Course Descriptions - Elective Courses

Students utilize elective courses to build expertise and experience in their career areas of interest. Elective courses in each area of interest are offered every year. However not all elective courses listed below are offered on an annual basis. 

Most courses have prerequisites. Students seeking to take a course for which they have not met the listed prerequisite must present their credentials to the instructor and receive approval from the instructor to register for the course. 

GSM 6004: E-Commerce and Digital Marketing (3 credits)

This is consequential learning course. Student teams will compete in the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC), spending real dollars to run a keyword advertising campaign that will benefit a real organization. The instructor will provide a list of candidates; however, teams may instead work with an organization of their choosing. In addition to GOMC-specific content, a variety of established and emerging topics will be covered including (but not limited to) keyword planning, funnels, A-B testing and touchpoint attribution. Given the trajectory of the digital marketing profession, course content will be highly quantitative in nature and several assignments will require the ability to perform basic statistical analyses like t-tests and regression. Upon completion of the course, students should feel comfortable taking a job in digital marketing and/or working with digital marketing professionals.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM-5107

GSM 6007: Content Marketing in Social Media (3 credits)

Social media marketing is the practice of cultivating an online identity in support of your business or cause using social media. Over the course of a semester, student groups will develop, execute and measure an actual social media marketing campaign. Grades will be partially determined by the success of this campaign as measured through objective metrics such as retweets, likes, and sharing, as well as subjectively through feedback received on content quality. Execution of students’ digital marketing campaign will be supported by lectures and cases designed to teach 1) how to use social media and other online tools to create quality content, 2) how to develop an effective social media marketing campaign and 3) how to measure the success of your campaign against pre-established marketing objectives. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss and debate what they’ve learned with visiting speakers from industry. Upon completion of the course, students should feel comfortable taking a job as a social media strategist or social media manager.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM-5107

GSM 6008: Real Estate Entrepreneurship: Strategy to Investment (3 credits)

Real Estate Entrepreneurship: Strategy to Investment is designed for MBA candidates interested in understanding the fundamentals of real estate management, finance, investment, ownership, development, and strategies necessary for effective and sustainable personal and professional outcomes.

  • Prerequisite(s): Open to 2nd-year students.

GSM 6010: Managerial and Interpersonal Strategy (3 credits)

Success in the modern work environment is often driven by interpersonal success, or our ability to understand and manage human behavior. This course will focus on understanding and managing your own behavior, as well as how you may be able to manage the behavior of those around you. This course will cover the managerial skills to successfully address and the psychological processes underlying personality, reasoning, stress, conflict, prejudice, communication, group interaction, motivation, and influencing others. This course will prepare you, through class discussions and activities, to apply knowledge and best practices to the management of yourself and others across public, not-for-profit, or for-profit organizations.

GSM 6011: International Management (3 credits)

This course provides the foundation and knowledge needed for global management and how to do international business. Operating internationally requires considering a broad range of variables and relationships. In this course we study the environment, markets, institutions, challenges, strategy, and operations of international and cross-cultural management. We examine the globalization of business and associated challenges posed for the competitiveness of the modern enterprise, as well as orientations, strategies, and tactics appropriate for global management success.  We consider the balance between strategy and management that are integrated and global, versus responsive and multi-domestic.

GSM 6012: Development Economics (3 credits)

Economic development is the study of regional poverty. Why is it that some regions fall into poverty and can't escape, even in the developed world? What can we do about this? The course focuses on studies of interventions into the lives, businesses and government of poor regions. For students interested in pursuing not-for-profit work, this course offers an overview of research into providing health, education and welfare services to the poorest people in society. For students interested in for profit work, this course provides the information necessary to take advantage of the great opportunity that these poor regions represent; these regions are effectively not achieving their full potential, and providing services that help alleviate that problem can be an opportunity to do well by doing good. For example, Muhammad Yunus has made a large, profitable enterprise out of specialized loans to the poorest people in the developing world. These loans have so positively influenced the lives of their recipients that Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Finally, for those students interested in government work, the course deals with the provision of public services for the most needy and helps to explain how government decisions and action create or destroy opportunities.

GSM 6013A: Philanthropic Investment for Community Impact
(3 credits) Fall Semester of two-semester course.

In this consequential-learning course, students manage a micro-organization with the purpose of awarding funds to local not-for-profit organizations that provide high-impact social programs for the community. Students gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the philanthropic landscape, and gain valuable management experience that applies to all industries. They work with an advisory board and carry a high level of responsibility to be good stewards of the granter’s funds. They build their knowledge, leadership, decision-making, analytical, team, networking, financial and communication skills. They define their micro-organization’s values, mission, goals and priorities; design and implement processes and communication channels for collecting and evaluating information and proposals; and assess the financial and impact status of organizations and their proposals. They manage conflict of interest and build relationships with stakeholders as they work to identify the proposals that are most likely to lead to measurable impact. By the end of this two-semester course, students select the organizations to be funded, the amount of funding, and award the grants at an award ceremony. They evaluate the impact of funding provided in previous years, report their results to their advisory board, and prepare a transition plan for the students who will run the program in the next academic year.  Classes are of a mix of interactive lectures, discussions, and practice assignments. In addition to class time, each student should expect to attend a minimum of two meetings with the advisory board, three events, and two to four site visits.  Willamette University MBA Grant Program

  • Prerequisite(s): Open to 2nd-year students 
  • Enrollment cap: 15 
  • Students are required to take both semesters of the course to receive credit for either semester. 
  • This course was previously titled Grant Administration: Concept to Consequences.

