MSPBA Academics

The MPBA faculty created a pharmacy management-focused curriculum that encompasses the business concepts and analytical tools used by successful health care executives.

The 36 credit curriculum comprises of 18 credits of graduate business courses, 12 credits of pharmacy business administration courses, and 6 credits where students can further develop their business acumen in a focused industry track.

MPBA Curriculum

Business Administration

Financial Accounting

This course enables students to understand the basic financial accounting model, as well as the structure and substance of a firm’s financial reports from a user’s point of view. This includes what is (and what is not) included in financial statements, how and when events affect the statements, and what users can infer from these reports. When they finish the course, students should be able to examine a set of financial statements and effectively analyze the firm’s financial position, profitability, and cash generating ability.

Financial Management 1

The main objective of this course is to gain understanding of the theory and practice of financial decision making. This course develops the tools and framework necessary to address the central question in corporate finance: What investment projects should be undertaken to maximize shareholder wealth? To examine this question, we will learn how to value an uncertain stream of cash flows and apply the concept of the time value of money in valuing bonds 11 and equity. The course covers a number of market-based investment criteria and develops an entity valuation model, based on discounted cash flows (DCF) used for standard capital budgeting decisions. We will conclude with a short introduction to the concept of risk and return, resulting in the cost of capital. We will cover a case discussion on capital budgeting to put our framework in a more realistic environment. Financial Management 1 is a prerequisite for taking Financial Management 2.

These courses can be taken as co-requisites during the same term. Participating in the Financial Management I: Workshop on Time Value of Money is required prior to enrollment.

Prerequisites: BACC 2401 Financial Accounting and BQOM 2401 Statistical Analysis.

Financial Management 2

This course builds on Financial Management 1 and develops an asset pricing framework used in corporate finance based on the trade-off between risk and return. We use modern portfolio theory to determine a suitable asset pricing model and arrive at determining the relevant discount rate to reflect the risk associated with the cash flow we focused on in Financial Management 1. Finally, we will address how financing and capital structure choices affect project and firm value using the above techniques and methods. The course will conclude with three valuation methods: WACC, APV, and FTE and an extensive case discussion. Financial Management 1 & Financial Management 2 are prerequisite courses for any other finance elective in the curriculum.

Human Resources for Competitive Advantage

The effective management of human resources is critical to sustained competitive advantage in an increasingly deregulated, global, and knowledge-driven corporate environment. This course identifies the key role of human resources management in the organization’s effort to create value and explores its link with competitive strategy. Environmental and legal factors that affect decision-making and utilization of human resources are examined. Special emphasis is placed on effective organizational staffing, strategically directed performance management, and compensation and incentive systems that focus employees’ efforts on organizational success. We will also examine programs and policies that encourage employee learning and development, facilitate the use of distributed know-how, and leverage the associated skill and knowledge for organizational advantage. The course will frame the issues and student learning around the needs of general middle and senior managers.

Prerequisites: BOAH 2409 Organizational Behavior

Information Systems

How does information technology enable the business? How does it provide business value? This course provides an overview of information technology and its application in a business. By simultaneously examining business cases and the capabilities of relevant technologies, students will develop an understanding of how information technology supports and enables business strategies, innovation, and improved business capabilities and processes.

Management Simulation

The Management Game is an applied strategic management and general management exercise where teams of students operate computer simulated companies for 3 years acting as the executive committee of a multi-national manufacturing company. Groups of students compete against each other as they try to add value to their companies. The class teaches competitive dynamics group management skills, cross-functional management, and presentation skills.

For this program we envision a simulation built upon emerging issues in the respective concentration areas. Using our advisors as board members, we foresee a simulation using real-world firms and issues to provide the program participants with a strong experience based learning capstone.

Managerial Accounting

This course introduces students to managerial uses of cost information. Students will use cost information in decision making and understand how cost systems generate product cost information and the strategic impact of weaknesses in cost system design. They will also be introduced to basic planning and budgetary control. Finally, they will explore applications of product costing and decision making in other areas such as marketing and operations. These applications will include topics such as pricing, customer profitability and customer relationship management, the use of cost feedback in process improvement, and value creation through linking process improvement and cost reduction.

