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FAQs about the Executive MBA

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

In light of the ongoing global travel and quarantine restrictions, Michaelmas Term (September-December) will be online for the EMBA 2020 cohort. This will include synchronous teaching. We are an international community and will continue to be one so, to ensure minimum disruption to participants’ personal and professional plans, we are adapting the early stages of the programme around the travel and quarantine restrictions in place.

We are now creatively and innovatively planning these early months to ensure our participants have the best possible experience. We look forward to physically welcoming the 2020 cohort to the School as soon as we can, and hope this will be early in 2021, once travel and quarantine restrictions have eased.

For more general admissions questions you may have in light of the ongoing global pandemic, please view our admissions FAQs.

What is the duration of the programme?
The Cambridge Executive MBA programme lasts for 20 months on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition to weekend sessions, there is an Orientation Week in early September, a 10 day International Business Trip, a week-long Group Project and an Electives Week. Find out more

When does the programme start?
The Cambridge Executive MBA programme starts in September each year. We do not have a January intake.

Can you send me a prospectus?
Register your interest in the programme via the EMBA homepage and you’ll receive access to the online brochure.

How can I be sure that the Cambridge Executive MBA qualification is recognised by the business community?
The Cambridge Executive MBA programme leads to the same Cambridge University degree qualification as the full-time MBA programme. In addition, the programme is also accredited by EQUIS, an independent auditor who assesses the quality of MBA programmes around the world.

How many hours a week of study is required?
A minimum of 15 hours’ study a week is recommended. You will be fully supported through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

What specialisations do you offer?
The Executive MBA is a general management programme. However, you can tailor the programme to meet your own needs and employment aims post-EMBA through two electives and two major projects. From this you can gain all the basic general management skills, before specialising in areas of management important for your current and future goals. We do, of course, have recognised strengths in entrepreneurship, innovation and technological development.

Do I have to find host companies for my consulting projects?
We have a member of the programme team who can help you find a suitable project. However, most Executive MBA participants like to find their own Team Consulting Project, as this allows them to work on something they’re passionate about or have an interest in. Projects can be located anywhere in the world and there are no restriction on who you can do your project for; some participants choose to do their project within their own organisations. For your Individual project (IP) we expect you to work with your own organisation.

What is the structure of the International Business Trip?
International Business is a key module of the Cambridge MBA programme. For the Executive MBA this course will be taught ‘in situ’, so you will travel with faculty, take your courses abroad and visit a series of organisations and industries. The exact location is carefully selected based on current economic situations around the world and the relevance of that location to the current Executive MBA class.

How are EMBA participants assessed?
Programme modules are mainly assessed through written assignments; in addition to this, there are four modules in three exam slots. To ensure maximum benefit, you will be asked to focus on your own organisation and apply your new-found knowledge to existing challenges.

Does Cambridge Judge hold any other business lectures or networking events?
A huge range of business-related talks, symposia and events take place every week in Cambridge, and as an EMBA student you are more than welcome to join them. The best way to find out what’s going on is to log into your Virtual Learning Environment and check your mail for School and College news. Event information can also be found on the School’s events page.

Do you have a staged application process?
Yes. All our application deadlines can be found on our Apply page.

Can I be considered for both the Executive MBA and the full-time MBA?
You can, but you should be aware that these programmes are intended for two very distinct groups of candidates. Executive MBA students must be fully employed during the period of their programme, while full-time MBA participants need to devote all their energies to that programme, which is taught over fewer months in a more concentrated format. The admissions processes are entirely distinct, so two separate and complete applications would have to be submitted. Read “Differences between the Cambridge EMBA and MBA”

Do you require work experience?
Yes. Applicants can only be considered if they meet the requirement of a minimum of seven years’ post-graduation work experience. We anticipate that successful candidates will have closer to 10 years’ experience.

Do part-time jobs count towards the minimum work experience requirements?
In most cases no; for example, if you are applying for 2020 entry you must expect to have at least seven years of full-time, post-graduation work experience by 31 August 2020. However, please tell us if there are extenuating circumstances which mean that you have only been able to work part-time or on temporary contracts.

Do undergraduate internships count towards the minimum work experience requirement?
No; all work experience must be post-graduation.

Do I need management experience to qualify for the programme?
Management experience or related qualifications and goals will be important for candidates who are successful in joining the programme. We would expect candidates to have experience in managing both projects and people.

Is there an application fee?
A non-refundable application fee of £150 will be charged when you submit your application for the September 2020 class.

Do you offer any application fee waivers?
We offer an application fee waiver for candidates from countries receiving overseas development aid. If you would like to request an application fee waiver, please contact the Admissions Team before submitting your application.

I have my own company. How do I choose my referees?
You can ask a client, supplier or professional adviser to act as your referee.

Will you consider my application if I do not have a degree?
No. Applicants are required to have an undergraduate degree of a First or 2:1, which is the equivalent of a GPA of at least 3.5. Potential candidates who hold a senior position but did not achieve a First or 2:1 in their undergraduate degree, will need to take the GMAT or Executive Assessment (EA) in order for their application to be considered. Visit the Apply page to view our admissions requirements. Our programme is intellectually demanding and the training received at the undergraduate level is considered appropriate preparation for masters’ level academic study. 

