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Carroll School of Management Graduate Programs

Specializations

The completion of a specialization is required of all full-time MBA students. Specializations are designed to allow students to develop depth and expertise in a functional or interdisciplinary business area. Specializations require a minimum of 6 elective courses. Depending upon the specialization, students may be asked to fulfill a competency requirement. Students with questions regarding Specialization requirements should contact the appropriate specialization adviser (notated within the Required Courses sections below).

Evening students are not required to complete a specialization. Evening students may complete a concentration if desired.

Concentrations, also open to full-time MBA students, are designed to provide a shorter concentrated educational experience for students. To complete a concentration students must complete 3 courses listed as Required for a specialization.  For example, students wishing to have a concentration in Corporate Finance would need to complete the following:
MF801/MFIN8801 Investments
MF807/MFIN8807 Corporate Finance
MF808/MFIN8808 Financial Policy

Evening MBA students with questions regarding Concentration requirements should contact the Associate Dean's office.

Details on the available specializations are given below.



 
 
Asset Management

Financial services practitioners who are focusing on a career in investment management will gain a thorough understanding of the complex financial tools and models that are critical to the modern asset management industry. If you aspire to join the top ranks of investment managers and portfolio managers and become an expert in managing clients' wealth and assets, the MBA in Asset Management will prepare you for your career.

This track requires students to become familiar with the broad range of issues common to all finance professionals, but then allows sufficient leeway in course choice to become conversant in different Asset Management career tracks.  Students who participate in this track will be perceived as having enhanced market-specific knowledge and a faster learning curve by prospective employers. 

+ Required courses

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Business Analytics

Business Analytics is the scientific process of transforming data into insight to improve management decision making. The field takes its basic methods and tools from Management Science and Statistics and applies them to forecasting, predictive modeling, optimization, and “Big Data” decision analysis. Business Analytics professionals work in every business area, including finance, marketing, operations, supply chain management, risk management and consulting. The field is growing rapidly as a result of technological advances which allow deeper analysis of larger and more diverse data sets.

The courses in this specialization cover the three main realms of the field: descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. Descriptive methods are used in evidence-based decision making, where managers mine large historical data sets to understand the factors contributing to successes or failures in past performance. Predictive methods are used to develop forecasts and understand probable outcomes of proposed projects and interventions. Prescriptive methods are used to find optimal decisions.

Graduates from this program will be well-prepared to work in forward-looking, data-driven organizations, where analysis is displacing intuition as the primary decision tool.

+ Required courses

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Competitive Service Delivery

In the global economy, there has been a significant shift from a focus on manufacturing to a focus on service.  It is important to note that this shift is occurring in two ways:  first, service industries make up a larger part of our economy than ever before; second, many traditional manufacturing firms (e.g., IBM) now realize more revenue and profit from the service aspects of their businesses than from the traditional manufacturing operations. To address this change, the Operations and Strategic Management department, the Marketing department and the Information Technology department have developed a cross-functional specialization devoted to educating emerging managers in the key elements of service management and service delivery. 

Graduates will be readily conversant with the complex nature of the service value chain, from supplier to customer.  Graduates will enter the workplace with the skills and tools necessary to enhance and leverage the key performance drivers in the service value chain. They will be able to understand, manage, and influence the roles of key stakeholders and maximize financial performance through all aspects of service delivery. Finally, they will apply skill-building tools for implementation, measurement and metrics throughout the service value chain.

Industries with extensive service components include: financial services, consulting, hospitality, technology, healthcare, retailing and telecom.

+ Required courses

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Corporate Finance

The Corporate Finance specialization teaches a core set of skills in financial modeling, debt and equity issues, valuation, mergers and acquisitions, financial planning, risk management, financial reporting and analysis, and taxation necessary in corporate finance positions. Our students develop the skills and knowledge base to undertake positions in investment banks, commercial banks, financial consulting, general management consulting, venture capital and private equity firms, and corporate finance within large and mid-sized firms.

This track requires students to become familiar with the broad range of issues common to all finance professionals, but then focuses their studies in specialized courses designed to accelerate a targeted career in Corporate Finance. 

+ Required courses

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Entrepreneurial Management

Regardless of one's career interests, entrepreneurial thinking is an essential ingredient in the recipe for business success.  Whether the application of such skills involves departmental or division leadership, the launch of a corporate-funded venture (“intrapreneurship”), or the establishment and subsequent management of a freestanding entity, knowledge acquisition in these areas is critical.  This specialization will provide students with a broadened entrepreneurial education. Through coursework across multiple core courses and electives, students will be exposed to a wide spectrum of entrepreneurial knowledge, such as business planning, analysis, financing and negotiations. Additionally, students will be able to focus their attention further in areas of study within the specialization. Through thoughtful course selection, students can hone their skills in select areas of entrepreneurship such as new product development, international entrepreneurship, or project/corporate entrepreneurial finance.

