Apply for an Executive MBA with Cambridge

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The Cambridge Executive MBA and Global Executive MBA are rigorous academic programmes. Applicants must be able to manage the demanding workload

Read these requirements carefully, they contain important information.


Professional experience

Successful applicants to our EMBA programmes are typically established senior executives within their organisation and have management responsibilities (teams, resources, budgets, and/or projects). They have strong leadership potential and clear motivations for applying to an executive programme.

Academic achievement

A minimum of a good 2:1 Bachelor’s Honours degree on the UK grading scale or international equivalent.


If you meet our academic requirement and feel the skills covered by the GMAT/Executive Assessment (EA) can be demonstrated by your work experience, you may complete the GMAT/EA waiver on the application.

GMAT/EA waivers can only be granted by the relevant admissions authority after interview. If your degree does not meet our minimum requirements, you will need to take the GMAT or EA, more details are below.

Two references

A professional and a peer reference.

English proficiency

You must be a national of a List A country, hold a three-year university degree completed in a List A country within the last two years, or have an IELTS or TOEFL score that meets our requirements listed below.

Detailed requirements

Successful applicants to our EMBA programmes are typically established senior executives within their organisation and have management responsibilities (teams, resources, budgets, and/or projects). They have strong leadership potential and clear motivations for applying to an executive programme.

The admissions committee is especially interested in the professional skills you’ve developed during your career, and how an EMBA will accelerate your career development.

EMBA applicants must demonstrate their employment status when applying for one of our EMBA programmes. You are expected to continue working full-time during your programme. This provides opportunities for real-time transfer of learning and sharing experiences with fellow students.

Contractors and consultants are welcome to apply. You will still need to show evidence of your employment as a condition of your offer.

The Cambridge Executive MBA programmes are intellectually demanding 20-month programmes. You must have a good undergraduate degree from a recognised university. As a guide, we require the equivalent of a first-class or good upper-second-class honours in the UK system, or 65% and above for universities who provide percentage grades.

Compare international qualifications

Scanned copies of all your degree transcripts and certificates – both undergraduate and postgraduate where applicable – must be attached to your application. If your transcripts are not in English, you must have these translated and verified by an official source, such as an official translator or the British Council.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Executive Assessment (EA) demonstrates your preparedness for re-entering a rigorous academic environment at Cambridge.

If you did not achieve a first or 2:1 in your undergraduate degree (or similar international qualification), you will need to take the GMAT or EA and submit your score within your application.

All waivers are reviewed by the Admissions Committee and at least one EMBA faculty member at pre-interview and post-interview application reviews. The GMAT is just one factor affecting admissions decisions. A high GMAT score is no guarantee of being offered a place on the programme.

Find out how to apply with a GMAT or EA waiver

You need to ask two referees to complete online reference forms. These should be from your line manager or direct supervisor, and a colleague with whom you work closely. We cannot accept a reference from a relative.

We learn a great deal about your background and potential through letters of reference. Select your referees carefully and tell them how important it is that they provide a comprehensive reference. They should know your strengths and weaknesses well, and be in a position to comment on you objectively.

Fluency in English is a prerequisite for our Executive MBA programmes. It is important that you can read, write, speak and understand English fluently.

Download the EMBA English Language Policy

Are you unsure of your suitability for our programmes? Read our FAQs page, meet us at one of our admissions events, or submit your CV to be reviewed by the EMBA Admissions Team.

Frequently asked questions

Questions about the programme, application process and funding options are answered in our comprehensive FAQ page.

View our FAQs

Submit your CV for review

Have your CV reviewed by the EMBA Admissions Team, who can give you advice as to whether you meet the programme requirements. We aim to get back to you within 10 working days.

Submit your CV for review

Meet us

We host free admissions events around the world. Meeting staff, faculty and alumni at these events is a great way to find out more about the Cambridge EMBA and Global EMBA, and help you decide if one of our programmes are right for you.

Meet us

Watch an in-depth presentation of the Executive MBA programme. Network with alumni, faculty members and other attendees. Discuss the programme with our Admissions Team.

An informal networking event hosted by Executive MBA alumni. Discover more about the programme, modules and cohorts from professionals who have been through it. Pick up tips on getting the most out of the Executive MBA.

An online presentation hosted by the EMBA team, perfect for those unable to attend an event in person. Watch an in-depth presentation on the programme, and message our EMBA Admissions Team with questions in real time.

Find out about the range of programmes offered by Cambridge Judge (including the our EMBA programmes). Watch sample lectures, network with other attendees, alumni and staff and interact with our EMBA Admissions Team.

A member of our Admissions Team would be delighted to arrange a personal meeting or call with you to discuss specific questions about the programme.

Request a one-to-one meeting with the Admissions Team

Sending your application

All applications must be submitted via our online application system. Please ensure all questions, including essays, are completed before you submit the application.

Start or continue your application

We require two professional references. One should come from a line manager or supervisor and the other from a team member or professional peer (work colleague). Automated reference requests will be sent to your referees once you have entered their contact details into our online application system.

We will not consider your application complete until your references have been received. It is your responsibility to ensure they are received on time.

You can ask your referees to send their references before submitting your application. Enter their details into the references section of the application, and an email will be sent to them immediately. Be sure to check your referees have received this email.

Scanned copies of your degree transcripts and certificates (both undergraduate and postgraduate where applicable) must be attached to your application when you apply.

