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Darla Moore School of Business


Functional Specializations and Graduate Certificates

International MBA students may choose from a selection of functional specializations or graduate certificates that align with their interests and career goals. By completing course work in a chosen area of interest, students are able to customize their International MBA to their needs and preferred area of career focus. Students may also take a selection of electives beyond the functional specialization or graduate certificate to further customize their course work to their interests and career goals.

Functional Specializations

Global Supply Chain and Process Management

Earn an industry-validated Six Sigma Green Belt along with your International MBA. 

The GSCOM functional specialization produces graduates with knowledge and practical applied experiences in the twin competencies of operations and business process improvement and global supply chain design, analysis and improvement. Students are prepared for specific GSCOM careers in global manufacturing firms in production, purchasing, quality control, distribution and supply chain management; in service firms for general operations management and logistics/supply chain management; and in consulting firms as business process and quality improvement consultants.

Consisting of cutting-edge courses in lean systems, six-sigma methodologies, business reengineering process improvement approaches, project management, strategic sourcing, logistics and distribution, and supply chain modeling and optimization, the program focuses on not just learning but applying these skills through a capstone consulting project course. Student teams tackle a “live” operations, business process or supply chain improvement project with an actual organization, thus preparing them for Six-Sigma Green Belt certifications. The capstone course class can potentially lead to a Six Sigma Green Belt certification.

Candidates pursuing this functional specialization and aspiring to earn the Six Sigma Green Belt Certification are required to complete five courses (15 credit hours) beyond the core requirements; four of these courses are required and one may be chosen from the list of provided electives.

As one of their electives, candidates are encouraged to complete MGSC 875 (“APICS” class). It delivers a curriculum used to educate professionals on essential terminology, concepts and strategies related to demand management, procurement and supplier planning, material requirements planning, capacity requirements planning, sales and operations planning, master scheduling, performance measurements, supplier relationships, quality control and continuous improvement. This class is designed to prepare students for the first four of five module exams of the APICS CPIM certification.


Global Supply Chain and Operations Management functional specialization

Required Courses
  • MGSC 871 — Global Sourcing: Strategies and Applications
  • MGSC 876 — Models in Supply Chain Management
  • MGSC 893 — Business Process Analysis, Design and Implementation
  • MGSC 897 — Graduate Capstone Consulting Project
Additional Courses
  • MGSC 777 — Advanced Quantitative Methods in Business
  • MGSC 872 — Project Management
  • MGSC 875 — Supply Chain Coordination and Control (covers the topical material required by four modules of the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management CPIM)

Course Descriptions

(*Indicates required course for Global Supply Chain and Operations Management functional specialization)

*MGSC 871 — Global Sourcing: Strategies and Applications: This course covers skills necessary to pursue sourcing-related careers in manufacturing, services, retailing and government agencies, including discussion of cutting-edge negotiation and sourcing strategies pursued in exemplar firms. Course objectives: To expose students to leading-edge concepts and principles in strategic sourcing as pursued by leading edge firms; To generate student interest in pursuing sourcing as a viable career opportunity, be it in retailing, manufacturing, government agencies or nonprofit organizations; To provide applied learning opportunities in strategic sourcing through a combination of case analyses, negotiation exercises and a field project involving a sourcing strategy for a commodity; To develop student expertise in the areas of team building, presentation, analytical and report writing skills (prerequisite: DMSB 718).

*MGSC 876 — Models in Supply Chain Management: Management activities and models in the areas of sourcing, inventory management and logistics that help frame, structure and solve decisions that pertain to various aspects of supply chain management. This class will help the students to learn concepts, insights, practical tools and decision support systems important for the effective management of the supply chain. The course will demonstrate the linkage between a firm’s supply chain strategy and business strategy by means of case analysis and discussions, illustrate supply chain decision-making using a simulation framework in which students will utilize firm resources more effectively and coordinate the manufacturing and movement of goods and services through different echelons of supply chains to create a competitive advantage (prerequisite: DMSB 718 or MGSC 791).

