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The Wisconsin Executive MBA Program is a 20-month, part-time program completed over two academic years. Please refer to the detailed academic calendar for specific dates when the program meets.
The program takes 20 months to complete. Due to the lockstep nature of the program, the program cannot be accelerated. Students begin the program together as a cohort and graduate together.
Class sessions are typically held for two full days, Friday and Saturday, every other week. There are no classes in the summer. Each August, students participate in an immersion week (six consecutive days the first year and five the second year) to launch the academic year.
The program runs from late August through mid-May. The second year includes a 10-day trip to a destination country or countries in spring, as part of the global learning experience. View the detailed academic calendar for more information.
The Wisconsin Executive MBA Program begins with a week-long orientation in late August, followed by the start of classes in September. View the detailed academic calendar for more information.
Parking permits are provided to Executive MBA students for designated class days and times, and for use at the Fluno Center. Parking is available in the underground lot at Grainger Hall, home of the Wisconsin School of Business.
When possible, the Executive MBA Program Office will facilitate conversations and introductions for students who wish to carpool to campus from locations outside of the Madison area.
Wisconsin Executive MBA students who need overnight accommodations can stay at the Fluno Center at discounted rates on specified class nights. A 45-day advance reservation is required. Accommodations for the first year of immersion week are reserved by the program staff, as it is a requirement that all first-year students stay at the Fluno Center during the six-day immersion week. The Fluno Center is located on campus, a short walk from Grainger Hall.
Yes. Members of the program staff are on hand during class sessions. With offices located near your classroom, the staff is available to answer questions and support your educational experience. The program staff also joins Executive MBA students for orientation and special events, including the M. Keith Weikel Executive Leadership Speaker Series.
Customized career coaching is available to Executive MBA students; these services can be helpful whether you are planning to advance within your current organization, seek an external position, or work on your lifelong career plan. Our confidential, one-on-one services are designed to complement your MBA education. Services offered include career planning and visioning, personal marketing, networking, job search or promotion strategies, and compensation negotiation. Students also have access to career resources, including online webinars, a career resource guide, career-focused workshops with visiting business leaders, and more.
Preparatory materials to enhance math skills will be sent to enrolled students prior to immersion week. A math review will be held during immersion week in August. Tutoring sessions are also available to students as needed, and you are encouraged to visit faculty during office hours to ask for assistance with specific courses.
The Wisconsin Executive MBA program cohort size is 44 students.
Wisconsin Executive MBA students represent many major corporations, as well as smaller firms, government entities, and nonprofit organizations. A typical cohort includes upper managers, middle managers, C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals such as lawyers and physicians. Diverse academic backgrounds and industries are represented, including engineering, science and technology, education, the arts and humanities, and business and economics. For more information, view our Class Profile.
Networking across classes and across the Wisconsin MBA programs is highly encouraged. Within the Executive MBA Program, the two cohorts come together for lunches on class days, career mixers, intercession networking workshops, student advisory board meetings, and more. Entering students may choose to participate in our peer advising program, which connects first-year students with second-year students.
All MBA students at the Wisconsin School of Business have the opportunity to interact with each other, alumni, and business leaders at the M. Keith Weikel Executive Leadership Speaker Series and other events. In addition, MBA students meet informally for get-togethers at Smitty’s Study Pub, located at the nearby Fluno Center, and other locations on or near campus.
The average completion rate for the Wisconsin Executive MBA Program is 97 percent. We work hard to ensure that our students are well prepared for the challenges of the program and committed to all aspects of their educational experience. Throughout the admissions process, we offer opportunities to learn more about the program by attending an information session, visiting a class, participating in online chat sessions, meeting one on one with an admissions professional, and more.
There are approximately 48 credits included. This credit count may shift as the curriculum is adapted from year to year.
In our lockstep program, you will be part of a cohort that progresses through the curriculum together. Courses are taken in a structured sequence that delivers cross-functional preparation for business management. The lockstep, cohort-based format enriches the overall experience by facilitating team-based learning and substantive class discussions. Many of our students and alumni comment that the lockstep format allowed them to form deep and lasting friendships and connections.
No credit transfers or course waivers based on past educational or professional experience are permitted. Due to the lockstep delivery of the curriculum and the importance placed on learning as a cohort, students are required to follow the prescribed curriculum and complete all courses.
No. The Wisconsin Executive MBA Program focuses on preparation for strategic management. All students learn as a cohort, progressing through the curriculum together.
Deviation from the standard course sequence is not permitted; however, if special circumstances arise, students are encouraged to speak with the director of Academic Resources and Student Affairs.
Students who need to put their Wisconsin MBA studies on hold may need to reapply to the program in order to finish their degree.
It is campus policy that students cannot be enrolled at another institution and the University of Wisconsin–Madison simultaneously. Individuals with multiple interests may consider pursuing a graduate certificate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in tandem with the Executive MBA Program; however, due to the rigorous nature of the Executive MBA Program, engaging in additional studies may be challenging. The director of Academic Resources and Student Affairs would be happy to provide recommendations based on your interests and goals.
