Fearless Learning

What does it mean to Lead Fearlessly? In the Flex MBA program at Maryland Smith, it means rolling up your sleeves to get the job done. Taking on big data and creating action-oriented solutions. Understanding why and how sound business decisions are made. Your career advancement depends on your ability to lead in markets that are fast-paced, global and complex. Our faculty, known for their research prowess and practical experience, will teach you how to do it all  – FEARLESSLY.

Transformational Learning


The Flex MBA curriculum is made up of core courses, electives and special topics, and allows flexibility in where and how you attend classes. Take your first-year core coursework online or at the campus you select: Baltimore, Md., Rockville, Md. or Washington, D.C. Once you enter your second year, you may take electives either online or in person at any of our three campuses.

Turbocharge Your Saturdays

Our Business Decoded Saturday Seminars explore new developments in business and are taught by our own Maryland Smith faculty experts. During their two years in the program, Flex MBA students at all three campus locations are required to complete 50 hours of these special topic seminars as part of their core credits.

Seminars are also open to Smith alumni, providing increased networking opportunities. Proposed topics are relevant and varied, including:

  • Big Data and AI
  • Bubbles & Disruption
  • Data Tracking and Privacy
  • Data Visualization
  • Diversity, Inclusion, Belongingness
  • How Industries Evolve
  • HR Analytics 
  • Innovation Greenhouse
  • Managing Conflict

“Our seminars showcase the latest research to reveal what’s just on the horizon of business.”

Paulo Prochno
Assistant Dean

MBA Consulting Practicum 

In this four-credit course, student teams provide semester-long management consulting services to clients who have contracted with Smith. Through experiential and classroom learning, students get to solve complex business problems and deliver value as consultants.

“I love working with students. Helping future consultants add value to their clients is very rewarding.”

Rick Sullivan
MBA ’15

Course Descriptions

The curriculum is offered in a 24-month format. Within that format, course offerings are lockstep. For example, students take a defined bundle of general management electives to complete their entire MBA program at the Baltimore campus. If students wish to expand the selection of course offerings but still complete the program on time, they are encouraged to explore the courses offered online or on-site at the Baltimore, Md., Rockville, Md. and Washington, D.C. campuses, or request to take courses offered in Smith’s Business Master’s programs.

Courses are subject to change.

Introduction to Financial Accounting

Overview of financial accounting, periodic financial statements and the financial reporting process. Importance of financial statements as information source for creditors and investors and as a means by which managers can communicate information about their firms.

Managerial Accounting

Use of accounting data in corporate planning and control. Cost-volume-profit analysis, budgeting, pricing decisions and cost data, transfer pricing, activity-based management, performance measures, and standard costing.

Strategic and Transformational IT (Technology Selective)

Introduces students to the key issues in managing information technology (IT) and provides an overview of how major IT applications in today's firms support strategic, operational, and tactical decisions. Topics include: synchronizing IT and business strategy; the transformational impacts of IT; evaluating and coping with new technologies; governing, managing, and organizing the IT function including
outsourcing/off-shoring considerations; assessing the business value of IT and justifying IT projects; and managing IT applications in functional areas to support strategy and business process.

Managing Digital Business Markets (Technology Selective)

The objective is to understand the strategic and tactical issues involved in managing digital businesses and markets. Also, some of the characteristics of digital businesses and markets that make them unique and understand how companies can best manage them will be examined.

Data Models and Decisions

To develop probabilistic and statistical concepts, methods and models through examples motivated by real-life data from business and to stress the role that statistics plays in the managerial decision making process.

Operations Management

Operations management is concerned with efficient and effective design and operation of business processes for delivering products and/or services. Emphasis is given to process analysis and design, capacity management and bottlenecks, waiting lines and the impact of uncertainty in process performance, quality management, lean, six-sigma, and revenue management. .

Financial Management

Analysis of major corporate financial decisions using a market-oriented framework. Topics include capital budgeting, security portfolio theory, operation and efficiency of financial markets, options pricing, financing decisions, capital structure, payout policy and international finance.

Marketing Management

This course is an overview of decisions marketing managers make to create and maintain enduring customer-based equity. These decisions involve identifying marketing opportunities, selecting customer targets, effectively positioning products and services, and implementing competitive marketing support programs. Students will learn marketing decision-making models and how to apply them.