*MGSC 893 — Business Process Analysis, Design and Implementation: Study of the concepts, tools and issues associated with analyzing and improving modern business processes including quality management, process control, systems and technologies for process support, and case studies. Course objectives include: To understand the business process perspective of operations and its critical importance of process management in manufacturing and service organizations in successfully executing their competitive strategies; To learn concepts and tools of “lean” strategy; To learn concepts and tools of “six-sigma” strategy; To learn analysis of complex processes with interactions between various process elements (resources, process logic, customers) and variations through the use of a state-of-the-art computer-based process-modeling software tool; To understand the role of business process management in operations improvement strategies (prerequisite or co-requisite: MGSC 897).

*MGSC 897 — Graduate Capstone Consulting Project: This course entails a live consulting project in which student teams under faculty supervision apply GSCOM concepts and techniques to solve significant operational problems and identify improvement opportunities in real-world service and manufacturing firms. Teams write recommendation and implementation reports, oversee pilot or full-scale implementations when feasible and make presentations of their work to the firm’s management group. Course objectives include: To plan and execute a real improvement project within the global supply chain and operations management domain; To gain an experience of applying technical/analytical and organizational/behavioral concepts and tools learned in previous GSCOM courses to an actual operations and business process; To gain firsthand experience in project execution, including data collection and analysis and effectively working together as part of a consulting project team; To create professional presentations and reports; To successfully convince client organization of the cost benefits of suggested operations improvement strategies (prerequisite or co-requisite: MGSC 893. By written application only).

MGSC 777 — Advanced Quantitative Methods in Business: Students will gain experience using cutting-edge analytical tools to support business decision-making, including advanced topics in data visualization, geographic information systems and Excel development with VBA. In addition, this course has a focus on both written and verbal communication of analytical results.

MGSC 872 — Project Management: Management of projects including justification, planning, scheduling, monitoring, controlling and auditing. The course makes extensive use of project management information systems. This course is designed to provide the student with a general understanding of the field of project management. This includes managerial issues as well as technical issues. Emphasis will be given to real-world applications of the materials covered in class. Materials presented in class will include many of the topics related to PMP certification and the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

MGSC 875 — Supply Chain Coordination and Control: Design and management of systems that coordinate information and material flows within and between firms in a supply chain. Addresses planning basics, system alternatives and advanced value stream synchronization. This APICS course covers the topical material required by four modules of the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management Program (prerequisite: DMSB 718 or MGSC 791).

Marketing

Marketing’s role in every company is to develop profitable relationships with customers.

The Marketing functional specialization within the Moore School’s International MBA program is focused on developing the student’s ability to successfully create and manage these customer relationships on a global basis. Today’s marketers also have access to more information than ever before. While research and data are important, this information only becomes valuable when used to develop new marketing strategies that help companies attract, retain and grow their customers. This specialization delivers a comprehensive understanding of fundamental marketing functions and an in-depth exploration of the various marketing metrics, tools and intelligence elements required to successfully create and execute an impactful marketing strategy. Each course in the program integrates the use of customer, consumer and competitor insights into the course work, resulting in a strong understanding of the data-driven decision-making that is required for successful global marketing today and in the future. Candidates pursuing this functional specialization are expected to complete four courses (12 credit hours) beyond the core requirements; two of them are required and two may be chosen from the list of provided electives.

Of the electives offered, candidates are encouraged to take MKTG 750, which is a project-focused class that allows students to apply their marketing knowledge to a real-world consulting opportunity. Students have had the opportunity to work on projects with such companies as Coty, ESPN, Sonoco and Textron.


