New Business Disruption Series Course Offered at Katz

The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh is unveiling a new and exciting business disruption series course called, “Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) for Brands and Strategy.”

The course will be taught by Vanitha Swaminathan, Thomas Marshall Professor of Marketing, and partner, ImagineAR, a prominent AR/VR company, for the duration of the course. “Augmented and Virtual Reality for Brands and Strategy” will be initially available for MBA and MS students and eventually to undergraduate students at the College of Business Administration. The entirety of the course will be taught in an online format.

During the span of the course, students will work in teams to identify how to apply augmented and virtual reality to a real business or company and to design a branding campaign with the help of partner, ImagineAR. To conclude the course, students will present a 10-minute video showcasing their ideas.

“We’re thrilled to introduce the new series of business disruption courses,” said Sara Moeller, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs. “Augmented and Virtual Reality for Brands and Strategy, the inaugural course, is the first step in many new and exciting game-changing courses to come.”

AR/VR technologies have the potential to have a transformational role in how students learn, how managers make decisions and how consumers interact with products and branded experiences. Every business today is required to have an augmented reality strategy in order to unlock creative potential inherent in various touchpoints and user interfaces. 

“The offering of this course is extremely unique and timely,” said Swaminathan. “The current health crisis has required marketers to be even more creative in how to engage fans and customers. Augmented and virtual reality tools will provide new, creative ways of engaging with customers during this challenging period of social distancing.”

The course will tie into a new case competition, Katz Augmented Reality Case Competition (ARCC), co-sponsored by the Center for Branding, Katz Marketing Club, Katz Technology Club, and ImagineAR. Katz graduate students will compete in teams of four to showcase their futuristic and creative ideas for how products and brands can become more innovative in the future. The Katz ARCC will provide an important way for students to gain exposure to AR/VR technologies and will challenge them to think through the various ways in which it can improve the brand experience.

To learn more about the Augmented and Virtual Reality for Brands and Strategy course or the Center for Branding, please contact Vanitha Swaminathan at