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Executive MBA

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Executive MBA Program?
An Executive MBA program provides an opportunity for experienced professionals to obtain a master's degree in Business Administration on a schedule that minimizes disruption of work and personal pursuits. Such programs include a cohort class structure that offers a lock-step, planned curriculum in an executive setting. In other words, members of each class begin the program together, and typically complete the degree requirements for graduation as a group. A unique aspect of an EMBA program is the collective professional experience of its participants which greatly enriches the educational environment. A team approach is often used to allow for the sharing of diverse perspectives on various topics; this interaction results in a challenging, stimulating learning experience that provides for maximum return on time and resources invested.

What is different about the Executive MBA curriculum?
Courses offered in an EMBA program are normally the same as those taught in traditional MBA program - accounting, finance, management, marketing, and information systems. However, EMBA courses are enhanced by the extensive professional experience of the participants and are uniquely structured to teach a maximum amount of course material in an accelerated timetable.

Who attends the Executive MBA Program?
A very diverse group of professionals enter and complete the EMBA program. What they share is a sincere desire to grow professionally by obtaining an MBA degree and a willingness and ability to meet program time and course requirements.

Students in the program are sponsored by their employers. Current sponsors include some of the largest manufacturing and service firms in the Midwest, along with a representation of executives from not-for-profit and small firms. In order to maintain a balance of backgrounds of participants, firms are limited in the number of employees permitted in the program each year. The mix of individuals from various functional areas and from a wide variety of types and sizes of firms is key to a quality Executive MBA program.

A number of factors are considered in selecting candidates for an EMBA program. In most cases, each applicant is evaluated on his or her professional performance, academic records, GMAT scores, professional recommendations, and a demonstrated ability to accomplish graduate-level business course work.

What type of time commitment is involved?
Success in professional life demands a substantial and regular commitment of time, and it is no different in an EMBA program. Over the course of the program, at least 15-20 hours a week should be allotted for some combination of classroom work, computer and research efforts, and course assignments.

Added to the already heavy demands of a business career, the time involved in pursuing an MBA is considerable and requires a high level of motivation and commitment.

Who teaches in the Executive MBA Program?
Only faculty who relate well to the business and professional environment are involved in the program. Because all the students in the program have significant managerial experience, students learn a great deal from each other. Because of the unique close relationships that develop during the two-year program, lifelong professional and personal friendships also develop. As a result of these factors, the curriculum is uniquely tailored to blend theory and practice for the experienced executive.

The quality of the faculty and academic programs in the College of Business is attested to by the undergraduate and graduate accreditation of both the business administration and accountancy programs by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Of approximately 1,200 collegiate business programs in the U.S., only about 165 have achieved the four levels of accreditation earned by Northern Illinois University.

How will an MBA impact your career?
An MBA degree reflects a sophisticated level of knowledge and skills concerning a wide range of contemporary management topics. It also implies a well-developed understanding of strategic thinking and planning in a globally competitive world.