Curriculum

The One-Year MBA program at Penn State Smeal, comprising 35 credits, provides an immersive classroom learning experience on the University Park campus. This traditional program starts in the fall semester and finishes the following May, with each semester building on the previous one, creating a laddered educational approach. The academic year consists of two semesters divided into four 7-week modules, ensuring a comprehensive study of course material. This structure promotes student success, regardless of their background or experience.

This 35-credit One-Year MBA program, offered in a traditional face-to-face classroom setting with dedicated course sections on Penn State’s University Park campus, begins in the fall semester and concludes in May of the following year. Each semester builds upon the required semester before it, creating a laddered educational experience that helps every student succeed, regardless of background or experience.

The program spans two academic semesters divided into four 7-week modules to provide an immersive study of course content. Each module builds upon the required modules before it, creating a laddered educational experience that helps every student succeed, regardless of background or experience

Fall Semester

Module I

Duration: 16 weeks | Professor: Andy Gustafson, Ph.D./Nancy Mahon, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Dan Givoly, Ph.D.

Business enterprises convey information to their present and potential investors and creditors through financial reports. This course focuses on these financial reports, the data they contain, how users should read and interpret financial statements, and how users can incorporate this information into their investment decision making. It also examines how managers attempt to window dress these financial statements and how the numbers might affect managerial behavior.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Aparna Joshi, Ph.D.

This course is concerned with understanding and managing the behavior of people in organizations. Students will explore the concepts and skills that will help them to become more effective managers and organizational leaders. This course includes tools that help students diagnose, understand, and develop solutions to management problems. We will draw upon both the academic and practitioner literature to understand many facets of organizations and of the thoughts, feelings, and actions of people who work in them.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Tony Kwasnica, Ph.D.

Construction and use of quantitative methods in business decision-making.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Keith Crocker, Ph.D.

An introduction to the tools of economic decision making and a consideration of firm, industry, and global economic influences on economic decision making.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Margaret Luciano, Ph.D.

Gain the basic knowledge about predictable team dynamics and how to constructively deal with issues that arise in the first year MBA teams. The course focuses on observation, diagnosis, and intervention skills for developing effective teams. Topics include diagnosing group dynamics, giving and receiving feedback to teammates, cross-cultural communication, and conflict management techniques.

Fall Immersion

Duration: 4 days | Professor: Stephen Humphrey, Ph.D.

This course will give students an overview of the difference between traditional (distributive) bargaining and interest-based (or integrative) negotiations. Students will learn the rudiments of interest-based negotiating and practice it in several negotiation simulations. They will learn how to identify their own and others' interests, to create and claim value and to craft constructive agreements for all parties. The course will concentrate on two person and small group negotiations as well as to deal with difficult opponents.

Module II

Duration: 16 weeks (continuation from Module I) | Professor: Andy Gustafson, Ph.D./Nancy Mahon, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Margaret Luciano, Ph.D.

Gain the basic knowledge about predictable team dynamics and how to constructively deal with issues that arise in the first year MBA teams. The course focuses on observation, diagnosis, and intervention skills for developing effective teams. Topics include diagnosing group dynamics, giving and receiving feedback to teammates, cross-cultural communication, and conflict management techniques.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Sajay Samuel, Ph.D.

Foundations in Management Accounting has two broad aims. First, it is designed to help students grasp the technical aspects of accounting for activities and processes within and between firms. Therefore, students will study methods of a) cost classification & estimation; b) cost measurement & allocation; c) profit planning; and d) evaluation and control of behavior. Second, the course emphasizes the context of managerial accounting.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Lou Gattis, Ph.D.

This course provides a foundation in finance from the perspective of the firm. The objective is to show students that basic financial principles can be useful no matter the type of job taken. The two main topics of the course are: (1) how managers can use financial techniques to help them do their jobs and (2) how firms can use financial markets to solve financial problems.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: John Liechty, Ph.D.

Designed to meet the entry statistical requirements for any course in the Smeal MBA Program, as well as to provide job applicable skills across the entire business portfolio.

Spring Semester

Module III

Duration: 16 weeks (continuation from Module II) | Professor: Andy Gustafson, Ph.D./Nancy Mahon, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Saurabh Bansal, Ph.D.

Designed to provide students with an overview of the role of operations in the organization, the kinds of decisions operations and supply chain managers make, and the impact of these decisions on the strategic and tactical position of the firm. Supply chain management is a particular focus in the course. The interaction of production, distribution and information resources plays a critical role in developing and sustaining a firm's competitive advantage.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Terrence Guay, Ph.D.

This course starts with the reality that the United States is less influential in global trade, finance, economics, and business than it was in previous decades. Consequently, M.B.A. students need to be aware of the business environments of other countries, the influence of these countries in the global political economy, and new competitors emanating from other parts of the world. About two-thirds of the course is focused on understanding macroeconomic concepts, and analyzing the challenges and opportunities posed by some of the most important countries and regions and the companies headquartered there. Approximately one-third of the course examines global themes that affect virtually all companies, regardless of nationality.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Chloe Tergiman, Ph.D.

Changes in interest rates, swings in the business cycle, new international trade agreements: all are macroeconomic events, and all can dramatically impact business. Institutional constraints, as well as theory, and history guide present day macroeconomic analysis and policy. Accordingly, the class is a synthesis of institutional, theoretical, and historical perspectives. A wealth of macroeconomic information and data is now available on the web for those who know how to access and interpret it.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Andrew Petersen, Ph.D.

An examination of the role of the marketplace in company management.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Brian Cameron, Ph.D.

Learn to assess and adopt new technologies, gain insights into the latest emerging tech, and engage in comprehensive analysis of a chosen trend.

Spring Immersion

Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: TBD

Global Immersion is designed around a visit to another economic region. In the past. MBA students have visited such countries as Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Turkey, and Singapore. In each country, students visit both local and multinational businesses to understand how a business gets established and run in another country; students also meet with industry and government officials to get their perspectives on the economic policies of the country. Each Immersion is coordinated by a faculty leader who plans the visit so as to appeal to a wide range of student interests.

Module IV

Duration: 16 weeks (continuation from Module III) | Professor: Andy Gustafson, Ph.D./Nancy Mahon, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Jennifer Eury, Ph.D.

The objective of the ethical leadership course is to raise awareness of the key role played as a manager and leader in creating and maintaining responsible business conduct in work groups and organizations. The course is also intended to enhance the student's ability to deal with the complexities of ethical decision making in today's dynamic business environment by clarifying and applying personal values.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Jeffrey Krug, Ph.D.

Analysis and application of concepts and techniques aimed at successfully developing and implementing competitive strategy in a complex business environment. This course introduces students to the field of strategic management and the skills and tools used by general managers to make strategic decisions. Students learn to use frameworks and perspectives for analyzing industries, competitors, and companies with an overall objective of positioning the firm to attain and sustain competitive advantage.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Brendan Bagley, Ph.D.

Obtain practical and hands-on exposure to leadership training and exercises that can be applied in a diverse range of professional environments and business settings. Students will assess their own leadership strengths and development areas, develop an individual leadership development plan, apply that plan in a Leadership Immersion experience, and complete a reflection paper upon return. The course provides an opportunity to apply and integrate the knowledge and skills students developed throughout the program with strategic management and leadership concepts.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Brian Cameron, Ph.D.

Learn to assess and adopt new technologies, gain insights into the latest emerging tech, and engage in comprehensive analysis of a chosen trend.