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Section 2: MBA Course Requirements

2.1  Concentration Requirement

Three elective courses in one of the following areas constitute a concentration. Only one concentration is required; most students complete multiple concentrations.

  • Accounting
  • Communications
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • Finance
  • Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Operations Research/Statistics
  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Strategy

First year Full-Time and FlexTime students entering in fall 2013 are required to have an analytical depth requirement of two electives from a provided  list of courses. Consult with your assigned academic advisor to obtain the list.

Students who entered the program in fall 2011 have the following distributional requirements:

Information Systems Requirement

  • 1 elective course in Information Systems
    *Not needed if you have a concentration in Information Systems

Organizational Behavior Requirement

  • 1 elective course in Organizational Behavior
    *Not needed if you have a concentration in Organizational Behavior

Quantitative Requirement

  • 1 elective course in one of the following two areas: Operations or Statistics
    *Not needed if you have a concentration in Operations Research/Statistics.

Strategy Requirement

  • 1 elective course in Strategy
    *Not needed if you have a concentration in Strategy.

No course may double count for two distributional requirements even though the course is identified as fulfilling two concentration areas.

If a student takes an elective that is identified as fulfilling both the Quant concentration/distributional area and the Information Systems concentration/distributional area AND the student has not already completed an elective in either of those two areas, then he/she may choose the concentration area for which to apply the course. If the choice is the Quant elective, then an Information Systems elective would still be required. If the choice is the Information Systems elective, then the Quant course would still be required.

2.2  Conduct of Classes

Faculty have high expectations of conduct to maximize the learning experience from every class in the program for all students.

  • Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Class attendance is mandatory unless the professor explicitly informs that other ways of completing the work are acceptable. If students are unable to attend the first day of a class, they are expected to contact the faculty member. Failure to contact the faculty member may result in losing their roster spot. Faculty may enforce specific attendance requirements to assist in determining class performance. Faculty are expected to be alert to absenteeism detrimental to a student’s performance and to call such cases to the attention of the executive director of student services.
  • Students are expected to attend class on time and remain in the class for the entire period. Consequences of tardiness, absence from class, or late assigned work are at the discretion of the professor. Faculty reserve the right to deny tardy students admission to the classroom. Tardiness is disruptive to the entire class and is not respectful of classmates and the faculty. If there is a credible and legitimate reason for early class exit, the situation should be discussed with the faculty member (before class) for approval.
  • Students should expect cold-calling in both their required and elective courses. Students are expected to complete the readings, case preparations and other assignments prior to each class session and be prepared to actively participate in class discussion, presentations and Q&A sessions.
  • Student laptops in the classroom should be used for designated class purposes.
    When class is in session, students must use their laptop only as directed by their professor. In addition, cell/smart phones should be turned off during class time. If students are unsure whether a given activity is appropriate, they should ask their professor.
  • Students should expect random team formation during their first year in the program. Faculty may use Tepper Teams formed at BaseCamp for some projects, but will also randomly assign students. This simulates real work environments where different teams work on different projects. Random team formation is at the discretion of the professor in elective courses.
  • Students should expect to participate in group work. Group work, whether formal or informal, is a central element of the MBA education. Each class may have different group processes and expectations as defined by faculty. Students are responsible for understanding specific faculty and course group protocols. Collaboration among groups or individuals is permissible unless explicitly defined, limited or prohibited by faculty. Group work is held to the same ethical standards as individual work. If in doubt about a group assignment, project or other class activity, clarify with the professor. Be absolutely sure of assignment completion rules by group or individual.
  • Students are expected to adhere to the Honor Code. Faculty will remind students at the beginning of each class and during the mini, especially at exam times, of the adherence to the described Honor Code in this Handbook.

2.3   MBA Grades

9 Point Scale

Grade GPA Meaning
A+ 9.0 Outstanding
A 8.0 Excellent
A- 7.0 Very Good
B+ 6.0 Above Average
B 5.0 Average
B- 4.0 Below Average
C+ 3.0 Poor
C 2.0 Very Poor
C- 1.0 Unsatisfactory
*D+, D, R 0.0 Failure (No Units)








Letter Grade Conversion Table

Grade 4.33 Scale 9.0 Scale
A+ 4.33 9
A 4.0 8
A- 3.67 7
B+ 3.33 6
B- 3.0 5
B- 2.67 4
C+ 2.33 3
C 2.0 2
C- 1.67 1
*D+ 1.33 0
*D 1.0 0
R 0.0 0.0

*Tepper MBA courses do not have D or D+ grades. Students may receive these grades in non-Tepper courses.

