Executive MBA Program

SDSU EMBA: Designed to Fit Your Busy Life

We understand how busy your schedule can be. Therefore, the EMBA program courses are scheduled to make the most efficient use of your time.
Classes meet from 8am to 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, approximately every other week for 21 months.

View the calendar and sample class schedule for EMBA XXVII (pdf) or EMBA XXVIII (pdf).

Busy executives find this schedule is much more effective than weekly evening meetings. This concentrated schedule gives you ample time to work with faculty and fellow classmates, and provides you with the flexibility necessary to meet your other professional and personal commitments. You will be taking two courses at a time. One class meets in the morning and the other in the afternoon on both Friday and Saturday. A typical class schedule is shown below:

Time Class
8:00 a.m. – Noon Class I Session
Noon – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Class II Session

As you would expect, the EMBA program requires full participation in both class attendance and assigned work. Therefore, you will want to secure the support of your employer, your family, and the other important people in your life. You must be able to carve out the time and make the commitment to attend class meetings, and to meet the program's demands for preparation and outside work. The average student workload is 15 to 20 hours per week beyond the hours spent in class sessions, some of which is spent with your study group.

You will need to have access to a computer and should have a working knowledge of word processing, PowerPoint, and spreadsheet software packages. The EMBA classroom has wireless internet connections, and many of the students bring laptops to class.


The program curriculum offers an integrated blend of theory and practice, and provides a general management emphasis well-suited to your needs as a mid-career executive. Courses are structured sequentially so that faculty can build upon the concepts and skills presented in preceding courses. Teaching methodologies vary with subject matter and may include classroom lectures, outside reading, case discussions, simulations, and individual and small group projects. Many course assignments allow you to immediately apply concepts to situations in your own organizations.

A total of 48 units of course work is required for the degree. First-year courses develop a solid foundation in traditional business disciplines and introduce you to the core principles. Second-year course work creates an awareness of the environments in which businesses operate, provides a comprehensive understanding of organizations, develops the skills essential to working successfully with people in organizations, and provides a strategic context for business decision making.

Program Level Goals and Degree Learning Outcomes

The College of Business Administration is committed to student learning and considers it our highest priority as per our college mission statement. To accomplish our mission the CBA has worked diligently to develop a culture of assessment.

Assessment activities occur throughout the college for all programs, including the Executive MBA program (EMBA).

The CBA's assurance of learning/assessment efforts have been lauded at the university-level (SDSU), the CSU level, and by the AACSB.

Executive MBA Program Level Goals and Degree Learning Outcomes (pdf)

First Year

Fall Term

This course focuses on the role of the manager in designing an effective organization. Students develop a knowledge base as well as practical skills for analyzing, managing, and understanding themselves and their employees. Papers and projects apply and integrate course material on topics such as group dynamics, organizational change, human resource management, and motivation.

The course provides an introduction to business analytics and quantitative methods for problem-solving and decision-making in business, focusing on applications of various tools through the use of data collection, statistical analysis, and systematic approaches. Topics include statistical tools, procedures, and macros for business management, quality management, and statistical process control.

In this course, students should be able to explain how business transactions affect financial accounting reports, as well as read and analyze financial accounting reports for economic decision-making purposes. In this regard, students' master the ability to draft, interpret and analyze financial statements using simulated cases and today’s business headlines. There is a managerial emphasis that is practiced by applying course information to daily executive decision-making in an interactive classroom environment.

This seminar introduces students to the theoretical and practical skills of negotiating in both integrative and competitive environments. Various techniques will be examined and practiced through the use of diverse real life case studies and simulations. The course is designed to engage, challenge and instill confidence in the application of these techniques in any negotiation forum.

Spring Term

The course examines the managerial process associated with the identification, understanding, and resolution of marketing issues in modern organizations. Relevant theoretical and quantitative tools are addressed within a decision-making framework that places the marketing function at the center of an organization’s strategic direction. Topics include market analysis, consumer behavior, marketing research, product planning, pricing, promotion, distribution, and global marketing.

This course provides a framework for competitive analysis of unregulated product markets in the domestic and global economy. This framework will address the following three questions: What are the competitive “forces” in such product markets? What impact do these forces have on the economic profits, rates of return, and relative market shares of the business firms that operate in these markets? And how should a firm “deal” with these forces so as to enhance its long run economic profitability?

