MBA Concentrations

MBA students are required to complete 1 concentration, but most students pursue 3 - 4 concentrations during their time in the MBA program.
  • Accounting

    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, the course Corporate Financial Reporting has students exploring 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.
  • Communications

    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, exceptional 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 management tasks including strategic planning, management consulting, negotiation and business acting. 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.
  • Economics

    The revolution that 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. Students will be prepared in their studies of capitalism, risk analysis and management as well as in numerous courses in monetary, macro and global economics.  
  • Entrepreneurship

    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. The campus hub for entrepreneurship is the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, which partners with MBAs on business plans, venture capital and startup market entry. Carnegie Mellon’s innovation spurs economic growth and has helped to launch more than 300 companies and 9,000 jobs in the past 15 years. 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.
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility

    In 1960, our business school was the first 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. In addition to having a strong framework for analytical decision-making, business leaders must also be skilled at ethical decision-making. The Ethics and Social Responsibility concentration prepares students to assess ethical contexts and business situations to make well-informed decisions based on a logical framework. Going beyond our core curriculum, this concentration presents a series of electives focusing on sustainability, ethics, social responsibility and accountability in business to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to manage ethical challenges within a dynamic business context. Students will be prepared in their studies of ethical leadership, ethics issues in business, sustainable operations, economic issues in financial institutions, energy and environmental policy, and cross-cultural management and executive communication skills.
  • Finance

    With more than 20 finance electives to choose from, our finance program is robust. It emphasizes the analytical and quantitative aspects of finance and accounting, offering students an opportunity to explore various methodologies and analyses. Faculty include among the most prominent members of the financial academic community with success in fields of international finance, financial management, corporate finance and economic research. The finance coursework is designed for the lifetime of your career - Tepper MBA alumni are well-represented in senior financial positions at investment banks and Fortune 50 corporate finance and treasury programs.
  • Business Technologies

    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, Carnegie Mellon 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 Business Technologies concentration is aimed at preparing students for a career in a technology-related field. 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.
  • Marketing

    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 after for marketing positions at consumer packaged goods, technology, health care/pharmaceutical, retail and start-up companies. More than 90 percent of MBAs pursuing marketing careers work in product management, brand management and marketing leadership development programs. 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. Within an analytical decision-making context, coursework encompasses product marketing, market entry planning, marketing with social media, segmentation, communications management, pricing/sales forecasting, channel distribution and management and marketing research.
  • Operations Management

    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. With a broad variety of electives available, students explore operations topics such as demand management and price optimization, JIT management and supply chain management, manufacturing strategy, quality design and analysis, simulation modeling for production systems, and six sigma tools and techniques.
  • Operations Research

    Our history of excellence in Operations Research and Statistics is renowned. During the 1950s, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University pioneered a revolutionary new approach to business management known as Management Science. Our practice of applying analytical, quantitative decision making techniques via complex methods and modeling to management principles has since been adopted by virtually every leading B-School in the U.S. Also referred to as Quantitative Analysis, the study of Operations Research and Statistics provides a powerful career advantage in which students master frameworks for assessing complex, dynamic variables to form strategic decisions.
  • Organizational Behavior

    As one of the pioneers 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. 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.
  • Strategy

    The arena of strategy encompasses a range of 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 MBA 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: consulting and conflict resolution, customer-driven strategies and services, managing intellectual capital and knowledge-intensive business, strategic corporate management, technology strategy, trade and investment strategy.