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Second Year Courses

The second-year Penn State Smeal Executive MBA courses develop a combination of skills across the fundamentals of business that are critical to the success of a senior leader. Each course in the Executive Leadership Core will present the opportunity for you to apply what you learn as you tackle substantial projects based on challenges facing your firm and those of your classmates, or take part in active simulation exercises.


Strategy Implementation and Organizational Change

Develop the ability to assess the gap between the organization’s current status and future operating structures and implement the changes needed to get there. Explore a range of critical topics including alignment of organizational structure, information and decision processes, rewards, politics, and implementation of turnaround strategies.

Global Finance and International Business Strategy

Develop an understanding of issues driving globalization including the function of international financial markets, currency exchanges and government financial policy. Learn to analyze international business issues and how decisions about financial management are and should be made in the modern multinational enterprise.

Negotiation Theory and Skill

Develop a systematic approach to negotiations that facilitate management success with customers, vendors, partners’ unions, and employees. Explore a range of topics including negotiation analysis, creating value for all parties, claiming value for yourself, negotiation strategy preparation, psychology, and handling conflict. Learn by doing and by comparing your experience with those of your classmates.


Develop the skills to create innovative business models within existing firms and for new ventures. Focus on key issues such as developing a business plan, attracting funding from angel investors and VC firms, launching operations, and developing an exit strategy. Develop a business plan in collaboration with one or more classmates, perhaps even launching the business, as several former students have done.

Strategic Financial Management

Explore the topics of managerial finance in depth as part of this comprehensive course in corporate finance and strategy. Address a range of topics including capital expenditure analysis, capital structure and dividend policies, corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, insider trading, and international corporate finance.

Global Immersion Experience

Meet with executives, government officials and policy makers within the economic region being visited. Gain a better understanding of economic, legal, regulatory, and social systems for local and multinational firms as part of this examination of international business and best practices in one of the world’s emerging economic regions.

Strategic Leadership II

Hone and enhance your individual strategic leadership competencies developed throughout the EMBA experience. Learn from the perspectives and experiences of senior leaders from major corporations worldwide.

Brand Management and Marketing Communications

Understand the language, tools, techniques, and strategic approaches involved in building and deploying powerful integrated market communications programs and campaigns. Learn to effectively communicate the true value of your firm's offerings to gain a unique position in the mind of your customer.

Other Second Year Courses

Financial Risk Management

IT Strategy


Product Pricing

Supply Chain Strategy

Organizational Strategy

Advanced Team Building