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Contact MBA Program @
866-NIU-MBA1
or mba@niu.edu



Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application deadline?

The Graduate School must receive the complete application no later than July 15 for the fall semester, December 10 for the spring semester, or June 1 for the summer session. For any deadline occurring on a Saturday, Sunday, or university holiday, the deadline becomes the next day on which university offices are open.

Can I meet with an advisor?

Most advising by the academic counselor is done by telephone or email, at 815-753-1245 or mba@niu.edu. Individual appointments can be set up at our NIU campus in DeKalb. We do suggest that you attend one of our open house events where most questions are likely to be answered.

Where do you offer your MBA and can I complete the program in one location?

Our MBA program is offered in three convenient locations: DeKalb, Hoffman Estates and Naperville. Although you can complete your degree at any of these locations, you are not limited to just one site. Once admitted, you can select a course from any site.

Do you offer any Saturday courses?

Courses are offered primarily one night per week, Monday through Thursday. If weeknights are not convenient, the Executive MBA format offers Saturday-only courses.

Can I submit my application even though I have not taken the GMAT?

We strongly recommend that you begin and complete the application process as early as possible. GMAT scores are not necessary to begin this process. Once your application is received a file is started and, as additional information comes in, it is added directly into your file. Click here to begin your application.

If I have already completed a master's or professional degree, do I need the GMAT?

We will consider waiver of the GMAT on an individual basis. Contact our academic counselor and be prepared for us to review your undergraduate and graduate transcripts, resume, and applicable test scores.

Who should I contact to find out the status of my application?

Once your application has been processed by the Graduate School, you can monitor your application status through MyNIU.

How long does it take to complete the application process?

Once your application file has been completed, including your application, fee, transcripts, letters of recommendation, GMAT, TOEFL (if applicable), and resume, we ask that you allow two weeks for us to evaluate your file and make a decision.

How can I find out which Phase I foundation courses I will be required to take?

For a Phase I evaluation, you may fax (815-753-3300) or email mba@niu.edu a copy of your official or unofficial transcript to the MBA Office. Please be sure to include a telephone number or email address where you can be reached.

Can Phase I courses be waived based on work experience?

Phase I courses are only waived based on successful completion of the course(s) at an undergraduate or graduate institution. If you have significant work experience in a particular area, we suggest you take an exemption exam. Admitted students are eligible to take these exams. Successfully passing the exam on your first and only attempt will waive that Phase I requirement. Exemption exams are available for all Phase I courses.

Are there any other program prerequisites I should be aware of?

Minimum competencies in computer, mathematics, and communication skills will be expected before entry into the program. Successful completion of Finite Mathematics, or a first course in calculus, is required. This course can be completed through your local community/junior college.

Am I required to select an area of study?

Areas of study are not required as part of your MBA program. You should select electives that are most beneficial to your professional and personal development. Most students select the General Area of Study by choosing any three electives.

What if I do not meet the minimum admission criteria for your MBA program?

Although we have minimum admission criteria, we will evaluate your file on an individual basis. If you have special circumstances, contact our academic advisor at 1-866-NIU-MBA1 (866-648-6221) or 815-753-1264 to discuss your situation.

How long will it take to complete my MBA?

Our program offers the flexibility for you to take courses at your own pace. Students take one, two or three courses in a semester. The time it takes to complete your MBA will depend on your undergraduate degree and the number of courses you are able to take each semester. The average completion time for our program is 3.5 years.

What if I need to stop out a semester?

Our program offers the convenience for students to stop out without penalty. Although you can stop out for up to 12 months without penalty, students usually do not take advantage of this option unless there are extreme circumstances. Some students elect to take one or two semesters off at most depending on work or other personal situations.

What is an Executive MBA Program?

The Executive MBA at NIU 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. EMBA programs include a cohort class structure that offers a lock-step, set curriculum in an executive setting. In other words, members of each class begin the program together, and 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 and 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 Executive MBA 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.

What is a One-Year MBA Program?

The One-Year MBA allows you to complete your MBA degree in 12 months. The program includes a cohort class structure that offers a lock-step, planned curriculum in a professional setting. In other words, members of each class begin the program together and complete the degree requirements for graduation as a group. A unique aspect of the program is the collective professional experience of its participants which greatly enriches the educational environment. A team approach is 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 One-Year MBA curriculum?

The One-Year MBA curriculum addresses the functional areas of business, including accounting, finance, management, marketing, and operations. To round out the curriculum, students will address contemporary global issues and negotiations and put all their business tools to task through a live case.

The same core courses required in a traditional MBA are taught in the One-Year MBA; however, the courses are enhanced by the extensive professional experience of the participants and are uniquely structured to teach a maximum amount of course material on an accelerated timetable.

Who attends the One-Year MBA Program?

Participants must have a business undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university or an equivalent credential from a recognized international institution. For candidates with a non-business undergraduate degree and those with a business degree who have not successfully completed all of the prerequisite courses, these prerequisites must be satisfied prior to starting the One-Year MBA Program. Students must also have three years' post-undergraduate work experience.

What type of time commitment is required for the One-Year MBA Program?

The program is structured so that you can complete your course work in just 12 months by attending classes two evenings (Monday and Thursday) each week. 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 One-Year MBA Program?

Each faculty member has been hand selected to teach in the One-Year MBA. These individuals are experienced educators, researchers, and consultants who understand the rigors of the program and the busy schedules and demands facing the students in such a program. Because all the students in the program have significant managerial experience, students learn a great deal from each other.

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.