FAQ

Admissions Criteria

Q. What type/amount of work experience is required?
A.

Five years (minimum) of managerial experience is required; this includes either managing people, large projects, budgets and/or processes. Talk to us if you have questions about whether your experience qualifies.

Q. Can I sit in on a class?
A.

Absolutely, but please call us to schedule in advance. This will allow us to introduce you to a student host and the professor.

Q. Once I have begun the Executive MBA program, can I switch to the Global Immersion track?
A.

No. While the general admission requirements are similar, the limited cohort of up to 15 Americas students from each school is required to ensure a rich, balanced experience.

Q. Is an assessment exam required for admission?
A.

Yes, we accept both GMAT and Executive Assessment (EA) scores. Your score will enable us (and you) to determine your relative academic ability within the applicant pool for performing in core MBA classes as well as to decide on your best pre-enrollment preparation. Either our complimentary online math/statistics course and/or complimentary Executive MBA Math Camp, held on Saturdays in July, may be required based on your GMAT score. We are a highly quantitative program; you will find that GMAT preparation enables you to move at the speed of our classroom.

Q. What are the admission requirements?
A.

Applicants typically begin with a personal consultation and then start the online application which requires essays, transcripts for all college-level and graduate work, GMAT or EA score and two letters of recommendation, which can be requested electronically. A face-to-face interview is required for admission and can be completed concurrently with the online application.

Q. Will you waive the GMAT or EA test requirement?
A.

Because of the strong and deep quantitative nature of Vanderbilt's MBA programs, we require the GMAT or the Executive Assessment (EA) as proof of reasonably current proficiency with numbers and as an academic benchmark to compare other prospects who are incredibly diverse in other dimensions (experience). We aim for a calibrated set of academic skills within this otherwise diverse set of executive perspectives for the richest possible learning opportunity.

How to Apply

Q. Must I submit my completed application all at once?
A.

Most application documents are submitted online directly to the Executive MBA Admissions Office. We will accumulate all your admissions materials and you can verify with our office whether your application is complete. The most important first step is to begin the online application. Some candidates will await seeking financial sponsorship until after the interview with the Executive Director.

Q. What do you want to see in the letters of recommendation?
A.

Each of the two letters should address your career to date, intellectual capacity, and current and potential leadership roles. One letter should be from the executive you report to and the other should be from someone else who has relied on your work. We require that you use the online recommendation system within the application.

Interview Process

Q. How long is the personal interview?
A.

You will spend about one hour in the interview. We will review your career to date, your academic preparation and your motivation and fit for pursuing the Vanderbilt Executive MBA degree. The interview is also an opportunity to discuss any questions you may have about the program.

Q. Is a personal interview required for admission? If so, is it conducted in person?
A.

Yes, an interview with the Executive Director or the Director of Recruiting is required. It is conducted in person on the Vanderbilt campus or in conjunction with our regional travel, scheduled in advance. Visit the Admissions Events calendar or call 615.322.3120 for an appointment.

Tuition, Loans & Scholarships

Q. Are scholarships available?
A.

There are limited scholarships available which can be viewed on our Tuition and Scholarships page. Executive MBA students are often working managers and executives who can fund their education through a combination of sponsorship or employer reimbursement, loans and working cash flow. Most U.S. citizens complete the FAFSA and take advantage of government loans for a portion of their education.

Q. How much does it cost to attend the Vanderbilt EMBA program?
A.

View the full tuition and costs for the program, including both tracks, HERE. Once you are admitted, a $1,500 deposit is required. This deposit is credited toward your first tuition payment. Tuition is paid in five installments during the time you are enrolled at Vanderbilt: October (40 percent), February (40 percent) and June (20 percent) of the first year and October (50 percent), February (50 percent) the second year. Student Accounts must show all tuition paid prior to graduation and tuition paid from a previous semester in order to proceed to the next semester.

