Program Components

Open a window to a new view of curricular innovation

MIT Sloan students attending an informal seminar.

MIT Sloan’s MBA program encompasses an unparalleled combination of in-depth case studies with live case discussions, stimulating collaborative projects, engrossing classes taught by exceptional faculty, extraordinary chances to interact with industry leaders, and Action Learning Lab classes.

This broad portfolio of learning opportunities puts you in an enviable position to experience exponential growth — academically, personally, and professionally. More than that, the MBA program at MIT Sloan gives you confidence in your own leadership skills and your ability to meet a variety of challenge, and it propels you toward accomplishing your career goals and aspirations. 

Specialized, Diversified, Rigorous

Our diversified, specialized, and rigorous curriculum exemplifies our commitment to balancing innovative ideas and theories with hands-on, real-world application.

The academic level of the coursework at MIT Sloan is markedly rigorous, and is further distinguished by a greater emphasis on analytical reasoning and quantitative analysis than most top-tier programs provide.

Curriculum

A core component of MIT Sloan’s curriculum is Action Learning — directly applying academic concepts to real-world business challenges. Courses blend in-depth case studies, integrated lectures that link historical context to contemporary issues, live team projects, and opportunities for reflection, laying a strong foundation for career exploration and personal growth. Through reflection before, during, and after their project-based work and classroom learning, students broaden their leadership skills, bringing new insights back to MIT Sloan, enhancing their academic experience and more fully preparing them for their professional lives.

First-Semester Core

Through the powerful, shared experience of the first-semester Core, you'll build the foundation of your MIT Sloan education. Working with a diverse team of six to seven classmates in a larger group of 68 students who stay together for all Core classes, you’ll gain necessary, fundamental skills through required coursework in economics, accounting, managerial communication, business statistics, and organizational processes (as well as an elective in marketing, finance, operations, or strategy). You’ll also learn invaluable lessons about teamwork.

Only one semester long, the Core structure provides the foundation of freedom and flexibility you need to pursue your personal goals and interests throughout the rest of your time at MIT Sloan.

Sloan Innovation Period (SIP)

The Sloan Innovation Period (SIP) replaces the traditional 13-week semester with a more effective rhythm, allowing you to engage in intellectual exploration outside the classroom. SIP occurs at the midpoint of each semester and gives students one intensive week of experiential leadership learning, as well as exposure to groundbreaking faculty work. During the Core, SIP courses focus on the critical topics of ethics and leadership. The flexibility of SIP course selection permits you to focus on a particular area of interest, further customizing your experience. During the spring semester, SIP combined with spring break, affords enough time for on-site visits to host companies for Action Learning courses and programs.

Independent Activities Period (IAP)

For enterprising members of the MIT Sloan community, winter break can be a time to broaden educational horizons and further explore personal interests alongside other students, MIT staff, faculty, and alumni. Every January, the Independent Activities Period (IAP) offers a four-week term of credited and non-credited how-to sessions, forums, lecture series, films, recitals, treks, and tours. IAP offerings represent literally hundreds of wide-ranging topics — diverse options have included An Introduction to Nuclear Power, Mediterranean Cooking, Developing Scalable Cloud Applications Using Spring, and Welding. Students enrolled in G-Lab and L-Lab Action Learning courses will spend IAP traveling to sites around the world to conduct on-site project work with their host companies.

Action Learning Labs

MIT Sloan offers a broad portfolio of hands-on Action Learning opportunities that combine classroom learning and real-world business experience.

In the Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab), student teams engage with entrepreneurs in developing economies around the world. The Leadership Lab (L-Lab) partners students with leaders to help drive innovations that generate both social responsibility and global business sustainability. Through the China Lab, MIT Sloan students team up with international MBA students from five of China’s leading business schools to collaborate with Chinese entrepreneurs on a variety of business challenges. In the India Lab, students get intensive real-world experience working with for-profit and non-profit organizations to address business challenges. The Sustainable Business Lab (S-Lab) crafts business approaches to environmental and social issues by working with a variety of organizational structures. Within these Action Learning Lab courses, students choose from a broad array of projects with companies, NGOs, and government agencies that cover wide-ranging interests and challenges.

On the Right “Tracks”

To further enhance our flexible curriculum, we offer our MBA students specialized Tracks in FinanceEntrepreneurship and Innovation, and Enterprise Management. We also offer a certificate program in Sustainability. Each of these options can lead you along a more defined career path. Within these offerings, like-minded students take relevant courses and participate in extracurricular activities with key industry leaders and faculty. Students take full advantage of the Action Learning Lab courses associated with these Tracks, in which small teams of students work with partner companies to develop solutions to today's increasingly complex management challenges.

At the heart of these diverse curricular offerings is MIT Sloan’s commitment to encourage freedom of choice and experimentation. In addition to the analytic rigor you would expect from MIT, we focus sharply on the broad concepts and subtle nuances of real-world business challenges — and offer a host of opportunities exclusive to MIT to engage you in decision making and big-picture analysis while enhancing your leadership skills.

Follow Your Interest

Through entrepreneurial energy and a willingness to experiment and innovate, MIT Sloan has created a vast array of management education approaches. Rather than force you into the mold of prepackaged curriculum, MIT Sloan allows you to design a course of study best suited to your interests, learning style, and vision. We are distinct among top-tier business schools in North America in the level of flexibility we encourage and the number of opportunities for customization we provide. This personal path of study can be accomplished by following a specific Track, by selecting courses from a wide variety of MIT and MIT Sloan options, or by pursuing a dual degree. Joint degree programs include Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) in conjunction with the MIT School of Engineering and the three-year MIT Sloan and Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS) dual degree.

