General DSO Undergraduate Electives

Elective Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Elective Course Descriptions

DSO 401 – Business Information Systems – Spreadsheet Applications (2 units, Fall and Spring)
This course is designed to provide students with an applied understanding of how “spreadsheet applications” are used to analyze business information. This course provides an opportunity for students to master the use and design of ”Microsoft Excel” for business information analysis in the areas of Finance, Information Systems, Marketing and Operations. This course will also enhance students’ understanding of the core business disciplines by providing them with the skills and experience to develop, test and analyze business cases, to increase the effectiveness in the corporate decision making processes. This course is a hands-on course and it is a must have course for internships and jobs.

DSO 402 – Business Information Systems – Database Applications (2 units, Fall)
Through lectures and labs, students will learn how to design, develop, and utilize the desktop databases that businesses employ in their reporting and decision making endeavors. Using Microsoft Access, students will learn hands-on the basics of normalizing a database, creating and relating tables, creating user interfaces through the use of forms and macros, extracting and mathematically manipulating information through queries, and creating business reports. The course consists of weekly instructor led database assignments and a final database projected developed by the student.

DSO 424 – Business Forecasting (4 units, Spring)
Forecasting in today’s business world is becoming increasingly important as firms focus on increasing customer satisfaction while reducing the cost of providing products and services. Business decisions almost always depend on forecasts about the course of events. Virtually every area of business makes use of some type of forecast. In business forecasting, time series models are used to analyze data that are collected sequentially over time. A primary goal of these models is to exploit the correlation structure of the observations in order to predict future values. This course is intended for students working in the field of economics, business, marketing, production, operations research, international trade, accounting, etc., who want a non-technical introduction to applied time series econometrics and forecasting.

DSO 427 – Designing Spreadsheet Based Business Models (4 units, Fall)
As a manager, you make a lot of business decisions – creating a financial portfolio, working capital management, media planning, sales territory planning, company growth planning, logistics planning, etc. Most of these decisions are fundamentally about resource allocation. In this fast moving market, you have to make these decisions in the face of uncertainty. The goal of this course is to become an effective Excel modeler who can solve resource allocation problems, incorporate uncertainties in Excel models to gain insights into future risks, and model more complicated long-term decision-making processes to evaluate contingent decisions.

DSO 431 – Managing the Digital Revolution for Your Business (4 units, Fall and Spring)
With this course, you will actually create and upload your own website using technologies companies use, go to Labs where you use software that businesses use, attend Guest Speakers from well‐known companies using digital technologies, class can be used toward a number of different minors and majors, it helps you prepare for any job in consulting or business where you care about how new digital technologies can be strategically used by organizations.

DSO 433 – Business Information Systems Analysis and Design (4 units, Fall)
Business process analysts (BPA) are a growing occupation. They help companies to identify ways for businesses to improve their competitiveness with information systems. They are the liaison between the business unit and the programmers. They prepare business cases for changing the business, elicit requirements and then manage outsourcers to meet reqs, they manage the project, reduce project risks, and meet business client expectations. You will be a trained BPA with the course completion.

DSO 435 – Business Database Systems (4 units, Spring)
This course teaches key concepts and tools in order to provide the prospective business or information systems professional with fundamental concepts and skills in data modeling (conceptual, logical and physical), as well as in designing, building and managing the data layer to support business applications. In addition to data modeling, considerable proficiency with Structured Query Language (SQL) will be obtained. Although object-oriented, and other database approaches will be discussed, the course focuses primarily on the use of state-of-the-art relational and object-relational databases.

DSO 441 – Service Management: Economics and Operations (4 units, Irregular)
Today’s economy is dominated by the service sector, which accounts for more than three-fourths of the economic activity in the United States. In such an environment, it is essential to understand what makes service firms tick! This course provides a general manager’s perspective addressing both strategic analysis and operational decision making. We will examine settings in healthcare, financial services, retail environments, and transportation services among others.

DSO 443 – Business of Interactive Digital Media (4 units, Fall)
This course is designed for undergrads interested in a business career in this new emerging digital media and entertainment industry. Interactive Digital Media includes the traditional entertainment and media industries as well as new players from the online world, mobile and landline telecom service providers. The course will explore how new players are developing innovative business models to challenge the traditional media industries. We will focus on how the entertainment and media industries operate, and how IT, the Internet, and mobile technologies are changing the economics and management of entertainment and media industries. This course will employ lectures, case studies, guest speakers from entertainment and new media companies, such as Electronic Arts, Disney and Warner Brothers and site-visits to “Digital Hollywood” and other entertainment companies.

DSO 455 – Project Management (4 units, Fall)
This  course begins with organizational issues in project management and focuses on skills and roles of project leaders and structure of project teams. Then the course moves on to more technical areas and covers project integration, scope, time, and cost management. It will also cover project resource, risk, and procurement management. It will be finalized with controlling, monitoring and terminating projects. Throughout the course students will learn how to use MS Project, Monte Carlo simulation for project risk management, and spreadsheet models for various optimization problems within the project management context.

DSO 462- Managing a Small Business on the Internet (2 units, Fall and Spring)

Understanding the current and future uses of the internet for business is essential and empowering for any student. This introductory course summarizes the foundational knowledge and hands-on skills that any student needs to know about effective use of the internet for managing a small business, enabling global business visibility, and improving business growth. Students will apply the internet skills they learn in class in a project that uses commercial tools to customize a pre-configured system for internet-based small businesses. This two-unit course is open to all USC students from all schools and all majors, and there are no prerequisites.

DSO 482 – Supply Chain Management (4 units, Fall)
This course  focuses on management and improvement of supply chain processes and performance.  It will be valuable for students who would like to pursue a career in consulting or take a position in operations, marketing or finance functions in a manufacturing or distribution firm. We explore important supply chain metrics, primary tradeoffs in making supply chain decisions, and basic tools for effective and efficient supply chain management, production planning and inventory control, order fulfillment and supply chain coordination. We will also investigate topics such as global supply chain design, logistics, and outsourcing, several other recent supply chain innovations. The content covers both quantitative and qualitative materials. Cases will feature high-tech companies as well as firms in more traditional industries such as apparel and

DSO 483 – Operations Consulting (4 units, Spring)
This course covers concepts, frameworks, analytical and managerial skills for leading and adding value in management consulting projects with a focus on operations. We will concentrate on operational issues and decisions including developing competitive advantage through operations, strategic planning, collaborative supply chain planning, and six-sigma. The class format includes hands on student consulting projects with a well-known client companies, lectures, case discussions, and guest speakers.

DSO 315x – Operations Management for Non- Business Majors
This course is about “How to get things done better and more efficiently.” Different organizations have different goals – making a movie, deliver books to customers, develop a drug, organize volunteers after a hurricane, etc. In this course, we learn a versatile set of tools and frameworks to make sound decisions. We then apply these tools and frameworks to different scenarios and consider problems in different organizations/industries. More specifically, we cover such topics as Project Management, Resource Allocation and Planning, Managing Uncertainty, Managing Variety, and Managing Global Supply Chains.

BUAD 491 – Honors Seminar (4 units, Spring)
The Honors Thesis is a scholarly piece of work involving an in-depth exploration of an area of interest in the student’s field of study. The unifying thread for all Honors theses or projects is that they contribute to the development of knowledge or practice in new ways, involve significant background research, require sustained attention in the implementation of the project, and result in a piece of written work that documents the student’s learning process and outcomes. Researching and writing the thesis engages the student in a rewarding academic experience, and affords them the personal mentorship of a faculty member, experience conducting sustained scholarly activity, and excellent preparation for graduate work or careers.