Core EMBA Curriculum
Wharton's intensive cross-functional core curriculum covers traditional management disciplines — accounting, finance, marketing, management, operations, statistics, and strategy — as well as the leadership, ethics, and communication skills needed at senior levels of management.
You move through the core with your learning team — a group of five to seven classmates with whom you work closely on projects and cases. By the end of the year, you have the analytical, strategic, and leadership skills you need for second-year coursework, and a foundation for future success in any organization or career.
Read brief summaries of core courses below, or see how the core curriculum is structured.
- Foundations of Leadership and Teamwork (includes Ethics Module)
Unpredictable work environments require leaders and teams to learn rapidly and change quickly. This course focuses on lateral and vertical leadership, team building and performance, and team leadership. Students also examine difficult ethical conflicts and dilemmas faced by managers and corporations, building a framework for thinking through the ethical implications of business decisions. (For more, see the Foundations of Leadership and Teamwork under the Leadership Learning.)
- Management Communication
Designed to prepare business leaders for the communication challenges of the workplace, this course works with students to improve their presentation skills, regardless of current skill or managerial level. The course arms MBA students with the experience they'll need to excel at persuasive speaking, impromptu and prepared presentations, handling challenging Q&A sessions, displaying data effectively, and dealing with the media.
- Management of People at Work
The way people are managed at work affects the quality of their lives, the effectiveness of organizations, and the competitiveness of nations. This course develops some of the basic themes associated with managing people, making use of theories that transcend the workplace, such as the psychology of individual and group behavior. Concepts covered include motivation and job satisfaction, the design of jobs and employee empowerment, group behavior and teamwork, leadership, and alternative international models for managing employees. Student teams put their knowledge to work in Field Application Projects that serve as a capstone to the course.
- The Governmental and Legal Environment of Business
This course provides students with a basic understanding of how the law and the political process affect business strategy and decision making. Topics include how market infrastructure (contracts, commercial law, intellectual property, fraud law, and securities law) influences business strategy, with special emphasis on differences among countries.
- Decision Models and Uncertainty
This management science course introduces simple models and ideas that provide powerful (and often surprising) qualitative insights into a large spectrum of managerial problems. It demonstrates the kinds of problems that can be tackled quantitatively, the methods and software available for doing so, and the difficulties involved in gathering the relevant data.
- Managerial Economics
How can microeconomics enhance decision making in an organization? This course teaches students both how to understand the economic environment in which a firm operates and how to think strategically within it. The first half of this course covers the foundations of microeconomics (supply, demand, market price and output, production, cost and simple competitive market equilibrium). The second half deals with applying microeconomic theory to more sophisticated pricing and competitive strategies.
- Statistical Analysis for Management
This two-course sequence includes two half-semester courses. The first introduces statistical ideas as they apply to managers. Two key ideas dominate the material: summarizing and describing data, and modeling variability and randomness using probability modes. The second course considers the use of two key statistical methodologies: regression analysis and experimentation. Students learn techniques such as least squares estimation, tests and confidence intervals, correlation and autocorrelation, co-linearity, and randomization.
- Competitive Strategy
This course focuses on issues central to an enterprise's long- and short-term competitive position. Students take the role of key decision makers and address questions related to the creation or reinforcement of competitive advantage. Topics include industry analysis and competitive advantage as it derives from the firm's strategic investments, resource allocation, and organizational coalitions.
- Global Strategic Management
In an introduction to the strategic management of multinational corporations (MNCs), students learn how to create competitive advantage in a global context. Three levels of analysis are presented: trends in the competitive environment in which MNCs operate; changing ways MNCs organize and conduct global operations; and changing roles of MNC management.
- Financial Analysis
Financial Analysis is an introduction to business finance (corporate financial management and investments). Students gain tools and frameworks to analyze financial decisions based on principles of modern financial theory. The course covers concepts such as discounted cash flow techniques, corporate capital budgeting and valuation, investment decisions under uncertainty, options and market efficiency, and corporate financial policy.
- Macroeconomic Analysis and Public Policy
Using economic theory, students learn how financial markets work and how government policies affect the business environment.
- Financial Accounting
Financial accounting is the accumulation, analysis, and presentation of an enterprise's relevant financial data for creditors, investors, and other external decision makers. This course introduces the basic concepts, standards, and practices of financial reporting, including basic financial statements, analysis and recording of transactions, and underlying concepts and procedures. It covers inventories, long-term productive assets, bonds and other liabilities, stockholders' equity, and the statement of changes in financial position.
- Fundamentals of Managerial Accounting
Unlike Financial Accounting, with its focus on external parties, this course emphasizes the use of accounting information for internal planning and control purposes. Students learn how to use accounting data to evaluate business performance and make strategic decisions. Topics include the mechanics of cost accounting, design of a cost accounting system, and the role of management accounting in resource allocation and performance evaluation decisions.
- Operations Management: Quality and Productivity
This course emphasizes processes. In the first part of the course, students see examples of a number of processes and learn how to describe a process with a flow diagram. The second part of the course is focused on process improvement; it examines classic ideas in quality management, as well as recent ideas about restructuring processes for increased performance.
- Operations Management: Supply Chain Management
Matching supply with demand is a primary challenge for any enterprise. In this course, students learn how to assess the appropriate level of supply flexibility for a given industry and explore strategies for increasing an enterprise's supply flexibility.
- Marketing Management: Program Design
Students confront the challenge of designing and implementing a successful combination of marketing variables to carry out a firm's strategy in its target markets. They learn to apply analytic perspectives, decision tools and concepts of marketing to such decisions as product offering, communications programs, distribution channels and pricing.
- Marketing Management: Strategy
This course introduces the concepts and theories underlying marketing decision making. Building on Marketing Management: Program Design, students weigh considerations behind each element of the marketing mix. A comprehensive computer simulation game helps highlight these issues and provides the class with a rich set of realistic examples for discussion and analysis.