GSM 6013B: Philanthropic Investment for Community Impact
(3 credits) Spring semester of two-semester course.

In this consequential-learning course, students manage a micro-organization with the purpose of awarding funds to local not-for-profit organizations that provide high-impact social programs for the community. Students gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the philanthropic landscape, and gain valuable management experience that applies to all industries. They work with an advisory board and carry a high level of responsibility to be good stewards of the granter’s funds. They build their knowledge, leadership, decision-making, analytical, team, networking, financial and communication skills. They define their micro-organization’s values, mission, goals and priorities; design and implement processes and communication channels for collecting and evaluating information and proposals; and assess the financial and impact status of organizations and their proposals. They manage conflict of interest and build relationships with stakeholders as they work to identify the proposals that are most likely to lead to measurable impact. By the end of this two-semester course, students select the organizations to be funded, the amount of funding, and award the grants at an award ceremony. They evaluate the impact of funding provided in previous years, report their results to their advisory board, and prepare a transition plan for the students who will run the program in the next academic year.  Classes are of a mix of interactive lectures, discussions, and practice assignments. In addition to class time, each student should expect to attend a minimum of two meetings with the advisory board, three events, and two to four site visits.  Willamette University MBA Grant Program

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM 6013A 
  • Enrollment cap: 15
  • Students are required to take both semesters of the course to receive credit for either semester. 
  • This course was previously titled Grant Administration: Concept to Consequences.

GSM 6014: Management Analytics (3 credits) 

Analytics is defined as the scientific process of transforming data into insight for making better decisions. Analytical techniques are presented across various industries (e.g., utilities, healthcare, finance, or military) and in all kinds of business, government, and not-for-profit organizations. Management analytics is seen as an end-to-end process from identifying the management problem to evaluating and drawing conclusions about the prescribed solution through the use of analytics tools and methodologies. Management analytics is a strong blend of modern techniques and technologies that span three major areas: operations research and management sciences (OR/MS) methods such as simulation and optimization, advanced statistical methods in data mining and forecasting, and management information systems (MIS). This course teaches how to use generic OR/MS methods to analyze large amounts of data for better decision making.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum
  • Windows-based Excel is required for this course.

GSM 6015: Accounting and Incentives in Organizations  (3 credits) 

Accounting and Incentives in Organizations focuses on the influence of incentives on individuals’ decisions, and how the mission and design of an organization affects performance measurement and incentives. The course will explore what motivates individual behavior, the conflicts that can arise between individuals and organizations, and how accounting systems and decision rights can be structured to reduce conflicts and direct individuals’ actions towards actions that benefit the organization. Specific topics will include the Levers of Control framework, Balanced Scorecard, Responsibility Accounting, and performance evaluation measures such as Return on Investment (ROI) and Economic Value Added (EVA).

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM-5105

GSM 6016: Organizational Integrity: Ethics and Sustainability (3 credits)

The world outside the classroom is laden with uncertainty, irrational behavior, and at times over zealous exuberance, which may lead to confusion and discontent. Your obligation is to create a structure of understanding that integrates course discipline and experiential applications, and think strategically and critically in determining personal and professional standards of excellence. The course is segregated into learning modules which will explore substantive questions, such as: What constitutes an effective and sustainable organization? What empirical lenses can be applied in analyzing and synthesizing organizational performance? How can organizations incorporate corporate social responsibility into strategic decision making? What constitutes the foundations of organizational ethics? How does governance affect organizational values? What constitutes trust theory and how do organizational agents benefit? How does leadership affect organizational performance within ethical boundaries? 

GSM 6017: Valuation  (3 credits) 

Valuation is the central issue of finance. This course focuses on developing analytical skills appropriate for valuation. Key outcomes include the ability to apply free cash flow analysis, financial ratio analysis, real option analysis, cost of capital estimation, and pro forma analysis to make and assess long term financial decisions.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM-5111 and GSM-5112

GSM 6201:  Public Policy Studies (3 credits)

Studies the process of policy formation, as well as the tools and methods used to conduct policy analysis. The course examines a variety of policy areas of current interest. Students prepare position papers, diagnosing policy problems and evaluating alternative solutions in terms of their political, economic, legal, and administrative feasibility. 

GSM 6202: Product Planning (3 credits)

Product Planning acquaints students with the key issues in product and brand management at various stages in the product life cycle. The class places particular emphasis on marketing's role in introducing new product or service innovations. It also covers how marketing interacts with operations and finance in the process. The course includes lectures and case studies and requires a course project designed to allow students to practice the lessons emphasized in the course.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM 5107

GSM 6203: Seminar in Benefit-Cost Analysis (3 credits)

Examines public cost-benefit analysis. Uses elementary capital budgeting, discounting, market analysis, and project costing to evaluate alternate public policies, and builds skills to communicate quantitative analysis clearly and persuasively to a lay audience. Topics include valuation of benefits and costs, including gains and losses to different groups, and the politics of cost-benefit analysis. Public policies examined include operating investments, physical investment and the environment, investments in human capital, intergovernmental grants, tax expenditures and social regulation.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year fall semester.

