Core Courses

Tuck's integrated core curriculum provides rigorous coverage of key functional areas and disciplines.

Courses are carefully integrated and complement each other. Students who have extensive background in a particular discipline and receive an exemption from one of the core courses take an elective course in its place.

Analysis for General Managers

The underlying goal of the core curriculum is to build, enhance, and perfect the skills needed to excel as a general manager.  As the first step in that process, this course focuses on what general management is, what it means for people and organizations, why it is important, and how it affects the identification of key problems and opportunities.  The course has three primary goals: to introduce the notion of a general management perspective, foster understanding of the general manager's job, and develop analytical skills for effective problem solving and opportunity identification.

Capital Markets

Managers in any corporate function should understand the pricing of stocks and bonds. This course examines the complex interrelationships among equity and fixed-income markets. Topics include the cost of money (interest rates) in bond markets; how stocks and bonds should be priced, and why prices are sometimes not realized because of institutional factors or market inefficiencies; the optimal construction of portfolios of investments, emphasizing the trade-off between risk and return in great detail; and the pricing and uses of derivative assets, such as futures and options, and how they may be used to control financial risk in corporations.

Competitive and Corporate Strategy

This course is concerned with the formulation of business strategy and its implementation. Strategy is concerned with answering two central questions: (1) what businesses should we participate in and (2) how should we compete? Managing the enterprise in a way that facilitates arriving at and implementing the best answers to these questions is referred to as strategic management. In this course, students learn concepts and frameworks that are useful for analyzing and formulating business strategies. Students also develop skills for identifying managerial issues, finding alternative ways to deal with those issues, and evaluating alternative plans of action. Finally, students learn specific analytical techniques for diagnosing the competitive position of a business, evaluating business strategies, and identifying and analyzing specific business options.

Corporate Finance

This course discusses basic principles of corporate finance and provides practical tools for financial decisions and valuation. The course consists of five sections. The first, Capital Budgeting Decisions, shows optimal project acceptance criteria consistent with the objective of maximizing the market value of the firm. The second section, Estimating the Cost of Capital, extends the analysis from the Capital Markets course to the practice of estimating a project’s expected return, using factor models. The third part of the course, Valuation Techniques, develops several valuation methods used in practice, including WACC, APV, multiples, and real options. Part four, Capital Structure and Dividend Policies, involves a discussion of how capital structure and dividend decisions affect firm value and survey industry practice. Finally, part five of the course, Investment Banking, develops key principles and practices for raising capital, mergers and acquisitions, and modern restructuring techniques.

Decision Science

This course provides an introduction to the concepts and methods of Decision Science, which involves the application of mathematical modeling and analysis to management problems. The primary goals of the course are to encourage a more disciplined thinking process in the way student approach management decisions and help them become more skilled builders and consumers of models and model-based analyses.  The course will: show students how to use Excel spreadsheets effectively for business analysis, introduce them to the basic principles and techniques of applied mathematical modeling for managerial decision-making, sharpen their ability to structure problems and to perform logical analyses, and expose them to settings in which models can be used effectively.

Financial Measurement, Analysis, & Reporting I

This course develops the fundamental concepts and procedures underlying corporate financial statements (including the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows) that are prepared under generally accepted accounting principles. It also introduces tools for analyzing profitability and risk and for preparing projected financial statements.

Financial Measurement, Analysis, & Reporting II

This course studies the impact on corporate financial statements of alternative accounting choices available under generally accepted accounting principles. It explores the faithfulness with which a firm's financial reporting strategy represents its underlying economic circumstances.

First-Year Project

The Tuck First-Year Project is a term-long course that provides students the opportunity to apply their core academic knowledge to a real-world problem, gain practical experience in planning and executing a project, develop their leadership and teamwork skills, and tailor the curriculum to their individual goals. Students work in self-selected teams of five on a project of their own choosing. Each team selects one of their members as the Engagement Manager, who is responsible for management of the project. Each team also works with a Faculty Advisor who meets with them weekly and coaches them through the process. Most projects have an external client who provides motivation for the project and access to data and people in the target organization. The exception is entrepreneurial projects, in which the student team develops a business plan for a new product or service and pitches it to venture capitalists.

