iMBA Degree Requirements

Preparation is key to your success in this program. For successful completion of this program, all iMBA students are required to:

  • Complete 72 Credit Hours
  • Complete 4 Core Specializations
  • Complete 2 Focus Area Specializations or 1 Focus Area Specialization & Elective Path 
    Option A: Complete two focus area specializations. Select from Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship & Strategic Innovation, Global Challenges, and Business Analytics. 
    Option B: Complete one focus area specialization and the elective path. To complete the elective path, you will select 12 credit hours from any focus area course or iMBA elective course. The elective path has no capstone or certificate associated with completion.
  • Complete 2 Specialization Capstones
    Specialization Capstones can be from any of the six specializations completed. All courses in a specialization must be successfully completed to be eligible for the Specialization Capstone.
  • Complete the Program Capstone
    Students are not eligible for the Program Capstone until they have completed 72 credit hours or are concurrently enrolled in the final courses that will bring them to 72 credit hours after completion. No exceptions will be made.
  • Complete Degree within 3 Years
    The clock starts in your first term as a degree student (time spent as a non-degree is not counted). Our program is designed to take 2 to 3 years to complete.
  • Earn a Cumulative GPA of 2.75
    This is the minimum GPA required to maintain good academic standing in each term and to graduate. Students who fall below this standard will be placed on academic probation. You will be dismissed by the Grad College if this happens in two consecutive terms.

Course Information

As mentioned above, we break our courses down into core specializations and focus area specializations. Below, you can find a list of courses in each specialization. Please visit the Planning & Advising section to learn more about degree planning and when our courses are offered.

Core 1: Strategic Leadership and Management

Leadership and Teams – BADM 508

  • Illinois Component: Develops and integrates fundamental behavioral concepts and theory having administrative applications; initially focuses on the individual decision maker and ultimately includes interpersonal, organizational, and social structures and influences; and develops strategies and methods of research on behavioral applications in business
  • Coursera Components: Foundations of Everyday Leadership and Applications of Everyday Leadership
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Managing Organizations – BADM 509 

Strategic Management – BADM 544

  • Illinois Component: This course focuses on policy construction and planning of policy implementation at the executive level. During this course, you will look at case studies of company-wide situations from the management point of view.
  • Coursera Components: Business Strategy and Corporate Strategy
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Core 1 Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

 

Core 2: Managerial Economics and Business Analysis

Statistics Management Decision Making – BADM 572

Microeconomics for Business – ECON 528

Macroeconomics for Business – ECON 529

Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

 

Core 3: Value Chain Management

Marketing Management – BADM 520

  • Illinois Component: Introduces concepts useful in understanding marketing systems and buyer behavior in addition to developing skills in making marketing decisions; the orientation is primarily managerial and uses examples from both business and non-business contexts.
  • Coursera Components: Marketing Management I and Marketing Management II
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Process Management – BADM 567

  • Illinois Component: Introductory course in decision-making problems in production; includes the theoretical foundations for production management as well as the applications of decision-making techniques to production problems in the firm; and considers production processes, plant layout, maintenance, scheduling, quality control, and production control in particular.
  • Coursera Components: Operations Management and Process Improvement
    The MOOCs for this course are currently being redesigned. If you have taken the MOOC associated with this course from last year, your progress in the previous MOOC will still be recognized. However, this year you will be enrolled to the revised MOOC, and you are highly encouraged to learn and take the new MOOC. 
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Managerial Accounting – ACCY 503

Core 3 Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit hours; 2 Weeks in Length

 

Core 4: Financial Management

Accounting Measurement, Reporting, and Control (Financial Accounting) – ACCY 500

Investment Finance I and II – FIN 511

Corporate Finance I and II – FIN 584

Core 4 Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

 

Focus Area 1: Digital Marketing

Marketing in a Digital World – MBA 541

  • Illinois Component: This course will examine how digital tools, such as the Internet, smartphones, and 3-D printing, are revolutionizing the world of marketing by shifting the balance of power from firms to consumers.
  • Coursera Component: Marketing in a Digital World
  • 2 Credit Hours; 4 Weeks in Length

