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Darla Moore School of Business

One-Year MBA

Functional Specializations and Graduate Certificates

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, students are able to customize their MBA to their needs and preferred area of career focus. Taking electives beyond the functional specialization or graduate certificate can further customize course work to align with personal interests and career goals.

Functional Specializations

Focus on one of two highly specialized paths of financial management expertise.

The Finance functional specialization starts with two required courses: Advanced Financial Management and Investment Management. Students may then select one of two elective paths in their functional specialization based on their area of interest.

Corporate Finance: Professionals in this area are responsible for managing liquidity, monitoring corporate performance via financial statements and evaluating capital budgeting projects. They also manage risk and perform a multitude of additional tasks that are vital to ensuring that the productive engines of the global economy operate at maximum efficiency.

Investments: In the investments world, the primary question is “what is it worth?” To answer this question, investment industry professionals must be intimately familiar with the details of numerous securities such as stocks, bonds, options, futures, swaps and structured products like mortgage-backed securities. Moreover, successful investment professionals must be well versed in a wide array of quantitative valuation methodologies. 

Finance Functional Specialization 

Required Courses

  • FINA 761: Advanced Financial Management
  • FINA 762: Investment Management 

Corporate Path

  • FINA 746: Risk Management
  • FINA 756: Financial Statement Analysis
  • IBUS 711: Global Valuation

Investment Path

  • FINA 737: Derivative Securities  
  • FINA 770: Fixed Income Securities  
  • FINA 772: Portfolio Management  

Course Descriptions

(*Indicates required course for Finance functional specialization)

*FINA 761: Advanced Financial Management: Utilizes the case study method combined with lectures to deepen understanding of key corporate finance concepts such as financial statement analysis, estimating a firm’s cost of capital, evaluating capital budgeting projects, optimizing a firm’s capital structure, deciding on the appropriate payout policy for a firm, and managing risk via derivative securities.

*FINA 762: Investment Management: Emphasizes the importance of hands-on data-processing skills and uses evidence-based discussions to understand practical techniques for valuing equity securities. The goal is to develop a sensible portfolio management process using various real-world investment strategies. 

FINA 737: Derivative Securities: Introduces the wide array of financial derivative products such as forwards and futures, options, swaps, credit default swaps, etc. The emphasis is on arbitrage relations, valuation, and risk management with derivatives. The course also covers the implementation of derivatives trading strategies, the use of derivatives in securities markets, and recent innovations in derivative markets. 

FINA 746: Risk Management: Focuses on how a business handles various categories of risks and uncertainties, how these risks interact and interrelate with each other, and how managers must make decisions based on various tradeoffs. In particular, how is risk managed in the pursuit of creating value for both non-financial and financial firms? Both pre-crisis and new and emerging views of risk management will be addressed. 

FINA 756: Financial Statement Analysis: Understanding how a company is really performing is vital to executives, investors, corporate loan officers, and potential acquirers. Thus, understanding financial statements in detail is vital. This course educates students on the major differences between earnings and cash flow from operations and between net income and comprehensive income, how financing choices affect operating results, what constitutes reoccurring earnings, how to benchmark your company to other companies in your industry, and how company performance is likely to vary with changes in economic and regulatory environments. 

FINA 770: Fixed Income Securities: Provides extensive coverage of the wide range of fixed-income products and the tools employed by market participants to analyze them. The level of the presentation is the same as one would experience attending fixed-income training programs at dealer firms on Wall Street (where the instructor has taught.) Emphasizes the applications of the material presented in class to problems/situations encountered by market participants. The course, which is fairly quantitative in nature, includes many real world exercises that require the student to use the Bloomberg terminal and the CITI Group Yield Book. 

FINA 772: Portfolio Management:
Utilizes the techniques learned in 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 Foundation executive board. 

IBUS 711: Global Valuation: Emphasizes valuation of corporations, particularly in an international context. Also covers many of the distinctive challenges faced by international businesses such as managing exchange rate risk, quantifying political risk, and navigating an array of different tax regimes. Extends many of the skills learned in FINA 761. The course utilizes a mix of case study and lecture-based instruction.

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

The Operations and Supply Chain 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 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 re-engineering 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’s role in every company is to develop profitable relationships with customers.

The Marketing functional specialization 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 accomplishes this objective by delivering a comprehensive understanding of fundamental marketing functions and an in-depth exploration of the various marketing metrics, marketing tools and market 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 coursework 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 recently had the opportunity to work on projects with such companies as Coca-Cola, ESPN, FedEx, 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 researchers 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, and 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.

For those who prefer a general management perspective or have interest in pursuing a unique functional specialization for consulting, 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. It is also suggested that students pursue the Global Strategy Certificate to enhance this specialization.

A functional specialization is NOT noted in the graduate’s diploma or 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

The Business Analytics Graduate Certificate is a STEM-designated program designed to train data-savvy managers, which today’s marketplace demands, based on extensive benchmarking across academia and industry. Students pursuing this certificate are required to complete four courses (12 credit hours) beyond the MBA core coursework.

The Cybersecurity Management Certificate employs a multidisciplinary approach designed to meet the growing demand for leaders who understand and manage cybersecurity and information assurance professionals. The curriculum draws from programming in both international business and risk management, which provides students with a global approach to cybersecurity management.

The Enterprise Resource Planning Systems Graduate Certificate is designed to provide students with the ability to demonstrate an overall understanding and working knowledge of the function, design, control and use of enterprise resource planning systems. Candidates pursuing this graduate certificate are required to complete three courses (nine credit hours) beyond the MBA core coursework.

The Global Strategy Graduate Certificate provides a strong foundation in critical thinking and problem solving with the opportunity to customize electives to suit future goals. Students will learn how to utilize global opportunities, assess risks and benefits of varying investment and locational choices and effectively manage company activities when an organization wants to grow beyond its current borders.

The Strategic Innovation Certificate is designed to address this demand by preparing students to successfully navigate an increasingly complex technological environment and develop the skills needed to strategically manage science, technology and innovation in the workforce.

Graduate certificates are noted in the graduate’s transcript. Graduates also receive a separate diploma awarding a “Post-Bachelor Certificate” in the specific area of knowledge.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.