Executive Master of Business Administration (Executive MBA) degree program with a specialty stream in Human Resource Leadership

Why is this program needed?

Many advanced HR professionals understand the significant impact that strategic HR initiatives can have on the bottom line and the overall success of an organization. When integrated with an understanding of business practices and motivations, HR programs can be particularly powerful. By honing knowledge of core management principles and collaborating with similarly motivated professionals, HR managers can now advance the strategic success of their companies completely online, without disruption to their careers or personal lives.

Who is the program designed for?

The Sandermoen online Executive MBA with a specialty stream in Human Resources Leadership is designed for advanced-career professionals and managers who aspire to lead their companies towards much higher performance. It begins with coverage of fundamental management essentials such as financial, analytical and decision-making skills, and knowledge of an organization’s core functions and interactions. This business knowledge is then integrated into three, HR-specific specialty courses that explore compensation management, training and development, and selection and performance management. All courses leverage an interactive learning model that encourages collaboration, allowing HR professionals across industries to engage with each other, as well as with the professor.

Our goal

Our goal is to prepare advanced-career professionals and managers for senior managerial positions, and to prepare them for success, all without interrupting their career momentum. To accomplish our educational goal we provide a highly-qualified faculty, a variety of educational tools and techniques, some of the most advanced online teaching and learning applications available, and a carefully designed suite of courses delivered in a focused and flexible schedule.


Our Executive MBA is comprised of 14 courses:

  • 1-week online orientation
  • 10-foundation level courses
  • 3-specialty stream courses
  • 1-Integration Project (Capstone of the program)

Finish the program in 2-years, 5-months:

  • 7-weeks per foundation level course
  • 7-weeks per specialty stream course
  • 12-weeks for the Integration Project course

Cut your program length in half:

  • Students may take 2-courses per session to halve the length of their program (subject to course availability)

The online experience

To maximize the global learning experience throughout the program our students will participate in “live” seminars and conferences (often referred to as vClasses) with experienced leaders from global organizations. Our students and faculty are not limited by geographical boundaries, providing a new educational experience that allows learners to think with a global perspective while working on case studies and projects with other colleagues from around the world.



Human Resource Leadership Curriculum (45 credits)

Level A – Foundation Courses (30 credits)*:

EMBA 7000 – Orientation

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of the online collaborative learning environment and course delivery methods.

EMBA 7005 – Leadership Theory and Practice (3 credits)

This course gives students the foundational knowledge they need to critically assess leadership concepts and their utility. Students survey the leadership theories of key thinkers and practitioners in the field, learning about the empirical, theoretical and pragmatic strengths and limitations of each approach. Through case studies and exercises, students develop an understanding of organizational leadership. They will also learn a comprehensive set of leadership practices that will have immediate value for application at work.

EMBA 7010 – Financial and Managerial Accounting (3 credits)

This course offers a comprehensive, graduate level exploration of managerial accounting. The course utilizes case studies and audit reports to focus on the use of appropriate accounting systems and the application of accounting data in the management of an organization. In conjunction, what accounting data are interesting or relevant-to-task, and how such data might be used is dependent upon what the manager is seeking to accomplish and what other information may or may not be available.

EMBA 7015 – Managerial Finance (3 credits)

All managers are required to possess a basic understanding of financial concepts. This course explores the principle role of finance via its concepts, calculative applications, and capital market analyses. In addition, the basic concepts of the time-value of money, rates of return, and valuation are covered.

Students will learn how capital markets function, what different securities exist, and how to manage cash flow. Credit, risk, working capital, and analysis of financial statements receive particular attention. Cases are used throughout the course to provide students with hands-on experience in the use of financial tools. Unlike other finance courses, this consists of half concept and half mathematics. Besides providing basic math skills, this course should provide students with an excellent introduction to financial management concepts.

EMBA 7020 – The Global Economic Environment (3 credits)

Systematic understanding of the internal and external economic environments of an organization, and the ability to analyze them as a basis for sound decisions, are core pre-requisites of sound leadership.