Marketing functional specialization

Required Courses
  • MKTG 702 — Advanced Marketing Research
  • MKTG 704 — Theory & Analysis of Consumer Behavior
Brand and Product Management Path 
  • MKTG 705 — Marketing Communications
  • MKTG 707 — Product/Brand Policies
  • MKTG 718 — Social and Digital Media Strategy
Marketing Analytics Path
  • MKTG 708 — CRM/Data Mining
  • MKTG 717 — Marketing Spreadsheet Modeling

Course Descriptions

(*Indicates required course for Marketing functional specialization)

*MKTG 702 — Advanced Marketing Research: Marketing research provides crucial informational inputs to the marketing manager. The quality of marketing research depends on the care taken in executing its various steps, including problem definition, research design, data collection, data analysis and the extraction of decision-relevant insights. This course focuses on the practice of marketing research and teaches students how managers implement and use research to reduce uncertainty in marketing decisions. Therefore, this course is designed to make students intelligent users of marketing research, making contacts between managers and marketing researcher as efficient as possible. Topics covered include fundamentals of descriptive, qualitative and experimental research designs. Experiential research projects for business partners of the Center for Marketing Research may be incorporated.

*MKTG 704 — Theory and Analysis of Consumer Behavior: As demonstrated in MKTG 702, customer information provides fundamental insights for most marketing decisions. Thus, marketing begins and ends with the customer. This course provides the student with a solid foundation regarding the psychological and socio-cultural factors that drive customer decision-making. The student will take the perspective of a marketing manager who needs consumer insights in order to develop, implement and evaluate effective marketing strategies.

MKTG 705 — Marketing Communications: For many consumers, marketing communications (MarCom) represents the “face” of marketing, the most familiar and ubiquitous tool of marketing management. MarCom includes the planning and execution of promotional strategies using advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing and public relations tactics, among others. Students will learn how to develop an effective integrated marketing communications plan and may participate in a real communications project for a corporate partner. For those interested in a career in some aspect of marketing communications and brand management, this course provides an excellent foundation for the social and digital media strategy elective course (MKTG 718).

MKTG 707 — Product/Branding Policies: Marketing as an organizational function is closely identified with product or brand management. Ever since its origin at Procter and Gamble as an organizational innovation to deal with the resource allocation and strategic decision-making needs of individual brands, brand management has become a widely accepted structural arrangement in organizations. While product or brand management is more closely identified with consumer marketing, nothing prevents its use in business markets.

As such, knowledge of brand management is essential for those contemplating a career in marketing. In addition, insights into brand management are relevant for people planning a career in consulting and financial services as well as for those interested in setting up their own ventures. Key topics covered include new product development and introduction, brand and product management, market forecasting and brand equity measurement and management, among others.

MKTG 708 — CRM/Data Mining: Firms have invested considerable resources in setting up customer relationship management (CRM) programs, while improvements in technology and software have provided the means to analyze key outcomes of CRM programs (as measured by satisfaction, loyalty and profitability). Implementing a CRM marketing program entails extracting meaningful information from large databases using analytical techniques (commonly referred to as data mining), developing insights and strategies, and then implementing them. The topics that will be covered in this course include basics of customer relationship management, customer lifetime valuation analysis using transactional data and data mining using Excel Miner to perform hands-on analytics. Student will develop skills related to multiple linear regression, classification and regression trees, logistic regression, neural networks, discriminant analysis, market basket analysis and cluster analysis. Companies use these techniques to evaluate customer profitability, target profitable customers and implement data-driven marketing decisions.

MKTG 715 — Pricing Strategy and Analytics: Setting the price of a product or service is another important decision made by marketing managers. Pricing decisions require an understanding of mathematics, economics and consumer psychology. Topics covered include price discrimination, product line pricing, bundle pricing, markdown management, channel pricing, pricing in real time (pricing in auction type markets and incorporating real-time demand observations into pricing decisions), breakeven analysis, measuring price sensitivity and psychological pricing. Cases will focus on a particular business problem and use data to analyze the underlying problems. Students will get hands-on experience with spreadsheet analytics related to pricing and may participate in a pricing project with a corporate business partner.

