Curriculum/Course Descriptions

The AUSB MBA is a 36-unit program that concentrates on the development of strategic leadership competencies in a collaborative learning environment built upon the foundational goals of the Antioch University MBA.

The Integrative Strategy Project (“ISP”) is an integral part of the MBA curriculum. In the first semester, students select one organization — their own employer or one of Antioch Organizational Partners — as a “live case” study. Throughout each term, the student will assume the lead role for the organization and perform the following:

  • Assess findings from the internal and external perspective
  • Develop a clear vision and list of strategic and financial goals
  • Craft a strategy to achieve these goals
  • Integrate an implementation plan ensuring the success of the intended strategy

During the first two semesters, students will have a one-unit ISP course in order to begin this work. In the last two semesters, students will have two-unit courses to allow more time for their ISP. Their six-unit, four-semester-long, ISP experience will culminate in a final written project, encompassing the knowledge gained in these course and as applied to their project company. This approach allows students to bring the concepts and skills they learn in class to the workplace the very next day, and culminates with a comprehensive strategic plan ready for implementation.

Course Descriptions

The hybrid course design allows for face to face meetings monthly during each semester. Students will attend classes at the beautiful downtown AUSB campus once every four weeks during each semester (totaling four times per class, per semester). Click on the course title to see its description, or view/download the entire course list here.

MBA Semester 1

BUS 500 Introduction to Social Business, Non-Profit Management,
and Strategic Leadership (3 units)

Social businesses and non-profit enterprises practice innovative and sustainable solutions to challenging social problems. In this course, students will be introduced to the history and theory of emerging activities and the application of strategic leadership as it is applied in social businesses, non-profits, and other contexts.

BUS 503 Finance I: Introduction to Management Accounting and Finance (3 units)

This course will provide the basics required for an understanding of financial and accounting issues for both social ventures and nonprofits.  Topics will include cash flow analysis, financial reporting, and various measurement systems for the evaluation of financial and non-financial metrics of performance.

BUS 521 Legal, Regulatory, & Ethical Issues (3 units)

A solid grounding in the rules and regulations governing various types of organizational structures and the societal expectations of their governance is a requirement for complying with the standards of the 21st century. This course provides a framework for understanding the connection between ethics, law, and regulation in business environments.

BUS 600A Integrative Strategy Project I (1unit)

The general objective of the first term of this 4-semester sequence is an introduction to the market using interviews with social entrepreneurs and/or nonprofit leaders to begin to draw baseline comparisons.  Through the interview process, students will explore various types of organizations, evaluate alternatives for ideas or concepts relative to their organizational form and begin to hone their concepts for the feasibility study they will do in BUS 600B. The semester project is an interview report (using both structured and non-structured questions) to uncover the strategic goals of the organization, its origins, and path to present operations.

MBA Semester 2

BUS 504 Entrepreneurship & Leading Change (3 units)

At its heart, Entrepreneurship is the development, aggregation and successful deployment of resources: financial, human, and intellectual.  Innovation and creativity exists in every field of endeavor and within any organizational structure.  Although the entrepreneurial spirit might be behind change in an organization, it also drives the successful implementation of carefully realized plans-and the knowledge of available resources. This course will provide students an opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial ability and, through self-reflection, explore who they want to be as a leader, social business and non-profit champion, entrepreneur, and agent of change.

BUS 506 Marketing and Communication Strategy (3 units)

This course will explore the practical and theoretical aspects of this most crucial component of an organization’s design and operations.  Marketing is the process by which the organization communicates the value proposition or benefits of its products and services.  It is also the process through which an organization can design its product or service offerings.  Particular attention will be paid to the social system and cultural dependencies of marketing strategy and the various ways in which the enterprise can connect with its stakeholders.

BUS 520 Finance II: Fundraising & Financial Management (3 units)

This course will build on the analytical and critical thinking skills developed in Finance I. Students will develop understanding of the various forms of organizations, types of business taxes, preparing financial forecasts, and sources of internal and external financing as well as modeling techniques. This course provides an introduction to venture capital, an overview of fundraising processes and systems, and the framework through which managers can determine the efficiency and effectiveness of various tactics within an organization’s private revenue stream. Prerequisite: BUS 503 Finance I.

