Most students pursue 3-4 concentrations as part of the Tepper School MBA program.
Accounting has been a mainstay in the MBA core curriculum since the school’s inception in 1949. While Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting are required “core” classes for MBA students, there are unique electives to choose from in building an Accounting concentration grounded in analytical decision-making, technology, strategy and high ethical standards. For instance, in “Corporate Financial Reporting” students explore topics of recent interest to the business community, including quality of earnings mergers and acquisitions purchased RD post-employment benefits executive compensation and intangible assets.
In “Emerging Topics in Accounting” students are provided a flexible avenue to study current topics in accounting such as those that have received attention in the popular press and new ideas from accounting research. Examples of topics recently studied in the course include: Momentum accounting and momentum/impulse, Quantum accounting and quantum information, and Global accounting and composite currency.
This concentration provides skills that complement students' understanding of quantitative and analytic frameworks with the intent of providing a strong advantage in communicating the basis of management decisions, essentially preparing students to make compelling business cases. Focus is given to effective writing, delivery of relevant messages for key audiences, influencing the thinking and/or behavior of targets, and building relationships with audiences through the effective use of language and presentation materials. Students will be exposed to a variety of communication and presentation styles and modes.
Tepper School faculty focus communications coursework on the modeling of cognition in ill-structured management tasks including strategic planning, management consulting, negotiation and document design. Additionally, communications studies will include management communications, professional writing and presentations, English as a second language in business communications, and multimedia and document design.Importantly, this concentration also addresses the development and implementation of executive problem-solving skills in communications, cross-team collaboration, team building and corporate communication strategies.
The revolution that the we created in management science was, in part, spurred by the school’s leadership in the international economics arena. Answering the question of “Why markets?,” the program’s unprecedented research along with faculty Nobel laureates have reshaped public policy as well as deepened the debate surrounding societal and economic dynamics.
At the forefront of our Economic concentration is the Gailliot Center for Public Policy, directed by Professor Allan Meltzer and Adam Lerrick, two names renowned worldwide for their contributions toward improving economic policy. The strength of the business school’s economic concentration is reflected in the caliber of faculty research and its exceptionally strong partnerships in the public and private sectors.
Students will be prepared in their studies of capitalism, legal economic implications upon business and society as well as numerous courses in monetary, macro and global economics.
Recognized as one of the first business schools to focus on entrepreneurship as a distinct arena of management study (in 1972), the entrepreneurship program has consistently been ranked as one of the top in the country.
Conducted through the Tepper School’s Donald Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, the research center is one of the leading centers for entrepreneurial management. Students are prepared for business success through an offering of many different entrepreneurial electives, ranging from basic management fundamentals to intensive project courses that involve market entry plans and venture capital strategies.
The curriculum combines theory with practice through a mix of coursework, hands-on venture capital exposure, corporate consulting and the close interaction with a world-class faculty, all having successful VC or entrepreneurial backgrounds.
In 1960, the Tepper School was the first B-School to introduce Ethics as an essential component of the MBA curriculum. Today, we continue to recognize the importance of Ethics by integrating ethics and social responsibility topics throughout our MBA coursework.
Ethical decision-making is crucial for building integrity and trust within an organization. In addition to having a strong framework for analytical decision-making, business leaders must also be skilled at ethical decision-making. Even the most well-intentioned and ethical person can fall into an “ethics trap” because they failed to consider all the facts or were influenced by factors that led them astray. The Ethics and Social Responsibility concentration prepares students to assess these ethical grey areas and make well informed decisions based on a logical framework.
The unprecedented speed in which technology transforms markets and economies has altered the way multi-national organizations successfully compete. As the university that is synonymous with technology, it has been a key player in leading this trend. Our students represent a new breed of leader, one who understands global issues and is able to take advantage of emerging trends and technologies.
Broadly encompassing an array of technical and managerial coursework as well as applied project experience, the Information Technology concentration is aimed at preparing students for a career in a technology-related field. With nearly 25 electives from which to choose in our computer science and information networking disciplines, students are able to take advantage of a cross-campus academic experience through our MBA program as well as the School of Computer Science, the Software Engineering Institute and the Heinz School of Public Policy.
