These are some of the most common questions about Global Executive MBA program.
  • 1. How is the Program structured?

    The program is modular, offering a balanced combination of on & off campus learning and thus ensuring minimal disruption to your professional life while providing the community structure, support and immersion of a fully residential MBA. Both formats have the following components:

    • Pre-Module: home based study taking place before the residential session. The goal of Pre-module learning is to ensure that all participants have at least a passing familiarity with concepts to be discussed during the Residential Session.
    • Residential Session: intensive learning in a classroom environment. The residential sessions are predominantly case-based, but also include lectures, guest speakers, company visits and activities. There are on average 4 classes per day in the Residential Sessions.
    • Distributed Learning: home-based study building on the classes, visits and discussions of the Residential Sessions. Participants connect via a technological platform called the Global Campus to discuss cases, take tests and exams, submit projects and work with their teams. The time commitment is approximately 15 - 20 hours of study time per week.
  • 2. What role do Teams play in the Global EMBA?

    The team experience is central to the program in that participants will work through assignments and cases within their team, talking about, clarifying and analyzing before discussing with the rest of the class. Team discussions will take place in person during residential sessions, and virtually during the Distributed Learning portions of the program.

    You will be placed in a team of between 5 and 7 people. These teams are carefully arranged to ensure cultural, functional and industrial diversity, which team members can draw upon.

    In addition to your work within your own team, you will also have the chance to interact with other teams and other classmates individually, as you tackle a variety of projects and assignments together. Everything is designed to facilitate a stimulating exchange of best practices and viewpoints from high-caliber professionals and faculty.

  • 3. What Qualities Do We Look For in an Applicant?

    To apply for the Global Executive MBA, you must fulfill the following requirements:

    • Minimum of 10 years’ work experience, with relevant managerial experience
    • An accredited university degree or its equivalent (in exceptional cases, demonstrated professional competence will suffice)
    • Proficiency in written and spoken English
    • Steady career progression
    • Solid analytical skills
    • Ambition and drive
  • 4. I Fulfill All Those Criteria. Should I Go Ahead and Apply?
    We believe this is a useful exercise, because it helps us to clarify your needs and enables you to find the best program to match your profile. Our Admissions Mentors will then be able to guide you through the entire admissions process.
  • 5. How Long Does the Admissions Process Take?
    The admissions process, once all the required documents are submitted, takes an average of 3 weeks. However, we recommend that candidates start the process as early as possible. It may take a while to collect all the supplementary documents required to back up your application and to move forward to your program interview. Moreover, company support, scholarships and financing arrangements may take time.
  • 6. How Do I Apply?
    A written application must be completed on-line by clicking "Apply Online" on the right hand side of this page. As part of this application, you will need to include an up-to-date CV and write 4 essays (plus 1 optional). By registering a personal username and password, you will be able to return to your own personal application form on-line and complete it over a period of time, at your leisure. Your on-line application will not be reviewed by IESE until it has been completed and submitted.
  • 7. How Long Should the Essays Be?
    Essays have a 300 word limit, with one exception at 500 words. The essays should be concise and well thought out, speaking directly to the question at hand. We are interested in learning more about who you are both personally and professionally, allowing us to have an idea of what contribution you would make to the class and the IESE community.
  • 8. How Much Does it Cost to Submit an Application?
    A US$ 130 non-refundable application fee is payable upon submission of the on-line application form.
  • 9. What Else Is Required?

    The following supplementary documents must be submitted prior to the interview:

    • 2 Letters of Recommendation. These can be submitted with the on-line application. However, for your convenience, we can send you a separate Letter of Recommendation form, on request. This is a Word document, which can be forwarded to your referees immediately, for easy completion. Upon completion, the Letter of Recommendation form should be sent directly to the IESE Global Executive MBA Admissions Department. The contents of your recommendation letters will remain confidential.

      The letters of recommendation are an important tool for us to know about your professional development and capabilities at work. For this reason, the first letter of recommendation should come directly from your employer (or supervisor). The second letter of recommendation can be obtained from someone else who has worked with you (it can be a client) and who is able to testify to your professional capabilities and development in a working environment. We cannot accept letters of recommendation from friends, acquaintances or relatives.

    • University Transcripts. University transcripts should be sent to us in an envelope sealed by the university. Transcripts should reflect course work, results and degree awarded. Certified translations are required for transcripts in a language other than English. If a transcript is unobtainable, a notarized copy can be sent.
    • Letter of Company Support. Your employer should indicate that it understands the time commitment and travel necessary to complete the program. Your company should also indicate whether it is prepared to provide some financial support in order for you to take on the program; if such sponsorship details are not finalized at the time of submission of the letter of company support, these can be provided later.

      While the letter of company support is not essential before your admissions interview, it must be submitted at least a month before the beginning of the program, in order for you to be able to receive your pre-module materials and start the program. We can provide you with a sample letter of company support upon request.