Marketing Management

This course examines the role of marketing in creating value for the firm. It helps students answer the central question of marketing strategy – what value to provide and to whom – using the tools of segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP) of brands. The course shows how central aspects of marketing mix programs – product, place, pricing, and promotion – all follow from an effective STP program, and how marketing support functions such as marketing research, advertising, and new product development can support effective marketing decisions. Emerging trends in digital marketing, competition and globalization are examined. The course emphasizes experience-based learning to develop the necessary marketing knowledge and skills among students.

Organizational Behavior: Leadership and Group Effectiveness

The effective management of people is a critical component of organizational competitiveness. This course addresses problems and issues concerning leadership, interpersonal effectiveness, and challenges for managers in the 21st century. The student is prepared to manage himself or herself and others in a rapidly-changing global environment. Topics covered include leadership, teamwork, power, politics, and influence.

Strategic Management

This course covers theory, conceptual frameworks, and tools used to formulate strategies for commercializing new technologies. The analytical frameworks cover elements of commercialization strategy that are equally critical to start-ups and to corporate technology ventures. In addition, we discuss some of the key challenges that differ for start-ups versus established firms. The primary deliverable in the course is a professional quality project which evaluates the commercialization alternatives for an early stage technology. Your project team will be paired with a University inventor, a local start-up, or a corporation that has an early stage technology in need of a commercialization plan. The focus of your commercialization plan will be to identify a viable market for the technology, recommend financing options, and develop a business model to achieve the inventor’s objectives. We engage experts in intellectual property, market assessment, and financing new investments throughout the course.

Pharmacy Administration

Executive Healthcare Innovations

This course will give students an understanding of managing change through the lens of complexity theory using the principles of implementation science.  The will understand the levers important in change and how to assess an organization for readiness to change.  They will learn to use Adaptive Design based on the Toyota Production System (TPS) methodology to continually improve services and to introduce new services to their pharmacy. This course requires that students are able to put their learning into practice by doing a work improvement project or by introducing a new service at their worksite.  They will be required to submit a written report and make a 10 minute presentation of their final project.  This course is a blended course. Some material is presented asynchronously on-line and some is live in the classroom.  The textbook “Designed to Adapt” is required for the course.

Graduate Executive Boardroom

Following the Healthcare Dollar
This interactive offering will engage students in a structured understanding of the business side of medicines in the health care industry and other related fields. For instance, students will study different leadership styles and corporate cultures in an organization, follow health spending longitudinally and vertically on medicines from consumer to product and service, discover how market conditions affect operations and profitability and learn about the executive’s career development path.

Entrepreneurship in Healthcare
Students will engage in a structured understanding of the business side of medicines in the health care industry and other related fields. This course delves into entrepreneurship in medicines and health. The fundamentals of entrepreneurship medicines and health will be discussed and students will study and contrast the primary entrepreneurship styles including characteristics of those who succeed through discovery, adaptation, and fortitude. Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship models will be utilized. Students will contrast methods of innovation and supporting business cultures. The impact of market conditions will be analyzed in terms of how they affect success of such endeavors and learn about the executive’s career development path. Many past students have used the learnings and networking opportunities from this course to shape and propel their careers.

Healthcare Sales and Marketing

This course educates students on contemporary healthcare sales and marketing as it directly applies to pharmacy.  Sales concepts to be covered include understanding management prospects,  developing your sales value proposition,  finding management and penetrating the no-talk zone,  generating leads: marketing to management,  generating leads, cold calling management,  meeting the prospect for the first time,  presenting to prospects – the executive briefing,  preparing a management proposal that works,  negotiating with management,  selling to targeted key or major accounts,  managing your sales cycle and forecasting,  managing sales objections;  using storytelling as a business sales tool;  managing your competition,  following up after the sale, and making a difference with business ethics.

Health care marketing is undergoing dramatic reinvention and change because of emerging trends, reform uncertainties, the emergence of social marketing and a renewed focus on quality, outcome and prevention. Executives are demanding higher impact and bigger returns from marketing investments and marketing professionals are more closely aligning their efforts with strategic objectives, customer experience and the integration of communications across multiple platforms and channels. This course offers effective approaches to proactive health care marketing with specific action steps, strategies, techniques and tactics to move markets and increase visibility, awareness, understanding, market share and profitability.

