The program combines three essential elements: 

  1. A comprehensive and challenging core curriculum provides you with a solid foundation of basic business disciplines; 
  2. A required Capstone project that gives students the opportunity to participate in a real-world applied learning activity and promotes a level of camaraderie throughout the MBA experience;
  3. A host of specialized electives in your second year allows students to broaden their professional toolkit beyond the standard general management curriculum. 

View the Professional MBA - Evening course catalog

View the Professional MBA - Weekend course catalog

View the daytime electives course catalog

Launch 

Launch is a 6-day long jumpstart to your Rice Professional MBA experience. For students in both the Evening and Weekend options, there will be TWO mandatory six-day Launch programs over the course of your 22-month experience here. For those in the Evening option, Launch takes place in July before the start of your first year and in March during your second year. For those in the Weekend option, Launch takes place in July prior to the start of each year. 

The goal of Launch is to get students quickly acclimated to the MBA experience. Students will start some of the required coursework during Launch. In additional to the academic coursework, students will participate in a series of academic boot camps, career and professional development workshops, team building workshops and assessments and a few camaraderie building activities.

Capstone

The Capstone Course gives Professional MBA students the opportunity to participate in a real-world applied learning activity outside of work and the traditional classroom. It brings together students and their professors to develop recommendations that can help community organizations solve critical strategic challenges, such as major growth or expansion plans, organization turnaround strategies, and new ventures by the organization in need of a business plan. 

The Capstone Course is offered during the spring semester of the second year.

Past cases have included local community organizations such as: AAMA, Bering Omega, Collaborative for Children, Healthcare for Homeless, Hermann Park Conservancy, Historic Houston, Ibn Sina, KIPP, Neighborhood Centers Inc, Passport for Care, Rockwell Foundation, and Shell Center for Sustainability.

Health Care Specialization Track

A health care specialization track is offered to Rice Professional MBA as an enhancement to their degree. This health care track is aimed at health care professionals working full time who are seeking to advance themselves in the industry.

The health care courses are offered year round and supplement regular electives.

Top electives by area

MGMT 503 - Management Control

This course builds on earlier courses on cost management and corporate strategy and focuses on the management control systems that can be used for the effective implementation of strategy. Included topics are the balanced scorecard, stretch budgets, performance evaluation and incentives, organizational and operational controls, and the development of metrics to motivate and evaluate performance.

MGMT 601 - Financial Statement Analysis

Study of how investors, financial analysts, creditors, and managers use financial statement information in evaluating firm performance and in valuing firms. Emphasizes industry and firm-level analysis of accounting information using financial accounting concepts and finance theory.

MGMT 603 - Income Taxation and Business Decisions

Course covers 1) the types of taxes and the history of the U.S. income tax; 2) tax policy in light of worldwide business taxation; 3) measurement of business income and deductions; 4) tax reporting and 5) the choice of entity among U.S. forms of business organization.

MGMT 617 - The Information Economy: Theory and Applications

This course offers an advanced introduction into the Economics of Information with an emphasis on core business applications.

MGMT 673 - Cost Analysis in Healthcare

As healthcare costs continue to rise at an alarming rate in the U.S. over the past decade (about 20% of GDP by some accounts), issues relating cost measurement and management in the delivery of healthcare have also taken center stage. Experts in business and management have argued that extant cost systems do a poor job of measuring how much it costs to treat patients. Without accurate measurement of these costs, many decisions could go wrong. Cost management and efficiency initiatives would be misguided, and medical reimbursements would lack proper cost bases. These concerns have triggered advances in cost measurement and management techniques that are useful not just in the healthcare setting but also in other service organizations. The purpose of this elective is to help students develop a critical understanding of the nature of costs in healthcare delivery, their measurement in a variety of decision contexts, and how they can be managed and improved. Students will be exposed to tools such as the break-even analysis, role of cost allocations, activity-based costing, time-driven activity based costing, and cost control.

MGMT 604 - Mindfulness and Performance in the Workplace

Throughout contemporary society and corporate America, we frequently hear people touting the value of “mindfulness.” What exactly is this concept – and how can it foster high performance in the workplace and improve the quality of workers’ lives? This course addresses these questions through cases and experiential-learning activities.

MGMT 609 - Managing Energy Transitions

“Managing in a Carbon-Constrained World” focuses on the business challenges and opportunities presented by the fast-changing dynamics of climate change and renewable/alternative sources of energy - at the international, federal and state levels. Consideration will be given to successes and failures of “first movers.” We will consider how to reconcile conflicts between the goal of a lower carbon future and the priorities of energy security and restoring a strong, sustainable economy. The course will close with corporate responses to the challenge. The course is intended to benefit students who intend to pursue careers as leaders in industry, finance, government, diplomacy, international agencies, non-government organizations (NGO’s), media and academia. The course will challenge you to understand diverse points of view. A background in economics, finance, management, engineering, or public policy will provide a strong foundation, but other disciplines may also apply.

