Tailor your studies to your personal interests and professional goals with more than 40 elective courses. Taken during your second year of study, these intensive courses cover a rich array of topics, markets and industries.
Students can take electives domestically at the Evanston and Miami campuses or globally at the Global Network schools.
Choose to take a minimum of four and maximum of eight elective units. Please note that elective course offerings are subject to change.
Entrepreneurial Finance & Venture Capital
This course is aimed primarily at people who may be involved in an entrepreneurial venture at some point in their careers, whether in a startup, a spinoff from a large organization, or a turnaround. This course is also useful for venture capital careers and students interested in the Venture Capital as an Asset class (Limited Partners). There are four main topics covered using case studies: Evaluating Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Startups, Source of Financing for Startups, The Structure of VC Deals, and Exit Decisions to IPOs or buyouts.
Global Corporate Restructuring
This course covers ventures, family businesses, closely held firms and corporate restructuring transactions both in the U.S. and in an international context. Students analyze different corporate restructuring strategies including mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, spin-offs and leveraged buyouts. The course integrates corporate governance and agency dimensions, financial and strategic management aspects, and legal and accounting considerations into a unified framework for investigating issues in unlocking hidden values for all stakeholders involved.
This course explores international financial instruments, markets and institutions. Topics include the nature of foreign exchange risk, the determination of exchange rates and interest rates, the management of foreign exchange risk with forwards and options, exchange rate forecasting, evaluation of international investments, currency speculation, the impact of monetary policy on exchange rates, and current developments in the international financial system.
Miami, FL Lisbon, Portugal (pop-up campus)
Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, and Private Equity
This course focuses on the influences of private equity and hedge funds on corporate decision-making. It also examines the measures that corporations take to counter threats and exploit opportunities represented by these investors. Students also analyze competition and cooperation between investment banks, private equity, and hedge funds.
Mergers, Acquisitions and Other Reorganization Methods
The aim of the course is for the students to understand the motivations, decision processes, transaction, execution and valuation consequences of financial, business and organizational restructuring by corporate units. The course facilitates developing ability among students to plan, evaluate and execute corporate restructuring strategies using financial modeling and quantitative techniques. An additional objective of this course is to enable students to appreciate the fundamental issues involved in the structure and functioning of market for corporate control within the framework of finance theory. Students of this course must have a strong understanding of financial concepts and skills.
This course studies the most important business regions in the world, including the U.S., Europe, Japan, China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa. The goal of this course is to provide students with a working knowledge of the economic drivers, challenges and opportunities that are present in these regions. Students also learn about the performance of equity and bond markets in different countries and the economic forces underlying oil and other commodity markets.
Human and Machine Intelligence
This course covers cutting edge research on machine-learning and artificial intelligence and its applications for business leaders. This course shows how to use a critical set of machine learning decision tools, such as natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and pattern recognition to discover new competitive strategies, turn raw numbers into convincing stories, and make less biased judgments — all of which will enable you to apply human+machine thought partnerships to grow businesses.
Leading Organizational Transformation
This course takes the perspective of chief executives who operate at “height and scale.” It explores what management and leadership look and feel like when you oversee 1,000 to 100,000 people and $500M to billions in revenue. How do you lead when you are only one person and you can’t “do” the work of the organization yourself, you can only steer the course of those who do?
Visualization for Persuasion
This course covers the neuroscience behind the path from understanding to memory, the power of engaging an audience’s visual and motor system, and the importance of leveraging existing brain networks through stories and metaphors. Students will learn to convince clients, customers, and colleagues of the merits of their view, using the latest breakthroughs in cognitive science, computer science, and graphic design.
Evanston, IL Shanghai, China
Launching and Leading Startups
This is a case-driven survey course that examines what it’s like to be in the shoes of an entrepreneurial CEO. Students explore some of the biggest and most challenging topics facing entrepreneurial CEOs, such as how to reduce the risks that are inherent in starting a new business, determine the best go-to-market strategies to gain customer adoption, and execute with precision. The course targets not only entrepreneurs who want to start or buy their own businesses, but also entrepreneurially minded students who, in short order, will be seeking to work within early-stage startups. The course also proves beneficial for “intrapreneurs” who will be innovating inside larger firms.
Phase 0: Designing, Building and Communicating — Compelling New Ventures
This course has been designed to demystify the “fuzzy front end” of starting a new venture and to give you the tools and confidence to build and launch something of your own. You will learn how to identify problems worth solving, test your assumptions about possible solutions, adjust your initial hypothesis based on experimentation and market feedback, and ultimately accelerate the time between inspiration, execution, operations and growth. We will focus on the importance of achieving “Product Market Fit” – developing the right offer for the right customer – and convincing others to support you on your journey.
Recruiting and Retaining Talent in Growth Companies
This course examines in detail the critical importance of developing and aligning an executable human capital strategy as a fundamental driver in the successful scaling of an enterprise. Using the business strategy and operating plan as a launching point, students will gain a practical understanding on how to create an enabling organizational structure that provides clarity of roles and accountabilities (individual and team), recruitment and retention strategies, performance management and incentive systems, and a range of process design tools.
