Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose the Bloch Executive MBA?
The Executive MBA is the premiere MBA degree offered at the Bloch School. The program is designed to provide experienced managers and emerging leaders with opportunities to strengthen their business and management acumen while developing the leadership savvy, team skills, and executive judgment needed for career success. Today's complex world requires leaders who are creative, socially responsible, and entrepreneurial in spirit and strategy. The Bloch Executive MBA focuses on those capacities. It has been recognized by the Financial Times as the #1 program for career impact in a public university.
The mission of the Bloch Executive MBA is clear: enable accomplished managers and seasoned professionals to enhance their knowledge, strategic leadership, worldviews, and mastery of essentials for success in a diverse and dynamic global economy.
Why is the tuition for a Bloch Executive MBA much lower than that of Executive MBA programs at other top schools? Am I getting less than the real deal?
Students in the Bloch Executive MBA benefit from the urban, land-grant mission of the University of Missouri - Kansas City. The Bloch School is a nationally-ranked school of management at a public university, here to transform talent for Kansas City and beyond. Bloch Executive MBA students can receive a top notch EMBA education at a reasonable cost as a result. We are a bargain in teh EMBA world with high quality and student services - and we work to keep it so.
Why choose the Executive MBA rather than the traditional MBA program at Bloch?
The Bloch Executive MBA is designed for seasoned professionals with at least 6 to 8 years of strong work experience, and with careers characterized by increasing responsibilities for people, projects and/or budgets. Students in the Bloch Executive MBA program are aiming toward top leadership in their respective fields, and seek advanced management and leadership training to accelerate their careers.
The Bloch Executive MBA is designed as an integrated cohort program - all students enter the program at the same time, attend the same series of classes on alternative weekends, and graduate together in 21 months. The program has its own competitive admissions process and criteria. The traditional MBA program, on the other hand, allows students at any point in their career to take evening classes on a schedule and a pace of their choosing.
Can you give me a quick feel for the Bloch Executive MBA to see if it is right for me?
Here it is in a nutshell. The Bloch Executive MBA is a 21-month program. Students are admitted each spring to a new EMBA cohort through a special, selective application process. A program orientation is held in the summer. Access to the self-paced tutorials in finance, accounting, and statistics are available upon enrollment.
The program is composed of 16 semester-long, graduate-level courses and four required immersion residencies. The fully integrated curriculum is taught with summers off from the class room.
Students begin coursework in mid-August. First year courses are typically completed by the end of May. Graduation for second-year students is the second week in May.
Classes meet, on average, three days each month (one Friday/Saturday and one Saturday) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are provided on class meeting days.
A variety of teaching formats are employed in the program, including case studies, team projects, simulations and role playing, fieldwork, interactive discussions, and renowned guest lecturers and speakers.
Each year begins with a week-long residency: a leadership residency to launch year one, and an innovation residency at the start of year two to integrate and apply first-year learning. These residencies are held off-campus at a local hotel in the Country Club Plaza.
Year end is punctuated with an out-of-area residency. The first year residency focuses on the business-public policy interface and is held in early May in Washington, D.C. The second year residency is connected to the global management course and involves travel to and study in international destinations. Recent trips have been to multiple cities in China in early April.
How long does it take to finish the Bloch Executive MBA program?
The Bloch Executive MBA program is 21 months long. Students in an entering class begin each year with a one-week immersion residency in mid-August and finish their class work in May. They all take the same courses together, offered on alternative weekends (one Friday and one Friday-Saturday) during that time. The program is well-structured to be intense, effective, and enjoyable. The time goes by very quickly.
Do I need to be sponsored by my company?
Some students in the Bloch Executive MBA are fully sponsored by their companies, to prepare them for senior leadership positions in their organization. The majority, however, are individuals interested in accelerating their careers in an increasingly competitive work-world. They see the Bloch Executive MBA degree as a personal investment.
All students, however, are required to clear with their current company, time away for the one Friday per month class and for the required immersion residencies. Beyond that, no company sponsorship is required.
Professional development funds are often available in companies to support program participation. Bloch Executive MBA staff have experience with a range of companies and can advise students on how to access support and present a strong case for internal support. Organizations get a strong and fast return on investment from Bloch Executive MBA students. Students need to make sure their bosses and companies understand that.
Is this program only for those interested in careers in the business or for-profit sector?
