The Specialized MBA program prepares students for professional and career success in business, with a focus on a specialized discipline or industry sector. Students in this 33-credit program develop a powerful portfolio of leadership and business skills, and supplement it with a set of relevant competencies in their chosen specialization. Students can take most (but not all) courses in on-campus or online formats and they can complete the program at their own pace. Students learn to formulate viable business models that deliver desired results. They develop the ability to build talented teams, make data-driven decisions, and design cost-effective processes. They become proficient at managing people, projects and change. The 11-course curriculum complemented by four professional development workshops enables our graduates to excel at their jobs, advance their careers and achieve their professional aspirations.
MBA Learning Goals and Objectives
The MBA program has learning goals and objectives that help students develop a set of competencies to lead and manage organizations in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Skill development occurs in an innovative learning-by-doing environment, characterized by a range of teaching methods that include cases, simulations, role-plays, work-based assignments, and field projects.
Goal 1: Ethics and Social Responsibility—Our students will have the ability to make ethical decisions and promote effective codes of ethics that meet the expectations of a broad group of stakeholders.
Objective 1a: Our students will be able to evaluate an organization’s corporate governance principles and code of ethics to determine if these are in the best interest of multiple stakeholders, as well as apply ethical analysis techniques to determine if a decision or action is unethical.
Objective 1b: Our students will be able to assess the social implications of the economic choices and decisions made by businesses.
Goal 2: Innovation—Our students will demonstrate the ability to identify opportunities for innovation and lead a process of innovation aimed at improvements in products, services and business processes.
Objective 2a: Our students will be able to identify opportunities for innovation.
Objective 2b: Our students will be able to articulate a process for innovation.
Goal 3: Leadership—Our students will be able to position their units, teams or firms for success by applying and demonstrating the core competencies of leadership, including interpersonal, team, organizational and strategic leadership.
Objective 3a: Our students will be able to identify and evaluate relevant leadership styles and practices.
Objective 3b: Our students will be able to diagnose team problems and make appropriate recommendations to improve team effectiveness.
Goal 4: Organizational Intelligence and Analytics—Our students will identify, analyze and solve organizational issues using appropriate analytical techniques.
Objective 4a: Our students will be able to define an organizational issue, analyze relevant information, and propose appropriate solutions.
Objective 4b: Our students will be able to analyze and evaluate alternatives using appropriate analytical tools and approaches.
Goal 5: Communication—Our students will communicate effectively and professionally within business situations.
Objective 5a: Our students will be able to determine whether communication artefacts and communication channels are tailored appropriately to the business situation and communication objectives.
Objective 5b: Our students will be able to communicate effectively.
Academic Policies and Standards
All academic policies and standards for the School of Business Administration apply to the master of business administration program. Additional policies are as follows:
- Students must complete all degree requirements within five academic years from the date they matriculate into the program.
- Students wishing to take a leave of absence from the program must formally notify the director of graduate business programs.
- Students not taking a course in a 24-month period are considered inactive. Students who wish to return must petition the graduate program director.
Curriculum (33 credits)
Students in the Specialized MBA program must complete 21 credits of core business courses and 12 credits of electives related to their chosen area of specialization.
Core MBA Courses (21 credits)
An integrated set of seven core MBA courses enable students to develop a portfolio of strategic, leadership, business and functional skills need to deliver results in corporate or not-for-profit settings.
- BUS 605 – Leading Organizations and People (3 credits)
- BUS 615 – Information Systems and Data Analytics (3 credits)
- BUS 635 – Marketing (3 credits)
- BUS 645 – Accounting and Managerial Decision Making (3 credits)
- BUS 655 – Strategic Financial Management (3 credits)
- BUS 665 – Managing Business Processes (3 credits)
- BUS 675 – Managing for Results (3 credits)
Core MBA courses assume that students have an understanding of Excel and basic concepts in statistics, accounting, finance, organizational behavior and management, communication, critical thinking and case analysis. All students are advised to review these concepts by accessing a series of foundational knowledge modules that are available to them on demand and free of cost.
