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Executive MBA Curriculum

The Purdue Executive MBA program is 19 months long and requires 48 credit hours. The program launches each September with a three day orientation at Purdue.

Our curriculum is organized into six modules that provide a unique blend of in-class and online learning. Modules consist of a preparation period, a 1-2 week on-campus residency and an online exam period.
Each residency is prefaced by an 8-10 week preparation period, during which students read assigned texts, complete and submit individual and team-based assignments, watch instructor-prepared videos, virtually gather with fellow students for weekly team meetings, and join online group discussions and virtual office hours as needed.
The quarterly on-campus residencies include classes, company visits, guest speakers, career management offerings, and networking events. Residencies 1 through 5 are at Purdue University and residency 6 is at an international location selected by the cohort.

Modules 1 and 2 focus on core topics taken as a cohort. Modules 3 through 5 allow for a more personalized curriculum to meet our students' individual needs. This personalization occurs through three types of courses: functional electives, immersion electives and Active Learning Projects (ALPs).

Functional Electives

Functional electives are courses that vary depending on the interests and needs of the cohort. Read more about functional electives offered and the process of choosing functional electives.

Immersion Electives

Immersion electives are workshop-style courses that split the cohort into groups of 10 to 15 students. Read more about the many immersion electives offered and the process of designing your own curriculum via immersion electives.

Active Learning Projects

The Active Learning Projects provide opportunities for students to combine prior knowledge and experience with classroom learning and apply it in an active business setting. An ALP client is provided to the student teams and the project focuses on helping a firm diagnose and resolve a critical business problem. The teams are guided by a faculty member to provide the most beneficial hands-on experience possible.

Click on the module accordions at the very bottom of the page to find more information about the courses and faculty.

EMBA business conference

Company Visits

Our students visit companies when in residency at Purdue as well as during the international residencies. These visits include a tour of the facilities and an interactive discussion with senior management. Companies are chosen to reflect core concepts within the curriculum and/or key industries of the country visited. This approach gives additional context to the learning in the program and insights into the challenges faced by managers around the world. Companies visited include Bao Steel, American Axle, Boeing, Kidzania, Amazon, Subaru, Cook Biotech, Codelco, Salesforce, Concha y Toro, Philips and many more.

Typical Schedule of a One-Week EMBA Residency:
Sample EMBA Residency Schedule

EMBA Residency Schedule
Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.
7:30 - 8:30 Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
8:30 - 10:30 Leadership & MIS Leadership & MIS Leadership & MIS Company Visit Leadership & MIS Mergers & Acquisition
10:30-12:00 Leadership & MIS Leadership & MIS Leadership & MIS Company Visit Leadership & MIS Mergers & Acquisition
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1:00 - 2:30 Mergers & Acquisitions Mergers & Acquisitions Immersion Elective Immersion Elective Mergers & Acquisitions Mergers & Acquisitions
3:00-4:30 Mergers & Acquisitions Mergers & Acquisitions Immersion Elective Immersion Elective Career Mgmt. Travel Home
Evening Dinner Q & A With Guest Speaker Networking Reception with Proctor & Gamble Dinner


Accounting for Managers (3 credits)

Taught by Kevin Koharki

This course covers the basics of financial and managerial accounting. The course teaches participants how to record data in line with reporting requirements and how to analyze balance sheet information. The second part of the course will focus on how to interpret a company's internal methods of costing goods and services from a managerial perspective. A variety of manufacturing and service industries will be studied to provide insight into accounting systems that provide the best match for each company in terms of its field, competitive standing and multinational setting.

Business Analytics (3 credits)

Taught by Thomas Eppel

This course deals with the understanding and application of contemporary concepts and techniques for formulating, analyzing, and making decisions in the face of uncertainty. Techniques studied build on the fundamental concepts of probability, statistics and decision analysis with the objective of extracting decision information from data. Case studies and actual databases are used in conjunction with appropriate interactive software to develop and apply methodology for analyzing, modeling and solving management problems.

Marketing Management (3 credits)

Taught by Chad Allred

Marketing has been defined as "a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering and exchanging products of value with others." It is a business function that identifies unfulfilled needs and wants, defines and measures their magnitude, determines which target markets the organization can best serve, decides on appropriate products, services, and programs to serve these markets, and calls upon everyone in the organization to "think and serve the customer." The course is designed to give the participant the maximum involvement in the broad sweep of marketing activities, functions and problems. The main focus is on decision making within the context of marketing functions.

