Fundamentals of Management and Professional Communication

Introductory Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Courses

University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business



Cultivating a portfolio of professional skills during your postdoctoral training will provide you with a significant competitive advantage over your peers when you are ready to enter the job market regardless of your career goals.

The University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business, in partnership with the Center for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Career Development, is offering four special sections of its introductory Masters of Business Administration (MBA) courses exclusively for postdoctoral trainees. These courses are being made available to postdocs on a non-degree basis to introduce emerging scientists and scholars to the essential managerial and professional skills valued and sought after by employers across all sectors of the workforce.



BOAH 2409 Organizational Behavior (1.5 Credits)

Instructor: Deborah Cain Good, PhD, MBA

As organizations continue to emphasize team-based and often cross-functional approaches, learning the skills to be both an effective leader and team member are critical to be successful in organizations today. This course is designed to introduce participants to the theories, concepts and applications of behavioral sciences used by organizations. It focuses on understanding theories of human behavior and their application to strategic and operational problems in management. The course analyzes behavior from three different lenses: individual (such as personality and emotional intelligence), group (teamwork, decision making, conflict, leadership), and organizational (culture, creativity and change). At the completion of this course, you should have acquired an understanding of the many factors and dynamics which influence group behavior. In essence, this course will provide an overview of group behavior in the workplace and group dynamics, help you develop the skills needed to be effective as a team member and as a team leader, and familiarize you with organizational concepts for application to specific real-world situations.

BOAH 2421 Human Resources for Competitive Advantage (1.5 Credits)

Instructor: Deborah Cain Good, PhD, MBA

The effective management of human resources is critical to sustained competitive advantage in an increasingly deregulated, global, and knowledge-driven corporate environment. This course identifies the key role of human resources management in the organization's effort to create value and explores its link with competitive strategy. Environmental and legal factors that affect decision-making and utilization of human resources are examined. Special emphasis is placed on effective organizational staffing, strategically directed performance management, and compensation and incentive systems that focus employees' efforts on orgainizational success. We will also examine programs and policies that encourage employee learning and development, facilitate the use of distributed know-how, and leverage the associated skill and knowledge for organizational advantage. The course will frame the issues and student learning around the needs of general middle and senior managers. Prereuisities: BOAH 2409 Organizational Behavior. 

BOAH 2517 Interpersonal Skills for Managers (1.5 Credits)

Instructor: Deborah Cain Good, PhD, MBA

Research today suggests that specific interpersonal skills are critical to career growth and personal satisfaction. This course will interoduce participants to theories, concepts and practical applications that will enhance their job effectiveness, career development and general well-being. This course familiarizes you with the interpersonal skills that will set you apart from competitors for positions in theis global economy. Self-reflection through experiential exercises is a core element of the class as participants will complete a series of surveys and activities to understand the nature and level of selected interpersonal skills possessed and how they might be exhibited in the workplace. Specific topics to be covered include: emotional intelligence, power, influence, decision making, conflict handling, networking and negotiation.

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BOAH 2528 Strategic Communication (1.5 Credits)

Instructor: Carolyn Kerr, MA

Effective professional, strategic communication plays a critical role in individual, group and corporate success. This course is designed to provide you with an opportunity to develop the critical skills and competencies necessary to effectively utilize communication (written, oral and nonverbal) throughout your career. In this course, we will examine how to develop a communication strategy to support your personal brand by assessing your audience, creating and then refining your message. Specific approaches to other types of professional business communication, including the use of persuasive and informative techniques and the difference in sharing good and bad news, will also be examined with a focus on the powerful role effective communication plays in personal and organizational success. Students in the course will be heavily involved in experiential exercises, allowing them to practice employment-related communication, including resume, cover letter and thank you note development, interviewing via phone, video conference and in-person, and initial orientation and socialization in the job.

SPRING 2020 Schedule

10-Week Schedule: January 21 - March 12, 2020

BOAH 2409
Organizational Behavior
BOAH 2421
Human Resources for Competitive Advantage




*Note: BOAH 2409 Organizational Behavior will meet in 1101 Scaife Hall on January 28 and February 25.

FALL 2021 Schedule

10-Week Schedule: Dates and Times To Be Announced (TBA)

BOAH 2517 Interpersonal Skills for Managers    
BOAH 2528 Strategic Communication    



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Postdoctoral associates, postdoctoral scholars, and research associates university-wide who earned their doctoral degrees at English-speaking institutions are eligible to apply for non-degree student admission.

Others must demonstrate:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) score of at least 100
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least
    Band 7
  • Completion of University of Pittsburgh English as a Second Language Courses

English language proficiency testing will be offered by the English Language Institute (ELI). The ELI will begin testing two to three times a day starting on Wednesday, January 6, and running through Friday, January 17th.

More information on testing dates and registration is located on the ELI webpage. View Schedule and Register


These course sections are limited to postdoctoral trainees and research associates; therefore, registration is by special permit only. After receipt of an admissions application, an advisor will contact applicants with instructions on how to complete the registration process. Financial responsibility is incurred upon registration.

Educational Benefits

Description of Postdoctoral Educational Benefits: View Benefits

Illustration of financial responsibility for a 1.5-credit graduate course after tuition benefits are applied: View Illustration

Postdocs are encouraged to ask their faculty mentors to reimburse their out-of-pocket expenses for graduate credit courses.

Postdoc Tuition Payment Instructions for Administrators

Application Deadline

Enrollment is limited. The seats will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis upon completion of registration.

The deadline to apply for the Spring semester is Wednesday, January 8, 2020.

How to Apply

Complete the Non-Degree Graduate Student Admission Application and submit it to

Download the Application Form

NOTE: Admission applications are being processed through a special arrangement with the School of Medicine under Plan Code GCD-ND (Graduate Career Development Non-Degree). Graduate credits earned at the University of Pittsburgh as a non-degree student may be later applied to a certificate or degree program; but, admission to the University of Pittsburgh under a non-degree status does not guarantee later matriculation to a certificate or degree program.

Request to Consult with an Advisor

If you have any questions, email or call (412) 648-8486 to speak with an advisor.

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