance. Students learn about the structure of financial markets, the techniques and language of finance and the various responsibilities of the corporate financial manager. Topics addressed include objective of creating shareholder value; valuation of corporate securities, including stocks and bonds; risk-return relationship and its implications for finance; financial techniques for evaluating corporate investments; corporate financing alternatives and the design of a company’s capital structure; coordinating investment and financing; and basics of derivatives pricing.

Foundation II Courses

Managerial Accounting

Helps to analyze financial as well as nonfinancial information in planning, control and decision making. Managerial accounting is primarily concerned with helping managers make effective decisions related to utilization of resources, cost analysis, performance evaluation, etc. The overall objective of this course is to provide you with the concepts and tools needed to understand and effectively use a company’s internal or managerial accounting information system.

Organizational Change

Develops the fundamental knowledge and skills of MBA students who plan to work with organizations as change agents, whether internally, or externally as outside consultants. This course draws on literatures from organizational behavior, organizational change and development, organizational structure, human resource management and strategic management to identify and understand critical factors and underlying processes that drive for and against organizational change. This course also provides students with useful models, tools and skills for leading and managing organizational change effectively.

International Business

Provides a broad look at issues global organizations face across the enterprise. Students will explore international marketing, finance, management and organizational behavior strategies. Students taking the course will gain a global business perspective.

Executive Power and Negotiations

Increases your knowledge about ways to expand your power and influence capabilities, as well as enhance your negotiation skills. Enables you to obtain personal insights into your own approaches, strengths, and weaknesses. By the end of the course, you will have developed and implemented a negotiation plan to apply the course principles in a personal or professional setting.

Strategy and Globalization

Explores the set of challenging decisions, tasks, frameworks and tools involved in strategic management in a global environment. Focuses on strategy as integrative and oriented to bottom-line performance, dynamic, and evolutionary. Competitive strategy in a global context adds the focus of positioning in markets vis a vis other companies trying to serve the same customer, maneuvering dynamically and finding or creating open niches.

Foundation II Electives

Elective courses will be offered in Foundation Two. Each student can select three electives in Foundation Two according to their specializations or a mixed selection of electives for the general track. These electives provide an opportunity for advanced learning in a subject area of your choice. They will enhance your knowledge and skills to help you build a career track in the fields of finance, accounting, information systems and business analytics, marketing or general business management.

Foundation II Action Learning Project

Action Learning Projects (ALPs) are a practical and high-impact way to develop your ability to think and lead across an organization by applying what you have learned in the classroom. ALPs are like a class project, but the difference between the typical class project and these transformative projects is the difference between a glass of skim milk and a milkshake. ALPs create practical learning experiences by integrating knowledge gained from the core curriculum and focusing on real business problems in real-time – outside the risks and demands of your day-to-day job. ALPs focus on three broad areas where we see executive skills and leadership put to the test in organizations: entrepreneurship, business process consulting and leading change.

Opening and Closing Residencies

Opening residency

Three-day, on-campus experience designed to welcome you to the Smith School community. We'll get started on some course work, get to know the faculty and staff at the University of Maryland, and join classmates in the program for some team building - all at the doorstep of our nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

Closing residency: Capstone business experience

The capstone experience will help students appreciate the value and interconnectedness of the various functional business areas. The capstone will result in much stronger knowledge of all business areas and a more marketable online MBA degree.