Graduates from this concentration are armed with a combination of academic skills and practical knowledge, ultimately allowing them to found and run their own business.  Students typically pursue three career paths with this specialization: Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, or Product Development.

+ Required courses

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Financial Reporting and Controls

Students who are interested in pursuing careers in a corporate setting as senior-level managers in the broad area of financial management will want to pursue this specialization.  Students will combine financial accounting, control and finance through a comprehensive set of course offerings. Our graduates will be well positioned for job opportunities leading to chief financial officer, treasury, internal control, and budgeting director positions.

Course work will include close attention to developing skills and decision making abilities relative to corporate governance, responsibility, and ethical behavior. Within the specialization, students can pursue two areas of study: Financial Accounting; or Management, Planning and Control. 

+ Required courses

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Global Management

This specialization will provide students with an internationalized education arming them with global knowledge and preparing them for careers in international firms. They will be able to concentrate their studies in specific areas of international business, such as governance/compliance/reporting issues, law, entrepreneurship and marketing.

Recruiters in Boston, across the U.S., and internationally increasingly favor candidates who have international experience prior to graduate school, have either completed core and elective international coursework as part of their MBA, or have experienced study-abroad, travel-abroad, or international internship opportunities.

Our graduates are well prepared to work internationally immediately following graduation, or be tasked with international responsibilities while working from a U.S. based office.

+ Required courses

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Leadership and Management

With rapid and dramatic change permeating today’s organizational landscape the ability to lead and manage people and organizations is especially important in all sectors and industries. Leaders confront a series of challenges including globalization, outsourcing and offshoring, mergers and acquisitions, shifting market boundaries, new regulatory requirements, an increasingly diverse workforce, and pressure to innovate at an ever more rapid pace. The specialization is appropriate for people who want to 1) build on their technical/functional skills and assume greater responsibility for leadership and management in their organizations, 2) start new entrepreneurial organizations, or 3) work as consultants to other organizations. Courses in the specialization are also a powerful complement to traditional functional area expertise in corporate finance, brand and product management, financial services, and entrepreneurship or global management. 

+ Required courses

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Marketing and Information Analytics

With the establishment of the Internet and World Wide Web as a formidable marketing and distribution channel, and with greater use of IT as a customer segmentation, customer management and marketing tool, the once-separate disciplines of Marketing and IT complement and reinforce each other in new and exciting ways. Employers increasingly seek employees with skill sets at the intersection of Marketing and IT.

A graduate from this joint marketing and IT specialization will enter the workplace with a unique mix of hard and soft skills that will readily appeal to employers. Graduates will be conversant with the often-complex technical jargon of IT and will possess hands-on skills in areas such as data-mining and statistical model analysis. Graduates will also have an appreciation for the strategic aspects of IT use within corporations, enabling them to understand how new technologies might reshape the traditional relationship between firms and their customers. Graduates will be exposed to traditional and advanced marketing courses such as marketing research, consumer behavior and marketing information analytics.   With complementary exposure to IT, they will be in a stronger position to move beyond focused marketing issues to more strategic concerns facing the firm. 

Creative and analytical positions such as Internet marketing analyst, database marketer, market analytics specialist, ecommerce strategist, media planner, and CRM specialist are becoming increasingly prevalent. These positions show the importance of a skill set that can leverage IT to drive marketing strategies.

+ Required courses

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Product and Brand Management

Product and Brand Management is the very heart of the Marketing discipline.  Brand managers have P&L responsibility to maintain and grow specific products, product lines, and/or brands. They typically manage a circle of key relationships and functions that surround the brand: advertising agencies, promotion agencies, public relations, package design, product launch, production planning, channel strategy, licensing, and product design.  A capable brand manager has exceptional strategic, quantitative, interpersonal, and presentation skills and must be comfortable and confident with decision-making and be able to readily bring people to agreement and consensus. 

Boston College has a reputation for and network of successful brand managers at a variety of companies, including top-tier firms.  However, the number of brand management slots available at leading marketing companies usually is limited and quite competitive. The Product and Brand Management specialization is designed to build skills via in-class learning that will prepare students for a summer internship and then a full-time position in the broader world of brand management.

+ Required courses

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“Tailored” Specialization

The Carroll School of Management offers a wide range of high quality MBA courses which encompass the full array of management functions,the spectrum of management decision making from the tactical to the strategic, and address the broad range of issues facing managers today and in the future. Students of the Carroll School have the opportunity to create a specialty designed for their specific career needs and interests by crafting an approved tailored specialty.

A tailored specialty is a logical set of courses designed to help prepare a student for a specific career. For questions about beginning a Tailored Specialization please contact the Associate Dean's Office.

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