GSM 6206: Financial Statement Analysis (3 credits )

In this experiential and cross-sectoral course, students will learn how financial statements and financial information can tell the story of a business or not-for-profit organization and how to use that information. Students will learn how to assess financial and organizational risk and capacity, how to identify the levers that increase or mitigate those risks, key questions to ask and how to answer questions through comparative data analysis, within and across industries and sectors.

This course is rooted in a strong understanding of the relationship between each financial statement and the relationship between transactions and financial statements. It starts from foundational concepts and moves through specific tools and situations with a combination of interactive lectures, cases and work with real situations. 

This course is for any finance, accounting as well as nonfinancial student including but not limited to marketing, human resources, operations and entrepreneurship students who wish to gain a stronger grasp on the language and tools that ultimately drive any business or organization.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM-5105.

GSM 6210: Accounting for Decision-Making (3 credits)

Accounting for Decision Making focuses on how accounting information helps managers evaluate decision alternatives. The course emphasizes two main areas: (1) understanding costs and how they relate to revenues, and (2) using accounting information for decision making. Specific topics include cost behavior analysis, Cost-Volume-Profit analysis, cost estimation, cost accounting systems, cost allocation methods, budgeting, variance analysis interpretation, incremental analysis, constraints, common decision pitfalls, and decision making under uncertainty. 

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM-5105

GSM 6211: Managing Organizational Change (3 credits)

Examines concepts and practices of planned organizational change and development. Course topics include methods and strategies for change, change recipients, entry processes, organizational diagnosis, intervention approaches, assessment of change and follow-up. Emphasizes the role of managers and their agents in designing, initiating and carrying out organizational changes.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM 5104
  • Course fee: One-day simulation on organizational change, cost $50. The cost covers all materials, training and full access to the simulation for three additional months.

GSM 6216: Business and Economic Forecasting (3 credits)

Covers qualitative and quantitative forecasting techniques with emphasis on statistical modeling and interpretation of numerical data. Topics include multiple regression, exponential smoothing, decomposition methods, and Box-Jenkins analysis. Examples and case work are based on business and economic data at both the firm and macro-economic levels.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM 5103

GSM 6218: Global Human Resource Management (3 credits)

Reviews the impact of globalization on HR practice and focuses on the six knowledge and task domains of HR practitioners working at the international or global level: global HR strategic management; global organizational effectiveness and employee development; global staffing; global compensation and benefits; international assignment management; and employee relations and international regulations.

GSM 6220: Lean Six Sigma (3 credits)

In this course, students will learn the concepts, frameworks, and problem-solving tools of Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma is a synergized managerial concept of Lean and Six Sigma that results in reducing waste and cost, improving quality and speed, improving business processes, and achieving high organizational performance. A typical Lean Six Sigma project comprises the Lean's waste elimination effort and the Six Sigma project based on the critical quality characteristics: The former aims at reducing or eliminating various types of waste (including defects, overproduction, waiting, nonutilized resources, transportation, inventory, motion, and excessive processing), while the latter aims at providing goods and service at a rate of 3.4 defects per million opportunities. This course should be useful for the students who are interested in pursuing their management careers in the area of Operations, Analysis and Systems or Sustainability Management.

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of First-Year Core Courses

GSM 6222: Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World (3 credits)

Business dynamics is an introductory class on "System Dynamics" - a method of understanding the world that embraces complexity, feedback, and endogeneity. The class will prepare you to solve real-world problems using a system level view, translate your thinking into feedback diagrams, and evaluate competing explanations for surprising behavior. The class includes discussions and examples of government agencies, corporations, and not-for-profit groups that have used system dynamics to solve problems facing them. The class will also feature "management flight simulators" that allow you to test strategies before implementing them in an organization. Business Dynamics is not a math, accounting, or computer programming class. For more information about systems thinking see (https://www.systemdynamics.org/for-academia).

GSM 6223: Enterprise Data Management (3 credits)

Database management is the foundation of any information system and plays a crucial role in the operations of all organizations in the business, government, and not-for-profit sectors. This course introduces the fundamentals of modern database concepts and database development skills. Students learn to: analyze an enterprise’s data management requirements and integrate data management across functional areas; analyze the requirements of data management and design a conceptual database model using entity relationship modeling, relational design, and normalization; use the Structured Query Language (SQL), the current relational database standard, to implement the conceptual database model into a state-of-the art database management system such as MySQL or Microsoft Access; and use SQL to retrieve data to support business operations and decision making.

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of First-Year Core Courses
  • Microsoft Access is required for this course.

