Core Courses

MBA@UNC begins with core courses that form a common foundation for you and your classmates.

    • Analytical Tools – 4 credit hours
    • Analytical Tools is a basic course in statistics, decision analysis, and simulation modeling. Course objectives are to learn the basic techniques of data analysis, sampling and estimation, hypothesis testing, multiple regression, decision analysis, and Monte Carlo simulation; to apply these techniques to practical managerial decision problems; to develop basic skills in the use of Excel; and to see how quantitative methods impact the meaning of life. The course will be conducted using a combination of lecture and case discussion and will cover hypothesis testing, regression analysis, time series, risk and decision analysis.

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    • Business Communication – 4 credit hours
    • This course introduces you to best practices in business writing and business speaking that are exceedingly important to advancing your career. Course objectives are to organize and write informative, negative, and persuasive business messages; to design documents with a high “skim value”; to construct effective paragraphs and sentences that show rhetorical relationships; to apply style techniques that result in efficient prose; to punctuate for clarity; to structure presentations efficiently and effectively; to incorporate stories, visuals, logic, and emotion into business presentations; to integrate slides, handouts, notes, and questions; and to deliver information with a natural confidence.

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    • Business Strategy – 2 credit hours
    • The purpose of this course is to increase your ability to analyze the strategy of corporations. By strategy, we mean the distinctive approach that the executives within a corporation employ to win in their markets and against their competitors. We will discuss fundamental strategy theories and illustrate their use within a diverse set of corporations. Specifically, we will consider industry structure and generic strategies, the resource-based view of the corporation, and opportunity-driven strategies based on complexity theory. The course will progress from well-defined markets to highly dynamic ones where market structures are ambiguous and the pace of change is often rapid. The ultimate intent of the course is to help you to work more effectively in your professional careers.

      Course objectives are to introduce the basic concepts of strategic management; to integrate functional knowledge, behavioral concepts, and analytical tools learned separately in more specialized courses; to examine the process through which competitive strategies are formulated and implemented within organizations to gain competitive advantages and to achieve their objectives; and to enhance individual and team analytical, communication and decision-making skills in addressing integrative, strategic issues.

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    • Developing Management and Leadership Skills – 4 credit hours
    • This course will cover and apply a variety of core concepts and theories from sociology, psychology and organizational science which form the knowledge base for leadership and management skills.

      The focus of the course is on surveying key core skills and setting students up for continuous learning of these skills. Accordingly, students will be provided with: in-depth materials for every topic through soft-copies of recent significant articles on the topic, self-evaluation instruments, and specific suggestions for further learning and development of skills through activities available throughout the program.

      Objectives: Course objectives are to improve your leadership & management skills, particularly those skills that will make you better able to cope with today’s increasingly dynamic and complex business environment; to provide awareness of your strengths as a leader and a manager, and of areas where you need additional development; to build a professional development plan, a critical step in improving your ability to manage and lead yourself and others; and to enable study groups to apply course concepts to your own development through the program.

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    • Economics – 4 credit hours
    • The Economics course explores basic economic principles (theories and applications) that are relevant to the business core in the MBA program. This course is about learning to think like an economist and amassing the tools necessary to do so, including the study of microeconomics and macroeconomics.

      Course objectives are to learn the determinants of market demand and supply and how economists model markets; to examine prediction markets and production and cost analysis; to learn how firms manage in competitive and monopolistic environments; to study strategic firm behavior, including basic game theory, entry and deterrence, collusion and cooperation, and bargaining; to develop an understanding of information, auctions, and incentives; to analyze gross domestic product and its components as well as monetary policy and the supply and demand for money; and to provide a strong foundation for understanding the business cycle.

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    • Financial Accounting – 4 credit hours
    • Financial accounting is a crucial business tool. Course objectives are to become informed users of financial statement information; to learn how to analyze financial statements, footnotes, and other corporate disclosures, including interpreting articles from the Wall Street Journal and other business publications; to develop the skills to understand analyst reports; and to ensure that you are comfortable with the mechanics of financial accounting.

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    • Introductory Finance – 4 credit hours
    • Financial markets are places where suppliers of capital (‘investors’) and consumers of capital (‘firms’) meet and trade. The first part of this course examines the techniques that both investors and firms use to deal with cash flows that occur at different points in time; we look at valuation problems across several types of capital markets.

      The second part of this course introduces the concepts of risk and uncertainty, which are central to an understanding of finance. We introduce a measure of risk, and develop a model of how this risk measure corresponds to a level of expected return on an asset or project. We integrate this model of risk and return with the valuation of cash flows through time, and consider the evidence on how prices in financial markets are related to value.

      Finally, we introduce options, discuss how they are valued, and consider applications of option valuation.
      Course objectives are to provide students with a good grounding in basic concepts of finance; to establish a “finance mindset” that views finance as applied microeconomics in a business context, with value creation as a central concept; to develop skills in financial analysis, planning and decision-making; and to develop an appreciation for decision-making in a complex world.

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    • Marketing Strategy, Analysis and Development – 4 credit hours
    • The role of marketing management in organizations is to identify and measure the needs and wants of consumers, to determine which targets the business can serve, to decide on the appropriate offerings to serve these markets, and to determine the optimal methods of pricing, promoting, and distributing the firm’s offerings. Successful organizations are those that integrate the objectives and resources of the organization with the needs and opportunities of the marketplace. Our goal in this course is to facilitate your achievement of these goals regardless of your career path.

      Course objectives are to critically analyze the task of marketing and to examine the major functions that comprise the marketing task in organizations, to develop an ability to apply marketing concepts to real-life marketing situations, and to develop a deep understanding of the applicability of the marketing concepts within the context of any specific business problem.

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    • Operations Management – 4 credit hours
    • Operations Management focuses on the activities necessary to utilize the resources of an organization to meet the needs of its customers.

      Operations Management provides tools, techniques, and strategies for making organizations work more effectively and efficiently, and for making you a better manager. The approach we will take in introducing the areas of Operations Management is twofold. First, we will cover some basic theory and frameworks in each area. Second, we will look at a variety of domestic and international cases that show applications (good and bad) of the theory.

      Course objectives are to provide an understanding of the operations management function, and its relationship to other functional areas within the firm; to develop a framework whereby the strengths and weaknesses of a firm’s operations can be analyzed, and whereby the firm can develop viable alternatives in pursuing its goals and objectives; to examine the tradeoffs that managers face in emphasizing one goal (such as high capacity utilization) as compared to another goal (such as minimum throughout time); and to develop competence with specific tools and techniques used by practicing operations management personnel.

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