Format of the Rochester-Bern Executive MBA

The program begins in January and takes 17 months. Students meet biweekly in Thun (Switzerland) on Fridays and Saturdays until mid-May. Participants then spend an intensive educational residency of four weeks at the University of Rochester. This international trip can be extended with an optional one week seminar in Silicon Valley. After the summer break in July, instruction continues in Switzerland from mid-August until graduation in May of the following year. In spring of the second year, a study week in Shanghai (China) completes the educational experience.


Class weekends in Thun

Most courses of the Rochester-Bern EMBA are held every second week on Friday and Saturday at the Congress Hotel Seepark in Thun. Whenever possible, two courses are held simultaneously and taught in turns in the morning and in the afternoon. 


The biweekly format of the Swiss part of the program is designed for executives who do not want to interrupt a successful career and need a schedule which is compatible with their business responsibilities. Moreover, the format enables program participants to critically review, assimilate, and apply what they have heard in class. Learning requires time and perspective, which is what the format is designed to provide. Some class sessions can be attended online to reduce the time out of the office.


Rochester summer

The intense summer session in Rochester allows participants to replace the rigors of daily managerial life with full-time study. It promotes an international experience by joint activities with the participants from the parallel U.S. program and interesting company visits in the area. Moreover, participants develop a strong network with their peers. While staying in Rochester, the students devote their efforts to full-time study and self-improvement. Many participants consider the time in Rochester the most valuable part of the program.


As opposed to the weekends in Switzerland, courses in Rochester are held three times a week. The time in between is dedicated to individual studies and group work. In the first part of the Rochester summer, participants have class with the U.S. EMBA students. 


Silicon Valley

This optional one week seminar introduces participants to one of the hotbeds of innovation and entrepreneurship in the world.  The objective is to show (corporate) entrepreneurs and managers how to initiate and implement the innovation process from both a strategic and an operational perspective. Participants will have the unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge about latest technology trends (such as digitalization) and gain inspiration through guest speakers and company visits. Read more about the Rochester-Bern innovation journey on our blog.

China seminar

An educational trip to China completes the curriculum. This seminar is intended to enhance students’ knowledge of Asian ways of doing business and to give them a better appreciation of cultural differences. Students discuss the opportunities and challenges of doing business in China, address the competitive strategies of Chinese as well as Western firms, visit local companies, and listen to presentations by Asian managers, academics, and expatriates.


About the Rochester summer


Natasha Peters & Christine Kreis
Recruiting Managers / Recruiting Director
+41 31 631 53 27


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Open Days

You are welcome to join our EMBA Open Days on regular classes to get an insider's view.