No. Bloch Executive MBA students come from a wide range of organizations and positions. This includes individuals from the non-profit and government sectors. In addition to its growing national reputations in entrepreneurship and leadership, the Bloch School is also nationally-ranked in non-profit leadership. The Bloch Executive MBA was also the first EMBA program in the nation to collaborate with The Washington Campus for the creation of a Washington, D.C.-based public policy residency.
Bloch Executive MBA cohorts often include doctors, nurses, lawyers, architects, IT professionals, and engineers who realize the importance of an MBA, leadership development, and management study at this point in their work lives.
What makes a Bloch Executive MBA unique?
It is hard to summarize all that the Bloch Executive MBA program is and does - or to explain how the program leads to the documented career impact and professional growth that we and others see in our graduates.
The Bloch Executive MBA educational philosophy is simple yet powerful: meet every student where he or she begins the learning journey and provide opportunities for each to advance. An inscription found on a 5th century temple in North Africa sums it up. Bonus intra melior exi: Enter good, leave better. Bloch EMBA graduates and their organizations confirm this is true. One creative idea implemented by a skilled leader can turn the tide for an organization - or an entire industry.
Unique features in the Bloch Executive MBA program include:
All this comes together in a program focused on the best ways to translate theory and learning into effective action.
How are classes taught?
The Bloch Executive MBA program is underpinned by a belief in the importance of learning from doing. Bloch EMBA alumni report that this facilitates transfer of class learning into the workplace and makes course assignments helpful to their work lives.
Simulations, role plays, cases, field work, company-based projects, and on-the-ground research projects are in courses throughout the curriculum.
Students in the entrepreneurship elective, for example, participate in the Kansas City Venture Capital Challenge. They learn what it means to understand an organization from the core of its foundation and what the marketplace expets in return for its support. THe power of interacting with venture capitalists whose questions come from looking at student projects through an investor's lens - and not as a homework assignment - makes the learning real.
In 2009, all of the Bloch Executive MBA teams made the final rounds of the venture capital competition; three groups won start-up funding and support packages of $15,000. In 2010, two Bloch EMBA teams received the same prize. A number of EMBA class projects have been developed into successful programs and products. This kind of learning can't be gotten from a book.
How can I get a quick overview for what I will learn in the Bloch Executive MBA?
In the first year, Bloch Executive MBA students study what all senior professionals need to know: the basics of leadership and organizations, economics, marketing, finance and accounting, statistics, public policy, power and influence, and approaches to ethical and sound decision-making. In the second year, students deepen their knowledge of all that impacts organizational judgment and professional success in a fast-paced, global world; and they have room for an elective in advanced finance or innovation. [The full curriculum is outlined elsewhere on this site.]
The cohort nature of the program fosters a community of learning and deep appreciation for the importance of collaboration in an increasingly diverse world. It also provides a safe laboratory for team and leadership skills development; a diversity of experiences and perspectives to enrich class discussions; and relationship building with talented peers that last a lifetime.
More specifically, Bloch EMBA graduates gain knowledge and skills needed to excel as executives and leaders. These include capacities to:
Are there additional benefits to a Bloch Executive MBA beyond a strong MBA degree?
Beyond a first-rate EMBA education and opportunities to enhance your leadership, executive skills and judgment, teamwork, and business acument, the Bloch Executive MBA offers a range of benefits that last a lifetime. These include:
UMKC is Kansas City's home-town university with a long-term commitment to Kansas City leaders and companies. The University has offered business courses since 1933. In 1953, with the support and encouragement of the Kansas City community, the School of Business Administration was established. Since that time, the Bloch School has grown in size and impact. In 1986, the school received an endowment from Henry W. Bloch, co-founder of H & R Block. In recognition, the school was named in his honor.
Throughout history, the Bloch School has maintained close connections to the business and civic community. It regulary consults with local leaders about the skills that they need from Bloch graduates; those skills are found in the Bloch Executive MBA curricula. More than 14,000 Bloch alumni live and work in the greater Kansas City area, forming a powerful network.
Is the Bloch Executive MBA program accredited?
The quality of the Bloch Executive MBA is supported by its adherence to international standards for quality management education. The Bloch Executive MBA is accredited by AACSB International and has been since its inception. AACSB accreditation is the highest standard for business schools worldwide, and less than 8% meet the rigorous test. The Bloch School is also fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) ensuring excellence in public administration, as well.
