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Online MBA by the Numbers




Students per Course




Weeks per Course


On-Campus Residency

Begin Your Journey as a Renaissance Manager

William & Mary’s Online MBA is built on the Renaissance ideal of an individual who is infinitely versatile and “universal,” and Renaissance Manager is its cornerstone course. Because traditional business programs no longer suffice to ready future leaders for success amidst rapid change, this class will challenge you to investigate a variety of disciplines and functionalities, and it will guide you in experimenting with dynamic and integrative new solutions to the most pressing problems faced in contemporary business.

Working beyond the baseline functional skills that will be delivered later in the program, the Renaissance Manager course will explore:

  • Design thinking as an iterative approach to identifying and solving problems
  • The importance of both deep expertise and broad knowledge
  • Powers of observation in discerning meaning and intent
  • Understanding systemic connection as a part of creative problem-solving
  • How a willingness to experiment promotes a growth mindset
  • The ability to synthesize new ideas from seemingly unrelated or opposing ideas
  • The need for curiosity and collaboration

And as you begin to learn what it takes to be a resolute but flexible leader who can adeptly navigate industry complexities and novel business challenges, the Renaissance Manager course will also teach you to recognize the makings of a “wicked problem” and invite you to identify your own.

What our students say

“Renaissance Manager was a phenomenal way to start the program. I really liked how it addressed the major challenge impacting every business today—disruption.”

Jerry Kelly
MBA ’19 Candidate

Find Your Wicked Problem

Threaded throughout the Online MBA coursework is the concept of a “wicked problem,” which is defined as a problem that includes the following characteristics:

  • An unknowable set of potential solutions
  • No definitive agreement on the nature of the problem itself
  • No way to know with absolute certainty that a chosen solution is the best

In other words, you may struggle to even identify the “real” problem, and any solution you implement could lead to subsequent problems. This is why the design thinking explored in the Renaissance Manager course is so critical—wicked problems cannot be solved in a linear fashion.

Follow Your Wicked Problem to the End

You will select your own wicked problem during your very first course, drawing specifically from challenges in your professional or personal life, and then work to solve it throughout the remainder of the program. Subsequent courses, including Finance, Integrated Technology and Global Managerial Economics, will have touch points that tie back to solving your wicked problem. This uniquely structured curriculum creates a centered learning experience that teaches you to leverage non-linear, cross-functional design thinking to tackle the complex issues found in modern business.

Explore the Wicked Problem

How wicked is your problem?

Wicked Problems Rubric

Start identifying the wicked problems in your life with this simple checklist, then explore how our Online MBA can help you devise the best solution.

Download Now

Online MBA Courses Overview

William & Mary's academic calendar offers three unique start dates throughout the year, so you can enroll when the time is right for you and complete the Online MBA in as few as 24 months. All courses are accessed through our engaging online learning platform, which makes it easy for students to track their assignments, connect with faculty and peers, submit coursework, and view lectures—and all that’s required is an internet-connected computer or a mobile device.

We require that all admitted students complete a quantitative refresher course covering accounting, economics, finance, statistics and spreadsheets prior to entering the program to ensure preparedness for the quantitative coursework you will encounter throughout the MBA curriculum.

Waivers for this course are available to qualified students. Contact an Admissions Advisor for more information.

Year 1 Courses

BUAD 5017: Renaissance Manager (4 credits)

This course provides a context for business, historically, functionally, and cross-culturally. It addresses the nature of problems; modes of thinking and inquiry; approaches to problem identification, framing/re-framing, and problem-solving; and approaching problems from multiple, interdisciplinary perspectives.

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BUAD 5107: Financial and Managerial Accounting (4 credits)

This course introduces students to the roles that accounting systems play in various organizations and global markets. Accounting is frequently referred to as “the language of business”, emphasizing its prominent position in both business communications and decision-making. The reports derived from accounting systems are often the primary way that information within organizations – as well as from organizations to various stakeholders – is communicated. Such information provides essential input and serves as a fundamental basis for managerial and stakeholder decisions. At the conclusion of this course, students should understand the primary elements of this language so that they are able to communicate more effectively about important business matters.

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BUAD 5507: Organizational Behavior (4 credits)

Organizational behavior is a field of study that seeks to understand, explain, and improve human behavior. The structure of this course is designed to explore how Renaissance Managers can improve two aspects of human behavior. The first is job performance, or the degree to which employees can perform the behaviors necessary to help the organization reach its goals. The second is organizational commitment, which is the extent of an employee’s loyalty to the present organization rather than seeking employment elsewhere. This course will guide students through a model that seeks to explain both areas of organizational behavior.

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BUAD 5707: Business Analytics (4 credits)

The primary aim of this course is to supply the student with the analytical tools that are needed for success in business. The course covers various tools that are necessary to analyze and understand the implications of collected data, including statistical tools (hypothesis testing,correlation and covariance analysis, probably distributions, simple and multiple regression, forecasting), statistical decision-making, simulation, constrained optimization, and sensitivity emphasized throughout the course.

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BUAD 5607: Operations (4 credits)

To achieve competitive advantage, managers must understand how to design and control products and services, as well as the systems for their delivery. To reach that understanding, this course focuses on issues of planning and control of complex products and services, as well as managing quality and continuous improvement and control of the supply chain.