Can I submit further documents after I have submitted my application?
Your application will only be considered complete once all the items on the application checklist have been received.

If you have forgotten to submit an item as part of your application, documents can be emailed to the Executive MBA Admissions Team.

Is the GMAT/EA compulsory?
The GMAT or Executive Assessment demonstrates your preparedness for re-entering an academic environment. By taking the test you are helping the Admissions Committee make an informed decision about your current academic ability to undertake the programme. If you feel that the skills covered by the GMAT/EA can be demonstrated by your academic achievements and work experience then you may complete the GMAT waiver on the application. GMAT/EA waivers can only be granted by the Programme Director after interview. If you did not achieve a First or 2:1 in your undergraduate degree, but hold a senior professional position, you will need to take the GMAT or Executive Assessment (EA) and submit your score within your application for it to be considered.

Do I have to take the GMAT before applying?
If you feel you can demonstrate the skills shown in a GMAT by your academic achievements and work experience, then you may request a GMAT waiver and do not need to sit the GMAT prior to applying for the programme.

Find out more about the GMAT/EA waiver

What GMAT/EA score do I need to qualify?
We do not specify a minimum GMAT or EA score – these are just two of the many criteria we consider in the selection process. However, the average GMAT score of last year’s full-time MBA class is 690, and we look for balanced scores between the verbal, quantitative and analytical writing sections of the test. As a guide, we would expect a minimum score of 153 for the Executive Assessment.    

I have more than one GMAT/EA score, which one will you consider?
If you have taken the GMAT/EA more than once, please report your two best scores.

Do I have to take an English language proficiency test?
Fluency in English is a pre-requisite for the Executive MBA. If English is not your first language, you must have a University degree that was completed in English, or an IELTS, TOEFL, CAE or CPE score that meets our requirements. We may, at our discretion, waive this requirement if you can provide clear evidence that your English is fluent (e.g. you have mainly been educated in English and your principal working language is English).

How do my extracurricular activities strengthen my application?
Your suitability for the programme is likely to be enhanced by demonstrable evidence of participation in your community or extracurricular activities that demonstrate your capability for strong communication and teamworking skills.

Do you have an upper age limit?

How do I know that you have received my application and references?
When you submit your application online you will receive an email to acknowledge that it has been sent to the Admissions Team. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that all supporting documents and references are received by the application deadline you select.

When will I hear if my application has been successful?
Approximately one week after each application deadline, we will send you an email notification as to the status of your application.

Can I appeal if I am unsuccessful?
The Admissions Office cannot give reasons for not offering admission, nor advise you how to improve your application. However, an admissions appeal can be made if you believe that there has been an administrative error, or if you believe you have been treated unfairly because of bias or prejudice, or if there are circumstances unknown to Cambridge Judge Business School that might have affected the decision.

What happens after the interview?
We usually notify applicants if they have been successful within one week of the interview.

What is the relationship between Executive MBA students and the Cambridge colleges?
Every Cambridge student becomes a member of a college, including Executive MBA participants. Your college formally welcomes you to the University through a ‘matriculation’ ceremony, and you will remain a college member for life. As such you may be entitled to book guest rooms and use a College’s dining and bar facilities, internet and computer resources and library. The School is working closely with colleges to ensure that you benefit from college activities and networking opportunities even when away from Cambridge. Find out more about the collegiate system and access individual college websites

Which college am I likely to join?
As soon as a conditional offer of an Executive MBA place has been made candidates will be considered for a college place. The admissions team works closely with colleges to secure places for EMBA students, but you should be aware that some colleges are more supportive of MBA students than others. Due to the nature of the Cambridge system, college allocation can take some weeks; we ask for your patience during this period. If you have a particular connection with a college, for example as an alumni, please do let us know.

I’m already a member of the University; can I be enrolled at my old college?
If you are a Cambridge alumnus/a, we will make every effort to enable you to rejoin your College during your Executive MBA studies, should you wish to.

Do I need a visa to visit/study at Cambridge?
All nationals from outside the UK and Ireland can be supported in entering the UK to attend the residential sessions for the programme as a visitor. Visit the University’s short period of study visa webpage for more information. Please note the Executive MBA programme is not eligible to be sponsored for a student visa.

What is the cost of the Executive MBA programme?
The fees for September 2020 are £69,200. Find out more

Is there a fee to apply?
A non-refundable application fee of £150 will be charged and can be paid as part of your online submission.

If I am successful in applying, is there a reservation fee?
If you wish to accept a conditional offer that has been made, you are expected to pay a 15 per cent reservation fee to secure your place on the programme.

Are the fees different for overseas students?
No, fees for all Executive MBA students are the same.

What forms of financial support exist?
Visit the Funding section for details of corporate support, bursaries and loans.

How do I get to Cambridge, and where can I find Cambridge Judge Business School?
The School’s Contact Us page includes information on how to reach us by road, train or plane, including a map of our location within the city of Cambridge.

Do you hold events outside of Cambridge?
Yes; we have scheduled regular information sessions and networking events around the world. Find out more

How can I contact the Executive MBA Admissions Team?
Please email us at [email protected].