Program Structure

Provides an overview of the structure and curriculum of the Penn State Smeal Master's in Management and Organizational Leadership (MOL) Program.
 

This 30-credit master program bridges the gap between a technical background and the business world. Our curriculum follows the first year core courses from the Penn State Smeal MBA Program, and is aimed at enhancing your fundamental business knowledge and skills.

Our MOL courses are taught by distinguished professors with world-renowned research expertise and practical knowledge and experience. These award-winning teachers, researchers, consultants, and authors specialize in bringing complex business concepts to life.

The program spans two academic semesters divided into 7-week modules to provide an immersive study of course content. Each module builds upon the required modules before it, creating a laddered educational experience that helps every student succeed, regardless of background or experience.

Before You Begin

From May until the start of the program in August, students will be expected to complete a set of onboarding tasks and assignments through Canvas, Penn State's online learning platform. This includes advanced career prep with our Career Services team, as well as course pre-work. To gain a better understanding of these assignments and the time frame within which they are completed, you can view the Onboarding Checklist used in Fall 2020 for the incoming MOL Class of 2021.

Fall Semester

The MOL program begins with an intensive, multi-day orientation designed to prepare students for the program.

Module I

Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Dan Givoly, Ph.D.

Business enterprises convey information to their present and potential investors and creditors through financial reports. This course focuses on these financial reports, the data they contain, how users should read and interpret financial statements, and how users can incorporate this information into their investment decision making. It also examines how managers attempt to window dress these financial statements and how the numbers might affect managerial behavior.
Duration: 16 weeks | Professors: Andy Gustafson, Ph.D. / Nancy Mahon, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: TBD

Gain the basic knowledge about predictable team dynamics and how to constructively deal with issues that arise in the first year MBA teams. The course focuses on observation, diagnosis, and intervention skills for developing effective teams. Topics include diagnosing group dynamics, giving and receiving feedback to teammates, cross-cultural communication, and conflict management techniques.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Dennis Gioia, Ph.D.

Students will explore the concepts and skills that will help them to become more effective managers and organizational leaders. This course includes tools that help students diagnose, understand, and develop solutions to management problems. We will draw upon both the academic and practitioner literature to understand many facets of organizations and of the thoughts, feelings, and actions of people who work in them.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: John Liechty, Ph.D.

Designed to meet the entry statistical requirements for any course in the Smeal MBA Program, as well as to provide job applicable skills across the entire business portfolio.

Immersion Week

Duration: 4 days | Professor: Stephen Humphrey, Ph.D.

This course will give students an overview of the difference between traditional (distributive) bargaining and interest-based (integrative) negotiations. Students will learn the rudiments of interest-based negotiating and practice it in several negotiation simulations. They will learn how to identify their own and others' interests, to create and claim value and to craft constructive agreements for all parties. The course will concentrate on two person and small group negotiations as well as how to deal with difficult opponents.

Module II

Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Tony Kwasnica, Ph.D.

Construction and use of quantitative methods in business decision-making.
Duration: 16 weeks (continuation from Module I) | Professors: Andy Gustafson, Ph.D. / Nancy Mahon, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Keith Crocker, Ph.D.

An introduction to the tools of economic decision making and a consideration of firm, industry, and global economic influences on economic decision making.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Lou Gattis, Ph.D

This course provides a foundation in finance from the perspective of the firm. The objective is to show students that basic financial principles can be useful no matter the type of job taken. The two main topics of the course are: (1) how managers can use financial techniques to help them do their jobs and (2) how firms can use financial markets to solve financial problems.

Spring Semester

Module III

Duration: 16 weeks | Professors: Andy Gustafson, Ph.D. / Nancy Mahon, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Chloe Tergiman, Ph.D.

Changes in interest rates, swings in the business cycle, new international trade agreements: all are macroeconomic events, and all can dramatically impact business. Institutional constraints, as well as theory, and history guide present day macroeconomic analysis and policy. Accordingly, the class is a synthesis of institutional, theoretical, and historical perspectives.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Saurabh Bansal, Ph.D.

Designed to provide students with an overview of the role of operations in the organization, the kinds of decisions operations and supply chain managers make, and the impact of these decisions on the strategic and tactical position of the firm. Supply chain management is a particular focus in the course. The interaction of production, distribution and information resources plays a critical role in developing and sustaining a firm's competitive advantage.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Andrew Petersen, Ph.D.

An examination of the role of the marketplace in company management.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Jeffrey Krug, Ph.D.

Analysis and application of concepts and techniques aimed at successfully developing and implementing competitive strategy in a complex business environment. This course introduces students to the field of strategic management and the skills and tools used by general managers to make strategic decisions. Students learn to use frameworks and perspectives for analyzing industries, competitors, and companies with an overall objective of positioning the firm to attain and sustain a competitive advantage.

Module IV

Duration: 16 weeks (continuation from Module III) | Professors: Andy Gustafson, Ph.D. / Nancy Mahon, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Jennifer Eury, Ph.D.

The objective of the ethical leadership course is to raise awareness of the key role played as a manager and leader in creating and maintaining responsible business conduct in work groups and organizations. The course is also intended to enhance the student's ability to deal with the complexities of ethical decision making in today's dynamic business environment by clarifying and applying personal values.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: TBD

Obtain practical and hands-on exposure to leadership training and exercises that can be applied in a diverse range of professional environments and business settings. Students will assess their own leadership strengths and development areas, develop an individual leadership development plan, apply that plan in a Leadership Immersion experience, and complete a reflection paper upon return. The course provides an opportunity to apply and integrate the knowledge and skills students developed throughout the program with strategic management and leadership concepts.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Sajay Samuel, Ph.D.

Foundations in Management Accounting has two broad aims. First, it is designed to help students grasp the technical aspects of accounting for activities and processes within and between firms. Therefore, students will study methods of a) cost classification & estimation; b) cost measurement & allocation; c) profit planning; and d) evaluation and control of behavior. Second, the course emphasizes the context of managerial accounting.