Economics and Finance in the MBA Core: Sequence of Core Course Completion and Student Performance


  • E. Anthon Eff
  • Christopher C. Klein


Does the order in which MBA students complete the core courses for the degree affect their performance in the program? There is little literature on this topic. To gain insight into this question, we examine 5,822 student/course records from a large public university for the years 2008-2012, encompassing part of the academic history of 1,384 MBA students. Standardized grades are our measure of performance in each of nine core courses.  For each core course, both t-tests of differences in mean grade across different combinations of prior courses and fixed-effects OLS regressions indicate that the sequence of completing courses affects student performance.  The Economics core course informs Accounting and Marketing, for example, while the core Finance course interacts with Management courses. While the data limit the strength of any conclusions, we find good indications for placing information systems and quantitative methods courses earlier in the core sequence.


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