Curriculum

We designed the Pamplin Executive MBA's interdisciplinary curriculum to provide you with a formal core of business education in the areas of accounting, economics, organizational behavior, strategy, and decision theory. Followed by the foundational core courses are experiential modules in the areas of leadership and governance, global business, business analytics, and entrepreneurship and innovation. An international perspective underlies several of the advanced courses, as does a strong focus on high technology management. Entrepreneurial leadership and change management are key components of the curriculum and are designed to leverage your leadership qualities in day-to-day business practice, irrespective of your area of specialization or job function.

Residencies

The required residencies provide experiential learning opportunities and an opportunity to develop relationships within your cohort outside the classroom environment. There are two residencies over the course of the 18-month program: the opening residency and international residency. Learn more about the each residency here.

Course Descriptions

FOUNDATION COURSES

MGT 5604: Case Analysis (1 credit hour) This course is designed for entering MBA students who will encounter business case studies throughout their degree program. Cases are an essential part of business education, providing students with complex business situations and the challenging job of defining the problem, analyzing information, formulating strategies, recommending a course of action and persuading others of the wisdom of those recommendations. The goal of this brief class is to give students an overview of why and how case studies are used, set appropriate expectations for the time and effort required to properly prepare and learn from a case, and provide useful tools on how to approach each new case. At the end of this course, each student will be prepared with the tools needed to successfully tackle cases and actively learn from them.

MGT 5844: Business and Corporate Strategy (2 credit hours) Focuses on strategic decisions of the firm and use of tools and techniques for external and internal analysis to develop and sustain a competitive advantage. Examples and cases of single and multi-business corporations in a variety of industries, both domestic and international.

BIT 5644: Management of Information for Business Decisions (2 credit hours) This course illustrates a variety of statistical methods to collect and analyze data sets. Complex problems, both business and societal, are studied and analyzed for trends, patterns, relationships and other useful information. Statistical tools such as probability distributions, sampling, hypothesis testing, regression and times series analysis, simulation, and forecasting are studied from a practical and business perspective. Business and industry cases are used to demonstrate the usefulness and effectiveness of the techniques used. Students use software to perform computational studies, obtain solutions, and analyze the results.

ACIS 5604: Accounting Fundamentals (2 credit hours) An introduction for practicing executives to financial accounting cycles and transactions, financial statement reporting, and internal managerial accounting and costing. This course is designed to give executives an understanding of accounting systems, and to illustrate and highlight potential points at which the systems could be manipulated.

MGT 5614: Designing & Managing Organizations (2 credit hours) This course focuses on the implications of globalization and the resulting cross-cultural relationships for leaders and managers of business organizations. The ways in which culture affects characteristics of individuals, interpersonal relationships, negotiation styles, and leadership practices are examined. Cases and exercises develop skills in applying theories and concepts to concrete situation.

BIT 5664: Managing the Global Supply Chain (2 credit hours) This course provides the student with expertise in the planning and control of business processes within a firm and across its global supply chain. Emphasis is placed on applying IT and process analysis skills to improving the quality and productivity of business firms and their supply chain partners. Efficient methods for streamlining the flow of information, services and products across functions, enterprises, and global boundaries are studied. Issues in designing and managing a network of suppliers in a global environment are discussed.

COMM 5714: Corporate Communication (2 credit hours) Public relations as a business management function. Strategic role of public relations in building corporate reputation and protecting goodwill, executive and organizational image, communication strategy, corporate social responsibility, ethical and legal communication practices, media relations, community relations, employee communication, investor relations, government relations, and crisis communication.

FIN 5604: Financial & Economic Environment of Business (2 credit hours) Provides an understanding of the principles that affect a firm's interactions with its customers, suppliers, competitors, employees, and other organizations, and the roles of monetary and fiscal policies in the overall economic environment. Study the basic principles and concepts underlying the finance function. Topics covered include demand and supply analysis, individual choice, pricing strategies, market structure, monetary and fiscal policies, and the role of the Federal Reserve in managing growth, employment, and inflation.

MKTG 5654: Managing the Marketing Function (2 credit hours) Concepts of marketing management in a global environment, including the role of marketing in business organizations, and the relationship of marketing to other organizational functions.  Role of marketing for developing and sustaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace, based on effective managerial decision making.  Covers new product development and branding, as well as the characteristics of effective target marketing.  Emphasis on the role of developing appropriate business intelligence for strategic decision making. 

FIN 5654: Principles of Financial Management (2 credit hours) Provides an understanding of the basic principles and concepts underlying the finance function, and the analytical tools for making financial decisions. The specific topics covered are Goals of a Corporate Firm and Agency Problem, Cash Flow Estimation and Financial Statement Analysis, Financial Assets and Markets, Time Value of Money, Risk and Return, Diversification and Capital Asset Pricing Model, Valuation of Stocks and Bonds, and Market Efficiency.

MGT 5684: Ethics & Leadership in a Global Environment (2 credit hours) This course examines conduct in business within the context of moral philosophy. Emphasis is placed on the relevance of philosophical theories of morality to leadership and decision making in organizations.

ACIS 5614: Implementing Management Controls (2 credit hours) The management control process is designed to influence managers and other employees of an organization to implement the strategies of the organization. The activities of management control include: planning, coordinating, communicating, and evaluating. This course addresses the important role that accounting and other information play in this process.

MKTG 5984: Consumer Behavior (2 credit hours) Examines consumer as a decision maker, focusing on consumer information processing, and social and psychological influences on purchasing decisions, with implications for marketing strategy. Topics include consumer decision making processes, information processing, perception, attitudes, motivation, social, and cultural influences on purchasing behavior. Applications to advertising, product, and segmentation strategies are highlighted. Use of case studies.

