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Innovative and Influential
A Transformational MBA Curriculum

Online MBA Curriculum at the Leavey School of Business

Designed to help turn ordinary professionals into Silicon Valley Professionals (SVPs), the Online MBA program provides a curriculum based in innovation and responsibility. Students will have the opportunity to learn online from the same professors who teach in the on-campus MBA program. They will also be able to meet their peers and experience Santa Clara University's Silicon Valley campus in person during the program's two residency weekends.

Throughout their SVP Journey, students will be able to track their progress with the Silicon Valley Professional dashboard. This integrative portfolio lets participants coordinate their elective courses and co-curricular experiences with their professional goals and invites them to reflect on their professional development during the program. The dashboard also acts as a networking resource, allowing students to interact with instructors, classmates, and mentors, and it provides a way for them to solicit and receive feedback on their current progress.

Delve into all the exciting Online MBA courses that are offered from Santa Clara below.

Core MBA Courses (42 units)

ACTG 3000, Financial Accounting (4 units)

Introduces the roles, concepts, principles, legal requirements, and impacts of external financial reporting. Covers basic financial statements and the analysis and recording of transactions, with a focus towards the interpretation of reported results. Studies the more common and significant transactions impacting firms.

Some Online MBA students may be eligible to have ACTG 3000 waived. For more information, see our Tuition and Financial Aid page.

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ECON 3000, Managerial Economics (4 units)

This course will introduce economic foundation for managerial decisions. The course analyzes the economic behavior of individuals and firms and explores how their interactions in markets affect managerial decisions. Basic concept of market, price elasticity, theory of consumer and theory of firm will be studied to incorporate economic theories in managerial decision making. How key managerial decisions are made in different industrial structures will be discussed.

Prerequisite: OMIS 3202

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FNCE 3000, Financial Management (4 units)

This course provides an introduction to finance. It addresses the theory and practice of financial management, the generation and allocation of financial resources. The main objective is to provide a foundation in the basic concepts of finance, including the time value of money, cash, and working capital management, the role of financial markets, portfolio theory, asset pricing, and the risk-return tradeoff, and to expand awareness of institutions and practices in business and finance.

Prerequisite: ACTG 3000

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IDIS 3700, Effective Business Communications (2 units)

Building relationships is fundamental to all successful businesses. Externally, relationships must be established and nurtured for a company to gain and retain customers. Internally, relationships are important to build cohesion among employees and create culture. For employees, building relationships is essential for career advancement and necessary for exemplary leadership. What is the key to building relationships? Effective communication skills. This pragmatic 2-unit course is designed to equip students with effective communication skills for both formal and informal business settings found within Silicon Valley. Students will further develop their presentation skills, business writing skills, verbal & non-verbal communication techniques, and networking skills. This course serves as an introduction to effective communication skills that will prepare students for later coursework and everyday workplace interactions in Silicon Valley.

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MGMT 3000, Leading People and Organizations (4 units)

Provides students with theories, frameworks, and empirical research on the topic of leadership and team dynamics to help students enhance their leadership capabilities. Topics include empirically grounded models of leadership, importance of self-awareness in leadership, effective group and team dynamics, group decision-making, conflict resolution, and design thinking.

MGMT 3050, Strategy (4 units)

This course focuses on how managers position their businesses to create and sustain an advantage relative to rivals in the face of uncertainty, rapid change, and competition. Strategy involves understanding the utility of different choices and tradeoffs—choosing what actions to avoid is as important as choosing what to do. As a result, the course covers a variety of tools, frameworks, theories and concepts for analyzing a firm's strategic position and the environment in which it is operating. By uncovering the factors that make some strategic positions strong and viable, students develop the ability to evaluate the effects of changes in resources and capabilities, industry forces, macro environmental forces, and technology on industry structure and firm behavior and, in turn, on a firm's opportunities for establishing and sustaining a superior position relative to rivals.

Prerequisites: All core courses

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MGMT 3200, Ethics for Managers (2 units)

This course is an introduction to business ethics that focuses specifically on the kinds of ethical issues that managers typically encounter. Course topics include the psychological factors that influence moral decision-making, normative approaches for dealing with ethical issues in management, and application of these concepts to cases describing real-life ethical dilemmas managers have faced in a variety of organizational and environmental settings.

MKTG 3000, Marketing Strategies and Decisions (4 units)

Focuses on decisions faced by managers concerning market segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Covers concepts such as new product development, pricing strategies, distribution channels, customer relationships, and performance metrics within a strategic planning framework. Students apply these key concepts and frameworks to cases and to formulating a comprehensive marketing plan centered on sustainable profitability and capabilities. Cases cover various environments and industries, especially those of concern to Silicon Valley firms.

MKTG 3200, Doing Business in Silicon Valley (2 units)

Introduces the Silicon Valley business ecosystem with a focus on how innovative new companies are launched, financed, and built into the next generation of market leaders. Includes the foundation for effective business communication.