BUS 600B Integrative Strategy Project II (1 unit)

In the second semester of a 4-semester sequence, students will explore techniques used to create and evaluate new concepts and new business opportunities for both nonprofit and social ventures from the initiation of the concept to analysis of feasibility and criteria for decisions.  The specific objectives for this section are the generation of concepts, evaluation of concepts for feasibility, generation of strategic alternatives, and determination of final choice.  The semester deliverable is a feasibility plan.

MBA Semester 3

BUS 501 Leadership, Teamwork, and Diversity:
Developing Human Resources in Changing Environments (3 units)

This course will provide an overview of key principles of effective human resource practice for managers and will integrate conceptual and experiential approaches to communication, self-awareness, situational leadership, creative problem solving, and social responsibility.  It will include best practices in recruitment, hiring, evaluation, and the legal and environmental complexities of human resources management, including counseling, mentoring, and training.

BUS 502 Global Philanthropy & Social Responsibility (3 units)

This course will build on the analytical and critical thinking skills developed in previous coursework and will examine the growing role of philanthropy and social investment on the global stage.  The course will provide an overview of new kinds of creative capitalism.  This course will also address the moral and ethical issues that arise when major private philanthropic resources are combined with market-based solutions in the attempt to resolve systemic social dilemmas.

BUS 600C Integrative Strategy Project III (2 units)

The third semester of a 4-semester sequence will include the preparation of a specific strategic and action plan based on the feasibility study from BUS 600B, interviews from BUS 600A and curriculum skills from previous course activity.

MBA Semester 4

BUS 505 Integrative Strategic Management (3 units)

The essence of strategic planning is to define the business we are in, how to build sustainable organizations in that arena and how to manage and lead that business.  This course will provide the basic framework for the completion of the strategic plan outlined in BUS 600D.  Topics will include defining the business, determining the stakeholders, detailing goals, and evaluating action plans to reach those goals.  Students will analyze strategic decision-making in a variety of environments and will build an outline for a strategic plan for an organization of their choice or creation.

BUS 522 International Trade & Economics (3 units)

This course will investigate present models of international economics and their relationship to social ventures, NGO’s, and nonprofit organizations around the world.  Students will be exposed to various models of political economy, ecological and behavioral economics, and the role of world trade and international financial organizations.

BUS 600D Integrative Strategy Project IV (2 units)

This fourth semester course is the culmination of the entire course of study, employing the skills and tools provided in the prior coursework and resulting in a specific plan for action.  The “final” will be a strategic plan presentation to an external group of senior advisors who are knowledgeable in the field and familiar with the process of starting or managing social or nonprofit ventures. The deliverable for this section is a presentation of the strategic plan prepared in the last section, discussion and analysis of the plan and revisions to accommodate instructor, peer, and external reviewer comments.  The goal is a course project that has real world, real time applicability.





MBA Residency Dates

Semester 1: Fall 2014

9/5/14 – 9/6/14

10/10/14 – 10/11/14

11/7/14 – 11/8/14

12/5/14 – 12/6/14


Semester 2: Spring 2015

1/9/15 – 1/10/15

2/6/15 – 2/7/15

3/6/15 – 3/7/15

4/3/15 – 4/4/15



Semester 3: Summer 2015

5/8/15 – 5/9/15

6/5/15 – 6/6/15

7/10/15 – 7/11/15

8/7/15 – 8/8/15


Semester 4: Fall 2015

9/11/15 – 9/12/15

10/2/15 – 10/3/15

11/6/15 – 11/7/15

12/4/15 – 12/5/15



MBA Residency Schedule

Semester 1 & Semester 2 

Friday:            2:00pm – 5:00pm (Class #1*)

                         5:30pm ~ 8:30pm (Networking Event**) 

Saturday:       8:30am – 11:30am (Class #2*)

                         11:30am – 12:30pm (Lunch)

                         12:30pm – 1:45pm (Class #3* – Integrative Strategy Project)

                         2:00pm – 5:00pm (Class #4*) 

Semester 3 & Semester 4

Friday:            2:00pm – 5:00pm (Class #1*)

                         5:30pm ~ 8:30pm (Networking Event**)

Saturday:       9:00am – 12:00pm (Class #2*)

                         12:00pm – 1:00pm (Lunch)

                         1:00pm – 3:30pm (Class #3* – Integrative Strategy Project) 

*Does not denote actual course number assigned to the specified meeting time.  

**Student attendance at Networking Events is recommended but not required.