Leadership and Ethics in Healthcare

This course provides a foundational introduction to pharmaceutical/health care leadership and ethics.  An analysis of dominant methods in leadership theories and healthcare ethics will be discussed and analyzed from historical, systematic, and religious perspectives.  Ethical dilemmas of leadership, the foundation and context of moral choice, the moral implication of decision-making within healthcare organization and the impact on employees, morale, personal integrity, and the patients. Practical issues are engaged to illustrate effective leadership and ethical frameworks for sound decision making.  Students will be able to understand and analyze health care leadership and ethics theory and methods as well as major applied topics; critically relate health care leadership and ethics with multi-disciplinary fields in health care as a diverse and national enterprise; integrate academic learning with experiential learning in clinical/organizational experiences; and demonstrate knowledge, skills, competencies and character traits to provide ethical leadership.

Predictive Analytics in Pharmacy

Health care is on a precipice of change. More health care data has been generated in the past five years than in the entire history of mankind, and this is expected to increase 50 times over the next few years. Harnessing the power of these “big data” will allow us to evaluate topics not feasibly addressed by small data methods (e.g., randomized controlled trials) such as: detecting rare adverse drug events; identifying unanticipated new uses for medications; providing an evidence-base for underrepresented populations in clinical trials (e.g., complex patients, older adults); and predicting differences in therapeutic response among patients.


The overall objective of this course in Predictive Analytics in Pharmacy is to familiarize students with sources of big data, large data analytic techniques, and their wide-applicability in guiding decisions in the areas of patient care, drug research & development, healthcare policy, and cost effectiveness.  For the most common techniques, the objective is to acquire sufficient mastery through hands-on analyses of “real world” data so that students are prepared to apply these techniques in future career positions.  For other, more advanced techniques, the objective will be to develop a familiarity about how these methods are used and what questions they can answer.

US Healthcare System

The aims of this course are to provide students with an overview of the U.S. health care delivery system. This course covers the structure of health care delivery systems and delivery of health care services including personnel and facilities; organization, financing, and quality assessment with special attention given to medication distribution and management.

Focused Areas of Concentration

Advanced Community Pharmacy Management 1

This is the first of two courses designed to provide an overview of contemporary management issues in pharmacy with a focus on community pharmacy.  Students will develop a basic understanding of organizational culture and how it affects personnel and performance. The course will cover the basics of human resource management including hiring, training, assessment and development as well as compensation strategies.  The course will also cover corporate pharmacy functions as well-as multi-site management and control. Students will use the “Pharmacy Management – Essentials for All Practice Settings” textbook, readings from publications, videos, and case studies.

Advanced Community Pharmacy Management 2

This is the second of two courses designed to provide an overview of contemporary management issues in pharmacy with a focus on community pharmacy.  The first course prepares students to plan and manage pharmacy operations in a community pharmacy.  Students will learn to develop a business model and to establish key production and quality metrics.  Students will gain an understanding of financial analysis including how to construct and interpret operating statements, key financial measures, cash flow, and return on investment.  Special emphasis will be given to understanding various reimbursement models and contracts for services in addition to prescription fulfillment.  Students will learn to manage purchasing and inventory.

Managed Care Pharmacy 1

This is the first of two courses designed to provide focused learning in the practice of managed care pharmacy. Students will develop a basic understanding of how managed care pharmacy impacts the healthcare system. The course will focus on managed care, pharmacy benefit managers, prescription drug benefit, formulary management, impact of specialty pharmacy, and overall plan design.

Managed Care Pharmacy 2

This is the second of two courses designed to provide focused learning in the practice of managed care pharmacy. This course will build on the framework from Pharmacy Benefits Management I, allowing students to confidently engage health and benefits decision makers as an informed advisor. Students will be exposed to various guest speakers, helping to broaden their scope of understanding as it relates to industry dynamics. Additionally, students will be expected to demonstrate their comprehensive knowledge through a plan design and contract exercise.

Specialty Pharmacy Management 1

This course offers students the first part of a focused learning in specialty pharmacy.  The course will address specialty drug and clinical management; specialty pharmacy patient management (intake & outcomes); as well as address relevant accreditation standards (URAC, etc.).

Specialty Pharmacy Management 2

This course offers students the second part of a focused learning in specialty pharmacy.  The course will address specialty pharmacy organizational quality standards; specialty pharmacy customer service, communications, and disclosure standards; industry specific financial analysis (financial and managerial statements & indices); specialty pharmacy operations; specialty pharmacy contracting, purchasing and inventory management (supply chain), and finally specialty pharmacy informatics management.

Acquire relevant knowledge and skills to innovate and lead change.