Leadership MBA Online & In-Class Courses

Lake Forest Graduate School has a wide range of courses that allow students to earn an MBA or a Graduate Certificate, depending on their individual completed courses. Our course topics include leadership, global business, management, business analytics, and more.

Students that choose to pursue the LMBA will complete the program’s core courses as well as a selection of elective courses. The flexibility of the program allows students to focus their education in the areas of business in which they are interested.

The LMBA degree tracks culminate in a capstone course – Strategic Management.  The Graduate Certificates available for students to earn are Change Management, Management Analytics, and Strategy and Execution, and can be completed with or without completing the entire MBA program.

Below is the list of courses that comprise all the Graduate Certificates and Leadership MBA choices available at Lake Forest. 

Because Lake Forest courses are continually reviewed for quality content, they are therefore subject to change.

Leadership MBA Courses

Change Management Certificate (4 courses)

5120 Effective Leadership
5130 Strategic Thinking
5220 Leading Organizational Change
5330 Organizational Communication

Management Analytics Certificate (4 courses)

5140 Business Analytics & Research
5170 Economics for Managers
5110 Accounting for Decision Making
5190 Financial Management

Strategy and Execution Certificate (4 courses)

5160 Global Business and Cultural Diversity
5200 Innovation & Risk
5210 Marketing
5230 Operations Management

5240 Capstone Course: Strategic Management

Elective MBA Courses

5802 Negotiations & Conflict Management
5806 Team and Employee Effectiveness
5807 Ethical Leadership & Decision-Making
5808 Leadership Agility
5809 Corporate Social Responsibility and Volunteerism
5810 Strategic Talent Management
5820 Project Management
5826 Mergers & Acquisitions
5827 Investments
5828 Entrepreneurial Finance
5831 The Healthcare Landscape
5832 Advanced Topics in Healthcare
5833 Healthcare Business Operations
5843 Global Focus 
5848 Global Finance
5849 Global Marketing
5850 Digital Marketing
5851 Business and Marketing Intelligence 

Lake Forest Leadership MBA Core Courses


 ACC 5110 Accounting for Decision Making

Management Analytics Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)

This MBA course provides the student with an understanding of the management information critical to internal stakeholders in achieving stated goals in the organization. Essential to meeting internal corporate objectives is the creation of useful analysis and communication of management financial information. This Leadership MBA course will provide the student with a set of tools and models to approach difficult decisions faced each day. Required Prerequisite: KEYS Digital Literacy

 LDR 5120 Effective Leadership

Change Management Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
Effective Leadership is a highly personal look at leadership. This Leadership MBA course enables students to better understand their own leadership styles and apply these styles effectively in the workplace. The course includes a discussion of individual and universal leadership concepts, how leaders think and act, and how various management styles impact situations and relationships within an organization. Exploring how effective teams are formed and how team members interact allows students to become more effective members and leaders of teams. In addition, coaching models are demonstrated to help students become influential leaders within their companies.
Students develop action plans to enhance their professional and personal leadership skills through the completion of personal assessments and interactive activities. 

 STR 5130 Strategic Thinking

Change Management Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
In this MBA course, students will learn to think strategically and apply strategic concepts and tools to the fundamental functions and processes necessary to lead a business in a dynamic and highly competitive environment. Students are introduced to a higher level of thinking - the type that general managers rely on in running successful businesses - by forming an integrated systems perspective of an organization. Leadership MBA students will be required to demonstrate their ability to convert their analysis into logical and persuasive recommendations. The course challenge students to improve their ability to resolve complex business issues, identify underlying problems, be open to new ideas that lead to innovative but feasible alternatives, and take actions that will meet the needs of their organization’s stakeholders. 

 DAT 5140 Business Analytics & Research

Management Analytics Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
This Leadership MBA course focuses on the practical application of statistical tools to understand and use relevant data, which lead to winning decisions by introducing students to major statistical and decision analysis tools used in business. It prepares them for quantitative analysis in a variety of areas, including strategy, operations, finance, human resources, and marketing and sales. By separating facts from opinions and identifying the most influential factors and risks in areas such as marketing, operations, finance and strategy, graduate students will formulate judgments that provide a competitive advantage to themselves and their organizations. Interpreting data and making decisions are not exclusively mechanical processes; they also involve intuition, ideas and values to find real-world meaning from real-world numbers. 

