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Academic Affairs

Establishing Proficiency in a Core Course

We believe that all Core courses are fundamentally important, and that broad knowledge of these areas of business will be valuable to you during you career. You are required to complete your program's Core requirements as outlined in the Full-Time or Langone program requirements and have the option to establish proficiency in order to satisfy these Core requirements. In all cases, you must take a total of 60 credits for the MBA requirements. Any Core course in which you establish proficiency will be replaced by elective credits.

Core Course Proficiency Methods

You may pursue any of the following methods to establish proficiency in a Core course (details of each method are provided below):

  1. Having earned an Undergraduate Major or Masters degree in that subject or having taken at least five courses in the subject
  2. Passing a Stern Proficiency Exam
  3. (For COR1-GB.1306 (B01.1306): Financial Accounting & Reporting only) Demonstrating proof or verification of either a) a U.S. CPA License; b) a passing grade on the U.S. CPA exam; or c) a chartered accounting certification.

Core Course Proficiency Registration

You may request to establish proficiency in a Core Course through our Core Course Proficiency site.

1) Undergraduate Major or Masters Degree Proficiency Policy

Students who possess an undergraduate major or advanced degree in the Core discipline area, or who have taken five or more courses in the subject, may choose to establish proficiency in the respective Core course. You are not automatically given proficiency in the Core course(s).  You must make a formal request on the Core Course Proficiency Registration site, if you wish to establish proficiency in that course through your previous degrees. In addition to establishing proficiency, students are expected to review the topic lists below to confirm that they are proficient in the material of the course.

Below is a chart that identifies the previous course work that qualifies for each Core course.

Core CourseUndergrad Major Or Masters Degree
COR1-GB.1302 (B01.1302) Leadership in OrganizationsManagement*
COR1-GB.1303 (B01.1303) Firms & MarketsEconomics
COR1-GB.1305 (B01.1305) Statistics & Data AnalysisStatistics
COR1-GB.1306 (B01.1306) Financial Accounting & ReportingU.S. Accounting Majors, U.S. CPAs, Chartered Accountants  (Students who
have a CFA designation are required to take the Proficiency Exam, per the Accounting Department's policy)
COR1-GB.2310 (B01.2310) MarketingMarketing
COR1-GB.2311 (B01.2311) Foundations of FinanceFinance  (Students who have a CFA designation are required
to take the Proficiency Exam, per the Finance Department's policy)
COR1-GB.2314 (B01.2314) Operations Management (formerly Competitive Advantage from Operations)Industrial Engineering or Operations Management
COR1-GB.2303 (B01.2303) The Global EconomyEconomics
FINC-GB.2302 (B40.2302) Corporate Finance (Elective - See note at bottom of this page.)Finance**  (Students who have a CFA designation are required
to take the Proficiency Exam, per the Finance Department's policy)

* Substantial coursework in Organizational Behavior or Theory required. Proficiency established upon review and approval of transcripts.
Students wishing to establish proficiency in Corporate Finance must have taken at least five courses in Finance, including at least one course in Corporate Finance.

Request to establish proficiency in a Core course with your previous course work or degree through the 
Core Course Proficiency site.

2) Proficiency Exam Policy

Proficiency exams provide the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the material covered in some Core courses and qualify to substitute more advanced courses for them. First, review the Core course topic list provided below. If you feel that you are proficient in all of these topics, we encourage you to take the proficiency exam for that course.

Proficiency Exam Details:

  • Exams are offered throughout the year for all MBA students.
  • All exams are closed-book.
  • You have two hours for each exam.  
  • All proficiency exams will be offered during each 2-hour exam session.
  • You may take only one exam per each 2-hour exam session.
  • You may take each proficiency exam only once.
  • You are permitted to use standard or financial calculators.
  • You are not permitted to use iPhones, Blackberries, laptops or similar devices.
  • Exams are graded "Pass/Fail".
  • Exam grades may not be appealed.
  • Exam results will not be reviewed or discussed. 
  • Should you not pass an exam, you must register for and complete the Core course, if it is part of your Core requirements or to satisfy an elective pre-requisite.
  • If you pass, you may register for subsequent electives that require this course as a pre-requisite.
  • Establishing proficiency in a course does not reduce the number of credits required for the degree.  
  • You are only eligible to sit for Core proficiency exams within the first year of starting your program. In some extenuating circumstances, you may need to take a proficiency exam after their first year of your program.  If this is your situation, you may make a request in the form of a petition to the Academic Policy Board.

Core Course Topic Lists:

Register for a Core course proficiency exam through the Core Course Proficiency Site.    When you register for an exam, note the date, time, and location of each exam for which you register.  All Washington Square exams will be given in the Kaufman Management Center.  Westchester students may make special arrangements to take the exams at the Westchester location.  Please contact the Langone Westchester Office to inquire.

3) CPA and Chartered Accountant Proficiency Policy

You may establish proficiency in COR1-GB.1306 (B01.1306): Financial Accounting & Reporting by demonstrating proof of any of the following:

  1. a U.S. CPA License
  2. a passing grade on the U.S. CPA exam
  3. a chartered accounting certification

Accounting licenses from countries other than the U.S. are not acceptable to establish proficiency.  If you have an accounting license from a  country other than the U.S., you will need to take and pass the proficiency exam in order to establish proficiency in Financial Accounting & Reporting, COR1-GB.1306 (B01.1306).

Request to establish proficiency in Accounting through the Core Course Proficiency site


FINC-GB.2302 Corporate Finance (3.0 credits) 

Full-Time and Langone students are not required to take the Corporate Finance elective course.  However, a number of upper-level elective courses require Corporate Finance as a co-requisite or pre-requisite.  Students who wish to establish proficiency in Corporate Finance as a co-requisite or pre-requisite may take the Corporate Finance proficiency exam or establish proficiency with previous course work. 

COR2-GB.3101 (B02.3101) Professional Responsibility (1.5 credits)

All students must take this capstone Core course.  It is not possible to establish proficiency in this course.