Frequently Asked Questions

General

At IESE Business School, we offer many degree and non-degree programs. Our degree programs are: the Master in Management (MiM), MBA, Executive MBA (EMBA) and Global Executive MBA (GEMBA), plus the Master of Research in Management (MRM) and PhD in Management. In addition, we have a wide offering of Executive Education programs that range from short programs focused on a specific skill or industry, to longer-format programs with a general management approach.

No, IESE does not offer undergraduate degrees at this time, but the University of Navarra, the university to which we belong, offers nearly 50 undergraduate degrees in a wide range of subjects.

Yes, IESE’s Master in Management (MiM) program is specifically designed for students who are completing, or have just completed, their undergraduate degree. A small number of our MBA students also apply during their last year of undergraduate studies. We also have a program called the Young Talent Path that allows undergraduates to experience the MBA during the summer.

Most of IESE’s students and participants have prior work experience or are currently employed. For our Master in Management (MiM), however, no work experience is required.

IESE is regularly ranked among the best business schools in the world. Our Executive Education programs have been ranked number one in the world every year between 2014 and 2019 by the Financial Times. Our MBA program has been ranked among the best in Europe by The Economist, Bloomberg Businessweek and the Financial Times, among others.

The learning environment at IESE is global in every way. We have campuses in five cities around the world and programs and modules in dozens of others, our study body is highly international and our professors and staff come from more than 50 different countries. In our MBA alone, there are around 55 nationalities.

From the beginning, IESE has used the case method, which looks at real-life business examples, as the cornerstone of our teaching methodologies. But we are constantly innovating, introducing other active learning methodologies such as simulations, coaching and mentoring. We also are incorporating more digital elements into all our teaching.

The case method is an approach to teaching that has been at the center of the IESE experience since its founding. It involves presenting real-life business situations to students, who read and discuss the particular challenge, and also become decision makers in how to resolve it.

Visa requirements vary depending on the country where the program is located, and on the nationality of individual students.

Most of IESE’s blog posts are written by our professors or by employees of the school with particular expertise in the area. We currently do not accept contributions from outside the school.

Locations and Visits

IESE has five campuses in some of the world’s most interesting, vibrant cities. IESE’s main campus is in Barcelona, Spain, and we also have campuses in Madrid, Munich, New York and Sao Paulo.

Many of IESE’s programs hold Open Days to allow you to visit campus and experience IESE firsthand. Open Days are listed on the individual programs’ websites, and you can also contact the program for further information.

Mission and Values

IESE is, and always has been, driven by the desire to develop leaders who strive to have a deep, positive and lasting impact on people, companies and society through professional excellence, integrity and a spirit of service.

IESE’s mission is to develop leaders who strive to have a deep, positive and lasting impact on people, companies and society through professional excellence, integrity and a spirit of service.

No, you do not need to be Catholic to study at IESE. IESE’s values are based on the values of Christian humanism, but we welcome people of all religions and cultures who share in our philosophy of respect for the individual and dedication to society.

IESE is the business school of the University of Navarra, and the university is an initiative of the Opus Dei, a personal prelature of the Catholic Church. Personal prelatures are organizations within the Church that complement the work of local dioceses.

You can find more information on Opus Dei at the official web page of the prelature.

Degrees

At IESE Business School, we offer many degree and non-degree programs. Our degree programs are: the Master in Management (MiM), MBA, Executive MBA (EMBA) and Global Executive MBA (GEMBA), plus the Master of Research in Management (MRM) and PhD in Management.

IESE’s Master in Management (MiM) is designed for students who have just completed, or are about to complete, an undergraduate degree, have no more than one year’s work experience and are looking to launch their business careers. The typical MBA candidate will have five to six years of work experience.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree. Non-native English speakers must pass an English language test, as the program is taught in English. GMAT or GRE results are important, but not decisive. An applicant’s personality, motivation, goals, leadership abilities and communication skills will also be taken into account.

At IESE Business School, we take a holistic, personalized approach to admissions. Our average GMAT scores are just under 690, the average age of our recent MBA students is 29 and most have 5-6 years of work experience. But each case is different, and we take that into account in the admissions process.

English is the language of instruction of IESE’s MBA. There is no test requirement for candidates whose first language is English, who have completed their university degree in English or who have lived at least two consecutive years in an English-speaking country. For all other candidates, IESE accepts the TOEFL, PTE Academic, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.

The earlier you apply to the MBA the better. IESE has an early admissions round, followed by four additional rounds of deadlines. Further information regarding specific deadlines can be found here.