This course reviews basic macro and micro-economic concepts (e.g. supply and demand, elasticity, production function, competitive environments, pricing, etc.), and illustrates their impact on decision making and strategy formulation. Students will learn how to think through economic challenges and opportunities presented to their organization.

EMBA 7025 – Governance, Strategy and Structure (3 credits)

Leading and managing organizations requires knowing something about changing them. This course will assist the learner in understanding the drivers of successful organizational change and development; clarify the components of an effective and healthy organization – the meta-goal for any change effort; and understand the skills to successfully design, launch, nurture, and lead change.

EMBA 7031 – Systems Thinking and Organizational Design (3 credits)

In response to the increasingly complex global environment, this course prepares leaders to think more holistically when analyzing organizational challenges. Effectively using systems thinking, design thinking, and performance excellence concepts, students are able to systemically assess entire organizations. Being able to understand the many functions and systems they will encounter, students will learn that optimizing one part of an organization often sub-optimizes overall organization performance. The learned ability to comprehensively analyze leadership, strategy, operations, and performance will prove invaluable during the Integration Project.

EMBA 7035 – Strategic Marketing Planning (3 credits)

This course focuses on the strategic marketing planning process from the perspective of two key roles in the organization, i.e., the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and the Brand (or Product) Manager. Leaning heavily on external and internal analyses and the CEO’s strategic guidance, we examine how these managers refine the company’s long-term go-to-market strategy, at both the corporate level and the product level. We also briefly examine which leading edge digital applications are most useful with respect to intelligence gathering, analysis, decision-making and/or implementation.

EMBA 7040 – Strategic Operations Planning (3 credits)

This course focuses on the operational planning process from the perspective of the Chief Operating Officer (COO). Leaning heavily on external and internal analyses and the CEO’s strategic guidance, we examine how the COO develops the company’s long-term operations strategy, comprising decisions about supply-chain logistics, production, customer service, quality assurance (QA), distribution and field support. We also briefly examine which leading edge digital applications are most useful with respect to intelligence gathering, analysis, decision-making and/or implementation.

EMBA 7045 – Strategic Human Resources Planning (3 credits)

In today’s global context the rate of change is accelerating, and personnel have to be world-ready, and organizations have to be change-ready. This course examines the human resource recruiting and development function and the organizational design function within a global and organizational lifecycle perspective, emphasizing how personnel and designs must change as projects and divisions evolve. This dynamic approach to organizational development prepares students to diagnose mismatches between existing personnel and designs versus changing demands, and to develop personnel and designs to accommodate new realities.

EMBA 7050 – Strategic Information Systems Planning (3 credits)

In today’s 24/7 global operating environment, the possession of sufficient and correct information about the relevant external and internal environments, obtained and circulated to the right decision-makers in a timely fashion, can spell the difference between success and failure. This course introduces the main concepts of management information systems (MIS), examines how the design of MIS can affect the performance of an organization, and explores the process of information systems planning from the perspective of the CIO.

Level B – Specialty Stream (9 credits)**:

HRL 8070 – Compensation Management

Compensation is a powerful tool for motivating, attracting, and retaining high caliber employees necessary to drive organizational success. The focus of the course is on aligning compensation systems to motivate, attract, and retain the type of employees necessary to drive strategic initiatives. For many organizations, compensation is a major expense and this course explores opportunities for cost efficiencies. The details necessary to consider when designing compensation systems and which factors should be weighed given organizational goals and constraints are examined. Students will develop the tools to evaluate compensation systems and to design appropriate, cost effective, systems that support organizational strategies.

Prerequisite: EMBA 7045 Strategic Human Resource Management, or MBA 5045 Strategic Human Resource Planning, or equivalent.

HRL 8071 – Training and Development

In today’s competitive environment intellectual capital is critical for organizational success. Training is the key to developing intellectual capabilities needed to drive an organization’s strategy. There are a bewildering array of training options open to organizations. The focus of this course is to guide students to assess the training needs of their organizations, develop appropriate training programs and evaluate and update those programs as needed. The ultimate goal is to develop the intellectual capital needed to move organizations forward.

