Cal Lutheran’s ACBSP-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) program features a rigorous core curriculum that can be enhanced with an emphasis area or customized with a variety of elective courses. All students complete a capstone that delivers tangible, real-world achievements that they can add to their resume and use to showcase their skills.

General MBA: Get a broad overview of essential business concepts and choose a variety of courses from the elective options. If you choose to complete a general MBA, you can complete the full degree online, on campus or through a hybrid approach.

MBA + emphasis area: Focus on the topic that fits your professional goals, with your choice of four emphasis areas. If you add an emphasis area to your MBA, you can complete the degree entirely on campus or through a hybrid approach. While the core, general emphasis and capstone courses can be taken entirely online, emphasis electives require on-campus attendance at our Thousand Oaks location.

MBA Courses

General MBA: 39 credits total

MBA + emphasis area: 45 credits total

All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted

Core courses (9 courses/27 credits)

Managers are called upon to make important choices that require a well-informed understanding of how organizations are designed and operated. Toward that end, they must be knowledgeable of all of an organization’s functions (including accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, operations, etc.) and how these activities must be coordinated. Further, to achieve firm goals, managers are required to have a profound understanding of the industry and professional environment.

This course introduces the functional areas of an organization, seeks to develop external environmental analytical skills and proposes theoretical and practical paradigms to effectively manage in an increasingly competitive global environment.

Investigation and consideration of individual and group behavior within an organizational context is explored. Focus is on the understanding and application of knowledge issues including motivation, group process, leadership, communication, performance enhancement, power and influence, creativity, conflict management, change, diversity and global issues. Integration of theory and practice from a managerial perspective are considered.

Law provides a set of rules for behavior in society. Ethics presents a menu of options for social actors. Law concerns what we are obligated to do, ethics concerns what we should do. This course presents the disciplines of law and ethics as complementary strategic tools to guide business leaders in making sound decisions as well as exercising moral judgment.

With more and more products and services chasing fewer dollars, marketing strategy and plan execution is more important than ever. The goal of marketing is to plan, build, manage and grow ethical and profitable customer relationships over time. Marketing Management introduces students to the great variety of functions that must be managed in a marketing organization. Activities and issues addressed include product marketing and management, customer satisfaction, pricing, product launches, digital marketing, marketing information systems, channel management, marketing administration, industry marketing, marketing communications, lead management, event marketing and marketing campaign strategy.

The main focus of this course is on the decision-making process and the role of management science in that process. Students need to demonstrate knowledge of the practical basis of the course by mastering and correctly applying the methods for making these decisions, comparisons, and inferences in business settings.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a sound conceptual understanding of the role management science plays in the decision-making process. The course is concerned with the wide variety of quantitative techniques currently being used in the field of operations research. Students will be able to apply the management science model to generate solutions and recommendations for management.

This course illustrates how contemporary macroeconomics theories and practice explain the current state of affairs in creating better opportunities for many people and business entities in the global economy.

This course also explains and argues about the emergence of the crises that have shaken the economic foundations of many economies and regions in the world. The course brings attention to major current problems in the world, such as the global financial crisis and its outcome in the form of increase in unemployment, high public debt and growing poverty and income gap within a country and among the nations.

The class provides ample opportunities for debating the contemporary and prevailing policy initiatives with respect to issues such as inflation, exchange rates regimes, fiscal rules and regulations. Students will have the opportunity to develop an international macroeconomic perspective. They are encouraged and assisted to use critical and deductive reasoning, adaptive thinking and ethical judgment in reaching the possible conclusions. This class will embark on helping the students to enhance their capacity to synthesize competing points of view and effective communication.

As organizations look for ways to leverage data to create value, analytics has become an important source of competitive advantage for businesses. This course provides a hands-on introduction to the predictive modeling techniques used to extract patterns and trends from data, enabling informed business decisions. The topics covered include data preparation, data visualization, predictive analytics and decision-making under uncertainty. The course includes hands-on work with data and the SAS JMP Pro statistical software package.

By the end of the course, you will be able to identify opportunities for creating value using predictive modeling techniques, employ the techniques to derive results, interpret the results and comprehend the limitations of the results.

General emphasis courses (4 courses/12 credits) or (2 courses/6 credits)

General MBA students will complete four elective courses from the list below.

MBA + emphasis area students students will select two courses from the list below, then complete their four remaining elective courses through emphasis electives.

Marketing research consolidates inputs from a variety of sources, including its own surveys. The inputs are analyzed and the results made available in the form of position reports, from which marketing plans and marketing research reports are developed, which are used as inputs to strategic planning. The decision process and the marketing research process are introduced and the importance of the relationship between the two is stressed.

This course deals with corporate financial decisions involving long-term debt, dividend policy, equity, capital structure, cost of capital and long-term financial planning. These issues will be addressed mostly in the context of the underlying theory and practice. End-of-chapter problems and other assignments are intended to illustrate how ideas introduced in the course are applied to real-world situations.

This course uses the business model framework to comprehensively explore ways that organizations innovate and change. By utilizing all of the core business courses in a cross-functional framework, students gain perspectives on ways organizations learn and adapt. The course is practice-based, where knowledge is applied through exercises and outside projects.

Globalization is a reality for most industries and companies. This course introduces students to the global business environment in which organizations operate. It emphasizes political, economic, cultural, legal and technological influences on the design and execution of international strategy.

The course particularly explores stages and challenges facing corporations in entering foreign markets and organizing cross-border activities. The course draws heavily on current literature in management, economics, marketing and organizational theory.

This course is an investigation into the current state of human capital management and the environmental influences that contribute to organizational leveraging of human capital. Environmental concerns discussed will include legal, social, technological and global as well as other contemporary human capital management issues such as talent management, strategic compensation structure and policies, procedures and protocols related to human capital management for the present and future.