You will be responsible for the cost of transportation to all residencies, including the optional second-year International Residency in the Executive Edge track OR the four international residencies in the Global Immersion track.

Q. Is corporate financial support required for the EMBA program?
A.

No. Although many Executive MBA students receive some level of corporate financial support, it is not a factor in the admissions process. Managers need to understand the time demands, including the Week-In Residence at the beginning of the program, the residency commitment to launch Year Two and the optional one-week International Residency in the spring of Year Two. This is especially important if you choose to enroll in the Global Immersion Track which will require more time out of the office.

Q. Is financial aid available?
A.

Student loans are available for those who do not receive full financial support. Additional information is available through the Office of Financial Aid.

Program Information

Q. What is the grading system?
A.

Our grading system is as follows: SP (Superior Pass) = 4.0; HP (High Pass) = 3.5; P (Pass) = 3.0; LP (Low Pass) = 2.5; F (Fail) = 0.0. Some test grades are numeric. At the beginning of each course, the syllabus will establish the criteria by which the course grade is computed. Please keep in mind that each class grade is a combination of your individual test scores and individual or team assignments, presentations and special projects. A grade of 3.0 is required to graduate.

Q. How long is the program? Do both tracks finish at the same time?
A.

You will complete the program in 21 months regardless of the track you choose. Vanderbilt's program begins in August with the Week-in-Residence in New Harmony, Indiana. Classes are then held on the Vanderbilt campus two Saturdays per month in Year One. In Year Two, Executive Edge students will continue the alternating Saturday schedule until graduation in early May. Alternately, in Year Two, Global Immersion students will attend four residencies in August (Vancouver), October (Sao Paulo), February (Mexico City) and April (Nashville) with a Capstone Strategy Project to be completed by early May. Both tracks graduate together in May.

Q. How many students are in a C-Team? Do C-Teams change membership during the course of the program?
A.

A C-Team usually has four to five members, maximizing diversity in industries and backgrounds. C-Teams comprise members whose depth of experience casts them in roles of CFO or CAO/CEO, COO, CIO, CMO, CPO and CHRO. The teams are composed at the beginning of the Week-in-Residence. They remain intact throughout the entire program for the Executive Edge Track. For the Global Immersion Track, students will switch teams at the beginning of Year Two when they will be reassigned to a team including members from each of the four Americas Alliance partner schools.

Q. How much time will I need to devote to the program?
A.

Throughout the 21 months it takes to complete the Vanderbilt Executive MBA program, a typical student studies 20 hours per week outside of class and work time. Part is individual work, but particularly in year two, a lot of work is accomplished by the C-Team (assigned study group).

Q. When is graduation?
A.

All Executive MBA students graduate in May and are included in Vanderbilt Commencement, following completion of degree requirements.

Q. Is a laptop computer required?
A.

A laptop computer is recommended for success in the program. Executive MBA students use a learning management system, BrightSpace, which provides course materials, a platform for meeting collaboration and updates from Vanderbilt Executive faculty and staff.

Q. Is it okay to miss school occasionally?
A.

There may be a time when an unavoidable event dictates an absence. However, in order to graduate, Executive MBA students must cover a large amount of material on Saturdays. In the rare case when you must miss a class, you must clear your absence with the faculty. Exams are not to be missed. Individual faculty reserve the right to refuse makeup exams. In addition, someone from your C-Team needs to be willing to share class notes and handouts. You should make every effort to learn the missed material and prepare for the next set of classes so that you don't risk falling significantly behind in any courses.

Q. Is the Executive MBA program accredited?
A.

Yes, our Executive MBA program is accredited by the AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which is the world's leading accrediting association. To achieve and retain AACSB International accreditation, a business school must meet a wide range of rigorous quality standards, including an approved curriculum, a high quality of research produced, appropriate admissions criteria and graduation requirements, and a library and computer facilities. No national or regional accreditation is more demanding or prestigious than that of AACSB International.