In this course, students learn to use financial and nonfinancial information to evaluate business strategy; perform cost-volume-profit analysis, job costing, and activity-based costing; assess business unit and customer profitability; and apply management accounting tools and techniques to enterprise risk management.

This two-part course presents legal and ethical perspectives on business. Business law covers contracts, intellectual property, employment hiring, torts and discrimination, business organizations, and agency relationships. Business ethics examines analytical ethical frameworks and their application to key business issues, the shareholder primacy versus stakeholder debate, and the moral responsibilities of corporations. Students learn to evaluate business behavior according to legal, ethical, and economic criteria.

Summer Term

The course develops skills to help you understand and measure the global economic environment. It illustrates the impact of the financial environment on the decision-making processes of business managers. It offers you theories to structure your understanding of macroeconomics, government policies, and international finance, especially as reported by the business press.

The course examines the entrepreneurial approach to business by exploring concepts, theories, and techniques for recognizing and acting on viable business opportunities. Students will examine the complexities of starting and managing growth-oriented ventures, and discuss sources of financing and accessing equity capital. Students will also be exposed to the personal types of challenges entrepreneurs face in building momentum and support for their new business ideas.

Second Year

Fall Term

This course provides a comprehensive view on the design, execution, and management of operations and supply chains (OSCM). Topics include OSCM strategies, demand management, process design and analysis, network configuration, strategic sourcing and supplier relationships, inventory management, lean six sigma, project planning, and logistics and channel management. Global impacts and the sustainability issues are integrated in various topics.
The course explores the nature of the corporate finance function, provides a shareholder value-based framework for financial decision-making, and examines the balance between finance, marketing and operating decisions. A case study approach is used to explore topics including financial analysis and planning; capital structure; and capital budgeting decisions.
The course highlights the analysis and solutions of managerial problems from the viewpoint of top managers and, thus, challenges students to adopt a long-term and multifunctional perspective of organizations and their environment. To achieve this objective, the course introduces students to strategic management frameworks and techniques through a mixture of in-depth discussions, case analyses, and lectures.
The course examines theoretical and empirical literature pertaining to the study and assessment of leadership skills and, more specifically, looks at the role of leaders in forging new strategic directions, implementing and managing change, motivating a diverse workforce, and competing in a global economy. It establishes a non-threatening environment in which students examine their own leadership capabilities, receive feedback from others, and develop action plans for improvement.

Spring Term

This course focuses on the development, implementation, and evaluation of marketing strategy and planning in organizations. Topics include the role of marketing planning, contributions and implications of marketing to corporate strategy, external and internal analyses, strategic planning tools, competitive analysis and sources of competitive advantage, growth strategies, and strategies for creating customer value and retention.
This course examines the corporate governance triad that controls the modern corporation: executives, directors, and shareholders. It explores the history of the complex inter-relationships among these three players and details the current legal, business, and social trends that mold 21st-century corporate governance in the U.S. Students also examine the frameworks that distinguish corporate governance systems worldwide.

This course focuses on the challenges and opportunities associated with organizational management and business strategy in the global environment. Its main objective is to increase awareness and understanding of the issues involved in conducting business abroad and to develop skills in understanding international management problems and solutions through lectures, case analysis and a hands-on consulting project. The course is intended to be a challenging advanced management course wherein students will be asked to integrate and apply knowledge they have gained from other business core courses including marketing, strategic management, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

The capstone course develops an integrative Entrepreneurial Value Based Management Framework for start-ups comprising three key drivers: market opportunity, competitive position, and deal structure. These three drivers interact to create value for founders and investors in a venture and the success of the venture depends on the degree of fit between these key drivers. The class lectures and case analyses are designed to deepen the understanding and application of this framework. Additionally, the course will also use comprehensive cases evaluating the impact of key management decisions on organization performance.


"The EMBA program is a perfect fit for my busy lifestyle, balancing both my career and family life. I have found the level of instruction to be very high and the faculty members possess immense knowledge of the subject matter and a sheer joy for teaching. Furthermore, my fellow classmates add a wealth of information with their diverse backgrounds. I look forward to the educational adventures on which we will embark together."

Timothy Todd Simmons
Executive Director
New Orleans Opera Association
EMBA XVIII Graduate, 2009