IMD EMBA admission

IMD EMBA admission

Executive MBA admission

Get ready to join the highest caliber of participants.

There is no one ‘ideal’ profile of an IMD Executive MBA candidate since we strive for diversity in the class. The program is designed for individuals aged 35 years or above with at least 10 years of relevant professional work experience, strong management experience, consistent career progression, and outstanding leadership potential.

If you are age 28-35 with 5-10 years of business experience and are aiming for the EMBA, then you may apply via IMD’s Future Leaders (FL) instead of Foundations for Business Leadership or Global Management Foundations. Admission to the EMBA is confirmed on a case-by-case basis and dependent on all admissions criteria being met. Please discuss with your program advisor.

A limited number of partial scholarships are awarded to exceptional candidates based upon merit and financial need. More information can be found here.

Admission is based on 6 main criteria:
Professional achievement

You demonstrate clear career progression, with a strong preference for international experience and responsibility. We look at how your responsibility has increased, the breadth and depth of the knowledge you have acquired in the workplace, and the impact you have made on your organization.

Leadership potential

Are you an effective leader? Do you have what it takes to become one? We look for vision, courage, initiative, maturity, curiosity and self-confidence.

Growth mindset

You have an undergraduate university degree or equivalent.

The GMAT or other aptitude tests are not required for admissions. Entry into the Mastery Stage of the program is dependent on the assessment taking place at the end of Advanced Management Concepts.

International outlook

In order to maintain the highly international outlook of the IMD Executive MBA program, we look for candidates with cultural sensitivity, time spent living or working outside own country, international scope of career, and/or knowledge of foreign languages.

English language proficiency

English is the language of instruction. You must have a strong command of both written and spoken English.

Support of your company

The IMD Executive MBA program calls for a serious commitment from you and your sponsoring organization, which must be willing to serve as a “laboratory” for your learning. Although financial support of your organization is a matter to be decided between you and your company, IMD can give you tips and advice on how to pitch a win-win scenario to your company.

Learn more about EMBA class profiles

IMD EMBA scholarships

IMD offers a limited number of partial scholarships to exceptional candidates based upon merit and financial need. Scholarships are awarded in different categories. For all details, see here.

Get started with your EMBA application

The IMD Executive MBA program has several starting dates each year. As competition is high for places in the program, we recommend that you start the application process as soon as you and your company are sure of your decision.

Your application should include:

  • Completed and signed application form
  • One sponsor’s letter of recommendation
  • Two general letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript/s of university degree
  • Application fee (CHF 200)
Frequently asked questions

IMD offers a limited number of partial scholarships to exceptional candidates based upon merit and financial need. Scholarships are awarded in different categories. please refer to the  Scholarship section above for all details.

  • Emerging market economy leaders
  • Women leaders
  • Sustainability/tech leaders
  • Not-for-profit leaders
  • Entrepreneurs
  • General excellence
When should I apply?

As soon as we receive applications, we review them and make acceptance decisions. This means that the class can fill up even several months in advance of the date it actually starts. We, therefore, recommend that you apply early. Typically, we respond to all applicants within 3 weeks.

What type of letters of recommendation do I need?

We ask for three letters of recommendation, written in English. One letter should come from your sponsor, while the other two should come from individuals qualified to comment on your professional achievements and your career potential. The sponsor’s letter should be completed and signed by an executive who personally knows you and is familiar with the company’s future plans for you.

One of our key criteria in deciding whether to accept someone to the Executive MBA program is whether they will be able to contribute to the learning of everyone else in the class. The letters of recommendation give us an extra assessment of your overall personality, your business achievements, and your leadership capabilities, and as such are a critical part of the application. All information provided in the recommendation letter will be kept strictly confidential.

Will I go through an interview?

Candidates may be asked to come to IMD for an interview or to take part in a telephone or virtual interview. If an interview is required, you will be notified after we review your completed application. The Admissions Committee will conduct your interview and will make a final decision afterward.