Leadership and Teamwork

Examine concepts of team-building and leadership which are critical to managerial success. Topics include: leadership, decision making, communication and conflict, work motivation, building effective teams, and organizational change and culture.

Managerial Economics and Public Policy

Basic microeconomic principles used by firms, including supply and demand, elasticities, costs, productivity, pricing, market structure and competitive implications of alternative market structures. Market failures and government intervention. Public policy processes affecting business operations.

The Global Economic Environment

Relationship between national and international economic environments. Determinants of output, interest rates, prices and exchange rates. Analysis of effect of economic policies (fiscal, monetary, trade, tax) on the firm and the economy.

Strategic Management

Integrative strategic management focusing on strategy formulation and implementation in domestic and global settings. Industry and competitor analysis, industry and firm value chain, leadership, goal setting, organizational structure and culture. Case study approach to top management and organizational problems.

Financial Statement Analysis

Provides students with the tools to conduct a financial statement analysis, which is part of an overall business analysis. This involves understanding and using the information that financial statements are communicating to users.

Special Topics in Accounting and Information Assurance

Selected advanced topics in the various fields of graduate study in accounting and information assurance.

Tax Considerations for Strategic Management Decisions

The course explores the tax aspects of managerial decisions, focusing on selecting the proper form of business, setting management compensation, and structuring corporate reorganizations. The course will examine the tax implications of conducting business as a C or S corporation, partnership, and limited liability company; selecting the appropriate jurisdiction to conduct business; and paying employees with stock options, stock appreciation rights, and other forms of compensation.

Financial Reporting for Executives

Uses authoritative professional pronouncements to examine advanced financial reporting issues. Examines complex problems in accounting and reporting; examples include pensions, taxes, interest rate swaps, derivative securities, international transactions, and international financial reporting. Takes a user-oriented perspective, and examines the ways in which financial accounting information is used by investors, analysts, and creditors. Examples include if users adjust for alternative accounting methods or for information that is recognized versus disclosed.

Independent Study in Accounting and Information Assurance

Independent study for masters students in accounting and information assurance.

Social Media and Web 2.0

Over the past years, social computing technologies such as online communities, blogs, wikis, and social networking systems have become important tools for individuals to seek information, socialize with others, get support, collaborate on work, and express themselves. Increasingly, businesses are trying to leverage web 2.0 by using social computing technologies to communicate with customers, employees, and other business partners or to build new business models. This course will review concepts and principles related to web 2.0 and examine issues and strategies associated with business use of social computing technologies.

Decision Analytics

Analytical modeling for managerial decisions using a spreadsheet environment. Includes linear and nonlinear optimization models, decision making under uncertainty and simulation models.

Data Mining and Predictive Analytics

Data mining techniques and their use in business decision making. A hands-on course that provides an understanding of the key methods of data visualization, exploration, classification, prediction, time series forecasting, and clustering.

Special Topics in Decision, Operations, and Information Technologies

Selected advanced topics in the various fields of graduate study in decision, operations and information technologies.

Big Data

Digitization is occurring in every aspect of business and our daily life. As a result, huge amount of data is being generated. Big data represents unprecedented opportunities for companies to generate insights and create wealth. At the same time, much of the big data is unstructured, in real time and only loosely connected. It defies the traditional ways of managing databases. This creates challenges even to tech-savvy companies on how to leverage the big data to gain competitive advantages.

Operations and Supply Chain Strategy

The course approaches the design and management of effective supply chains from an operations perspective, based on modeling tools, and the current practices of firms, through case studies. Topics covered include inventory management, supply chain coordination, risk pooling, quick response, and network design. We study supply chain management from a how to perspective, as opposed to a what perspective.

Independent Study in Decision and Information Technologies

Independent study for masters students in decision and information technologies.

Pricing and Revenue Management

Specialized course on pricing and revenue management (PRM) that provides students with tools and principles, drawn from several disciplines (Operations, Microeconomics, Decision Modeling, Statistics, Marketing, IS) to make effective pricing decisions. Topics covered include economics of pricing, strategy and tactics of PRM, pricing optimization, differentiated pricing, dynamic pricing, mark-down pricing, legal and ethical issues in models/methods used in making effective PRM decisions and managerial or organizational factors that hold the key to success in execution of PRM.

Investment Fund Management

Provides second-year Master in Business Administration students with the opportunity to apply the skills learned in finance classes to actual investment decisions through management of an investment fund.

