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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School
Executive Education classroom seminar at Pepperdine Graziadio

Mini MBA Certificate Program

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Lisa Chance
Enrollment Advisor
Executive Education
26750 Agoura Road, Ste. 118
Calabasas, CA 91302



Master the 10 core disciplines of business in a two week program dedicated to aligning best skills and practices with future career goals.

Our Mini MBA Certificate program is a non-credit-bearing course. There are no degree requirements for admission or enrollment in this program. Students successfully completing this certificate program can apply to our credit-granting programs. All registration fees for this particular course can be applied to our credit-granting programs as tuition scholarships.

Program Overview

  • Study 10 different disciplines of business.
  • Learn key concepts and theories for applied business and management.
  • Learn from instructors with significant business experience.
  • Engage in lectures and discussions with the faculty and other students.


Program Descriptions

  • Applied Behavioral Science

    Course Objectives:
    1. Identify aspirational career targets and related resources needed to achieve aspirations. (Will include exploration of how advanced education and development may be beneficial.)
    2. Review and model/demonstrate five specific evidenced based leadership competencies/skill areas.
    3. Actively engage participants in a structured experiential learning exchange to apply specific competencies to their career and work situations.
    4. Connect leadership competencies to impression management applied research literature and to the need to get ahead, get along and make a difference.
    5. Require each participant to identify, at least one, concrete take away and action plan based on their course participation, such as exploring additional education, talking with their boss, signing on to a high-profile work project, etc.

Course Content:
Using an engaging/fun, hands-on and real world application approach this course will achieve the five course objectives by providing "chalk-talks", performance modeling and role-playing in the following five evidence-based competencies/skill-based areas:

    1. Setting clear and motivating directions
    2. Focusing on what is most important and you can influence
    3. Linking with resources, especially people
    4. Interpersonal influence
    5. Well-being enhancing skills/practices
  • Organization Theory and Management

    Family businesses are the most prevalent form of organization in the world today. In the United States, they account for approximately half the GDP. As many as 90% of all businesses world wide are family owned or controlled and more than 130 Fortune 500 companies fall into this category. In addition, these successful enterprises tend to carry little debt, have fiercely dedicated workforces and lead philanthropic efforts locally and globally. Given the dominance of the family business model in today's global economy it is important that all managers understand the unique culture, values and perspective that family ownership brings to business relationships, partnerships and strategic alliances. Because family businesses tend to think "generationally" more than quarterly, they have many unique characteristics and challenges that range from the technical to the strategic to the psychological. Leadership roles and ownership models often must be adjusted to meet the needs of succeeding generations as parallel planning processes for both business and family are constantly considered.
  • Finance

    This course studies the theories/practices/techniques related to the financial aspects of managerial decisions. Understanding financial principles is crucial in the business world, and this course touches on all aspects of the fundamentals of finance, including valuation, risk and return trade-off, corporate financing, dividend policy, risk management, and the way financial markets work. The objective of this course is to introduce students to the theories/practices/techniques related to the financial aspects of managerial decisions including: 

    • Function and operation of financial markets
    • Time value of money
    • Valuation of stocks, bonds, and the firm
    • Assessment of debt versus equity financing
    • Risk and return trade-off
    • Dividend policy
    • Evaluation of investment alternatives
  • Accounting

    Like the trunk of a tree, accounting serves as a strong base for students' future knowledge growth and as a means of unifying the branches of business management. We at Pepperdine University believe, that tomorrow's MBA graduates must be skilled using financial statements to make business decisions that create long-term value. These skills often require application of ratio analyses, benchmarking, forecasting, valuation and other aspects of financial statement analysis to decision making. Furthermore, tomorrow's MBA graduates must have the skills to go beyond basic financial statements and to interpret and apply non- financial information to make strategic, organizational, and operational decisions. In this course, we will use a business simulation to apply accounting principles to the preparation of financial statements in a dynamic setting. We will then use the financial statements in the evaluation of business performance and risk. Procedural aspects of accounting will be discussed in order to enhance your understanding of the content of the financial statements.
  • Law

    This class introduces the legal and ethical principles responsible for the extraordinary success of our free market economy, free political system, and free society over centuries, not decades. By learning how, when, and why the ten simple and non-negotiable laws of ethical conduct under ethics-based American Rule of Law can and must be enforced in the United States, and increasingly around the world, you will gain the essential wisdom you will need to survive and succeed in today's increasingly turbulent times.
  • Marketing

    Businesses today face a number of challenges and opportunities including globalization, the effects of advances in technology, increased competition and the imperative for innovation. "Marketing" is often identified with advertising/promotion or selling techniques—but marketing is a much broader discipline. Marketers are involved in marketing many types of entities: goods, services, events, experiences, persons, places, properties, organizations, information, and ideas. Marketers must be skilled at managing demand—influencing its level, timing, and composition. Marketing management is the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value. The purpose of this module is to both educate and excite you about the world of marketing!

