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Washington University in St Louis Olin Business School

Olin Business SchoolOlin Business School

Curriculum

Our curriculum ensures an absolute command of all functional disciplines and the ability to apply those skills to complex, unstructured business problems.

General Information

The Olin Professional MBA program has the same high academic standards, professors, and courses as our full-time MBA program. We focus on a collaborative learning environment not only among students, but also faculty and staff. Through our broad range of electives, you’ll be able to enroll in classes you find most interesting.

Some program data:
  • 54-credit hour program
  • Fall and spring matriculation.
  • Up to seven years to complete your degree.
  • Students start in the Core and then move to Electives.
  • Semesters are year-round (fall, spring, and summer) and are divided into mini-terms, or 7-week courses. (Some courses can span a full semester. Mini-term courses are 1.5 credits. Semester-long courses are 3.0 credits).

Core (24 Credits)

The Core portion of the program makes up 24 credit hours or 4 consecutive semesters (fall, spring, and summer included). These courses are in the fundamental areas of business—marketing, accounting, finance, strategy, etc. During this time, you will take courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., and will be assigned to a small group.

Electives (30 credits)

The majority of your time in the Professional MBA program will taking electives—classes that will better hone your skills and understanding to bolster your career options.
As well, the electives pose a great opportunity to accelerate the program. We have found that 55% of our students finish the program in less than three years and around 20% finish in just over two years.
Electives are offered Monday through Thursday, as well as in weekend options (1.5 credits courses) that run from Friday to Sunday. We also offer weeklong courses (3 credits each) at three different points during the year.

Transfer of Credit

Olin Business School will accept up to nine credits of graduate course work taken at another AACSB accredited institution, if the grades you earned are "B" or better, and the Academic Review Committee judges the courses to be equivalent to Olin MBA classes in quality and content. Submit the course syllabus and transcript to your business advisor. The review process usually takes at least two weeks to complete.

Teamwork and Collaboration

To our alumni/alumnae and recent graduates, the #1 benefit to the program is the Olin network. We believe the caliber of students, the educational experience, and our cohort system drive that result. When you enter Olin, you will be divided into a small group of four to five individuals, which Olin determines based on diversity of professional and educational experience.

You stick with your small group for the duration of the Core program, and share with your team the responsibility for projects, papers, and presentations—which constitutes much of the deliverables for your core classes. You get to know deeply your group members, learn from them, and forge relationships for the duration of the program—and for your professional life.

It is our cohort program too that motivates approximately 93% percent of our Professional MBA students to complete their degrees.

Course Sequence Chart

FIRST SEMESTER
Term A Credits Term B Credits
MGT 5315 Critical Thinking & Impactful Communications I 1.0
OB B66 5601 Organizational Behavior 1.5 OMM B67 5705 Quantitative Decision Making 1.5
MGT B63 5301 Introduction to Management & Strategy 1.5 MEC B64 5401 Managerial Statistics 1.5
TOTAL Credits for First Semester : 7.0
SECOND SEMESTER
Term A Credits Term B Credits
MGT 5316 Critical Thinking & Impactful Communications II 0.5
ACCT B60 5001 Introduction to Financial Accounting 1.5 ACCT B60 5002 Strategic Cost Analysis 1.5
MEC B64 5406 Managerial Economics 3.0
TOTAL Credits for Second Semester : 6.5
THIRD SEMESTER
Term A Term B Credits
MKT B65 5503 Marketing Management 3.0
FIN B62 5203 Financial Management 3.0
TOTAL Credits for Third Semester : 6.0
FOURTH SEMESTER
Term A Credits Term B Credits
Approved OB Elective 1.5 Elective 1.5
OMM B67 5704 Operations Management 3.0
TOTAL Credits for Fourth Semester : 6.0
REMAINING SEMESTERS

24 Elective credit hours

FINAL SEMESTER
Term A Credits Term B Credits
MGT 5320 Strategic Management 1.5 Elective 1.5
Elective 1.5 Elective 1.5
TOTAL Credits for Final Semester: 6.0
Total CREDITS FOR PMBA PROGRAM: 54
Download course descriptions (pdf)

Core Courses

MGT 5301. Introduction to Management and Strategy

Introduces students to concepts and frameworks that are useful for analyzing and understanding the management of organizations. The underlying theme is understanding how strategies are formed and implemented in corporations. In developing this theme, cases are used to introduce the issues, topics and tools that will be developed in other courses throughout the PMBA program. 1.5 Credits.