Managing Behavior in Organizations (3 credits)

Taught by David Schoorman

This course provides a solid foundation in (and overview of) the area of Organizational Behavior (OB), with particular emphasis on what practicing managers need to know about managing human capital in organizations. Specific topics include (but are not limited to) the importance of strategic and evidence-based approaches to managing and making decisions about human capital, promoting effective group and team dynamics, understanding and developing leadership in organizations, understanding and managing organizational culture and ethics, and managing organizational change.

Please note course offerings and faculty are subject to change.

Leadership (2 credits)

Taught by Brad Alge

Many leadership courses consider leadership to be a monolithic concept or simply a discernment between managers and leaders. In contrast, this course examines different leadership tracks that reflect the unique needs of functional managers and the executive managers. For the functional manager, we focus on relationship leadership which reflects their position and time demands in the organization. For executive managers, we also focus on strategic leadership which reflects their more senior position within the decision-making process.

Meet Associate Professor of Management Brad Alge and get an introduction to this course.

Managerial Economics (3 credits)

Taught by Kelly Blanchard

This course, a synthesis of micro and macro economics, develops a high level of knowledge regarding the contribution economic theories make to understanding the strategic behavior and the nature of economic organizations. An understanding of the economic fundamentals that drive efficiency, effectiveness and competitive advantage is essential for managers, particularly in turbulent times. The microeconomics portion of this course focuses on behavior in the marketplace studying consumers, produces, middlemen, price makers and price takers. The macroeconomics portion seeks to understand phenomena such as inflation, unemployment, interest rates, macroeconomic fluctuations, and government policies including taxes, government spending, deficits, and monetary policy.

Before the residency, you will learn the basics of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory by reading the assigned textbook chapters, viewing the provided lecture videos, and submitting your answers to four homework assignments. Our time on campus will be spent on advanced topics in discussions, class experiments, and case study analysis to study how current (but not new) economic conditions influence the kinds of business decisions you make. The primary objective of this class is for you to learn to think more like an economist. The specific topics that we cover are less important than the principles that guide how an economist views the world. The best way to learn to think like an economist is to practice.

Financial Management (3 credits)

Taught by Amanda Thompson

The content of the course is devoted to the two basic financial problems that all companies face: (1) On what should funds be spent (i.e., investment decisions)? and (2) From where should funds be obtained (i.e., financing decisions)? To understand how to make these decisions, we first establish a base in the art of financial modeling. Supporting topics are financial statement analysis, financial planning, stock and bond valuation, project analysis (i.e., capital budgeting), risk and return in capital markets.

In the second half of the course, we consider topics such as cost of capital, managing the corporation's capital structure (i.e., the debt vs. equity decision), and corporate valuation and payout policy.

Strategic Management (3 credits)

Taught by Rich Makadok

Strategic management is taught from the perspective of the general manager who is involved with managing an entire business unit. One of the most important ideas which will be developed in this course is that of competitive advantage. Competitive advantage has complex origins and cannot be sustainable unless its sources can be protected from duplication and imitation. The course focuses on the fundamental conditions that permit a firm to conceive, develop and sustain a superior strategic position. The course provides an opportunity to develop approaches to general management based on an integration of multi-functional and administrative perspectives. As the course develops, participants will practice the application of concepts, tools and approaches developed in the various readings and during the class discussions.

Please note course offerings and faculty are subject to change.

Operations Management (3 credits)

Taught by Olga Senicheva

Operations and supply chains are responsible for the bulk of the assets of a company and their deployment has a significant impact on performance. The first segment of this course focuses on operational choices for a single company. It will focus on firm level choices of capacity, inventory and lead time to optimize performance. The goal is to understand the impact of these choices on the system and to anticipate the impact of making changes. Example: operations discussed will include manufacturing and service systems, ranging from automobile and appliances to call centers, health care and banking. The second segment of the course will focus on managing supply chains i.e., collections of firms who jointly generate the product or service. It will focus on understanding the impact of network structure, levels of capacity, impact of forecast error and lead time, approaches to manage global procurement etc. In summary, the course will develop the capability to enhance competitiveness by improving the management of the operation or supply chain.

Mergers & Acquisitions (Functional Elective) (2 credits)

Taught by Jeffrey Reuer

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) from the perspective of the corporate executive. It is designed for all EMBA students regardless of background. Its goal is to cover key aspects of the M&A business process including corporate strategy, target selection and screening, valuation, deal negotiation and integration. We will focus on current M&A best practices including the key tools, techniques and trends embraced by modern deal makers. This knowledge will help students look behind the headlines of M&A transactions in the press and understand what is going on.

