Executive MBA

Focused Areas of Study

To augment our time-honored general management program, the Executive MBA Program offers focused areas of elective study. Students who wish to follow a focused area of study can choose to take elective courses in one key area of business: capital markets, corporate finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, strategy, or leadership and management. Focused areas of study, however, are not required, and students have the freedom to pick electives from different subject areas (e.g., taking corporate finance and entrepreneurship elective courses).

A focused area of study will help you develop additional frameworks to enhance or complement the general management curriculum. It will be useful for students who are interested in taking their careers in a new direction. 

  • Capital markets will prepare you to make decisions in financial markets. What determines stock and bond prices? How do you evaluate a fund manager? What financial risks carry big rewards, and how should an investor allocate his or her portfolio to take advantage of them? This track focuses on financial issues facing investors, portfolio managers, and hedge funds.
  • Corporate finance will prepare you at the business level. Should a company buy or build? Should they borrow money or issue stock? Should they hedge costs, and if so, how? How should mergers or acquisitions be financed? This track focuses on the financial decisions that CFOs, CEOs, and entrepreneurs need to make in order to successfully finance a business.
  • Entrepreneurship is critical, whether you are starting a company from scratch, launching a new division in an established organization, or seeking to invest in new ventures. Entrepreneurial skills are crucial to identifying and evaluating the factors that will make your undertaking a success. As organizations become leaner, more global, and more resource-constrained, the need to be flexible and adapt quickly to change is increasingly important across all business segments. Chicago Booth's cutting-edge entrepreneurship curriculum integrates all business areas including marketing, finance, operations, and strategy. Students get the practical tools needed to start, finance, and manage their own business, or to embark on a career in private equity. No matter what your career path, you will benefit from entrepreneurial skills such as prioritizing resources, critical evaluation of new business or growth opportunities, building and motivating a team, understanding the customer, accessing capital, and assuring profitable growth.
  • Marketing is crucial to any business. It involves understanding customers and competitors, setting strategy, developing products, delivering value to customers, and managing relationships. It focuses on discovering and exploiting new opportunities and aspires to create loyal customers and strong brands.  Chicago Booth is at the forefront of preparing students to succeed and lead in the changing marketing environment. Future marketers must be strategic, analytical, and decisive; able to lead teams across the organization; able to measure the profitability of marketing actions; and able to sell their ideas - all in the face of rapid change and global competition. The Chicago Approach™ to disciplined thinking equips you with skills that stand the test of time. We teach not only the latest innovations in marketing, but also provide solid grounding in fundamental disciplines like psychology, economics, and statistics, so you are prepared to face new challenges that emerge.
  • Strategy problems managers face are typically ambiguous and do not lend themselves readily to solutions using formulae or models. Strategic management helps students understand the practical realities behind organizational decision making. Strategic management solutions are required to answer questions like: What products should you make? Which markets should you enter? What type of organization should you build? How should you respond to competitors’ behavior? Which operations should you outsource? Chicago Booth emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach involving psychology, sociology, and economics to develop analytical frameworks that examine the strategic issues managers face. This three-pronged approach provides an understanding of how managers employ the formal and informal relationships that exist between firms in an industry, and devise solutions to the externally focused questions facing a company. The strategy track builds the skills needed to formulate and implement an organization’s key strategies, the results of which will shape the structure and functioning of your firm.  
  • Leadership and management gurus know that the view from the top starts at the bottom, with an understanding of the fundamental disciplines that underlie business. Chicago Booth's focus on the fundamentals and not the fads has produced leaders worldwide, nearly 5,000 of whom are CEOs or other top company officers. The leadership and management track reinforces your ability to think through unique problems, make sound decisions, and be an effective leader. You will be introduced to conceptual models, tactical approaches, and self-assessment exercises to help you learn different methods of influence. You will learn how to design an innovative organization, practice advanced negotiation skills, and develop and leverage professional networks. You won’t just see the big picture - you’ll shape it yourself.

For more information please contact your admissions office.