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BUAD 5947: Global Managerial Economics (4 credits)

This course explores the essential macro- and microeconomic theories and evidence about how markets work and the factors that hinder their execution in an applied, global framework. As part of the course, students will assess the effects of other countries’ differing monetary and fiscal policies in relation to the competitive conditions in various industries. They will also apply demand and cost analysis and industrial structure to frame and answer the questions of optimal pricing, resource allocation, global outsourcing, and competitive strategies.

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Year 2 Courses

BUAD 5307: Finance (4 credits)

This course teaches students about the concepts and tools of valuation, financial and project analysis, financial forecasting, risk and return, cost of capital and mergers and acquisitions.

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BUAD 5407: Marketing (4 credits)

This course will focus on developing the integrated marketing programs that address customer needs, competitive activity, channel and supplier behavior, macro environmental factors, and market evolution. Strong emphasis is placed on assessing the market and developing a responsive marketing mix that includes product policy, pricing, channels of distribution, integrated marketing communications, and support structure.

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BUAD 5227: Integrated Technology (4 credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic information technology and digital fluency. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how managers can participate in opportunities to select and successfully implement information technologies in order to promote business strategy. Interactive analytic tools will be used to solve business problems involving various functional areas.

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BUAD 5517: Leadership for the 21st Century (4 credits)

Leadership in the 21st century extends beyond the traditional topics of culture, networking, change management, and diversity. In a society where technologies are constantly disrupting communication and teams are becoming increasingly global, managers must be able to cope with constant change, messaging and empathy, and the powerful leadership trends that are emerging.

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BUAD 5907: Strategy (4 credits)

This course covers analysis for decision-making at industry, firm, and business levels, concentrating specifically on multi-business firms and global industries. Firm resources and competencies, business and environmental demands, and the sources of competitive advantage are also major points of focus throughout the course, which stresses the practical applications of theory.

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BUAD 5967: Revolutionary Leader Practicum (4 credits)

The Revolutionary Leader Practicum is a supervised business workshop that allows each student to apply the functional and design skills they have learned to the “wicked problem" of their choice. As a final deliverable, students must provide a detailed description of the problem itself, the approach(es) taken to address it, overall results, lessons that were learned, and any next steps.

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Please note: Course list and sequence are subject to change.

What our students say

“I am extremely surprised with the level of rigor the program entails. During a given week you will have numerous readings, quizzes, individual reflection papers and group project work.”

Matt Tabers
MBA ’19 Candidate

Program Overview

Dive deep into the Online MBA.

Get a closer look at courses, program highlights and admissions requirements by downloading our program details guide.

Download the Guide

Welcome to Your Residency Experience

Our Online MBA residency is another defining aspect of the program, allowing you to expand your knowledge and grow your professional network while meeting your cohort peers and faculty face to face.

Hosted twice a year on the historic William & Mary campus in Williamsburg, Virginia, these Friday-Sunday events include speakers, team-building activities and networking functions. In these conference-style settings, you'll have the opportunity to discuss core business topics such as leadership, finance and marketing, as well as current events and global issues. You'll also have the chance to meet with our Executive Partners (EPs), a select group of retired professionals who volunteer their time as mentors to all Raymond A. Mason School of Business students.

At a Glance

During your residency experience, you can expect to:

  • Learn from guest speakers as they share their expertise on a variety of relevant business issues
  • Attend workshops, panel discussions and case studies designed to enhance your online learning experience
  • Participate in engaging dialogue with industry leaders on topics that reach beyond what’s covered in the classroom (crisis communications, ethics in business, etc.)
  • Strengthen your relationships with your classmates through valuable in-person interaction and collaboration
  • Expand your network by forming connections with accomplished business professionals throughout the residency period

Please note: Students are invited to attend all residency offerings, though you only need to attend one to meet the one-credit program requirement.

Residency Weekend Snapshot

  • Friday
    • Arrive on campus Friday evening
    • MBA networking reception
    • Dinner with fellow classmates and faculty
  • Saturday
    • Group breakfast with guest speaker
    • Breakout session #1
    • Lunch with Executive Partners
    • Breakout session #2
    • Cocktail reception
    • Formal dinner with keynote speaker
  • Sunday
    • Group breakfast
    • Breakout session #3

Discover the Value of Cohort Diversity

Our Online MBA cohorts have historically represented more than a hundred undergraduate universities and an impressively diverse selection of ethnicities, career fields and professional histories. The story these statistics tell is that this program is one in which a variety of voices come together to develop their skills while also contributing to the personal and professional growth of others.

Gain invaluable exposure to a varied group of peers with new and important perspectives, and let their insight help you navigate the challenges and opportunities created by the wicked problems of modern business.

Average Cohort Data and Statistics


undergraduate institutions represented


average years of work experience


average undergraduate GPA (on a 4.0 scale)


ages 26-45


U.S. minority




from financial services background


from military background


from government background


from technology background

NOTE: Statistics are based on cumulative self-reported W&M Online MBA Student Profile Data collected from all cohorts between Spring 2016 and Spring 2018.

Interested in Our Online Programs?


Application Deadline

April 9
Summer 2020 term


Next Start

May 4
Summer 2020 term


Priority Application Deadline

June 8
Fall 2020 term