Preparing You to Move Forward With Purpose

Rigorous, challenging and immediately applicable in the workplace

Develop your strategic vision and a new way of understanding business throughout the curriculum. Don’t just know the right answers - ask the right questions. See opportunities where others do not, and harness analytical skills for empowered decision making, even with incomplete information. Become a valuable problem solver, focusing on results and multiplying the contributions of others through leadership and strong communication.

Our world-class Flex MBA faculty teach across all programs in the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. They are research leaders and active in the field, consulting with leading companies every day, and then bringing their cutting-edge and highly relevant expertise into the classroom for you. The lively Flex MBA class environment is enriched by fellow students who are as smart, motivated and engaged as you are. Dive into our curriculum with upwardly mobile professionals who bring significant experience and perspective from a variety of industries and functional areas to classroom discussion.

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Core Curriculum

54 Total Credit Hours

Foundational Core | 18 credit hours
BUAD 5103 - Financial Accounting
3 credits Concepts and principles of financial and administrative accounting essential to the interpretation and analysis of accounting information, including financial reports, bankruptcy analysis, budgeting, control, production and costing, stock options, and board governance.
BUAD 5503 - Organizational Behavior
3 credits Designed to provide you with the analytic frameworks and tools to diagnose events in and to take effective action in today's changing organizations. The course draws on knowledge from the domains of Organizational Behavior (OB), Organizational Theory (OT), and Human Resource Management (HRM) to provide you with the understanding and skills that you need to be an effective manager of people in these changing organizations. OT, OB, HRM are concerned with developing understanding about how human beings act in organized settings and how organized systems affect human behavior through policies, structures and strategies. In addition to conceptual understanding, ongoing assessments and experiential exercises provide you opportunities to reflect on your own behavior in order to develop new and more effective ways of interacting with others to accomplish work.
BUAD 5013 - Communication for Managers
3 credits

The need to communicate well is a critical part of a manager's professional development. This course helps prospective and practicing managers assess and develop their communication abilities to be a successful managerial communicator. Through course activities, students will understand the importance of effective communication in managerial and leadership roles, appreciate the value of strategic organizational communication, and enhance their speaking, writing, and other communication abilities. Special topics in the course include: presentation graphics, ethics, intercultural communication, and media relations.

BUAD 5703 - Quantitative Methods

3 credits

Role and application of statistics in the analysis of business problems including estimation, statistical measures, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, simple and multiple linear regression and time series analysis.

BUAD 5403 - Marketing

3 credits

Examination of marketing from a managerial viewpoint; emphasis on evaluating marketing alternatives and in choosing from these alternatives.

BUAD 5723 - Managerial Economics

3 credits

This course studies economic analysis applied to managerial decision making. Besides basic topics of demand, cost and production, and market structures, this course also covers demand forecasting, pricing strategies, game theory, and information economics.

Note: Phase I MUST be completed before taking electives (other than international trips).
Professional Core | 16.5 credit hours
BUAD 5113 - Managerial Accounting

3 credits

This course deals with the use of accounting information for decision-making, planning, and control. The goal is to acquaint the student of management with the fundamentals of internal accounting, better known as management accounting. The emphasis is on using accounting information in managing an organization, rather that product costing and income determination.

BUAD 5303 - Finance

3 credits

The course covers basic principles and theories of financial valuation, risk pricing and risk management. These principles are applied to corporate finance topics such as: how a firm decides to invest its resources in long term assets and growth opportunities; how a firm will manage its sources of capital and raise funds to finance chosen investments; and how the firm will plan and control funds flow.

BUAD 5603 - Operations Management

3 credits

Study of the design, operation, and control of production and operating systems from a managerial standpoint, with emphasis on quantitative methods of analysis.

BUAD 5223 - Management Information Systems

3 credits

The focus of Management Information Systems is on the technology that enables its use in the business and organizational setting. Issues such as hardware, software, databases, telecommunications, and the Internet will be discussed. Students will experience hands-on applications in some areas. An understanding of how Information Technology enables fundamental transformations in firms, markets, products, and business processes will be gained. This course addresses the management issues surrounding the impact of information technology in organizations. It is designed with the line and general managers in mind, rather than the managers of the IS function.

BUAD 5713 - Modeling & Simulation

1.5 credits

This course is designed to introduce students to basic modeling, analysis, and simulation techniques. Emphasis will be placed on problem identification and formulation, sensitivity analysis, and model construction. Tools such as MS Excel, Solver, Crystal Ball, and @Risk will be used to solve business problems across all business functional areas: Finance, Accounting, Operations, Marketing, Information Systems, Policy, and Human Resource Management.

BUAD 5943 - National & Global Economies

3 credits

This course is intended to provide information that can be used to interpret economic events and assess their impact on the economy and an organization. Part of this information concerns not just economics but an understanding of how some political choices are made in various countries. This knowledge is critical for risk assessment and a realistic planning of business operations over the next year. You leave this course with some fundamental "rules of thumb" that allow you to assess potential large scale economic risks to your organization.