Digital Marketing Analytics – MBA 542

Digital Media and Marketing – MBA 543

  • Illinois Component: Learn the role of digital channels in an integrated marketing campaign and why you need a digital strategy. Interact with the content and learn from a variety of examples.
  • Coursera Components: Digital Media and Marketing: Principles and Digital Media and Marketing: Strategies
    At least one MOOC component for this course is currently being redesigned. If you have taken the MOOC associated with this course from last year, your progress in the previous MOOC will still be recognized. However, this year you will be enrolled to the revised MOOC, and you are highly encouraged to learn and take the new MOOC. 
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Marketing in an Analog World – MBA 544

  • Illinois Component: This course will begin with an exploration of the key differences between the Analog and the Digital and then examine four ways in which the Analog World has been affected by the Digital Revolution: Domination, Resistance, Synergy, and Transformation.
  • Coursera Component: Marketing in an Analog World
    The MOOCs for this course are currently being redesigned. If you have taken the MOOC associated with this course from last year, your progress in the previous MOOC will still be recognized. However, this year you will be enrolled to the revised MOOC, and you are highly encouraged to learn and take the new MOOC. 
  • 2 Credit Hours; 4 Weeks in Length

Focus Area Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

 

Focus Area 2: Entrepreneurship and Strategic Innovation

Strategic Innovation – MBA 551

Fostering Creative Thinking – MBA 552

Entrepreneurship: From Startup to Growth – MBA 553

  • Illinois Component: Provides an understanding of the rich diversity of challenges that confront those creating new enterprises. Students will learn about managing growth while considering business models and cash issues, building the team with organizational and managerial issues.
  • Coursera Components: Entrepreneurship I: Laying the Foundation and Entrepreneurship II: Preparing for Launch
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Focus Area Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

 

Focus Area 3: Global Challenges in Business

Global Business Horizons – MBA 546

  • Illinois Component: This course focuses on understanding subsistence marketplaces and designing business solutions for the billions of people living in poverty in the global marketplace. To develop understanding of subsistence marketplaces, we use exercises to enable participants to view the world from the eyes of subsistence consumers and entrepreneurs, facilitate bottom-up understanding generated by participants, and provide insights from extensive research
  • Coursera Components: Sustainable Innovation for Subsistence Marketplaces and Sustainable Business Enterprises
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Global Impact – MBA 547

  • Illinois Component: Enables students to understand how globalization changes consumers at a psychological level, and provides tools for imbuing brands with cultural meanings that can resonate with global consumers. Examines the ethical bases of corporate decision making using critical ethical analysis, educate and create sensitivity about ethical issues in business.
  • Coursera Components: Global Impact: Cultural Psychology and Global Impact: Business Ethics
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Global Strategy – MBA 548

Focus Area Capstone – MBA 590

  • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

 

Focus Area 4: Business Analytics

There is no capstone for the Business Analytics focus area. If you were planning to complete a capstone for Business Analytics, please select either a Core capstone or capstone for your second Focus Area.

Introduction to Business Analytics with R – MBA 561 

  • Illinois Component: MBA 561 welcomes you to the world of business analytics by firstly exploring examples of how data analytics has improved business outcomes for large and small organizations. The course then continues by introducing you a powerful data analytic language, R, and RStudio, the integrated development environment (IDE) to code with R. You will be also introduced to notebooks, and dashboards, with which you can learn to communicate code and analytic results with other people. You will also learn some data manipulation skills to prepare your data so that they can be analyzed with visualizations and machine learning algorithms. 
  • Coursera Components:Introduction to Business Analytics with R   
  • 2 Credit Hours; 4 Weeks in Length 

Introduction to Business Analytics: Communicating with Data – MBA 562 

Data Toolkit: Business Data Modeling and Predictive Analytics – MBA 563 

  • Illinois Component: The emphasis of this course is placed on developing a business analytic mindset. You will then be exposed to various tools to perform tasks including extracting, transforming and loading (ETL) data to conduct exploratory data analytics (EDA). These tools are Power BI, R, and Alteryx. In addition, you will learn different machine learning algorithms but also develop the ability to evaluate and select the right algorithms for the right circumstances and use Notebooks to communicate results with others.  Please note, Because Power BI and Alteryx are only built to run on a Windows operating system, you will need to either have access to a Windows machine, or install additional software, such as Virtual Box, so that you can emulate a Windows operating system on your Mac or Linux operating system. 
  • Coursera Components: Tools for Exploratory Data Analysis in Business and Machine Learning Algorithms with R in Business Analytics  
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length 

