Curriculum Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours above the MBA 500 level to receive an MBA degree. Five required, "core" courses (referred to as Phase II below) comprise fifteen of these credit hours. A three credit hour capstone course (Phase IV) is also required. During Phase III, students choose among elective courses and independent research projects to meet the remaining 18 credit hour requirement. Phase III elective courses may be taken concurrently with the required, Phase II courses. Students can graduate with one or more specializations by choosing specific sets of elective courses.  Please submit the following form to apply for your specializationRequest for Specialization.pdf.

Phase I: Foundation Courses (0-21 hours)

These courses are designed to provide necessary foundational knowledge for applicants holding non-business baccalaureate degrees. Students with a business baccalaureate degree typically do not need to take these courses. These courses do not count toward the 36 credit hours needed for the MBA degree.

MBA 500A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION 3 credit hours. As an introduction to contemporary fundamentals of management from a problem-solving perspective, this course reviews the range of theories from classical to the current and scientific management, human relations, quantitative and behavioral theories. It also studies the application of basic management functions.

MBA 500B ACCOUNTING 3 credit hours. This course introduces the accounting framework of business and how it relates to service, merchandising and manufacturing enterprises. Particular emphasis is placed on how financial statements can be utilized by different users.

MBA 500C ECONOMICS 3 credit hours. Reviewing basic supply and demand equations, this course views the economy from the micro- and macroeconomics standpoints. Several topics include basic market structures, income distribution, business cycles, fiscal policies and international trade.

MBA 500E MARKETING 3 credit hours. This course is the integration of product, distribution, communication and price policies into a comprehensive marketing plan. An emphasis will be on strategic planning and tactual execution of key marketing mix variables as they relate to establishing and maintaining a differential advantage in era of global competition and a fragmenting marketplace.

MBA 500F FINANCE Prerequisite: MBA 500B
3 credit hours. This course introduces the student to finance terminology, types of financial instruments and the role of financial planning in the corporate setting.

MBA 500G INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 3 credit hours.  This course is designed to develop the student's basic skills in the use of information technology, including spreadsheets, presentation graphics and the internet.

MBA 500H QUANTITATIVE AND STATISTICAL METHODS 3 credit hours.  This course is designed to develop the student's quantitative and statistical knowledge to a level required to perform the mathematical and statistical operations contained in MBA 503 Operations Management and MBA 504 Business Statistics.

MBA 500I REQUIRED WORK EXPERIENCE FOR INTERNATIONAL MBA STUDENTS 0 credit hours.  Master of Business Administration students on an F or J visa will be required to obtain work experience in the United States, and begin this process during their first semester work for a minimum of 250 hours (maximum 20 hours per week during the first semester) and complete the Required Work Experience Evaluation.

Phase II: MBA Core Courses (15 hours) 

These five required courses deliver the core knowledge that all our MBA students acquire prior to graduation. Areas covered include operations, financial management, marketing, managerial accounting and organizational design, development & change management.

MBA 501 ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT & CHANGE MANAGEMENT The course focuses on large-scale OD interventions as well as strategies and tactics managers can employ to plan, enact and monitor change within their spheres of influence. Topics covered in this course include: understanding the fundamentals of organizational design; systems thinking and its impact on the change process; defining OD and the dynamics of change in relationship to organizational culture; exploring core OD values in the context of globalization; various OD interventions used at the individual, group and organizational levels; and key issues managers should weigh to initiate and successfully manage change processes within their organizations.

MBA 503 OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT Prerequisites: MBA 500H Quantitative and Statistical Methods or equivalent The study of concepts relating to the operations function in both manufacturing and service organizations which is responsible for planning, organizing and controlling resources in order to efficiently and effectively produce goods and provide services and meet the goals of the organization. Quantitative tools of analysis used to support decision making in the various operations management activities will be surveyed, and case analysis will be employed to relate theory to practice.

MBA 505 FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT Prerequisites: MBA 500B Accounting and MBA 500F Finance or equivalents Financial planning and control for the financial and the nonfinancial executive, including decisions of investment, growth and expansion strategies, dividend policy and capital structure. Analysis of principles leading to decisions in management of current assets, fixed assets, debt, equity and capital. Emphasis is on decision making based on quantitative analysis.

MBA 507 MARKETING MANAGEMENT Prerequisite: MBA 500E Marketing or equivalent This course deals with proactive marketing topics, strategic market planning, interactive marketing, innovation and creativity, customer satisfaction and research, as well as the more traditional "4Ps" of marketing: product, place, price and promotion. Attention is given to the development of conceptual and analytical thinking, oral and written communications, and interpersonal and team management skills.

