Wharton’s EMBA curriculum offers rigorous learning in a collaborative environment. The intensive, cross-functional core curriculum provides business fundamentals and the leadership, communication and analytical skills that are critical to your success. Through electives in the second year, you may then develop one or more areas of expertise or continue to develop a breadth of knowledge. Options to study abroad help students become global citizens. Majors are not required in the executive MBA program but add another option for study.
Learn More About the Wharton Executive MBA Curriculum
The core curriculum consists of 10.0 course units. If you have prior academic experience, you may be able to waive some core courses in order to take more electives.
Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership
Develop your knowledge and skill set for teamwork and leadership in this course that focuses on flattening hierarchies, building work teams and giving way to facilitation and empowerment.
Learn the essentials of persuasion, gain confidence in public speaking, and receive individualized feedback on your work. Develop and demonstrate effective, business-oriented communication skills regardless of your skill level when you start the course.
Responsibility in Global Management
Become familiar with important legal and ethical challenges you will face as a business leader with a focus on publicly traded, multinational corporations. Topics include an introduction to frameworks used in the analysis of ethical issues—such as right-based, consequentialist-based, and virtue-based reasoning—and conflicting interpretations of corporate responsibility. The course will also introduce you to basic legal and normative regimes at work in the global economy.
Microeconomics for Managers
How can microeconomics enhance decision making in an organization? This course teaches students both how to understand the economic environment in which a firm operates and how to think strategically within it. The first half of this course covers the foundations of microeconomics (supply, demand, market price and output, production, cost and simple competitive market equilibrium). The second half deals with applying microeconomic theory to more sophisticated pricing and competitive strategies.
Regression Analysis for Business
This course provides the fundamental methods of statistical analysis, the art and science of extracting information from data. The course will begin with a focus on the basic elements of exploratory data analysis, probability theory and statistic inference. With this as a foundation, it will proceed to explore the use of the key statistical methodology known as regression analysis for solving business problems, such as the prediction of future sales and the response of the market to price changes. The use of regression diagnostics and various graphical displays supplement the basic numerical summaries and provide insight into the validity of the models.
Managing the Productive Core of the Firm: Business Analytics
You will cover simple business analytics models and ideas that provide powerful, surprising qualitative insights about a large spectrum of managerial problems. You’ll also get a feel for the kinds of problems that can be tackled quantitatively, the methods and software available for doing so, and the challenges involved in gathering the relevant data.
Throughout the course, you’ll learn to apply mathematical analysis to real operational challenges. Your goal will be to provide both the tactical knowledge and high-level insights needed by general managers and management consultants.
Managing the Productive Core of the Firm: Operations Strategy
You’ll cover tactical models and decisions and learn the qualitative insights needed by general managers and management consultants.
Managing the Productive Core of the Firm: Quality and Productivity
Learn how firms can better organize their operations so that they more effectively align their supply with the demand for their products and services
Fundamentals of Financial and Managerial Accounting
Introduction to both financial and managerial accounting emphasizes the analysis and evaluation of accounting information as part of the managerial processes of planning, decision-making, and control.
This course will cover discounted cash flow techniques, corporate capital budgeting and valuation, investment decisions under uncertainty, capital asset pricing, options, and market efficiency. You’ll also analyze corporate financial policy, including capital structure, cost of capital, dividend policy, and related issues.
Macroeconomics and the Global Economic Environment
The course emphasizes the use of economic theory to understand the workings of financial markets and the operation and impact of government policies. You’ll study the determinants of the level of national income, employment, investment, interest rates, the supply of money, inflation, exchange rates, and the formulation and operation of stabilization policies.
Managing the Enterprise
This course will show you that successful management in the 21st century requires a combination of insights drawn from economics, sociology, psychology, and political economy.
You’ll learn to apply analytic perspectives, decision tools, and concepts of marketing to decisions like product offerings, communications programs, distribution channels, and pricing.
This course introduces the concepts and theories underlying marketing decision making. Building on Marketing Management, students weigh considerations behind each element of the marketing mix. A comprehensive computer simulation game helps highlight these issues and provides the class with a rich set of realistic examples for discussion and analysis.
Global Business Week Experience
In the second year of the program, students embark on a required Global Business Week in a country facing business challenges of interest. Students in the Global cohort attend two additional required Global Modular Courses, which are optional for Philadelphia and San Francisco students. Learn more about the Global Business Week experience and additional options for international study.
Each MBA for Executives class participates in the selection of a set of electives from more than 200 graduate courses offered. You then choose from this subset of courses, with the option to switch campuses for one or more terms if a desired course is not offered in your primary program location.