GSM 6226: Angel Investing I -- fall semester of year-long course (3 credits)

Experiential learning course where MBA students learn the strategies and details involved with investing in entrepreneurial ventures. Students are embedded as active investing members in Angel investment groups throughout the Pacific Northwest; evaluating deal flow, performing due diligence and making investment decisions. Investment decisions are made by the students with the oversight of the Advisory Board. Additionally, students work on cutting edge research in the fields of angel investing, venture investing, entrepreneurship and economic development.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum PLUS instructor permission. 
  • Enrollment cap: 14

GSM 6227: Angel Investing II -- spring semester of year-long course (3 credits)

Experiential learning course where MBA students learn the strategies and details involved with investing in entrepreneurial ventures. Students are embedded as active investing members in Angel investment groups throughout the Pacific Northwest; evaluating deal flow, performing due diligence and making investment decisions. Investment decisions are made by the students with the oversight of the Advisory Board. Additionally, students work on cutting edge research in the fields of angel investing, venture investing, entrepreneurship and economic development.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM 6226
  • Enrollment cap: 14

GSM 6228: Entrepreneurial Thinking (3 credits)

The objective of the course is to understand how expert entrepreneurs think through opportunities and strategies as they create sustainable for-profit or not-for-profit organizations in an environment of uncertainty. The course will involve working sessions with entrepreneurs in the community, and involve sessions in Portland in addition to Salem class time. Areas of focus: business model design, venture finance, marketing in new organizations, and direct selling.

GSM 6229: Principles of Management Consulting (3 credits)

Principles of Management Consulting focuses on understanding the management consulting profession, consulting practice, the ethics of consulting and the consultant/client relationship. The emphasis of the course is on organizational change consulting. Students develop consulting skills and techniques to objectively diagnose, evaluate, and improve management and organizational performance. Students use their knowledge of the functional disciplines of management to identify and diagnose organizational performance weaknesses and to assemble information to support and implement recommendations for change. The goal of the course is to improve performance by recommending how managers can use available resources to better achieve the organization’s intended goals and outcomes.

GSM 6236: HR Principles and Practices (3 credits)

The course integrates critical new HR competencies, personnel skills and the application of business and policy knowledge along three HR processes: (1) acquiring and developing talent; (2) managing the employment relationship; and (3) strategic HRM. This course prepares you to assume an HR generalist role in an organizational setting by developing your proficiency in the basic body of HR knowledge.

GSM 6249: Project Management (3 credits)

More and more work in organizations is done through projects. Managers are often part of project team or expect to lead one. This course views complex projects in organizations from a managerial perspective. The course covers the nine key components of project management as identified by the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) such as project integration, project scope management, project time and cost management, quality management,  human resource considerations, communication, risk management and procurement management. It focuses on the tasks and challenges of project management with special emphasis on proper planning, especially in the early phases of a new initiative.  While the course covers the basic of waterfall-based project management, a portion of the course is devoted to agile project management methodologies. The goal of the course is to increase your ability to initiate and manage project more efficiently and effectively in organizations.

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of Fall Semester Core Courses

GSM 6258: International Finance (3 credits)

Examines fixed and floating exchange rates and monetary unions. Develops: 1) an understanding of the strategic and tactical foreign exchange exposure of exporters, importers and international corporations; and 2) techniques for hedging foreign exchange exposure with financial derivatives. Course involves intensive computer gaming of international economic scenarios, including international trade and international financial flows.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum.

GSM 6260: Research for Marketing Decisions (3 credits)

Designed to help students become wise "consumers" or users of marketing research. Defines marketing research as a set of techniques and principles for systematically collecting, recording, analyzing, and interpreting data that can aid decision makers who are involved in the marketing of goods, services, and ideas. Emphasizes techniques that provide information which reduces uncertainty in the decision making process and shifts the basis for decision making from intuitive information gathering to systematic and objective investigation.

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of First-Year Core Courses.

GSM 6261: Marketing Strategy (3 credits)

Explores issues of strategic marketing and the formulation of marketing strategy. Key issues include new product introduction, managing an existing new product, using current strengths to enter new businesses/markets, and how organizational systems and processes relate to strategy formulation and implementation. The course involves case studies and a computer simulation called Markstrat. Students are expected to learn how to present persuasive oral and written reports. The course emphasizes learning-by-doing, and involves a substantial amount of work in teams.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM 5107
  • Course Fee: To be determined.

GSM 6264: Financial Derivatives and Risk Management (3 credits)

Financial derivatives are options, futures, and swaps, and their use is widespread and growing. The purpose of the course is to help students become better managers through the informed use of financial derivatives to create value. Students explore the use of financial derivatives to hedge price risk, increase profitability, increase the value of a firm, and improve market efficiency. The course also focuses on learning how to avoid the dangers of financial derivatives that flow from their potential to bankrupt organizations, threaten the stability of the financial system, and contribute to fraud.

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of First-Year Core Courses

GSM 6268: Leadership (3 credits)

Analyzes current leadership theories and leadership roles in practical everyday situations (teams, meetings, change, etc.).

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of First-Year Core Courses
  • Course fee: Each student will be required to purchase assessment inventories used in the course. Students should expect an additional cost of approximately $35 to $77.

GSM 6270: Negotiation, Bargaining and the Economics of Strategy (3 credits)

This course develops an economic view of strategic decision-making and bargaining/negotiation for managers based on the theory of games. The course is broken into two major areas. With a practical emphasis, we develop decision trees for ubiquitous problems including moral hazard, adverse selection, the incentives of team production, and optimal contingency planning. The same theory facilitates studying important properties of communication in strategic settings.  In the second major area, we study formal games of bargaining and negotiation with discussions of issue linkages and tradeoffs, time-money tradeoffs, optimal strategies, and communications. What should you believe and what are just bluffs? These topics permeate decision problems in the for-profit, not-for-profit, and public sectors.  

