PTMBA SFG Classroom

Part-Time MBA

Part-Time MBA - Academics - Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum

Taught by Darden faculty during the first 18 months of the program. 

A Solid Foundation

A hallmark of Darden’s general management approach, the core curriculum is the same across all of Darden’s MBA formats. 

In the Part-Time MBA program, the core curriculum is delivered during the first 18 months of the program. Students complete the core curriculum as a cohort, moving through these courses with their classmates.  

During the core curricular period, Part-Time MBA students typically take two courses at a time, completing 34.5 credits (of 60 required for graduation). The 18-month core is bracketed by two week-long residencies in Charlottesville – one at the beginning of the program and one at the conclusion of the core curricular period.

Electives are delivered primarily after the completion of the 18-month core. Although, some elective opportunities are offered during the first 18 months of the program. It is during the elective period that Part-Time MBA students choose how quickly or slowly they wish to complete their remaining credits. In the Part-Time MBA program, students take 17 electives (or 25.5 credits). At Darden, most courses are 1.5 credits. See the Electives page for more details. 

Core Curriculum

  • Accounting for Managers

    Accounting for Managers provides terminology, frameworks and concepts with which to understand and analyze the financial consequences of business activities. Students gain considerable financial statement, financial analysis and financial management expertise to enhance their decision-making capabilities.

  • Business Ethics

    Business Ethics encourages students to think deeply about:

    • The nature of business
    • The responsibilities of management
    • How business and ethics can be put together
    • Students encounter cases without easy answers that raise a range of problems facing managers in the contemporary business environment
  • Decision Analysis

    Decision Analysis presents a philosophy for framing, analyzing and proactively managing decisions involving uncertainty. The course focuses on making the uncertainty we face explicit. Students can then objectively analyze it. Tools and techniques to support this objective include:

    • Risk profiles
    • Expected value
    • Simulation
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Discounted cash flows
    • Analytical probability distributions
    • Data analysis
    • Sampling theory
    • Regression
  • Financial Management and Policies

    Financial Management and Policies focuses on corporate policy and the tactics that increase the value of the corporation, by stressing how managers interface with the capital markets to learn the return required by the firm's different investors. The required return or cost of capital is used as the key variable to assess whether capital investment proposals can create value for stakeholders.

  • Global Economies and Markets

    Global Economies and Markets applies the ideas and methodologies of economics to the analysis of the business environment. The course expands students' knowledge of global economies and markets by:

    • Analyzing markets in the global economy and by studying topics including:
      • Competition,
      • Market structure
      • Efficiency
      • Industry equilibrium
      • Change
    • Analyzing, the performance of national economies by focusing on the economic and political forces that shape:
      • Production
      • Trade flows
      • Capital flows
      • Interest rates
      • Exchange rates
      • Other variables that define the global economic landscape
    • Applying tools of international trade and finance to broaden students' perspectives on how globalization affects the performance and strategies of nations and firms.
  • Leadership Communication

    Leadership Communication provides the guidance and hands-on experience that allow students to communicate more effectively as managers and leaders. The course:

    • Examines communication strategies essential for business success
    • Identifies individual strengths and goals
    • Allows students to practice activities that build upon strengths
    • Offer practice in new approaches

    Students gain comfort and skill in a personal communication style that is authentic, credible and authoritative.

  • Leading Organizations

    Leading Organizations helps students cultivate mindsets and develop practical tools to influence behavior in organizations. Students learn to:

    • Take a global leadership point of view
    • Identify critical business challenges
    • Understand the drivers of those challenges
    • Act to turn those challenges into opportunities and adopt a global mindset
  • Marketing

    Marketing provides an introduction to consumer behavior and marketing analytics. Students confront difficult marketing issues faced by companies in the United States and abroad. Using cases, technical notes and a large-scale interactive marketing simulation, the course challenges students to build a set of frameworks for analyzing the wants and needs of potential customers, creating products and services that they value and delivering these products and services to the marketplace at a profit.

  • Operations Management

    Operations Management conveys both the fundamentals of operations and the understanding that the link between operations and performance is a crucial source of competitive advantage. Managing the underlying processes by which firms create and deliver value is at the heart of the operations function in every line of business, and this course focuses on how to do this well.

  • Strategic Thinking and Action

    Strategic Thinking and Action develops students' ability to analyze the organizational and external factors essential for crafting and executing a firm's strategy for sustained success. The course draws heavily from the key concepts, frameworks and tools of strategic management. Taking an action orientation, it reinforces and revitalizes the general management perspective as the core mission of the School. Because of increasing global interdependence and an ever-shifting business environment, it emphasizes both the dynamics and the global aspects of strategic management.