Graduate Programs


MBA - Course Descriptions

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Core courses differ from courses in the undergraduate program in that the graduate program will significantly focus on the managerial perspective rather than an introduction to the principles of the different business functions. As such, the core courses build on the information provided by the undergraduate courses. This managerial perspective will be aimed at insuring that students are able to think critically, analyze situations, and apply sound business techniques, knowledge and biblical wisdom. Comparative analysis will go beyond standard financial analysis, seeking to evaluate the effect of emphasis upon self and power often found in contemporary organizations relative to a biblical perspective on human behavior, character, appreciation of diversity, valuing all of God's creation.

There are 10 courses that comprise the core knowledge portion of the master of business administration program. These courses expand upon the common professional component of the field as required by the ACBSP.

BUS 505 Corporate Finance (3)
The study of key financial concepts including capital budgeting, cost of capital, risk and return, cash flow analysis and an understanding of financial statements. Prerequisite: BUS 515 or permission of the instructor.

BUS 510 Financial Management (3)
Examines the nature of funding and managing the finances of the firm; biblical financial principles; significance of financial ratios and interpretation of financial statement items for managerial decision making; ethical issues regarding financial decisions. Prerequisite: BUS 515,505 or permission of the instructor.

BUS 515 Financial and Managerial Accounting (3)
The study of accounting for the manager; emphasis on financial reporting, financial performance evaluation, ethical issues, and cost accounting.

BUS 520 Management Thought and Application (3)
This course examines the history of management thought, a biblical perspective on management, and contemporary application. Examines the factors that influence individual work performance, organizational effectiveness and applied techniques for improving organizational performance. 

BUS 530 Management Information Systems/Decision Support Systems (3)
The integration and application of computing resources by the firm to aid strategic and ethical decision making and competitiveness; principles of managing production and operation facilities and automated decision making technologies.

BUS 540 Marketing Management (3)
Examines the marketing mix and its role to strategically position the firm; course uses a consumer product based simulation to practice management decision making and competitive behavior.

BUS 550 Human Resource Systems/Organizational Behavior (3)
The design and implementation of strategic human resource systems from a general management perspective. Content includes organizational assessment, biblical integration of HR systems, development of HR strategy, organizational theory, legal compliance, contemporary trends, HR issues, and the relationship of HR systems to organizational performance.

BUS 560 Biblical Management and Ethics (3)
Within the context of Scripture, principles are identified, discussed, and applied to business problems and situations including businesses' obligations to society and individuals' responsibility to organizations. 

BUS 570 Managerial Economics (3)
Economic issues and economic analysis as applied to managerial decision making. Evaluating the impact of international trade theory, taxation, and resource allocation upon the business organization. 

BUS 590 Strategic Business Policy (3)
Strategic management and business policy issues facing the general manager; a comprehensive application of the various managerial applications derived from the core classes. Cultivation and utilization of skills in analysis, diagnosis, and development. Prerequisite: This course may only be taken after the completion of 21 hours of MBA courses including BUS 510, 515, and 540 or with permission of the MBA program coordinator.


BUS 511 Investment Theory and Applications (3)
Various topics in the uses and pricing of derivative securities, including options forwards, futures, and swaps.  Also addressed are applications of return factor models, both for assessing portfolio risk and in modeling the required expected return on an individual security.  Offered alternate years, beginning 2012. Prerequisite: BUS 505.

BUS 516 Valuations and Corporate Investments (3)
Valuation plays a key role in many areas of Finance-public and private offerings, mergers and acquisitions, LBOs, intellectual capital, and portfolio management.  This course is about the valuation of real assets and capital expenditure decisions by corporations.  Basic valuation tools, relative valuation models, and real option models are addressed.  Offered alternate years beginning 2011.  Prerequisites: BUS 515, 505, 510.

BUS 541 Buyer Behavior (3)
This course focuses on the role of buyers in the marketing process.  Buyer behavior in the consumer marketplace as well as the organizational buying process is examined.  The study of buying behaviors enhances understanding of what marketing strategies are likely to be effective, how humans operate in the marketplace, and what kind of affective, cognitive, and social mechanisms enter into the purchasing decision.  A sampling of specific topics addressed include the role of attitudes, learning and memory, lifestyles, and culture in the buying decision. 

BUS 545 Advanced Marketing & Promotions (3)
This course is an advanced study of marketing systems in the American economy.  Included is the identification of the activities involved in the flow of goods among manufacturers, brokers, wholesales, retailers and consumers.  Specifically, the elements of the Marketing Mix and their role in strategically positioning the firm is closely examined.  Also, the nature of demand, costs, and pricing, business models. Channel theory, product theory, and sales promotion are presented. 

BUS 580 Research Methodology (3)
Utilization of research tools and quantitative techniques used in business with application to current policy and decision making.  Multivariate statistics and quantitative analysis tools will be applied.

BUS 581 Project Management (3)
Teach student to master the most proven methods in project management as well as new techniques emerging from current industry and today's most recent research.  Introduce manual techniques perfected during the past 50 years and progressive automated techniques, all consistent with the latest PMBOK® Guide and integrated with Microsoft® Project 2010. Students first practice manual techniques to ensure that they fully grasp the principles behind the methods before learning to use Microsoft® Project 2010 to complete tasks. Students will build strong portfolios to showcase their skills as they create specific deliverables for real-world projects, working by themselves or as part of a group.
To ensure that students understand the established standards in project management today and to prepare them to become Certified Project Management Professionals (PMP®) if they choose, all course content is consistent with the knowledge areas and processes of the latest fourth edition of the PMBOK® Guide.

BUS 585 Operations Management I (3)
This is the first course of two classes designed to convey an overview of the basics of firm operations for product and service-oriented businesses.  Production and operations vocabulary is emphasized as well as the qualitative and quantitative aspects of (1) the Design of Goods/Service, (2) Process and Capacity Design, (3) Forecasting, (4) Inventory, (5) Quality Control and Statistical Process Control, (6) Aggregate Planning and Scheduling, and, (7) Facilities Maintenance & Reliability.  In addition, all of the above areas of operations are examined from human resources, materials, capital and equipment perspectives. 

BUS 586 Operations Management II  (3)
This is the second class designed to convey an overview of the basics of firm operations for product and service-oriented businesses.  Production and operations vocabulary is emphasized as well as the qualitative and quantitative aspects of (1) Material Requirements Planning (MRP), (2) Supply Chain Management, (3) Location Selection, (4) Layout Design, (5) Job Design, and (6) Operations Strategy.  In addition, all of the above areas of operations are examined from human resources, materials, capital, and equipment perspectives.  


BUS 591 Special Topics (3)
Elective courses will be offered during the various academic terms based on the needs of students and faculty availability. Topics may include employee selection, e-commerce, international business, total quality management, supply chain management and employment law.


Leveling classes may be required for students without a BSBA. Students lacking the Common Professional Component of business study (as defined by the ACBSP) will be required to satisfy the component content prior to receiving regular status. These courses are as follows:

Business Law
General principles applied to contracts, agency and employment, business organizations, government regulation, and real and personal property. 

International Business
A comprehensive course covering all the major aspects of doing business in a global marketplace.  Specific topics include the nature and environments where international business in conducted, the uncontrollable forces at work in the international business environments, international economics, trade theory, foreign direct investment, and the organizational environment. 

To learn more, call or e-mail:

Dr. Gary P. Vander Plaats, CPA Interim Director, MBA Program, 724-847-6619

Marina S. Frazier, Graduate Enrollment Manager, 724-847-6697