Core Courses

The Berkeley MBA curriculum consists of 12 required core courses that provide the analytical tools and essential knowledge to lead effectively. The core courses, which make up about 40 percent of a typical student’s course of study, are all taken in the first year and build upon one another. In nearly every core course, faculty members make significant use of team assignments and projects where students work together in small groups to learn.

Data and Decisions

The objective of this core course is to make students critical consumers of statistical analysis using available software packages. Key concepts include interpretation of regression analysis, model formation and testing, and diagnostic checking.

Economics for Business Decision Making (Microeconomics)

Business success depends on the successful positioning of the firm and the management of its resources. The goal of this course is to think systematically about achieving competitive advantage through the management of the firm's resources. We will analyze management decisions concerning real options, cost determination, pricing, and market entry and exit. We will use readings and cases along with class discussion to develop practical insights into managing for competitive advantage.

Leading People

How can you motivate employees to go above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done? How can you be sure that your decisions are not biased? What influence tactics can you use when you do not have the formal authority to tell someone what to do? This course adds to your understanding of life in complex organizations by covering topics spanning the micro (individual level of analysis), the macro (organizational level of analysis), and also topics that integrate these two levels.

Problem Finding, Problem Solving

This core course teaches you several different modes of thinking in order to find, frame and solve difficult problems that are characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

Financial Accounting

This course examines accounting measurements for general-purpose financial reports. An objective of the course is to provide not only a working knowledge but also a clear understanding of the contents of published financial statements.

Introduction to Finance

This is an introductory MBA course in investments. Students learn how to value assets given forecasts of future cash flows and about the risk characteristics of different asset classes. The first part of the course focuses on the time value of money. The second part of the course deals with measuring and pricing risk. Finally, the course touches on derivative-basics and capital market efficiency. An effort will be made to tie the theoretical underpinnings to finance to real-world examples.

Marketing Management

This course is designed for students who need to understand the basic concepts and techniques of marketing strategy as a foundation for more advanced study in the area. The course treats marketing from the perspective of strategic analysis and provides a framework for the decisions associated with the management of the marketing function in the modern organization focusing on customer analysis, competitive analysis and the analysis of marketing investments.

Leadership Communications

Leadership Communications is a workshop in the fundamentals of public speaking in today's business environment. Through prepared and impromptu speeches aimed at moving others to action, peer coaching, and lectures, students will sharpen their authentic and persuasive communication skills, develop critical listening skills, improve abilities to give, receive, and apply feedback, and gain confidence as public speakers

Operations Management

This course provides a broad overview of strategic, operational and tactical issues facing manufacturing and service companies. Major topics include process analysis, quality management, project management, supply chain management, service systems management, and operations strategy. These issues are explored through lectures, case studies, and videos pertaining to a variety of industries, from fast food to fashion goods to automobile manufacturing to telephone call centers.

Macroeconomics in the Global Economy

This course develops and applies models of the world's economies to explain long-run trends and short-run fluctuations in key macroeconomic variables, such as: GDP, wage and profit rates, inflation, interest rates, employment and unemployment, budget deficits, exchange rates, and trade balances.

Strategic Leadership

Course covers core topics in strategy, including: selection of goals; the choice of products and services to offer; competitive positioning in product markets; decisions about scope and diversity; and the design of organizational structure, administrative systems, and other issues of control and internal regulation.

Ethics and Responsibility in Business

This course provides students with the ability to anticipate, critically analyze, and appropriately respond to the social, ethical, and political challenges that face managers operating in a global economy.


Serge Stanek

Serge Stanek

MBA 12

Partners Group
San Francisco, California

"My core classes in Accounting and Finance and the M&A elective are examples of how practical the Berkeley MBA curriculum is. The concepts we learned are all relevant to the real-world. I feel confident that I will be able to put them to good use from day one on the job."