Curriculum Overview

Designed with busy professionals in mind, Mary Baldwin’s MBA curriculum is offered in two convenient delivery modes. You have the ability to move back and forth between these options for maximum flexibility:

  • Our fully online degree allows you to complete the program from most states nationwide with some course content delivered in an asynchronous format through an electronic platform
  • In the hybrid track, you will take about half of the course content during evening sessions on MBU’s main campus in Staunton, Virginia, and complete the balance through online work

Distinctive program options

Enroll Full-Time or Part-Time: Complete coursework at your own pace.

Pre-MBA Module: Students without an undergraduate business or related degree will be required to take an internal exam to determine their level of business knowledge. Based on the exam results, students may need to take one or more of the competency-based pre-MBA modules. These will be online and self-paced.

For-Benefit Certificate: Students who want to build their knowledge of the emerging for-benefit, or fourth, sector can earn a graduate for-benefit certificate by completing the first two semesters.

Purpose-Driven MBA: Students interested in earning a full MBA must complete all courses in the first two semesters prior to beginning third semester. All third-semester courses need to be completed prior to beginning BUAD 700.


Course Descriptions

All courses in the first three semesters are 1.5 credits.

Semester 1: 8/21/2017-10/13/2017

BUAD 511: Local Community

This course investigates the role of the organization in engaging with its community. Organizations that seek to make a positive social change assume the tasks of transforming the way in which people think and behave, their social relationships, institutions and social structures in order to make a positive impact on individuals, communities and the environment. While they may do this as for-profit organizations, the benefits that result go beyond those generated for the firm.

BUAD 521: Business to Business Engagement

This course investigates the role of the organization in engaging in ethical conduct in their dealings with partners, suppliers, contractors, customers, government agencies, as well as with competitors. Fairness and issues concerning socially responsible behavior arise in the areas of anti-corruption, regulation and the relationship of the firm to its regulators, fair competition and anti-competitive activity, the promotion of sustainable practices throughout a firm’s value chain and in the protection of property rights.

BUAD 531: The Local Environment

This course investigates the role of the organization in managing its environmental impact. In doing this, we take a global perspective and investigate the approaches taken by organizations to community engagement in the United States as well as in Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the globe. This considers the use of natural resources in the design and production of goods and services, in the construction and use of the facilities in which they are produced, delivered and used, and in the materials and methods used to transport them. It contemplates cradle-to-cradle design and usage of products and it further contemplates the events and developments organizations need to consider in their long range planning based on anticipated changes in earth’s environment.

BUAD 541: Internal Governance

This course investigates the role of the organization in developing its internal governance systems. In doing this, we consider organizational forms and methods of governance. The B Corporation has a unique place in organizational structure as it represents a hybrid between traditional for-profit and not-for-profit forms. Forms of internal governance are also examined, including the structures and processes needed to establish policies and the types of policies that organizations may be expected to have. The role of the board and of internal auditors are also considered both as agents acting on behalf of the firm and in its best interest, but also in the establishment of an organizational culture. The role of transparency in supporting ethical decision making is also discussed.

BUAD 551: The Workplace

This course investigates the role of the organization in managing its workplace environment. The labor practices of an organization encompass all policies and practices relating to work performed within, by or on behalf of the organization, including subcontracted work. Labor practices extend beyond the relationship of an organization with its direct employees or the responsibilities that an organization has at a workplace that it owns or directly controls. They include the recruitment and promotion of workers; disciplinary and grievance procedures; the transfer and relocation of workers; termination of employment; training and skills development; health, safety and industrial hygiene; and any policy or practice affecting conditions of work, in particular working time and remuneration. Labor practices also include the recognition of worker organizations and representation and participation of both worker and employer organizations in collective bargaining, social dialogue and tripartite consultation to address social issues related to employment.

Semester 2: 10/23/2017-12/15/2017

BUAD 513: Global Community

This course investigates the role of the organization in engagement with the community, on a local, regional and global scale. In doing this, we take a global perspective and investigate the approaches taken by organizations to community engagement in the United States as well as in Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the globe.

BUAD 523: The Consumer

This course investigates the role of the organization in providing products and services to consumers. In doing this, organizations have responsibilities to their customers that are in part shaped by regulation and contract, but also that stem from the concept of fair dealing and ethical conduct. Responsibilities include providing education and accurate information, using fair, transparent and helpful marketing information and contractual processes, promoting sustainable consumption and designing products and services that provide access to all and cater, where appropriate, for the vulnerable and disadvantaged. Responsibilities also involve minimizing risks from the use of products and services, through design, manufacture, distribution, information provision, support services and withdrawal and recall procedures. Many organizations collect or handle personal information and have a responsibility to protect the security of such information and the privacy of consumers.