MBA 511 MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING Prerequisite: MBA 500B Accounting or equivalent The study and evaluation of accounting information relevant to internal management decisions. Topics include cost behavior concepts, product costing, cost-volume-profit analysis, budgeting, variance analysis and performance measurement

Phase III: Electives with Optional Specializations (18 hours)

Phase III includes business electives and the opportunity to specialize in areas such as project management, entrepreneurship, human resource management, finance, global management, supply chain management, accounting or a customized specialty program.  For Information regarding specializations please visit the specializations page.



Managerial economics instructs managers on the economic approach to management. This course stresses three areas of management decision making: allocative, controlling behavior, and profit analysis. Central to any organization's functioning is the allocation of resources to competing ends for the purpose of accomplishing a final goal. Managerial economics teaches the logic of this process using the classical optimization vocabulary of resource, constraint, competing ends, accounting prices, economic prices, final goal, and choice. Humans, being a highly social species with a high-level consciousness, want to describe, explain, control, and predict behavior. Any human organization, if it is to be successful, requires behavioral technologies to deal with its own members and outsiders. Managerial economics teaches the rational actor's approach to describing, explaining, controlling, and predicting behavior. Finally, the sine qua non of a capitalistic business is profit. Yet few managers appreciate the constellation of variables that determine it. Managerial economics employs a profit model that allows managers to see the connections between demand, resource prices, technology, quantities of fixed input, a product's price, a firm's capacity utilization rate, and profit. Emphasized throughout this course are reasoning and problem solving skills as opposed to memorization.

Prerequisite: MBA 500H Quantitative and Statistical Methods or undergraduate statistics course

Included in this course are the topics of descriptive statistics, sampling procedures, hypotheses testing, statistical quality control charting, confidence limits, analysis of variance, chi-square tests and simple and multiple regression. These concepts are related to business decisions and form the basis for data analysis and model building encountered in other MBA courses.


A study of the ethical, moral and legal responsibilities of the manager in the business world. Ethical theory as applied to situations will be presented for discussion. General government regulation, whether federal, state or local laws will be stressed as they relate to the business enterprise. The relationship of the manager and the rights of various stakeholders are identified, with legal theory serving as the basis of such study. As a Phase II required course, the student should enroll in this course early on in their MBA career.


This course deals with international/global business as an element of operational, functional, and environmental variables and patterns of behavior of the corporation. Intra-corporate research and analysis dealing within the corporation to determine the ability to successfully compete in a foreign market will also be examined. The firm's competitive advantages, anatomy, goals and objectives, internal resources, priorities, and a general framework will be studied. This segment will also examine the techniques of the industry and competitive analysis. Additionally, the course will deal with inter-corporate research and analysis of those variables and conditions outside the control of the firm.

Prerequisite: MBA 500A Business Organization or equivalent.

A conceptual understanding of the complexities of human behavior is essential for the success of any manager. This course seeks to enhance student knowledge concerning the behavior of individuals and groups in an organizational setting through the use of research perspective, and to guide the application of conceptual organizational behavior knowledge to managerial problems. The topics covered in the course include learning, perception, job attitudes, work motivation, leadership, decision making and various group dynamics and processes.


A Management Information System (MIS) is a set of systems and activities used to provide managers with information needed to support planning and decision making. Effective and efficient use of a firm's information resources are facilitated by computer-based storage, manipulation, retrieval, analysis, and presentation of relevant information in a timely fashion. This course provides a basic perspective on the design, development, implementation, utilization, and administration of computer-based information systems. Topics covered include systems analysis and design; decision support systems; artificial intelligence including expert systems, fuzzy logic and neural networks; end-user computing; telecommunications including the internet; and the application of information systems to a firm's competitive strategy.


This course focuses on achieving sustainability through international trade. The main objective of the course is the development of an international market penetration plan to establish a link between a company based in the US and a country of the student's expertise.


Through a series of interactive experiences, students will learn to distinguish between mediation (usually immediate, transitory, and everyone loses something) and conflict resolution (long-term, permanent, and everyone gains). Students will engage in activities to develop skills of effective communication, extensive idea generation, and expanded perspectives, all essential elements in conflict resolution. The course reading will immerse students in the theory, approaches, and practices of job-embedded conflict resolution. Multiple activities in simulation for contract negotiation, creative problem-solving, and critical thinking will be employed. Students will develop a repertoire of strategies and skills applicable through their work, their learning and their living.


This course focuses on management tasks of entrepreneurial firms operating in different country contexts and with varying business models. It addresses the importance of the global character of entrepreneurial firms supported by the availability of risk capital and other resources in many countries. The forces that have made globalization a recent significant development such as technology, deregulation, and liberalization are responsible for increased efforts by entrepreneurs.


