What Courses Do You Take in a Business Management Program?

A business management degree can be the launchpad for a lucrative career. Discover the courses and career paths you could pursue with this degree.
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Business management degrees can prepare you with a comprehensive understanding of business topics such as finance, marketing, accounting, and operations. It can be a smart move to drive career growth in financial management, entrepreneurship, or leadership positions.

The best business management programs offer rigorous academics from world-class faculty with hands-on experience and internships to help launch your career. You can also consider graduate degrees like an MBA in business analytics to accelerate advancement.

Business careers can be lucrative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executives earned a median salary of $100,090 in 2022, financial managers earned $139,790, and human resources managers earned $130,000. Here, you can find an overview of common courses, concentrations, and resources to launch your business career.

What Are Common Core Courses in a Business Management Program?

Considering a business management degree? You'll learn about financial accounting, marketing strategy, organizational leadership, and business decision-making in your business management classes.

Here are some of the most common core courses in business management.

Introduction to Economics

Advancement is key to any business. And understanding economic forces on the large and small scale helps business professionals do so.

In introductory economics courses, you'll explore key economic institutions and core economic concepts.

You'll learn about how consumers make decisions and how business professionals can use concepts like economic incentives to reach customers. The course also covers macroeconomic concepts such as business cycles, monetary policy, and the global economy.

You'll likely take these economics courses in your first year because the material helps in advanced business management courses. For example, you'll apply your understanding of consumer decision-making in marketing classes later on.

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Financial Accounting

Ever wonder how a business decision is made? Accountants help managers make decisions that are driven by data.

In your financial accounting course, you'll examine financial accounting principles and tools, such as inventory, cash flow, and forecasting.

This course will train you to prepare accounting statements such as balance sheets and income statements. And then you'll learn how to analyze these statements to make managerial decisions.

If you choose to become a manager after school, you'll rely on financial accounting skills when making decisions about investments, business strategies, and liabilities.

Business management programs typically require financial accounting for first-year or second-year students because this course will prepare you for more advanced classes.

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Principles of Marketing

Successful businesses use marketing effectively.

In core marketing courses, you'll learn how to use marketing strategies to reach business goals.

You'll study marketing theory, consumer behavior, competitor research, and marketing analytics. You'll also learn about different marketing research methods.

It's useful to take this course in your first or second year. The class introduces topics like social media marketing, new product development, and marketing strategy that you'll use in advanced courses.

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Principles of Management

Managers need a mix of leadership skills and management knowledge.

In this principles course, you'll examine the management process, including topics like organizational planning, goal setting, and team building.

The class emphasizes leadership methods, conflict management, and strategic human resources management You'll work on strengthening your communication skills, too.

You'll typically take introductory management business courses in your first or second year. And then use the key skills you acquire in upper-division courses like project management, strategic leadership, and supervising teams.

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Business Statistics

Business professionals rely on data analysis and statistics to make data-driven decisions.

In business statistics courses, you'll explore statistical analysis tools and their applications. You'll learn about concepts like data distribution, regression analysis, and data interpretation.

The course will train you to apply statistical methods in business settings.

Most programs recommend a business statistics course around the second year of your business management degree. Since you'll apply your statistics and business analytics knowledge in upper-division courses.

Business Law

Looking to get into the nitty gritty of what makes a business tick? Business law might be the answer.

Business law restricts and shapes organizations' daily operations.

In business law classes, you'll explore the laws and regulations that apply to private and nonprofit organizations. You'll cover contracts, employment law, and business ethics.

Depending on your focus area, your business law classes may also cover topics like litigation, securities law, business formation, and intellectual property law.

You'll typically take business law classes around the third year of your degree.

Featured Online Bachelor's in Business Law Programs

What Are Common Concentrations for a Business Management Degree?

In addition to core business management courses, you'll also complete upper-division classes to prepare for specific career paths. A concentration helps you specialize your degree by shaping your coursework.

Marketing Management

A marketing management degree can lead to jobs in high-paying, growing fields.

A concentration in marketing management prepares you for careers such as market research analysts and marketing managers.

During the marketing degree, you'll strengthen your analytical thinking, research, and communication skills. You'll explore concepts like expanding market share, identifying gaps in the market, and developing marketing plans. The concentration also emphasizes managerial skills like team leadership and strategic planning.

Common Marketing Concentration Courses:

  • Marketing Analytics
  • Consumer Marketing
  • International Marketing

International Finance

An international finance concentration introduces you to global markets, international financial systems, and international trade.

The concentration builds on foundational courses in financial management and international business to prepare you for roles like financial analyst or financial manager.

During a concentration in international finance, you'll examine corporate finance in a global context. Coursework also covers key currency markets, international trade regulations, and risk management.

Looking to gain global experience? You may also complete study abroad programs.

Common International Finance Concentration Courses:

  • International Business
  • Financial Management
  • Global Entrepreneurship


Entrepreneurs bring innovative products and services to the market.

An entrepreneurship concentration provides advanced training in topics like launching a business venture and securing capital. You'll also learn how to foster innovation and work in venture capital.

The concentration emphasizes skills like leadership, strategic thinking, and creativity. With entrepreneurial skills, you can establish new businesses and bring innovative approaches to established organizations.

Common Entrepreneurship Concentration Courses:

  • Venture Capital
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Product Design and Management

Leadership and Management

A leadership and management concentration emphasizes managing both people and resources.

You'll explore management strategies, leadership principles, and employee motivation. The concentration can also strengthen interpersonal and communication skills, which are critical for leaders.

During a leadership and management concentration, you can further focus your coursework by choosing electives related to a career path like healthcare management, human resources management, or information technology management.

Common Leadership and Management Concentration Courses:

  • Leadership Strategies
  • Management Theory
  • Organizational Communication


A concentration in accounting examines concepts like financial reporting, managerial accounting, and business data analysis.

You'll explore fields such as auditing, taxation, forensic accounting, and accounting information systems. The concentration strengthens analytical and decision-making abilities while emphasizing career-focused skills.

An accounting concentration trains you for roles like accountant or auditor. And it provides valuable skills for careers in finance or consulting.

Common Accounting Concentration Courses:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Management Accounting

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed March 29, 2024.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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