Executive MBA FAQs


What is the Xavier Executive MBA program?

Xavier's Executive MBA program (EMBA) provides the opportunity for an experienced business manager or professional to obtain a Masters degree in Business Administration on a schedule that minimizes disruption of career pursuits. By taking classes alternating Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00am-5:00pm through the duration of the program, Executive MBA students complete their degree in 16 months, and gain a wide range of new skills and sharpen their analytical abilities by combining coursework with day-to-day business experiences.

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What's different about an executive MBA program?

In general, most schools offer a variety of formats for students to complete their MBA degree including Full-time, Part-time, and Executive programs and typically the schedule or pace is the biggest difference among programs. Executive MBA programs are the fastest paced programs and can be completed in just over a year to within two years depending on the institution. This can be achieved through a very structured schedule which compromises the flexibility typically associated with Full-time and Part-time programs.

The EMBA program schedule is a major differentiator within the college and within the industry. The EMBA program has purposefully maintained the current course schedule in order to provide a more disciplined study routine and to maximize the power of the personal relationships developed among classmates.

At most schools, executive programs are also the most selective in terms of the quality of candidates accepted and most require at least some managerial experience.

The Xavier Executive MBA program is among the oldest in the nation and we consistently set and/or raise the bar in terms of what defines an "executive MBA" student and program. Xavier EMBA students are among the most experienced in their industry with an average age of 41 and an average of 14 years of management experience. Many of our students are or soon will be Vice Presidents, Presidents, or even C-level executives within their company. In short, candidates considering the EMBA program can expect to join a select group of 25-30 experienced professionals. Other programs may enroll up to 50 or more students into their program each year. At Xavier, the small class size along with the structure of the EMBA program facilitates close interaction with both the faculty and other students. This unique group interaction, maintained throughout the sixteen months, provides invaluable personal growth through shared resources and mutual support.

For more information on the executive MBA industry we encourage you to visit the Executive MBA Council website here.

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Are the courses the same as in traditional MBA programs?

The topics covered in the Executive MBA program will be those taught in traditional MBA studies including organizational theory, accounting, economics, finance, legal environment, statistics, marketing, etc. But the courses take advantage of the fact that EMBA students already know a lot about core business practices. This enables EMBA courses to be specifically structured to teach the most in the least time. Course content is more condensed so that the experienced business professional can spend more time on overall strategy.

The Executive MBA program also focuses extensively on international issues as global business is of ever increasing importance to today's executives. Included in this program is a mandatory study tour to Asia, Europe, Latin America, or Africa.

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Who is eligible for admission?

A very diverse group of people enter and complete the EMBA program. What they share is a sincere desire to succeed in business by obtaining an MBA, and a willingness to work hard towards achieving that goal.

Most students enter the EMBA program after ten or more years of business experience, and hold managerial or executive posts. Others enter after successful careers in professions such as medicine or law.

An undergraduate degree is generally required, though it need not be a degree in business. Coursework in mathematics will be an asset. There are no formal prerequisite classes required to be completed by Executive MBA students.

While these are the qualifications and background of most EMBA students, every year students are admitted lacking some of these things. Perhaps through their career accomplishments, or in a personal interview, they demonstrate an unusual ability or desire that shows they will be successful in the Executive MBA program and a valuable fellow participant in the class.

Prospective students are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), a standardized test of communications, mathematical, and analytical skills. GMAT waivers are available for select candidates. The GMAT does not measure business knowledge, or specific skills such as accounting or economics. It is designed to provide information on whether your fundamental verbal and mathematical abilities will enable you to successfully complete the program. The GMAT should be taken no later than the August before the program commences.

Evaluation of student applicants is based on four criteria: undergraduate college performance, business experience and management experience, GMAT scores, and support and endorsement by the applicant's family and current employer. Prospective students having applicant portfolios which are strongest overall in these categories will be accepted for admission.

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What will the cost be, and who pays it?

The high quality of faculty, facilities, and supporting staff needed to maintain a successful EMBA program mean that the program cannot be inexpensive, yet the cost remains modest in comparison to the benefits it yields.