Prerequisite: HRL 8070 – Compensation Management

HRL 8072 – Selection and Performance Management

In our rapidly changing business environment, it is more critical than ever to hire and evaluate the performance of employees. Selection and performance management are two related issues. Selection is concerned with hiring the best employees for the job while performance management deals with evaluating employee performance. There is good science behind the selection and evaluation of employees and this course will provide students with the appropriate tools to design valid selection systems and to create reliable performance management systems. Well-designed selection and performance management systems are critical to the strategic success of organizations.

Prerequisite: HRL 8071 – Training and Development

Plus one of (6 credits):

IP 8999 – Enterprise Integration Project (IP)

The Enterprise Integration Project Capstone is a 14-week capstone course involving student teams and senior executives from a business organization. The required comprehensive analysis of the organization draws from the key concepts that students will have learned in the Foundation courses.

The primary goal of the Enterprise Integration Project Capstone is to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills, and critical insights learned in the program through a comprehensive analysis of an organization’s leadership, strategy, business operations, and performance. The Capstone results in a report and presentation to the organization’s senior leaders, identifying the organization’s strengths, opportunities for improvement, and recommendations. This demanding project brings together the many dimensions of today’s business environment into an understanding of the organization as an integrated system.

Under the supervision of faculty members, each small team of students will approach and establish a formal project relationship with an existing business organization and one of its senior executives. Students will draw on material acquired in the Foundation courses to analyze and make recommendations for strategic adjustments to the organization.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of all Level A and Level B courses.

IP 8998 – Global Capstone (with International Field Study)

The Global Capstone is a 14-week capstone program involving the development of a comprehensive business plan for doing business globally. The focus of the Global Capstone program is to develop capable and ethical business leadership through an experience in global operations, helping students to understand how to meet the demands of an increasingly global, multicultural, and complex world. Working in small teams, students will have the opportunity to focus on global challenges, including market, economic, governmental, cultural and political systems, and their implications for an international business plan.

To maximize the global learning experience, students attend a 9-day session at an international location and participate in in-person seminars and/or conferences with experienced leaders from global organizations.

Drawing on material from the Foundation courses and a multitude of presenters, the team of students will develop a global business plan for a product/service of their choosing.

There will be concept reflection, synchronous vClasses, and during the International Field component students will also experience group workshops and varied executive presentations. The exposure to executives and international topics will provide critical concepts for the global business plan. As a learning experience, these executives are presenting critical concepts to their own business operations, offering insights for the program project.

Upcoming Start Dates

Application deadline: August 3, 2018
- Course Start: September 4, 2018

Application deadline: September 28, 2018
- Course Start: October 29, 2018

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Awards and recognition

The Human Resource specialty stream at the Sandermoen School of Business was voted Readers’ Choice HR Masters Program in Canadian HR Reporter magazine. To read the full Readers’ Choice Awards edition of Canadian HR Reporter, visit the Canadian HR Reporter Readers Choice Awards edition 2016.


Fiorella Sist, Executive MBA alumna

“UFred provides what today’s business professionals need to upgrade their skills and build up their careers.”

Read Fiorella's full testimonial

Please Note

*Students are expected to complete all ten of the foundation courses (Level A) before entering their specialty stream; however, in exceptional circumstances and due to scheduling, students can request to take specialty courses prior to completion of their foundation courses. Students must apply to the Dean’s Office for an exception; however, please note, eight foundation level courses must be completed before an exception can be granted.

**Students are expected to complete all ten of the foundation courses (Level A) and three stream-specific specialty courses (Level B) before entering their Integration Project; however, in exceptional circumstances and due to scheduling, students can request to take the Integration Project prior to completion of their specialty courses. Students must apply to the Dean’s Office for an exception; however, please note, eight foundation level courses must be completed before an exception can be granted.

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