GSM 6272: Data Sciences for Strategic Applications (3 credits)

Dramatic rates of increase in the volume, velocity and variety of data create not only the opportunity, but the competitive necessity, to use data as a strategic resource. Data Science, while heavily informed by the elements of statistical thinking, also draws liberally on the tools and concepts of database management and computer science to address the challenges posed by large data sets and a broad range of statistical learning models. Class participants will have the opportunity to learn and apply the tools of data science by working closely with one or more client organizations to solve problems of strategic importance, problems that cut across the traditional functional areas of management. Building on the analytical foundation of standard multiple regression models, as covered in the required data analysis and modeling course, we will explore a variety of additional models for prediction, classification and segmentation – decision trees, logistic regression, neural networks, association rules and cluster analysis. We will also learn advanced tools and techniques for data management, visualization and dimensional reduction. Our work will be supported by a variety of software tools, likely including but not necessarily limited to – Excel, R, Tableau (an advanced data visualization tool) and IBM SPSS Modeler (a data mining environment.) Note: this course replaces our previous course "GSM 6272: Data Mining Applications for the Marketing of Information Based Products.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM 5103

GSM 6275: Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Management (3 credits)

The value sourced from suppliers and the innovation stemming from the supply base has increased substantially in recent years. As a consequence, suppliers and the purchasing function have become critically important for firms in many manufacturing and service industries. A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, technology, activities, information, and resources involved in moving products and services from suppliers to customers. Essentially, supply chain management (SCM) is a cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary management area, which is reflected in at least two aspects. First, supply chains exist in virtually all private, public, and not-for-profit organizations that provide products and/or services. Second, many SCM problems involve marketing, financial planning, human resources scheduling, cost accounting, competitive analysis, production planning, and/or purchasing. Purchasing and supply chain management is on the agenda of top-management today. This course will familiarize students with modern purchasing and supplier management theory and practice. They will learn how to design and implement purchasing strategies, processes, structures and systems, and how to structure and manage supplier portfolios and buyer-supplier relationships to meet firms’ supply needs.

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of First-Year Core Courses

 

GSM 6276: Social Networks for Managers (3 credits)

This course is a seminar course about the management of organizational social networks and structure (whether in public, private, or not-for-profit organizations) in the contexts of navigating your professional career and creating value for yourself and your organization through coordination and control. Social networks, or those relationships between social actors NOT prescribed by the formal organizational structure, have been shown to be highly reliable conduits of knowledge and information. Both scholars and practitioners by and large agree that informal relationships are the key to what does (or does not) get done in organizations. In this course, you will learn how to identify, map, describe, and analyze the structure of these relations. You will also learn how to make social networks work for you by examining the ways in which through such structures scarce resources (including promotions) are being allocated, decisions are being made, behavior is constrained and/or enabled, and competitive advantages in careers, organizations, and markets are channeled.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year fall semester.

GSM 6281: Developing New Ventures (3 credits)

Formerly called "New Ventures to Launch" is focused on the early stages of developing entrepreneurial thinking and action to bridge the gap between "plan" and "plunge". The goal is to let you take an early stage idea and work through the initial steps of turning it into a venture in a way that is systematic, low-cost, and constructed around the expectation that the idea will change many times during the process. The process is designed to elicit the feedback from the marketplace which provides the foundation for such changes or pivots. We'll discuss and practice the process of taking action on a new idea, and how to utilize available people and low-cost resources to build upon experiential efforts to "course correct."

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of First-Year Core Courses

GSM 6283: Corporate Finance (3 credits)

Students in corporate finance course will learn how to plan, implement, and evaluate financing, investing, and dividend payout strategies in domestic and multinational corporations. The course is set within an applied analytical framework. Integrating corporate governance, financial and strategic, and regulatory dimensions, course focuses on applying finance concepts, analytical tool, and valuation models to analyze specific situations. Students evaluate corporate finance decisions utilizing case method. The course topics include advanced capital budgeting, equity, debt, and hybrid financing, risk and cost of capital, capital structure and dividend policies, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, ethics, and government regulation of domestic and global corporate entities.

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of First-Year Core Courses

GSM 6290: Foreign Language Study (3 credits)

Provides advanced language training through the University's foreign language courses numbered 33l, 332, or higher. Graded Pass/Fail. An Atkinson grade of "pass" requires a grade of "B" or better in the class. The instructor has the right to assess and confirm the capacity of the student to take the course, and may require MBA students to complete additional coursework not required of undergraduates. A maximum of six credits of GSM 690 may be applied toward elective credits, but the total number of Pass/Fail credits must be within the Atkinson School academic regulations governing Pass/Fail courses.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year fall semester.

GSM 6291: Investments (3 credits)

This course brings together financial and macroeconomic analysis to design and implement investment strategies in stocks and exchange traded funds. Topics include economic outlook, company analysis and valuation, analysis of risk, equity research, asset allocation, and a design of a custom performance benchmark. Together with GSM-6292A, this is a 6-credit finance experiential elective.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum and must be taken concurrently with GSM-6292A.

GSM 6292A: O'Neill Student Investment Fund (3 Credits)

This is a hands-on investment management course. Students follow economic, financial, and company events, and apply concepts and techniques from the GSM 6291 course and other courses to manage a real portfolio of stocks and exchange traded funds. At the end of the semester, students present their results and outlook to an outside panel.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum and must be concurrently taken with GSM 6291.