Below are Tepper School of Business grades that do not affect Grade Point Average:

Grade Meaning
E Exempt (No Units)
0 Audit (No Units)
P Pass (In a course taken P/N**)
N No Pass (In a course taken P/N)
W Withdrawal (No Units)

**A "P" grade corresponds to a "C-" or better. Students performing below the "C-" level receive an "N."

MBA candidates must have a cumulative GPA of a least 5.0 (a "B") for:

  • all required courses
  • all courses counting towards the 192 units required for graduation

All students must pass all required courses. In order to pass a required course, including a capstone course, MBA candidates must earn a grade of “C-” or better. Students earn credit and grade points only if they have both registered for and completed a course. Pass/No Pass courses earn units only. Audit courses do not earn grade points or units. Blackboard access does not mean that you are enrolled. If a student has not registered for a course, neither course credit nor a course grade will be processed

2.4  Grading Options


MBA students who want to exempt a required course must take an exemption exam for that course. Exemption exams for mini 1 courses (and some mini 2 courses) will be offered during BaseCamp.

The exception to this policy:

  • Students with a United States CPA certification may exempt (45-700)  Financial and Managerial Accounting I and (45-701) Financial and Managerial Accounting II, without taking the exemption exam.

The following courses cannot be exempted:

  • 45-740  Managing People and Teams
  • 45-741  Managing Networks and Organizations
  • 45-745  Ethics and Leadership
  • 45-770  Corporate Strategy
  • 45-790  Management Presentations
  • 45-791  Interpersonal Communications
  • 45-792  Writing for Managers
  • 45-xxx  Capstone Experience

Elective courses cannot be exempted. Students do not earn units or grade points for exemptions; the exemption grade is recorded on the student’s unofficial transcript as “E.”  Exempted courses do not count toward the 192 units required for graduation.

Students who are below the minimum required GPA, (B average) at the end of mini 1 will be barred from exempting any mini 2 courses, even if they have successfully passed the exemption exam. Students who are below the minimum required GPA (B average) at the end of mini 2 will be put on academic probation and barred from exempting any mini 3 courses.

Pass/No Pass

MBA candidates may take a maximum of 12 of the 192 required units in elective MBA courses on a “pass/no pass” basis. Pass/No Pass approval is at the discretion of the faculty.

Courses that are offered with a default grading scale of pass/no pass are rare. If a student elects to take a class that is offered as a pass/no pass only, it will not count toward the 12 units of pass/no pass permitted in the degree requirements

To take a course pass/no pass, students must complete the following:

  1. Register for course in the Tepper School Registration System.
  2. Complete the pass/no pass form (available from Student Services office) including signature of course professor and student.
  3. Return form to a Student Services staff member prior to the Tepper School add/drop deadline.

Once students commit to pass/no pass grading, they are not permitted to revert back to the regular grading system.

Students who take a course on a pass/no pass basis will earn units towards their overall degree. Additionally, courses taken pass/no pass will count towards concentration requirements and other degree requirements. A pass/no pass course does not affect a student’s overall GPA.

The pass/no pass policy does not refer to dual degree students.


Students may audit MBA elective courses, maintaining a presence in the classroom without earning units or grade points. Audit approval is at the discretion of the professor. Auditors may participate in class discussion, cases and take examinations, subject to the agreement of the professor. Attendance is required. Students who successfully complete an audit receive the grade, “O.”

To take a course as an audit, students must complete the following:

  1.  Register for the course in the Tepper School Registration System.
  2.  Complete audit form including signature of course professor.
  3.  Return form to Student Services prior to the Tepper School add/drop deadline.


If a student wants to drop a course after the add/drop deadline for a specific mini or semester, the student will need to withdraw from the course. Students should complete the MBA Course Withdrawal form (available from the Student Services office), obtain the faculty signature and return it to Student Services. This must be done prior to the final day of that class.

2.5       Retaking Courses

Students may not retake, for credit, a course they previously completed. (Withdrawing from a course does not equal completed.) Students may attend such courses to gain additional knowledge of the material, if space permits. Schedule adjustments will not be made to accommodate such requests.

The only exception to this policy is for failed required courses. Students must retake for credit, any required courses they fail and must pass the class on the second attempt.  Students are only permitted two attempts to pass any required course.

Failing grades are not removed from student transcripts; they appear in addition to the new grade.

2.6       Make-up Exam

Students enrolled in a course are expected to take exams when they are scheduled. A make-up exam will only be given in documented emergency situations and for legitimate reasons (e.g., medical problem, accident), and only after obtaining permission from the professor.  Job interviews, recruiting, leisure travel or other personal plans are not sufficient cause to justify a make-up exam. Make-up exams may not be taken before a regularly scheduled exam.

2.7       Incomplete Grades

Students must complete all course requirements on time; exceptions are determined solely by professors.

  1. All incomplete required courses must be completed. An incomplete in a required course prevents the course from serving as a prerequisite for other courses. Students are encouraged to resolve the incomplete grade as soon as possible. The faculty member has the discretion to establish a timeline for completion.
  2. An incomplete grade not resolved within one semester will become a failing grade, an “R,” by default.

Students are responsible for monitoring the status of their grades and taking steps to remove incomplete grades from their academic records. Incomplete grades will prevent degree certification for graduates.


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