EXPERIENTIAL MODULE: Leadership & Governance

The Leadership & Governance module covers course content in change management, valuation, and financial statement analysis. These three components are combined with a live case problem in the Experiential Application where teams will focus on a significant change event, such as a merger, acquisition, or significant corporate issue. Executive coaches are engaged to work alongside student teams.

MGT/ACIS 5984: Financial Statement Analysis & Experiential Application (2 credits) Use FSA, Valuation, and Change Management tools and concepts to evaluate an important current business decision. Demonstrate communication skills and the ability to interact with others. Argue effectively for a fully developed alternative (anticipated costs/expected benefits/implementation plan) to a complex managerial problem. Select governance mechanisms appropriate to the problems associated with the new organizational boundaries developed in the recommendation.

MGT 5674: Change Management (2 credit hours) This course studies methods for changing organizations and individuals within those organizations using organizational transformation techniques, information technologies, and different leadership/personality styles.

FIN 5614: Corporate Finance and Valuation (2 credit hours) Provides coverage of the major financial decisions facing a corporate manager in a modeling framework. The specific topics covered are analysis of financial statements, financial planning, cost of capital and capital budgeting, capital structure, working capital management, dividend policy, and international financial management.

EXPERIENTIAL MODULE: Global Business

The Global Business module contains two globally-focused courses, Global Management and Strategy and Global Finance, and culminates with the 10 day International Residency. The residency includes case study analysis and projects that engage students with specific corporations in the countries they will visit.

MGT 5684: Global Management and Strategy (2 credit hours) Management challenges associated with global competition and the ways in which firms can create and sustain superior returns be formulating and implementing effective strategies. Develops an integrated, multi-functional, "general management" perspective of the organization. Comprehensive case studies of large firms will be used to develop students' skills in strategic thinking, analysis, and execution. Strong emphasis is placed on the global environment.

FIN 5784: Global Finance (2 credit hours) International economic environment, currency regimes, and currency crises; analysis of foreign exchange rates. Firms' exposure to exchange risk and methods for managing risk including competitive and transaction exposure. Global opportunities to raise capital and foreign investment vehicles.

MGT 5954: Study Abroad - International Business Strategy & Culture (2 credit hours) The international residency is designed for students to explore a country’s role in the global economy by visiting businesses that represent key industry sectors and engage the core competencies of the EMBA program. The combined experience provides students with a unique “worldview” of business that they can use to guide and structure their own management practices and careers, both now and in the future. 

EXPERIENTIAL MODULE: Business Analytics

The Business Analytics module includes an introduction to predictive analytics and data mining with hands-on practice using selected software, and the use of analytics in marketing. The Experiential Application engages students with a large, integrated case involving data analysis and visualization, as well as executive coaches from leading analytics companies to provide guidance to student teams.

BIT 5984: Analytics Experiential Application (2 credits hours) This course provides the theoretical background and tools necessary to analyze financial statements from the perspective of making valuation and investment decisions. This course will apply those tools to an experiential application of an important current business decision. As part of this course, students will work with management coaches from industry.

BIT 5984: Predictive Analytics & Data Mining for Executives (2 credit hours) This course will examine the implementation of predictive analytics and data mining to support business decisions. Students learn about building analytics capacity within an organization, as well as the basics of understanding organizational data through exploration, cleaning, and visualization. The use of a repeatable process for analytics projects, such as the Cross-Industry Standard Process for Data Mining (CRISP-DM) is emphasized. Both supervised and unsupervised modeling techniques and their applications are introduced, as well as the translation of model outputs to business policies and practices.

MKTG 5984: Marketing Analytics (2 credit hours) This course teaches students to locate and use data from public sources for use in marketing research and planning. Students will perform relevant data mining analyses and develop appropriate uses for data tracking and marketing. Emphasis is placed on interpreting model outcomes to develop recommended policies and operational plans so students can argue effectively for a fully developed marketing campaign.

EXPERIENTIAL MODULE: Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The Entrepreneurship & Innovation module is the capstone experience for Executive MBA students. The module includes courses on Creativity and Design Thinking and Technology and Innovation Management. The Experiential Application component is a business pitch competition conducted in coordination with Virginia Tech’s Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Corporate partners in the entrepreneurial and innovation space are engaged as executive team coaches and as judges in the competition.

MGT 5984: Innovation & Entrepreneurship Experiential Application (2 credit hours) This course allows students to learn and apply innovation and entrepreneurship skills towards creating a business solution to a real-world issue. This is a team experiential application of a current business process towards understanding the opportunity, challenges, and business constraints of a new program or company. As part of this course, students interact with successful entrepreneurs, those that fund them, strategic advisors, and business coaches from industry representing various sectors.

MGT 5594: Technology and Innovation Environment (2 credit hours) This course takes a general manager's perspective to examine the challenges of managing technology and innovation and their impacts on organizations. It provides students with a solid understanding of key concepts, tools, and frameworks useful in managing technology and innovation. Cases are used as a device for developing analytical and decision-making skills and for highlighting the reality of organizational and environmental complexities in managing technology and innovation.

MGT 5594: Technology and Innovation Environment (2 credit hours) This course takes a general manager's perspective to examine the challenges of managing technology and innovation and their impacts on organizations. It provides students with a solid understanding of key concepts, tools, and frameworks useful in managing technology and innovation. Cases are used for developing analytical and decision-making skills and for highlighting the reality of organizational and environmental complexities in managing technology and innovation.