Electives comprise more than two-thirds of the MBA curriculum.

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​Shaping Your Education

At Olin, we know your passion is what drives you. So we let you drive your curriculum. This is where you take charge.

Shape your curriculum to fit your platform. Or create your own pathway if a platform doesn't fit. Select classes you’re passionate about. Dive head first into your future.

Electives begin in the second semester and carry through the rest of the program. This is when you select an action plan. Elective courses include semester-long (three credits) and six-week “mini” courses (one-and-a-half credits). You can also take up to nine credit hours of approved coursework from other graduate programs at Washington University.


A large part of your Olin education is experiential – practical, firsthand involvement. Workshops, real-world case studies, internships, entrepreneurial projects. All chances to get in deep.


Most successful leaders are able to point to a handful of defining moments in their careers – instances that defined the trajectory of their career and their company. Olin’s graduate-level course Defining Moments: Lessons in Leadership and Character from the Top examines these situations by bringing in notable leaders who exemplify both business excellence and personal character. Past speakers have included Dave Peacock, former president of Anheuser-Busch, and Bob Chapman, chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller.

A new course, Women & Leadership, co-taught by Professor Michelle Duguid and Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, is taking a multi-faceted approach to learning about women and leadership that includes a lineup of top executive guest speakers, including Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of the New America Foundation, and Jill Barad, former chairman and CEO, Mattel.

So Many Options

Our broad range of electives makes specializing in a given area easy. And in classes that are intimate. There’s no competitive bidding process for enrolling, so there’s little worry about getting shut out of the courses you want.

We also don’t limit which electives you can take. Interested in taking a class in law? Go do it. As an MBA student, you are free to enroll in courses in any Washington University graduate school. Take courses in international political economy, technology entrepreneurship, economics of social welfare, and environmental law – to name just a few. Many courses are approved for MBA credit.

Remember, this is about your passion. Go follow it.