The Wisconsin Executive MBA curriculum delivers a strong foundation in key business functions, with an emphasis on their strategic implications. Students explore how these functions integrate to contribute to organizational effectiveness.

In addition, the two-year curriculum builds essential skills for those in leadership positions, with coursework in organizational behavior, managerial communications, values-based leadership, and more. Class content is infused with current issues and theory, with an emphasis on the application of business concepts to actual business practice.

The relevance of this curriculum ensures that you will gain knowledge and insights you can apply immediately at your organization.

The curriculum is strategically designed for busy executives, pairing soft-skill classes with more challenging ones, making homework more manageable.

Each cohort in the Executive MBA Program learns in a structured, lockstep delivery format. This approach enriches the overall experience by facilitating collaborative learning, substantive class discussions, and the integration of knowledge across business disciplines.

The Wisconsin Executive MBA curriculum provides a challenging educational experience, with a manageable workload.

The curriculum shown is representative of the course of study; specific course offerings may vary.

View the Sample Academic Calendar

Refer to the sample calendar to plan for class attendance, the 10-day international trip, and other key program events.

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Course Descriptions—Year 1

Organizational Behavior

The course studies how and why people behave in organizations, with the goal of helping students and their employers gain competitive advantage. Topics covered include developing effective teams; decision-making and escalation of commitment; leading effective organizational change; leadership and motivation; managing interpersonal conflict; and global activities and HR issues.

Economics for Managers

Managers regularly make choices, many of which are difficult. Economics logic often offers powerful and elegant insights into making those choices. A fundamental working knowledge of the firm's economic environment can improve both day-to-day managerial decision-making and long-term strategic planning. The purpose of this course is to develop basic microeconomic concepts and apply them to issues of particular relevance to senior managers.

Marketing Management

This course is an introduction to the elements of marketing management, with particular focus on new product, pricing, distribution, and promotion decisions. The use of customer and competitive analysis as input to strategy decisions will be emphasized. Selected case studies from a variety of industry contexts will be used.

Financial Accounting

In this course, students will learn to read, interpret, and analyze a company's financial statements. The course also provides an overview of choices available to managers in reporting corporate performance in financial statements.


This course provides students with a framework in which to develop their own leadership style according to their personal value propositions. The framework also allows students to help others understand and develop their leadership style.


The purpose of this course is to develop a simple model of the United States economy that can be used to analyze the current economic environment. We review the goals and implementation of monetary and fiscal policy, the problems associated with inflation, and the methods for measuring the overall performance of the economy. Next, we develop a simple model of the U.S. economy and apply it to provide a brief overview of U.S. economic performance over the past 30 years.

Managerial Accounting

This course is designed to provide the student with an in-depth understanding of the role of management accounting information in the support of key strategic management issues and processes. The course starts with an in-depth presentation and understanding of balanced scorecard reporting and the manner in which it supports strategic decision-making. We move downstream in the value chain and utilize activity-based costing to deal with strategic issues around customer mix and product distribution. Finally, we move upstream in the value chain to address important strategic issues of supplier relations, product design, and speed of product development. All of these critical management issues are informed by managerial accounting information in the form of activity-based costing.

Introduction to Financial Management

The financial analysis of corporate decisions is covered. The course develops the standard discounted cash flow framework, which is consistent with shareholder value maximization and economic value added. This framework yields the techniques for analyzing both capital investment decisions and financing decisions. Emphasis is placed on an intuitive understanding of these techniques and their practical limitations.

Consumer Behavior

This course provides an analysis of theories and models of behavior which underlie the process of consumer decision-making. Marketing applications of psychological, sociological, and social-psychological factors are examined.

The curriculum shown is representative of the course of study; specific course offerings may vary. Feel free to contact the program staff for more information.

Course Descriptions—Year 2


Managers spend a substantial portion of their time and energy negotiating and resolving conflicts with superiors, coworkers, subordinates, customers, competitors, and suppliers. The bargaining, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills of managers can have an important impact on the outcomes received by all parties. First, this course is designed to provide students with an understanding of theory and concepts of the bargaining process and outcomes. These theories are both normative (how negotiations should occur), drawing from economics and decision theory, and descriptive (how negotiations actually occur), drawing from behavioral decision theory. Second, this course provides students with the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts and develop bargaining skills through in-class examples and discussion, and, most predominantly, negotiating exercises and cases.

