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The Executive MBA classroom is energized! Play the video above to hear how student insights and perspectives are brought together, resulting in improved understanding and conclusions.

Challenging and immediately relevant

The 21-month Executive MBA Program is a demanding, integrated, general-management curriculum that emphasizes leadership development and strategic thinking as well as the application of decision-making tools. Ranked #1 in the Northwest, and #16 in the U.S. by The Financial Times, the Foster Executive MBA Program delivered salary increases of 40%, and average salaries of more than $194,000.

Based on UW Graduate School enrollment policy, the EMBA Program is considered a full-time enrollment program (at least 10 credits per term). A total of 68 credits is required.

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Integrated cohort-based curriculum

Current business trends, including globalization are integrated throughout the entire curriculum and within individual courses.

  • First year courses focus on the building blocks of business — accounting, economics, management, statistics and team building
  • Second year courses explore the connections between operations, finance, strategy and leadership, including marketing and entrepreneurship.

The course sequence is designed as a cohort-based model. That is, EMBA classes are completed in a predetermined progression and as a group. There are no electives within the EMBA Program. Grades are based on both individual achievement and study group based assignments.

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Diverse teaching approaches

EMBA students experience a variety of teaching styles that create a challenging and dynamic learning environment. With opportunities for both individual learning and group involvement, students come away with a rich and valuable experience:

  • Classes combine thought-provoking lectures with lively discussions
  • One-on-one interaction with world class faculty
  • Supportive, motivating study teams
  • Case studies link theory with real-time challenges and current business practices
  • Students use their own organizations as laboratories and bring the results to class for further discussion and analysis, a valuable return on investment for sponsoring companies.
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International Immersion

EMBA students in Vietnam
Successful business executives must intimately understand the challenges posed by today’s competitive global environment. To provide first-hand knowledge about business practices, as well as the impact of legal, political, historical and economic issues on business in different countries, the Executive MBA curriculum includes a required International Immersion for second-year students.

  • Occurs early-September of 2nd year; 8-10 days
  • Two academic credits awarded (EMBA 590)
  • Most on-the-ground expenses included except travel costs to and from the Immersion site(s)
  • 2 – 3 trips offered; students (groups up to 30) travel with faculty and staff.

Since the inaugural trip to Seoul, South Korea in 2001, EMBA International Immersions have spanned the globe. Recent immersions have offered students interesting choices:

  • (2023) Bangalore and Mumbai, India or Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • (2022) Berlin or Munich, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic or Barcelona, Spain
  • (2021 – virtual) Mumbai and Bangalore, India and Bucharest, Romania and Zagreb, Croatia
  • (2019) Bangkok, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
  • (2018) Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia; Tallinn, Estonia and Amsterdam, the Netherlands; or Panama City, Panama and Lima, Peru;
  • (2017) Athens, Greece and Frankfurt, Germany; Bangkok, Thailand and Hong Kong; or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Taipei, Taiwan;
  • (2016) Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam or Warsaw, Poland and Munich, Germany;
  • (2015) Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru; Shanghai and Chengdu, China or Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Learn from Northwest business leaders

Bill Ayer in the EMBA classroom
The Foster School enjoys a long-standing, collaborative relationship with myriad pacific northwest organizations and their leaders. In addition to Foster school wide speaker interaction opportunities, Executive MBA students appreciate the opportunity to hear from and speak with prominent leaders in the intimate classroom environment in individual classes as well as throughout their second year Corporate Governance class.

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EMBA Business Plan Competition: The Capstone

The EMBA Business Plan Competition is the capstone experience for second-year EMBA students. The competition is designed to promote student ideas and venture creation by providing a forum in which students can present new business concepts to local venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and investors. EMBA students create an original business plan and compete in a one-day competition just prior to graduation.

In preparation for the competition, guest speakers including venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and program alumni meet with students to guide them through effective competition planning strategies. Topics include executive summary development, management team skill, market opportunity, competitive strategy, go to market strategy, traction, and the financials. Past winning plans have gone on to launch new small businesses.

For some students, the competition is more than an academic and emotional peak experience. A few of the business plans presented here will one day turn into real businesses.  Whether they build new companies based on their plans or integrate their new knowledge and skills into their careers in other ways, the competition instills confidence in student’s ability to apply what they’ve learned in the EMBA Program.

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EMBA guide

Download EMBA GuideFind out if an Executive MBA is right for you. Download the guide.