OMIS 3000, Business Analytics (4 units)

Covers data categorization, newer statistical methods such as machine learning, and the current technological environments for programming, statistics, and data visualization like Python, R, and Tableau. Also conceptually introduces the data storage frameworks used to build modern Analytics solutions, such as Hadoop and nonrelational databases.

Prerequisite: OMIS 3202

OMIS 3200, Quantitative Methods (2 units)

Introduces probability and statistical analysis, emphasizing applications to managerial decision problems. Discusses descriptive statistics, probability theory, sampling distributions, statistical estimation, hypothesis testing, and simple and multiple regressions. Additional topics may include exploratory data analysis, analysis of variance, and contingency tables.

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OMIS 3202, Analytical Decision Making (2 units)

This course covers how to rigorously formulate decision problems, understand mathematical optimization, deal with the uncertainties inherent in real business problems, while introducing computer modeling tools like important Excel add-ons, R, Mathematica, CrystalBall, and @Risk.

Prerequisite: OMIS 3200

OMIS 3250, Analysis, Design, and Management of Enterprise Platforms (2 units)

Introduces the information technology infrastructures that enable within and across firm operations, and the competitive advantages that information technology can offer various firms. Focuses on how firms effectively utilize information technology resources in their business models and operations.

Prerequisite: OMIS 3200

OMIS 3252, Operations Management (2 units)

This course introduces how firms get the right products and services to the right people, in the right place, at the right time and cost. In addition to firms that provide physical goods, this course covers information-enabled, supply-demand matching networks like Uber and AirBnB that vastly reduce cost and increase convenience in operationally intensive industries.

Prerequisite: OMIS 3202

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"Challenges in" Electives (2 units)

Students are required to take at least one of the courses on the "Challenges in" elective list during their final two quarters of the program. If prerequisites and scheduling allow, students are able to take additional "Challenges in" electives as part of their free electives. These classes are case-style.

MGMT 3052, Challenges in Leading and Managing Strategic Change (2 units)

Moving an organization from where it is to where it needs to go is rarely easy, and many strategic change efforts fail. The fast-paced nature of today's competitive environments adds another layer of urgency and complexity. This course is designed to deepen your understanding of the strategic and tactical issues that a leader must prepare for in order to initiate and implement strategic change successfully.

Free Electives (26 units)

Elective courses expand a student's knowledge in areas of particular interest or importance to the student's career and educational goals. Electives may be taken at any time during the program, assuming the prerequisite coursework has been completed. Any course offered in the Online MBA program, with the exception of those otherwise required, is considered an elective.

ECON 3430, Game Theory and Strategic Behavior (4 units)

Studies theoretical concepts and tools for analyzing issues in the business environment such as conflict, bargaining, pretending and shirking in organizations and markets, agenda construction, and strategic commitment. Teaches game theoretical topics such as Nash-equilibrium, Sub game perfection, Bayesian Nash-equilibrium, Harsanyi transformation, commitment, and Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium.

ECON 3431, Dynamic Macroeconomics (2 units)

Dynamic macroeconomic models are currently used by both researchers and practitioners (central banks, governments, and international organizations) for policy analysis, simulations, and projections. This course provides an introduction to such models. Topics include a review of analytical and numerical tools for dynamic optimization, quantitative analysis of business cycle using the neoclassical growth theory, monetary policy analysis and projection using new Keynesian models, social security and intergenerational transfers, and other selected topics of economic dynamics.

FNCE 3482, Business Valuation (4 units)

Discusses implementing finance theory for valuation problems. Provides practical valuation tools for valuing a company and its securities. Covers valuation techniques including discounted cash-flow analysis, estimated cost of capital, market multiples, free-cash flow, and pro forma models. This course is required for the Finance concentration.

FNCE 3491, Investments (4 units)

Investment knowledge is important to investment professionals, such as portfolio managers and financial advisers. They must know how to evaluate and select stocks, bonds, options, and other securities, and how to guide investors to fitting portfolios and good investment behavior. Investment knowledge is also important to all of us as individual investors. The world of investment is changing rapidly as investment responsibilities and power move into the hands of individuals. The typical retirement plan is now a 401(k) type defined contribution savings plan where individuals make investments decisions and live by their outcomes. This course is centered on evidence-based knowledge of investments and investment behavior. It presents side by side standard and behavioral investment theory, evidence, and practice. These include analysis of wants and cognitive and emotional shortcuts and errors, portfolios, life-cycles of saving and spending, asset pricing, and market efficiency. These also include analysis of financial markets, such as stock exchanges, and securities, such as stocks, bonds, options, and futures. This course is required for the Finance concentration.