Capital Markets

Designed to deepen the foundations necessary to finance focused students, especially those intending to specialize in the quantitative areas of finance including investments, fixed income, and financial engineering.

Valuation in Corporate Finance

An advanced topics course in Corporate Finance dealing with valuation. Main topics will be, building pro forma statements, cost of capital, using ratios and comparables to value projects and firms, discounted cash flow valuations, WACC and APV methods of valuation and Real Option Valuations.

Financial Strategy For Corporations

An advanced course in corporate finance, focusing on the issues that firms face when they plan to raise external capital from financial markets. The focus is on the financing problems faced by mid-market to large firms and on capital raised from public markets. The forms of external finance vary from simple debt or equity to more complex securities that bundle with an element of risk management.

Financial Restructuring

Focuses on identifying ways to increase firm value through corporate restructuring. Specific topics include: mergers and tender offers, spin-offs, carve-outs, divestitures, takeover defense strategies, leveraged buy-outs, and international acquisitions. Additionally, the theory, practice and empirical evidence related to each of these topics will be covered. Emphasis will be placed on valuation analysis and strategic considerations

Corporate Governance and Performance

Deals with corporate governance and its impact on shareholder value. Divergence of interests between corporate insiders and providers of funds leads to agency problems which can impair corporate performance and shareholder value. Various instruments of corporate governance - internal as well as external mechanisms - that can help align managerial incentives with those of outside investors, and hence help restore shareholder value will be studied.

Corporate Risk Management

Surveys the theory and practice of financial risk identification, measurement, and mitigation at financial and non-financial firms. Topics will include hedging with options and futures, interest rate risk management, Value-at-Risk (VaR), Cashflow-at-Risk (CaR), Earnings-at-Risk (EaR), credit risk, equity risk, commodities risk, exchange rate risk, and lessons from risk management disasters. 

Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity

An advanced topics course in Corporate Finance. The major emphasis is how financiers help growing firms - and in particular young start-ups - using different types of securities at different points in the industry's and firm's life. Financing arrangements and securities studied will include private equity funds and private financings placements, Venture Capital (VC) and preferred equity, Investment Banks through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), Private equity finds, debt and leveraged buyouts. Students will learn additional techniques that will help them understand how financiers value firms and how to understand, plan and value different financing strategies.

Special Topics in Finance

Selected advanced topics in the various fields of graduate study in finance.

Sustainability and Investing

Sustainability has emerged as a key strategic driver of value for companies, and a focus for many investors as well. Sustainable investing is a positive investment philosophy that seeks opportunities, and is thus distinct from the previous generation of socially responsible practices, which focused on screening out undesirable investments. This course will cover the metrics involved with this growing practice, especially as it pertains to financial measurement of environmental factors. Students will actively participate in the creation of sustainable portfolios, while reviewing how sustainability affects all asset classes, regions and public policy. Guest speakers to be included as available.

Independent Study in Finance

Independent study for Masters students in finance.

Applied Equity in Finance

Students will learn to analyze equity securities using the basic EIC (Economy/Industry/Company) framework used in the financial industry, paying special attention to financial statement analysis. Students also will learn the primary valuation techniques used to estimate market values for equity securities.

Derivative Securities

Standard types of derivatives contracts are presented, and illustrated as to how they are used in practice. The theory of pricing these contracts is then presented in detail. The use of static and dynamic replication strategies, and the concept of no-arbitrage strategies is illustrated in numerous ways. Standard valuation techniques are covered, and standard formulas are presented. The theory is then applied to develop specific pricing and hedging strategies for various types of derivatives on different underlying assets. The management of the exposure of various risks is covered in detail as well.

Fixed Income Analysis

Describes important financial instruments which have market values that are sensitive to interest rate movements. Develops tools to analyze interest rate sensitivity and value fixed income securities. Defines and explains the vocabulary of the bond management business.

Portfolio Management

Provides training that is important in understanding the investment process -the buy side of the financial world. Specifically, the objective is to provide graduate-level instruction in the following topics, both in theory and in using financial markets data to test the basic theory and practice of portfolio choice and equilibrium pricing models and their implications for efficient portfolios.

Quantitative Investment Strategy

Provides an introduction to quantitative techniques of selecting equities, as used commonly among long-short equity hedge funds and other quantitative equity asset management companies. Statistical factor models are developed to locate stocks with higher expected returns, based on the observable characteristics of the stocks. Implementation issues, including statistical estimation, backtesting and portfolio construction, are covered, as is performance evaluation.

