May 26, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2007-2008 
Rensselaer Catalog 2007-2008 [Archived Catalog]

Master of Business Administration

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The MBA is the Lally School’s premier program and offers students both depth and breadth in management education with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. The focus on “innovation” is concerned with organizational, financial, and technological innovation, while the emphasis on “entrepreneurship” involves both individually-driven new start-ups and the launch of new businesses within larger corporations.

The curriculum provides a strong grounding in managerial fundamentals while highlighting the strategic role that technology plays in enhancing business performance and creating sustainable competitive advantage.

This 60-credit residential MBA, which is operated on a cohort basis, is a comprehensive 21-month program. A summer work experience also is an important part of the MBA program. Options include working for companies ranging from Fortune 500 firms to local technology start-ups associated with the internationally recognized Rensselaer Technology Park and/or Rensselaer Incubator Center.

The MBA curriculum is built around five interdisciplinary courses called “streams of knowledge,” each of which addresses the challenge of innovation. Taken together, these streams provide students not only with the basic tools and concepts of the business leader, but also with the critical creative problem-solving expertise considered essential for meeting both the strategic and day-to-day challenges of running successful business in today’s rapidly changing global marketplace. The streams concentrate on the five following themes: 1) creating and managing the enterprise; 2) value creation, managing business/technology networks, and driving innovation; 3) developing innovative new products and services; 4) formulating and implementing competitive business strategy; and 5) managing the business implications of emerging technologies.

The infusion of innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit begins prior to the start of official classes with a special week-long orientation program called “Heroes, Leaders, and Innovators.” The program immerses new students in the examination of the key characteristics of successful business leaders; the experience and behaviors of these leaders from both inside and outside of the business world is done through case studies, laboratory simulations, and classroom exchanges.

Throughout the remainder of the MBA curriculum, students are exposed to the cutting-edge methods and strategies that corporations deploy to create and capture value in today’s global economy. The program also provides ample opportunity for professional development by developing such skills in business communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, and team building. In one of their final courses, Managing on the Edge, students marshal together their accumulated learning from across the entire program to develop creative solutions for a series of unique, unanticipated business problems characterized by their non-linear, unpredictable nature.


For students who wish to learn more about two of the streams, the following courses are available as electives:

Additional Information

The remaining courses in the 60-credit program include seven electives taken from a broad range of courses reflecting the school’s interest in developing business leaders who are comfortable working at the intersection of management and technology. Lally MBA students can also take courses in other Rensselaer schools as part of the program’s interdisciplinary orientation.

MBA Course Combinations and Student Interests

In the words of a visiting executive to the Lally school, students should learn to “seize opportunities in this era of technology”. Students are encouraged and advised on how to bundle Management courses along with courses from other schools at Rensselaer as well as Lally affiliate programs in four countries (Tunisia, Ukraine, China, and India) which capitalize on national and international trends in business and technology. For example, students who wish to work in investments or in nanotechnology are encouraged to take courses in nanotechnology as well as finance; students who are interested in outsourcing could take courses in MIS as well as visiting summer internship opportunities in Bangalore; or students interested in green marketing may take courses in marketing as well as design courses in sustainability.

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