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Which MBA Specialization Is Right For You? Part 1

At George Mason, with nine areas of emphasis in the MBA program, you can select courses to fit your interests and meet your specific career goals. By using your five elective courses in one MBA specialization, you gain greater expertise in that area.

Mason’s School of Business MBA Specializations

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Management
  • Information Systems Management
  • International Business
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Real Estate

Below is a brief description of three of George Mason’s MBA specializations: accounting, financial management and information systems management.

Accounting MBA

An accounting MBA is all about managing the financial accounts of a company. A strong accounting background will assist you in your career endeavors. At Mason, accounting electives include Business Analytics & Valuation, Corporate Governance and Ethics, and Fraud Examination. Business Analytics & Valuation provides the framework for business analysis and valuation using financial statement data, and analyzes management decisions such as equity valuation, creditworthiness, merger valuation, corporate financial structure, and management communication strategy. Corporate Governance and Ethics focuses on developing an understanding of corporate governance issues and ethical decision-making, introducing strategies and techniques for fraud prevention and detection. Finally, Fraud Examination focuses on financial fraud such as bribery, contract rigging and kickbacks, embezzlement, fraudulent financial reporting, payroll fraud, and misappropriation of inventory and other assets. These three electives will provide you with a strong specialization in accounting with your MBA degree.

Financial Management MBA

Different from an accounting MBA, a financial management MBA focuses on the efficient management of funds in order to achieve the strategic objectives of an organization. Professionals in financial management generally work directly with top management executives. At Mason, financial management electives include Business Analysis and Valuation, Corporate Financial Policy, Financial Markets, Risk Management and Financial Innovation, Capital and Private Finance, Investment Analysis, and International Finance. In Corporate Financial Policy, the course applies theories and methods of corporate financial management to series of complex cases.

In Financial Markets, the course explores the relationship among financial markets including global equity markets, U.S. Treasury securities, and exchange-traded and over-the-counter financial derivative instruments such as futures, options, swaps, and asset-backed securities. Also, in Venture Capital and Private Finance, the course focuses on the market microstructure of venture capital and private finance, including costs and benefits from employing private financing, interaction between the financiers and entrepreneurs, financial analysis of potential ventures, and investor exit strategies. In addition, Investment Analysis focuses on analyzing equity securities and debt instruments given implications of efficient market hypothesis and modern capital market theory.

The many electives offered in financial management provide students with a chance to choose from a wide range of financial management specialties to enhance your knowledge in this area while pursuing your MBA degree.

Information Systems Management MBA

An information systems management MBA focuses on the efficient management of information systems to create more effective strategic decision making. At Mason, information systems management electives include Supply Chain Management, Knowledge Management, and Business Intelligence and Data Mining. Supply Chain Management examines the logistics of supply chain systems, including inventory management, distribution channels, and information systems. Knowledge Management examines firms that use knowledge management principles and approaches including intellectual capital, human capital, customer capital, tacit and explicit knowledge, new role of chief knowledge officer, leveraging of knowledge management.

Finally the course titled Business Intelligence and Data Mining examines how data warehouses and data mining are used to help businesses successfully gather, structure, analyze, understand and act on relevant data, both operational and contextual. Each of these electives provides a greater in-depth look into the importance of information systems management in today’s organizations.

George Mason’s MBA Program prepares the next generation of business leaders through a rigorous, stimulating business and management curriculum based on a global perspective, industry demand, and leadership preparing graduates with the skills they need to pursue the career they want. Mason’s MBA program is ranked #69 on the “Best Part-time MBA” list by U. S. News & World Report.

Next week we will focus on MBA specializations in entrepreneurship, leadership, and project management.

Download the complete e-book titled “5 Things You Need in a MBA Program” for a more in-depth look at this topic or register to attend an upcoming Information Session to learn more about Mason’s MBA program.

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Paige Wolf

As director of graduate programs at George Mason's School of Business, my vision is to have a vibrant, collegial community of active learners who develop enduring professional relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow students while pursuing their degrees. Prior to this position, I spent 11 years with the School of Business as an associate professor of management teaching both MBA and undergraduate courses in organizational behavior and human resource management. I have more than 16 years of experience as an internal and external consultant on strategic human resource initiatives including team building, organizational development, competency modelling, performance management, employee selection systems, career planning, employee training and development, leadership assessment, and human resource audits.

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