GSM 6292B: O'Neill Student Investment Fund (3 Credits)

Continuation of GSM 6292A. Students follow economic, financial, and company events and apply concepts and techniques from the GSM 6291, GSM 6292A, and other courses to manage a real portfolio of stocks and exchange traded funds. At the end of the semester, students present their results and outlook to an outside panel.

  • Prerequisite(s): GSM 6291 and 6292A

GSM 6293: Corporate Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructurings (3 credits)

The course involves analysis of corporate mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers, in addition to a broad array of topics including strategic alliances, financial re-capitalization, Leveraged buyouts, Management buyouts, Going private, Going public, and ESOPs. The course aims at achieving learning outcome for the students in terms of their developing ability to plan, evaluate, and execute corporate restructuring activities using financial modeling and quantitative techniques. The course integrates the corporate governance and agency dimensions, financial and strategic management aspects, and legal and accounting considerations into a unified framework for investigating issues such as, pre-merger planning, fact-finding, accounting and tax implications, antitrust problems, post-merger integration, and short-term and long-term shareholder wealth consequences.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum.

GSM 6294: O'Neill Student Investment Fund (Summer session 3 credits)

This is a hands-on investment management course that meets twice per week from early June until late July. Students follow economic, financial, and company events and apply concepts and techniques to manage a real portfolio of stocks and exchange traded funds. Less quantitative than GSM692 A&B, the summer Student Investment Fund utilizes a text written by a high-level investment manager to value companies and make decisions on stock purchases. Students may continue the Student Investment Fund experience with GSM 6292A (fall semester) and GSM 6292B (spring semester), which constitutes a year-long course.

  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of First-Year Core Courses.

GSM 6296: Sustainability Management (3 credits)

This course is structured as a prerequisite for many of the other courses recommended for the sustainability management area of interest. The overall purpose of this program is to create change agents who have the knowledge and skills to build and/or execute business processes to enhance the viability of the organization and the broader system in which it operates. As such this overview course is designed to provide everyone a base level for understanding the issues involved in becoming an effective change agent.

GSM 7240: International Exchange Program - KEDGE (formerly known as Bordeaux School of Management) (15 credits)

MBA study at Bordeaux School of Management in Bordeaux, France. Courses are taught in English. Students must apply to and be selected by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee to participate in an exchange program. The exchange program occurs during the fall semester of the second year of MBA study. The application and selection process takes place during spring semester of the first year of MBA study. GSM 7240 is graded Pass/No-Pass. Passing grades received from the exchange university will be recorded as "P" on the Atkinson School transcript for MBA students. Failing grades will be recorded as an "N" on the Atkinson School transcript. Students should refer to academic regulations regarding the maximum number of credits from Pass/Fail or Pass/No-Pass courses, internship, independent study, research, foreign language study, waived credits and transfer credits that can be applied toward graduation. A maximum of 12 credits (24 ECTS credits from KEDGE) of exchange course work may be applied to elective credits from the KEDGE fall semester exchange. Students should refer to academic regulations regarding the maximum number of credits from Pass/Fail courses, internship, independent study, research, foreign language study, waived credits and transfer credits that can be applied toward graduation.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum, PLUS application and selection by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee.

GSM 7241: International Exchange Program - Copenhagen Business School (15 credits)

MBA study at Copenhagen Business School in Copenhagen, Denmark. Courses are taught in English. MBA students must apply to and be selected by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee to participate in an exchange program. The exchange program occurs during the fall semester of the second year of MBA study. The application and selection process takes place during spring semester of the first year of MBA study. GSM 7241 is graded Pass/No-Pass. Passing grades received from the exchange university will be recorded as "P" on the Atkinson School transcript for MBA students. Failing grades will be recorded as an "N" on the Atkinson School transcript. Students should refer to academic regulations regarding the maximum number of credits from Pass/Fail or Pass/No-Pass courses, internship, independent study, research, foreign language study, waived credits and transfer credits that can be applied toward graduation. A maximum of 15 credits of exchange course work may be applied to elective credits. Students should refer to academic regulations regarding the maximum number of credits from Pass/Fail courses, internship, independent study, research, foreign language study, waived credits and transfer credits that can be applied toward graduation.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum, PLUS application and selection by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee.

GSM 7242: International Exchange Program - EM Strasbourg School of Business (15 credits)

MBA study at EM Strasbourg School of Business in Strasbourg, France. Courses are taught in English. MBA students must apply to and be selected by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee to participate in an exchange program. The exchange program occurs during the fall semester of the second year of MBA study. The application and selection process takes place during spring semester of the first year of MBA study. GSM 7242 is graded Pass/No-Pass. Passing grades received from the exchange university will be recorded as "P" on the Atkinson School transcript for MBA students. Failing grades will be recorded as an "N" on the Atkinson School transcript. Students should refer to academic regulations regarding the maximum number of credits from Pass/Fail or Pass/No-Pass courses, internship, independent study, research, foreign language study, waived credits and transfer credits that can be applied toward graduation. A maximum of 15 credits of exchange course work may be applied to elective credits. Students should refer to academic regulations regarding the maximum number of credits from Pass/Fail courses, internship, independent study, research, foreign language study, waived credits and transfer credits that can be applied toward graduation.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum, PLUS application and selection by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee.

