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, Business Analytics, and Mergers and Acquisitions.  
    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
    There are seven specialization capstones available. All courses in a specialization must be successfully completed to be eligible for the Specialization Capstone. Experiential learning opportunities, such as immersions, may be completed to fulfill one to two capstones. Applications are required for experiential learning opportunities and additional fees may be associated. Only one experiential learning opportunity may be put towards this requirement.
  • 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 5 Years
    While our program is designed to be completed in 2 to 3 years, students can take up to 5 years to complete the degree as long as they are making satisfactory progress. The clock starts in a student’s first term as a degree student (time spent as a non-degree is not counted).
  • 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: Leading Teams: Developing as a Leader  and Leading Teams: Building Effective Team Cultures.
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length
  • Learn more

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
  • Learn more

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

Money and Banking – FIN 571

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: Developing a Winning Marketing Strategy and Developing a Marketing Mix for Growth
  • 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
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length
  • Learn more

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 Our New Digital World – MBA 545

  • Illinois Component: This course will explore the new digital realm in two parts. First, this course will explore how the digital revolution has affected our analog world. Second, this course will review the foundations of marketing, including customer co-creation, user-generated content, and 3D Printing.
  • Coursera Component: The Digital Marketing Revolution and Marketing in a Digital World
  • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

Digital Marketing Analytics – MBA 542

Digital Media and Marketing – MBA 543

    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

    Focus Area Capstone – MBA 590

    • 0 Credit Hours; 2 Weeks in Length

     

    Focus Area 3: Global Challenges in Business

    Global Marketing – 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 Marketing: Cultural Frameworks and Global Marketing: Building Iconic Brands 
    • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

    Global Strategy – MBA 548

    Multiculturalism in Management and the Marketplace – MBA 999

    • Illinois Component: This course introduces the fundamentals of cross-cultural management by describing the impact of culture on interpersonal processes in organizations, discussing how culture shapes decision-making, negotiation, leadership, teamwork, and organizational structure. Additionally, this course introduces the foundations for dealing with multiculturalism in the marketplace, discussing how culture impacts consumer behavior and how marketers can leverage these insights.
    • Coursera Components: The MOOCs for this course are currently being developed
    • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

    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 
    It  is strongly recommended to complete MBA 561 or the MOOCs associated with MBA 561 before beginning this course. To be successful in MBA 563, you should be comfortable with all R concepts and commands covered in MBA 561.

    • 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. Completion of this course requires downloading and using free versions of the PowerBI and Alteryx applications, both of which are only compatible with Windows Operation System (i.e. Windows 10). Therefore, to complete this course, you must have administrative access to a computer with Windows operating system installed. Alternatively, you may use a free virtual desktop environment that contains all the software requirements.  
    • 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 
    • Learn more

    Applying Data Analytics in Marketing – MBA 564 Special Topics 1
    It is strongly recommended to complete MBA 561 before beginning this course.

    • 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
    • 2 Credit Hours; 4 Weeks in Length
    • Learn more

    Applying Data Analytics in Accounting – MBA 564 Special Topics 2
    It is strongly recommended to complete MBA 561 or the MOOCs associated with MBA 561 before beginning this course.

    • 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. Completion of this course requires downloading and using free versions of the Alteryx applications, both of which are only compatible with Windows Operation System (i.e. Windows 10). Therefore, to complete this course, you must have administrative access to a computer with Windows operating system installed. Alternatively, you may use a free virtual desktop environment that contains all the software requirements. 
    • Coursera Component: Applying Data Analytics in Accounting
    • 2 Credit Hours; 4 Weeks in Length
    • Learn more
    Focus Area 5: Mergers and Acquisitions

    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. There is no capstone opportunity.

    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. 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 before beginning this specialization will set you up for the best path to success.

    Finance of Mergers and Acquisitions – FIN 572

    • Illinois Component: Learn to value and price Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) deals and how to choose the optimal financing mix for an M&A deal. Deepen your understanding of financial modeling and capital structure, both in theory and practice. It is important to have a basic notion of statistics and be comfortable with quantitatively focused work before beginning this course.
    • Coursera Component: Finance of Mergers and Acquisitions: Valuation and Pricing and Acquisitions: Designing an M&A Deal
    • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

    Mergers and Acquisitions and Other Complex Transactions – ACCY 532

    • Illinois Component: This course will increase your sophistication as a user of financial information by enhancing your ability to penetrate the complexity of intricate organizational architectures and to gain deeper insight into an organization’s business model, strategy, and performance. It is strongly recommended to complete Finance of Mergers & Acquisitions before beginning this course.
    • Coursera Component: Accounting for Mergers and Acquisitions: Foundations and Accounting for Mergers and Acquisitions: Advanced Topics
    • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length

    Investment Banking Concepts - FIN 573

    • Illinois Component: In this course, you will be working on a real-life investment banking case assignment, and create a pitch book that simulates the work product that a Wall Street investment banking firm would deliver to a global client. Prior to beginning this course, you must complete Finance of Mergers & Acquisitions and Accounting for Mergers & Acquisitions and Other Complex Transactions; a formal pre-requisite will be enforced.
    • Coursera Component:  Investment Banking: Financial Analysis & Valuation and Investment Banking: M&A and Initial Public Offerings
    • 4 Credit Hours; 8 Weeks in Length
    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
    • Learn more

    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
    • Learn more

    ACCY 531 – Financial Statement Analysis for MBAs
    Prerequisite: ACCY 500

    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
    • Learn more

    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.