BUAD 533: The Global Environment and Planning for Environmental Change

This course investigates the role of the organization in managing its environmental impact. In doing this, we take a global perspective and investigate the approaches taken by organizations to community engagement in the United States as well as in Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the globe. In this course we will consider the global implications of climate change. While governments as well as individual organizations are taking steps to control the use of greenhouse gases and other pollutants as well as to mitigate their impact, the situation is far from being solved. Developments in environmental technologies are explored as are the concept and application of sustainable development – both in terms of industrialization and infrastructure developments as well as in terms of sustainable patterns of production and consumption. We also consider how to anticipate and plan for impending changes in the global climate.

BUAD 543: External Governance

This course investigates the role of the organization in establishing and maintaining organizational governance. Governance is a system of mechanisms, both internal and external to the organization. While internal mechanisms, such as directors, employee representatives and owners do much to ensure that the organization is operating ethically and within the bounds of the law, other actors also participate in this process. Chief among them are the regulators whose task it is to ensure that other stakeholders – organizational customers and consumers, labor and the environment – are protected. In this course, special attention is also given to the regulations concerning online communications and transactions.

BUAD 553: The Worker

This course investigates the role of the employee in the organization. Employees are considered to be an organization’s greatest and most critical asset. An engaged and dedicated workforce can generate value for shareholders, for stakeholders and for the general public. In this course, we consider issues including compensation and benefits, working conditions and technology, and “right-to-work” legislation. Also considered are the concepts of participative decision making and the best practices in developing and engaging employees. Finally, a comparison is made between the rights and protections of workers in the US with those in other countries.

Semester 3: 1/8/2018-3/2/2018

BUAD 611: Management

This course investigates how organizations are managed. The course begins with a brief overview of the history management theory and introduces contemporary studies of theory and practice. We will consider multiple perspectives of management in order to understand how individuals relate to the firm and how the firm relates to the local and global communities. We will address how management and managers have been viewed in the past and present and how organizational forms and structures have evolved over time. It will also address the critical functions of management: planning, organizing, leading and controlling, with a special emphasis on understanding individual and organizational behavior, motivation, leadership, communication and sustainability.

BUAD 613: Marketing

Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” It is one of the core activities of any organization, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, and provides both the structure and the principles for communicating with customers, potential customers, regulators, suppliers, and all of the other external stakeholders in the firm. Marketing includes identifying the needs and wants of potential purchasers, specifying product or service design, assessing competitive offerings, identifying target markets, and developing a communications strategy. The course is intended to enable the student to apply the principles of marketing strategy to create sustainable products and services, and, in doing so, achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

BUAD 615: Human Capital Management

Human capital management, which is also known as human resource management (HRM) provides organizational leaders with the concepts and practices that align the structure, culture and values of the firm with its human capital. Its purpose is to create a strategic advantage for the organization though the recruitment and selection of employees, providing them with appropriate compensation and a fulfilling work experience, and maximizing the mutual benefit of employment for both the employee and the employer. Human capital management entails developing a code of ethics, establishing an organizational culture, managing the societal impact of business decisions, and improving the quality of life of employees, their families and the community at large. It includes components such as the recruitment and selection of employees, compensation, benefits, training and motivation as well as assessment.

BUAD 617: Entrepreneurship

An entrepreneur is a person who pioneers change and, in the context of this course, organizes, manages and takes on the risks of a new enterprise. We will consider the trends and forces underlying the changing character of the business-environment relationship and how they are creating significant

entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals and companies. Further, we develop the concept of the “triple bottom line” approach, which gauges organizational performance across economic, social, and environmental indicators. Those measures serve as indicators of fiduciary responsibility to a growing set of concerned investors and therefore can help ensure access to capital. They also enable innovators to lower costs, create strategic differentiation, reduce risk, and position themselves for competitive advantage over rivals less attuned to trends.

BUAD 619: Accounting & Finance

The Accounting & Finance course will give the student the ability to identify, measure, analyze, interpret and communicate information describing the financial health of an organization. The accounting and finance disciplines are cornerstones of the enterprise system, as good financial management is vital to the economic health of organizations – both for-profit and not-for-profit. This course examines the principles, techniques, and uses of accounting in the planning and control of business organizations from a management perspective. We will study the concepts, theory and practice of the cost-control function of management. In doing this, we will analyze what information is needed within an organization; where to obtain this information; and how managers can use this information to plan, control and make decisions. Topics include cost behavior and forecasting, capital budgeting, activity-based costing and management, costs of quality and productivity improvement programs, cost-volume analysis, and capital and operating budgeting.

Semester 4 (7.5 Credits): 3/12/2018-5/4/2018

BUAD 700: Apex Project

The course must be taken during the student’s final semester at Mary Baldwin University and is intended to be a platform for demonstrating (1) the student’s comprehensive knowledge of business systems and functions, and (2) the student’s understanding of the concept of sustainability in designing a new enterprise or repurposing an existing one through the writing and presentation of a comprehensive business or strategic plan.

Contact Information

College of Business and Professional Studies
Dean Joseph Sprangel
Associate Professor of Business Administration


Course Sequence Overview

Contact Information

College of Business and Professional Studies
Dean Joseph Sprangel
Associate Professor of Business Administration

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