With 30-35% of each incoming class representing international students (this year from 35 different countries!) students receive an international perspective throughout their core courses. For students wishing to delve deeper into International Business Management, we offer a concentration in International Business. The concentration features introductory courses such as "International Business Management," which will broaden the students understanding of business issues and problems encountered in managing global business enterprises. Additional electives, such as "International Finance" and "International Accounting," focus on particular business functions using a global perspective. Courses such as "Cross-Cultural Management and Ethics" explore ways in which culture defines organizations.
Students find one of our Global Study options as a wonderful compliment to coursework in International Business.
One of the most popular concentration areas, the marketing curriculum incorporates academic specialty areas related to buyer behavior, technology, B2B strategy, data mining, product design and development as well as the fundamental coursework in marketing management.
Our graduates are highly sought for marketing positions at consumer packaged goods, technology, health care/pharmaceutical, retail and start-up companies. Our students’ ability to approach marketplace and consumer issues as part of a honed, analytical framework is rare – and valued – in today’s fast-paced industries and categories.
In business situations when case study reference books and gut instinct don’t suffice, our grads solve problems that impact organizations’ competitive success. Within an analytical decision making context, coursework encompasses product marketing, market entry planning, segmentation, communications management, pricing/sales forecasting, channel distribution and management, and marketing research.
Each year 20 of the most elite business schools from around the world meet on the Tepper School's campus to participate in the nation’s capstone MBA Operations case competition. There’s a reason why we host the anticipated event.
Ranked as the #4 Operations program by U.S. News and World Report, our heritage as the academic pioneer of “industrial administration” has placed the school in the research, manufacturing and academic spotlight.
We view the complex industry of operations management as broadly as material, information, technology and people. Students are prepared to enter this field with a depth that effectively leverages operations management a source of competitive advantage. With a multitude of different elective offerings in this specialty discipline, the Operations Management concentration provides students exposure to studies in simulation modeling, logistics, manufacturing systems, quality design and analysis as well as strategic performance drivers.
Don’t make the mistake of pigeonholing “quant” into the stereotype of number crunching. Quantitative Analysis is applicable across all areas of business and many of the courses in this area of study have dual concentrations as they relate directly to finance, marketing and operations. With a broad variety of electives available, students are able to explore analytics topics such as demand management and price optimization, optimization methods in finance, simulation of production and service systems, optimization for interactive marketing and data mining among others.
As one of the pioneering fore-parents of organizational studies, we believe that creating new knowledge is as important as disseminating it. In the 1960s our contributions in the arena of behavior science grew to impressive prominence. Today, the history of organizational research at our school is one of the path breaking, highly influential, interdisciplinary milestones that fundamentally changed how scholars think about organizations.
The program’s strength lies within the areas of groups, negotiation and conflict management, social networks within and between organizations and organization learning and management.
The Organizational Behavior concentration features faculty who are spearheading innovative classroom-to-boardroom research, particularly in the arenas of knowledge transfer and management, interpersonal negotiation, team dynamics, organizational change and productivity as well as corporate leadership. Their credentials are impressive, serving in key leadership positions with the Academy of Management, Management Science Journal, Journal of Organizational Behavior and the International Association for Conflict Management.
The Organizational Behavior program includes a comprehensive roster of elective offerings. Within our trademark framework of analytical decision making, this program introduces models and techniques that elicit meaningful insights regarding the universal challenges of organizational success.
The arena of strategy encompasses a range functions both within the corporate and entrepreneurial landscape. A popular concentration for Tepper MBAs, strategy provides the underpinning for helping students develop the fundamental skill set for formulating and executing strategies for competitive business advantage. The elective and core coursework provides exposure to companies' operating environments (both within the firm and the external competitive environment); approaches to sustaining competitive advantage; methods for generating value for customers and shareholders; and a framework for balancing the opportunities and risks associated with dynamic and uncertain changes in industry attractiveness and competitive position.
This concentration utilizes a range of analytical tools and the ability to take an integrative point of view within a framework of decision-making that focuses on multiple disciplines. Students will understand how to integrate functions, such as finance, law, operations, marketing, etc., all within the context of strategy. Tepper students will become comfortable integrating coursework from other areas/concentrations to use their analytical skills to perform in-depth analyses of industries and competitors, predict competitive behavior, and analyze how firms develop and sustain competitive advantage over time. Topics among various concentrations include, but are not limited to: business models of the new economy, competitive positioning; understanding comparative costs; and addressing issues such as cannibalization, network externalities, and globalization.