Required Curriculum for MBA Students

The Management Communication Core Requirement, valued at 0.5cu, has three components:

  1. WHCP 611: Management Communication. Students take this speaking course in either Q1 or Q2 of Year 1
  2. MBA Writing Requirement. Students must fulfill requirement in Q1 or Q2 of Year 1
  3. One advanced course (WHCP 612, 615 or 624) that students must take in either Q3 or Q4 of Year 1

All three components: WHCP 611, the writing requirement and one advanced speaking course must be completed by all students.

Fall Course

WHCP 611: Management Communication (0.25CU)

In this seminar-style course, students learn the essentials of persuasion, gain confidence in public speaking, and receive individualized feedback. The course enables students to develop and demonstrate effective, business-oriented communication skills, regardless of their skill level upon entry to the course. Students may select a section designed specifically for non-native English speakers. Communication topics covered in all sections include the following: persuasion, speech structure and delivery, responding to challenging questions, impromptu and prepared speeches, and speaking on camera.

Spring Courses

WHCP 612: Advanced Persuasion: Impromptu Speaking and Elements of Story for Business (0.25CU)

In this course, students will learn strategies for persuading in impromptu speaking situations and examine how impromptu speaking, and other types of persuasion, can be strengthened by stories. Students will practice these techniques in various speaking situations, including Question and Answer sessions. Through a simulation, students will gain experience in one of the toughest types of impromptu speaking: a TV interview with a hostile reporter.

WHCP 612: Advanced Persuasion: Crisis Communication (0.25CU)

This course focuses on persuasive speaking challenges when organizations are under crisis. Through the study of current business crises, students will learn how leaders can communicate ethically, transparently, and strategically to key stakeholder audiences. Students will also gain proficiency in handling difficult questions through a simulated media interview conducted by professional media trainers.

WHCP 612: Advanced Persuasion: Fundamentals for Prospective Entrepreneurs (0.25 CU)

This course focuses on best practices when communicating business ideas to investors. Building on the skills developed in WHCP 611, students will practice developing clear, concise and compelling pitches for various startup audiences. This course is specifically designed for students who do not currently have a business idea of their own. Students select one of the provided business ideas, which serve as the foundation for all speech assignments.

WHCP 615: Communication Challenges for Entrepreneurs: “Pitching Your Business” (0.25CU)

Designed for students who are actively working on a startup idea while at Wharton, this course focuses on the unique challenges entrepreneurs face when communicating their startup to investors. Students will develop a pitch deck to concisely and persuasively communicate their company’s product/service, market opportunity, value proposition, competitive advantage, business model, and revenue potential. Students will also receive coaching from a successful entrepreneur and have the opportunity to pitch their business idea to investors.

Before the first day of class, students must have these components of an executive summary: company description, product/service description, business model, market/industry analysis, marketing/sales plan, competitor analysis, risk factors, and management team. Later in the course students will present their financials – including use of funds and funds required.

WHCP 624: Persuasive Writing for Business Leaders (0.25CU)

Designed for students who wish to enhance their ability to write persuasively in a business context, this seminar-style course focuses on advanced skills in narrative, announcing change, figurative language, concision, and writing for an external audience. Using examples written by prominent business leaders, this course explores a broad range of business contexts and genres. The practice and individualized feedback received in this course will help students become more adept in persuasive writing, an essential leadership skill needed to excel in the workplace.