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Stanford MBA Curriculum (Analysis)

The first year focuses on the foundation of General Management: Finance, Leadership, Marketing, Operations, Human Resource Management, and Informed Decision Making.

First Quarter Courses (Autumn)

Ethics in Management


Post-2008 Financial crisis, MBAs were labelled as the “Wall Street Crooks,” even worse, one of Stanford’s own MBA - Mathew Martoma, was sentenced to a 9-year jail term for profiting his company a whopping $276 million in a single transaction through insider trading. It is not just that Martoma profited through unethical means, he even lied his way through MBA Admissions.

Although Ethics in Management as a required MBA course might be in the pipeline before the 2008 crisis, the course provides a framework for making ethical decisions on a day-to-day basis, and in, group decisions where ethical perceptions of people collide. To avoid scenarios where group decisions override ethical decisions, the course offers guidelines for ethical analysis, to overcome ethical dilemmas, and to deal with the practical issues of convincing people, who have to make a decision between choosing an ethical decision that generates lower profit or an unethical decision that accumulates a windfall profit.

Financial Accounting


Reading and understanding corporate financial statements can be completed as a prerequisite course before joining the Stanford MBA program. The Financial Accounting course takes the understanding of Financial Statements to the next level. You will learn the advanced application of accounting in financial reporting, consolidation, derivatives, revenue recognition, variable interest entities, and equity compensation – to name a few of the concepts covered in the course.

Leadership Labs

Stanford Graduate School of Business were one of the pioneers in experiential learning. This course applies the principles of a video game, where Business Simulation becomes harder and harder as the student progresses each round. With the course, students will have the chance to recognize skills that have the most influence in a team setting, and enable them to reach the ‘revered’ executive position.

When productivity and effectiveness influence your ability to lead, understanding the triggers that stimulate higher efficiency across an organization is essential to creating high-performing teams. The Executive Challenge is the final exam in the course where experienced senior Stanford GSB alumni facilitate a Business Simulation that requires you to apply whatever you have learned as a leader in a controlled environment.

Managerial Skills


Not all courses are prepared from the perspective of a Fortune 500 company. This experiential learning course, examine problems faced by small and midsized Businesses, and approach skill development as a Manager with four cases. The faculty helps students explore solutions to the problems mentioned in the case. Students are required to come prepared for the cases and play different roles – in some cases as the Management, and in some other cases as key employees. By thinking like a Manager, and as one of the work force, Stanford MBA students approach problems from all angles.

Managing Groups and Teams

One of the key learning objectives from an MBA is to manage teams and groups of diverse personalities. Although your pre-MBA experience might have exposed you to group dynamics, and group thinking, this course gives you the structure and processes to manage group performance. With a wide list of topics that expose the disadvantages of working in a team, the course also requires Stanford MBAs to take part in group exercises that illustrates the importance of teamwork, and methods to diagnose problems faced in a team, with steps to incrementally improve the overall performance. With the course, students will learn to improve creativity and coordination of the team.

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