In addition to the Executive MBA Program, the Wisconsin School of Business also offers a Full-Time MBA Program and a Professional MBA Program. The Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program combines deep immersion in a career specialization with a strong foundation in general management. The Wisconsin Professional MBA is a part-time program that offers flexibility and customization; students can take between two and five years to complete the program and choose which areas they would like to focus on, earning badges for the skills they develop.
The degree earned is an MBA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison; this is consistent across all MBA programs at the Wisconsin School of Business. Our career coaches advise that students and alumni simply note “Master of Business Administration” on their résumés.
You are expected to attend all classes. Of course, occasional absences due to illness, unexpected occurrences, or major life events are accommodated. In cases where numerous absences are simply unavoidable, program staff will work with you to determine whether withdrawal from the program is in your best interest.
All students are expected to participate in the global learning experience, which features a 10-day trip to a destination abroad. Any students with serious concerns about fulfilling the global learning experience requirement should notify the director of Academic Resources and Student Affairs as early as possible.
If your current position requires travel, the Wisconsin Executive MBA Program may still work for you. Students are generally successful in the program under the following conditions:
Please view the detailed academic calendar to assess whether your work travel and other commitments will allow you to attend all required classes, orientation, and the international trip.
Students who travel frequently for business or have other concerns about attendance are encouraged to contact the admissions staff to evaluate their situation.
The program does not offer online or remote classes. In order to enhance the experience of learning as a cohort and part of an engaged community, all classes are held at Grainger Hall, home of the Wisconsin School of Business, on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.
The global learning experience is a required component of the Wisconsin Executive MBA Program. Students take a 10-day trip to a destination abroad in spring of the second year of the program.
In the spring semester of the second year, students participate in a global business course that leads up to the global learning experience. Students can then apply what they’ve learned to a culturally rich, global business environment when they participate in the 10-day, in-country trip in the spring. Upon returning from the global learning experience, students participate in a class briefing designed to maximize the learning that comes out of this experience.
The global learning experience often begins with a visit to the American Chamber of Commerce for an on-the-ground perspective into the local economy and the business environment for U.S. companies. By participating in meetings with senior leaders of multinational and domestic businesses, trade groups, and government ministries—as well as expatriates and UW–Madison alumni—students are exposed to the complexities and opportunities of doing business in the destination country.
In pre-departure classes, students collaborate with their teams to research and analyze companies or sectors for the in-country site visits. Each global learning experience is unique, fostering a deep understanding of the economic, business, political, legal, and cultural landscape of a particular country.
Past global learning experiences have taken Wisconsin Executive MBA students to Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Students within the same cohort travel to the same destination for their global learning experience. This provides a rich opportunity for students to explore global business preparedness as a cohort.
First-year Wisconsin Executive MBA students learn their global learning experience destination during immersion week, which is held in late August.
The majority of the cost of the global learning experience is included in your Wisconsin Executive MBA Program fees. Students are responsible for a few meals that are not included in the program. Allowing for some independent meals gives students the flexibility to explore the destination cities independently or in small groups. Students are also responsible for miscellaneous personal expenses and visits to any cultural attractions that are not included in the formal program.
No. Refunds are not given if you are unable to participate in the global learning experience.
Any students with serious concerns about fulfilling the global learning experience requirement should notify the director of Academic Resource and Student Affairs as early as possible.
Preparation for the global learning experience begins early in the second year of the program, with experienced staff guiding students through all operations and logistics, including passport and visa requirements, group travel, health insurance, and more. As your travel dates approach, you will participate in classes specific to your destination country or countries and engage in a team project identified by your faculty member.
Visa requirements vary by country and can change at any time. Early in the program, staff will inform you of any visa requirements as well as the process for applying for a visa. Visa costs, if applicable, are included in your program fees.
Group air travel contracts are negotiated annually. Program staff strive for contracts that allow students the flexibility to extend travel beyond the formal global learning experience dates, should they wish to do so. Students learn details related to travel deviations during the winter intersession of the second year of the program.
In order to maximize learning outcomes and facilitate networking among the entire class, family or friends may not accompany students during the formal global learning experience dates. However, family or friends may join students who choose to extend their stay.
Yes. Typically, the faculty member teaching your international business course travels to your global learning experience destination and participates in all meetings and organizational site visits.
As an incoming student, you will receive a 2-in-1 tablet computer that provides access to all reference materials needed for the program, including case studies, program schedules, class directories, and textbooks. You can also use this tablet to collaborate with team members, classmates, and faculty in real time. Access to the Internet allows connections for both personal and professional use, and ownership of the computer remains with you. The portability and convenience of having everything you need for participation in the program contributes to efficient time management.
As an incoming student, you will be provided with a 2-in-1 tablet computer that should meet all your portable computing needs while you are on campus and attending classes or working on group projects. You can also use this tablet to connect to the Internet for personal and professional use during breaks. Ownership of the tablet remains with you.
Many students find that they do not need to carry an additional personal computer. However, if you do wish to use another personal computer on campus, you can review the technology requirements and recommendations from the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
The program staff will be available to assist you during class hours and can connect you with a technology specialist. If you have technology questions at other times, you may contact the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison directly by phone, email, or chat.
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