Curriculum

Program Highlights

The Vanderbilt Executive MBA is a highly demanding and intensely rewarding two-year, full 60-credit-hour MBA program designed to meet the needs of established professionals already in or approaching senior management. With its focus on corporate strategy, leadership and finance, the Vanderbilt Executive MBA is your passport to executive positions in any field, anywhere in the world; to expertise that will immediately pay rich dividends to you and your company. The program offers the following:

A unified experience


The Vanderbilt Executive MBA is a lockstep program; all Vanderbilt Executive MBA students complete 60 credit hours of course work in sequence with classmates. The unified nature of the program is critical to maximizing the shared learning experience over the duration of the program; in addition, it ensures seamless continuity for C-Teams as they integrate diverse experiences and industry perspectives to deliver on the team-based program requirements.

A collaborative classroom


The program leverages the experience and perspectives of executive students. Unlike typical MBA students who average five years of work history, Vanderbilt Executive MBA students have an average of 12 years of experience in the workforce. As a result, our Executive MBA students bring a level of business maturity, diverse perspectives and varied experiences to the classroom that fuel and enrich the learning experience. Vanderbilt professors are adept at using the collective experience of the class to identify and discuss ways that theory can be applied to real-time organizational opportunities and challenges.

An integrated and applied curriculum


To equip or enhance the skills required for senior leadership, the Vanderbilt Executive MBA begins with a deep core of integrated course work curriculum—a strong foundation of statistics, plus organization management, finance, accounting, economics, operations and marketing that each accounts for 10 percent of the curriculum. In the second year, the curriculum provides Capstone Courses that help synthesize all that is learned to that point. These courses, above all, prepare students for the big-picture responsibilities of setting strategy, creating and leading a new business venture and managing in a global environment.

A focus on leadership and strategy


Most MBA programs are adept at helping students master the fundamental disciplines across the spectrum of business—marketing, operations, human and organizational performance, finance, economics and accounting. The Vanderbilt curriculum provides deeper understanding of how these fundamentals relate to the challenges and changes faced by senior managers and executives. With a purposeful, programmatic focus on strategy and leadership, Vanderbilt Executive MBAs emerge from the program with the higher-level skills needed to navigate against competitors and win; spur growth and profitability; identify process improvements and deconstruct barriers to innovation; create value throughout the organization; and lead an organization through times of turbulence and change. 

A global perspective


Whether it is something as visible as direct competition from an overseas firm or something more subtle, such as the financial impact of fluctuating exchange rates, few businesses today are immune from influences abroad. Through a three-course sequence dedicated to doing business internationally—including a required International Residency during the second year—Vanderbilt Executive MBA students graduate with a stronger sense of what it takes to guide a company in a global marketplace.

An education that transcends “book smarts”


While classes address a variety of management topics, much of what you’ll acquire in this program transcends what you can glean from a textbook: teamwork; creative problem-solving skills; strategic and analytical thinking; time management; decision making with imperfect information; and an appreciation for differing opinions and perspectives. These skills and behaviors will endure long after the books have been put on the shelf.
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LAURENT CROSS Laurent Cros
Executive MBA 2010

VP-Aftermarket and Service Operations
Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc.

The program is designed to allow students to apply their learning immediately in their current job. This is extremely valuable and I believe makes the learning a lot more meaningful. The strategy project is another example of meaningful “real life” learning. 

TED KLEE Ted Klee
Executive MBA 2008

Senior VP, Global Supply Chain
Schneider Electric North America

The Vanderbilt Executive MBA gave me a chance to learn new skills, refresh my old ones and open myself up to a lot of diverse perspectives on how other companies achieve their results. This experience has opened my eyes to many new viewpoints on how to deal with issues at work that I now use every day.

KERRY WOODBERRY Kerri Woodberry, M.D.
Executive MBA 2007

CEO & President
Macourlyn Center for Plastic Surgery

Vanderbilt prepares you for a leadership position by emphasizing leadership skills, human relations skills, group projects and teamwork. The team dynamic of the program paid fast dividends, as I was able to implement a number of changes to my medical practice. These changes improved efficiency and provided better patient flow.

STEVEN COST Steven Cost
Executive MBA 2004

Chief Financial Officer
Intergraph

Pursuing the MBA brought me recognition as someone who wanted to move ahead and push the envelope. I knew I could demonstrate value to my company and deliver on the investment they had made in me. When I stepped back into the workplace, with the demands of school behind me, I was able to bring a whole new dimension of horsepower—more knowledge, new tools and important business connections.

 CRAIG BROOKS Craig Brooks
Executive MBA 2010

Quality Assurance Manager
WSI

I felt that, while I had learned a little about a lot of individual items (such as accounting or economics) in my undergraduate degree program, I had no way to tie them all together. Also, a senior executive in my company told me, “We have a lot of people in our company who are very good at operations. We have a smaller group of people who are good at finance and accounting. The number of people who speak both languages can be counted on one hand, and those people are valuable.” I wanted to be one of those people.