    This module will be structured around four BIG questions using short lectures and video to introduce you to key theories and concepts followed by class discussion and team problem-based application exercises.
    1. Which are the most attractive market segments to target?
    2. What is the ideal positioning for your brand?
    3. How can you best communicate with the target market you're interested in attracting – in the changing communication environment?
    4. What is the right marketing expenditure for investing in new and current customers?
  • Information Systems and Technology Management

    In this Information Systems (IS) course, students will be exposed to a subtle understanding of the competitive importance and use of effective management of information and knowledge resources, the information and communication technologies that support these activities, and the management interventions that are associated with successfully integrating these areas to bring about positive business, employee and societal benefit. Three main learning outcomes are emphasized in this course, recognizing the supply and demand sides of the management of information and IT resources:
    1. to understand how managers can gain competitive advantage by using information and knowledge resources
    2. to understand information and communications technologies, their evolution, and the current market for IT resources and services
    3. to understand how business professionals should manage IT resources and capabilities to achieve effective information resource management. 
  • Decision Sciences

    Business analytics is the intersection of statistical and mathematical modeling techniques, technology, and real world business challenges. Through the application of these models and technology, you can improve the likelihood of improved decision making for business operations. Data is front and center in data driven decision making. With data being ubiquitous, data science is no longer a function carried out by a select few. Many professionals find themselves needing to leverage their right brain more often to use data as an asset versus a liability – data helps extrapolate key insights from organizations and those who use it well are often well positioned to be more nimble and be proactive versus reactionary. Many analysts fall in the trap of using their data to look at what has happened in the organization in the past tense. We will focus on sharing perspectives and techniques that will enable you to emphasize the importance of predictive analytics. Discussions will be had around how to best harness the value of data in the organization and techniques that will position data as a competitive advantage. Furthermore, various tools for rapid-fire analytics will be examined. You will be prepared to assess the value of driven decision making in the business landscape.
  • Strategy

    By participating in the strategic management module, students will be introduced to a holistic view of the strategic management process utilized to help firms achieve a sustained competitive advantage. By incorporating what they learn from other modules (accounting, finance, economics, marketing, operations, etc.) students will gain an understanding of how leaders within the organization operate. First, students will learn to analyze their firms and the industries in which they operate. Next, they will learn to formulate plans of action that answer such questions such as; how do firms compete in the marketplace; in which businesses should these firms engage; and finally, how do firms ensure that they remain innovative in the market. Lastly, students will learn to utilize tools and techniques that might help to ensure that those formulated plans were implemented. Within this model of strategic management, the ethics and responsibilities of top executives and their strategic significance on the enterprise and society will also be discussed.
  • Economics

    This session is about economics, which will help you apply economic reasoning to decision making in your personal and professional lives. We will first introduce a conceptual framework of how the economies work. Management must understand the markets and the economic environment within which the firm operates and we will study how the consumer and producer behavior affects the market. Next, we will explore our national economy. This serves as a foundation for understanding fiscal and monetary policies and their impact on business and society. Topics include GDP, inflation, unemployment, taxes, interest rates, government and the role of the Federal Reserve. We will extend this by analyzing the global economic environment to recognize the opportunities and challenges facing firms competing in the global economy, the interplay of socio-cultural, political, technological and global factors. We will look at the contemporary issues and how they affect our daily lives.

Program Details

Program Dates*
Spring 2019: March 28-30, 2019 and April 5-6, 2019
Fall 2019: September 26-28, 2019 and October 4-5, 2019

Pepperdine University
West Los Angeles Graduate Campus
6100 Center Drive, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Cost is per participant and includes program materials and meals (breakfast and lunch, unless otherwise noted). General Registration discount available for Pepperdine students and alumni and previous Executive Education program participants. Please contact execed@pepperdine.edu for additional information.

*Dates and locations may change. We will notify students of any changes in a timely manner.

Who Should Enroll

The Mini MBA Certificate is designed for:

  • Managers and Executives who are looking to or who have recently transitioned into management and leadership positions.

  • Recent graduates from non-business majors looking to align their skills with a career.

  • Individuals who are considering an MBA but are still unsure of the return on spend and commitment.



Schedule is TBD. Stay tuned for more information.



Charles Kerns, PhD
Professor of Applied Behavioral Science

Zhike Lei, PhD
Practitioner Faculty of Applied Behavioral Science

Abraham Park, PhD
Director of Fred Sands Institute of Real Estate; Associate Professor of Finance; Department Chair of Accounting and Finance

Kamran Bakhtiari, MBA
Instructor of Decision Sciences

Mark Chun, PhD
Academic Director of Executive Education; Department Chair of Decision Sciences, Information Systems, and Strategy; Associate Professor of Information Systems Technology Management

Terry Young, PhD
Professor of Economics

Linnea McCord, JD
Associate Professor of Business Law

Lynda Palmer, MBA
Practitioner Faculty of Marketing

Mark Tribbitt, PhD
Assistant Professor of Strategy

Robert Lee, PhD
Assistant Professor of Accounting