Applying Data Analytics in Marketing – MBA 564 Special Topics 1

  • Illinois Component: This course will focus on marketing analytics techniques and how to apply them in real-world situations. Students will learn various techniques to assess customer satisfaction.
  • Coursera Components: Applying Data Analytics in Marketing

Applying Data Analytics in Accounting – MBA 564 Special Topics 2

  • Illinois Component: This course explores business analytic applications in accounting. Students will understand analytic issues and topics in accounting, conduct audit and control testing tasks using Alteryx and R, and examine robot process automation.
  • Coursera Component: The MOOC for this course is currently under development.
Program Capstone

Program Capstone – MBA 591

  • 0 Credit Hours; 4 Weeks in Length

 

Electives

Students may take 12 elective credit hours that can be applied to their degree to satisfy one of the two focus area specialization requirement. Elective courses do not have capstones or certificates associated with their completion.  

BADM 589 - Project Management

  • Illinois Component: Master techniques and tools used by project managers, identify critical behavior required of teams for managing projects, and be aware of potential conflicts and problems that can occur during a project’s lifestyle.
  • Coursera Component: Project Initiation & Planning and Project Execution & Control
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

MBA 565 – Infonomics

  • Illinois Component: This course provides a non-technical perspective on and methods for monetizing, managing, and measuring information as if it were any other kind of corporate asset.
  • Coursera Component: Infonomics I and Infonomics II
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

ACCY 593 – Financial Statement Analysis for MBAs
Prerequisite: ACCY 500

  • Illinois Component: Throughout the semester we will discuss financial reporting from a user’s perspective, use a variety of tools to break apart financial reports into meaningful units for analysis, forecast financial statements, and value a firm. This course in financial statement analysis is intended to give you exposure to the issues facing users of financial statements.
  • Coursera Component: The MOOCs for this course are currently being designed.

Coming Soon! New Mergers & Acquisitions Focus Area

This new specialization, which will launch in Spring 2022, focuses on the theory and practice of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). By pursuing these courses, you will learn how to use financial accounting and finance information to express the economic realities of complex organizations. This specialization will be made up of three 8-week, four credit hour courses. This specialization is pending final college and campus approvals.

Courses include:

Finance of Mergers & Acquisitions, taught by Heitor Almeida, Stanley C and Joan J Golder Chair in Corporate Finance and Academic Director of iMBA
4 credit hours, launching March 2022
Subsequent course offering: each October term, starting October 2022

Accounting for Mergers & Acquisitions and Other Complex Transactions, taught by Oktay Urcan, Associate Professor of Accountancy, Fred & Virginia Roedgers Faculty Fellow in Accountancy, Academic Director of iMSA
4 credit hours, launching May 2022
Subsequent course offering: each January, starting January 2023

Application of Investment Banking Concepts, taught by Rob Metzger, Clinical Assistant Professor of Finance
4 credit hours, launching August 2022
Subsequent course offering: each March, starting March 2023

How to Prepare for this Specialization

In order to be successful in this specialization, it is critical to have the appropriate basic knowledge of statistics, corporate finance, and financial accounting. Completing FIN 584 and ACCY 500 or ACCY 501 before beginning this specialization will set you up for the best path to success.

It is strongly recommended to complete Finance of Mergers & Acquisitions before completing Accounting for Mergers & Acquisitions and Other Complex Transactions. Both courses must be completed before completing Application of Investment Banking Concepts; a formal pre-requisite will be enforced.

Degree Planning

Your degree plan is an important step that will give you a road map toward graduation. Our dedicated Student & Academic Success Specialists will work with you throughout your iMBA journey to help you plan a degree path that will meet your professional and personal needs. For this reason, it is always a good idea to submit your degree plan to a specialist for review.

iMBA Degree Planning Resources

iMBA Sample Plans
These documents cover options for a 2-, 2.5-, or 3-year plan. If you want to complete the program in 2 years, you must take 2 courses every 8-week session. Students on the 3-year track can take one course every 8-week session. However, you must double up on courses at least 4 times during the program.

Gies Online Programs Student Portal
Create a degree plan, view your completed courses and grades, and link out to commonly used platforms and resources. Schedule an appointment with a specialist to review your plan.

Annual iMBA Course Offerings
For your convenience, we provide you with an Annual View of iMBA Course Offerings to give you a good idea of when our courses are offered throughout the year.