The program consists of four modules and a case study. Modules are composed of five sessions. Each session meets Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.




To understand the financial health of any company or build a profit and loss statement you need to master the fundamentals of accounting. This module is an introduction to the principles of financial accounting, designed to teach you how to read, understand, and interpret the financial statements of a business enterprise. You will learn how to evaluate a business’ performance, analyze its cash flows, and assess its financial position.

Topics include:
  1. Introduction and Principles of Building Blocks of Accounting
    • Definition of a financial reporting system and the regulatory environment.
    • Fundamental questions and accounting concepts (e.g. entity, matching, conservatism).
    • The accounting equation, the double entry system, and the major financial statements (illustration via General Mills).
    • Cash versus income (case: Shemer).
  2. Introduction and Principles of Building Blocks of Accounting
    • Alternative measurement systems.
    • Example: Income over life.
    • Revenue Recognition: Theory and actual disclosure.
    • Case: Frequent Flyer
  3. Applying Accounting Principles
    • Revenue recognition and judgment – case: PriceLine (with applications to GroupOn).
    • Revenue recognition - special cases.
    • Matching and expense recognition – example: Boeing.
    • Capitalize or expense – case: CocaCola.
  4. Applying Accounting Principles
    • Applying the theory to specific set of transactions.
    • Manipulation and red flags.

Alon Kalay, Assistant Professor of Accounting for Columbia Business School, teaches Accounting. His research explores how investors use various sources of information, specifically corporate disclosure and accounting information. In this context, his research broadly focuses on different types of corporate disclosure, and their role in the sophistication of the investor base; aggregate earnings and uncertainty, and their relation to macroeconomic activity; and bond contract design and debt pricing. Kalay holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

Leadership and Strategy

This module introduces you to major concepts of strategy and leadership concentrating on understanding human behavior in organizational contexts, with heavy emphasis on the application of concepts to solve managerial problems. Behavioral issues at the individual, group, and systems levels will be explored through lectures, discussions, case studies, simulations, and small group exercises.

Beyond intelligence and technical skills, what separates effective leaders from average managers is a combined set of individual skills and social skills. This course identifies these critical leadership skills and provides ideas and tools for improving them. The overarching theme of the course is self-awareness and empathy: our goal is to help you think about your leadership behaviors, other people’s perceptions of your behaviors, and the impacts of your behaviors on others.

Topics include:
  1. Strategic Problem-Solving
    How do you take a complicated business problem and break it down into its critical components? How do you thoughtfully set business goals before jumping to action and analysis? How to derive insights from data and communicate them in a way to gain buy-in? This topic will provide you with a framework to approach business problems, as well as tools and questions to ask when working with and across teams.
  2. Motivation
    In this session, we’ll highlight the distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and discuss how both can be used by managers and leaders. We’ll also discuss the importance of leaders understanding what motivates others as well as approaches for effective perception.
  3. Leading Teams at Work
    Teamwork is sometimes maddening, sometimes amazing, but very nearly unavoidable. In this session, we’ll complete a group decision task and consider the results. We’ll discuss the ways in which teams can distort thinking and become dysfunctional as well as how teams can be used to achieve things the individual members can’t.
  4. Persuasion and Influence
    In this class, we’ll extend our discussion of influence to consider a number of well-studied tactics of persuasion, such as authority, scarcity, liking, and consistency. We’ll discuss how these approaches can be put to work as a persuader as well as how to resist them as a target of persuasion.


Angela W. Lee, Assistant Dean and Adjunct Associate Professor, Management, for Columbia Business School, teaches Leadership, Management, and Investing courses at the Business School. She brings more than 15 years of innovation, strategy, and entrepreneurship experience to the classroom. She started her career in new product development and digital marketing in the finance industry. She then moved onto a career in consulting, first at McKinsey & Company and then at an innovation consulting firm. At Columbia Business School, she is the Assistant Dean of the Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence. Lee is passionate about entrepreneurship and has started several companies the education sector. She is an investor and the founder of 37 Angels, an angel investment network that trains women to invest in early stage startups. The network funds early stage startups (led by both men and women) and evaluates over 2,000 startups a year.



Marketing provides the managerial focus for interfacing with customers and the source of intelligence about customers, competitors, and the general environment. Marketing focuses on the long-run relationship of a company to its customers as well as short-run sales and profits. Managers must identify and measure consumers’ needs and wants, assess the competitive environment, select the most appropriate customer targets, and then develop marketing programs that satisfy consumers’ needs better than the competition.

This course provides a hands-on introduction to marketing with a focus on getting students to generate new product ideas and come up with a creative way to position them in the selected target customer’s mind.

Topics include:
  1. Customer Analysis
    We describe three fundamental ways in which a firm can provide value to a customer—economic value to customers (EVC), functional value and psychological value.
  2. New Product Ideation
    Building on the notion of three types of value a firm can provide customers, this session focuses on how to come up with new product ideas. We define creativity and discuss different approaches to coming up with creative solutions to consumer problems. We focus on systematic approaches and provide hands-on training in the use of creativity templates.
  3. Segmentation and Targeting
    Consumers have different preferences. This simple idea has led to a powerful concept of market segmentation. This session touches on the heart of marketing strategy—how to segment the market, size the different market segments, and decide which segment to target. Students can decide on customer targets for their new product idea developed in session 2.
  4. Branding and Positioning
    In this class we discuss positioning—the space that your product occupies in the mind of your target customer. We also introduce the idea of branding as a positioning mechanism.
  5. Messaging and Advertising
    The last session examines what to communicate in order to create a strong position in the target customer’s mind as well as how to communicate it. We discuss the difference between attribute and value and practice attribute-value mapping.


Gita Johar, Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business for Columbia Business School, will teach Introduction to Marketing. Her expertise lies in consumer psychology, focusing on how consumers react to advertising, promotions and sponsorship, and how consumer self-control and perceptions of control affect decision making and consumption. Her research has implications for the design of effective communication strategies.



What is the difference between “Time is Money” and the Time Value of Money? In this module you will explore the fundamental principles of finance.

Topics include:
  1. What is finance about?
    Finance is about money and markets, but it is also about people. The secret is to increase value.
  2. How do we determine value?
    Valuation requires knowledge of computing cash flows, discounting, compounding, perpetuities, annuities, opportunity cost, net present value, and shareholder wealth maximization.
  3. What are bonds and how do we value them?
    Understanding interest rates, valuing bonds/loans, and bond markets.
  4. How do I trade stock and how can I estimate stock value?
    Understanding stock markets and reading stock quotes, valuing common stock and preferred stock, dividend growth models, and valuing a business using DCF.
  5. How do companies create value for their investors?
    Applying investment appraisal techniques in evaluating capital investment decisions.
  6. Are safer investments more desirable than riskier ones?
    Defining risk and return, linking risk, return and the opportunity cost of capital, developing the principles of diversification, CAPM, beta estimation and estimating the cost of capital.


Jay Dahya, Visiting Associate Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School, will teach Business Finance. His primary areas of expertise are corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, corporate valuation, and international financial markets. He has taught finance at the undergraduate, MBA, EMBA, and Ph.D. level, and is the recipient of several teaching awards for his efforts in the classroom.


The Case Study

Students will apply the principles from each of the content modules to a feasible case study. Working in a small group, they will develop this project through the lens of marketing, accounting, finance, and management.

Program Contacts

General Information, Admissions Questions, and Advising


Application Document Submission and Application Processing Questions


Mailing Address and Campus Location

Office of Enrollment Management
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902
Office hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.