Global Strategy & Electives | 19.5 credit hours
BUAD 5903 - Global Competitive Strategy

3 credits

Pre-req: Complete Phase II courses and two electives. Covers analysis for decision making at industry, firm and business levels, focusing especially on multi-business firms and global industries. Firm resources and competencies, business and environmental demands, and the sources of competitive advantage are the major focus points of this course, which stresses practical applications of theory.

Electives

16.5 credits

Electives overview

Concentrations

Business Analytics

More Info

Management of Engineering and Technology Development

More Info

Business Analytics Concentration Requirements

Course Requirements

The following four elective courses (12 credit hours) are required:

Database Management: 3 credit hours

Course Description: This course considers the application, logical structure and physical implementation of databases to aid in developing business intelligence. Primary topics include data modeling, relational databases, structured query language, data analytics and visualization, amongst other contemporary data management topics. Multiple database management systems and analytical platforms may be introduced.

Purpose: Data is at the heart of analytics. Database management allows you to extract, transform, and load that data into forms that make it useful for modeling and analysis – and ultimately to answer your business question. This course will teach you the SQL programming construct – which will allow you to use its capabilities in a number of other programs.


Predictive Analytics: 3 credit hours

Course Description: This course is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the theory and practice of Classification techniques, which constitutes perhaps the most commonly used techniques in the Data Scientists’ toolkit. These Predictive Analytics techniques are important members of a family of analytics often referred to as Machine Learning techniques. An important part of this course is an introduction to a powerful and ubiquitous software package called R, which is used extensively in labs and assignments in this class.

Purpose: This course introduces you to Machine Learning techniques and the R software package. Predictive analytics are used in all industries – whether it is to predict demand, predict the action of a potential customer, or predict the outcome of some event.


Advanced Modeling Techniques: 3 credit hours
Prerequisites: Database Management; Predictive Analytics

Course Description: This course is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to develop advanced decision models using a variety of programming and database tools. This semester, we will focus on VBA and Access.

Purpose: This course extends core course BUAD 5713 (Modeling & Simulation) by incorporating modeling, simulation, optimization, and database techniques. It incorporates Microsoft tools such as Excel (VBA), Access, and R.


Analytics Communications and Visualization: 3 credit hours
Prerequisites: Database Management; Predictive Analytics; Advanced Modeling Techniques

Course Objectives:

  1. Create graphs to effectively communicate the results of complex analyses with voluminous data (visualization)
  2. Create and deliver presentations that clearly communicate the results of a complex analysis and are persuasive
  3. Create interactive visualizations using Tableau to demonstrate or provide insight into a problem, situation, or phenomenon
  4. Execute the business analytics process.

Purpose: This course is the culminating experience of the Concentration. It is a project and team based course that focuses on storytelling, visualization, and ultimately competing through business analytics. The course uses the prior software programs and constructs (Excel, Access, R, and SQL) and also focuses on Tableau software for visualization creation.

Engineering & Technology Development Concentration Requirements

Course Requirements

Twelve credit hours are required from the following list:

Supply Chain Management: 3 credit hours

Course Description: This course deals primarily with the design and operation of logistics networks or supply chains, and the flow of materials and information on them. Students in this course will be exposed to both the strategic and operational aspects of managing today’s complex supply chains.
Specific topics include vendor-managed inventory; efficient customer response; collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment; planning distribution and supply; managing product variety, transportation, supply chain planning, distribution and supply; managed product variety; transportation; supply chain planning software; eMarketplaces; inter- and meta-mediaries and design and optimization of supply networks.


Predictive Analytics: 3 credit hours

Course Description: This course is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the theory and practice of Classification techniques, which constitutes perhaps the most commonly used techniques in the Data Scientists’ toolkit. These Predictive Analytics techniques are important members of a family of analytics often referred to as Machine Learning techniques. An important part of this course is an introduction to a powerful and ubiquitous software package called R, which is used extensively in labs and assignments in this class.


Project Management Part I: 1.5 credit hours

Course Description: This course focuses on the management of complex projects and the rules and techniques which have been developed in the past 25 years to assist managers with such projects. All three phases of Project Management – Planning, Scheduling and Control – are explored in detail. In addition to studying various scheduling techniques for projects, this course explores issues dealing with project selection methods, project risk assessment, project team dynamics, new product development projects, runaway projects, and monitoring and control of projects.


Project Management Part II: 1.5 credit hours
Prerequisite: Project Management Part I

Course Description: This course picks up where Project Management Part I ends. The objectives of this course are to:

  • Extend the student’s knowledge of project management, particularly in the areas of project cost management (cost estimating and application of earned value management) and project risk management. We will use a (30 day trial version) of an add-on software package to MS Project for quantitative risk management.
  • Expand the student’s capabilities with MS Project
  • Extend the student’s knowledge in other areas of project management including:
    1. Project selection
    2. Value engineering
    3. Program management
    4. Project portfolio management


Lean Toolkit: 1.5 credit hours

Course Description: In this course, students learn the Lean methodology, which is used to reduce process lead time, improve responsiveness to customers, increase efficiency, and reduce inventory. Specifically, students learn how to identify inefficiencies in processes using a particular type of business process mapping (value stream mapping) and, subsequently, lean tools aimed at reducing those inefficiencies.
This course in combination with Six Sigma Toolkit qualifies a student for Yellow Belt Certification. A Yellow Belt Certification is required to take Lean/Six Sigma Project, which leads to a Green Belt Certification.