Fixed Income Derivatives

Surveys fixed income assets and related securities such as Exchange-traded bond options; bonds with embedded options; floating rate notes; caps, collars, and floors; floating rate notes with embedded options. Also surveys advanced tools for interest-rate and fixed-income portfolio management, including the use of derivative securities, and the application of binomial trees for analysis of options, and a sound understanding of stochastic yield curves.

Financial Engineering

Develop Excel and Visual Basic (VBA) models to solve problems related to portfolio management, options valuation, fixed income securities, interest rate processes, and risk management. This course thus bridges theory with the design of algorithms and models that can be directly applied in practice.

International Investment

Addresses international stock markets, portfolio theory, international interest rates, exchange rates and exchange rate derivatives (options, forwards, and futures), exchange rate swaps and exchange rate exposure (operating, translation, and transaction), foreign investment strategey.

International Corporate and Project Finance

Continuation of BUFN770. Issues addressed will include captial budgeting, project financing, exhange rate exposure (operating, translation, and transaction), foreign investment strategy, and risk management.

Bank Management

Analyze and discuss readings in bank management,with primary focus on the measurement and management of risk, including credit, market, and interest rate risk. Look at the management of liquid reserves. Examine the special nature of financial institutions, incorporating their functions, policies, services, and regulation. Study the evolving nature of the financial services inductry, by reading the financial press and by having outside practitioner speakers. Focus is on U.S. banks.

Institutional Asset Management

Examines how money is managed by organizations such as university endowments, pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, and private equity funds. Involves a mixture of finance and economics and emphasizes the incentives professional money managers face within the context of the organizational structure in which they operate. Particular attention is paid to compensation structures and monitoring mechanisms.

Global Trade Logistics

Acquaints students with managerial issues in international logistics and transportation, and provides students with an understanding of issues related to import/export management and the global marketplace

Assessing and Managing Supply Chain Risks

Supply chain managers are facing an increasingly volatile operating environment, with constant danger of trading community disruption from business, social and environmental risks. Students are provided with a working knowledge of both the core techniques of supply chain risk assessment and mitigation; as well as best practices in establishing formal corporate supply chain risk management programs. A semester-long X-Treme Supply Chain Simulation will enable students to gain hands-on experience in navigating a computer company through a complex and risky four quarters of global business operations.

Global Supply Chain Resources Planning

Provides students with an overall understanding of how firms use an advanced supply chain planning (ASCP) application as an integral part of their materials management process which includes such activities as production planning, materials requirements planning, and distribution requirements planning.

Global Supply Chain Risk Management

Explores methods to build enterprise resillience from the perspectives of the supply chain planner and supply chain manager. Addresses concerns assessing strategic & operational risks, day to day uncertainties in demand & supply and ensuring business continuity after low probability but high impact events such as a terrorist attack or earthquake.

Special Topics in Logistics, Business and Public Policy

Selected advanced topics in the various fields of graduate study in logistics, business and public policy.

Assessing & Managing Supply Chain Risks

Global supply chain systems are totally dependent on efficient transportation delivery systems to minimize costs and maximize required customer service levels.  This course examines the movement of goods in a global marketplace with a focus on the various transportation modes involved (cargo liner ships, railroads, and motor carriers).  Students will explore the operating characteristics of each mode and conduct financial analyses of individual companies. In recent years, various transportation intermediaries or third party logistics providers have played an increasingly larger role in global trade.  An exploration of their roles will be featured to better understand the dynamics of global transportation.

Supply Chain Strategy

Supply chain strategy refers to the longer term plans firms use to optimize the performance of their supply chains. A firm faces many choices in determining its supply chain strategy. A poor supply chain strategic choice may result in inadequate levels of customer service or excess inventory costs. In addition, a firm's supply chain strategy must support the firm's overall corporate strategy. So, for example, if the firm wishes to differentiate on the basis of high levels of customer service, its supply chain strategy must also support excellent customer service.

Economics of Sustainable Development

The goal of this course is to better understand the issues of sustainability in a series of different contexts. These contexts include common property problems, such as natural resource depletion, energy, carbon emissions, the industrialization of food production and supply chain issues (e.g., sustainability and safety). Within each context, we examine the underlying market failures that lead to sub-optimal social outcomes along with commonly employed economic solutions to these problems. We will study cases from numerous settings, but we will spend more time on market failures that contribute to environmental problems.

