GEMBA Core Courses

  • The University of Virginia School of Business Global MBA for Executives (GEMBA) program's core courses are delivered throughout the first five terms. Explore some of the classes included below.

  • GEMBA Course Overview

    • Accounting for Managers
    • Business Ethics
    • Decision Analysis
    • Financial Management and Policies
    • Global Economies and Markets
    • Global Leadership Explorations
    • Leading Organizations
    • Management Communication
    • Managing Global Processes
    • Marketing
    • Operations Management
    • Strategic Thinking and Action
    • Understanding Global Markets

    GEMBA Accounting for Managers

    Accounting for Managers provides terminology, frameworks and concepts with which to understand and analyze the financial consequences of business activities. Students gain considerable financial statement, financial analysis and financial management expertise to enhance their decision-making capabilities.

    Business Ethics

    Business Ethics encourages students to think deeply about the nature of business, the responsibilities of management and how business and ethics can be put together. Operating from an international managerial perspective, students address a range of themes in the class, including:

    • Basic concepts in ethics
    • Responsibilities to stakeholders
    • Building blocks of markets
    • Corporate culture
    • Sources of ethical breakdowns in organizations
    • Managerial integrity
    • Value creation
    • Personal values and managerial choice

    Decision Analysis

    Decision Analysis presents a philosophy for framing, analyzing and proactively managing decisions involving uncertainty.

    The course will focus on making the uncertainty explicit. Students cane then objectively analyze it. The course will focus on proactively managing risk by recognizing and exploiting opportunities to reduce exposure to uncertainty. Whether the uncertainty comes from general conditions or the actions of competitors, the tools and techniques we will use include:

    • Risk profiles
    • Expected value
    • Simulation
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Discounted cash flows
    • Analytical probability distributions
    • Data analysis
    • Sampling theory
    • Regression
    • Decision trees
    • Value of information
    • Value of control
    • Downstream decisions
    • Real options
    • Game theory

    Financial Management and Policies

    Financial Management and Policies covers the fundamental financial and investment decisions that a corporation makes.

    In this course, we ask:

    • How do firms make investments in projects?
    • What returns should they be seeking?
    • How well do they finance their investments?
    • How do they think about distributions to shareholders?

    Students who possess some experience in finance will have an opportunity to broaden their understanding of the field to include a general management and global perspective.

    Students who are new to the field are urged to look beyond the mastery of terms, tools and techniques toward the managerial insights that an understanding of finance can help develop.

    Global Economies and Markets

    Global Economies and Markets applies the ideas and methodologies of economics to the analysis of the business environment.

    The course is particularly focused on domestic and foreign firms operating in the countries of the GEMBA residency locations and on economic issues that arise when firms enter new markets or integrate their operations across many countries. In addition, the course integrates its tools for understanding the process of economic development with a broader understanding of the role of firms and their leaders in both emerging markets and mature economies.

    Global Leadership Explorations (GLEs)

    GLEs are a series of courses that help students better understand how local cultures and practices influence and shape business. GLEs are interdisciplinary and involve learning activities before, during and after each residency.

    Learn more about Global Leadership Explorations.

    Leading Organizations

    Leading Organizations helps students cultivate a global mindset and develop practical tools to influence behavior in organizations. Students learn to:

    • Take a global leadership point of view
    • Identify the critical business and people challenges in any global situation
    • Understand the drivers of those challenges
    • Take appropriate managerial and leadership action

    Management Communication

    Management Communication provides the guidance and hands-on experience that allow students to communicate more effectively as managers and leaders. The course:

    • Examines successful business communication strategies
    • Identifies individual strengths and goals
    • Allows students to practice activities that build upon strengths
    • Offers practice in new approaches

    Students gain comfort and skill in a personal communication style that is authentic, credible and authoritative.

    Managing Global Processes

    Managing Global Processes develops a sense of executing strategy in a global organization.

    The course focuses on:

    • The company’s processes
    • Activities that are related to costs and revenues
    • The supply chain
    • Decision making regarding best choices

    Excellence in process management creates strategic opportunities by building new capabilities or by freeing resources for alternative uses.


    Marketing provides an introduction to consumer behavior and marketing analytics. Students confront difficult marketing issues faced by companies in the United States and abroad. Using cases, technical notes and a large-scale interactive marketing simulation, the course challenges students to build a set of frameworks for analyzing the wants and needs of potential customers, creating products and services that they value and delivering these products and services to the marketplace at a profit.

    Operations Management

    Operations Management conveys both the fundamentals of operations and the understanding that the link between operations and performance is a crucial source of competitive advantage. Managing the underlying processes by which firms create and deliver value is at the heart of the operations function in every line of business, and this course focuses on how to do this well.

    Strategic Thinking and Action

    Strategic Thinking and Action invites students to understand and appreciate the role of purpose, values, capabilities, and organizational distinctiveness in creating, building and shaping a business enterprise within a global setting.

    The objective of the course is to enhance students’ abilities to design, evaluate and execute a firm’s strategy. The course reinforces and revitalizes the enterprise management perspective — Darden's core mission.

    Understanding Global Markets

    Understanding Global Markets addresses the key issues facing managers interacting with global markets.

    The first module focuses on analyzing and understanding the drivers of enterprise success. The second module focuses on taking action to create value.

    The main objectives of the course are to understand:

    • The differences in selling a product in the U.S. versus the world (customer, cultural, segmentation issues)
    • Global financial markets, regulatory issues and global financial risks

    The course will explore the themes of the flat world versus the lumpy world and will cover topics such as:

    • Country endowment
    • Country clustering and specialization
    • Affect/brand recognition
    • Global distribution channels
    • Shareholder value perspective
    • Global macroeconomic parity relationships among interest rates, exchange rates and inflation rates
    • Global capital raising
    • Global capital markets
    • Risk management