IESE doesn’t set a specific score requirement for either the GMAT or the GRE for MBA candidates. The exams are one of many criteria used to assess candidates.

IESE’s Executive MBA (EMBA) is a degree designed for executives with around 10 years of experience and who want to combine full-time work with their studies. To apply to the Executive MBA (EMBA), candidates must take the GMAT or Executive Assessment (EA), or IESE’s admissions test, which assesses basic math skills, verbal reasoning and analytical writing; for non-native English speakers, a certificate verifying English-language proficiency; a letter of support from current employer; two letters of recommendation; university transcripts; and an application form. You will also have a personal interview with a IESE official.

IESE offers the Executive MBA on its Barcelona, Madrid, Munich and São Paulo campuses.

English is an essential part of all of IESE’s Executive MBA programs. In some of the Barcelona and Madrid programs, Spanish is also used and the programs are bi-lingual.

IESE’s Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) is designed for international executives, normally with more than 15 years of experience, who wish to combine full-time work with their studies. The application process is highly personalized, but all candidates must submit two letters of reference, university transcripts and a letter of company support. The GMAT or Executive Assessment is required but may be waived in some cases; non-native English speakers must demonstrate English-language proficiency.

IESE’s Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) takes place in four business hubs: Barcelona, New York, Shanghai and Silicon Valley.

Executive Education

IESE’s Executive Education programs are transformational experiences that offer an integrative understanding of business, a global mindset and a values-based vision of the company. In addition to our general management courses, we also have shorter format, more specialized courses known as Focused Programs that deliver a particular skill. Graduates of our Executive Education programs enjoy the extensive benefits of IESE’s international alumni network.

IESE’s open-enrollment programs are available to any individual who meets the admissions requirements. We also have custom programs, which are open only to people who work for a particular company or organization. These programs span a wide variety of industry sectors and participants hold an array of professional titles.

IESE uses a variety of formats, and many of our courses combine residential learning and online study. We also have a number of 100% online courses, listed in our portfolio of Focused Programs, and a handful of our courses are also available on the online platform Coursera.

To earn IESE’s Executive Education Certificate, you must complete at least four focused programs, chosen with the support of an academic advisor. The certificate also makes you eligible to join IESE’s Alumni Association.

Attendance and interaction with peers is an integral part of the IESE experience. However, we realize that emergencies do arise, and participants can make individual arrangements with professors and staff in the case of absences.

A typical day in a full-time Executive Education program begins at 9am and ends at 7pm and consists of 5-6 classes, with breaks throughout the day. Part-time students typically have a daily schedule beginning at noon and ending at 7pm.

IESE does not offer on-campus housing, but we do assist participants who require accommodations by facilitating conveniently located hotels and other options.

Each program has its own application process. Check the website of the individual program for details.

Each program has its own admissions requirements. Check the website of the individual program for details.

Many of IESE’s Executive Education programs require payment of 10% of tuition within two weeks of acceptance in order to reserve your place. Full payment is due no later than 30 days before the start of the program.

For many Executive Education programs, cancellations must be made at least one month in advance of the start of the program in order to receive a refund. Cancellations made closer to the start of the program will be subject to a 25% cancellation fee.

Yes, IESE’s Customs Programs, which are consistently ranked best in the world by the Financial Times, are tailor-made to each company and organization. IESE’s faculty works closely with you to design a powerful and transformative learning journey that aligns perfectly to your current reality and your future expectations.

PhD

IESE’s PhD candidates are fully funded, meaning that they receive a fee waiver and a stipend, so that they can concentrate fully on their studies.

IESE’s PhD program normally takes four to five years to complete.

PhD candidates provide 10 hours per week of research assistance to professors. They are not required to work as teaching assistants during the program.

Financial Aid

Yes, there is a range of scholarships and loans available to IESE students, based on merit as well as financial need.

IESE offers a number of scholarships to students, including scholarships earmarked for MBA candidates who are women, come from developing countries, show outstanding merit, and others. IESE’s financial aid website contains information on financing options, and our Financial Aid Office can offer further assistance.

Recruiting

IESE MBAs are highly sought after in the job market. According to our latest Employment Report, 94% of our students had at least one job offer within three months of graduation.

IESE’s Career Development Center works with students, alumni, companies and organizations to match people searching for jobs with the organizations that need them.

On IESE’s Career Development Center page, you will find links to register online and post jobs. You will also find contact information for our team for any questions you may have.