MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program

Curriculum: Experiment and Explore

Broaden your perspective through conversations with global leaders and work with peers from more than 30 nations. Learn from a faculty encompassing experts in fields from entrepreneurship to operations. And become part of MIT’s own inventive economy—a dynamic, interdisciplinary collective of individuals wired to improve the world. Here's a sample of what your year at MIT Sloan could look like (courses subject to change).

Most courses meet two times a week. For the most up-to-date course information, please see the MIT course catalog.

Project-based learning / Strategic projects

Many students use both curricular and extracurricular options to do strategic projects. These provide opportunities for students to explore their new interests, demonstrate growing capabilities, and connect with industry. The usual avenues for doing projects are Action Learning Labs, venture-focused classes, working groups, entrepreneurship programs, competitions, hackathons, club or conference leadership roles, thesis, or faculty-supervised independent study. Students favor action-oriented projects, complementing their traditional academic assignments, that directly impact a startup, company, body of industry knowledge, or campus group. These “learn through doing” efforts epitomize MIT’s motto, Mens et Manus, mind and hand.

Optional Electives (sample)

  • Strategic Leadership Communication

    Introduces the essentials of how individuals and organizations develop and implement effective communication strategies, focusing on persuasion, audience analysis, communicator credibility, message construction, and delivery. Includes oral presentations and writing assignments with feedback to help students improve their communication effectiveness. Provides instruction to create communication strategies, develop and present clearly organized and powerful presentations, expand personal oral delivery and writing styles, and enhance presentations through effective visual aids. This course is offered to MIT Sloan Fellows only.

  • Blockchain and Money

    Explores blockchain technology’s potential use - by entrepreneurs and incumbents - to change the world of money and finance. Beginning with a review of the technology’s initial application, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, students will gain an understanding of the commercial, technical and public policy fundamentals of blockchain technology, distributed ledgers and smart contracts in both open sourced and private applications. Considers current and potential blockchain applications in the financial sector.  This includes in-depth reviews of potential use cases for payment systems, central banking, venture capital, secondary market trading, trade finance, commercial banking, risk allocation, and post trade clearing and settlement.  Also examines the markets and regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other tokens and crypto derivatives.

  • The Economics of Information: Strategy, Structure, and Pricing

    Analysis of the underlying economics of information with business implications. Studies effects of digitization and technology on business strategy and organizational structure. Examines pricing, bundling, and versioning of digital goods, including music, video, software, and communication services. Considers the economic and managerial implications of data-driven decision-making, search, platform competition, targeted advertising, personalization, privacy, network externalities, and artificial intelligence. Readings on fundamental economic principles provide context for industry speakers and case discussions.

  • U-Lab: Transforming Self, Business, and Society

    Experiential opportunity to practice new leadership skills, such as deep listening, being present (mindfulness), and generative dialogue. In weekly coaching circles, each student has one full session to present their current leadership edge and receive feedback from peer coaches. Includes an additional action learning project.

  • Digital Marketing and Social Media Analytics

    Provides a detailed, applied perspective on the theory and practice of digital marketing and social media analytics in the age of big data. Covers concepts such as the difference between earned and paid media, predictive modeling for ad targeting and customer relationship management, measuring and managing product virality, viral product design, native advertising, and engaging the multichannel experience. Stresses the theory and practice of randomized experimentation, AB testing and the importance of causal inference for marketing strategy. Combines lectures, case studies, and guest speakers with relevant industry experience that speak directly to the topics at hand.

  • Improvisational Leadership: In The Moment Leadership Skills

    Designed to provide a practical understanding of the skills of improvisation and their application to leadership. Examines the essential elements of successful leadership, including creativity, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and the capacity to develop effective influence strategies and build strong teams. Cultivates students' ability to respond to the unexpected with confidence and agility. Each class offers a highly experiential learning laboratory where students practice a wide variety of improvised business scenarios, interactive exercises, and simulations.

  • Global Markets, National Policies, and the Competitive Advantages of Firms

    Examines opportunities and risks firms face in today's global market. Provides conceptual tools for analyzing how governments and social institutions influence economic competition among firms embedded in different national settings. Public policies and institutions that shape competitive outcomes are examined through cases and analytical readings on different companies and industries operating in both developed and emerging markets. 

  • Managing in Adversity

    Develops the skills required for a CEO to deal with complex problems under highly adverse conditions. Cases and guest CEO speakers present real-life, high-adversity situations that students then deal with through role play. Focuses on how to quickly define issues, determine and evaluate options, and take critical and precipitous actions to address the situation.

  • New Enterprises

    Covers the process of identifying and quantifying market opportunities, then conceptualizing, planning, and starting a new, technology-based enterprise. Topics include opportunity assessment, the value proposition, the entrepreneur, legal issues, entrepreneurial ethics, the business plan, the founding team, seeking customers and raising funds. Students develop detailed business plans for a start-up. Intended for students who want to start their own business, further develop an existing business, be a member of a management team in a new enterprise, or better understand the entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial process.

  • Essential Law for Business

    Provides a broad-gauged introduction to business law, including how law shapes business opportunities and risks. Imparts skills necessary for dealing effectively with law-sensitive aspects of company restructurings and mergers and acquisitions; contracts, complex deals, and financial instruments and facilities; innovation in business models, products, and services; and encounters with regulators. Also discusses individual and organizational accountability to private parties and public authorities, and key legal issues in career transitions.

  • Power and Negotiation

    Provides understanding of the theory and processes of negotiation as practiced in a variety of settings. Designed for relevance to the broad spectrum of bargaining problems faced by the manager and professional. Allows students an opportunity to develop negotiation skills experientially and to understand negotiation in useful analytical frameworks. Emphasizes simulations, exercises, role playing, and cases.

  • The Analytics Edge

    Examines how data analytics is used to transform businesses and industries, using examples and case studies in e-commerce, healthcare, social media, high technology, sports, the internet, and beyond. Demonstrates the use of analytics methods such as linear regression, logistic regression, classification trees, random forests, text analytics, social network analysis, time series modeling, clustering, and optimization.