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Academic Affairs
NYU Stern

MBA Program Structure - Fall Start

General Program Outline

  • You are required to complete 60 credits for the MBA degree.
  • 7-9 courses (21-27 credits) will be a combination of required and menu core, taken in your first year.
  • You will take Professional Responsibility, the capstone core course (1.5 credits), in your second year.
  • Your remaining credits will be electives.

Core Summary

Required Stern Core (3 courses/7.5 credits)

2 first semester core courses (3 credits each):
Statistics and Data Analysis (a)*+
Financial Accounting and Reporting (a)*+

1 second year core course (1 course/1.5 credits):
Professional Responsibility (d)

Menu Core*

Choose at least 5 out of 7 courses (15-21 credits)
Strategy (a)+
Firms and Markets (a)+
Marketing (b)
Foundations of Finance (b)
Operations Management (formerly Competitive Advantage from Operations) (b)
Leadership in Organizations (c)
The Global Economy (c)

Students must take 5 of the 7 Menu Core in the first two semesters of their program.  With special permission, students can enroll in additional Core courses in the second year of their program.  If they elect this option, students will take the additional Core courses with Langone students, on a space-available basis.

(a) Offered only in the fall of your first year.
(b) Offered in both fall and spring of your first year.
(c) Offered only in the spring of your first year.
(d) Offered only in your second year.
* May be waived if you establish proficiency in the course. Please refer to the
Core Course Waivers.  Note:  If you establish proficiency in a Menu Core course, you will still be required to take at least 5 out of 7 Menu Core courses.  For example, if you establish proficiency in Marketing by (i) having an undergraduate major in Marketing or (ii) passing the proficiency exam, you will still need to take 5 Menu Core courses, but you will only have 6 Menu Core options to choose from now (Marketing was the 7th Menu Core option).
+ You will take these courses with your Block.

Your First Year - Satisfying Core Requirements

The First Semester - 15 Credits
You must take or waive the required core: Financial Accounting (3 credits) and Statistics and Data Analysis (3 credits). Select your remaining three courses (9 credits) from the menu of core offerings. Plan carefully as some are offered only in the fall while others you also can take in the spring. Please refer to the General Program Outline listed above and to the Typical MBA Program of Study.

The following are the first semester core prerequisites:

Foundations of Finance – You must possess knowledge of basic economic and statistical concepts.

Your class is divided into six Blocks – the cohorts of students with whom you will take most of your fall core and participate in a variety of other activities. Financial Accounting and Reporting, Statistics and Data Analysis, Firms and Markets, and Strategy are taken with your Block. You will also take part in the Management Communication Forum (formerly Team Communication), a non-credit required course, with your Block.

The Second Semester - 15 credits

In your second semester, you will take your remaining menu core courses (for a total of at least five) and begin your elective courses. Leadership in Organizations is taken with your Block.

Opting out of Core Courses

While you may choose to opt out of the seven menu core courses, we strongly caution you to consider carefully before you do. All core courses are fundamentally important, and students should master the content of every course.

You should consider opting out of a core course only if:

1) You believe you have mastered enough knowledge or experience in an area to pursue your clearly defined career goals and to know that you do not need to take the core course in that subject, and

2) You are certain that [a] you will not want to take an elective for which the core course is a prerequisite or [b] you have established proficiency in the core subject . You must establish proficiency before you will be able to register for an elective that requires it.

Students who do not take all seven menu core courses take responsibility for any consequences on their ability to register for electives.

[a] View prerequisites under each course description
[b] Establishing proficiency

Your Second Year – Electives & Specializations

15 Elective credits in each semester

Other than the Professional Responsibility course requirement, your second year presents an open schedule to fill with electives, including those that will count toward your specialization(s). If you wish, you can study abroad and take business-relevant classes at other NYU graduate schools. Starting now, plan ahead to make sure you satisfy the prerequisites for electives you wish to take.

Tips for choosing electives
1. First, check to see if it has any prerequisites that you need to fulfill. Please note that prerequisites are listed on the course descriptions under each individual course.
2. Look at the syllabus for each course, which is posted on the Course Listings & Sample Syllabi page.
3. Talk to students. Your fellow students will offer useful advice on course selections. Speak to members of clubs that focus on related areas.
4. Meet with an academic department advisor.
5. Examine professors' recent publications and professional papers. Each department keeps a list. Faculty profiles are also on each departmental website.
6. Review the Course Faculty Evaluations (CFEs) for the course.


All Stern students graduate with an MBA in General Management. In addition, you may elect as many as three nine-credit specializations. Or, you may choose not to specialize in one of the areas we have designed and customize your elective choices to your unique interests and goals.

By default, the specialization listed for you on the advising and registration system is the one you indicated on your application for admission. However, you may change it at any time prior to your graduation deadline.

You don't need to commit to a specialization in the first semester. However, keep in mind what you are likely to want to take later in the program, so that you choose your menu core courses wisely. Core courses do not count toward specializations.