Selling Yourself and Your Ideas
We spend much more time selling ourselves and our ideas than we think we do. And we have an increasing number of communications methods at our disposal. Being a powerful communicator means developing the agility to adjust your message, content, approach and style based on the method of communication you are using. It also means having a keen understanding your audience, their expectations and what success looks like. The overarching goal of this course will be to have an immediate positive impact on your outcomes by equipping you with a set of critical communications insights, skills, disciplines and tools to help you become a great communicator in any setting.
The Right Stuff: Principles Behind Successful Careers
Why do some people get ahead in their careers while others, equally talented, fall by the wayside? This class has been designed from deep quantitative and qualitative research by Professor Cast into the field of managerial and leadership success (and failure) and was created for ascending career managers and emerging executives. In the class, students will examine the underlying principles behind career success and failure and offers personality and motive assessments and a variety of practical leadership tools to use in order to become even more agile and effective.
Creating and Managing Strategic Alliances
This course examines the theory and practice of strategic alliances such as joint ventures, licensing agreements, buyer-supplier partnerships and consortia. This course covers how to design alliances, and how to avoid the many potential problems and complications in managing these relationships.
Family Enterprises: Success and Continuity
This course is intended for students who come from business-owning families, whether they work for the family business or not. Topics range from values-driven culture, to succession and family dynamics, continuity planning, leadership and strategic performance, and family constitutions and business governance. The course is also appropriate for those with family foundations, family offices or family investment companies.
Incentives, Organization and Strategy
This course explores how managers can design incentives that align with company objectives. The goal of the course is to offer a micro-economic approach to both the internal organization of firms and its relationship with the firms’ overall strategies.
Innovation Strategy and Management
This course focuses on innovation within business entities, covering typical technology and product-innovation programs as well as processes, marketing and other forms of innovation. The course addresses innovation as a holistic strategic management imperative, and focuses on real-world issues, products and systems.
Leading and Managing Diverse Organizations
Today's global marketplace is more diverse than ever before — in multiple dimensions. Leaders need specific tools and techniques to effectively understand, lead and leverage others in these increasingly complex, more diverse organizations and markets. This course blends theoretical and practical, evidence-based insights to provide you with proven strategies and frameworks to successfully harness the power of diversity in organizations and markets.
Leading High Impact Teams
This course examines the design, management, and leadership of teams in organizational settings. The focus of the course is on the interpersonal processes and structural characteristics that influence the effectiveness of teams, the dynamics of intra-team relationships, and sharing knowledge and information in teams.
Strategies for Growth
This course connects frameworks from economics and strategy to the experiences of firms attempting growth initiatives to illustrate why some businesses can scale successfully while others struggle.
US Healthcare Strategy
This course applies strategic principles to a variety of healthcare settings. Students become acquainted with several U.S. health sectors, regulatory oversight of these sectors, and major policy issues.
Biases and Forecasts Under Deep Uncertainty
This course provides frameworks to identify persistent psychological biases that underlie frequent forecast failures. Students will learn how to anticipate these biases and discover tools to improve their decision-making process.
Strategic Brand Management
This course aims to help you understand the role of branding and brand management, sharpen your skills in identifying and solving brand-related problems, and facilitate your ability to develop actionable brand management strategies. This course builds on the knowledge gained from the marketing management and marketing strategy courses to focus on developing successful strategies for building strong brands.
Miami, FL Lisbon, Portugal (pop-up campus)
Strategic Marketing Decisions
Making strategic marketing decisions isn’t easy; you have incomplete information, not enough resources, smart and driven competitors and changing conditions. You also have to work with a team of people to get agreement and alignment. For this reason, understanding the core marketing concepts is not sufficient; you have to know how to apply the concepts in different and often challenging situations. This course is designed to help you make smart strategic choices, communicate your recommendation and get support.
Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketing
Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing is undergoing a revolution. The complex, high-price/high-risk, multi-stakeholder negotiated purchase decisions present business markets with unique challenges. Rapid technology advances are transforming customer value requirements and the business models needed to deliver them. This course provides a practical understanding of four primary B2B market processes: choosing, creating, communicating and converting customer value into profit. Within these processes, we will explore and practice using frameworks and tools to identify new sources of customer value, quantify the value, craft winning value propositions, segment and target the most attractive customers, create new business models, manage value delivery networks, and integrate marketing communication across channels.
Advertising Strategy examines approaches to developing, evaluating and managing advertising strategy. The course follows the structure of an advertising campaign, beginning with targeting and positioning, followed by media analysis and creative strategy implementation. The course concludes with a discussion of strategies for managing client-agency relations.
Strategy Beyond Markets
This course teaches concepts, skills, and analytical tools for dealing with non-market issues, based on economic principles, political analysis, and to a lesser extent social psychology and law. They identify patterns of behavior and outcomes, ways of thinking about those patterns and outcomes, methods of analysis that facilitate understanding and prediction, and the shaping of strategies to improve business performance.
FinTech Strategy: Innovations in Financial Services
Financial Technology (FinTech) firms are changing the type, frequency and ways we use financial services. FinTech innovations have a great capacity to transform the financial system because many of these innovations are at a deeper level than traditional financial innovation. In this course, we will use economic frameworks that both new entrants and conventional financial institutions can use to differentiate the potential gold from the glitter. In addition, we will assess the viability of partnerships and other win-win strategies conventional financial institutions and new non-financial institutions can employ.
Kishore kakani '14