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Executive Certificate in the Business of Life Sciences (ECBLS)

Courses & Faculty


The Kelley Executive Certificate courses are delivered in a unique blended format which uses both in-residence and online learning modes. The program begins with a combined 6 day in-residence course and program orientation.  Students form teams, meet the faculty and receive a tutorial on the Kelley Direct online system.  Four online courses follow.  The program concludes with a two day capstone experience.  Student teams demonstrate the skills learned in a case analysis to the ECBLS faculty.

The following five courses compose the Executive Certificate in the Business of Life Sciences. Students take these courses sequentially:

  1. BA601 Management of Organizations & Human Resources (6 days in-residence)

    This course addresses contemporary management challenges stemming from:

    • the changing nature of work and the needs of the workforce
    • operating in a global marketplace
    • changing organizational structures
    • complex environmental conditions
    • new technological developments
    • increasingly diverse workforces

    The course highlights critical management issues involved in planning, organizing, controlling, and leading an organization. Ultimately, the course aims to strengthen managerial effectiveness by providing managerial frameworks for analyzing, diagnosing, and responding to complex organizational situations.

    Special life sciences topics and applications include the challenges of the technical talent hunt, people and project management with outsourced partners, leadership in a virtual organization, the managing of scientific and business talent into a business culture, and the “care and feeding” of the creative class, i.e. researchers, product designers, and engineers.

    Download Course Syllabus

  2. MGT626 The Value Chain in Healthcare (10 weeks online)

    This course presents an overview of the economic foundations of the life sciences and health care value chain. In the course, students grasp the idea of a business value chain with attention to underlying economic principles and then apply those concepts to a specific segment of the life sciences or health care industries. It is designed to provide graduate-level students from a variety of business and non-business backgrounds with a solid introduction to the economic foundations of life sciences with a special emphasis on health care. This course broadens and deepens the student’s view of all the components of the value chain and contributes to a better understanding of all the elements that are involved with the delivery of higher-quality and lower-priced health outcomes.

    Special attention is devoted to the ramifications of the regulatory and reimbursement approval processes, the special role of product quality, the increased globalization of the industry, and the emergence of consumer-driven health care.

    Download Course Syllabus

  3. ACCTG696 Accounting for Executives in Life Sciences (10 weeks online)

    This is a graduate-level course in general accounting theory and practice, with an emphasis on accounting issues and practices pertinent to life sciences companies. As a vehicle for student learning, many problems and cases are incorporated replicating actual business decision-making situations commonly encountered in (and by) life sciences companies. This course will help students learn the vocabulary that accountants use when approaching business issues. Students will also learn fundamental technical skills. Because financial accounting is structured around individual transactions, much of the financial accounting material will be related to knowing how transactions ultimately affect reported performance and financial position.

    A special life sciences focus includes accounting for research and development expenses, alternative ways for new and expanding companies to raise funds, costing products in complex manufacturing environments, and how tax havens influence product sourcing decisions.

    Download Course Syllabus

  4. BA615 Strategic Financial Management (10 weeks online)

    Finance offers a rigorous analytical framework with which to analyze the financing and investment decisions of both individuals and firms. A study of this framework will help students make value-creating financial decisions for themselves, their firms, and the firm’s shareholders. To understand the perspective of shareholders, students will be exposed to the basic principles of investing: time value of money, valuation of debt and equity securities, discounted cash flow as a foundation for stock prices, the impact of diversification and leverage on portfolio risk, the relationship between risk and expected return in securities markets, and capital market efficiency. Students will use these principles to analyze capital investment decisions by estimating cash flows and discounting them at the appropriate cost of capital.

    A life sciences lens focuses on the impact reimbursement projections and decisions have on portfolio management, the use of “out-of-pocket” cash costs in making investment decisions, and the financial considerations in making outsourcing decisions, corporate alliances, and acquisitions.

    Download course syllabus

  5. BA655 Marketing Management and Strategy in Life Sciences (8 weeks online)

    Through a challenging combination of lectures, discussions, and case studies exclusively focused on life sciences (pharmaceuticals, biotech, and medical devices), this marketing course introduces students to concepts that are considered key in understanding the marketing function in the life sciences industry. During the early part of the course, students gain exposure to the essentials of market analyses (buyer behavior and customer analysis). This exposure dovetails with an examination of the tools marketers rely on to fulfill customers’ and consumers’ expectations. Among the tools included are segmentation, positioning, market research, product strategy, pricing, and distribution. Students learn about these tools by examining current issues and challenges in the life sciences arena that involve direct-to-consumer promotional strategies in advertising, consumer promotions, and Internet marketing.

    Special life sciences topics include marketing consumer OTC products vs. physicians’ preference products, ramifications of the direct-to-consumer marketing trend of prescribed products, product pricing in a reimbursement-driven world, and balancing marketing/advertising materials vs. regulatory approved label content.

    Download Course Syllabus

The certificate program concludes with a Capstone Experience (2 days in-residence) as student teams demonstrate the skills learned in a case analysis to the ECBLS faculty.

Carl Briggs
 Video: Carl Briggs

Briggs has over a decade of experience at the Kelley School, and has been recognized in the United States and abroad for his innovative approach to management education, his commitment to rigorous and relevant curriculum, and his passion for excellence.



Linda M. Dunn-Jensen
 Video: Linda Jensen

Dunn-Jensen has worked for Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Evanston Hospital, Kraft Foods, and Quaker Oats. She’s keynoted the Women’s Leadership Summit at A.T. Kearney and the Indiana SHRM Leadership Conference. She’s presented her work at conferences in Singapore, Berlin, and London. Her doctoral dissertation was nominated for the William H. Newman Award at the Academy of Management Conference.

Pat Hopkins

Hopkins has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on financial reporting for mergers, acquisitions, and changes in corporate structure since 1996, earning each of the top teaching awards in the Kelley School of Business. A widely respected research scholar, he has served as a senior consultant with Deloitte Haskins and Sells, assisting biotechnology and other firms with accounting, tax, and initial public offerings of stock.

Sreenivas Kamma

Kamma joined the business school in 1986. His research interests are in corporate governance and corporate financial policy. The recipient of several MBA teaching excellence awards, he has taught at the Wharton School of Business and at the London School of Business. He has taught for corporations including Elementis, MOL, Rolls Royce, John Deere, Whirlpool, TVS Motor, and Manitowoc Corp. He serves as program manager for the Kelley MBA in Finance Program and as a senior advisor for the Valuation and Forensic Group at Clifton-Gunderson.

ECBLS Faculty Chair Frederick W. Roedl
 Video: Fred Roedl
Prior to joining Kelley, Roedl’s spent more than 25 years in senior marketing and sales management positions within large multi-national corporations. The recipient of several teaching awards, including the 2009 MBA Teaching Excellence Award and the 2008 Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award, Roedl directs the Business Marketing Academy for the MBA program at the Kelley School of Business.