    • 1 Digital Photograph or 1 Passport-sized Photograph
    • GMAT. The Admissions Committee considers a number of criteria when making the decision to admit a participant to the program, with the GMAT being just one of these. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) measures language, quantitative and writing skills. It provides an independent and objective measure of your skill level to help us assess whether you have the basic ability to keep up with the rigors of the program. For information on where to take the GMAT, visit: The GMAT is waived if a candidate has more than 15 years of experience, however, in exceptional cases, the Admissions Committee might still request it.
    • English Language Test. Fluency in written and spoken English is an absolute necessity; therefore an English language test is required for all candidates who are not native English speakers. The requirement may be waived for those with a minimum of 2 years professional experience in an English-speaking country. We accept the following English proficiency tests:
      • TOEFL: Minimum score of 100 on the internet-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, or 600 on the paper-based test (more information:
      • TOEIC: Minimum score of 950 (more information: Cambridge Certificate or proficiency in English: Level A or B (more information:
    • Please speak with your Admissions Mentor about the advisability of requesting an English Language Test waiver.

  • 10. How Does the Admissions Interview Work?
    Once your application file is complete, the Admissions Committee will invite short-listed candidates to a personal interview. The interview usually lasts about 1 hour. It is an opportunity for you to share additional information about yourself and your experiences beyond what is covered in the written application, as well as for you to clarify any questions you may have about the program. Interviews are conducted in person with an IESE representative or a faculty member. In addition to our Barcelona and Madrid campuses, we are able to accommodate many interview requests coinciding with residential modules, Open Days, MBA fairs and other events which are organized on a regular basis all over the world.
  • 11. I Need Support from IESE in Securing Sponsorship from My Company. Can IESE Help?
    We can work with you to prepare a tailored proposal to your employer for sponsorship of the Global Executive MBA. In addition, we can help present the program to your employer.
  • 12. Is a University Degree Required?
    Yes, a university degree is required for the program.
  • 13. What Exactly Are the Distributed Learning Technologies Used?

    Our IT team will provide support so that your laptop is fully compatible with the Distance Learning requirements. Technological features include: application-sharing software; asynchronous group discussion software; electronic bulletin boards; IESE CD-ROM multimedia courseware; Internet-based data search engines; real-time chat; streaming audio; web browser; e-mail; computer-based video conferencing; streaming video; and voice-over network synchronous discussions.

    Participants are responsible for their own internet access while they are physically away from the campus.

  • 14. What if I Am Unable to Attend One of the Residential Sessions?

    Admission to the program requires the letter of company support, as well as your own personal willingness to commit yourself fully to the program. Therefore, all modules are compulsory and must be attended. Under no circumstances would job commitments, nor personal situations that are not truly exceptional, be accepted as sufficient grounds for absence.

    If you needed to miss an individual class, this would have to be pre-arranged with the professor and a member of the program management team. Should circumstances force you to miss a residential session, you may discuss with the program management team the possibility of deferral to the following year.

  • 15. How Much Time Should I Expect to Dedicate to the Program Between Residential Sessions?
    During the distributed learning sessions, expect to dedicate around 15 - 20 hours per week to the virtual classroom and team-based projects. This section of the module is a continuation of the residential session, and provides you with the opportunity to apply what you have learned at IESE directly to your own organization. Both you and your organization will benefit, even before you graduate. Because participants are based around the world and have different professional commitments, you will never be required to be on-line at a specific time. All work is asynchronous.
  • 16. What Is the Difference Between IESE’s Executive MBA and its Global Executive MBA?

    IESE´s Executive MBA is a part-time, 19-month bilingual (English/Spanish) program. There are 2 different formats for this program:

    • Weekly Format: This Executive MBA format which historically has only been offered in Madrid is now being offered on the Barcelona campus. Classes take place on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. There are also three intensive residential weeks during the first year and two during the second.
    • Biweekly format: Offered exclusively on the Madrid campus, there are classes all day on Friday and in the morning on Saturday. Additionally, there are 7 intensive 1 week modules.

    The Executive MBA requires a minimum of 5 years work experience, fluency in Spanish, and the ability to commit to weekly or biweekly class presence.

    In contrast, the Global Executive MBA has a modular format, with residential sessions held in Barcelona, New York, Silicon Valley and Shanghai + 2 out of 4 elective modules. The program is taught entirely in English. With at least 10 years professional experience, the Global Executive MBA participants generally have a more senior profile and must, in addition, have an international component to their responsibilities.

  • 17. What Are the Best Ways to Learn about the Program?

    An MBA is probably one of the most important investments you will make, and we encourage you to do your research thoroughly. Besides consulting our brochures and websites, you can attend our events, and speak to as many people as possible about the program to get different perspectives. We highly recommend:

    • Informational interviews. These are individual meetings with the admissions mentors to address your informational needs regarding the program. They can usually be scheduled before or after our events around the world.
    • Residential Module visits. During all our residential modules, these visits are individually arranged, in which you can witness a class, enjoy a presentation about the program and interact with participants and professors over lunch.
    • Alumni contact. Let us know if you’d like to get in touch with alumni of the program. They are a good source of insights!
    • Admissions mentors. They are on hand to guide you along your decision process. Feel free to contact them anytime. To sign up, visit:

Licinia Melilla
Marketing and Admissions Manager

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