Focus Area Specializations

Global Challenges in Business

Global Business Horizons – MBA 546

  • Illinois Component: This course focuses on understanding subsistence marketplaces and designing business solutions for the billions of people living in poverty in the global marketplace. To develop understanding of subsistence marketplaces, we use exercises to enable participants to view the world from the eyes of subsistence consumers and entrepreneurs, facilitate bottom-up understanding generated by participants, and provide insights from extensive research
  • Coursera Components: Sustainable Innovation for Subsistence Marketplaces and Sustainable Business Enterprises
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Global Marketing – MBA 547

  • Illinois Component: Enables students to understand how globalization changes consumers at a psychological level, and provides tools for imbuing brands with cultural meanings that can resonate with global consumers. Examines the ethical bases of corporate decision making using critical ethical analysis, educate and create sensitivity about ethical issues in business.
  • Coursera Components: Global Marketing: Cultural Frameworks and Global Marketing: Building Iconic Brands 
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Global Strategy – MBA 548

Focus Area Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

Entrepreneurship and Strategic Innovation

Strategic Innovation – MBA 551

Fostering Creative Thinking – MBA 552

Entrepreneurship: From Startup to Growth – MBA 553

  • Illinois Component: Provides an understanding of the rich diversity of challenges that confront those creating new enterprises. Students will learn about managing growth while considering business models and cash issues, building the team with organizational and managerial issues.
  • Coursera Components: Entrepreneurship I: Laying the Foundation and Entrepreneurship II: Preparing for Launch
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Focus Area Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Analytics – MBA 542

Digital Media and Marketing – MBA 543

Marketing in Our New Digital World – MBA 545

  • Illinois Component: This course will explore the new digital realm in two parts. First, this course will explore how the digital revolution has affected our analog world. Second, this course will review the foundations of marketing, including customer co-creation, user-generated content, and 3D Printing.
  • Coursera Component:  The Digital Marketing Revolution and Marketing in a Digital World
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Focus Area Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

Business Analytics

There is no capstone for the Business Analytics focus area.

Introduction to Business Analytics with R – MBA 561 

  • Illinois Component: MBA 561 welcomes you to the world of business analytics by firstly exploring examples of how data analytics has improved business outcomes for large and small organizations. The course then continues by introducing you a powerful data analytic language, R, and RStudio, the integrated development environment (IDE) to code with R. You will be also introduced to notebooks, and dashboards, with which you can learn to communicate code and analytic results with other people. You will also learn some data manipulation skills to prepare your data so that they can be analyzed with visualizations and machine learning algorithms.
  • Coursera Components:Introduction to Business Analytics with R 
  • 2 Credit Hours; 4 Weeks in Length

Introduction to Business Analytics: Communicating with Data – MBA 562 

Data Toolkit: Business Data Modeling and Predictive Analytics – MBA 563 

  • Illinois Component: The emphasis of this course is placed on developing a business analytic mindset. You will then be exposed to various tools to perform tasks including extracting, transforming and loading (ETL) data to conduct exploratory data analytics (EDA). These tools are Power BI, R, and Alteryx. In addition, you will learn different machine learning algorithms but also develop the ability to evaluate and select the right algorithms for the right circumstances and use Notebooks to communicate results with others.  Please note, Because Power BI and Alteryx are only built to run on a Windows operating system, you will need to either have access to a Windows machine, or install additional software, such as Virtual Box, so that you can emulate a Windows operating system on your Mac or Linux operating system. 
  • Coursera Components: Tools for Exploratory Data Analysis in Business and Machine Learning Algorithms with R in Business Analytics 
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Applying Analytics Across Business Functions – MBA 564 Special Topics 1

  • Illinois Component: This course will focus on marketing analytics techniques and how to apply them in real-world situations. Students will learn various techniques to assess customer satisfaction.
  • Coursera Components: Applying Data Analytics in Marketing

Applying Analytics Across Business Functions – MBA 564 Special Topics 2

  • Illinois Component: This course explores business analytic applications in accounting. Students will understand analytic issues and topics in accounting, conduct audit and control testing tasks using Alteryx and R, and examine robot process automation.
  • Coursera Components: Applying Data Analytics in Accounting

Mergers and Acquisitions

This focus area will not have a capstone opportunity. It is strongly recommended to complete Finance of Mergers & Acquisitions before completing Accounting for Mergers & Acquisitions and Other Complex Transactions. Both courses must be completed before completing Application of Investment Banking Concepts; a formal pre-requisite will be enforced. In order to be successful in this specialization, it is critical to have the appropriate basic knowledge of statistics, corporate finance and financial accounting. Completing FIN 584 and ACCY 500 before beginning this specialization will set you up for the best path to success.

Finance of Mergers and Acquisitions – FIN 572

Investment Banking Concepts – FIN 573

  • Illinois Component: In this course, you will be working on a real-life investment banking case assignment, and create a pitch book that simulates the work product that a Wall Street investment banking firm would deliver to a global client. Prior to beginning this course, you must complete Finance of Mergers & Acquisitions and Accounting for Mergers & Acquisitions and Other Complex Transactions; a formal pre-requisite will be enforced.
  • Coursera Component: Investment Banking: Financial Analysis and Valuation and Investment Banking: M&A and Initial Public Offerings
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Mergers and Acquisitions and Other Complex Transactions – ACCY 532

  • Illinois Component: This course will increase your sophistication as a user of financial information by enhancing your ability to penetrate the complexity of intricate organizational architectures and to gain deeper insight into an organization’s business model, strategy, and performance. It is strongly recommended to complete Finance of Mergers & Acquisitions before beginning this course.
  • Coursera Components:Accounting for Mergers and Acquisitions: Foundations and Accounting for Mergers and Acquisitions: Advanced Topics
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Program Capstone

Program Capstone – MBA 591

  • 0 Credit Hours; 4 Weeks in Length


Students may take 12 elective credit hours that can be applied to their degree to satisfy one of the two focus area specialization requirement. Elective courses do not have capstones or certificates associated with their completion.

ACCY 531 – Financial Statement Analysis for MBAs
Prerequisite: ACCY 500

ACCY 574 – Risk Management and Innovation

  • Illinois Component: Course content focuses on identifying and quantifying risks, and balancing between achieving consistent, measurable outcomes and delivering stakeholder-driven objectives.
  • Coursera Components: Empathy, Data, and Risk and Empathy and Data in Risk Management
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

BADM 589 – Project Management

  • Illinois Component: Master techniques and tools used by project managers, identify critical behavior required of teams for managing projects, and be aware of potential conflicts and problems that can occur during a project’s lifestyle.
  • Coursera Component: Project Initiation & Planning and Project Execution & Control
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

MBA 565 – Infonomics

  • Illinois Component: This course provides a non-technical perspective on and methods for monetizing, managing, and measuring information as if it were any other kind of corporate asset.
  • Coursera Component: Infonomics I and Infonomics II
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length