The purpose of this course is to prepare executives to recognize, analyze, and respond to legal issues arising in their everyday business lives. This includes familiarizing themselves with “legal jargon” through lectures followed by case analysis, presentations, and discussions. We discuss legal process, business organizations, intellectual property, and business torts.

Business Strategy

This course examines how firms gain and sustain competitive advantages. To be successful, the firm's strategy must permeate all departments and functional areas. As such, this course integrates knowledge and skills gained from your prior studies (i.e., marketing, management, finance, accounting, and so on). In drawing on this learning, we explicitly apply a general management point of view and analyze strategies in light of the total enterprise.


Development of the theory, instruments, techniques and practice of modern investment management. Topics include asset pricing and valuation under certainty and uncertainty, portfolio management, determination of interest rates, immunization strategies and derivative securities. 

Executing Strategy

This model introduces varying approaches to strategy, focusing especially on dynamic strategies, as the organization deliberately anticipates and makes use of repeated change under varying conditions of uncertainty. Organizational learning, including both knowledge creation and deployment, plays a crucial role.

Multinational Business and Finance

This course deals with the application of finance principles to international business decisions. The focus is on the following key principles: exchange rate behavior, currency risk management, financing operations in the global capital markets, cross-border investment analysis, and project finance. The course builds on the foundations of cash flow analysis in multi-currency environments, key interest/discount rate relationships across currencies, evaluation of assets subject to political risk, and international tax system interactions. Case studies are used to generate applications of these core foundations.

Global Learning Experience

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a deeper understanding of a global market, including its political, legal, economic/business, and social and cultural environments. The countries that we study, and travel to, face major opportunities and also major challenges which potentially threaten their economic development. It is our goal to learn about a developing market and experience that market firsthand as we travel abroad to visit business, cultural, and political hubs.

Role of Business in Society

This course is a capstone experience for the Executive MBA students, delivered during the final four weekends of the two-year EMBA program. It is an integrative course that studies the role of business in society, drawing on decades of research, examples, case studies, and speakers. Students will understand and appreciate 1) the traditional rationale for business, which is to maximize shareholder value; 2) the theory and empirical work on corporate social responsibility; and 3) new organizational structures designed explicitly to provide a social good while striving for profit. 

Operations Strategy

This course studies the planning and controlling of processes used to produce an organization's goods and services. In essence, it is the management of all activities related to doing the actual work of the organization. Managing these processes can be quite challenging—they are often very complex, and can involve large numbers of people and facilities, huge volumes of materials, and great distances. Operational capabilities are central to a firm's ability to deliver value to customers along dimensions such as low cost, high quality, breadth and variety of offerings, speed of response, ability to customize, and more. By aligning these capabilities with a firm's overall strategy, operational strengths can yield long-lasting competitive advantage.

Accelerating Innovation

Accelerating Innovation is a course on how managers can apply principles of innovation used by business accelerators to manage innovation and launch new initiatives. Topics covered include the basic economics of business acceleration, the development of acceleration platforms, the sourcing of and management of innovation, the principals of initiative selection, and fostering a culture of innovation within existing organizations.

Project Management

During their careers, managers spend a significant amount of time either participating in or leading projects. Projects are frequently used as proving-grounds for high-potentials. The skills that are required for project management are often the very same attributes that enable managers to successfully manage a business.

While every project is unique, some concepts and tools in project management apply to a wide range of different types of projects. The aim of this course is to equip students with these concepts and tools, and to develop them into successful project managers (and team members). The goal of this course is neither to refine existing project-management specialists in their expertise, nor to specifically train students for Project Management Certification. Rather, the objective is to equip generalists (i.e., any career concentration) with project management related skills that will be useful throughout their careers.

Markets with Frictions

The class begins with a brief review of classical micro economics, something every business person should know, but also something that we often forget shortly after taking intermediate micro! The basic notions of equilibrium and efficiency are defined and compared at a fairly rigorous level. Then it is explained how standard theory does not adequately help us understand many interesting phenomena - eg, unemployment, credit markets with default, the role of banks, etc. Given than, some modern tools of economic analysis are explained, including search and bargaining theory, and some basic game theory. These tools are then used to organize our thinking about labor markets, credit markets, ... in general, markets with frictions. This helps people in the business world understand better what they read or see in the media and, importantly, helps them to avoid being confused by economists.

The curriculum shown is representative of the course of study; specific course offerings may vary. Feel free to contact the program staff for more information.