Unlike many other expenditures, money spent on an MBA is really an investment--an investment in learning, and an investment in a person's career and future. Students find that the cost of their education is usually repaid rapidly by advances in their career once they have an MBA - typically within a year or two for EMBA graduates.

It is important to remember that the total cost for the Executive MBA program is comprehensive. All tuition, books, meals, cost of the international trip and miscellaneous fees are included in the cost. The only additional cost associated with the program is that each student may need to purchase their own international flight from the U.S. to the destination of choice and back which allows frequent flyers to utilize their rewards and benefits while maximizing convenience for the student. Intra-program flights and other travel accommodations are including in the overall cost of the program. Also the EMBA program is completed without career interruption - there is no opportunity cost to the student.

In almost all cases, students are sponsored wholly or in part by their companies, which understand the competitive advantage they gain from having a person whose management skills have been brought to the highest possible level. This sponsorship is not only reflected by time granted to take classes but by financial support in terms of direct payments or tuition reimbursement.

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What are the benefits of the program to the student and the sponsoring firm or organization?

There are many benefits, both obvious and subtle. The most obvious and tangible benefit is the ability to rapidly bring to the individual's organization state-of-the-art techniques and views covering a wide range of business topics; for example, a new database system or a new marketing strategy on Saturday, and then applying it to the real-world on Monday. In addition, the interaction with other mangers as well as faculty will create a breadth of knowledge and instill the confidence required to lead an organization in today's competitive environment. Graduates of the executive MBA program provide sponsoring firms with in-house talent prepared to assume top-level executive positions within the organization. Finally the executive MBA experience is fulfilling to students. We are not just thinking of the strong friendships that are formed, but also the opportunity for significant personal growth.

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Do I receive a different MBA degree?

No. You receive a fully accredited Xavier MBA. The MBA is the recognized standard in management education and the key to success in the business world.

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What kind of commitment is involved?

Success in business demands a substantial and regular commitment of time. It will be no different with the EMBA program. In addition to eight hours of class time you may average 20 hours per week on studying and preparing assignments and projects. This may be achieved on an individual basis or within a small group setting.

Added to the already heavy demands of a business career, the time involved in pursuing an MBA is considerable and will require a high level of motivation and discipline. For this reason, we believe the decision to participate should be a family one. For the next 16 months, leisure and family time will be at a premium. Time management and planning will be of utmost importance.

The burden will be eased by the support of your fellow students and by the assistance of the EMBA support staff who will do everything they can to facilitate your studies.

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What are the characteristics of the typical EMBA cohort?

The characteristic makeup of each cohort can vary significantly, but each is consistently diverse in terms of experience and backgrounds. Students have consisted of small business owners to executives within Fortune 500 companies. Some come from engineering backgrounds with no formal business background, while others have been operating within the business world for forty plus years. As diverse as the groups may be the common characteristic is the desire to succeed and the commitment to change.

In particular, the EMBA program is designed for experienced professionals who have demanding work schedules and who are on track for leadership positions. Because we are so selective for the EMBA program, we guarantee EMBA participants will be surrounded by the most experienced and brightest student peers. In fact, EMBA students have an average of 21 years of work experience, including 14 years of management experience. Additionally, for a program that frequently blends classroom instruction with group projects and real world experience, the value of having a strong cohort and support system distinctive to the EMBA program is immeasurable. The EMBA program is the only program that will offer this unique learning environment. Please note: the above information is for reference only and in no way suggests minimum (or maximum) requirements to enroll in the program.

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What if I need to miss class?

Things happen – especially work commitments that you just can’t get out of. We get it and the faculty that teach in the program get it. While you are required to attend every mandatory class meeting and your final grade may be impacted by missing a class or more, the EMBA program and faculty are flexible enough to make sure you don’t miss out on what’s really important – the information discussed in your absence. There are a number of options available to you if you need to make up work and typically it begins by working with your small group and letting the faculty know as soon as possible. Once you have worked out the details with your team and faculty member, we can assist by recording class sessions and making the recordings immediately available online. We have also had students Skype with their classmates and some faculty may allow you to attend a parallel session on another day or night.

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