Focus Areas

Whether you want to pursue a career in marketing, international business, healthcare management, or sustainability, the Illinois Gies 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 a focus area that best meets your goals and objectives.

You can design your curriculum to concentrate in any area that makes sense for you. The following are just a few examples:

Business Data Analytics

The concentration in Business Data Analytics is designed to develop leaders in various business fields who understand (1) how to leverage data to identify new customer segments and markets; (2) how to optimize the supply chain and logistics; and (3) how to collect, manipulate, and visualize data for business decisions. The concentration will develop skills using data as a foundation for sound decision making in business.

Supply Chain Management

The concentration in Supply Chain Management is designed to develop leaders who understand (1) how to assess the trade-offs and make the decisions necessary to sustain high-quality products and services at lower costs while maintaining the flexibility necessary to adapt and respond to evolving market trends; and (2) how to coordinate and integrate supply chain solutions across various intra-organizational and inter-organizational interfaces in any business or organization. The minor or concentration not only will provide a strong foundation in supply chain management principles and practices, but also can be tailored to fit the specific needs of students interested in careers across a wide variety of industries.

Information Technology & Control

The concentration in Information Technology and Control is designed to develop leaders in various business fields who understand (1) how to leverage information technology to create value for customers, external partners, and shareholders by designing better information systems to improve business processes and controls; and (2) how managers can assess the strategic, financial, and economic benefits and risks of investing in advanced information systems. The concentration will provide a strong foundation in the IS/IT area and can be tailored to fit the specific career needs of students.

Corporate Governance & International Business

The concentration in Corporate Governance and International Business is designed to develop leaders in various business fields who understand international business and corporate governance issues within the global economy. It specifically covers topics such as (1) how to create value for multinational partners, employees with diverse cultural backgrounds, and shareholders by designing better organizations and corporate governance structures; and (2) how managerial practices differ in various national/cultural contexts and why managers must be able to understand the strategic, financial, and economic implications of these differences in managing multinational corporations. The concentration will provide a strong foundation in the International Business and Governance area and can be tailored to fit the specific career needs of students.

Real Estate

In addition to learning the “language” of real estate, courses will emphasize analytical techniques for evaluating potential investments in real estate with the emphasis on commercial real estate. Students will be prepared for entry-level and more advanced jobs in a variety of areas related to real estate: for example, working as an analyst for Real Estate Investment Trusts, real estate investment divisions of major insurance companies, real estate valuation divisions of major accounting firms, major international real estate firms such as CBRE, Colliers International and Jones Lang LaSalle, real estate development firms, etc.

Corporate & Social Responsibility

Corporate and social responsibility has become important than ever before. Students pursuing this focus area learn how to effectively manage company assets to address challenges of limited natural resources and unfair or unethical business practices. Additionally, attention to the needs of multiple stakeholders helps students develop the analytical skills to manage organizational change with ethical decision making.


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

General Management

The general management focus 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 helps students prepare for management and leadership roles.

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 – a field which requires skilled business leaders who understand how the healthcare industry works.


The marketing focus area provides students with an understanding of marketing management. This area places strong emphasis on identifying consumer needs and satisfying those needs to achieve organizational goals. Specific of areas of study include consumer behavior, marketing strategy, pricing, consumer research, product management, new product development, and promotional strategy.

Operations Management

Students pursuing this focus area learn how to manage resources productively in order to create value within an organization.

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 an organization. This includes learning to manage both the internal and external environments to create unconventional solutions to highly complex problems.