Students in this program usually have made significant progress in their careers and the coursework and shared experience is designed to help you enter upper-level management and leadership ranks. During the second year you have the option of continuing to pursue a breadth of knowledge or building depth in particular fields. You may be able to major in subjects such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, and strategic management. You can also design an independent study project and work in-depth on a topic with a faculty member.
Sample elective courses selected by recent classes:
Advanced Corporate Finance
The objective of this course is to study the major decision-making areas of managerial finance and some selected topics in financial theory. The course reviews the theory and empirical evidence related to the investment and financing policies of the firm and attempts to develop decision-making ability in these areas. Areas of financial management covered in this course include leasing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, financial planning, and working capital management. Other areas that are covered in the introductory course are covered more in depth and more rigorously in this course, including investment decision making under uncertainty, cost of capital, capital structure, pricing of selected financial instruments and corporate liabilities, and dividend policy.
Corporate Development: Mergers and Acquisitions
This course explores the various modes of corporate development available to managers to drive firm growth and change, including alliances, outsourcing, corporate venturing, and particularly mergers and acquisitions. The objectives are three-fold: (1) to arm the student with a set of tools to facilitate the selection of the appropriate growth strategy in a given situation; (2) to provide insights as to how to manage partnerships like alliances, outsourcing, and corporate venturing; and, (3) to develop a comprehensive framework for executing M&As, from initiation to implementation. The emphasis is on strategic and operational aspects of these transactions, rather than financial considerations.
Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition
This course focuses on theoretical and practical issues of acquiring a business. Topics include: locating a business, due diligence, reviewing and analyzing data, valuation, raising capital/financing the deal, structuring the acquisition, and integrating the target.
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the necessary skills to value and to employ options, futures, and related financial contracts. In order to provide a useful treatment of these topics in an environment that is changing rather rapidly, it is necessary to stress the fundamentals and to explore the topics at a technical level. The topics that will be covered include the valuation of futures contracts on stock indices, on commodities and Treasury instruments; the valuation of options, empirical evidence, strategies with respect to these assets, dynamic asset allocation strategies, or which portfolio insurance is an example, swaps, and the use (and misuse) of derivatives in the context of corporate applications.
Formation and Implementation of Entrepreneurial Ventures
This advanced course in entrepreneurship centers on writing a comprehensive business plan and implementation plan for a venture of your choice. The course examines ways to profitably launch and exploit business opportunities (as opposed to what opportunity to explore). It will allow you to acquire the skill set necessary for crafting a winning business model for your venture — developing and writing a coherent and effective plan to start a business, in either an independent or a corporate setting. The venture must distinguish itself from existing companies through differential innovation; for example, through an innovative product or service, an innovative production process, a new business model, or by creating a new market.
Global Modular Courses
An innovative way of delivering global experiential learning, the half- or full-credit global modular courses give students an on-the-ground view of business in an intensive workshop format. Students get a unique combination of local immersion, course concepts and emerging business issues in regions undergoing rapid change – for example, energy and infrastructure in Brazil, global supply chain management in China, and marketing in emerging economies such as India and China. Global Modular Courses have been offered in Brazil, China, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Rwanda, South Africa, and the United Kingdom and are opened to executive MBA students on a space-available basis.
The course is first and foremost an intensive, integrative, project course in which student teams create one or more real businesses. Some businesses spun out of the course and now managed by alumni include Terrapass Inc. and Smatchy Inc. The project experience is an exciting context in which to learn key tools and fundamentals useful in innovation, problem solving, and design. Examples of these tools and fundamentals are: problem definition, identification of opportunities, generating alternatives, selecting among alternatives, principles of data graphics, and managing innovation pipelines.
International Corporate Finance
This course analyzes financial problems corporations face that result from operating in an international environment. Major topics covered are corporate strategy and the decision to invest abroad, forecasting exchange rates, international portfolio diversification, managing exchange risk, taxation issues, cost of capital and financial structure in the multinational firm, and sources of financing.
Introduction to Real Estate
The goal of this class is to help you become an informed consumer of real estate advice. The class material breaks down into four major sections: 1) The financial risk and return of property-level real estate investments. Be able to interpret, understand and evaluate a real estate property investment pro forma. 2) The legal landscape for investing in real estate and using legal structures to manage risk. 3) The economics of commercial real estate markets. Understanding the forces that will determine the value and income-producing potential of a real estate investment. 4) Important real estate issues of the day.