 BUS 5160 Global Business & Cultural Diversity

Strategy and Execution Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
Companies and managers are impacted as the global economy trends towards greater integration and interdependency. This MBA course examines the effect of cultural diversity on personal and organizational effectiveness, the impact of globalization on business operations and the strategic considerations and factors necessary to compete ethically and effectively in this dynamic marketplace. Leadership MBA students will view the global environment from many viewpoints (individual contributor, functional manager, and CEO) through case studies, discussions, simulations and assignments. This course addresses effective communication, ethical decision-making and strategic thinking under the umbrella of the global challenge. Required Prerequisites: 5170 - Economics for Managers

 ECO 5170 Economics for Managers

Management Analytics Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
This LMBA course examines key economic concepts critical to managerial decision-making within today’s business environment, including microeconomic and macroeconomic principles. Microeconomic topics addressed include supply and demand, consumer and competitor behaviors, cost analysis, and pricing and output decisions within various market structures. Issues related to public policy and regulation as they apply to market dynamics and business decision-making is also included. In the macroeconomics section, the MBA course considers the national and worldwide economic environment within which businesses operate. Specifically, it provides an understanding of gross domestic product, unemployment, investment, interest rates, the supply of money, inflation, exchange rates, international trade, business cycles, and fiscal and monetary policy. All topics are discussed with an emphasis on real-world applications. 

 FIN 5190 Financial Management

Management Analytics Certificate
(3 semester credit hours)
This Leadership MBA course combines understanding, application, and discussion of important financial management concepts, resulting in the student’s improved appreciation of the dynamics of financial relationships. The graduate student builds upon prior skills and knowledge, identifying the real-world tradeoffs in business planning and corporate operations. They apply financial principles, tools, and identifiable risk to create and measure economic value. This course places particular emphasis on the practice and theory associated with asset valuation and the maintenance of appropriate capital structure. Recommended Prerequisites: 5140 - Business Analytics & Research, 5110 - Accounting for Decision Making

 STR 5200 Innovation & Risk

Strategy and Execution Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
This MBA course focuses on the acquisition of discovery techniques, risk assessment tools, and innovation leadership skills to initiate strategically aligned innovation in an organizational environment. The significance of innovation, the strategic and organizational environment, and best implementation practices for both individuals and teams are examined and experienced. Recommended Prerequisites: 5130 - Strategic Thinking, 5210 - Marketing, 5230 - Operations Management

 MKT 5210 Marketing

Strategy and Execution Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
This MBA course provides the student with a working knowledge of contemporary marketing principles, the ability to solve diverse and complex marketing problems, and a comprehensive set of marketing strategies that can be used effectively within a global environment. Emphasis is placed on applying course learning to real-world challenges. Graduate students are taught to think strategically and ethically to achieve a desired market presence and to develop and maintain strong customer relationships. Areas of study include market assessment and development, understanding consumer behavior, segmentation and target selection, strategic brand positioning, product management, integrated communications, channel management, strategic pricing, and market planning. Recommended Prerequisite: 5140 - Business Analytics and Research

 LDR 5220 Leading Organizational Change

Change Management Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
This course helps students understand and participate effectively in dynamic organizational change. Students will learn why enhancing the pace of learning and change is important to personal and organizational performance and growth. They will be able to diagnose the functional or dysfunctional impact of strategic intent, culture, and leadership behaviors on organizational change. The MBA course will also enable students to recognize and address both personal and organizational obstacles to constructive change. Finally, students will understand the need for continually reassessing and updating their capabilities for leading change and how to apply these capabilities to facilitate change within their organizations. Recommended Prerequisite: 5120 - Effective Leadership

