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Course Planning and Carousel

The Boise State Online MBA program is designed for student flexibility through the use of a “carousel” curriculum:

All students begin the program with the same two courses: BUSMBA 500 – Business Foundations (1 credit) and BUSMBA 501 – Design Thinking (four credits.)

Students “hop on” and “hop-off” the carousel choosing a course (or two) every 7-week session to complete a total of 40 credits (10 courses of 4 credits each). Note: course availability depends upon the session.

Students have 12 credits (3 courses) of electives of their choice. Certain elective combinations create emphasis areas.

All students end with a 4 credit BUSMBA 555 – Business Plan Development Capstone Course.

Course Planning Tips

7 Week Sessions

7 week session calendar
Fall semester 7 wk sessions: Fall 1, Aug-Oct; Fall 2, Oct-Dec. Spring semester 7 wk sessions: Spring 1, Jan-Feb; Spring 2, Mar-Apr; Summer semester 7 wk sessions: Summer 1, May-Jun; Summer 2, Jun-Aug

Boise State University operates on 16-week semesters. For OMBA students, each semester is broken into two 7-week sessions. Students should always register for both sessions in the same semester at once. Students must be in a total of 5 credits (at least two courses) per semester to be eligible for federal financial aid.

Course Tracks - Blue / Orange / Cyber (Hybrid)

Upon admission, all students are placed into either a “Blue”, “Orange”, or “Cyber (Hybrid)” track designation and notified via their admissions email. Students trying to enroll in a course outside of their track will receive an error message.  This is to help prevent inadvertent enrollment that could delay your time to graduate.

Most OMBA students complete the degree in two years, taking one class per 7-week session. While the sequencing of courses is flexible, we recommend staying on your assigned course track to ensure your courses are all available to complete in two years. Core courses are exactly the same on both tracks.

Tracks are generally assigned as follows:

Blue Track:

    • Legacy students (all admits prior to Fall 2020 semester)
    • General or Management MBA students
    • Healthcare Leadership students
    • Construction Management students

Orange Track:

    • General or Management MBA students (Fall 2020 and beyond)
    • Marketing Leadership students
    • Finance students
    • Business Analytics students

Cyber (Hybrid) Track: 

    • Cyber Operations students

In some specific situations, it could be advantageous for students to take courses from both the blue and orange tracks. For example, if a Blue Track student skips a course in a session, a course in the Orange Track may be available sooner to help expedite graduation. In these situations, your advisor can provide a permission number to help you enroll in an Orange Track course.

For some General MBA students taking Healthcare Leadership or Construction Management courses, you may need to get a permission number to take these courses on the Blue Track. Please contact your advisor with questions.

Course Planning Downloads

For students on the General MBA, Management, Construction Management, or Healthcare Leadership tracks: 

For students on the General MBA, Management, or Marketing Leadership, Finance, or Business Analytics tracks: 

For students on the Cyber Operations track: 

Not sure which carousel to use? Please see your admissions email or contact your advisor at

Please be sure to read instructions on Tab #1 before completing your carousel.

Use the Course Carousel Excel download to :

    • Plan your area of emphasis
    • Automatically calculate tuition based on classes you plan to take
    • See if you have scheduling that would cause financial aid issues
    • See the impact of skipping sessions or doubling-up on classes
    • Know what semester you will graduate
    • Send to your advisor if you want a review or recommendation

Course Sequence

After downloading the Course Carousel document, read the instructions on the first tab carefully. The instructions include hints, requirements and tips. Important points include:

    • Courses are only offered in colored cells. Please pay attention to information above on Blue and Orange tracks. You should plan to take courses within your designated track, unless you are working with an advisor on an alternate plan using both tracks.
    • 500 and 501 must be taken during the first session together.
    • All other courses can be taken in any order, except 555 (Integrated Capstone), which must be taken last.
    • Notice the impact of skipping classes- it can delay graduation. Most students take one course every session to graduate in two years without breaks. Taking courses from an alternate track could help in this situation – please confer with an advisor.
    • Class numbers do not indicate difficulty or preferred order. The one recommendation is to take 525 – Accounting and 515 – Finance during back-to-back sessions.
    • If you take more than 5 credit hours per 7-week session, this is considered a “heavy load” and it will be highlighted in red. See Heavy Load Considerations.
    • If you will be using financial aid (loans), you must be enrolled in at least five credits each 16-week semester. Usually, this means taking one class each 7-week session. You must register for the entire semester at once. The Carousel Document shows red in the financial aid eligibility row if you are not in enough credits or are in too many and will reach maximum loan limits.

Emphasis Areas

OMBA students can specialize their MBA with the following different offerings:

    • General MBA (taking the 3 management electives, or a mix of electives from different emphasis areas)
    • MBA with a Management Emphasis
    • MBA with a Construction Management Emphasis
    • MBA with a Healthcare Leadership Emphasis
    • MBA with a Marketing Leadership Emphasis
    • MBA with a Finance Emphasis
    • MBA with a Business Analytics Emphasis
    • MBA with a Cyber Operations Emphasis

If chosen, the emphasis area will be designated on the student’s transcript and diploma (e.g. “Master of Business Administration, Healthcare Leadership”). However, if a student receives a General MBA, their diploma will simply read “Master of Business Administration” with no designation for “general”. Students who complete an area of emphasis are encouraged to share the additional designation on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

For more detailed information on these emphasis areas, please visit our OMBA Course Descriptions – Emphasis Areas & Core Classes web page.

It is possible for current students to change their emphasis area. Filling out the OMBA Emphasis Update Form is the best way for students to initiate this change. Once this form has been submitted, they will be sent detailed information on instructions and next steps.

When enrolling for courses, it’s very important that students:  

    • Take all three elective courses required for their designated emphasis area. If a student mixes electives from a different emphasis area, no specific emphasis area will be listed on their transcripts.
    • Understand how to plan their courses using the Course Carousel planning document. Failure to take the right courses when they’re offered could result in unintentional delays in graduation.

Time to Completion

The majority of students complete the OMBA program in two years, taking one course each 7-week session. About 15% of students complete the program in 12 months (taking two courses per 7-week session). This is considered a “heavy load” and students should review considerations and speak with their advisor if interested in this course plan.