Six Sigma Toolkit: 1.5 credit hours

Course Description: In this course, students are introduced to the many tools and techniques for improving the quality of products, processes, and services. Six Sigma tools are often based on statistics and they are widely acknowledged as the Best Practices for improving quality.
This course in combination with Lean Toolkit qualifies a student for Yellow Belt Certification. A Yellow Belt Certification is required to take Lean/Six Sigma Project, which leads to a Green Belt Certification.


Lean/Six Sigma Project: 1.5 credit hours
Prerequisite:Lean Toolkit; Six Sigma Toolkit

Course Description: Students learn Lean and Six Sigma tools in the Lean Toolkit and Six Sigma Toolkit courses for improving the quality and efficiency of business processes. These courses also offer a first exposure to the application of those tools.
This course offers more experience in applying Lean and Six Sigma tools to a real-world project in the student’s workplace. Analogous with industry standards, a student who completes this course earns a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification.


Engineering Economic Analysis: 3 credit hours

Course Description: Organizations that do engineering and/or technology development must address the economic aspects of their projects. Early portions of the course assume that benefits, costs, and quantities have a high degree of certainty. The latter portion of the course explores risk (uncertainty) with regard to benefits, costs, and quantities. Topics include:

  • Time Value of Money & Economic Equivalence
  • Project Analysis and Selections
  • Estimating Methods
  • Life Cycle Costing
  • Project Feasibility
  • Learning Curves
  • Value Management/Engineering
  • Project Feasibility
  • Decision-Making with Expected Values v. Probabilistic Analysis
  • Decision-Making with Decision Trees/Risk Profiles/Risk Preference
  • Risk Adjustment Mechanisms in Decision-Making
  • Applied Simulation
  • Assessing Probability in Decisions
  • Decision-Making Under Extreme Variation
  • Characterizing Extreme Conditions and Their Probabilities
  • Characteristics of Catastrophically Failed Projects and Ventures


Management of Emerging Technologies: 3 credit hours

Course Description: The course focuses on effective techniques for managing the development of technological goods, such as new products and software. Concepts covered include product development phase-gate processes, product architecture choices, prototyping, concurrent engineering, and agile software development.
Also covered in the class are technologies that make development easier, less expensive, and faster, including ubiquitous low-cost CADCAM design software, 3D printing, various third-party design services, and microprocessor-based development platforms such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

Global Immersions

All business today is global. Around the world, supply chains, economies and markets are inextricably intertwined, so effective business leaders must develop an international perspective. That is why the Flex MBA Program offers our annual faculty-led international immersions during breaks in the academic calendar to make global business and culture come alive, in both first-world and developing economies. Our past destinations have included Germany, Belgium, India, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Italy, Greece, Japan, Thailand and Singapore.

Trips are organized around business visits with presentations from high-level company representatives. You may tour a manufacturing facility, go to an international stock exchange, or explore social entrepreneurship in a financially challenged settlement. Don’t be surprised if you also ride an elephant, see the sunrise over Angkor Wat, or explore the Coliseum in Rome! Your boots-on-the-ground experience will help you understand international economics; discover broad cultural issues and learn how they affect business; and navigate effective decision-making in unfamiliar or cross-cultural settings. These transformative educational experiences will give you a window on world business. So, where will you go?

Loans through federal financial aid are available to cover international trip expenses, because immersions are tied to 1.5 credit-hour elective academic courses. Our most common immersion is a Spring Break trip of approximately 10 days.

Electives

Flex MBA students choose 16.5 credit hours of electives across business disciplines, including analytics, communication, economics, finance, marketing, operations, international immersions and more. We offer both 3 credit-hour and 1.5 credit-hour electives to give students the most flexibility in managing their time to degree. Global immersions are an exciting elective choice each year.

Recent Elective Offerings

View Electives
Analytics Communication and Visualization* Advanced Modeling Techniques* Corporate Communications Crisis Communication
Critical Legal Issues Database Management* Design Thinking Engineering Economic Analysis**
Essentials of Management & Leadership Ethical Accountability Global Immersions Investments**
Lean Toolkit** Six Sigma Toolkit** Lean Six Sigma Project (Green Belt)** Management of Emerging Technologies**
Marketing Analytics Personal Branding Predictive Analytics* Project Management**
Real Estate Finance Social Entrepreneurship Strategic Brand Management Supply Chain Management**

*Course counts toward Business Analytics concentration or may be taken as an individual class.
**Course counts toward Management of Engineering and Technology Development concentration or may be taken as an individual class.

Visit A Flex MBA Class

See the curriculum in action. What is most interesting to you: Marketing, Operations Management, Finance, Organizational Behavior? Join us to sit in on your choice of classes and see our award-winning faculty and students engage with the subject matter.

Contact us today to schedule a class visit:

Amy Blackburn, Associate Director of Admissions and Recruitment
(757) 221-2912 | amy.blackburn@mason.wm.edu


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