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Northern Illinois University College of Business - Executive MBA

Northern Illinois University Executive MBA Program Structure

The Northern Illinois University Executive MBA allows you to earn your MBA 21 months after starting the program, with just 18 months of classroom time. The lock-step program, by which all students enter and experience the program together is designed to build effective partnerships and friendships amongst participants. The program is ideally suited for senior level management seeking to build leadership skills and consulting alliance experience.

Classes take place on Saturdays to avoid inconveniencing work and travel schedules. Typically, classes run from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a break in the morning, in the evening, and an hour for lunch. The Saturday-only 18-month program is offered on the Naperville campus and includes an international trip. There is one intake of students each year in August.

During the first year, Executive MBA students take four or five courses during both the fall and spring semesters. In May, an international seminar brings students on a nine-day study program abroad, allowing them to earn three semester hours of additional credit. Year two commences again with four courses generally taken in the fall and spring semesters, including a capstone case study to complete the degree.


The first-year curriculum focuses on the basic business tools of financial accounting applications, legal issues facing managers, economic forecasting, marketing management, financial management, and international business. The second-year curriculum moves on to cover managerial accounting controls, strategic marketing, building an effective organization, operations management, leadership development, financial analysis, and overall policy analysis.

A 9-day trip to an international destination takes place in May. Past destinations have included locations in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Class Profile

Average class size for the Northern Illinois University Executive MBA is 30-40. International students 3-5 percent. Men comprise 75-80 percent with women conversely 20-25 percent of the class. Average work experience is 15 years, the age range of students is 27 to 65, with an average age of 38.

The minimum GMAT score is 450. The GMAT may be waived on a case-by-case basis for applicants with ten or more years of professional experience.

The Executive MBA program is capped at 35 participants.


Professional career counselors are available to help students and alumni with all facets of the job search. The Career Resource Center holds a walk-in resume review and also offers access to an array of job search information and databases. Finally, there are a number of on-campus career fairs hosted throughout the year.

Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

Total program fees for students starting the program are $58,000. The program fees cover all books and course materials, meals on class meeting days, team building residency, and most costs associated with the international trip. Once a student is admitted to the EMBA program, fees are set and do not increase.

First-year fees are $29,000. Admitted students must post a non-refundable deposit of $2,500 to secure a seat in the class. The balance of the first-year fees is invoiced in the fall and spring semesters. The deposit is applied toward the fall semester’s fees. Fees for the second year will amount to $29,000. In year two, students are invoiced in the fall and the spring semesters.

Company sponsorship is expected. The candidate must submit a signed Sponsorship Form (included with the application forms) prior to admittance into the program.


A completed Northern Illinois University Executive MBA application requires submitting the Application for Admission and a Goal Statement, Executive MBA supplemental information detailing professional experience, $40 application fee, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts from any post-secondary institutions where a degree was earned, and official GMAT scores. The GMAT may be waived on an individual basis if an applicant can demonstrate ten or more years of managerial experience.

Applicants must have a minimum of five years of workplace professional experience. Company sponsorship is expected. Applicants must also submit a signed Sponsorship Form to be admitted to the program.

Updated deadlines for the NIU EMBA program have not yet been released by the business school.

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