Course Descriptions

Pre-program Courses and Orientation to Facilitate Your Success

Pre-Program Courses

The Executive MBA (EMBA) has developed resources to help individuals successfully transition into the program. In early summer, incoming students receive access to a set of online courses that covers the basic skills in financial accounting, introduction to finance, introduction to statistics, and basic mathematics. From late August to early September, students can also attend optional EMBA prep-class sessions in financial accounting, statistics, writing and communications, and mathematics. These online courses and review class sessions are included as part of the EMBA tuition and are scheduled in conjunction with the EMBA orientation.


The four-day orientation at the start of the program introduces students to the EMBA curriculum, faculty, and classmates. Study groups are created in advance, and during orientation an expert in team dynamics provides guidance and resources to help the groups build high-performance teams. The EMBA orientation is the introduction to the Executive MBA program and includes important information to help students succeed in the program; therefore, attendance at the EMBA orientation is required.

Courses that Prepare You for Today’s Business World and the Future

Course Descriptions:

Discovering the Leader in You - 3.0 Credit Hours

Examines what it will take to succeed personally and organizationally in fast-changing business environments. The course includes personal assessment and feedback of one’s preferences, temperament, personality type, and managerial style in order to be able to capitalize on one’s strengths. A second focus is on organizational issues related to multiple generations in the workforce, performance management, and succession planning. For this course, the CU EMBA and the Center for Creative Leadership partner to provide a focus on leadership and expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations.

Preparing and Interpreting Financial Reports - 3.0 Credit Hours

Examines the accounting and reporting procedures underlying financial statements issued by business enterprises. This examination is based primarily on the various rules and guidelines defined as generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Data-Driven Decision Making - 3.0 Credit Hours

Focuses on applying inferential statistics (estimation and hypothesis testing) and using statistical models such as regression analysis for decision-making. Emphasizes the application of statistical tools to identify systematic patterns in large data sets. Also uses graphical displays and other communication channels to present results to business managers without statistical backgrounds.

Managerial Economics for Business Decisions - 3.0 Credit Hours

Addresses profit-maximization, supply and demand, demand elasticity, the estimation of production and cost, and pricing and output decisions for making effective business decisions.

Executive-Level Strategy - 3.0 Credit Hours

Integrates the knowledge gained in earlier courses. Emphasizes experiences in creating new strategic directions within large and small companies from the perspective of the general manager/CEO/COO. Focuses on performing the research necessary to understand a company’s current state; where to find alternative strategies to select from; and how to decide which strategies are the best ones to implement.

Business Law and Ethics - 2.0 Credit Hours

Emphasizes how socially responsible companies consider the perspectives of multiple stakeholders balancing goodwill and optimizing profit for the business. Explores development of sustainable business strategies that address social and environment issues. Various ethical theories are applied to a variety of business situations.

Operations Management - 3.0 Credit Hours

Examines how organizations use productivity, quality, timeliness, and flexibility to improve efficiency and operating performance; also examines the importance of integrating the marketing and operations functions. Emphasizes supply chain management, lean operations, innovation, and product design to improve competitiveness, operating performance, and efficiency.

Marketing Strategy and Innovation - 3.0 Credit Hours

Provides an overview of current marketing theories and concepts including product, price, place, and promotion considerations used in formulating marketing strategies. Develops skills and understanding in conducting marketing research, analyzing marketing opportunities and threats, identifying and analyzing competition, and formulating and evaluating marketing plans.

Managerial Finance - 3.0 Credit Hours

Develops the skills to address financial implications of major business decisions. Provides an overview of corporate finance, analysis of financial statements, financial planning, capital-investment decisions, as well as capital structure and cost-of-capital considerations.

Strategic Cost Management and Control - 2.0 Credit Hours

Emphasizes how managers use cost data to support decision making. Addresses cost-volume-profit analysis and profit planning, activity based costing, business models, and value-chain analysis. Also includes the role of accounting in financial planning and modeling.

Entrepreneurship and Business Planning - 2.0 Credit Hours

Covers planning a business from inception, including financial planning, product planning, market definition, creating a team, organizing, the "elevator pitch," and the investor presentation. Explores funding sources and the techniques and skills needed to obtain funding.

Interpreting the Economic Environment - 3.0 Credit Hours

Provides an overview of economic activity, factors that determine levels of income and prices, and economic policies as they relate to unemployment, inflation, and economic growth. Studies the structure and operation of the economy. Topics include national income, employment, inflation, and the rate of economic growth. International economics and the economic impact of globalization are examined. The application of monetary and fiscal policies in solving economic problems is considered in depth.

Power, Negotiation, and Conflict Resolution - 2.0 Credit Hours

Addresses the strategies and tactics of negotiations in a variety of contexts. Also covers the sources, uses, and misuses of executive power in organizations, and alternative strategies for managing conflict effectively.

Current Topics in Business - 2.0 Credit Hours

Examines emerging topics relevant for business decision-making. Investigates issues currently faced by executives.

Financial Strategy and Valuation - 3.0 Credit Hours

Emphasizes financial decision-making and the formation of financial strategies that will maintain and enhance business value. Includes preparing financial planning, managing growth, conducting capital project analyses, and estimating the value of businesses using discounted cash flow and multiples-based methods.

Information Technology and Strategy - 3.0 Credit Hours

Focuses on the management of information as a resource and on the identification of opportunities to exploit its potential for competitive advantage. Examines current issues and trends surrounding the management of information and related technologies, and addresses why and how these new technologies can be used to shape and support strategic initiatives.

Sustainable Value Creation - 2.0 Credit Hours

Understanding the goals and purpose of the for-profit firm. In particular, we will explore how the firm creates value, broadly defined, by investigating the concept of strategic corporate social responsibility (strategic CSR). Strategic CSR draws on what we know about economic exchange and human psychology to explain how markets work (or don't) and how value is added (or subtracted) across the range of the firm's stakeholders. Understanding these processes allows managers to build a strategic competitive advantage for the firm--it also places strategic CSR at the center of business success in the twenty-first century.

Transitioning from Functional to Executive Level Leadership - 3.0 Credit Hours

How to think from an executive-level perspective and how to achieve a high level of performance and morale from people, teams, and organizations. Emphasizes the development of skills in becoming an executive leader adept at managing change and transforming organizations.

Global Context of Business - 3.0 Credit Hours

Examines how social, economic, political, and legal aspects of countries and regions affect marketing and management decisions. Explores strategies for entering new international markets, and establishment and management of international operations and trade.

The Global Business Experience - 3.0 Credit Hours

Integrates theory and practice through a first-hand examination of the global business environment while participating on a nine-day international business trip (outlined below). This experiential course travels to international business centers where students visit a diverse set of companies, interact directly with executives and senior managers, and/or meet with government leaders in the host countries.