FNCE 3728, Alternative Investments: Partnerships and Venture Capital (2 units)

Alternative investments contrast to widely-held investments like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. This course covers how these investments are generally structured along with a closer study of a particular category, venture capital.

FNCE 3484, Financial Engineering (4 units)

Examines the design, valuation, and risk management of derivative securities (futures, options, etc.), including structured products. Includes topics on arbitrage theory, futures, equity options, bond options, credit derivatives, swaps, and currency derivatives. Mathematical modeling of derivatives, including implementation and applications in investments, corporate finance, and risk management. This course is required for the Finance concentration.

Prerequisite: FNCE 3000

IDIS 3695, Global Business Perspectives (4 units)

At least once a year, our online students will have the opportunity to take a Global Perspectives elective course. The Global Business Perspectives trip is one to two weeks (with required coursework before and after the trip) that examines the contemporary and dynamic global business environment. This engaging course will provide intensive firsthand experience of global markets and products, allowing students to observe the cultural and local factors working against globalization. Students will better understand the global context of business and the human impact at hand, and become better equipped with the skills to address such issues in Silicon Valley and abroad. Content varies based on the expertise of the faculty and the country visited. Past locations include Germany, France, China, New Zealand, Brazil, and India.

Upon completion of a Global Business Perspectives program, students will be able to:

  • Recognize, classify, and express different cultural patterns of significance to business and commerce
  • Compare and contrast the social, legal, and political aspects of international business environments
  • Evaluate the business risk facing U.S. organizations operating abroad and foreign organizations operating in the U.S.
  • Express and evaluate ethical issues associated with global business, through analysis and reflection

All students are expected to meet the following requirements at the time of application, as well as throughout the period leading up to and including the designated Global Business Perspectives course:

  • Minimum of two quarters participation in the MBA program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Completion of all prerequisite course(s) prior to first day of Global Business Perspectives course
  • Good standing within the University

This course carries four units of credit. In addition to the course tuition, the students are charged a flat course fee, which covers the cost of: lodging in-country; in-country ground transportation as required for the company visits and between cities (as applicable), group breakfasts, group lunches, and group dinners, as set out in the detailed itinerary; in-country guide and Faculty Director costs. Round-trip travel to the in-country portion of the course, transportation from the arrival airport (and to the return airport), together with other travel-related expenses (e.g., insurance, visa, telephone, other meals, entertainment, gifts, etc.) are the responsibility of each student. Enrollment in the course is limited.

IDIS 3802, Data Science With Python (4 units)

Data science involves the application of scientific methodologies to extract understanding from and make predictions based on data sets from a broad range of sources. Data science involves knowledge and skills from three areas: programming, math/statistics and domain specific expertise. The objective of this course is to teach the programming skills relevant to data science. Students will learn the Python programming language, along with a complete set of open source tools for data science in Python, including the IPython Notebook, NumPy, SciPy, Pandas, matplotlib, scikit-learn and many others. Students will learn skills that cover the various phases of exploratory data analysis: importing data (SQL, web, JSON, CSV), cleaning and transforming data, algorithmic thinking, grouping and aggregation, visualization, time series, and statistical modeling/prediction and communication of results. The course will utilize data from a wide range of sources and will culminate with a final project and presentation.

MGMT 3512, Change Management: The Practice of Leadership (4 units)

Investigates and examines priorities of exemplary leaders. Emphasizes developing conceptual understanding of the leadership process and on building leadership skills. Classes are often experiential and highly reflective, using written and video case studies. Some team assignments may be made. This course is required for the Leading Innovative Organizations concentration.

MGMT 3526, Strategic Talent Management (2 units)

Focuses on the strategic role of human resources (HR) planning and development. Addresses the creation of value through the HR function. Includes topics on linking HR and strategic planning; the transformational impact of information technology, process engineering, and outsourcing on the employment relationship; and an HR perspective on building a high-performance organization. Course has a special emphasis on high-technology organizations.

MGMT 3544, Strategic Business Negotiations (4 units)

Studies the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations in the context of cooperative and competitive situations. Examines the theory and processes of negotiation so the student can negotiate successfully in a variety of settings. Designed to be relevant to the broad spectrum of negotiation problems faced by managers and professionals. Considers that while a manager needs analytical skills to discover optimal solutions to problems, a broad array of negotiation skills is needed to get these solutions accepted and implemented. Gives students the opportunity to develop these skills experientially and to understand negotiation in useful analytical frameworks. This course is required for the Leading Innovative Organizations concentration.

MGMT 3802, Entrepreneurship (4 units)

This course looks as the practice of business innovation and entrepreneurship with an emphasis on how entrepreneurs recognize opportunities, communicate ideas, innovate, develop products, and build organizations. This course provides students with the skills, tools, and mindsets to enable them to discover other people's problems upon which entrepreneurial ventures may be built and to use their own creativity to generate solutions to these problems. The techniques and skills apply to both startups and established ventures. This course is an introductory course intended to provide a foundation regarding the role of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs in society and economy. As such, this class will explore what entrepreneurship means from several angles including how a person can be entrepreneurial in his or her own life-right now. This is an energized course about discovering entrepreneurship in and out of the firm. This course is required for the Leading Innovative Organizations concentration.

