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CU Executive MBA Class Profile

Average age: 38 years

Average work experience: 16 years

Masters degree or above: 17%

CU Executive MBA Class Profile (pt.2)

Undergraduate Degree:

36% technical/engineering

33% liberal arts

31% business

National Recognition

The University of Colorado has a national reputation for excellence and is the largest university in the Rocky Mountain region.

National Recognition (pt.2)

The program is offered by CU's three business schools, which are ranked among the nation's top 20 percent. All three schools have earned AACSB accreditation – the most rigorous available.

Alumni Network

Executive MBA graduates belong to a special alumni group that sponsors continuing education and social programs.

Alumni Network (pt.2)

The Executive MBA alumni network provides an invaluable group of advisors and contacts throughout your career.

Executive-Level Service and Convenience

Program staff handle all the details so you can focus on academics. Downtown Denver classroom facilities resemble a technologically advanced boardroom.

Executive-Level Service and Convenience (pt.2)

You can complete the Executive MBA in less than two years. Class schedules minimize work disruption by meeting one full day a week, on alternating Fridays and Saturdays.

International Component

CU's Executive MBA Program recognizes the imperative of global business understanding by integrating global ceconomy issues throughout the second-year curriculum

International Component (pt.2)

Because there is no substitute for first-hand experience, the program also includes a nine-day educational trip to an international business center

Sponsorship Cost Data

Paid by participant's organization: 45%

Shared by participant and the organization: 30%

Paid by participant: 25%

Home > Academics > Curriculum > Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Transition to Learning
The Executive MBA (EMBA) has developed resources to help individuals successfully transition into the program.  In early summer, incoming students receive access to a set of online courses that covers the basic skills in financial accounting, introduction to finance, introduction to statistics, and basic mathematics.  From late August to early September, students also can attend optional EMBA prep-class sessions in financial accounting, statistics, writing and communications, and mathematics.  These online courses and review class sessions are included as part of the EMBA tuition and are scheduled in conjunction with the EMBA orientation.

The two-day orientation at the start of the program introduces students to the EMBA curriculum, faculty, and classmates.  Study groups are created in advance, and during orientation an expert in team dynamics provides guidance and resources to help the groups build high-performance teams.  The EMBA orientation is the introduction to the Executive MBA program and includes important information to help students succeed in the program; therefore, attendance at the EMBA orientation is required. 

Discovering the Leader in You  (3.0)
Examines what it will take to succeed personally and organizationally in fast-changing business environments.  The course includes personal assessment and feedback of one's preferences, temperament, personality type, and managerial style in order to be able to capitalize on one's strengths.   A second focus is on organizational issues related to multiple generations in the workforce, performance management, and succession planning.  For this course, the CU EMBA and the Center for Creative Leadership partner to provide a focus on leadership and expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations.

Preparing and Interpreting Financial Reports  (3.0)
Examines the accounting and reporting procedures underlying financial statements issued by business enterprises.  This examination is based primarily on the various rules and guidelines defined as generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Analytical Decision-Making Skills  (1.5)
Focuses on applying inferential statistics (estimation and hypothesis testing) and using statistical models such as regression analysis for decision-making.  Emphasizes the application of statistical tools to identify systematic patterns in large data sets.  Also uses graphical displays and other communication channels to present results to business managers without statistical backgrounds.

Managerial Economics for Business Decisions  (1.5)
Addresses profit-maximization, supply and demand, demand elasticity, the estimation of production and cost, and pricing and output decisions for making effective business decisions.  

Introduction to Business Strategy  (1.5)
Introduces students to business strategy topics as preparation for understanding strategic applications. 

Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility  (1.5)
Emphasizes how socially responsible companies consider the perspectives of multiple stakeholders balancing goodwill and optimizing profit for the business.  Explores development of sustainable business strategies that address social and environment issues.  Various ethical theories are applied to a variety of business situations.

Managing Operations, Business Design and Processes  (3.0)
Examines how organizations use productivity, quality, timeliness, and flexibility to improve efficiency and operating performance; also examines the importance of integrating the marketing and operations functions.  Emphasizes supply chain management, lean operations, innovation, and product design to improve competitiveness, operating performance, and efficiency.

Marketing Strategy and Innovation  (3.0)
Provides an overview of current marketing theories and concepts including product, price, place, and promotion considerations used in formulating marketing strategies.  Develops skills and understanding in conducting marketing research, analyzing marketing opportunities and threats, identifying and analyzing competition, and formulating and evaluating marketing plans. 

Managerial Finance  (3.0)
Develops the skills to address financial implications of major business decisions.  Provides an overview of corporate finance, analysis of financial statements, financial planning, capital-investment decisions, as well as capital structure and cost-of-capital considerations. 

Strategic Cost Management and Control  (1.5)
Emphasizes how managers use cost data to support decision making. Addresses cost-volume-profit analysis and profit planning, activity based costing, business models, and value-chain analysis.  Also includes the role of accounting in financial planning and modeling.

Entrepreneurship and Business Planning  (1.5)
Covers planning a business from inception, including financial planning, product planning, market definition, creating a team, organizing, the "elevator pitch," and the investor presentation.  Explores funding sources and the techniques and skills needed to obtain funding.  

Interpreting the Economic Environment  (3.0)
Provides an overview of economic activity, factors that determine levels of income and prices, and economic policies as they relate to unemployment, inflation, and economic growth.  Studies the structure and operation of the economy. Topics include national income, employment, inflation, and the rate of economic growth. International economics and the economic impact of globalization are examined. The application of monetary and fiscal policies in solving economic problems is considered in depth. 