GSM 7243: International Exchange Program - Copenhagen Business School (6 credits)

MBA study at Copenhagen Business School in Copenhagen, Denmark. Courses are taught in English. MBA students must apply to and be selected by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee to participate in an exchange program. The exchange program occurs during the summer semester between the first and second year of MBA study. The application and selection process takes place during spring semester of the first year of MBA study. GSM 7243 is graded Pass/No-Pass. Passing grades received from the exchange university will be recorded as "P" on the Atkinson School transcript for MBA students. Failing grades will be recorded as an "N" on the Atkinson School transcript. Students should refer to academic regulations regarding the maximum number of credits from Pass/Fail or Pass/No-Pass courses, internship, independent study, research, foreign language study, waived credits and transfer credits that can be applied toward graduation.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum, PLUS application and selection by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee.

GSM 7244: International Exchange Program - EM Strasbourg School of Business (6 credits)

MBA study at EM Strasbourg School of Business in Strasbourg, France. Courses are taught in English. MBA students must apply to and be selected by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee to participate in an exchange program. The exchange program occurs during the summer semester between the first and second year of MBA study. The application and selection process takes place during spring semester of the first year of MBA study. GSM 7244 is graded Pass/No-Pass. Passing grades received from the exchange university will be recorded as "P" on the Atkinson School transcript for MBA students. Failing grades will be recorded as an "N" on the Atkinson School transcript. Students should refer to academic regulations regarding the maximum number of credits from Pass/Fail or Pass/No-Pass courses, internship, independent study, research, foreign language study, waived credits and transfer credits that can be applied toward graduation. 

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum, PLUS application and selection by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee.

GSM 7245: International Exchange Program - Peking University HSBC (15 credits)

MBA study at Peking University HSBC in Peking, China. Courses are taught in English. MBA students must apply to and be selected by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee to participate in an exchange program. The exchange program occurs during the summer semester between the first and second year of MBA study. The application and selection process takes place during spring semester of the first year of MBA study. GSM 7245 is graded Pass/No-Pass. Passing grades received from the exchange university will be recorded as "P" on the Atkinson School transcript for MBA students. Failing grades will be recorded as an "N" on the Atkinson School transcript. Students should refer to academic regulations regarding the maximum number of credits from Pass/Fail or Pass/No-Pass courses, internship, independent study, research, foreign language study, waived credits and transfer credits that can be applied toward graduation. 

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum, PLUS application and selection by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee.

GSM 7246: KEDGE Business School -- Summer School in Bordeaux (5 credits)

Kedge Business School is one of the select institutions worldwide holding EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA accreditation, and the fields of Innovation, Marketing and Wine Management are our institution’s centres of excellence. Each week of the program features dynamic business courses at the beautiful new Kedge Bordeaux campus, but also: visits to innovative companies, social and cultural visits, an organized welcome lunch and farewell dinner, along with optional evening and weekend excursions organized by Kedge students. Bordeaux was voted as the world’s #1 travel destination by the Los Angeles Times and Lonely Planet in 2017! Students can participate in just one or both weeks of the program, therefore can receive up to 10 transferable ECTS credits, documented by both official transcripts and a Certificate of Completion. 10 ECTS credits equals 5 Willamette MBA credits. As part of the exchange program, there is no tuition fee charged for this program. Students will be responsible for their own housing and any additional fees. A student visa is required for this short-term program. The brochure is attached for more information.

  • Prerequisite(s): Core courses of the first-year curriculum, PLUS application and selection by the Atkinson School International Exchange Program Committee.

GSM 7251: Internships for Management I (3 credits)

This course is intended for students participating in their first semester of an internship with an employer. It provides students the opportunity to undertake professional level employment that applies and leverages AGSM core and elective courses and supports students’ career objectives while earning credits toward the MBA degree. Upon registering for GSM 7251 each student will be assigned a Faculty Internship Coordinator (FIC) by the Director of Career Management. Internship students will interact closely with their FIC who will serve as their advisor and mentor for the term with the goal of maximizing personal and professional development from the internship experience. The student may work with the FIC or other faculty when seeking specific technical advice such as finance, marketing, data analysis, etc. Coursework is designed to clarify goals, strategy, action steps, and metrics, to maximize integration of material, and to aid the student in communication of the implementation of their plan with the employer. The coursework includes a position plan, progress updates, mid-term paper, and final paper. A sampling of professional deliverables is required to be shared with the FIC. Students applying to register for Internship I must submit an internship proposal via Internwatch at http://agsm.willamette.edu/internwatch/ and complete an information meeting with the instructor. Students must demonstrate that the application and leverage of MBA level content will occur in depth. Important note for international students: U.S. law applies to students on an F1 or J1 visa. Please see the GSM-7251 course syllabus for a summary of considerations and contact the Office of International Education staff, for complete details.

Additional policies, procedures and information about registration for internship courses are discussed in the Student Handbook - Regulations and Processes Governing Specific Elective Courses - Academic Regulations Related to Internship for Management Courses.

  • Prerequisite(s): Registration for Internship I requires approval by the Director of Career Management or Assistant Director of Career Management, completion of at least 24 credits of the first-year curriculum, good standing and a cumulative Atkinson GPA of 3.00 or higher.

