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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 13, 2024
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Master of Business Administration - MBA

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Students in the MBA program are admitted in the fall term. Applicants should check the school’s Web site for preferred deadlines.

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. school or the non-U.S. equivalent, and demonstrated quantitative competence via academic coursework and GMAT or GRE. Applicants should be able to demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills that are evaluated through written essays, test scores, and/or personal interview.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required, and for international applicants, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also a requirement.

Tuition and Fees

MBA students pay a full-time tuition, available here: Tuition Rates - Out-of-State Residents   Tuition Rates - Pennsylvania Residents . In addition to the University-wide fees, a professional workshop fee is required each term.

Academic Probation and Dismissal Policy

If the student’s GPA falls below 3.0 at any time during their studies, the student will be subject to academic probation and/or dismissal from the program. Exceptions to the school’s guidelines and procedures may be considered only through written petition to the Director of Graduate Programs.

MBA Degree Requirements

*In Fall 2022, modifications were approved for the MBA Degree Requirements, retroactive to Fall 2021. Students will have until Summer 2023 to complete old program curriculum requirements. In order to maintain accurate records, updates were made in the catalog on September 14, 2022.*

Students enrolled in an MBA program must fulfill the following requirements in order to earn the MBA degree:

  1. A minimum of 45 credits of approved graduate work
  2. The appropriate distribution of required core courses and elective courses
  3. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0

MBA Core Curriculum

The following core courses are required of all full-time MBA students:

Accelerated MBA, Signature MA, Part-Time MBA and Dual-Degree MBA/MS programs; MBA with Business Analytics students also complete the MBA Core Curriculum with additional credits required from business analytics curriculum. Joint-Degree MBA students also complete the MBA Core Curriculum, with some exceptions.

MBA Professional Courses

In addition to the MBA Core Curriculum, MBA students also complete “professional” coursework:

  • Quant Methods for Business
  • Programming for Business
  • Business Communications

The content of these courses is designed to accelerate a students’ academic and personal development as a business professional. The timing, delivery, and credit-load may vary by program (i.e. Accelerated v. Signature v. Part-Time MBA). Any credits earned count toward the minimum 45-credits required for the MBA degree.



Areas of Study

In place of majors, the Katz School offers areas of study in accounting, business analytics, finance, management of information systems, marketing, organizational behavior, supply chain / operations management, and doctoral studies. Students can customize their MBA to suit their career goals by choosing from electives in these fields.

Students who are pursuing a dual-degree MBA/MS program will complete BOTH the MBA Core Curriculum and the Core Curriculum of the Master of Science degree that they are pursuing.

Areas of Study

MBA students may choose electives from specific areas of study to demonstrate competence in a functional area, or combine electives from multiple areas of study to customize their degree.  A description of each of the areas of study follows:

Business Analytics

The study of business analytics prepares students for data management and business intelligence roles that provide new insights and support strategic decision-making. Methodologies to perform descriptive, predictive and prescriptive statistical analysis, data mining, and data visualization result in data-driven decision-making are learned through course and real-world projects for an integrated learning experience.

Students pursuing the MBA with Business Analytics must meet these additional academic requirements for the MBA core curriculum:

- Minimum grades of B+ (3.25) in BQOM 2401 (Statistical Analysis: Uncertainty, Prediction, and Quality Improvement)

- Minimum grad of B (3.0) in BQOM 2421 (Decision Technologies in Manufacturing and Operations Management)


The study of finance is designed to prepare students for managerial careers in corporate finance, investment analysis, financial consulting, and financial institutions. The coursework presents an integrated treatment of the economic foundations of finance, and the functions of capital markets and financial institutions. The courses provide a thorough understanding of how capital and financial markets operate, and how to manage corporate assets and financial claims in the marketplace.

Management of Information Systems

An MBA with a focus in information systems prepares students to lead and manage technology projects and organizations to increase operational efficiency, support enterprise integration and growth, and enable innovation. Though course and project work related to the specification, evaluation, and management of technology-enabled business initiatives, students prepare for careers as leaders in a diverse variety of today’s organizations that rely heavily on information technology for success.


This area of study is designed to prepare students for careers in marketing management or marketing analytics. Marketing is a critical decision area in both for-profit and non-profit industries such as healthcare, government, and education. Studies include marketing strategy, new product development, marketing research, pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion, brand management, and global marketing.

Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Organizational behavior and human resources management focuses on understanding human behavior at work and developing effective management strategies for maximizing the human capital within organizations. This program examines current issues such as employee involvement, high-performance work systems, and the use of teams within organizations.

Strengths of this area are its interdisciplinary nature that relies on a solid grounding in the behavioral sciences, applied statistics, and economics.

Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Decision Sciences

The “operations” function of a firm deals with the effective production and distribution of goods and services, and thus forms an integral part of supply chain management activity in industries as diverse as banking, financial services, software, telecommunications, electronics, and automobiles. An MBA with a focus in operations prepares students for a line job in such industries as well as for a career in management consulting.


Organizations of all sizes and degrees of complexity depend on the planning and implementation skills of their general managers for the attainment of their objectives. The strategic planning and policy field is concerned with the development of frameworks and processes for analyzing and responding to strategic problems and opportunities confronting corporate-level executives and managers of business units. Students are encouraged to pair Strategy with a second area of study in order to demonstrate a strategic functional area of expertise.

Taking electives at other Professional Schools at Pitt

Students may also choose to take elective courses at other professional schools at the University, including the School of Law, the Swanson School of Engineering, the School of Social Work, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and the School of Computing & Information.

Students enrolled in a joint-degree MBA program complete all requirements of both degrees, including the MBA core curriculum.

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