Executive MBA Student Experience


Watch the video above the hear students discuss the rigor of the EMBA program.

What is the UW Foster Executive MBA Student experience?  Exhausting, exhilarating, challenging, transformational, sleep-deprived, a 21-month marathon, practical, strategic, and so much more.  It is not just taking classes, rather contributing your experiences and insights to the perspectives of classmates and enhancing your workplace by applying what you learned from others in class.  It is an extraordinary opportunity to engage with a diverse, accomplished cohort about real-time business challenges; to travel outside the country to understand global business; and to hear up close from Northwest industry leaders. It is a network of life-long friends.

The EMBA curriculum will challenge and equip you to understand the “language of business.”  A supportive staff will take care of registration, books and class materials, technology to access coursework, help sessions and teammates, along with on-campus parking, class day lunch and snacks!  Your experience will culminate all-too-soon with the capstone Business Plan Competition and graduation.

Fall Residence

The Executive MBA Student experience begins with an intensive 5 day offsite Residence in September. Consider it an academic “boot camp”.

Conducted at Northwest conference centers, the Fall Residence:

  • Provides an opportunity to become immersed in academic classes
  • Features full day classes with Foster School professors and team building activities
  • Allows classmates to become better acquainted

The cost of the Fall Residence is included in program fees (except for travel expenses).

Schedule Options

Following the Fall Residence , students will return to campus for all-day weekly or monthly classes. The program lasts two academic years (21 months). Below is a sample month showing class-days for each option.

Sample EMBA schedule for one month. North america: four consecutive days. Regional: one day per week.

View full year at a glance (2017-2018)

Regional (“weekly”) program

Designed for students who live and work in the Puget Sound area and do not travel frequently for their jobs.

  • Classes meet once per week, alternating Fridays and Saturdays (occasionally, classes are held on two consecutive days, both Friday and Saturday)
  • Study teams meet weekly at a mutually convenient location, often at a team member’s company
  • Help sessions (supplementing the curriculum) are conducted on-campus early evening to reduce work conflicts

North America (“monthly”) program

Designed for students who either live outside of the Puget Sound or travel frequently for work.

  • Classes meet once per month for four consecutive days (Wednesday through Saturday).  Note: the week of each monthly session changes between year 1 and 2
  • Weekly Study team meetings are virtual accommodating student’s home location and travel.
  • Help sessions (supplementing the curriculum) are conducted online one night each week

There are many travel options to Seattle and housing is included in the program fee. View travel and accommodation information.

Typical Class Day

Whether you choose the North America or Regional format, classes are all in-person, enabling active face-to-face interactions. Class days are full quite full (8:15 am to 4:30 pm). Below is an example of a class day.

8:15 a.m. Morning class
(e.g., Financial Accounting)
9:45 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. Catered lunch
12:30 p.m. Presentations
(student or guest speaker)
1:30 p.m. Afternoon Class
(e.g., Creating Effective Organizations
3:00 p.m. Break
4:45 p.m. Classes conclude
5:00 p.m. (Optional) Help Session
(North America)

Study Teams — the Heart of the Executive MBA Program


Watch the video above to hear an EMBA student discuss the diverse perspectives of his Study Team.

Students and alumni often describe their Study Team as one of the most powerful aspects of their EMBA experience. Each EMBA student is assigned to a “Study Team” thoughtfully developed by the EMBA Program’s senior staff to represent a diverse mix of professional backgrounds, industries, and areas of expertise. Study Teams work together throughout the first year of the program. To expand the opportunity to work closely with other members of the class, and reflecting periodic team changes of the real-world, at the end of year one students are assigned to a new team for year two of the program. Our experience is that, very quickly, study teams successfully work together, learn from each other and share the EMBA experience. By the end of the program, many people refer to their study team as being like a “family.”

How Study Teams enrich the Executive MBA Experience

  • Simulate the dynamics of a real management team
  • Expand leadership skills: teammates take turns facilitating Study Team meetings and leading projects
  • Offer new perspectives from peers with different business expertise
  • Create an opportunity to test new business solutions and best practices in your or other member’s organizations

Why Study Teams support collaboration

  • Divide responsibility and share research for projects
  • Manage and negotiate workloads
  • Develop camaraderie, creating life-long professional and personal relationships
  • Take turns facilitating study sessions

Return on Investment

Companies that sponsor students through the Executive MBA Program appreciate the immediate and long-term benefits to their organizations. Sponsoring an Executive MBA not only supports key employees’ personal and professional goals but also enhances their contributions to their organization.

Time away from the office is minimal—generally only two to three weekdays a month—and the ROI is significant.

Graduates of the Executive MBA Program:

  • Become more effective leaders
  • Learn to make better, more insightful business decisions
  • Immediately apply new business models and share their knowledge with colleagues
  • Use their organization as a laboratory for group projects, which often results in valuable new ways of doing business
  • Explore business practices in other companies across a range of industries and geographical areas
  • Develop a network of business connections at other organizations