MKTG 717 — Marketing Spreadsheet Modeling: This course focuses on the conceptual foundations and application of basic econometric and statistical models used in marketing analytics contexts. The understanding of such models should enable students to properly use them in real business settings using commonly available software.

MKTG 718 — Social and Digital Media Strategies: This course adopts an intense, boot-camp-style pedagogy in order to teach students how to develop effective social and digital marketing strategies under time pressure, mirroring the contexts in which such decisions are made in the real world. The focus is on developing a creative and effective social/digital marketing plan for a real corporate partner. Students will have the opportunity to present their completed plans to corporate managers and will compete with other student teams to develop the most effective plan, just as occurs in agency-client relationships. This class should be taken after MKTG 705, Marketing Communications.

MKTG 750 — Marketing Consulting Project: To leverage and apply the new knowledge acquired in the marketing functional specialization, while at the same time preparing for a career in marketing management, students will have the opportunity to participate in a Marketing Insights Into Action project with a corporate partner. This collaboration will provide students with access to real data, new analytical techniques and actual business issues confronting a business client. Final presentations to the company will allow students to identify important insights and then recommend marketing actions, all the while showcasing student talents to potential employers and career references. These student projects reinforce the entire marketing management experience from analysis to insights to action.

Strategic Management

For those who prefer a general management perspective, wish to pursue the joint Juris Doctor/International MBA degree or have interest in pursuing a unique functional specialization, we also offer a Strategic Management option.

Students who pursue the Strategic Management option will choose from a broad array of electives offered within our portfolio of MBA electives to create their own specialization. Frequently chosen topics of interest include:

  • Consulting
  • Innovation
  • International Business
  • Economic Development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability

Students pursuing this customized option are required to consult with the MBA program adviser in regards to the combination of courses they plan to take. A listing of courses that are typically available can be found in the Electives Course Guide [pdf].

A functional specialization is NOT noted in the graduate’s diploma nor in the transcript. It solely serves as a recommendation from the department as the best course of action to earn the desired knowledge to develop a career in a specific functional area of business.

 

Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

The Business Analytics Graduate Certificate is designed to train data-savvy managers, which today’s marketplace demands, based on extensive benchmarking across academia and industry.

Despite staggering increases in the ability to capture and store data, the majority of business decisions continue to be made in the same ad hoc fashion as they were before the information age. One of the reasons we do not see more data-driven decision-making is because companies have an abundance of data but lack the ability to turn the data into useful knowledge. To accomplish this, firms need managers and leaders who combine solid business and communication skills with an analytics skillset. A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute found that U.S. businesses looking to capitalize on the massive volumes of data available today face a shortage of 1.5 million of these types of managers who are well-trained in data analytics.

Candidates pursuing this certificate are required to complete four courses (12 credit hours) beyond the International MBA core coursework; three of them are required and one may be chosen from the list of provided electives.


Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

Required Courses
  • MGSC 777 — Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • MKTG 708 — CRM/Data Mining
Additional Courses 
  • MGSC 778 — Revenue Management
  • MKTG 717 — Marketing Spreadsheet Modeling
  • FINA 772 — Portfolio Management
  • CSCE 590 — Big Data Analytics

Course Descriptions 

(*Indicates required course for Business Analytics certificate)

*MGSC 777 — Advanced Quantitative Methods in Business: Students will gain experience using cutting-edge analytical tools to support business decision-making, including advanced topics in data visualization, geographic information systems and Excel development with VBA. In addition, this course has a focus on both written and verbal communication of analytical results.

*MKTG 708 — CRM/Data Mining: Firms have invested considerable resources in setting up customer relationship management (CRM) programs, while improvements in technology and software have provided the means to analyze key outcomes of CRM programs (as measured by satisfaction, loyalty and profitability). Implementing a CRM marketing program entails extracting meaningful information from large databases using analytical techniques (commonly referred to as data mining), developing insights and strategies, and then implementing them. The topics that will be covered in this course include basics of customer relationship management, customer lifetime valuation analysis using transactional data and data mining using Excel Miner to perform hands-on analytics. Student will develop skills related to multiple linear regression, classification and regression trees, logistic regression, neural networks, discriminant analysis, market basket analysis and cluster analysis. Companies use these techniques to evaluate customer profitability, target profitable customers and implement data-driven marketing decisions.