 MGT 5230 Operations Management

Strategy and Execution Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
This course provides an overview of key operations management functions in the context of a globally competitive environment, both in a service and a manufacturing setting. Various elements critical to achieving optimal performance are examined. Such elements include labor evaluation, process design and management, capacity planning, site selection, software systems such as ERP, inventory management, scheduling and demand flow, quality systems, managing customer relationships, supply chain management, employee involvement, lean enterprise management, operational strategies, and the impact of global operations. Students will attain insight and a deeper understanding of the role that operations play in the overall organizational strategy. Recommended Prerequisite: 5140 - Business Analytics and Research

  CAP 5240 Strategic Management

(3 semester hours credit)
This capstone course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply and integrate knowledge and skills acquired in the MBA program. The emphasis is on the holistic perspective of the CEO/General Manager in crafting a business strategy and using acquired team and leadership skills to successfully execute this strategy. Strategic management issues are explored and applied within the contexts of stakeholder value, ethical decision-making, innovation, and strategic thinking. Required Prerequisites: All Core Courses 


COM 5330 Organizational  Communication

Change Management Certificate
(3 semester hours credit)
Organizational communications studies how individuals and groups within an organization communicate to strategically shape business outcomes both internally and externally. It includes the interpersonal relationships among employees at all levels, and how information flows through formal and informal channels and social networks. Students learn the critical communication skills necessary for successful leadership in organizational settings. Students fine-tune their written, verbal, and listening skills, and learn how to communicate effectively to their managers, peers, and subordinates (both individually and among teams). Students learn how to frame impactful messages for different audiences, using various communication tools (face-to-face and virtual). Students learn persuasive presentation and storytelling techniques to engage and motivate their audiences. Fundamental concepts and guidelines are reinforced through practical assignments, ongoing instructor/peer/self-critique, and team activities.


Lake Forest Leadership MBA Elective Courses

 BUS 5802 Negotiations & Conflict Management

(3 semester hours credit)
The purpose of this course is to help students become more effective in handling the frequent conflicts and resulting negotiations that confront business executives. The course treats negotiation as a complex process that requires the successful practitioner to develop and utilize a unique blend of perceptual, analytical, and interpersonal skills. Recommended Prerequisite: 5120 - Effective Leadership

 HRM 5806 Team and Employee Effectiveness

(3 semester hours credit)
This course covers both the communications challenges specific to teams as well as the feedback process that occurs in coaching or managing relationships. The most productive teams are facilitated by skilled process managers who understand how to build teams and keep them productive for a defined time period. Students learn in real-time how to build a team by working in teams. Employee effectiveness is dependent upon the feedback processes that occur in the workplace. Managers typically engage in a number of key one-on-one interactions with employees to ensure improved performance. These key interactions revolve around the life cycle of employment, including interviewing, onboarding, setting goals, performance reviews, coaching and termination. This course addresses strategies that help managers develop direct reports and improve their ability to successfully engage in critical coaching conversations. Recommended Prerequisite: 5120 - Effective Leadership

 LDR 5807 Ethical Leadership & Decision Making

(3 semester hours credit)
This course provides an understanding of how values shape individual ethical behaviors, and how these behaviors influence leadership and decision-making. It will provide practical knowledge and tools needed to effectively manage the everyday ethical conduct of employees. The course also discusses how legal, philosophical, and corporate practices influence ethical behavior for individuals and companies. Students examine how social, environmental, and stakeholder responsibilities, as well as different values impact ethical behavior in companies. (Premium tuition pricing applies.) Recommended Prerequisite: 5120 Effective Leadership


 LDR 5808 Leadership Agility

(3 semester hours credit)
Because the world is changing so quickly, being agile is a critical success factor for organizations. In this class, students are introduced to the concept of leadership agility and a framework for implementing it in many parts of an organization. Students learn about the traits that agile leaders share, how they are connected to individuals' development, and how to apply leadership agility competencies and skills to issues they face. No prerequisite.


 LDR 5809 Corporate Social Responsibility and Volunteerism

(3 semester hours credit)
Students explore the nature of corporate social responsibility within the context of responsible business practice, environmental stewardship, social impact and stakeholder engagement. Topics include: how the social and corporate values of a business are driven by a company's CSR strategy, generational differences, benefits of CSR; such as driving innovation, brand differentiation, customer engagement, employee recruitment, engagement and retention, investor recruitment and relations, and community revitalization.


