Executive MBA Admissions

Our admissions criteria aim at securing the highest caliber of participants. There is no one 'ideal' profile of an IMD Executive MBA candidate since we strive for diversity in the class. The program is designed for individuals age 35 and up with at least 10 years of business experience, strong management experience, consistent career progression and outstanding leadership potential.

Our 2017 class profile is average age 40 with 16 years of business experience, representing 36 nationalities and 40 industries across two cohorts of 55 - 60 participants each.

See the 2017 class profile

If you are age 28-35 with 5-10 years of business experience and are aiming for the EMBA, then apply via IMD's Building on talent (BOT) instead of Foundations for Business Leadership. Alumni of the BOT program apply BOT learning and develop their career for a minimum of 2 years before continuing into the EMBA if all admissions criteria are met.

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Admission is based on 6 main criteria:

Professional achievement

Career progression, with a strong preference for international experience and responsibility. We look at how your responsibility has increased, the breadth and depth of the knowledge you have acquired in the workplace, and the impact you have made on your organization.

Leadership potential

Are you an effective leader? Do you have what it takes to become one? We look for vision, courage, initiative, maturity, curiosity and self-confidence.

Intellectual ability

Undergraduate university degree or equivalent. The GMAT or other aptitude tests are not required for admissions. Entry into the Mastery Stage of the program is dependent on the assessment taking place at the end of Advanced Management Concepts.

International outlook

In order to maintain the highly international outlook of the IMD Executive MBA program, we look for candidates with cultural sensitivity, time spent living or working outside own country, international scope of career, and/or knowledge of foreign languages.

English language proficiency

English is the language of instruction. You must have a strong command of both written and spoken English.

Support of your company

The IMD Executive MBA program requires a serious commitment from you and your sponsoring organization, which must be willing to become a "laboratory" for your learning. The financial support of your organization is a matter to be resolved between you and your company.

Get started with your application

The IMD Executive MBA program has several starting dates each year. As competition is high for places in the program, we recommend that you start the application process as soon as you and your company are sure of your decision.

Your application should include:

  • Completed and signed application form
  • One sponsor's letter of recommendation
  • Two general letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript/s from university degree
  • Application fee (CHF 200)

When should I apply?

As soon as we receive applications, we review them and make acceptance decisions. This means that the class can fill up even several months in advance of the date it actually starts. We, therefore, recommend that you apply early. Typically, we respond to all applicants within 3 weeks.

What type of letters of recommendation do I need?

We ask for three letters of recommendation, written in English. One letter should come from your sponsor, while the other two should come from individuals qualified to comment on your professional achievements and your career potential. The sponsor's letter should be completed and signed by an executive who personally knows you and is familiar with the company's future plans for you.

One of our key criteria in deciding whether to accept someone to the Executive MBA program is whether they will be able to contribute to the learning of everyone else in the class. The letters of recommendation give us an extra assessment of your overall personality, your business achievements, and your leadership capabilities, and as such are a critical part of the application. All information provided in the recommendation letter will be kept strictly confidential.

Will I go through an interview? Can I come and meet your team and visit your campus?

Candidates may be asked to come to IMD for an interview or to take part in a telephone or virtual interview. If an interview is required, you will be notified after we review your completed application. The Admissions Committee will conduct your interview and will make a final decision afterward.

Even if you do not have an interview at IMD, we encourage you to visit to learn more about the school and the Executive MBA program. We endeavor to provide campus tours, and classroom visits whenever feasible, and can certainly arrange a meeting with either the program director or the program manager. You are welcome to visit at any time in the process.

In fact, we often recommend that you come and see us before you submit your application. That can help you decide if the school and the program are right for you, and it can help us determine together if you are likely to be right for the program. We believe it's a good idea to do this before you've done your negotiations with your company.

When do I need to pay?

Please pay the program fee within 30 days of the invoice date and no later than the commencement of the program. If you register within 1 month of the start of the program, you must settle the invoice immediately without exception. Payment can be made by bank transfer or credit card.

What happens in the last few weeks before the program start?

Up to six weeks before the program start date, a Program Coordinator will contact you with information on hotels and pre-program preparation. Please note that IMD reserves enough rooms for each participant on the program. If accepted, you understand that you must be completely free of professional duties while attending this program and that you must attend all scheduled sessions and activities.

Overview of tuition fees, living and travel expenses, and financial aid

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Cancellation & transfer policy

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