Yale Launches New MBA Curriculum

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Yale's School of Management launched a new MBA curriculum, replacing courses in finance, marketing, and other traditional business subjects with a multidisciplinary approach that cuts across functional boundaries. The point, the school says, is "to provide management education in a richer, more relevant context."

Yale's approach is meant to align management education with the way managers operate in the real world. "The management profession has experienced profound change in the past few decades, but management education has not," said the school's dean, Joel M. Podolny. "Today, a successful manager must be able to identify and frame business problems and move across a variety of organizational, political and geographic boundaries to solve those problems."

Courses in the new first-year curriculum are taught in three segments: Orientation to Management, Organizational Perspectives and the Integrated Leadership Perspective. The curriculum is built around eight multidisciplinary courses that are structured around the organizational roles a manager must take on.

"No executive wakes up in the morning and thinks `I'm going to do finance today,' so it doesn't make sense for students to sit in a finance class and learn to crunch numbers absent of any context," observes Professor Sharon Oster. "We are teaching them in a way that's relevant in the real world."

Also as part of the new curriculum, Yale requires students to study abroad. In January, between the first and second semesters, students will complete a required two-week "International Experience" where they will be rapidly immersed in a new environment, engage in intensive study, meet with business and government leaders, and complete a trip project.

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