GSM 7252: Internships for Management II (2 credits)

Internship II is for students participating in their second semester of internship with an employer. Internship II is limited to students who successfully completed the requirements of Internship I. This course is intended for students participating in their second semester of an internship with the same employer as for their Internships for Management I course. It provides students the opportunity to undertake professional level employment that applies and leverages AGSM core and elective courses and supports students’ career objectives while earning credits toward the MBA degree. Upon registering for GSM 7252 each student will be assigned a Faculty Internship Coordinator (FIC) by the Director of Career Management. Internship students will interact closely with their FIC who will serve as their advisor and mentor for the term with the goal of maximizing personal and professional development from the internship experience. The student may work with the FIC or other faculty when seeking specific technical advice such as finance, marketing, data analysis, etc. Coursework is designed to clarify goals, strategy, action steps, and metrics, to maximize integration of material, and to aid the student in communication of the implementation of their plan with the employer. The coursework includes a position plan, progress updates, and final paper. A sampling of professional deliverables is required to be shared with the FIC. Students applying to register for Internship II must submit an internship proposal via Internwatch at http://agsm.willamette.edu/internwatch/ and complete an information meeting with the instructor. Students must demonstrate that the application and leverage of MBA level content will occur in depth. Important note for international students: U.S. law applies to students on an F1 or J1 visa. Please see the GSM-7251 course syllabus for a summary of considerations and contact the Office of International Education staff, for complete details.

Additional policies, procedures and information about registration for internship courses are discussed in the Student Handbook - Regulations and Processes Governing Specific Elective Courses - Academic Regulations Related to Internship for Management Courses.

  • Prerequisite(s): Registration for Internship II requires approval by the Director of Career Management or Assistant Director of Career Management, successful completion of Internship I with a grade of P recorded on the transcript, good standing and a cumulative Atkinson GPA of 3.00 or higher.

GSM 7253: Internships for Management III (1 credit)

Internship III is for students participating in their third semester of internship with an employer. Internship III is limited to students who successfully completed the requirements of Internship I and II. In general, students in Internship III will be continuing a significant project or assignment from Internship II, adding a new project or additional responsibilities to their Internship II experience, or working with a new supervisor or department. Internship III requires students to complete a significant work experience, write a position plan that describes how the student will continue to grow in their position, provide monthly updates to the “Contributing Assistant Professor for Internships and Projects,” write a final paper (an overview of what they have learned about the role of their function within the company, the company within the industry, and the industry within the economy), and participate in a final meeting with the “Contributing Assistant Professor for Internships and Projects.” Prerequisite: Registration for Internship III requires official approval from the “Contributing Assistant Professor for Internships and Projects,” successful completion of Internship II, good standing, and a cumulative Atkinson grade point average of 3.00 or higher. Students applying to register for Internship III must submit an internship proposal via Internwatch at http://agsm.willamette.edu/internwatch/ and complete an information meeting with the instructor. Students must demonstrate that the application and leverage of MBA level content will occur in depth. Important note for international students: strict rules apply for students on an F1 or J1 visa. Please see the GSM-7251 course syllabus for a summary of considerations and contact the Office of International Education staff, for complete details.

Additional policies, procedures and information about registration for internship courses are discussed in the Student Handbook - Regulations and Processes Governing Specific Elective Courses - Academic Regulations Related to Internship for Management Courses.

  • Prerequisite(s): Registration for Internship III requires approval by the Director of Career Management or Assistant Director of Career Management, successful completion of Internship II with a grade of P recorded on the transcript, good standing and a cumulative Atkinson GPA of 3.00 or higher.

GSM 7261: Independent Study (1 - 3 credits)

Student studies a topic, not available in regular course offerings, under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. Typically includes reading the relevant literature and completing an evaluative project such as a written exam or paper. Specifics of the project, including credits earned, are determined by the student and professor. Course is graded Pass/Fail. A maximum of six credits from the group of courses of Internship (7251, 7253, 7254), Research 7262 and Independent Study 7261 may be applied toward elective credits, and the total number of Pass/Fail credits must be within the Atkinson School academic regulations governing Pass/Fail courses.

  • Prerequisite(s): Registration requires: core courses of the first-year curriculum, PLUS 3.0 cumulative Atkinson School GPA, PLUS supervision by a faculty member who is tenured or on a tenure track, PLUS completion of "GSM 7261 - Independent Study Form"

GSM 7261G Global Study (1 credit)

Global Study Course Information is available here

  • Prerequisite(s): Requires: Successful completion of at least one semester of Willamette MBA course work, good academic standing, good conduct standing, and submission of the online class application.

GSM 7262: Research (1 - 3 credits)

Student develops research proposal, carries out proposed research, analyzes data and prepares a comprehensive research report under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. Research outcomes should make a contribution to management, the discipline and/or career preparation. Specifics of the project, including credits earned, are determined by the student and professor. Course is graded Pass/Fail. A maximum of six credits from the group of courses of Internship (7251, 7252, 7253), Research 7262 and Independent Study 7261 may be applied toward elective credits, and the total number of Pass/Fail credits must be within the Atkinson School academic regulations governing Pass/Fail courses.

  • Prerequisite(s): Registration requires: core courses of the first-year curriculum, PLUS 3.0 cumulative Atkinson School GPA, PLUS supervision by a faculty member who is tenured or on a tenure track, PLUS completion of "GSM 7262 - Research Registration Form"