Areas of Concentration

Whether you want to pursue a career in marketing, international business, healthcare management, or sustainability, the Illinois MBA provides you with the resources and opportunities to help you achieve your goals. We want you to take advantage of our flexible curriculum and customize an area of concentration that best meets your goals and objectives.

You can design your curriculum to concentrate in any area that makes sense for you. Examples of a few select areas of concentration you can explore in the Illinois MBA include the following:


The finance area of concentration prepares students for success in a wide array of industries and with companies of nearly any size. The skills developed are designed to help students understand how organizations fund and grow the business, and determine the financial feasibility of various projects.

Frequently Sought Positions: Financial Analyst, Auditor, Asset Manager, Portfolio Manager, Financial Planner, and Credit Analyst

Companies that Hire: Archer Daniel Midland Company, Credit Suisse, Exxon Mobil, Intel, Sears Holdings Corporation, the U.S. Government, and Whirlpool Corporation

Sample Courses: Financial Statement Analysis, Investments, Advanced Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Enterprise Risk Management

Strategic Management

A focus in strategic management helps you understand the logic behind decision making and develop the analytical skills necessary to form a strategic vision for the organization. This includes learning to manage both the internal and external environments to create unconventional solutions to highly complex problems.

Frequently Sought Positions: Internal or External Consultant, Strategy Manager, and Business Development Manager

Companies that Hire: Allstate, Deloitte Consulting, Archstone Consulting, Ernst & Young, Huron Consulting Group, and the U.S. Government

Sample Courses: Small Business Consulting, Financial Statement Analysis, Operations Strategy, Marketing Strategy


A marketing area of concentration provides students with an understanding of marketing management. A strong emphasis is placed on identifying consumer needs and then organizational goals by satisfying those needs. Specific of areas of study include consumer behavior, marketing strategy, pricing, consumer research, product management, new product development, and promotional strategy.

Frequently Sought Positions: Brand Manager, Marketing Researcher, Advertising Manager, and Account Executive

Companies that Hire: Nestle Purina, Sears Holdings Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble

Sample Courses: Marketing Strategy, New Product Development, Marketing Research, Pricing Strategy & Tactics

Human Resources

Students concentrating in human resources will learn how to effectively partner with business leaders within internal consulting roles to ensure that both the organization is successful and the employee needs are met.

Frequently Sought Positions: Human Resources Business Partner, Human Resources Consultant, Leadership Development Program Director, and Recruitment Director

Companies that Hire: Procter & Gamble, Cisco Systems, Sears Holdings Corporation, and Hewitt Associates

Sample Courses: Personnel Management, HR Management & Strategy, Diversity in the Workplace, Communication Training & Development

Corporate & Social Responsibility

Corporate and social responsibility has never been as important as it is right now. Students have the opportunity to learn how effectively manage company assets to address challenges of limited natural resources and unfair or unethical business practices. Additionally, a focus on serving multiple stakeholders helps students develop the analytical skills to manage organizational change with an emphasis on ethical decision making.

Frequently Sought Positions: Sustainability Initiative Manager, Social Investment Researcher, and Sustainability Sales Specialist

Companies that Hire: HOK, Arup, and the U.S. General Services Administration

Sample Courses: Sustainable Products for Subsistence Marketplaces, Ethical Dilemmas in Business, Environmental Economics, Social Entrepreneurship in a Diverse Society

General Management

The general management area of concentration is versatile and allows students to tailor their curriculum to fields such as healthcare, consulting, and human resources based on their specific career goals. This area of concentration helps students prepare for management and leadership roles.

Frequently Sought Positions: Leadership Development Programs and Rotational Programs

Companies that Hire: AT&T, Peabody Energy, and Cooper Industries

Sample Courses: Personnel Management, Small Business Consulting, Decision Support and Knowledge Management, Multinational Management

Operations Management

Students will learn how to manage resources productively in order to create value within the organization.

Frequently Sought Positions: Supply Chain Manager, Procurement Specialist, Strategy & Operations Consultant, and Manufacturing Operations Manager

Companies that Hire: Intel Corporation, United Stationers, Inc., and Robert Bosch Corporation

Sample Courses: Supply Chain Management, Planning & Control Systems, New Product Development, Operations Strategy

Healthcare Management

The healthcare industry is continuing to grow and change, and this is an exciting time for students wishing to pursue a career in healthcare management. Healthcare management requires skilled business leaders who understand how the healthcare industry works. In this area of concentration, students will take business and healthcare courses.

Frequently Sought Positions: Healthcare Consultant, Healthcare Administrator

Companies that Hire: Christie Clinic, Cardinal Health

Sample Courses: Personnel Management, Business Process Improvement, Organization of Healthcare, Public Health Development

International Business

Gone are the days when all business is conducted within the United States. The global economy continues to grow, and the need for business leaders with international experience is increasing. The international business area of concentration can be customized based on the countries/regions in which students want to focus.

Information Management

Managers with expertise in how to manage companies more effectively with information and technology are increasingly being valued in corporations and the marketplace. The Information Management area is designed to allow MBA students to acquire necessary knowledge and skills for managing information technology for increased innovation, business capabilities, strategic advantages, and value creation.

Frequently Sought Positions: CIO Specialists, System Analyst, Business Consultant, IT Manager, and e-Business Strategists

Companies that Hire: General Electric; KPMG; State Farm; All State; Caterpillar; IBM; JPMorgan Chase; Wal-Mart

Sample Courses: Information Sys Development & Mgmt; Database Mgmt; Electronic Commerce; Business Intelligence; IT Governance; IT Strategy; Social Media; IT Project Mgmt

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