MGMT 610 - Fundamentals of the Energy Industry

The course is based on the principle that one cannot understand commodity markets without a good grasp of the technology and physical infrastructure behind production, transportation, and distribution of energy commodities and linkages between different segments of the energy complex. The review of the industry infrastructure will be followed by discussion of the institutional framework of the energy markets in the U.S. and other developed economies, including discussion of the different types of participating business entities, types of transactions and regulatory infrastructure. The course will be divided into three groups of lectures, covering the natural gas industry, power and coal business and oil / refined products markets, with an additional shorter lecture on regulatory issues.

MGMT 611 - Geopolitics of Energy

Geopolitics of Energy builds on critical thinking developed in core courses such as Strategy, Finance and Ethics. The modules deal with historical themes, access to resources, operational issues occurring during the life of an investment, and decisions at the end of investment life (at expected maturity or prematurely). Scenario Planning is used - not to predict the future but to consider the viability of strategies under alternate future directions. The course uses the case method to a significant extent and deals with diverse regions and levels of economic development. Class participation, individual and group exercises account for grading.

MGMT 712 - Process Management and Quality Improvement

This course provides students with tools, techniques, and frameworks for recognizing and analyzing operating performance opportunities along with a process-centric lens with respect to commercial competitiveness. The course provides a team project opportunity to identify business performance issues and take action by diagnosing and addressing relevant process components.

MGMP 626 - Financing the Startup Venture

Overview of the venture capital industry; the organization and operation of venture capital funds; investment methodology; monitoring and portfolio liquidation; leveraged investing; and specialized investments.

MGMT 621 - The New Enterprise

Evaluating opportunities for a new innovation-based enterprise; conceptualizing and developing a venture plan through an iterative process; articulating venture assumptions; testing venture assumptions through experimentation. Intended for students who want to start their own venture, join an early-stage venture, be entrepreneurial within an existing organization, or want to understand entrepreneurs and how to think entrepreneurially.

MGMT 627 - Enterprise Acquisition

The needs approach to buying and selling businesses; enterprise valuation; deal and contract structuring; mergers and acquisitions; leveraged buyouts; consolidating fragmented industries.

MGMT 641 - Entrepreneurial Strategy

This course provides an integrated strategy framework for entrepreneurs. The course is structured to provide a deep understanding of the core strategic challenges facing start-up innovators, and a synthetic framework for choosing and implementing entrepreneurial strategy in dynamic environments, as well as a general understanding of the financing options for early stage startups, including angel investment, accelerators, crowdfunding and the venture capital industry. A central theme of the course is that, to achieve competitive advantage, technology entrepreneurs must balance the process of experimentation and learning inherent to entrepreneurship with the selection and implementation of a strategy that establishes competitive advantage. The course identifies the types of choices that entrepreneurs must make to take advantage of a novel opportunity and the logic of particular strategic commitments and positions that allow entrepreneurs to establish competitive advantage. The course includes an in-depth overview of the organization, operation and economics of different funding sources; venture capital and angel investment term sheets and deal structures; startup investment methodology – deal sourcing, monitoring and liquidation; the role of VCs as key advisors and board members; and current issues in early stage financing as a result of a changing global and economic environment. The course combines interactive lectures, speakers and case analyses. The cases and assignments offer an opportunity to integrate and apply the principles taught in the course in a practical way, and draws from a diverse range of industries and settings

MGMT 833 - Strategy in Technology Ecosystems

The course deals with strategic management topics of interest to ventures that operate in technological ecosystems. Topics covered include platforms, network effects, coping with disruptive innovation, and how technology can create new markets and revolutionize existing ones.

MGMT 601 - Financial Statement Analysis

Study of how investors, financial analysts, creditors and managers use financial statement information in evaluating firm performance and in valuing firms. Emphasizes industry and firm-level analysis of accounting information using financial accounting concepts and finance theory.

MGMT 642 - Futures and Options I

An introduction to forward, futures, option, and swap contracts, including the basic valuation principles, the use of these contracts for hedging financial risk, and an analysis of option-like investment decisions. Recommended for finance students.