Q. Is this the same degree as the daytime MBA program?
A.

Yes. The degree earned is the Vanderbilt Master of Business Administration (MBA). The differences are in the age/experience level of students and in the specific electives in weekly curriculum replaced by deeper core and strategic integration courses in EMBA curriculum.

Q. What is the size of the program? How many students are in each track?
A.

The Vanderbilt Executive MBA program enrolls approximately 50 students each August. Up to 15 students will be in the Global Immersion Track.

Global Immersion Track

Q. If I am part of the Global Immersion Track , from which school will I earn my degree?
A.

If you apply through Vanderbilt to the Global Immersion Track/Americas program, you will work to receive an MBA degree from Vanderbilt. In addition, you will work toward an Americas Alliance MBA Certificate awarded by the Americas Alliance partner schools (FIA, ITAM, SFU and Vanderbilt).

Q. How do I learn more about the partner schools in the Global Immersion Track?
A.

Click here to find more information about our Americas Alliance Partner Schools.

Q. How /when will I meet my classmates in the Global Immersion Track?
A.

The Global Immersion/Americas cohort will be comprised of up to 15 Vanderbilt Executive MBA students. You will get to know them well during Year One since your C-Team will be comprised of other Global Immersion students. At the end of Year One, the Vanderbilt team will dissolve and you will meet your new team of students from the Americas Alliance Partner Schools: ITAM (Mexico City), FIA (Sao Paulo) and Simon Frasier University (Vancouver). You will meet your Year Two cohort at the beginning of Year Two (August) during your first immersion in Vancouver.

Q. How will the international team be created in the Global Immersion Track?
A.

Year Two Global Immersion/Americas teams are selected by the Americas Alliance Partner School faculty and administration. Teams will be formed in support of the Capstone Strategy Projects. Sponsoring organizations will influence the nature of these projects. Learn More.

Q. What happens if I need to miss one of the 10-day in-country immersions in the Global Immersion Track?
A.

The Global Immersion / Americas program is a cohort-based, lockstep program. Each residency and the year-long International Capstone Strategy Project are required to complete the degree. Failure to participate fully and to complete the coursework as scheduled will lead to a delay and possible failure in completing the requirements for graduation as determined by the rules of the degree-granting institution.

Q. What language will the program be in for the Global Immersion Track? Does it help to know another language?
A.

All instruction at all Americas Alliance Partner Schools will be in English. However, strong applicants will demonstrate a multinational outlook, prior experience or globally-oriented career track. In addition, other language skills, especially Spanish or Portuguese, will be beneficial.

Q. What will I get that will designate if I choose the Global Immersion Track?
A.

In addition to earning your MBA from Vanderbilt, you will receive an Americas Alliance MBA Certificate awarded by the Americas Alliance partner schools (FIA, ITAM, SFU and Vanderbilt).

Q. What security precautions are being taken for out-of-country travel for students in the Global Immersion Track?
A.

Global Immersion students should be seasoned travelers. All Vanderbilt students on VU-sanctioned trips must register with International SOS, the State Department and local suppliers to maximize safety. The wisdom of host schools, which secure hotels and plan events in their respective cities, provides additional assurance that our students are in good local hands at each residency. Students sign a release of liability and are briefed prior to departure on international trips about safety, emergency procedures and smart conduct. The university makes safety in learning a priority.

Q. Who issues the final grades in the Global Immersion Track? How is the final GPA determined?
A.

The faculty member teaching each course determines the grades for that course. Seventy-five percent of Global Immersion coursework will be taught and graded by Vanderbilt faculty. For the 25 percent of courses taken at Americas Alliance schools, Vanderbilt will convert the grade earned to Vanderbilt's grading scale. To graduate and obtain a Vanderbilt MBA, Vanderbilt Global Immersion students must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete the prescribed credit hours of instruction. A strike system is in place to ensure academic performance (refer to Vanderbilt's Executive MBA student handbook or The Bulletin of Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management for more details).