MKTG 3554, Analyzing Customers and Markets (4 units)

Topics include frameworks for understanding how customers make decisions and adopt innovations; metrics for assessing customer attitudes, satisfaction, and loyalty; methods for segmenting a market; and measures of brand equity. The focus throughout is on techniques for gathering and analyzing data on customers and markets in both online and traditional channels. Addresses B-to-B and B-to-C decision process in rapidly changing markets. This course is required for the Marketing concentration.

MKTG 3572, New Product Innovation (4 units)

Presents the product manager or marketer as a generalist with responsibility for the multifunctional, multidisciplinary approach required to develop, launch, and manage successful products by combining elements of product development, product launch planning, and product management. Includes in-depth treatments of product life cycle analysis, buyer utility, competitive set, customer and market analysis, pricing, and the product launch process. Appropriate for those interested in high-technology and/or consumer product markets. This course is required for the Marketing concentration.

MKTG 3596, Integrated Marketing Communications (4 units)

Introduces the concept of integrated marketing communications (IMC). Provides a basic understanding of communication theory, marketing, branding, integrating marcom tactics, planning and coordinating IMC programs. Addresses marcom tactics of advertising, public relations, direct response, collateral, the internet, and digital media. Addresses business-to-business and high-technology marketing communications. Incorporates a thorough understanding of objectives, strategies, tactics, and budgeting. This course is required for the Marketing concentration.

MKTG 3710, Tech Marketing: Winning Strategies for Effective Messaging (2 units)

The success of a marketing campaign or overall strategy ultimately depends on how a company's end customers perceive, accept and adopt a products value proposition/positioning/resulting messaging. Especially in high technology markets, where new purchases are capital investments measured by impact to the business and return on investment, a product's value proposition has to be extremely clear, tangible and differentiated in order to achieve vendor preference, as well as maintain desired pricing and margin levels. This two-credit-hour course focuses on proven, effective strategies for understanding customer requirements and translating them into clear, digestible, and differentiated messaging statements. We will provide strategies and examples to achieve strong competitive positioning, as well as how and when to (re-)define an entire market vs. just differentially position your products. Specific topics will include best practices for positioning and messaging creation, competitive landscape modeling and developing differentiation, translating customer requirements into effective positioning/ messaging, and wholesale market (re-definition). Additional focus will include an overview of core media assets to effectively drive adoption of positioning/messaging in today's increasingly Web 2.0 world.

MKTG 3801, Social Media Marketing (4 units)

In the past few years, social media has become a popular platform for consumers to share their opinions about the products and services they buy. Marketers, in turn, are using social media to not only gain insights from their customers but also connect to and communicate with them. Currently, it is critical for most marketers to have a social media presence as they leverage this platform to grow their business. This course focuses on how marketers can translate insights from social media data into actionable marketing strategies and tactics. We first need to understand the basics of social media, viral marketing, and data generation. We will explore who is posting content and why are they posting. Second, we will learn how to analyze data generated through social media. This includes both numerical data, such as Amazon ratings, Facebook likes, and Twitter tweets, and textual data, such as the comments written on Facebook, blogs, and many other social media platforms. Finally, we will focus on actionable marketing decisions based on the social media data analysis. This includes responding to user comments or integrating social media marketing with traditional paid media. The intention of this course is to provide you with a solid foundation for social media marketing as a user of analytics-based information and reporting. The course is not designed to teach you how each social media platform works. Rather, the broad objective is to provide you with a perspective on how data-based insights can and should be used to make marketing decisions and a set of skills for analyzing common types of social marketing data in order to generate meaningful insights. This course is required for the Marketing concentration.

How the Online MBA Courses Work

Santa Clara provides students from around the world the opportunity to pursue a Silicon Valley education. There's no need to move or overhaul your life to earn an Online MBA: You can study from home when it's convenient, and keep your full- or part-time job while pursuing your degree.

Our innovative learning platform allows students to access their coursework from their computer, tablet, or smartphone. The online learning platform features:

  • A mobile app for on-the-go access from any connected device
  • Live video and audio capabilities that enable students to get to know their classmates
  • Automatic progress tracking via our engaging SVP dashboard
  • Easy access to your grades, so you always know where you stand
  • Direct access to professors

Online MBA courses at Santa Clara consist of a mixture of 4-unit, 10-week courses and consecutively taught 2-unit, 5-week courses. Quarterly starts in the fall, winter, spring and summer enable students to begin their Online MBA program whenever it's convenient for them.

Interested in the Online MBA?