Retrieving transcripts from your academic institutions can take longer than anticipated, as does translating them into English. If your transcripts are not in English, you must have these translated and verified by an official source, like an official translator or the British Council.

What happens next?

Here is an overview of the different stages a candidate will pass through during the complete admissions process. Please thoroughly read through the information in this section before contacting the EMBA Admissions Team with any questions.

In rounds one, two and three, completed applications (including references) will be considered as and when they are submitted. You will receive a decision regarding whether you have been shortlisted for interview within two weeks.

If you are shortlisted you will be offered an interview date within five weeks of first submitting your application. You should hear back from us within a week of your interview letting you know the result.

In rounds four and five, we typically receive a much larger number of applications and the review process will take a little longer. You may not receive a response from us until after the application deadline.

Please note your application must be complete (including the receipt references) before it can be considered..

We regret that, due to the volume of applications we receive, the Admissions Committee is not able to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.

Once we have received your application it will be reviewed by the admissions committee and a decision made regarding whether to invite you to interview.

All candidates will need to provide:

  • Original copies of degree transcripts and certificates (also GMAT and TOEFL or IELTS as applicable)
  • Their passport or another form of photo identification

Interview candidates will usually be contacted within one week of interview to be informed of the Admissions Committee’s final decision. This process may take longer for applications received in the final application round.

If we offer you a place on the Cambridge Executive MBA, we will ask (when you accept that place) for a reservation fee of 15% of the programme fee. We will also need financial guarantees that you can meet the costs of the programme.

If you are offered a place on the Cambridge EMBA, you will be notified by email within a week of your interview. This email will contain details of your offer deadline and a link to your conditional offer and financial information documents.

The conditional offer documents contain the following conditions which must be met before we can convert this to an unconditional offer:

Agree to the terms and conditions of your offer

Review and agree to the terms and conditions of your offer on the EMBA application portal. Additional information regarding the terms and conditions can be read in the accompanying information pack.

Payment of the reservation fee

A reservation fee of £10,000 is required to reserve your place on the Cambridge Executive MBA (2021). This reservation fee is not refundable, as it constitutes a contribution to the various irrecoverable costs that Cambridge Judge Business School incurs once a student decides to accept their offer of admission. Please note that this deposit goes towards your Executive MBA tuition fees.

Evidence of ability to meet costs

Before you can be fully admitted to the Cambridge Executive MBA, we require evidence that you can fund the cost of the programme. You will need to supply evidence, details can be found in your offer.

Letter of employment

You are required to provide a letter from your company, on company letterhead, confirming your job title and salary. This letter should be addressed to the Cambridge Executive MBA Admissions Manager.


You are required to provide an original copy or official duplicate of your transcripts. If these do not confirm your degree award, we will also require the original degree certificate.

Reference checks

Every year, Cambridge Judge Business School carries out reference checks on a sample of offer candidates. These take the form of speaking to one or both of your referees, or a verification check of your academic record.

In some cases, these checks are conducted by a third party on behalf of the School. The Executive MBA Admissions Team will contact you if there is any further information needed in regards to this condition.

Please feel free to contact the Admissions Team at any point during this time with any queries you may have.

If you accept your offer of a place, you should ensure your documentation and funding are in place and that your letter of acceptance, financial guarantee and reservation fee have been received on time.

If you are unable to meet any condition of your offer or wish to request an extension to the offer deadline, inform the Admissions Team as soon as possible.

When you become an Executive MBA student, you also become a member of one of the University’s 31 Colleges.

Once accepted on the programme, the Admissions Manager will send you a list of colleges accepting EMBA participants that year. From these, you submit your top three choices to the Admissions Manager who applies on your behalf.

Each College has its own entrance requirements and membership is at their discretion. College membership is guaranteed to all students of the University of Cambridge.

It is the responsibility of the Executive MBA Admissions team to find College places for students; you should not try to arrange this independently.

Learn more about joining a Cambridge College

You will only officially become a member of the University of Cambridge once your tuition and College fees have been paid and you have become a member of your College.

We operate a staged (rounds-based) admissions process that allows candidates to plan when to submit their application, for the purpose of awarding bursaries.

Cambridge EMBA

We are accepting applications to join our September 2023 cohort.

Round 1

14 Nov 2022

Round 2

22 Jan 2023

Round 3

6 Mar 2023

Round 4

17 Apr 2023

Round 5 (final)

7 June 2023

Global EMBA

We are accepting applications to join our January 2024 cohort

Round 1

7 June 2023

Round 2

8 August 2023

Round 3 (final)

26 September 2023

Apply early

It is advisable to apply as early as possible if you are relying on employer sponsorship, loans, scholarships or bursaries to fund the programme. These can take longer than expected to secure funding.

An early application also gives greater flexibility on interview date and the choice of Colleges to which you can apply for membership.

Applications to the Cambridge EMBA or Global EMBA are interchangeable until final application deadlines, ie if you apply to one programme and later decide you would rather undertake the other programme, you may do so without re-submitting your application.

It is not possible to switch between the two programmes after the final application deadlines.

Are you ready to apply?

Cambridge Executive MBA

Apply to become part of our September 2023 Cambridge EMBA cohort.

Apply now to the Cambridge Executive MBA

Global Executive MBA

Apply to become part of our January 2024 Global EMBA cohort.

Apply now to the Global Executive MBA