OB 5601. Organizational Behavior

Develops conceptual tools and basic skills for managing people in organizations. The course focuses on the basic problems that confront every manager: communicating effectively, negotiating sound agreements that build lasting relationships, managing the inevitable conflicts that arise in every organization and exercising leadership in work teams. 1.5 Credits.

OMM 5705. Quantitative Decision Making

This course has the following objectives: (a) to introduce students to the science of quantitative decision making; (b) to enhance and reinforce students' analytical skills and their ability to intelligently use information; (c) to teach the art and science of spreadsheet modeling; and (d) to expose students to different approaches, support tools and analytical methods for decision making, particularly those analytical methods useful for later courses. These objectives will be facilitated through the following key tools taught in this course: spreadsheet modeling, decision analysis, simulation for risk analysis and modeling uncertainty, and optimization tools. The course will be taught from an interdisciplinary standpoint, and examples will be provided from a variety of functional areas. 1.5 Credits.

MEC 5401. Managerial Statistics

Introduces the statistical methods for analysis of business and economic data. The role of probabilistic concepts such as independence, conditional probability, expectation and variance, and probability models such as the Bernoulli, binomial, Poisson, and normal are examined. Particular emphasis is placed on topics that relate to model formulation, estimation of model parameters, hypothesis testing, and simple and multiple regression. 1.5 Credits.

ACCT 5001. Introduction to Financial Accounting

Introduces the principal financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, and the statement of cash flows. Examines the distinction between income flows and cash flows. Presents selected accounting principles of measurement and reporting in the context of business and interpreting financial information. Extensive use of actual companies' financial statements. 1.5 Credits.

ACCT 5002. Strategic Cost Analysis

Emphasizes the decision-facilitating aspects of cost systems. Introduces the concept of relevant costs of strategic and operating decisions. Examines the effects of strategy, technology, and the environment on cost system design and provides a framework for the evaluation of the system design and refinement through comparisons of traditional volume-based and activity-based costing. Introduces control issues through analysis of the behavioral implications of cost aggregation and allocation methods. 1.5 Credits.

MEC 5406. Managerial Economics

Introduces the basic principles of economics and their applications to managerial decision making. The course begins with the analysis of the decision making of individual consumers and producers. The course then examines how consumers and producers interact with one another in a variety of market settings ranging from situations in which firms have many competitors and few tactical options to those in which there are a small number of firms competing vigorously along several strategic dimensions. Applications covered include decision making in risky situations, pricing policies in firms, and the relationship between market structure and the strategic choices that are open to the firm. 3 Credits.

MKT 5503. Marketing Management

Familiarizes students with the foundational elements of marketing strategy and execution in various managerial contexts. Class sessions emphasize customer/market focus and competitor analysis to coordinate marketing tactics in a manner that drives growth in revenues and earnings. The course primarily uses case discussions, with lectures where appropriate. The cases provide students with an opportunity to develop their oral and written skills in formulating and defending their marketing proposals. Recent developments in theory and practice are integrated into the course as appropriate. 3 Credits.

FIN 5203. Financial Management

Students will learn in this class how the decisions of a company affect shareholder value and what decisions can increase it. To understand the perspectives of shareholders, we will study basic principles of investing: time value of money, valuation of debt and equity securities, discounted cash flow as a foundation for stock prices, the impacts of diversification and leverage on portfolio risk, the relationship between risk and expected return in securities markets, and capital market efficiency. We will use these principles to analyze capital investment decisions by estimating cash flows and discounting them at the appropriate cost of capital. We will also study how shareholder value is affected by a firm's financing decisions, such as the choice of using debt or equity capital. 3 Credits.

OB 5602. Organizational Design

Develops a framework for designing organizational structures to fit critical contingencies such as strategy, competition, size, and technology. Also considers the human resource systems appropriate to support different structures, the impact of power and influence on decision making, and the practical problems of implementing large-scale organizational change and reengineering. 1.5 Credits.

OMM 5704. Operations Management

Discusses the main principles and concepts in managing operations for competitive success. Among the topics covered are operations strategy, capacity analysis and organization, queuing theory, service management, quality management, inventory management, and a brief introduction to supply chain management. Students learn the basics of how to manage the operations of a firm and how operational issues affect and are affected by the many business decisions they will be called upon to make or recommend in their careers. Most sessions consist of in-depth case discussion integrated with theory. 3 Credits (previously OMM 5701 and 5702).