Negotiations in Organizations (Functional Elective) (2 credits)

Taught by Ben Dunford

This course is designed to give you a practical introduction to negotiation concepts and tactics. It is a skills class intended to inform your day-to-day work. Through a combination of methods including cases, experiential projects, discussions and lectures, this course will help you improve your ability to negotiate deals and manage employment relationships. The objectives of the course are to provide you with:

  • an ability to identify the practical issues involved in any negotiation situation;

  • an insight into your own strengths and weaknesses in these areas;

  • an opportunity to develop skills in negotiations;

  • an increased awareness and sensitivity to the challenges of managing relationships.​

Please note course offerings and faculty are subject to change.

Entrepreneurship (2 credits)

Taught by Tim Peoples

This course examines entrepreneurship with a focus on the start-up process for high-growth new ventures. In this context, the unique challenges of starting a firm and managing growth are considered and juxtaposed with running a more established firm. Cases will be used and students may conduct a feasibility analysis of a new venture concept.

Risk Management (2 credits)

Taught by Thomas Eppel

A key challenge for managers is dealing with risk, which means the probabilities related to success of different options. The two types of risk most commonly faced by managers are operational and financial risk. The course considers the different types of risk, ways to assess risk and develop options to mitigate the impact of risk on the company.

Immersion Elective (1 credit)

See our wide range of immersion elective offerings.

Please note course offerings and faculty are subject to change.

Active Learning Project (3 credits)

Lead by Dr. Aldas Kriauciunas

The Active Learning Projects (ALP) provides opportunities for students to combine prior knowledge and experience with classroom learning and apply it in an active business setting. In contrast to the immersion electives, the ALP client is provided to the student teams and the project focuses on helping a firm diagnose and resolve a critical business problem. The teams are guided by a project advisor to provide the most beneficial hands-on experience possible. Experience in solving problems for clients provides students with insights and new skills to address challenges in their home company.

Executive Presence and Influence (2 credits)

Taught by Kasie Roberson

The Wall Street Journal has reported that corporate MBA recruiters ranked communication skills as the most important attribute they considered when evaluating applicants. Being able to communicate effectively is a vital component to many aspects of business life. The course provides students the opportunity to develop and practice their own executive presence, which will elevate their ability to work effectively with colleagues, shareholders, board members and other stakeholders.

In the course, students will learn to adapt their communication style to varying audience needs and levels, heighten their own presentation style, and develop Level III listening skills and emotional intelligence mindsets needed for good communication and to be a successful business leader. This will be done through developing presentations, evaluating others and embracing a learning by doing approach.

Change Management (2 credits)

Taught by Ben Dunford

It is often said that change is one of the great constants of organizations. That has never been more true than in our dynamic business environment. In this course, we consider how managers can address both the people-side and systems-side of implementing change in organizations. Issues considered are selecting the order of change initiatives in organizations, choosing between faster or slower implementation, and considering the implications of top-down versus bottom-up approaches.

Immersion Elective (1 credit)

See our wide range of immersion elective offerings.

Please note course offerings and faculty are subject to change.

Global Strategy (2 credits)

Taught by Aldas Kriauciunas

This course provides an introduction regarding the business and strategy challenges faced by managers in our global economy, regardless of whether the firm is a small domestic company or a large multi-national firm. Major topics for the course include motivations and challenges of internationalization, international business fundamentals, foreign market entry strategies, organizing across countries, analyzing global industries, building competitive advantage in global industries, and the influence of culture and institutions. Given the link between geographic and product diversification, the course emphasizes mergers & acquisitions, alliances, and organic growth as venues for firm expansion.

Legal & Ethical Environments (2 credits)

Taught by Chief Justice Loretta Rush

The purpose of the course is to provide the student with an understanding of the legal environment as it pertains to business organizations and of the ethical considerations and social and political influences that affect such organizations. Students will examine a wide range of substantive rules of public law that will provide a framework for a discussion of the ways in which managerial decision making affects and is affected by the legal environment.

International Residency Special Topic (1 credit)

During Module 6, the cohort will travel to an international location chosen by the cohort from a list of options. To learn more about business approaches and principles in that country, the EMBA program will identify a topic and local faculty member for this course. For example, 'Business and Society' looked at the role of businesses in a European context - the expectations and opportunities and how that differs from other regions of the world. This approach provides an opportunity to understand business from a local expert's perspective.

Please note course offerings and faculty are subject to change.
Please note course offerings and faculty are subject to change.