First Year Courses

An overview of courses taken in the first year of the Penn State Smeal EMBA Program.

The first year in the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program focuses on the three fundamentals of business: Principled Leadership, Strategic Analysis, and Financial Management. The series of courses in each of these areas, coupled with the yearlong course in leadership communications, provides the tools and techniques you'll need to make the right business decisions.

Principled Leadership

Working in Teams

Build the knowledge and skill to create and participate in a successful team experience at all levels of the organization. Understand group dynamics, cross-cultural and multinational issues, and team evolution. Diagnose team problems and select the appropriate interventions.

Ethical Leadership

Explore the key role you will play as a manager and leader in creating and maintaining responsible business conduct. Enhance your ability to deal with the complexities of ethical decision making in today’s dynamic business environment. Understand the value of the firm’s reputation with external stakeholders such as customers, suppliers and the general public.

Managing People in Organizations

Explore the concepts and develop the skills to become a more effective manager and organizational leader. Leverage tools that help you diagnose, understand, and develop solutions to management problems. Better understand the forces that influence the behavior of people in organizations – especially your own.

Strategic Leadership I

Explore the CEO’s perspectives on key opportunities and challenges faced by business leaders as they seek to adapt themselves and their organizations to the global business environment. Discuss the organizational forms of the 21st century and the new leadership competencies required to direct them. Assess your own firm’s structure and alignment to guide future decisions.

Strategic Analysis

Business Strategy

Learn to analyze companies and their environments from a strategic perspective. Consider the impact of long-term decisions such as changing strategy or diversifying into new businesses. Form strategies, take action, and measure results.

Marketing Management

Develop a structured business decision-making process that will help you respond to the vast majority of marketing problems and opportunities you will face. Familiarize yourself with the concepts and issues of marketing, which will prepare you to examine the marketing practices of your firm.

Supply Chain Leadership

Develop an understanding of the leadership issues and best practices in logistics and supply chain management. Identify the impact of supply chain initiatives on the financial performance of individual firms.

Business Simulation

Run a large firm of your own in competition with your classmates. Develop a strategy, allocate resources, and interpret results of each operating year in this hands-on experience.

Financial Management

Financial Accounting

Develop an understanding of the concepts and principles underlying financial accounting practices and become more comfortable with financial data. Analyze accounting data from real companies including your own. Prepare yourself to participate in the discussions of financial reporting within your firm.

Management Accounting

Learn to design systems and use accounting information for internal measurement and control purposes. Develop the vocabulary and mechanics of cost accounting to measure unit performance and for motivating and reward personnel.

Financial Management

Learn the methods and techniques of finance, which will help you to think more logically about corporate decisions around resource allocation and investment opportunities. Explore topics in both corporate finance and capital markets. Understand how managers can use financial techniques on the job and how the firm interacts with the financial markets.

Economics for Managers

Develop a strong understanding of how individuals, firms, and markets behave. Explore topics such as firm profit maximization, industrial organization, game theory, price discrimination, and auctions. Apply the general principles of economic analysis to study business decisions in the everyday world.

Risks and Decisions

Sharpen your business decision-making skills and familiarize yourself with the basic quantitative tools used in business analysis. Emerge with enhanced abilities to assess risk, evaluate options, and set clear goals.