Courses - Master of Business Administration

The goal of the online MBA is to give you the decision-making tools to communicate, solve problems, and develop strategies across all functional areas of business. The online MBA curriculum focuses on the integral knowledge required to develop managers with the fundamental skills needed to be successful in high-performance organizations.

Operate at a Strategic Level

Penn State Graduate School faculty developed a curriculum relevant to today's competitive business environment. In the MBA courses you will integrate cross-functional skills across 6 business themes; upon leaving the program you should be able to evaluate and solve problems from multiple perspectives, making you more effective in your current role and preparing you for greater management responsibility.

The business themes are derived from the values and concepts found in the Criteria for Performance Excellence of the Baldrige National Quality Program and include:

  • leadership
  • strategic planning
  • customer and market
  • information and analysis
  • human resources
  • process management 

A Typical iMBA Course

As a student in the iMBA program, you will be able to work through the course content at a time and place that are convenient for you. Typically, a course is divided into lessons, with one lesson being assigned per week. You will be responsible for meeting due dates for activities assigned in any lesson. Sometimes an activity requires that you schedule times for team-based work during the week.

During each weekly lesson you will read the online material and possibly complete team and individual assignments. Individual assignments may include participating in a discussion through the course message board, reading assigned pages from a text or electronic reserve articles, answering questions and submitting them through the course drop box, and taking an online quiz. Team assignments may include the completion of a team project, writing a team paper, and discussing a case. Each course has a syllabus that contains an overview of the course and a list of all the assignments and their due dates.

Each course has an experienced faculty instructor to guide the learning process. Your instructor will be available for any questions you have. After an assignment has been received, it will be graded, and the feedback will be shared with you. Your instructor may provide feedback via surface mail, email, instant messaging, or an online grade book.

Create a Network of Professionals

In addition to the online courses, two residency experiences, of one week each, enhance the integrative focus of the online MBA curriculum and provide additional opportunities to interact with persons from a wide range of professional backgrounds. Both the online courses and the on-site experiences are highly interactive and collaborative, allowing you to build strong ties with others and gain perspectives from other disciplines and industries.

Apply Your Knowledge Right Away

Along with a flexible schedule, earning your MBA degree online while you continue to work full-time offers the unique advantage of applying knowledge as you learn. As a student in the iMBA program, you can apply course concepts in your job immediately. This practical application improves the learning experience and allows you to provide value to your employer each day. Also, you'll have access to your network of peers throughout the program, which may help you in tackling the challenges you face at work.

Convenient Online Delivery and Group Interaction

Penn State faculty have teamed up with professionals to provide you with a quality online distance education experience. Interaction is integral to effective online learning and critical to the focus of the online MBA program. Group work and team interactions are accomplished through a variety of technologies that enhance content and facilitate learning. Communication tools and applications include bulletin boards, email, listservs, chat, and web conferencing.