 HRM 5810 Strategic Talent Management

(3 semester hours credit)
This course builds a conceptual framework for business leaders to understand that the strategic management of people can improve business performance. This course will help participants maximize the performance of their employees and learn techniques that promote the success of their employees. As leaders move up in their organizations, their success ultimately depends on their ability to achieve results by managing the efforts of their direct reports and colleagues. Three major themes are developed in this course: An organization is most effective when “people strategies” are properly aligned with “business strategies.” The strategic management of people is a critical responsibility of all business leaders within an organization. As leaders move up in an organization, the challenge of working through others to achieve success increases. Recommended Prerequisites: 5120 - Effective Leadership, 5220 - Leading Organizational Change

 MGT 5820 Project Management

(3 semester hours credit)
This course covers the process and techniques required to manage almost all types of projects. The course integrates key management skills acquired throughout the MBA program with specific project management skills and knowledge. This integration helps students more effectively meet project objectives on time and within budget, as well as meet expectations and quality requirements. Considerable emphasis is placed on the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques needed to manage projects successfully.


 FIN 5826 Mergers and Acquisitions

(3 semester hours credit)
In today’s world, few individuals are unaffected by mergers and acquisitions. Students delve into the core concepts behind this pervasive business activity, and prepare to work on a team that either is considering an acquisition, or is being acquired. Students will consider the financial, strategic, operational, technological, legal and human resource aspects of M&As, and go on a journey from the strategy supporting the potential deal, through planning, and then execution. Students will acquire the skills they need to ask the right questions in order to help companies make decisions that build value. Required Course Prerequisite: 5190. Enrollment in LMBA Degree required.

 FIN 5827 Investments

(3 semester hours credit)
This course introduces basic portfolio strategies focusing on common investment types, including mutual funds, fixed-dollar annuities and variable-dollar annuities from the perspective of the individual and institutional investor. Market operations, performance evaluation, fundamental security analysis methods (in relation to stock bonds), mutual funds, options, and futures are included and students have the opportunity to analyze how each type works, recognizing the advantages and disadvantages as well as yield expectations. Required Prerequisite: 5190 - Financial Management

 FIN 5828 Entrepreneurial Finance
(3 semester hours credit)
This course focuses on the financing decisions of entrepreneurs. The course emphasizes identifying and valuing entrepreneurial business opportunities as well as how and from whom entrepreneurs raise funds. It includes an exploration of how financial contracts are structured to manage risk and align incentives and how and when entrepreneurs “harvest” success and value. Required Prerequisite: 5190 - Financial Management


 BUS 5831 The Healthcare Landscape

(3 semester hours credit)
Healthcare is dynamic, complex, and a force of change in the world today. It offers substantial career opportunities for the aspiring business professional. It is essential that managers possess a greater understanding of the healthcare landscape and the forces driving changes today. This course will provide an overview of the healthcare landscape and the diversity of the stakeholders, and will introduce some of the contemporary issues framing the healthcare agenda.

 FIN 5832 Advanced Topics in Healthcare Finance

(3 semester hours credit)
The healthcare industry is characterized by challenges and complexities that revolve around third-party payers, increasing regulations, competitive market forces, and a mixture of government, private, not-for-profit, and investor owned organizations. Healthcare leaders are faced with evolving models of delivery and financing of care, continually rising costs, and increasingly regulatory compliance. Today more than ever, healthcare leaders need a greater understanding of complex financial issues and analytical tools to make sound business decisions. This course will include a brief overview of the healthcare financial environment, industry-specific analytical tools, balance sheet management of both short-term and long-term assets and liabilities, integrated strategic and financial planning, risk management, and ethics. Required Prerequisite: 5190 - Financial Management

 MGT 5833 Healthcare Business Operations

(3 semester hours credit)
This course builds upon the student’s understanding from previous coursework about the scope and breadth of the healthcare services and products industry, the unique aspects related to financing, the political and regulatory issues and impacts, and the various ethical issues that run through all aspects of decision-making in the industry. This course incorporates the use of case analysis, and broad-based, in-depth exposure to various industry segments through site visits to healthcare service and/or manufacturing settings, and guest speakers from clinical, scientific, and operations perspectives across segments and political and/or public health arenas. Recommended Prerequisites: 5831 - The Healthcare Landscape, 5832 - Advanced Topics in Healthcare Finance