MGT 5320. Strategic Management

Provides an opportunity for students to integrate concepts from prior functional courses (marketing, operations, finance, accounting, and managerial economics) through the development and implementation of a business strategy. The centerpiece of this course is an intensive global business simulation. The exercise requires students to acquire, operate, and develop strategy for a simulated firm within a high-technology industry. The course is designed to deepen students' understanding of strategy formulation, competitive advantage, rivalry and competition, negotiation, and global management. To prepare for the simulation game, the course will examine topics of strategy formulation, industry analysis, global strategy, and management in technology-intensive industries. Prerequisite: MGT 5301. 1.5 Credits.

Elective Courses

If there is a course outside of Olin or not listed here that you would like to take as an elective and that you believe is relevant to your professional goals, bring it to the attention of the director of student affairs for possible consideration. You can take up to six approved graduate-level credits at other Washington University schools.

Accounting

Advanced Business Analysis Using Financial Statements
Advances in Management Accounting
Advances in Planning and Control Systems
Auditing
Business Analysis Using Financial Statements
Federal Income Taxes
Financial Accounting B
Financial Accounting II (Intermediate Accounting)
Financial Accounting III (Advanced Accounting Problems)
Financial Issues in Leasing
Financial Reporting from the CFO's Perspective
Managerial Control Systems

Finance

Advanced Corporate Finance I - Valuation
Advanced Corporate Finance II - Financing
Advanced Corporate Finance III - Frontiers of Valuation
Advanced Derivative Securities
Data Analysis for Investments
Derivative Securities
Financial Institutions
Financial Intermediation
Financial Issues in Leasing
Financial Markets
Fixed-Income Securities
International Finance
International Financial Markets and Institutions (offered in Summer London Program)
Investment Banking
Investment Praxis
Investment Theory
Mergers and Acquisitions
Mortgage-Backed Securities
Options & Futures
Real Estate Finance
Real Option Valuation
Risk Management
Venture Capital and Private Equity

Management, Policy and Human Resources

The Basics of Bio-Entrepreneurship
Business Plan for New Enterprises (The Hatchery)
Community Consulting Project (Taylor)
Corporate Strategy
Creating Exceptional Value: Performance Without Compromise
Decision Analysis and Modeling
Doing Business in East Asia
Effective Managerial Communication
Ethical Issues in Managerial Decision Making
Global Management Studies
Healthcare Economics, Policy and Operations
Human Resource Strategy for General Managers
Independent Study in Management
Integrated Value Creation: The Wholonics Approach
International Business
International Business: A European Perspective (offered in Summer London Program)
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Labor and Employment Laws
Labor Law & the Collective Bargaining Process
Law and Business Management
Legal Issues at Business Stages
Management and Corporate Responsibility
Practicum
Social Entrepreneurship
Strategic and Crisis Communication
Strategic Consulting
Strategic Management in Life Sciences
The Theory and Practice of Innovation: From the Creative Process, Through Intrapreneurship, Commercialization, Competition and Renewal
Topics and Case Studies in Ethical Decision Making

Managerial Economics

Compensation, Incentives and the Organization
Competitive Industry Analysis and Strategy Development
Econometrics and Forecasting
Economic Issues and the Management of Health Care
Economics of the Organization
Empirical Techniques for Industry Analysis
The Global Economy
Healthcare Management
Market Competition and Value Appropriation
Money, Capital Markets and Economic Growth

Marketing

Brand Management
Creating and Marketing Innovative Products and Services
Contemporary Marketing Channels
Data Analysis for Brand Management
Database Marketing International Marketing Management
Marketing Research
Marketing Strategies for Innovative Products and Services
Marketing Strategy
Pricing Decision Making and Implementation
Pricing Strategies
Sales and Customer Management
Services Marketing and Management
Understanding and Influencing Consumer Behavior

Operations and Manufacturing Management

Advanced Operations Strategy
Foundations of Supply Chain Management
Information Systems and Decision Support Tools
Information Technology and Supply Chain Management
Managing Business Process Outsourcing for Competitive Advantage
Operations Management in the Service Industry
Operations Planning and Control

Organizational Behavior and Strategy

International Negotiations
Leadership Competence
Leading Change
Managing Power and Politics in Organizations
Negotiation and Conflict Management