This accreditation requires effort, and influences program components. Students and employers are ensured that the content and quality of the Bloch Executive MBA have been evaluated through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review process. AACSB and NASPAA accreditation demands strong faculty, current curriculum, high-caliber teaching, meaningful interactions between students and faculty, and demonstration of learning - all hallmarks of the Bloch Executive MBA.
Who teaches in the Bloch Executive MBA?
The Bloch School is known for its diverse and accomplished faculty. All of the school's full-time faculty hold the highest terminal degree in their subject areas.
Bloch, for example, is home to two of the world's top scholars in innovation; the former founder of Harvard's National Center for Educational Leadership; a University of Missouri Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor; and other faculty who have received prestigious awards and recognition for their teaching, research, and service. Bloch faculty publish extensively; write internationally-acclaimed books; and are in high demand to advise and consult with leading corporations, governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations across the nation and around the world. These are the faculty who teach in the Bloch Executive MBA program.
In addition, Bloch School executives-in-residence, as well as distinguished leaders from the field, make time in the classroom relevant and grounded to your everyday reality. The Bloch Executive MBA's distinguished practitioner-faculty have included the senior leadership from the City of Kansas City, Kansas City Southern, George K. Baum, KCP&L, Tortoise Investments, and Honeywell.
Why four immersion residencies, and what are they?
Immersion residencies serve three main purposes: (1) they enable students to focus intensely for a defined period of time on an important area for learning, (2) they provide opportunities to integrate learning across multiple courses, and (3) they build the strength and networks of support within the cohort and beyond.
Today's global economy demands a broad understanding of the ways in which businesses are impacted by economic, social, political, and cultural factors. Bloch Executive MBA students participate in four residencies during the program to gain the skills necessary to lead in dynamic times. [The four residencies and their individual goals and purposes are explained in detail elsewhere on the EMBA site.]
Who will be my fellow students?
Your fellow students will be smart, interesting, current and rising senior leaders in organizations from across the region. Each class will have between 30 to 45 students, depending on the strength of that year's admissions pool.
Our list of companies represented by our students is broad and varied and includes among others: H & R Block, Cerner, Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell, Children's Mercy Hospital, Caravan Industries, Research Medical Center, CBiz MMP, Swiss Re, Fox 4 TV, Kansas City Star, Kansas City Power & Light, Kansas City Southern, Swope Parkway Health Center, CISCO, Express Scripts, Marlow White Uniforms, the Kansas City Business and Convention Center, the U.S. Army, Boehringer-Ingelheim, GE, John Deere, American Century, BNIM Architects, the Toy and Miniature Museum, Commerce Bank, Lockton, United Missouri Bank, and First National Bank.
What is cohort learning and why do it?
When admitted, Bloch Executive MBA students join a selected group of professionals with whom they will take courses in a prescribed sequence over the 21 months of the Bloch EMBA. This cohort-based model creates a learning community with multiple experiences of classmates. They find peer guidance to strengthen their weak areas on team projects, and good colleagues to support them through difficult times. Multiple activities, different team assignments over the course of the program, and small group experiences enable Bloch EMBA students to get to know their classmates and to build a powerful network to rely on throughout their career.
Can I work full time and still complete the Bloch Executive MBA program?
Absolutely. The Bloch Executive MBA program is designed for full-time working professionals, many of whom also have family obligations. We are organized to make the best use of your time during the program.
The Bloch Executive MBA meets only three days per month (one Friday and one Friday-Saturday on alternate weeks from mid- August through mid-May) with two immersion residencies each year, scheduled well in advance to facilitate your planning. By working to limit attendance to one workday per month, Bloch Executive MBA students can attend to the demands of their jobs and their commitments to their own professional development.
The program also offers a range of student services not found in traditional MBA programs to help manage the load - and to make the return to graduate student life simpler.
Enrolling in the Bloch EMBA means that you only need to show up ready to learn. We manage the rest. The program's Coordinator of EMBA Student Services provides students what they need when they need it; serves as a conduit of important program information and requirements; and plays the role of gatekeeper to other university services and supports. This means, for example, handling all university processes like registering for courses, securing parking permits, setting up email accounts, arranging residency details, and more. In addition, we provide all books and course materials, arrange breakfast and lunch on class days, and do whatever we can to facilitate your studies.
Can I have a family with young children and still complete the Bloch Executive MBA program?
Absolutely. Many of our students do. Good time management and project management skills are required - but that's what the program will help you develop.