Q. Who will be my classmates during the second year if I choose the Global Immersion Track?
A.

Your Global Immersion/Americas cohort will be comprised of up to 15 Vanderbilt Executive MBA students from your class (determined at time of admission) plus up to 45 additional student executives from ITAM (Mexico City), FIA (Sao Paulo) and Simon Frasier University (Vancouver). Your C-Team in Year One, comprised of other Global Immersion Track students from Vanderbilt, will be dissolved at the end of Year One. You and possibly one of your Vanderbilt classmates will be cast in an international project team for Year Two with team members from the other schools.

Q. Why did Vanderbilt partner with these schools for the Global Immersion Track?
A.

Our first goal was to partner with schools in the four predominant economies in the Americas, namely, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. The Global Immersion Track/Americas program builds on a decade-long relationship with the executive programs at FIA in Sao Paulo. All Americas Alliance Partner Schools have national prominence and international reach as well as long-standing traditions of excellence in graduate degree education, sensitivity to the needs of multinational corporations in our markets and a customer-focused philosophy that is apparent in the student experience.

Q. As a Global Immersion Student, do I have access to the Leadership Development Program during both years of the program?
A.

Yes. The Leadership Development Program is available to all students during the entire program. Although you will not be coming to campus as often during Year Two, you may work with your executive coach to determine a way to connect virtually.

Q. How will my international team function in the Global Immersion Track?
A.

This team will work through Year Two on a Capstone Strategy Project that will require frequent virtual meetings as well as face-to-face meeting time during the four residencies.

Leadership Development Program

Q. Is the leadership development program part of the curriculum?
A.

No, LDP is not part of any curriculum at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. By design, LDP supplements your academic work to help you develop as a more capable, well-rounded business professional. Just like in business, when your company offers you access to resources dedicated to high-potential leaders, your level of initiative, openness to new challenges, and drive for success is demonstrated by how you leverage those resources.

Q. What is the Hogan Assessment?
A.

Hogan is a personality-based assessment used by more than half of Fortune 500 companies to hire and develop individual leaders like you. Hogan was developed to improve workplace performance and is used among companies globally to do so. By taking Hogan, you will get three reports that give you insight into your natural leadership style, how you approach stress, and your values and motivations.

Q. What happens after I have completed my coaching sessions?
A.

Throughout the Executive MBA program, the LDP Team is always a resource to you. We are happy to meet with you one-on-one to support you during coaching, if needed, as well as once you have finished the coaching engagement to determine the best course of action for you.

Q. What are the types of things students work on with their executive coach?
A.

It varies widely from student to student, by design, but here are some examples: increasing confidence, dealing with ambiguity, becoming less of a perfectionist, managing stress, reducing self-critical thoughts, managing conflict, speaking up when you aren’t an expert on a topic, enhancing listening skills, and asking more questions just to name a few. 

Since the leadership journey is a lifelong one, we try to help you break down the larger themes into manageable chunks with specific strategies and tactics for addressing them. Despite starting with small and seemingly simple tasks to help improve each desired area doesn't mean that those specific strategies and tactics are easy, which is what makes leadership so challenging and so rewarding. 

Our goal is for each student to leave Vanderbilt with greater self-awareness and improved leadership skills and for them to leave with the tools for continuing to grow their leadership capabilities throughout their career.

Q. How does leadership development differ from career management? What are the synergies?
A.

Leadership development is about empowering you with the tools and skills to assess your strengths, weaknesses and effectiveness so that you can better learn from your experiences and build personal development growth habits as you progress through your career trajectory. Career management is about planning and evaluating your career trajectory.

Q. What if engaging with an executive coach for a 6-month period seems overwhelming or is not appealing?
A.

There are several options, depending on how much (or little) you would like to focus on your personal leadership development journey. Your meeting schedule and/or programming may also differ depending on which program track you select. Learn more on the Leadership Development Page. If your priority and/or focus is career, then participate in programming offered by the Career Management Center.

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