Sustainable businesses operate across all sectors from production of conventional goods/services to developing new breakthrough technologies. Companies that incorporate environmental, health and social value in their business activities show financial success, benefit many stakeholders and can better leverage global challenges for long-term profitability and growth.

This course explores the tremendous impact the sustainability movement is having on core business strategies and building competitive advantage. It catalogs the adoption of principles, policies and practices by mainstream corporations, and reviews how clean technologies are helping to optimize natural resource use while improving financial performance.

In today's dynamic and competitive economy, the ability of an organization to effectively leverage their existing and emerging information technologies is a critical success factor in gaining and sustaining a strategic advantage.

This course introduces students to important concepts and techniques needed to understand and leverage information technology within an organizational context. Students will learn the fundamentals of design and implementation of information systems in the modern organization, business process improvement through the use of information technology, organizational data modeling, project management concepts, data governance mechanisms and technology-enabled change management, among others.

Emphasis electives for MBA + emphasis area track (3 courses/9 credits)

In addition to two general emphasis courses, students pursuing an MBA + emphasis area will also choose four courses that correspond to their chosen specialty. See the Emphasis Areas section for these elective course options.

Capstone course (1 course/3 credits)

MBA + emphasis area students must complete one capstone course, chosen from six options:

Supervised internship in a company of student’s choice (the internship position must be in line with the student’s track specialization).

The students will have a chance of completing a comprehensive business plan for a new venture. All arrangements for providing companies for the above project are made through the Cal Lutheran MBA program office.

The intent of this course is to serve both as an elective for the Management and Finance emphasis areas in the MBA program or as an optional capstone for Finance majors. Of course, all emphasis areas are welcome to take the course for credit and all students (including undergraduates) are invited to attend the presentation and subsequent discussion for each executive speaker.

International Travel courses are organized by the School of Management in collaboration with the relevant university office.

This course is a study of unique characteristics of closely held business and techniques of the consulting process. Students will perform actual consulting assignments to local businesses through the Small Business Institute. This course allows students to apply academic theory to actual business operations.

Identified and supervised by a School of Management faculty member.

Foundation courses

These courses may be required for individuals whose academic records reflect a need for preparation in accounting, economics and/or statistics. These courses are completed in addition to the 39 credits (general MBA) or 45 credits (MBA + emphasis area) required for program completion.

This course provides the student with knowledge, skills and abilities to academic and professional practices that are needed in order to succeed in the Cal Lutheran School of Management’s graduate programs. The course focuses on the development of written and oral communication skills, computer skills and creative and critical thinking. Students will learn how to plan, research, organize, prepare and professionally present major academic reports using current presentation technologies for team projects and individual assignments.

This course provides the groundwork for a general understanding of economics. It deals with both aspects of the study of economics (micro and macroeconomics). Microeconomics explains economic decision making by the individual economic agents, and macroeconomics describes the working of an economic system and its behavior as a whole. In order to help students to get a better grasp of the pertinent discussions and follow them in a systematic order, the course is divided into five segments.
  • Introduction to economics
  • Market, its concept and working, comparative statics, market failure and discussion of efficiency
  • Product and factor markets and their structure
  • Macroeconomic measurement, models and fiscal policy
  • Money, banking and monetary policy

This course is designed to help the entering MBA students to acquire a good intuitive grasp of statistics: what it is, how and when to apply statistical techniques to managerial situations and how to interpret results. Various statistical and mathematical techniques will be presented to assist in solving problems encountered by corporate managers. Students need to demonstrate knowledge of the course concepts by knowing which decisions, comparisons and inferences to make in the presence of uncertainty.

Emphasis Areas

Engage with the expansive finance field to prepare yourself for sought-after leadership positions and attractive salaries. This emphasis area enhances your understanding of budgeting, forecasting, analysis and more. You’ll also gain insights into pricing, global expansion strategies, mergers and acquisitions, treasury functions and more.

Emphasis electives options:

  • Financial Strategy
  • Strategic Financial Analysis
  • Investment and Portfolio Management
  • Real Estate Investments
  • Buyouts and Acquisitions
  • Behavioral Finance
  • Innovations in Financial Technology
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • International Finance
  • Advanced Analytics

Learn how to hire great employees, oversee teams effectively and enhance productivity. This emphasis area covers essential human resources practices, including regulations, recruitment, training, performance management and strategic functions. This is a strong fit for those moving from operations to HR roles, or anyone seeking to become a better manager.

Emphasis electives options:

  • Compensation Management
  • Talent Recruitment and Selection
  • Employee Relations
  • Training and Development
  • Global Human Resource Management
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Training and Development

Prepare for upper-level management roles with a combined focus on traditional management and technological innovation. This emphasis area focuses on the use of techniques to frame, analyze and solve business challenges. The coursework is grounded in evidence-based management, data analytics, database management and programming principles.

Emphasis electives options:

  • Data Management
  • Project Management
  • IT Strategy and Business Value
  • Healthcare Information Technologies
  • Enterprise Systems
  • IT Architecture and Infrastructure
  • Emergent Technologies and Issues
  • Special Topics in IT
  • Innovations in Financial Technology
  • Advanced Analytics

Enhance your marketing expertise with courses designed for current and aspiring marketing professionals. Covering essential topics like sales, advertising, digital marketing and brand management, this emphasis area is geared toward elevating your career and personal development.

Emphasis electives options:

  • CRM in the Digital Age
  • Sales Management
  • Strategic Public Relations
  • Strategic Brand Management
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Advertising Management
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing and Selling
  • International Marketing
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Special Topics of Marketing

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