MGMT 646 - Corporate Investment Policy

This course examines the investment decisions faced by corporate financial managers. We begin by developing a general framework for corporate valuation, and then we use this framework to review and expand on the capital budgeting issues developed in the core finance course. For example, we review the foundations of option valuation, and then apply these tools to value real options. We also cover new material on estimating the cost of capital and the effects of leverage. In this course, you will learn the state of the art in the analysis of corporate investment decisions. The course format is a mixture of theory, empirical evidence, and practical application. The theory provides the framework for our analysis. The empirical evidence provides a core of stylized facts to support our theoretical intuition. And, the practical applications put to use the theoretical foundations and empirical evidence in real world decision making.

MGMT 648 - Applied Finance

Study of the theory and practice of the fundamental principles in finance emphasizing hands-on experience with a wide range of corporate finance and investments applications. The course provides extensive opportunity to implement finance theory at a practical level and to develop advanced analytical spreadsheet expertise.

MGMT 652 - Mergers and Acquisitions

The course examines the merger and acquisition process from the perspectives of buyers and sellers. Attention is paid to the internal (make) versus external (buy) growth opportunities and their value consequences. The course also analyzes the M&A transaction process through the study of cases. An additional focus will be in the interaction of strategic planning, value planning, financial strategies and investment decisions.

MGMT 604 - Mindfulness and Performance in the Workplace

Throughout contemporary society and corporate America, we frequently hear people touting the value of “mindfulness.” What exactly is this concept – and how can it foster high performance in the workplace and improve the quality of workers’ lives? This course addresses these questions through cases and experiential-learning activities.

MGMT 678 - Business of Healthcare

Sequence of offerings that provides an introduction to the business of healthcare in the U.S. Topics include health care systems, health service organizations, and issues relating to the aging problem and the technology explosion in healthcare. Required elective for MD/MBA's dual degree students. Repeatable for Credit.

MGMT 691 - Breakthrough Negotiations in a Healthcare Context

This course is tailored for an audience interested in healthcare. We will talk about how the characteristics of the healthcare industry impinge on negotiations, and the exercises and simulations conducted are based in a healthcare context. Repeatable for Credit.

MGMT 712 - Process Management and Quality Improvement

This course provides students with tools, techniques and frameworks for recognizing and analyzing operating performance opportunities along with a process-centric lens with respect to commercial competitiveness. The course provides a team project opportunity to identify business performance issues and take action by diagnosing and addressing relevant process components.

MGMT 778 - Customer Experience Management

This course examines the key issues in managing customer experience in customer-focused service organizations. Its learning objectives are to understand the customer decision journey framework, diagnose and solve problems with journey mapping, design a transformative customer experience, measure experience, and manage unforeseen mishaps and setbacks.

MGMT 681 - Managing Customer Perceptions

This course is designed to offer you an overview of the major principles of persuasion. The emphasis will be on developing a marketing communications approach that will fit into a firms’ marketing program. The course will cover how to set effective communication objectives, decide what to communicate and how to develop a message execution approach.

MGMT 682 - Pricing Strategies

Study of the paradigm that success of a product lies not only in its acceptance by the end consumer but also in how it is priced and how it reaches the intended consumer, with emphasis on understanding and analyzing the issues, problems and opportunities characteristic of the channel relationship and of the various faces of pricing. Repeatable for Credit.

MGMT 684 - Brand Strategy

The Brand Strategy course is designed to build on your first-year MBA marketing course and will explore the elements of brand strategy to build capabilities on brand management and how brands drive business strategy and long-term value: what it is, what it is not, how to manage, execute, measure and value.

MGMT 686 - Introduction to Marketing Research

Students will learn the most common methods managers use to gain insight about customers and markets as well as the objectives/advantages/disadvantages associated with different research designs such as qualitative methods, surveys and experiments. Students will not learn specific analytic methods but rather how to design studies to yield valid results.

MGMT 778 - Customer Experience Management

This course examines the key issues in managing customer experience in customer-focused service organizations. Its learning objectives are to understand the customer decision journey framework, diagnose and solve problems with journey mapping, design a transformative customer experience, measure experience, and manage unforeseen mishaps and setbacks.

MGMT 604 - Mindfulness and Performance in the Workplace

Throughout contemporary society and corporate America, we frequently hear people touting the value of “mindfulness.” What exactly is this concept – and how can it foster high performance in the workplace and improve the quality of workers’ lives? This course addresses these questions through cases and experiential-learning activities.

MGMT 670 - Operations Strategy

This course examines the key components that build an effective operations strategy for driving a 21st century company’s competitive business strategy. It covers a range of industries and uses current events and cases to highlight the underlying theories and practices. Also looks at cutting-edge topics in operations and supply chain management.