Please see https://lifelonglearning.widener.edu/ for foundational knowledge resources.
Specializations (12 credits)
Specializations allow MBA students to take a deeper dive into a specific discipline or industry sector. Students may choose to specialize in Business Process Innovation, Data Analytics, Investment Management or Organizational Leadership. Students can also custom design their specialization to focus on areas that meet their own unique needs and interests. In the Customized Studies specialization, students pick any 12 credits of graduate business courses.
Business Process Innovation Specialization (12 credits)
The BPI specialization prepares students to lead their organization to greater efficiency and superior outcomes by enabling skill development in process innovation, modeling and analysis, data design, project management and more. Students learn to transform organizations from functional silos to integrated end-to-end processes for greater competitive advantage. Courses are available on campus or online.
- BPI 600 – Business Process Management: Modeling to Monitoring (3 credits)
- BPI 601 – Business Process Analysis and Process Automation (3 credits)
- BPI 620 – Business Process Strategy and Innovation (3 credits)
- Elective approved by the program director (3 credits)
Data Analytics Specialization (12 credits)
The Data Analytics specialization prepares students to extract, synthesize and model the vast streams of data that are transforming every industry and leverage business intelligence to implement evidence-based decisions that boost performance. Students learn to use SAS and other industry-leading applications, simultaneously earning a SAS Joint Certificate in Business Intelligence and Analytics. All courses are available on campus.
- IS 610 – Database Systems (3 credits)
- IS 625 – Data Mining and Data Warehousing (3 credits)
- IS 650 – Business Intelligence and Data Visualization (3 credits)
- Elective approved by program director (3 credits)
Investment Management Specialization (12 credits)
The Investment Management specialization prepares students to thrive as professionals in the investment management and financial services industries. Students learn the inner workings of the investment management business from both the institutional perspective (portfolio management and fund operations) and the client’s perspective (behavioral finance and retirement planning). Students can use this knowledge to prepare for credentialing exams such as the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), FINRA Series 63, 65 and 66, and CFA level I exams. All courses are available online.
- FIN 604 – Securities Analysis and Investment Management (3 credits)
- FIN 620 – Mutual Fund Investments (3 credits)
- FP 646 - Behavioral Finance and Client Communications (1.5 credits)
- TAX 640 – Retirement Planning (1.5 credits)
- FIN 650 - Seminar in Financial Regulatory Practices (3 credits)
Organizational Leadership Specialization (12 credits)
The Organizational Leadership specialization prepares students to become effective, results-oriented leaders. Students learn to take charge, empower employees, manage projects, and lead change. These skills will enable students to position their unit for strategic success and drive individual, team and organizational performance.
- MGT 625 – Management of Change (3 credits)
- MGT 680 – Project Management (3 credits)
- MGT 622 – Developing Management Skills (3 credits)
- MGT 670 – Managing Human Capital (3 credits)
Customized Studies Specialization (12 credits)
In this specialization, students pick any 12 credits of business courses to develop a customized set of skills that is best suited to their interests, job needs, or career aspirations. Students are able to mix and match courses from other specializations or choose courses from other graduate business programs.
- 12 credits of any graduate-level courses offered in the School of Business Administration
The program of study that appears here applies to students who were admitted for the summer session of this catalog year and later. Students admitted prior to that term should select the appropriate catalog year of their admission. Choose previous catalogs from the Home, Graduate, or Undergraduate Catalog Page at http://Catalog.widener.edu.
Professional Development Workshops (Noncredit)
All MBA students are required to complete four professional development workshops (PDWs) while they are in the MBA program. These workshops are conducted by a professional leadership and career coach and are designed to help students achieve professional growth and implement a plan for launching or advancing their careers. Two PDWs are offered during the Fall and in Spring semesters, and one is offered in the Summer semester. PDWs are typically held on weekends or in the evenings. They are also offered in an online format.
Residency Requirements and Degree Eligibility
A student must complete the minimum residency requirement of 27 credit hours in MBA courses, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all 600-level courses, and complete all credit and noncredit requirements to qualify for the MBA degree.