Bloch Executive MBA students with school-age children have talked about the power of modeling the importance of education and learning, the opportunities for relationship building through the family doing homework together (especially with teenagers), and enhanced parenting skills and compassion from their own struggles when learning does not come as easily as hoped.
The Bloch Executive MBA program hosts events throughout the 21 months for families and significant others, including a spouse/partner orientation, a family BBQ, theater and community outings, and so on.
What are the requirements for admission?
We seek to create a balanced cohort of students in each Bloch Executive MBA class that includes students diverse in their experiences, strengths, and talents. Not everyone has to have the same set or level of experience or strength; the collective will. However, all viable candidates need to have (1) relevant experiences and strengths to contribute to the class, (2) demonstrated capacity to successfully meet the academic requirements of the program, and (3) an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. The portrait of an ideal candidate also includes:
I wasn't the best student in college, and I know I can't change that. I want a Bloch Executive MBA. Am I doomed?
No. We are an educational program, committed to each student's professional development. We are a partner with organizations to facilitate professional development for individuals whose learning and growth are identified as important to the organization's future. We are a public university, committed to preparing a productive workforce and to supporting economic growth for the state and region. Therefore, we admit smart, hardworking, high potential candidates, as well as the proven winners.
Students with less than stellar undergraduate transcripts will want to request a personal interview and present a strong case for admissions. They will also want to make sure their application packets include strong recommendations and evidence to indicate that they are now ready to commit to graduate study.
We can also provide a recommended summer reading list for those interested or arrange for interested students to take other Bloch School courses to prepare for the program or to acquire needed competencies. (The extra courses are at a cost beyond the Bloch Executive MBA tuition.)
Will I need an interview for admission?
The application process includes a personal conversation with all applicants before their final admission. This might include formal interview(s) with a Bloch EMBA staff member, by phone or in person. It might involve extended conversations at an information session or company career fair. It might mean that the individual has been nominated by a company and interviewed at work. All potential students can request a one-on-one interview to present their personal portfolio or to confirm program fit.
I haven't been back in school for a long time. Will that be a problem?
No. Given the nature of the program, this is true for the vast majority of every cohort. We are experienced educators who know how to get you back up to speed and learning quickly and effectively. In addition, there are learning supports in areas like writing, case analysis, accounting, finance, and statistics. The Bloch Executive MBA has its own designated (and comfortable) team meeting and study room. This room also houses an EMBA mini-library of helpful resource materials.
I'm in a technical field and my past education prepared me for that. I've never written a term paper in my life. Will I be at an academic disadvantage over other students?
Not if you are motivated to learn. Writing is an essential leadership skill. The Bloch Executive MBA program expects students to understand the essentials of business communication and to leave the program (a) with good writing skills and (b) with the capacity to build a strong argument using data, theory, and research. Courses, especially during the first year in the program, are writing intensive. Students are expected to be proactive in finding ways to improve their written communication skills which includes work with the Bloch Communications Center, the UMKC Writing Lab, or other online writing resources.
What does the Bloch Executive MBA cost, and what does tuition cover?
The Bloch Executive MBA tuition for the 21-month program is $56,500 for the class begining August 2011. Early enrollment incentives are available for those who are fully admitted with non-refundable deposits, before January 17, 2011.
The $56,500 covers all university tuitions and fees for academic courses, as well as other program expenses including:
In additon to Bloch Executive MBA tuition and fees, students pay extra costs associated with the two out-of-town residencies (Washington, D.C. and International). Out-of-town residency costs vary with the economy and with student travel and rooming choices, and it will be no surprise that the International Residency is more expensive than the Washington, D.C. residency. Generously estimating combined expenses for the residencies at about an extra $6,000, will facilitate student financial planning.
What financial aid supports and educational deductions are available?
Everyone's case is different. The Coordinator of Bloch Executive MBA Student Services can facilitate an interview with the UMKC Financial Aid Office to explore your specific situation. Low interest federal loans are generally available to all EMBA students, despite income. Students are also advised to search University, Bloch School, and other online scholarship databases for other sources of available aid.
It is recommended that students discuss their return to school with an accountant or financial advisor to explore whether they qualify to take Bloch Executive MBA costs as an educational tax deduction or business expense. Tax codes, for example, have permitted educational deductions for EMBA students using the program to enhance skills for their current line of work. Interested students will want to check as to whether this is still the case and an option for them.