With a new academic year underway, we wanted to share some of the innovative courses and curriculum developments at Chicago Booth for 2019/20. As part of his vision for the school, Dean Madhav Rajan wanted to infuse more diverse topics and perspectives into the classwork. Booth has always fostered an environment where different points of view are valued as a road to progression. This year shows evidence of these long-held beliefs coupled with pioneering shifts in elective themes and other major curricular advancements.
By design, faculty at Booth have a lot of autonomy to set their own coursework. Instead of going through a committee that requires buy-in, a professor can move forward with the approval of one other faculty member. That sort of “living curriculum” allows faculty to be more nimble and facilitates the ability to offer bold, cutting-edge coursework.
So what are some of the most notable updates to the curriculum this year?
Leadership Curriculum Enhancements
A suite of leadership courses, headed up by the Harry Davis Center for Leadership, provides a supportive community of professional coaches and facilitators to focus on tailored personal development and learning from experience through experimentation and observation. The courses range from a Leadership Practicum that builds more traditional skillsets such as developing credibility, coaching others, and communicating a shared vision, to the Leadership Studio, which will take students into a rehearsal hall and fieldwork to explore various ways of deploying authentic leadership qualities.
In a similar vein, the Arts Leadership course looks at how to effectively run an arts organization like the SMART museum, MCA, and the Joffrey theater. These institutions must adapt rapidly and emphatically if they are to thrive in today’s ever-changing cultural ecosystem. The class examines best current practices in the not-for-profit arts sector and explores radical approaches that may be necessary for the future of creative innovation.
Women in Business
A course on women as entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, private equity executives, investors, and board members will examine the world of entrepreneurship and VC/PE from the contemporary lens and perspective of women. The goal of the course is to provide candid insight and purview into the personal and professional lives of leading women executives in the space, and to examine what has helped catapult or impede their ability to lead organizations worldwide.
Social Enterprise and Innovation
This summer, students took a course called Social Sector Strategy and Structure that studies how strategy and structure not only drive each other, but can obstruct or foster success in the social sector. The class uses cases and exercises to unpack key topics around management and strategy development in this particular space.
Slated for the Winter Quarter, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation will focus on the role of social entrepreneurship for developing and scaling innovative solutions to society’s problems. Students will go through an in-depth customer discovery process including analyzing the competitive landscape, creating go-to-market strategies, and proposing a business model. The expectation is that many of the teams will proceed to the Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC) in the Spring Quarter in hopes of winning seed funding to support the launch of their business idea.
STEM Eligibility Options
In addition to the masters program in Computer Science, which Booth students can do as the MBA/MPCS joint degree, we have introduced STEM eligibility to two of our concentrations: Business Analytics and Analytic Finance. Both are designated STEM-eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) purposes. That means international graduates on F-1 student visas who earn these concentrations may be eligible to apply for an additional 24 months of training through work experience.
Accelerated JD/MBA (3 years)
A new accelerated version of the University of Chicago's JD and MBA joint degree will allow students the flexibility to complete the two programs in just three years. Through a curriculum that spans both institutions, students maximize their coursework across schools as well as leadership development, student activities, and career support. The fully integrated experience places students at the intersection of legal and business expertise, incorporating the distinct flexibility and interdisciplinary strengths of both Chicago Booth and UChicago Law School.
This is just a glimpse of what’s new and exciting at Chicago Booth. See our full list of courses and discover more ways Booth’s flexible curriculum empowers students to turn insights into action through a multidisciplinary approach to business education. Read more »