McDonough School of Business

Certificate in Nonmarket Strategy

Georgetown MBA students have unparalleled opportunity to incorporate the rich resources of Georgetown’s Washington, D.C., location in their studies and to observe and experience up close how business success and principled leadership are shaped by regulatory, political, cultural, and social forces. Here in Washington, D.C., the halls of government, corporate and association headquarters, and other locations double as classrooms. Georgetown McDonough students have the opportunity to attend events on campus and off at federal agencies, firms, and organizations that feature prominent global figures, and to interact directly with business leaders, government officials, policymakers, and leaders of industry alliances.

Throughout the MBA core curriculum, students gain fundamental exposure to issues beyond the market and understanding of the critical role of nonmarket strategy. In the opening term’s Structure of Global Industry, students learn how to identify global markets and related nonmarket factors; Firm Analysis and Strategy introduces how firms navigate the policy and nonmarket environments; and Business and Policy in a Global Economy presents how internationalization of the firm is a complex decision-making process operating at multiple levels of analysis.

The certificate coursework provides a unique and structured opportunity to reinforce, enrich, and extend the study of nonmarket strategy.  Through coursework and “only in D.C.” engagement and interaction, certificate students benefit from sustained attention to the nonmarket environment from the first day of the MBA program to the last. 


The MBA certificate in nonmarket strategy promotes a deeper understanding of the ways in which business success and principled leadership are shaped by regulatory, legal, political, cultural, and social forces beyond the market and the critical relationships and interactions among firms, government, and the public. Certificate study connects the strengths of the Georgetown McDonough faculty and the MBA curriculum to the rich resources of Washington, D.C.

The certificate offers Georgetown McDonough students unmatched opportunities for sustained attention to and structured engagement at the intersection of business, economics, and public policy in Washington, D.C., while broadening and reinforcing an understanding of the theory and practice of nonmarket strategy in the classroom. The certificate program elective coursework reinforces and extends the MBA core curriculum. Students develop a sophisticated appreciation and respect for the dynamics and complexity of the nonmarket environment.

Certificate-achieving graduates will be poised for extraordinary business leadership and service whether through managerial and leadership positions in public and private firms, consulting, board membership, or other specialized roles. The certificate program is open to enrolled MBA students.

The Certificate at a Glance

More about Nonmarket Strategy

Suggested Reading: What Every CEO Needs to Know About Nonmarket Strategy, MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2010.

“CEOs need to make the jump from thinking about isolated nonbusiness issues and recognize that, together, they form the nonmarket environment of the company. Nonmarket strategy starts with a simple, dual premise — first, that issues and actors ‘beyond the market’ increasingly affect the bottom line, and, second, that they can be managed just as strategically as conventional ‘core business’ activities within markets. The challenge for CEOs and their leadership teams is one of simultaneous separation and integration. To manage successfully beyond the market, executives must recognize the important differences between the company’s market and nonmarket environments but then take an integrated, coherent and strategic approach to both arenas. That is the key to turning perceived nonbusiness issues into strategic opportunities and thereby building sustainable competitive advantage, as examples from leading corporations show.”

Bach and Allen


A 12‐credit sequence of integrated MBA coursework (7.5 overlapping MBA elective credits and 4.5 overlapping MBA core credits) reinforces understanding of the business challenges and opportunities in the nonmarket environment from the perspective of the firm.

Certificate Elective Requirements:  4.5 elective credits

Certificate Elective Choice: 3 elective credits

MBA Core Overlap: 4.5 core credits


Certificate coursework includes the choice of three overlapping elective credits from this list of MBA courses designated for certificate study. This coursework extends exposure to the dynamics of the nonmarket environment, reinforces analytical approaches for strategic analysis, or engages directly with nonmarket issues and interactions.

Off-list courses including non-MBA courses may be submitted with advanced approval of the certificate program director.

Note: This list of MBA electives serves as a guide. It is subject to change and does not represent a guarantee that specific courses will be offered in specific academic years.


The certificate program is designed for and limited to enrolled McDonough MBA students. Program participants who successfully complete the certificate requirements upon graduation will receive notation of this distinction on their official university transcript.

Upcoming Information Sessions

Students who are interested in pursuing the certificate are responsible for registering for
certificate electives during each MBA registration period on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Students take their first electives during the spring 2024 semester. The Program Office will
provide full details about the registration process, and offer information sessions, by early
Participants will be able to track their progress toward completion of the certificate through the
MyDegree audit ‘what-if’ feature in MyAccess.

If you have questions, please contact your MBA program advisor.


Professor John Mayo
STRT 6555 Washington, Business, and the World

“The certificate program leverages the strengths of Georgetown in some very innovative ways. Just outside the Healy gates, we have unparalleled access to political leaders, business leaders, and thought leaders. What the certificate is fundamentally about is to broaden students’ perspective and engagement with these leaders and to develop their analytical skills, communications skills, and ability to apply economic analysis and strategy to the world of business, politics, and the larger firm environment.”

Professor Marcia Mintz
STRT 6555 Washington, Business, and the World

“Students’ enthusiasm and appreciation for McDonough’s D.C. distinctiveness is infectious. In their responses to attending events and participating in other other activities throughout D.C., students over and over repeat variations on the observation that ‘this is the reason I chose to attend the McDonough School of Business’ and ‘this is why I came to study in D.C.'”

Professor Jasmina Chauvin
BADM 5500 Structure of Global Industries

“Because of the continuing global integration of markets, business leaders – whether their businesses operate internationally or primarily domestically – need to understand how market and nonmarket forces both at home and in other countries affect their business.”

Professor Mark Whitener
STRT 6556 The Miracle of Markets?

“The Miracle of Markets? course offers a nonideological perspective that examines
when markets might work best and when they might fail. The course develops future
business leaders’ skills for a time when they will necessarily deal with government
officials and other nonmarket actors.”

Professor Jeff Macher
STRT 6557 Strategies Beyond the Market

“The nonmarket strategy course sequence provides a comprehensive understanding of the political, legal, technological, and social environments of business. An understanding of how these environments operate and how firms both cooperate and compete in these environments have become necessary conditions for continued firm success.”

Professor Stephen Weymouth
STRT 6505 Business and Policy in a Global Economy

“Politics, regulations, and social movements are all critical considerations for any business today. Businesses that are savvy to both traditional and nonmarket forces will be best equipped to avoid potential pitfalls as well as capture exciting opportunities for growth. The nonmarket certificate study gives students the tools to understand and engage with these important aspects of strategy.”