Emerging Economies, Government Policies, and International Trade

The objective of this course is to enhance managers understanding of the economic environment of firms operating in the international economy with emphasis on emerging markets of the global economy. Managers misreading of emerging economies and associated government polices leads to less than optimal strategies by firms to enhance profits or prevent losses in these markets.

Global Supply Chain Resources Planning

This course provides an overall understanding of the materials management process including production planning, materials requirements planning, and distribution requirements planning. The application of analytics to other supply chain management activities such as sourcing, transportation, and warehousing is also examined.

Independent Study in Logistics Management

Independent study for Masters students in Logistics Management.

Marketing Research Methods

The process of acquiring, classifying and interpreting primary and secondary marketing data needed for intelligent, profitable marketing decisions. Evaluation of the appropriateness of alternative methodologies, such as the inductive, deductive, survey, observational, and experimental. Recent developments in the systematic recording and use of internal and external data needed for marketing decisions.

Marketing Analysis

Introduction to modeling tools used to support marketing analysis and decision making. Applications in strategic marketing, marketing segmentation, new product development, sales promotion analysis, pricing, design of marketing mix, sales force allocation, and direct marketing. Spreadsheet driven cases and illustrative readings.

Consumer Behavior

Analysis of customer decision-making and how marketing strategy can be used to influence those decisions. The framework is a buyer behavior model, in which concepts from psychology, sociology, and economics are applied to individual and organizational purchase decisions. Marketing strategies of leading firms in consumer products, technology, and services (including internet services) are analyzed using a variety of case study formats. Focus is consumer behavior; however, principles can also be applied to the decision-making of business.

Brand Management

Brand names are valuable assets for firms. Effective brand management is critical to maintaining the long-term profitability of products and services. Topics include understanding brands from the customer's perspective, building brand equity, measuring brand equity, leveraging brand equity, managing brand portfolios and managing brands over time.

Integrated Marketing Communications

Marketing communications are a complex but critical component of marketing strategy. Topics include communication tools: advertising, sales promotions, corporation communications, one-on-one or direct marketing, public relations, internet communications, sponsorship/events marketing, and marketing communcation plans: defining objectives, implementing the plan, and measuring communications effectiveness. Achieving integration in the content, look, and feel of all marketing communications is stressed.

Customer Equity Management

Focuses on managing customers of a business, whether in B2B or B2C space, as a portfolio of equity; understanding the current and future value of customers to the business; selective acquisition, development, and retention of customers using latest developments in information technology.

Business-to-Business Marketing

Focus is large fraction of marketing activity directed at organizational customers (businesses, non-profits and government). Marketing strategies, tactics and analytical tools most relevant when marketing to organizational customers are covered. Readings, cases and term paper contribute to understanding how to build long term buyer/seller relationships. Course is appropriate for anyone interested in understanding relationships between organizations, including vertical strategic alliances.

Marketing Strategy

A capstone marketing course. Marketing strategies designed to manage products in selected market segments. Topics covered include competitor analysis, buyer analysis, market segments, and product strengths and weaknesses; product related issues are identified and marketing strategies developed, assessed and implemented.

Special Topics in Marketing

Selected advanced topics in the various fields of graduate study in marketing.

Market Forecasting

In this course, students will learn a number of market forecasting methods, each appropriate for different contexts. The majority of this course focuses on quantitative modeling techniques based on established statistical methods. We also cover non-statistical methods that are often used when empirical data is scarce. This is a very hands-on class where students will apply the forecasting methods learned to real data.

Pricing Strategies for Sustainable Comepetitive Advatange

Pricing is one of the most important marketing decisions a firm faces. This course will help participants to develop pricing strategies using actual proven concepts, processes and techniques, to align pricing strategies with corporate goals and objectives, to determine the value customers assign to products and services using competitive pricing analysis, and to optimize pricing using customer segmenting strategies. The course will focus on both economic and behavioral aspects of pricing, and evaluation of innovative pricing practices such as price matching, customized pricing, bundle pricing and product line pricing, covering both B2B and B2C markets. Instruction will be through a mix of case studies, pricing simulation games, hands-on exercises and discussions. The course will provide participants with an in-depth understanding of state-of-the-art pricing strategies, practices and techniques for making profitable and sustainable pricing decisions.