*MGSC 891 — Data Resource Management: Overview of data resource management, including database technology and design, information architecture planning and database administration. A design project is required.

MGSC 778 — Revenue Management: This course covers the concepts of forecasting demand, segmenting customers and allocating capacity or customizing price offers to each distinct customer segment such that the firm's profits are maximized.

MKTG 717 — Marketing Spreadsheet Modeling: This course focuses on the conceptual foundations and application of basic econometric and statistical models used in marketing analytics contexts. The understanding of such models should enable students to properly use them in real business settings using commonly available software.

FINA 772 — Portfolio Management: Utilizes the techniques learned in FINA 762 to analyze and recommend investment opportunities for a portion of the Moore School endowment. The course culminates with a sequence of presentations and recommendations to the Moore School’s Business Partnership Executive Board.

CSCE 587 — Big Data Analytics: This course covers foundational techniques and tools required for data science and big data analytics. The course focuses on concepts, principles and techniques applicable to any technology environment and industry. Tools such as R and MapReduce/Hadoop are covered (Note that this is a full-semester course in the Department of Computer Science).

Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Resource Planning

Along with the general trend in business towards massive computerization, large scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have become the backbone of today’s information systems.

Enterprise resource planning systems integrate information from all areas of an organization (i.e., marketing, operations, HR, sales) as well as up and down the supply chain. Increasingly, business managers must demonstrate proficiency in their understanding of ERP systems and be able to design, employ and use these systems effectively as a requirement to a successful career.

The Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Resource Planning is designed to provide students with the ability to demonstrate an overall understanding and working knowledge of the function, design, control and use of ERP systems. It is based on the premise that students should understand at a conceptual level both their own technology and the technology of the entities with which they interact. In addition to understanding ERP systems, this certificate also focuses on understanding how, administratively and operationally, each area of the organization interacts, leverages and affects the others to create a desired outcome across the organization.

The curriculum provides students with sufficient conceptual understanding and applied skills to be able to navigate the complexities of transaction processing and data queries inherent in modern ERP systems. Emphasis is given to the predominant ERP system within large organizations, which is SAP, culminating in SAP TERP 10 instruction and the TERP 10 examination.

Candidates pursuing this graduate certificate are required to complete three courses (nine credit hours) beyond the International MBA core course work; two of them are required and one may be chosen from the list of provided electives.


Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Resource Planning

Required Courses
  • ACCT 737 — Accounting Information Systems from a Strategic Perspective
  • ACCT 739 — Enterprise Resource Planning
Additional Courses 
  • ACCT 702 — Application of Advanced Databases to Accounting and Business
  • MGSC 891 — Data Resource Management

Course Descriptions

(*Indicates required course for Enterprise Resource Planning certificate)

*ACCT 737 — Accounting Information Systems from a Strategic Perspective: Design and implementation of accounting information systems to achieve strategic objective.

*ACCT 739 — Enterprise Resource Planning Systems: Business process integration within enterprise resource planning systems including the use and management of the enterprise core modules within ERP software implemented companies.

ACCT 702 — Application of Advanced Databases to Accounting and Business: The integration, configuration and operation of accounting information within enterprise resource planning and other databases as applied to current business practices.

MGSC 891 — Data Resource Management: Overview of data resource management, including database technology and design, information architecture planning, and database administration. A design project is required.

Graduate certificates serve as a tool for graduates to demonstrate knowledge on a specific business skill. Graduate certificates are noted in the graduate’s transcript. Graduates also received a separate diploma awarding a “Post-Bachelor Certificate” in the specific area of knowledge.