Design your AU MBA experience

Whether you are looking to increase your expertise in a particular field or branch out into new disciplines, the AU MBA can help you customize your experience to fit your unique learning objectives.

1) Use your own work scenarios as case studies

Within almost all core courses, weekly discussions and individual assignments are focused on connecting your learning directly to your company and your industry. Our goal is to move you beyond imagining what you “might” do within a scenario and instead help you connect your learning to what is happening in the real world and in your workplace. You will come away from each course with tangible and usable knowledge and abilities. You’ll also have a series of deliverables you can take back to your organization. This is perhaps most significant way you can tailor the MBA experience to your goals.

2) Create your own electives concentration or explore a variety of topics

Electives are available on a wide variety of subject areas and are delivered in online as well as in blended online/in residence formats held across Canada and internationally. You can choose to concentrate on one topic area or mix things up and take courses on completely different subjects. Should you choose to concentrate on one topic, the following areas have multiple courses available:

  • Project Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resources
  • IT Management
  • Leadership
  • Operations Management
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Finance and Governance
  • International Business


In residence electives include both online and face-to-face components.

All students must complete at least one in-residence elective, often referred to as a blended elective, as they are delivered with a blend of online and face-to-face formats. Choose from eight week, three credit courses or ten week, six credit courses, each containing five days of very intense face-to-face instruction.

These courses include online course work, readings, group assignments, and a major individual assignment. Learning is anchored by the week in residence. These electives are offered throughout the year in major centres across Canada including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

“I teach a six credit elective on Advanced Strategy that culminates with a week in residence. In this course, students are placed into teams of five and are paired up with a company. Over the first nine weeks of the course, these teams meet virtually with their assigned company’s senior leadership. They ask questions, gather information and conduct a comprehensive strategic analysis. The week concludes with students formally presenting their strategies and recommendations to each company’s leadership team. The week in residence brings everything and everyone together. It’s a very powerful experience both for the students and the companies they are working with.”

Michael Mauws, PhD.
Professor, Business Policy and Strategy


International electives combine online study and an immersive face-to-face study.

For students interested in international business, the AU MBA offers a series of international elective courses offered around the world. International electives include five to seven intensive days working in another country. Students get an insider’s view of some of that nation’s top companies.

International electives are scheduled in different trade zones over a three year rotation. Some students take three international electives in residence so they can study business in three different countries over the course of their program.

International courses are continually updated with new countries and topics, recent and upcoming offerings include:

  • Doing Business in Asia Pacific, taught in Singapore
  • Doing Business in Brazil, taught in Sao Paulo
  • Doing Business in Germany, taught in Heidelberg
  • Doing Business in the UK, taught in London
  • Innovation and Design in the Silicon Valley, taught in San Jose, California
  • The Human Side of Mergers and Acquisitions, taught in Tampa, Florida


Take on a problem or opportunity with a mentor’s guidance

MBA students have the option of taking six elective courses, or completing three elective courses plus an applied project.

The applied project is a major academic research paper involving a review of literature and systematic application of concepts, models, and theories to a specific business problem or solution. Many students report making significant impacts in their workplaces by tackling a serious workplace problem or pursuing a significant opportunity as their applied project.

Once students submit their proposal for an applied project, they are assigned an academic supervisor with significant academic and industry experience in their chosen management area. This gives students the opportunity to assume responsibility for a substantial real-life workplace or community issue with the guidance of an experienced mentor.