MGMT 682 - Pricing Strategies

Study of the paradigm that success of a product lies not only in its acceptance by the end consumer but also in how it is priced and how it reaches the intended consumer, with emphasis on understanding and analyzing the issues, problems and opportunities characteristic of the channel relationship and of the various faces of pricing. Repeatable for Credit.

MGMT 698 - Applied Business Process Optimization

This quantitative class will tie concepts presented in core classes and some available data to resolve real business issues. We will use various constrained optimization techniques to shed light on common operations issues such as the efficient frontier, production mix, facility locations, optimal scheduling, revenue management, and even some waiting in lines.

MGMT 712 - Process Management and Quality Improvement

This course provides students with tools, techniques and frameworks for recognizing and analyzing operating performance opportunities along with a process-centric lens with respect to commercial competitiveness. The course provides a team project opportunity to identify business performance issues and take action by diagnosing and addressing relevant process components.

MGMT 608 - Commercial Real Estate in the AMZN

With a seismic shift in commercial real estate due to technology-driven changes to distribution networks and the digitization of the economy, developers face challenging and evolving opportunities. How do you adapt and thrive when customer desires change at lightning speed and everyone competes against Amazon? Through simulations and a real-time case study, students learn to capture the rewards of customer-centric design using psychographics and quantitative methodologies.

MGMT 648 - Applied Finance

Study of the theory and practice of the fundamental principles in finance, emphasizing hands-on experience with a wide range of corporate finance and investments applications. The course provides extensive opportunity to implement finance theory at a practical level and to develop advanced analytical spreadsheet expertise.

MGMT 659 - Real Estate Finance: Asset Valuation

This course provides an introduction to the concepts and techniques used to analyze and commercial real estate assets and the instruments commonly used to finance these assets. The topics covered include financial analysis of income-generating real property, analysis of mortgage instruments, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), and real estate investment trusts (REITs). This course is designed for students who are interested in commercial real estate; topics pertaining to single-family residential real estate will be covered only in passing. The course will offer all students an opportunity to develop their business presentation skills through case discussions and a final project presentation. The final project involves the detailed analysis of a CMBS deal, including separate, linked analyses of the mortgage collateral pool, the mortgages and the note structure. The final project will require the use of all of the tools developed in the course.

MGMT 660 - Real Estate Contract Negotiations for Business Professionals

Legal risk pervades business dealings. This course explores legal risk by educating the student on legal theories, then how to identify, quantify, reduce and accept legal risk, in the context of real estate transactions. Effective interaction with legal counsel will be emphasized. Repeatable for Credit.

MGMT 728 - Real Estate Development

The Real Estate Development course follows the development process from an entrepreneurial and "deal making" point-of-view. Course topics include market analysis, site selection, project budgeting/financial analysis, land acquisition, marketing and leasing, joint ventures, financing, design and construction management, and dispositions.

MGMT 776 - Introduction to Real Estate Industry

An introductory survey course intended to provide a foundational understanding of the real estate industry. This course aims to be useful to students interested in pursuing a career in the real estate industry who have no or limited experience in real estate. This course is open to MBA students in each program. Outside graduate students may enroll with instructor permission provided space is available. Repeatable for Credit.

MGMT 652 - Mergers and Acquisitions

The course examines the merger and acquisition process from the perspectives of buyers and sellers. Attention is paid to the internal (make) versus external (buy) growth opportunities and their value consequences. The course also analyzes the M&A transaction process through the study of cases. An additional focus will be in the interaction of strategic planning, value planning, financial strategies and investment decisions.

MGMT 686 - Introduction to Marketing Research

Students will learn the most common methods managers use to gain insight about customers and markets as well as the objectives/advantages/disadvantages associated with different research designs such as qualitative methods, surveys and experiments. Students will not learn specific analytic methods but rather how to design studies to yield valid results.

MGMT 721 - Business Law

This course examines the broad subject of law as it relates to business and is designed to help the student develop “legal astuteness.” That is, the ability to communicate effectively with counsel and to work together with counsel to solve complex problems and/or to protect and leverage the firm’s resources. It is designed to be a guide to understanding how the law impacts daily management decisions and business strategies, to spotting legal issues before they become legal problems, and to using laws and legal tools to marshal resources and manage risk.

MGMT 733 - Strategies for Growth

This course focuses on examining various strategies that companies can adopt to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. The course will use a variety of real-life cases of companies and supplement them with relevant readings, lectures or other exercises, as necessary.

MGMT 833 - Strategy in Technology Ecosystems

The course deals with strategic management topics of interest to ventures that operate in technological ecosystems. Topics covered include platforms, network effects, coping with disruptive innovation, and how technology can create new markets and revolutionize existing ones.