A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is designed to provide extensive business knowledge to students who have already completed an undergraduate degree. Typically a person interested in completing an MBA has had several years of management experience and is looking at this degree to help him or her advance. Course requirements may vary somewhat between schools, but in general a student will be expected to complete courses in management theory, accounting, economics, and leadership.
Students who do not have a business background are usually required to complete undergraduate courses as part of their MBA course requirements. This helps ensure that all candidates for the degree have a solid business foundation; it is important because MBA students come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines and may have never studied business before. Requirements typically include such classes as microeconomics, business statistics, and principles of finance.
Accounting classes are part of virtually every school’s MBA course requirements, and are important in order to ensure that students understand the daily operations of a business. A comprehension of basic accounting principles is required, and students who don’t have this may be required to complete additional undergraduate work before proceeding. Managerial accounting is typically a core MBA course and teaches students about factoring in overhead, materials costs, and salaries in order to compute break-even pricing for products.
Since this is a managerial degree, leadership skills make up an important part of MBA course requirements. Students are expected to complete classes that cover such topics as worker psychology, motivation, types of communication, and group behavior. Additional courses teach human resources basics such as how to handle performance reviews, salaries, hiring and firing practices, and dealing with diversity in the workplace. Methods of documenting good and bad performances are also typically covered as part of these courses.
Another area of MBA course requirements is marketing. Students take classes that teach them how products are developed and marketed, and many of the techniques used to bring a new product to market and have it succeed. Branding, where the public recognizes a certain brand by name or logo, is usually discussed and students are taught how to use branding for a new product or company. Advertising methods, target marketing, vertical markets, and dealing with competition are all part of marketing courses, and may be taught as individual classes or combined, depending on the school.
Further MBA course requirements usually depend on the individual student’s chosen area of specialty. He or she may be required to take courses in international marketing, law, or medicine in order to work successfully as a manager in those fields, often graduating as a dual major with a degree in both areas. Various schools typically offer other specialties in topics as diverse as computer science and dentistry, so students with a specific interest should check different schools to find one that offers the appropriate program.