Executive Development Institute FAQs

Program Information

What is the difference between the Executive Development Institute programs and the Executive MBA?

The programs offered through Vanderbilt's Executive Development Institute are non-degree programs for working professionals looking to enhance their business skills without making a long-term time commitment. Our Open Enrollment Programs for individuals are intensive, short-length (only two and three days typically) programs offering participants critical business knowledge.

Vanderbilt's Executive MBA is a degree program designed for seasoned executives who seek an MBA to elevate their career progression. The EMBA classes meet on alternating Saturdays over a 24-month period. Visit the Executive MBA program page to learn more.

Where can I see all the Executive Development Institute programs you offer?

View our online Program Catalog for a list of all Open Enrollment Programs offered through the Vanderbilt Executive Development Institute.

How long is each program?

The length of a program varies based on the program. Currently, Vanderbilt Open Enrollment Programs for individuals are two- to three-day short courses that are interactive and intensive learning experiences. Each day runs from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

The length of Custom Programs for organizations is tailored to the specific needs of the client. Contact our Custom Programs team to inquire about a program for your organization.

What is included in the program cost?

Cost for the Open Enrollment Programs includes tuition for the program, all instructional materials and continental breakfast and lunch served during the program.

How many participants are in a class?

At Owen, we are committed to providing a personalized and engaging learning experience to allow for close interaction with faculty and peers in the classroom. Open Enrollment Programs typically range from 15 to 25 participants, while Custom Programs may have upwards of 75 participants depending on the organization's needs.

Can I take just one program or do I have to take more than one?

You have the option of selecting any single program from our Program Catalog that fits your current development needs. Participants who take more than one program become eligible for a Vanderbilt Executive Development Institute Certificate and benefit from further enhancing their range of business skills.

Are any of Owen’s programs offered online?

No. We do not currently offer distance or e-learning programs through Open Enrollment.

Custom Programs can be delivered based on the organization's needs and may be delivered online.

What is the suggested attire?

Dress for our Open Enrollment Programs is typically business casual.

Will I receive credit or a certificate?

Vanderbilt Executive Development programs are not offered for academic credit. However, approved, non-credit programs may count for Continuing Education Units (CEU).

Upon completion of an Open Enrollment program, you will receive a certificate of completion. Additionally, if you attend more than one program, or a specific set of programs, you may qualify for a Vanderbilt Executive Development Certificate. Read answers to questions about our certificate programs or visit the Certificate page to learn more.

How frequently do you offer programs?

Open Enrollment Programs are scheduled in two primary sessions—the first beginning in September and the second beginning in January. Please visit our Program Calendar to see a list of upcoming programs.

Certificate Information

How many programs do I need to receive a certificate?

To earn the Vanderbilt Executive Development Certificate in Business Excellence, you must complete any four programs in a 36-month period. This certificate is completely customizable to your professional development interests.

To earn the Vanderbilt Certificate in Leadership Excellence, you must complete the required four programs within a 12-month period. This is a focused program for those seeking to master the skills necessary to lead individuals, teams and organizations more effectively.

To earn the Vanderbilt Certificate in Management Fundamentals, you must complete the required four programs within a 12-month period. This is a focused program for those seeking a foundation for understanding core management principles and skills to achieve results.

Am I only able to take one program each year or can I complete them more quickly?

The only requirement is to complete the four programs within a 12-month or 36-month period (depending on the certificate you've selected). If you are on the 12-month track, you will be required to take all four programs in one year. For the 36-month track, you may take as many programs in one year as you'd like, or spread them out over the three year period. Many certificate recipients have completed the four programs in less than a year.

Do I need to “apply” for the certificate?


For the Certificate in Leadership Excellence and the Certificate in Management Fundamentals, you must pre-register and pay in advance. However, there is no application process.

For the customizable Executive Development Certificate in Business Excellence, no pre-registration or application is required. Once you complete your fourth program in the designated period, you will automatically be recognized and awarded the certificate.

What programs are eligible?


Any of our Open Enrollment programs count toward your Executive Development Certificate in Business Excellence.

For the Vanderbilt Certificate in Leadership Excellence, you will take Executive Leadership, Leading Change, Leadership Coaching and Negotiation Skills for Managers.

For the Vanderbilt Certificate in Management Fundamentals, you will take Achieving Operational Excellence, Finance & Accounting for Non-Financial Managers, Marketing for Strategic Growth and Strategic Innovation.

Is there an added cost?


There is no additional cost beyond the certificate price or each individual programs cost.

Will I receive Owen alumni status?


Only graduates of the degree-granting programs receive alumni status.

I attended a Vanderbilt Custom Program sponsored by my company. Does that program count toward a certificate?


Many organization-sponsored programs count toward a certificate. Please contact us directly for specific information.

Do you offer guidance in designing a certificate program?


We would be happy to discuss your educational needs and select an appropriate set of programs to meet them. Please contact our program staff for personalized program counseling.

Registration Information

How do I register for a program?

To register for a Vanderbilt Open Enrollment program, complete the online registration form or contact our program staff.

What is the deadline for registration?

Registration for a program will be accepted up until one week prior to the start of the program. We recommend that you register at least three weeks in advance so that you will have time to prepare for the class.

If I am an international student, can I attend a program?

Our programs are non-degree granting; therefore we do not sponsor student visas. Please inquire into our degree-granting programs. If you are now living and working in the United States and do not require a student visa, you may apply to any of Vanderbilt's Open Enrollment programs.

Note: If you are currently an Owen student or Vanderbilt student, the Open Enrollment Programs meet from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Monday through Friday and you must attend the entire program (not between regularly scheduled classes).

What happens after I register?

Shortly after you register, you will receive an email confirming your registration. Within a few days, a confirmation letter and invoice will be mailed to you.

Payment and Cancellation Policies

When is payment due?

Program fees are due in full upon registration and confirmation for the selected program. All invoices are payable upon receipt. Payments must be received two weeks prior to the start of the program.

What forms of payment are accepted?

We accept several payment and billing options including check, credit card (MasterCard, Visa and American Express) or invoice.

Checks should be made payable to Vanderbilt University and mailed to the following address:

Executive Development Institute
Owen Graduate School of Management
401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203

To pay by credit card, please call the program office at 615.322.2513.

Can I transfer/substitute my registration to another program?

We can transfer your registration to another upcoming program as long as the program has space remaining. However, only one transfer is allowed per registration and must be received in writing.

What is your cancellation policy?

Once registered for an Open Enrollment program, notice of withdrawal must be in writing. Pro-rated refunds are as follows:

  • Full refund will be given when notification is received more than six weeks prior to the start of the program.
  • 50 percent refund will be given if notification is received between two and six weeks prior to the start of the program.
  • No refund will be given if notification of cancellation is received two weeks or less prior to the start of the program.

Vanderbilt Executive Programs reserves the right to cancel or postpone any program due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is cancelled or postponed, the university will refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any other related charges or expenses, including cancellation/change fees by airlines or travel agencies.

Do you offer discounted pricing?

Yes, we offer multiple discounts for participants. Visit our Special Offers page to see if you qualify.

Location and Travel Information

Where are the Executive Development Institute programs held?

The Open Enrollment Programs are held on the Vanderbilt campus at the Owen Graduate School of Management. Click here for directions to campus and campus maps.

Our Custom Programs are held in a location to best accommodate the client’s needs. Visit our Custom Programs page to learn more.

I need to travel to Nashville for a program, what are the nearest airport and hotel options?

The Owen Graduate School of Management is located nine miles from the Nashville International Airport and within walking distance of several hotels. Visit Vanderbilt's Travel Information page for information on accommodations and airport information.

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