Social Media and Internet Marketing

Examines the process of developing, implementing, and analyzing strategies for successfully marketing a variety of existing and potential products and services using electronic media. Besides well-established Internet marketing tools such as e-mail, search engines and display advertising, a substantial part of the course is dedicated to understanding social media, analyzing successful social media strategies, and tracking their effectiveness. The course offers hands-on experience with many popular as well as emerging techniques unique to electronic media. Special attention is given to metrics appropriate for the new media.

New Product Development

The New Product Development course for MBAs will teach students about the business and management aspects of developing and bringing new products to market. The course will cover a broad array of topics including new product process, product marketing, product strategy, product portfolio management, and product team organization. Students will apply these topics in a dynamic and interactive group environment. At the completion of the course, students should have a good understanding of the fundamentals of new product development and should be able to use the information learned to make informed decisions in areas related to product specific businesses.

Competitive and Collaborative Negotiation

This high experiential course will improve students' negotiation skills and capacity to acquire and effectively use power. By using a variety of assessment tools, feedback sources, skill-building exercises, and exercise debriefings, the class will increase students' negotiating self-confidence and improve their capacity to achieve win-win solutions to individual, team, and organizational problems. The course is designed to enhance students negotiating self-confidence and improve students analytical skills, interpersonal skills, creativity (e.g., identifying creative solutions to conflict), and persuasive abilities.

Understanding Organizational Change

Develops the fundamental change knowledge and skills of MBA students who plan to work with organizations as change agents, whether internally as managerial employees or externally as outside consultants. Draws on literatures from organizational behavior, human resource management and strategic management to identify models as prescriptions of change.

Managing Organizational Change

Develops the advanced knowledge and skills of MBA students who plan to work with organizations as change agents. Concrete and useful strategies, tools, and interventions for diagnosing organizational change situations, analyzing problems, and designing and implementing organizational change. Diverse approaches to leading and managing various types of organizational change.

Networks and Influence

Focuses on networks, social capital, and influence as they relate to operating effectively in organizations. It draws heavily on emerging literature related to social capital and networks, but also integrates concepts from persuasion, communication, and motivation literatures to aid your efforts to build a successful track record for yourself and your organization.

Entrepreneurship and New Ventures

Provides an introduction to important tools and skills necessary to create and grow a successful new venture. 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.

Implementing Strategy: Organizing to Compete

Organizational dynamics of competitive advantage. Impact of alternative organizational structures, planning and control systems, human resource management practices, and executive leadership styles on the implementation of archetypically different strategies.

Strategic Growth for Emerging Companies

Explores the key elements of mastering the move from being a successful small company to achieving industry significance. Supplemented by readings, video and guest speakers, the course highlights the application of practical lessons leading to strategic growth and subsequent emergence as a player.

Emerging Business Formation

Business formation issues, legal obligations that affect entrepreneurial activities, the spectrum of financing methods available to emerging businesses, creating management and organization and a practical application of the tools through practical projects.

Global Strategy

Focuses on the "strategic" and "organizational" questions that a company must address as it globalizes its footprint. Among the questions that will be addressed are: What are the potential benefits, costs, and risks associated with going abroad? What differentiates a "global" from a "multidomestic" industry? What are the sources of competitive advantage in a global context? 

Industry Analysis

Conceptual framework and analytical tools for understanding the dynamics of industry structure. Impacts of past and future attractiveness of the industry on profitability. Developing and applying frameworks to devise competitive strategies in uncertain industries.

Special Topics in Management and Organization

Selected advanced topics in the various fields of graduate study in management and organization.

Alignment of Human Capitol

Taking the perspective of a General Manager's role in guiding the Human Resources function, the purpose of this course is to develop the ability to determine whether a firm has the HR practices in place to deliver the human capital (HC) the firm needs to execute its strategy. The model used to guide students' thinking, and upon which the entire course is based, is the Strategic Alignment Model.   

International Entrepreneurship

The objective of this course is to introduce the new international developments that have greatly expanded the entrepreneurial opportunities for the global market. Topics include: methods and process of entry, joint ventures and strategic alliances, financing international ventures, flows of people, goods, services and capital, insurance, nationality and culture, and the analysis of foreign markets.

Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship examines the characteristics of a social enterprise and explores the challenges of managing a successful social enterprise. Social return on investment" is described and applied in diverse "non-profit" and "for profit" settings. The course prepares the student for a career in social entrepreneurship through understanding the vision

Entreprenurial Issues in Family and Closely-Held Business

Family and closely-held businesses are the largest employer and wealth creator in the US economy. This class provides students with the practical tools to be effective working in and advising these unique businesses. Topics addressed will include: the unique aspects of family-owned businesses, legal and financial issues, generational conflict and resolution, transitions, corporate governance, use of outside advisors and specific growth strategies.

Innovation Management

The course is designed to give students a broad view on issues related to the management of innovations. It covers both external dynamics of innovations and internal management activities, with special emphasis on knowledge development and learning processes within organizations.

Management Consulting

This course offers an in-depth overview of the management consulting industry. Topics include the structure, conduct and performance of the management consulting industry; firms in the industry and their competitive strategies; key strategic and organizational issues facing these firms; ideas, tools and frameworks that these firms have put into practice; problem-solving, communication, and client relation skills that are necessary for success in the industry; management consulting careers; and ethical issues facing management consultants.

Leadership Development

Leadership development is the process of enhancing your skills to influence and organize others to accomplish key goals. It goes beyond leadership theories by focusing on building skills to inspire and organize people to achieve tangible results. The approach taken in this class follows that used by most effective leadership development programs: comprehensive self-assessments, experiential exercises, action learning projects, and individually tailored skill-improvement plans.

As a result of taking this course, you will:

  • Obtain broad feedback on your unique strengths, proficiencies and development needs.
  • Create and implement a self-development plan for enhancing your leadership skills.
  • Improve your skills for communicating with and organizing diverse people.
  • Increase your capacity to lead others in challenging or stressful situations.
  • Exercise personal leadership in a team project.

Managing Difficult Employees

Based on original research into the experiences of Smith School MBA and EMBA students, difficult employees have been defined as individuals with whom one comes into contact at work, about whom there is general agreement that they create problems because they violate others expectations and hinder other peoples job performance. This course is designed to (a) help students identify typical problem behaviors among those with whom they work and (b) develop effective strategies for neutralizing such behavior, regardless of whether the problem person is a supervisor, peer, or direct report. Class sessions will include short lectures, small group activities, case studies, and role-play exercises. Key deliverables include a team project in which members develop and implement an action plan for responding assertively when others violate important expectations.

Independent Study in Management and Organization

Independent study for Masters students in management and organization.

Creativity for Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

Examines the concept of creativity as it applies in today's and tomorrow's complex business environment. An overview of the cognitive foundations of creativity, examines many of the preconceived notions about creativity in business and discusses multiple ways in which creativity can help business leaders and entrepreneurs to succeed. Topics include creativity techniques for groups and individuals, creativity as a foundation to recognize business opportunities and develop innovative products and services, selecting ideas and making them stick, mental and organizational obstacles to creativity as well as an overview of electronic tools to increase creative capability.

Cross-Cultural Communications and Teamwork

Provide managers a sound basis for developing such competencies. Specifically, we will develop an understanding of key cultural differences, and how these differences influence the management of individuals, groups, and organizations.


Our opening and closing residencies in College Park, Md., are attended by every new Flex MBA student from each of our three campuses. Each residency earns you two credits towards your degree. Building community with your cohorts and others can reap tremendous rewards, both in and out of the classroom.

Opening Residency – Before your regular coursework even begins, you’ll meet like-minded, motivated regional professionals on day one, while learning the expectations of the program. Workshops explore topics such as data analytics, strategy and decision-making, and financial tools and economics, as well as an introduction to the Office of Career Services. 

Closing Residency – Students put their business acumen to work across all of the functional areas they’ve studied throughout the program in an Integrated Capstone experience. In this final session, you’ll get to show off your critical thinking, problem analysis and soft skills.

Dual Degrees

Dual degrees allow you to combine your MBA studies with graduate coursework in other University of Maryland degree programs to create a unique set of skills and knowledge. It’s just one more way the Flex MBA can help you distinguish yourself in a competitive marketplace.

Requirements for dual degrees vary by program, but students generally take the MBA core courses and then complete the degree requirements for the other graduate program. Separate applications may be required, and some programs may require additional standardized tests prior to admission.

Learn more about our dual degree options

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742