Forward Focus MBA curriculum

Earn a groundbreaking MBA from America's most innovative university. In addition to the core functions you'd expect to learn in a top-ranked MBA program, the W. P. Carey Full-time MBA emphasizes leadership development and a broad range of tools that will help you steer any organization through uncertainty.

Learn how to apply data analytics to key business decisions, work with non-business ASU master's degree students on action-learning projects to build cross-functional skills, and develop design thinking and improvisation skills to help you manage ambiguity.

Because of the rapid rate of change across industries, the Forward Focus curriculum in the Full-time MBA is constantly re-examined to meet the needs of hiring companies. Ongoing development of a variety of MBA concentrations allows you to focus on specific industries and career paths and tailor your degree to your long-term professional goals.

The Forward Focus MBA curriculum features dynamic benchmark courses that are key differentiators from other programs:

  • Decision-making with Data Analytics
  • Self-transformation through Executive Connections
  • Intellectual Fusion Learning Labs

Full-time MBA core courses

Explores contemporary financial accounting and reporting systems, with an emphasis on the interpretation and evaluation of a company’s external financial reports.

Investigates concepts and applications of understanding people at work, including developing a positive organizational culture, making sound business decisions, motivating and influencing people, building successful teams, and leading organizational change.

Examines how strategic leaders create and maintain competitive advantage for their organizations through the formulation and implementation of business strategies, emphasizing the integration of decisions across various functional areas.

Analyzes fundamentals of quantitative analysis to aid managerial decision.

Evaluates the key skills necessary to identify a career path, explore career opportunities, and market oneself. Formulate a career action plan that includes resumes, cover letters, and interview preparation.

Teams you with senior executives to enhance leadership competencies through experiments in leadership and lunch and learn sessions, as well as coaching, mentoring, and career preparation outside of class.

Examines theories and practice of financial decision-making, including risk analysis, valuation, capital, budgeting, cost of capital, and working capital management.

Considers the complexities of the marketing function, including segmentation, targeting, and positioning; customer decision making; market and environmental analysis; marketing planning and strategy; and concept control vital to forging competitive success.

Applies microeconomics analysis to managerial decision-making at the firm level in areas of supply and demand, production, cost, and pricing.

Investigates managerial accounting strategic concepts, policies, and practices.

Develops an analytic framework to evaluate and assess the transformative effect digital innovations can have on an organization. Prepare to create coherent strategies for IT investments that balance the dual needs of operations enablement and business transformations.

Reviews conceptual foundations for operational and logistic functions for all types of organizations, and applies analytical methods to production problems.

Presents frameworks and approaches to consume and interpret results obtained from data analytics and equips you to recognize patterns in data and models, recommend actions, and implement necessary organizational changes. Readings and case studies address various decision-making dilemmas and challenges facing managers in an analytics-rich business environment.

Introduces the frameworks and tools conducive to the pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavors inside and outside a corporate environment. Integrating skills from strategy, finance, accounting, economics, and organizational behavior, topics include idea generation, opportunity assessment, business plan development, early stage funding avenues, and planning for the challenges of market entry and growth.

Builds the knowledge and skills necessary to excel at the art of negotiation by gaining experience in bargaining and negotiation. Through experiential learning — exercises, negotiation simulations, and negotiation-based cases — you will establish a fundamental understanding of what it takes to be an effective negotiator.

Develops your ability to communicate to multiple audiences, with training in presentation skills, public speaking, and writing, along with opportunities to practice your skills and receive peer and instructor feedback.

Applies macroeconomic analysis to managerial decision-making in areas of demand, production, cost, and pricing and evaluates competitive strategies with a global perspective.

Pairs MBA students with non-business ASU master’s degree students on action-learning projects that deliver cross-functional skills. Business doesn’t happen neatly between the clear-cut lines of traditional business school core courses. Business happens across all industries, disciplines, and economies.

Investigates the ethical components of business decisions and the role of business in society.

Prepares you to become more comfortable and skilled at dealing with ambiguous situations by building skills in design thinking, improvisation, super-flexibility, sense-making, rapid execution, and leading transformative change. Use experiential learning activities to experiment and recalibrate in real time, building immediate applied confidence and finesse.

Explores the formulation of strategy and policy in the organization, emphasizing the integration of decisions in functional areas.

Course schedule

Quarter one — begins in August

  • Financial Performance Reporting and Analysis: Financial Accounting
  • Leading People, Teams, and Organizations: Organizational Theory
  • Sources of Competitive Advantage I
  • Understanding Facts: Statistics for Managers
  • Self-discovery through Career Coaching
  • Self-transformation through Executive Connections

Quarter two — begins in October

  • The Art of Managing Resources to Create Value: Managerial Finance
  • Create and Deliver Customer Value: Marketing Management
  • Decisions, Market Structure, and Games: Managerial Economics
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management

Quarter three — begins in January

  • Decision-making with Data Analytics
  • Internal Measures of Success: Managerial Accounting
  • Digital Innovations and Transformation: Information Systems
  • Self-transformation through Executive Connections
  • Course in concentration or elective

Quarter four — begins in March

  • Going Out on Your Own: Entrepreneurship
  • Mastering the Art of Influence and Negotiations
  • Frontline to Boardroom Communication
  • Courses in concentration or elective


A mandatory internship and an optional global elective, both taken in the summer, complement your core classes and provide unforgettable new perspectives.

Quarter five — begins in August

  • Global Business Environments
  • Intellectual Fusion Learning Labs
  • Self-transformation through Executive Connections
  • Courses in concentration or elective

Quarter six — begins in October

  • Ethical Issues for Managers
  • Intellectual Fusion Learning Labs
  • Courses in concentration or elective

Quarter seven — begins in January

  • Future Forward Leadership
  • Self-transformation through Executive Connections
  • Courses in concentration or elective

Quarter eight — begins in March

  • Sources of Competitive Advantage II
  • Courses in concentration or elective