Managing Organizational Change
During the last decade it has become clear that in the global economy, firms must constantly adapt to changing technological, competitive, demographic and other environmental conditions in order to survive and prosper. The importance of acquiring the knowledge and tools for changing organizations successfully cannot be overemphasized (particularly for students headed for consulting and general management careers, although not limited to them). This course focuses on specific concepts, theories and tools that can guide executives entrusted with the task of leading organizational change to successful execution. Among other topics, the course will focus on various change strategies such as leading change, managing cultural change, and mergers or acquisitions, corporate transformation, managing growth, building the customer centric organization, business process outsourcing both from client and provider perspectives, and managing radical organizational change
The objective of the course is to provide a rigorous experience in marketing research methods. The course is aimed at the manager, who is the ultimate user of the research and is responsible for determining the major scope and direction of research activities. Techniques of data collection, evaluation of alternative sources of information, and methods of evaluating data and presenting the results are covered. The course should help managers recognize the role of systematic information gathering and analysis in making marketing decisions. The course also deals with how to define information needs; the use of test marketing procedures; forms of analysis applicable to marketing research information; and the role of models in decision making.
This course views marketing as both a general management responsibility and an orientation of an organization that helps one to create, capture and sustain customer value. The focus is on the business unit and its network of channels, customer relationships, and alliances. Specifically, the course attempts to help develop knowledge and skills in the application of advanced marketing frameworks, concepts, and methods for making strategic choices at the business level.
Negotiation is the art and science of creating good agreements. This course develops managerial negotiation skills by mixing lectures and practice, using cases and exercises in which students negotiate with each other. The cases cover a wide range of problems and settings: one-shot deals between individuals, repeated negotiations, negotiations over several issues, negotiations among several parties (both within and between organizations), and cross-cultural issues. Performance in the negotiation’s cases accounts for a significant portion of the course grade.
New Product Development
This course provides a total immersion in the new product development process — from sourcing ideas and innovation, through new product sales forecasting. The focus is on collective learning, what works, what doesn’t, and why. While the primary focus is the new product development process within a corporate structure, some coverage is given to key issues surrounding start-ups.
The course provides a systematic presentation of the factors to be considered when setting price, and shows how pricing alternatives are developed. Analytical methods are developed and new approaches are explored for solving pricing decisions.
Risk and Crisis Management
The growing connectivity of global economies and financial markets has produced widespread risk contagion, resulting in increased volatility and an ever-increasing demand for risk capital. This course focuses on understanding the drivers of risk contagion and ways to restore confidence in worldwide markets for pure and financial risk.
Strategy and Competitive Advantage
This course is concerned with strategy issues at the business unit level. Its focus is on the question of how firms can create and sustain a competitive advantage. A central part of the course deals with concepts that have been developed around the notions of complementarities and fit. Other topics covered in the course include the creation of competitive advantage through commitment, competitor analysis, different organizational responses to environmental changes, real options, modularity, and increasing returns. An important feature of the course is a term-length project in which groups of students work on firm analyses that require the application of the course concepts.
The course is designed for students interested in analyzing and developing firm strategies in industries where technological innovations play an important role in creating and sustaining competitive advantage. It provides concepts and frameworks to help understand the interaction among firm strategies, technologies and markets. Students act in the roles of key decision-makers or their advisors and solve problems related to the development or maintenance of the competitive advantage of the firm in a given market.
Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation
This course covers the finance of technological innovation, with a focus on the valuation tools useful in the venture capital industry. These tools include the “venture capital method,” comparables analysis, discounted cash flow analysis, Monte Carlo simulation, contingent-claims analysis, decision trees, and real options. The primary audience for this course is finance majors interested in careers in venture capital or in R&D-intensive companies in health care or information technology.
Majors are not required in the executive MBA program; however, some Wharton majors can be earned by executive students as a result of pursuing their area of interest.
A few of the majors that have been earned within the EMBA program are listed below.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation major combines theory with practice, providing students the opportunity to test the theories, models, and strategies learned in the classroom by creating real business plans, working on other field projects, and gaining access and insight from leaders in the entrepreneurial business community. Visit department website.
Finance majors focus on the analytic and theoretical tools required to master practical issues in Finance. While some attention is given to the descriptive, institutional, and historical aspects of the field, primary emphasis is on the analytical foundations, emphasizing theory and methods of analysis and making extensive use of relevant techniques of economic analysis, mathematics, and statistics. Visit department website.
The management major helps managers in the changing global economy view the total enterprise and understand the forces that shape a firm’s direction, policies, and goals. The course also helps managers exercise personal leadership in managing employees. You will apply basic social science disciplines and research methods to management and leadership problems in the public and private sectors. Visit department website.
Marketing investigates fundamental approaches to understanding markets, competitors, and portfolios of product offerings and operating technologies. Wharton has one of the largest set’s of marketing courses and faculty. Visit department website.
The strategic management major has a deep grounding in the basic logic of competitive advantage, premised on a careful analytical treatment of the distinct qualities and positions of individual firms and an understanding of broader competitive dynamics. Visit department website.