EMBA FAQ

Executive MBA students return from each module
Why should I choose an Executive MBA?

You should choose an EMBA if you want to complete a MBA without interrupting your career. Executive MBA participants can continue working full-time while they study, simultaneously advancing their careers and their professional and personal development.

Executive MBA students return from each module to their organization with new skills to better identify, frame, and solve complex business problems. They acquire the confidence to make important business decisions in an uncertain and rapidly changing environment and the leadership skills to drive fundamental change in their organization and industry.

What's the difference between the Executive MBA and the full-time MBA?

While both the MBA and the Executive MBA award the same MBA degree and sometimes have a similar curriculum, there are some methodological differences. The main difference is that the Executive MBA is primarily designed for managers and executives who already have a significant professional WORK EXPERIENCE. The Executive MBA meets the needs of upper level managers. Candidates are often evaluated based on what is expected that they will bring to the program. They remain in full-time employment  studying part-time.

Full-time MBA students are almost at the beginning stages of their career and take part in a number of practical exercises, making it more suitable for those at an earlier stage in their career. They are not required to have professional work experience, but they must take the GMAT.

Where are the classes held?

The USI EMBA classes are all held at the Executive Center – Lugano Campus, Switzerland.

How is the curriculum structured for the Executive MBA?

The Executive MBA is a 18-months program. Classes are held in Lugano every month, for sixteen fourteen months – except during August – and are taught over four consecutive days, beginning on Thursday morning at 10am and continuing until 12.30 pm the following Sunday. The program consists of ten core courses, four advanced courses and a three-months project work at the end of the program.

The Executive MBA program begins with orientation, a Lugano-based residential weekend (Weekend Zero) dedicated to introduce the program and some pre-modules activities: introductory statistics and organizational behavior.

Following the orientation Weekend Zero, the EMBA continues with the core course curriculum. During the core curriculum, two courses will be taught in parallel: one in the morning and the other one in the afternoon for four consecutive days. Two blocks make up a module. Courses will begin with a 4-day block and continue, one month later, with the next 4-day block. Between each half a of module there will be time to reflect on the knowledge acquired and to work on the assignments of the module’s two subjects. The electives courses will generally be done over just one block, i.e. four days. The EMBA ends with the 3-month keystone project.

What happens between the modules?

You will have the time to reflect on the learning and work on the assignments for the module’s two subjects. USI provides an easy-to-use e-learning platform that enables you to continue exchanging information and knowledge with the faculty and your peers and to complete group work and other assignments between modules.

How much time outside of class will I need to dedicate to coursework?

The time spent studying outside the classroom varies from participant to participant. On the basis of our past student experiences we estimate you should spend the same time you spend in class. An average of 4 days each month in addition to time spent in class.

What is the in-company project?

The project focuses on a business issue of particular relevance to you and/or your organization. Supervised by a faculty member, you integrate theory and practice, and apply the knowledge and tools introduced during the program to real business challenges. It is your opportunity to provide a substantial and tangible benefit to your organization as you apply the latest trends and research in management thinking.

When does the EMBA start?

The EMBA starts with the orientation Weekend Zero, dedicated to introduce the master and some pre-modules activities, in March 2017. The first two courses start in April 2017.

How many days will I need to take out of the office to complete the Executive MBA?

You will need 28 working days and 14 weekends, in total 56 days over 18 months, from April 2017 to June 2018. During the last three months, you will work on your business project therefore on-site presence is not required.

Is it possible to attend the Executive MBA while living outside Switzerland?

Yes. Approximately 30% of EMBA participants live outside Switzerland and commute to Lugano every month for classes.

What level of work experience do I need to have?

You need to be able to demonstrate experience in the management of projects, budgets, processes or people over a sustained period. Students typically have between 5 and 20 years of managerial experience.

Should I hold an undergraduate degree?

Executive MBA students normally have an undergraduate degree from a recognized university. However, we do accept a percentage of non-graduates each year. We would expect such candidates to have alternative professional qualifications and/or outstanding work experience.

Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS?


The TOEFL/IELTS is not required.

Are GMAT scores required?


No, GMAT is not required.

When should I apply?

We operate on a rolling admissions process, which means the sooner you apply, the sooner you receive the admission decision. Since class size is limited, candidates are advised to apply as early as possible. You will receive a final decision within a week of submitting your completed application.

Who should my references be from?

Your references should be from your supervisors, line managers, colleagues, suppliers, clients, someone who can comment directly on your academic or managerial abilities.

Academic transcripts

Candidates are required to submit academic transcripts from their undergraduate or graduate educational institutions. If the original transcripts are not in English, German, French or Italian you must also provide certified translated copies.

When are your information sessions?

Please check on our website’s event session. We also invite you to contact us to schedule a personal visit to the campus.

How do I schedule an interview and attend a class?

Email emba@usi.ch or call + 41 (0) 58 666 4478. Interviews are generally held on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when classes are in session, so you may come beforehand and/or stay afterwards to observe classes, have lunch with students, and get a good picture of what the program entails.

Do you require interviews for admission?

We do require an interview, on-site or by phone. We strongly encourage all applicants to schedule a personal interview and class visit. Spending a day on campus with students may help you understand what you want to say in your application. You don’t have to have a filled application to schedule an interview; we just need your resume.

How can I convince my employer to support me through an Executive MBA?

The USI Executive MBA is focused on creating a win-win situation for both participants and their organizations. By investing in a high-potential employee and sending him/ her to attend the USI EMBA, an organization benefits in the short-term from the up-to-date management knowledge and ready-to-apply skills that the participant brings home after each module. In the medium-term, the company project offers the possibility of a fresh look at current projects or future plans under the supervision of a faculty expert.

For example, a recent student research paper showed how an international organization can save 12-14% on their distribution costs; the research results are currently being implemented by the organization in question. In addition, in the long-term, the organization benefits from the graduate’s energy and drive to secure a solid basis for growth and expansion, his/her enhanced leadership skills, as well as a new network of multi-industry contacts.

Do I need to be financially sponsored by my employer to undertake the program?

You must be sponsored by your organization in terms of time, but you are not required to secure financial support.

What are the tuition fees?

The cost of the Executive MBA is CHF 45000. The program fee is payable in three installments. The first installment of CHF 2000 is due immediately after confirmation of admission to the program. The second and third payments of CHF 21500  are due in May 2017 and May 2018.

Do you have a flexible payment plan?

Self-sponsored students may apply for the option of spreading the payment of their tuition over a period of up to three years at 0% interest.

What do the fees include?

Fees include tuition, all program and project-related fees, course materials, coffee breaks and program lunches. For participants requiring accommodation during the modules, the University has preferred rate agreements with some hotels located near the campus.

Does USI offer any scholarships for the Executive MBA?

For self-funded candidates, under special circumstances USI EMBA offers partial-tuition, merit-based scholarships for top EMBA applicants.

How can I find out more about the Executive MBA if I'm not based in Ticino?

If you are not able to attend on-campus sessions in Lugano, there are several alternatives that allow you to meet and speak with USI EMBA students and alumni. Send an email to emba@usi.ch so that we can match you with a suitable contact. You can email us at emba@usi.ch with any questions about the Executive MBA.

EMBA

USI Università della Svizzera italiana

Via G. Buffi 13
6904 Lugano CH
Tel. +41 (0) 58 666 4478
Fax +41 (0) 58 666 4647
Email emba@usi.ch

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