Think, Act, Reflect

MIT Sloan is the leader in Action Learning in management education. Our approach integrates theory, real-world practice, and personal reflection to develop principled, innovative leaders who solve complex problems and produce systemic change.

Action Learning is an integral component of every student’s experience at MIT Sloan. While Action Learning is offered in other business programs, Action Learning at MIT Sloan is a unique process in which students constantly refine their learning through an ongoing, iterative sequence of theory, practice, and reflection. The integration of learning through classroom theory and real-world practice — whether by starting their own business, working with major companies on their latest financial issues, helping entrepreneurs from developing economies structure sustainable businesses, or solving problems that keep even top executives awake at night — is a part of MIT Sloan’s DNA. "Learning by doing” is how we think about management education.

MIT LEADERSHIP CENTER Changing views of leadership

“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”

Deborah Ancona
Faculty Director, MIT Leadership Center
$100K WINNERS: C-CRETE TECHNOLOGIES Reducing the environmental impact of concrete

“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”

Natanel Barookhian
MBA
INSTITUTE FOR WORK AND EMPLOYMENT RESEARCH Adapting to the changing nature of work

“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”

Thomas Kochan
Co-director, IWER
SWITZER FELLOWSHIP WINNER JASON JAY Focusing on environmental research and leadership

 “I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”

Jason Jay
Lecturer, Sustainability, MIT Sloan
LEADERS FOR GLOBAL OPERATIONS Connecting management and technology
“[LGO students] get the advantage of a small cohort. But they’re also part of the larger community. They’re part of MIT, of MIT Sloan, of the MBA program. They’re part of the core program that meets every fall, they’re part of the engineering committee; they get the benefits of both the larger community and the small cohort.”
Don Rosenfield
senior lecturer and director of the Leaders for Global Operations
G-LAB, KUALA LUMPUR Assessing the future of the Smart Card
"You have to manage what you can deliver for the company and what the company is expecting. The bottom line is that the CEOs of those companies want results. Even though we have to work five months in a row with the project, we have to deliver. This experience is more pragmatic than academic. It's a good opportunity to match those two worlds."
Camilo Syllos
MBA
G-LAB: AIDS IN TANZANIA Striving for economic empowerment

“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”

Krishna Venugopalan
SF
G-LAB: PRIVATE HEALTH CARE IN AFRICA Defining growth at a for-profit clinic

“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”

Anne Reilly
MBA
S-LAB: JAKARTA WATERSHED Combating a clean water crisis

“I came to Sloan because of its high rankings within the sustainability community, specifically the professors. The S-Lab class itself is part of what drew me to Sloan. And the reason I came to business school was to learn the business speak that really is what connects with people."

Ian Lavery
MBA
G-LAB: WARMBATHS HOSPITAL, SOUTH AFRICA Improving staffing at a maternity ward

“I can honestly say that when I was planning on coming to business school I never thought that witnessing the birth of a child would be included in the education. It was definitely an experience.”

Kelsey McCarty
MBA
INDIA LAB: BANGALORE Working toward market expansion

“[The India Lab] program is one of the reasons I came to Sloan. ... The hands-on learning that MIT offers was a huge differentiator.”

Katie Baron
MBA
SLOAN FELLOW Getting serious about going global
"I had interviews and visited other business schools, and it’s nothing like the environment that we have here at MIT Sloan."
Abner Oliviera
SF
G-LAB: INTERGRUPO, COLOMBIA Growing a business by cultivating relationships

"After we gave our recommendations, the great part was that the very next day the CEO was in the boardroom implementing them with his top vice presidents."

Ramy Hakim
MBA
G-LAB: NAM MEE BOOKS, THAILAND Helping a book publisher mature

“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”

Lia Cavalcante
MBA
COURAGE AND STRENGTH Supporting a student with breast cancer
"The Sloan community really rallied around me in a way that I totally didn’t anticipate. … It was just really nice to be a part of a community that I was totally comfortable in and felt completely supported by."
Kyle Maner
MBA
RETAIL AND CONSUMER GOODS Luxury beauty and the multicultural consumer
"The goal of the Retail and Consumer Goods Club is to provide networking opportunities for students at MIT Sloan, and to educate students about different functions within the retail and CPG space. We bring in executive-level speakers to educate our community on this topic."
Nga Phan
MBA, co-president of Retail and Consumer Goods Club
CENTER FOR INFORMATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH Bringing people and machines together

 “For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”

Jeanne W. Ross
Director and Principal Research Scientist, CISR
G-LAB: MERCY CORPS, INDONESIA Using business principles to address malnutrition

“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”

Libby Putman
MBA
SLOAN FELLOW Merging disciplines for climate change
"I needed to get a better understanding of the interaction of management and technology. And I think MIT is an obvious place for that. There’s probably no better place in the world [for learning] how technology and management interact."
Pascal Marmier
SF
INDIA LAB: EDUCATIONAL ENHANCEMENT Creating employable workers to boost the economy

“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”

Ted Chan
MBA
G-LAB, RAS RESORT, INDIA Marketing in Mumbai
"The network of alumni was helpful because our team had a lot of experience in consulting, but not in private equity."
Gerardo Guzman
MBA

“I took finance courses from Nobel laureates Franco Modigliani, Myron Scholes, and Robert Merton. That unbelievable experience led me to seek a PhD in finance and build a consulting and money management business that utilized options and hedging insights first taught to me by those legendary professors at MIT Sloan.”

- Douglas Breeden, SB’72
MIT Sloan Visiting Professor of Finance, Chairman Emeritus and Co-Founder, Smith Breeden Associates