  BUS 5843 Global Focus 

(3 semester hours credit)
This course expands students' understanding of business operations beyond the US and helps them become global business leaders with sensitivity to, and awareness of, international and cross-cultural differences. Combining traditional, classroom-based learning with rigorous in-country experiential learning, the Global Focus enables students to identify business growth opportunities, as well as the challenges that these offer, in an innovative and flexible framework. The operational aspects of business functions outside the US will include analysis and a comparative review of key elements. Beyond cultural differences, the comparison will focus on the organization, management, economics, resource production, and delivery of goods and/or services. Required Prerequisite: 5160 - Global Business and Cultural Diversity or Dean approval. (Additional Student Costs: airfare and supplemental international travel fee based on location)


 FIN 5848 Global Finance
(3 semester hours credit)
Companies and managers are impacted as the global economy trends toward greater integration and interdependency. This course provides students with an advanced and in-depth understanding of financial management principles as they relate to the challenges of global expansion, the assessment of global risks and global capital markets. Focusing on the global financial and macroeconomic environment, topics such as foreign exchange markets, management of foreign exchange exposure, international financial instruments, and cross border capital spending and investment are analyzed. Through lecture, case study, group discussion, and presentation, students will increase their ability to manage currency-related exchange risk and market imperfections using various techniques while maximizing organizational financial performance in light of a firm's risk tolerance. This course addresses effective communication and ethical decision-making under the umbrella of the global challenge. Required Prerequisite: 5190 - Financial Management

 MKT 5849 Global Marketing
(3 semester hours credit)
Companies and managers are impacted as the global economy trends toward greater integration and interdependency. This course provides students with an advanced and in-depth understanding of marketing principles as they relate to the global marketplace. Environmental factors that influence marketing in the global arena (political, economic, legal, socio-cultural, technological, and competitive) are examined as to the impact on entry strategy, product, pricing, distribution, packaging, promotion planning, and branding. Through lecture, case study, group discussion, presentation, and in-store research, the complex and dynamic global environment in which marketing strategies are formulated and implemented are analyzed to advance student decision-making skills in successful global marketing. This course addresses effective communication and ethical decision-making under the umbrella of the global challenge. Required Prerequisite: 5210 - Marketing

 MKT 5850 Digital Marketing

(3 semester hours credit)
This course examines the ways new digital technologies have changed the marketing industry. It covers its impact on the e-enabled marketing mix and communication strategies, as well as changes in product and channel strategy driven by digital technology. The course provides the student with a working knowledge of contemporary digital marketing principles and provides a tool set to assess, build, and sustain a successful, comprehensive integrated digital marketing program. In a field that literally changes on a daily basis, emphasis is placed on staying on top of contemporary topical issues, while applying course content to real-world challenges. Required Prerequisite: 5210 - Marketing

MKT 5851 Business and Marketing Intelligence
(3 semester hours credit)
Students examine the effect of business and marketing intelligence on leadership decisions and implementation of both strategic business plans and tactical marketing programs. The central focus of the course is building an understanding of the market research tools and data available, and when and how to utilize such intelligence. Students analyze both primary and secondary research sources, from focus groups and market experiments to consumer reports. As a result, students will understand how to integrate acquired information to develop informed business strategies to meet defined needs and opportunities.


 5896 LFGSM Subject Master Student
(3 semester hours credit)
This course is designed to allow students with significant managerial leadership and functional expertise in a particular discipline the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to apply key concepts. Students enrolled as a Subject Master Student handle key elements of the course through facilitating discussions, application activities, tutoring support, and other activities agreed upon with the instructor. With direction and input from the Dean of Faculty and Degree Programs, students will meet with the instructor of record to create a “teaching assistance plan.” Subject Master Student will not be billed for this course but will receive a grade for the course based on their successful completion of the Subject Master Student plan.