A critical examination of two question: 1. What is ethics? 2. How is the study of ethics relevant to business? Through the process of looking at the question of ethics and its relationship to business, it is hoped the student will become sensitive to the numerous ethical dilemmas facing business leaders today and in the future. The student is exposed to a panoply of systems (utilitarianism, virtue ethics, communitarianism etc.) that have historically attempted to address the ethical problems that challenge business leaders. Students are expected to consider the ethical/political tensions between a "free market" and the idea of "social responsibility." Inseparable from any discussion about business and ethics is the further question about the relationship between ethics and leadership.


Personal Asset Management is designed to motivate and educate students in the basics of personal financial investing. It takes a broad based view of the personal investment problem, as well as, dealing with the practical issues of developing a financial plan.


This course will present a 36-hour curriculum designed to attain the Six Sigma Green Belt certification. It will develop the strategic role of Six Sigma within an organization, the cultural shifts that are required, the phases of a Six Sigma project, procedures for developing a Six Sigma project plan, project success factors, and the completion of a Six Sigma project.


An introduction to the World Wide Web and the creation of Web sites using XHTML.  We will begin the course with an overview of computers in Web publishing context. We will cover computer science, networking, and application aspects of Web publishing. Next, you will learn the fundamentals of setup, design, and maintenance including Web site layout, Web page layout, technical consideration, audience considerations, and the importance of the content of Web pages.


Digital marketing is a rapidly growing and dynamic space that is often underutilized from a strategic marketing perspective. This course explores the Internet and digital domain in the context of business issues that concern marketers, with an emphasis on understanding digital marketing strategies and current trends.

MBA 601/602 Independent Research Project

MBA students have the option of completing an Independent Research Project as part of their Phase III elective course work. Students choosing this option will take MBA 601 or MBA 601 and MBA 602, for up to six semester hours.

The Independent Research Project (IRP) is chosen by the candidate and approved by the IRP project review committee with the consent of the primary and secondary faculty advisors who will direct the candidate's research project. To enroll in MBA 601/602, students must have a 3.50 grade point average when the project application is submitted for approval to the MBA executive director (forms available from the MBA office). Before beginning work on the project, students must have completed 15 semester hours of core subjects, including MBA 501, MBA 503, MBA 505, MBA 507, and MBA 511.

A committee of three MBA professors, comprising the Independent Research Project committee, will review the project proposal and approve or disapprove it based on relevance to the learning experience of the student. In most cases, the MBA executive director will assign two faculty members as primary and secondary advisers to work with the student throughout completion of the project.

Guidelines given in the standard style manuals [by Turabian or by the American Psychological Association (APA)] should be followed. Students are also responsible for the typing and copying of the research project.

The project process will culminate with the oral examination of the candidate by a faculty committee. This group consists of the student's research advisers, the MBA executive director, two readers, and others invited to the oral review.

The student should register for MBA 601 in the semester during which he or she expects to begin the project. Failure to complete the assignment for MBA 601 during that term will result in an "IP" (In Progress) grade for the course. This grade will not adversely affect the grade point average of the student for that particular term. However, the required work must be completed within one year of the posting of the IP grade. Completion of the work will result in a change to the earned grade. Failure to complete the work within one year will result in an "F".

Students are reminded that the MBA project, as part of the MBA Curriculum, must be completed within the five-year time limit. Also, completion of the project will rarely take less than a year.

Once the final thesis is completed and changes or corrections made, the MBA program office submits the text for binding. A student should submit at least three copies to be bound for himself or herself, the MBA program office, and the Ashland University Library. The student pays only for his or her personal copies; however, the student's first bound book is available at no charge, and additional student copies are available at $11.00 each.

Phase IV: Capstone (3 hours) MBA 517 Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis

The capstone course must be taken by all students, and may be taken at any time upon completion of 24 hours of Phase II and Phase III course work. The capstone course provides a semester-long integrated experience requiring the student to synthesize knowledge and skills acquired earlier in the MBA program.

Prerequisite: Twenty-four (24) semester hours of course work

The capstone course stresses how to implement contemporary tools and techniques successfully in developing strategic initiatives for an organization. The student will learn the importance of the strategic management process and its value in creating competitive advantage. The course will demonstrate how high-performing enterprises often initiate and lead trailblazing strategies in their industry. Also the capstone course employs the functional areas students learned from previous courses in the MBA program. There is a strong emphasis on utilizing business cases that will help the student to develop strategic offensive and defensive initiatives during their case presentation.