at a glance

Vanderbilt Executive MBA classes meet on alternating Saturdays, with a one-week “residency” at the beginning of each year in New Harmony, IN, as well as an international residency at the end of the program. This intense yet innovative schedule allows you to minimize time away from your job and better balance work, home and school. The program is cleanly segmented into semesters with allowances for breaks and holidays.

Concentrated “class days” are heavy on class instruction (about nine hours of class each day) but also allow ample time for meetings with faculty and group work sessions; online technology allows you to work with your C-Teams on assignments and the Capstone Strategy Project between class days. The Leadership Development Program is a large part of the program, but as it is voluntary (though highly recommended), it is not built into the formal curriculum. You must successfully complete 60 credit hours of course work to graduate with a Vanderbilt MBA.

Download the current course catalog

Year One

New Harmony, Indiana

Course Credits
Financial Accounting 4
Managerial Economics 4
Leadership 1
Ethics 2
Managerial Statistics 4

Winter Break

Year One

Course Credits
Managerial Accounting 2
Managerial Finance 2
Corporate Valuation 2
Organizational Behavior 2
Operations Management 4

Year One

Course Credits
Macroeconomics 2
Marketing Management 2

Summer Break

Year Two

Course Credits
Corporate Financial Policy 2
Team Dynamics 1
Negotiations 2
Innovation 2
Creating and Launching the Venture 2
Business Strategy 4
Operations Topics 2

Winter Break

Year Two

International Residency

Course Credits
Global Enterprise II (includes international residency) 4
Strategic Alignment of Human Capital 2
Special Topics in Executive Management 1
Strategy Project 4
Marketing Strategy 2


Degree requirements and course information are subject to change.


Throughout the program, there are three required residencies that give you a condensed time frame in which to focus on core elements of the curriculum. The program begins with a one-week residency in New Harmony, Indiana, and is followed by an abbreviated week spent in Nashville at the start of the second year and ends with a 10-day international immersion just prior to graduation.

New Harmony, IN Residency

Executive MBA (EMBA) students gather in New Harmony, IN for orientation and first week of classes. Dinner and team building activities, and classes (Vanderbilt Photo/Daniel Dubois)

All Executive MBA students begin the program with a one-week residency in the intentionally remote town of New Harmony, Indiana. This experience provides you with an opportunity to get to know your classmates and the faculty to become acquainted with the objectives of the program; to regain perspectives on being a student; and to begin your C-Team routines. This week also accounts for a substantial portion of the first semester’s curriculum, introduces the Leadership Development Program and includes some fun teambuilding along the way.

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International Residency

Prior to graduation, all Executive MBA students will participate in an international immersion trip. As an integral part of the Global Enterprise Sequence, this trip will include visits to local corporations and immersion in the cultures of the host country to examine political structures, economics and social customs impacting business. The location changes each year.

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Since most successful executives tackle problems in teams, we’ve always believed business students should too. That’s why here, unlike anywhere else, you will complete much of your work as part of a cross-functional “C-Team” of peers. Throughout the program, you will integrate the tools and concepts from your course work to build a strategic plan for a real client company, culminating in a Capstone Strategy Project.


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Faculty Profiles

William Christie
William G. Christie
Frances Hampton Currey Professor of Management in Finance
Nancy Hyer
Nancy Lea Hyer
Associate Professor of Operations Management
Paul Chaney
Paul K. Chaney
E. Bronson Ingram Professor in Accounting
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Program Information

Q. How are students graded?

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 2.0 is required to graduate.

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

A C-Team usually has four to five members, maximizing diversity in industries and backgrounds. C-Teams are comprised of members whose depth of experience casts them in roles of CFO or CAO/CEO, COO, CIO, CMO, CPO and CHRO. The teams are arranged at the beginning of the Week-in-Residence, and they remain intact throughout the entire program.

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

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. Much of the work is completed by the individual, and in year two, many assignments are completed by the C-Team (assigned study group).

Q. How will graduation be handled?

All graduates of Vanderbilt degree programs are invited to participate in the May graduation (for all Owen Graduate School of Management graduates) following completion of degree requirements.

Q. Is a laptop computer required?

A laptop computer is recommended for success in the program. In addition, Executive MBA students use a VOIP product and an electronic blackboard to enable online meeting collaboration and updates from faculty and the Vanderbilt Executive MBA office.

Q. Is it okay to miss school occasionally?

There may be a time when an unavoidable event dictates an absence; for example, if you become ill or an important family or work commitment arises. However, in order to enable graduation, Executive MBA students must cover a large amount of material on Saturdays. In those rare cases when you must miss a class, you must clear your absence with the faculty. Exams are not to be missed. Individual faculty members 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?

Yes, our Executive MBA program is accredited by the AACSB, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the world's leading accrediting association. To achieve and retain AACSB 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.

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

Yes. Students earn the Vanderbilt Master of Business Administration (MBA) by completing 60 academic credit hours. The programs are distinguished by students' ages, experience levels and the EMBA curriculum's deeper core and strategic integration courses. 

Q. What is the size of the program?

The Vanderbilt Executive MBA program enrolls approximately 50 students each August. The largest class was 62 students.

Admissions Criteria

Q. Can I be admitted to the program if I have less than five years of managerial experience?

Occasionally, we will admit a student with less than five years of managerial experience if his or her career path is well developed in the desired profession and other qualifications are exceptionally strong.

Q. Once I have begun the Executive MBA program, can I switch to the Global Executive MBA-Americas program?

No. While 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 the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) required for admission?

Vanderbilt requires all prospective students to complete either the GMAT or Executive Assessment (EA) in order to receive an admission decision. These test scores help us ensure that applicants possess the quantitative and verbal skills to be successful in the Executive MBA program. Either our complimentary online math/statistics course and/or complimentary Executive MBA Camp, held on Saturdays in July, may be required based on your test scores. We are a rigorous, quantitative MBA degree program. You will find that testing preparation enables you to move at the speed of our classroom.

Q. What are the admission requirements?

Requirements include: 

  • A screening interview (which can be done over the phone pre-application) 
  • A face-to-face interview  
  • Required essays
  • Transcripts for all college-level and graduate work
  • GMAT or EA
  • Two letters of recommendation

Q. Will you waive the GMAT?

Because of the strong quantitative nature of Vanderbilt's MBA programs, we require the GMAT or the Executive Assessment (EA) as proof of proficiency with numbers and as an academic benchmark to compare candidates. This standard enables us to provide a rich learning environment. 


See what it’s like to be a student in the Vanderbilt Executive MBA Program.

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