Power, Negotiation, and Conflict Resolution  (3.0)
Addresses the strategies and tactics of negotiations in a variety of contexts.  Also covers the sources, uses, and misuses of executive power in organizations, and alternative strategies for managing conflict effectively.

Current Topics in Business  (1.5)
Examines emerging topics relevant for business decision-making.  Investigates issues currently faced by executives. 

Financial Strategy and Valuation  (3.0)
Emphasizes financial decision-making and the formation of financial strategies that will maintain and enhance business value.  Includes preparing financial planning, managing growth, conducting capital project analyses, and estimating the value of businesses using discounted cash flow and multiples-based methods.

Information Technology and Strategy  (3.0)
Focuses on the management of information as a resource and on the identification of opportunities to exploit its potential for competitive advantage. Examines current issues and trends surrounding the management of information and related technologies, and addresses why and how these new technologies can be used to shape and support strategic initiatives. 

Sustainable Business Practice  (1.5)
Sustainable business "meets the needs of the present world without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (U.N. General Assembly, 1987).  Sustainable business is concerned with the triple bottom line - people, planet, and profits - and is global in scope.  This course will introduce students to the broad perspectives of globalization, international business, and sustainability. 

Executive-Level Business Strategy  (1.5)
Integrates the knowledge gained in earlier courses. Emphasizes experiences in creating new strategic directions within large and small companies from the perspective of the general manager/CEO/COO. Focuses on performing the research necessary to understand a company's current state; where to find alternative strategies to select from; and how to decide which strategies are the best ones to implement.

Transitioning from Functional to Executive Level Leadership  (1.5)
How to think from an executive-level perspective and how to achieve a high level of performance and morale from people, teams, and organizations.  Emphasizes the development of skills in becoming an executive leader adept at managing change and transforming organizations.    

Executive Leadership in the Global Enterprise  (1.5)
Under the academic guidance of a faculty member, this course will include live cases presented by current or retired CEOs.  An important feature of the course learning experience for each student will be the formulation of an individual development plan that will focus on key elements of executive leadership.

Managing in a Global Economy  (3.0)
Examines how social, economic, political, and legal aspects of countries and regions affect marketing and management decisions.  Explores strategies for entering new international markets, and establishment and management of international operations and trade.

The Global Business Experience  (3.0)
Integrates theory and practice through a first-hand examination of the global business environment while participating on a nine-day international business trip (outlined below).  This experiential course travels to international business centers where students visit a diverse set of companies, interact directly with executives and senior managers, and/or meet with government leaders in the host countries.


Lynette Stephens
You're learning all of these things; your perspective is changing; your knowledge base is deepening; there's just no way around the fact that you're going to be a more robust asset.

— Lynnette Stephens

COO, Major Medical Supply

Executive MBA Class of 2009

Brian Good
This has given me a much broader understanding of finance, the way that we set water rates, why we issue bonds at certain times based on market conditions and the economy, and given just a much better overall perspective of what it means to be a leader in this field.

— Brian Good

Director of Operations, Denver Water

Executive MBA Class of 2009

Bob Sztukowski
There is no other class on campus that these instructors would rather teach than the EMBA program, and they actually compete to be able to teach this program. They know their topic, and they are able to teach it with such a degree of energy and excitement that really gets you engaged.

— Bob Sztukowski

Executive MBA Student

Cindy Brown
I literally in class would pull up my business' QuickBooks accounting system ... so I was applying it instantaneously.

— Cindy Brown

CEO, Blue Moon Works

Executive MBA Class of 2005

I will, from personal experience, tell you that it's one of the best things that you can do not only personally but career wise. You'll come out of this with more options than you ever imagined.

— A.J. Workman

VP Sales, Blue Moon Works

Executive MBA Class of 2005

Richard Wobbekind
Between the group settings and the interactions in class, it is very common that students will tell you they are learning a tremendous amount from other students in the class … we're structuring the program trying to get that interaction.

— Richard L. Wobbekind

Associate Dean, MBA and Executive Programs

Professor of Finance

The small study group experience provided me an opportunity to explore and appreciate diversity in a collaborative environment.  As the Director of Space Systems Program Operations, I implemented this model in a corporate structure when building the operations team to oversee and improve space sensor production performance. The result was a highly creative, effective team and a reduction in overall cycle time and workmanship defects.

— Laryssa Densmore

Director of Space Systems Program Operations, Raytheon Company

EMBA Class of 2000

On entering the program I knew that I would gain great value from the financial analysis and accounting classes. One big surprise though was the great practical benefits I obtained from other courses. Halfway through this class, I basically recovered the financial investment in the program by applying a few key marketing principles at my company.

— Everod (Eveready) Samuel

President, Samuel Engineering Inc.

Executive MBA Class of 2002

The CU Executive MBA program was a lot more rigorous, fulfilling, and rich in content than a traditional MBA. There was just no comparison. All of my classmates were intent on getting their education, developing professionally, and opening up new opportunities. After completing the program I took advantage of CU’s dual-degree option to complete a second master’s degree in finance. With the Executive MBA as my core, I was largely able to design my own program.

—Derek Figueroa

Chief Financial Officer, Seattle Fish Company, Denver, Colorado

The most valuable aspect of the program was the confidence it gave me in the leadership of my division. It was great to work with and learn from professors who are active in the 'real world' and well respected across the world.

— Tina J. Valdez

International Chief Information Officer, Vice President Hosted Technology, TeleTech