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Curriculum and Requirements

Looking for an MBA program that lets you adapt your curriculum to match your career objectives? Then Gies is right for you. In your second year, you can pursue a traditional MBA area of concentration or customize an area of concentration that best meets your needs. You also have the option to earn a joint degree, combining your interest in business with your passion for other academic disciplines, such as engineering, architecture, human resources, law, and many other subjects.

Full-Time MBA - Year One

The first year of the MBA is comprised of 40 hours that will give you a strong, well-rounded business foundation.

First Semester

Your first semester is comprised of our Foundations of Business I and II, an intensive 16-week program that provides a strong foundation in business fundamentals.

The first eight weeks is comprised of MBA 501 - Business Fundamentals 1, which includes:

  • Accounting I
  • Data Analytics I
  • Data Analysis for Business Decisions
  • Leading People & Organizations
  • Marketing I

The second eight weeks is comprised of MBA 502 - Business Fundamentals II, which includes:

  • Data Analytics II
  • Economics
  • MBA Consulting
  • Manufacturing & Service Processes
  • Marketing II

Second Semester

Your second semester is focused on building your management skills in every area of business.

The first eight weeks is comprised of MBA 503 - Principles and Processes of Management I, which includes:

  • Business Strategy
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Finance I
  • MBA Global Consulting
  • Organizational Theory & Design

The second eight weeks is comprised of MBA 504 - Principles and Processes of Management II and MBA 505 - Topics in Management, which includes:

  • Accountancy II
  • Finance II
  • MBA Global Consulting
  • Global Strategy
  • Enterprise IT Strategy
  • Negotiations
  • Operations Analysis
  • Strategic Innovation Management

Full-Time MBA - Year Two

Today’s competitive business climate calls for experts. That’s why the second year of the Gies MBA is all about developing your expertise. We want you to select your second-year courses based on your own interests and career goals so that you’re ready to take on the competition and be a business leader. You can pursue a traditional MBA area of concentration, such as marketing, finance, operations, or general management, or you can customize an area of concentration that best meets your need.

During your second year, you will take a minimum of 32 hours that meet the requirements below:

  • 16 credit hours of Gies College of Business courses
  • 16 credit hours of business or non-business courses

All courses must be graduate level coursework.

Concentration & Focus Areas

You can design your curriculum to concentrate in any area that makes sense for you. The following are just a few examples:

Full-Time MBA Summer Start

The Summer Start Program is designed to kick start your MBA experience and your transition to business school.  The Summer Start Program is divided into three modules; one focuses on developing and refining your analytical skills, while the second will begin with early career programming with our Career Services, alumni engagement, corporate visits, and social activities.

The third module is for international students. It helps provide an understanding of life at the University of Illinois, US culture and other topics that will help facilitate students’ success and acclimation, while building and practicing their business English vocabulary. 

The Basic Business Analytics course will introduce or reintroduce:

  • Basic business statistics
  • Excel for business
  • Introduce R, Python & Tableau
  • Learning through the Case Method

The Career Management Foundations module will focus on:

  • Personal branding
  • Resume & cover letter writing
  • Informational interviews
  • Using LinkedIn in the job search

The Business English through Cases and Culture focus on:

  • Learning through the Case Method
  • Student presentations
  • Business writing essentials
  • US language & culture

The in-classroom experience will be held Monday–Thursday from 9 am–Noon from June 3–July 26, 2019 with the afternoons focused on personal development, networking, and one-on-one sessions.

Learning by doing 

We've integrated learning-by-doing into every semester of the MBA program. These client-based projects are designed to solve business problems and provide a valuable connection to support your career. They can vary from market analysis to financial modeling, and from strategy and growth to data and technology.


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