Global Economics for Managers

The objective of this course is to help students develop a framework for analyzing both opportunities and risks in the global economic environment. The first portion of the course will cover the economics of the nation in a global economy: international economics and macroeconomics.  The focus of study will be on the larger economic forces that shape production, trade flows, capital flows, interest rates, exchange rates, and other variables that create the global economic landscape. In the second portion of the course students will apply the tools of microeconomics and international economics to examine how globalization influences performance, strategy, and policy within firms.

Leading Individuals & Teams

Organizational success depends on people interacting to achieve common goals. This course will provide students with conceptual frameworks for increasing individual and team performance. Topics include: understanding the dimensions along which individuals differ, identifying the key principles that foster high individual performance, learning when to structure work using teams, recognizing common pitfalls associated with working in teams.

Leading Organizations

The purpose of this course is to develop students' effectiveness to lead at the level of the entire organization by (1) introducing them to frameworks that are useful for diagnosing organizational performance and (2) helping them learn how to exercise leadership through organizational culture, organizational design, organizational congruence, and effective change management.

Management Communication

This course is designed to develop the skills necessary for making professional presentations, whether in a team or as an individual. After giving students an overview of strategic communication frameworks, the course will focus primarily on experiential learning and practical skills development via small group sessions.  The course goals are to enable students to tailor their communication strategy to any business situation, improve the impact of presentations through effective message structure, and connect with the audience through personal delivery style and supporting visuals.

Managerial Economics

This course applies the ideas and methodology of economics to analysis of the firm, key decisions within the firm, and the industry. Topics covered include costs, pricing, competition, economic efficiency, and industry equilibrium and change. Particular attention is paid to behavior of the firm and industries when uncertainty and transaction costs exist. The course combines lectures/discussions of principles with cases covering both current and classic firm and industry dilemmas.  Other issues covered include policy responses to pollution and information economics.


Marketing concepts are at the core of every business. Firms have no value without revenue from customers—whether individual consumers, businesses, or organizations—that buy their products and services. Sustainable profitability requires creating, communicating and delivering value for these customers. Thus, understanding the current and potential success of companies requires a thorough understanding of their target markets, customer relationships, product development capabilities, and competitive advantages and disadvantages. This course will enable you to apply marketing tools and concepts and think strategically with a marketing orientation – critical skills for every manager.

Operations Management

Operations Management is the systematic direction and control of the processes that transform inputs into finished goods or services. This course provides an introduction to the concepts and analytic methods that are useful in understanding the management of a firm's operations. The goals of the course are to familiarize students with the problems and issues confronting operations managers, and (2) provide them with language, concepts, insights and tools to deal with these issues in order to gain competitive advantage through operations. Because the course deals with the management of “processes,” it applies to both for-profit and non-profit organizations, to both service and manufacturing organizations, and to virtually any functional area or industry.

Personal Leadership

Effective leadership requires acquiring knowledge about how effective organizations function as well as knowledge about oneself. The objective of this course is for students to develop an understanding of their strengths and opportunities for improvement as leaders and to use that knowledge to identify actions that will advance their leadership potential. The centerpiece of the class is a comprehensive assessment of each student's leadership skills, based on confidential evaluations completed by former bosses, co-workers, peers, and clients before the class begins. At the end of the course, students will develop a Leadership Development Plan, a specific and measurable plan for strengthening their leadership skills.

Statistics for Managers

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a strong background in statistical principles as applied to managerial problems in a wide variety of functional areas. The emphasis will be on learning how to be an intelligent "consumer" of statistics, rather than on how to become a statistician. Students will gain the ability to effectively evaluate and act upon statistical reports and data relating to applications in business as well as actually perform certain standard statistical analyses using Excel and comprehensive statistical software such as SPSS.