Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Questions

Administrative Questions
Technical Questions
Admissions Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Q : How much time must I commit to the program each week?
A :
We expect you to allocate 15-20 hours per week to EMBA program work during weeks without residencies. This will include both individual learning and group collaboration time. Most of this time can be scheduled at your convenience so long as you access the program web page and participate in its activities at least once every two days.

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Q : What happens during residencies?
A : Residencies include four types of student activities. First, student teams deliver the oral presentations of their projects to invited industry experts, company executives, faculty, and other students. This represents the culmination of the project and an opportunity for discussion with and evaluation by experts.

The second residency activity involves evaluation of your individual learning. This may take several formats, including written assignments, oral discussions of learning exercises with faculty members, group or class discussions of relevant material, and individual presentation on selected topics.

The third involves building a portfolio of accomplishments throughout the program to help you demonstrate the skills you have acquired during the EMBA program and the kinds of responsibilities that you could successfully assume upon graduation.

The fourth residency activity, and the one that will probably take the most time, is the definition and design of the new project that new student groups will complete over the next 9-11 weeks. The program faculty engages the class and facilitates the student groups to design the projects and to understand why the learning outcomes and exercises are important for the projects and for the educational program.

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Q : How will I learn the knowledge I need to apply to the projects?
A :
The EMBA faculty will help you define specific learning outcomes associated with each project. They will identify appropriate materials (book chapters, articles, CD ROMs, web sites, etc.) associated with each outcome for you to read and exercises for you to complete. If you have difficulty with any of this material, you will be able to e-mail faculty who will help you overcome your difficulties. When necessary, you can discuss your problems with faculty by telephone.

In addition to faculty support, for each project you will be part of a learning team. Often team members discuss problems by telephone or e-mail. Since teams will normally have members with different backgrounds and skills, they will tend to help each other much the way study group members help each other in the traditional Executive MBA program.

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Q : Isn't this educational approach too "experimental?"
A :
The program teaching/learning methodology is based on well-established educational theory. It has been applied successfully in medical and other professional schools. The only other distance learning MBA program that employs this methodology received a commendation for its creativeness and effectiveness from AACSB, the International Association for Management Education.

Some educators argue that the action learning, or problem-oriented learning, methodology used in the EMBA is more effective than traditional lecture approaches because students not only acquire knowledge but also demonstrate that they can adapt it to specific situations. This demonstration further reinforces learning.

Many educational programs cite the importance of developing the capability of life-long learning to remain professionally viable. The active learning methodology used in the EMBA encourages students to develop the intellectual skills and emotional attitudes essential for successful life-long learning. Passive learning often develops deductive reasoning skills that require learners to acquire and understand theory before they can apply it to specific situations. Active learning develops both deductive and inductive reasoning since students must continually search for generalizations to explain the situations that they encounter.

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Ondre Clark (Unilever) and Nik Taskar (Nano Crystal Lighting) celebrate Chinese New Year at a class dinner in nearby Chinatown

The Pace EMBA lets you focus your attention on just one course at a time.

[James Gould]
"Teaching in the EMBA program is the most enjoyable experience of my Pace teaching. Why you ask? Reasons are; first students are highly motivated having excellent business backgrounds and desirous of learning. Second, the project-based curriculum structure (unique to the Pace program) provides a holistic application of course content (theory) to real problems. Traditional curriculum structure (one course at a time) does not integrate course material in a holistic manner. Third, the cohort program structure enables students to create life-long personal and professional contacts. A fourth (and final reason) is the bond between professors and students. Again something usually not possible in traditional MBA programs. In the Pace EMBA program you are with the same group of faculty and students for the entire program. You get to know students and the students get to know you."

Dr. James S. Gould
Professor of Marketing

Q : Will the project experiences transfer to my own job?
A :
During the EMBA program, students confront and resolve many managerial problems for which they do not have prior solutions. Developing solutions for new problems is one of the learning outcomes of the program. Discussions with other students in the program provide opportunities to test the generalization of the learning to new and often unique circumstances. Students further develop the ability to identify, analyze, and resolve new problems.

The final project in the EMBA program is an independent project that you must design and complete. It should identify and resolve a significant problem confronting your organization. This project will allow you to demonstrate to the faculty, to yourself, and to your employer that the skills acquired as part of the program do apply to your job and your company.

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Q: Why doesn't the program have electives or concentrations in academic disciplines?
A :
The EMBA program, like the traditional Executive MBA program, is designed to develop general managerial skills rather than academic discipline for functional capability applied to specific classes of problems. Since the objective is the same for all students, the uniformity of course work is reasonable.

Most Executive MBA programs and many smaller MBA programs offer limited opportunity to specialize in specific areas or disciplines. Students who seek a more narrowly focused education should consider a traditional MBA program offered by a large school that can support extensive specialization like the one offered by The Lubin School of Business at Pace University.

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Q : How can I develop more expertise in a specific discipline?
A : Occasionally, students will take specialized advanced MBA electives after they complete an executive MBA program. If they take at least 4 approved courses in a discipline, they can earn an Advanced Professional Certificate. Many graduate schools of business with part-time programs offer similar programs.

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Q : Why can't I substitute other courses for some of the projects?
A : Collectively, the projects completed during the EMBA program will require significant mastery of all the disciplines of business. The projects are designed and sequenced so that each project extends the knowledge and skills acquired in prior projects and develops new capability needed for future projects.

To interrupt this cumulative learning process or to lose the benefits from one of the projects would interfere with your ability to complete future projects and to contribute effectively to future project teams.

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Q: Why does the program continue throughout the summers?
A :
Most employers and students want Executive MBA programs that will be completed within two years. The EMBA program continues 20 months with no planned breaks. Extensive breaks would extend the duration of the program beyond that time frame. Also, scheduling breaks that would be convenient to all students would be difficult since you will have diverse vacation wants and needs.

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Q: When should I schedule vacations during the program?
A :
You may take vacations whenever you want. However, during vacation from your job we ask that you remain in communication with the EMBA program at least every two days and that you complete your assignments and fulfill your obligations to your project teams on schedule. To fulfill your obligations you will need a laptop computer with a modem and a telephone line where you vacation during the program.

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Q: How does Pace measure up to the competition?
A :
AACSB, the international accrediting body for business schools, reviewed the program at the end of 2005 and said Pace's EMBA is "highly innovative, ahead of its time, and unique in the marketplace."

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