I am modeling my No-Pay MBA on top-flight MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, UPenn, and MIT. The first year of a degree program at these universities typically focuses on fundamentals. The second year, students get to take more elective courses. The core curriculum for the first year usually includes some subset of the following:

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Leadership, managerial skills, and organizational psychology
  • Business ethics
  • Technology and operations management
  • Marketing
  • Microeconomics

In my first year, I plan to do coursework in all of these areas. My overall strategy is to take 16 courses over two to three years. I will take two courses at a time for 3 months at a time. At that rate, I can do eight courses in a year.

Some of the courses I have found are traditional ones that are set up on a semester schedule, with required readings and homework. For technical topics, such as finance and accounting, I will make a point of seeking out such courses. For topics that are less technical - such as leadership - I will try to incorporate a diversity of opinions by taking shorter courses, listening to lecture series, and reading books on the subject.

For anyone reading who has done an MBA, how does this list look to you? Am I missing anything critical in my first year curriculum? Is there anything here that you would leave out or replace with something else?

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