Can I come and meet your team and visit your campus?

Absolutely! We encourage you to visit to learn more about the school and the Executive MBA program. We endeavor to provide campus tours, and classroom visits whenever feasible, and can certainly arrange a meeting with either the program director or the program manager. You are welcome to visit at any time in the process.

In fact, we often recommend that you come and see us before you submit your application. That can help you decide if the school and the program are right for you, and it can help us determine together if you are likely to be right for the program. We believe it’s a good idea to do this before you’ve done your negotiations with your company.

When do I need to pay?

Please pay the program fee within 30 days of the invoice date and no later than the commencement of the program. If you register within 1 month of the start of the program, you must settle the invoice immediately without exception. Payment can be made by bank transfer or credit card.

What happens in the last few weeks before the program start?

Up to six weeks before the program start date, a Program Coordinator will contact you with information on hotels and pre-program preparation. Please note that IMD reserves enough rooms for each participant on the program. If accepted, you understand that you must be completely free of professional duties while attending this program and that you must attend all scheduled sessions and activities.

Overview of tuition fees, living and travel expenses, and financial aid
Cancellation & transfer policy

If you are admitted to the Executive MBA program but find that you are unable to attend, you must notify IMD in writing to either cancel or transfer to the next available session. In the case of cancellation, the CHF 10,000 deposit, plus any fees paid for program modules that have already started, is non-refundable. Additional cancellation and transfer fees may apply, as described below.

Whether you transfer or cancel before Foundations for Business Leadership (FBL), before Advanced Management Concepts (AMC) or before the mastery stage, the conditions are the same:

Up to 6 weeks before starting

  • Cancellation: No cancellation fee.
  • Transfer: No transfer fee.

From 6 weeks up to 11 days before starting

  • Cancellation fee: 50% of the FBL, AMC or mastery stage fee.
  • Transfer fee: 20% of the FBL, AMC or mastery stage fee.

Within 10 days before starting

  • Cancellation fee: 100% of the FBL, AMC or mastery stage fee.
  • Transfer fee: 100% of the FBL, AMC or mastery stage fee.


IMD Open program cancellation & transfer policy

Up to 6 weeks before start

From 6 weeks up to 11 days before start

Within 10 days before start

Program start


Full refund


50% fee


100% fee


100% fee


No fee


20% fee


100% fee


100% fee


No fee


No fee


No fee

Company sponsorship

The Executive MBA program requires a serious commitment both from you and from your employing organization. Sponsorship implies your organization will provide:

  • Commitment of key stakeholders within the organization including top management to provide time and support for the company-related assignments carried out by the EMBA candidate
  • Access to information relevant for the company-related assignments
  • A total of nine weeks’ time away from the office during the on-campus modules and discovery expeditions
  • 12 to 15 hours a week for the EMBA candidate to work on distance learning assignments (can be managed between professional and personal time)
  • Full or partial financial support for tuition fees, travel expenses and compensation during time away from the office (optional)

Why is company sponsorship mandatory?

The Executive MBA is practice-oriented. The learning comes from the discussions and experiences you have while at IMD, combined with your application of the tools and strategies we discuss in the program in your own organization between modules. You’ll have several distance-learning assignments, each one assessing or evaluating some aspect of your company or your industry and determining how best to go forward. The interaction between the classroom and the real world will yield big benefits.

Your company will be the laboratory where you investigate further the possibilities we uncover while you’re at IMD. It is, therefore, essential that you are working and that your company is behind your Executive MBA participation. The mastery stage of the program is structured as a series of six “out of the office” modules, with significant time back at the office between each. It’s clear you’ll be working while you complete the program, and company support will be vital as you balance heavy academic and career loads. You’ll need to be free of job responsibilities during the “out of the office” portions of the program, and you’ll need the support of your company for the assignments you’re undertaking on its behalf.

How to build your case for EMBA sponsorship