Carnegie Mellon University

Master of Science in Management Courses

Tepper School MSM courses equip students with business fundamentals to set the stage for a data-informed, human driven approach to The Intelligent Future.


This course presents the basic concepts of microeconomics theory with an emphasis on business applications. The approach of microeconomics is to solve an economic problem by modeling it as an optimization problem; the solution to the optimization problems then interpreted in terms of the original economic problem. This approach will be used to answer such problems as input selection, pricing and project selection. The format of the class is to present theory common to a general class of applied problems and then to apply the theory by solving actual problems. The goal of the class is for the students to be capable of applying the basic concepts to problems faced both future classes (e.g. finance, macroeconomics) and future careers.

Finance and financial markets are the mechanism that the economy uses to allocate resources across time and shape and share risks. Much of this activity takes place through corporations. The Finance I class will look at finance primarily through the lens of corporations and corporate financial management. The central problem in financial management is the creation of ''value.'' Specifically, how can managers create value through decisions and actions. The main tool we will develop in the course is measuring value using financial markets. Here, specifically, we will calculate "Net Present Value" (NPV) with the technique of "discounted expected cash flows" (DCF). By the end of the course, you should be able to take a large and complex corporate decision, along with some assumptions, structure the cash-flows in a spreadsheet, calculate the value and make a recommendation. As we work to that goal, we will also discuss:

  • How does accounting and basic financial tools used in analysis?
  • How does the corporation interact with broader financial markets. Here, we will take a look at how corporations get funding in debt and equity markets?
  • How do financial markets work? (There is much more on this topic in the Finance II class).

This course introduces tools for decision making under uncertainty, ranging from the fundamentals of probability theory, decision theory and statistical models to simple software for data analysis. Topics include statistical independence, conditional probability, Bayes theorem, discrete and continuous distributions, expectation and variance, decision trees, sampling and sampling distributions, interval estimation, hypothesis testing, p-value, correlation and simple regression.

This course is the first of two required accounting courses, designed to provide MBA students with a solid foundation in accounting. The course introduces students to (1) corporate financial statements and (2) basic cost concepts and their uses. By the end of the course, students will have an improved ability to analyze the information content of financial statements and data from managerial accounting systems. The course will be a mixture of practical, conceptual, and critical approaches. From a practical viewpoint, the course will cover the relationship between accounting data and a firm's underlying operating, investing, and financing activities. At a more conceptual level, the course will focus on the principles and concepts that underlie common reporting practices. The critical approach will focus on the limitations of accounting data, arising from sensitivity to estimation methods as well as from possible manipulations.

There are three related parts of the course. The first introduces and reviews double-entry bookkeeping and the procedures that generate the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows. The second part considers in more detail measurement and disclosure issues associated with these financial statements. The third part introduces the concepts of cost economic and accounting costs and their uses in managerial decision making. (JS, CC 6/13).


Operations management is unique and, to some degree, represents a paradox because it is concerned with one of the oldest and also the most newly engineered information driven activities. Production and logistics activities - such as communication, inventory management, warehousing, transportation, facility location, and product service and support - have been performed since the start of commercial activity. However with advances in communications and computing, these activities have been significantly altered. The impact of the Internet on the way firms manage has been profound and no area has been impacted more than supply chain where the concepts of "virtual integration" and "electronically extended enterprise" are prevalent. 

In the last few years, firms have started focusing on supply chain management and manufacturing as a source of competitive advantage. This becomes even more important given that product life cycles are shrinking and competition is intense. Production and supply chain management that leverage information represent a great challenge as well as a tremendous opportunity for most firms. Another term that has appeared in the business jargon recently is demand chain. From our perspective we will discuss both demand and supply chains in this course and how firms are deploying new processes and technologies to enhance total situational awareness across the supply chain. This will allow us to examine the interplay between operations and other functional areas within the firm and with their suppliers and customers.

We will view the value chain of a firm from the point of view of a general manager. Operations management is all about managing the hand-offs in a value chain - hand-offs of either information, product or cash. The design of a system is critically linked to the objectives of the value chain. Our goal in this course is to understand how operations decisions impact the performance of the firm as well as that of the entire value chain. The key will be to understand the integration of supply chain and demand chains and how they impact financial and non-financial metrics of performance.

This course provides an introduction to the field of marketing and experience in analyzing situations that marketing managers encounter. The course emphasizes marketing principles, analysis and strategy. Topics include marketing management, buyer behavior, product policy, pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion and competitive strategy. Concepts are applied through case studies, client presentations and the development of individual/team marketing plans.

This course is designed to prepare you for the challenging demands of communicating strategically as leaders in formal business situations. The course educational objective: Develop sophisticated communication strategies and techniques necessary to successfully plan, formulate and deliver persuasive management-level presentations that allow you to execute and achieve your specific business goals in the workplace. The educational objective at Tepper: Prepare you to solve business problems and communicate the solutions.

You are never more visible in a company than when you present. Executives make conscious and unconscious decisions about your capabilities based upon your ability to communicate in business presentations. This course provides intensive training and practice in planning, preparing and delivering management-level presentations and responding to penetrating questions typical of a business audience.

You will develop critical-thinking abilities to help you analyze authentic business problems and situations, allowing you to target the specific needs of the decision-makers in your audiences.

The rhetorical and critical-thinking approach provides you with communication strategies to help you craft persuasive verbal and quantitative arguments, allowing you to incorporate the kind of action-oriented arguments and content necessary in business presentations.

Since your attitude, demeanor and delivery style affect every oral message you send, you will also examine vocal and non-verbal delivery techniques, allowing you to project the image of a confident, polished, professional leader.

Finally, you will examine techniques to create effective visuals, allowing you to communicate making use of both the audience's visual as well as auditory channels to enhance assimilation of your business messages.

The class provides you with opportunities to give individual and team presentations based upon authentic business problems where a straightforward decision and action are required. The course assignments examine the kinds of authentic business problems you can expect to encounter in the business world, which might involve persuasive proposals, marketing or strategic plans to senior management, or clarifying expectations and motivating subordinates. You will review your video recorded presentations and receive feedback from your colleagues and professor. Evaluation criteria include content items such as clarity, persuasiveness, attention to audience's concerns and potential questions, organization and structure; vocal and non-verbal cues to enhance audience comprehension; and visuals and graphics to reinforce your spoken narrative.


This course covers fundamental optimization tools for quantitative analysis in the management sciences. The central topics of study are linear integer and nonlinear programming. Special emphasis is placed on linear programming particularly on modeling business applications and on sensitivity analysis. The course follows a practical spreadsheet-based approach to provide hands-on experience with software such as Excel Solver.

Course description to come