This page highlights frequently asked questions about the Rochester-Bern Executive MBA and our modular program offering. Obtain further insights from our students and professors and experience our curriculum during an upcoming Open Day.


What are AACSB and EQUIS accreditations?
  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) was established in 1916 and it has the broader scope in terms of international accreditations. It has developed a set of standards to improve college business education. Since this first set was developed in 1919, AACSB has regularly updated its standards, which are used as the basis to evaluate a business school’s mission, operations, faculty qualifications and contributions, programs, and other critical areas.
  • The European Quality Standard (EQUIS) is an accreditation developed in 1997 by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). EQUIS aims to internationally regulate quality standards for business schools, and it is considered the European equivalent of AACSB.

Rochester-Bern Executive Programs is a subsidiary of the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester in the U.S., which has been accredited by the AACSB since 1966 – longer than any school in Europe. Most American business schools, including the Simon Business School, do not seek further validation outside of North America. 

Why choose the Rochester-Bern EMBA?

What differentiates Rochester-Bern from others?
  • Dual degree: Upon successful completion of all ex­aminations, you will receive a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) from the University of Rochester. In addition, you will be awarded an Execu­tive Master of Business Administration degree (EMBA) from the University of Bern if you write a Master Thesis. The degrees equip you for both international and national careers in all kinds of industries.
  • Global faculty: RoBe faculty encompasses renowned professors from top business schools around the world. In addition to learning from leading scholars, you will benefit from their experience in the business world, presented in an engaging manner. Business leaders will enhance class­room discussions with dynamic guest lectures and company visits throughout the program.
  • Holistic general management curriculum based on economics and finance: Build expertise in making data-driven business decisions with the holistic general management program that is rated #2 worldwide for economics and #8 for finance worldwide. Financial and economic principles are at the core of Rochester-Bern, reflecting their connection to all aspects of your business.
  • International trips: Embrace digital transformation during a residency at the University of Rochester, NY. Throughout the four-week experience on our U.S. campus, you will learn to integrate IT within your strategy to create business advantage, sharpen your marketing strategy to generate stronger customer engage­ment and challenge your organization’s pricing strategies and capture the value of pricing dynamics. During a week-long trip to Asia, you will explore innovation hubs, assess the impact of the “Asia factor” on the competitiveness of firms and share experiences with local executives.
  • Modular flexibility: There are two different ways to pursue the EMBA: Traditionally, you begin with the full EMBA in February and complete it within 16 consecutive months. Alter­natively, you may split your educational journey into three parts over five years: two Diplomas of Advanced Studies (DAS in Finance or DAS in General Man­agement) and a subsequent Rochester residency.
  • Alumni/-ae network: After graduation, you can choose to be­come a member of different alumni/-ae associations: the Rochester-Bern Leaders Circle, the Alumni UniBE, and the Simon Business School alumni/-ae community.
  • Welcoming culture: From an individual approach to recruitment to a genuine interest in the successful development of our students, our team is committed to providing tailored student support and advancing the program.


What are the alternatives in case I have a date conflict?

We understand that conflicts can arise that may prevent students from attending classes on site. To accommodate such situations, we encourage students to reach out to their professor and teammates to discuss what they will miss. In addition, we offer to provide hybrid classes or recordings of missed sessions whenever possible to support the minimum attendance requirement of 80%.

Is it possible to obtain a degree in a modular way?

To provide you and your employer with additional flexibility when considering our EMBA program, we offer the option of beginning with one of our Certificates or Diplomas of Advanced Studies (CAS & DAS). The whole program must be completed within five years.

It is also possible to enroll in one of our CAS or DAS programs without continuing further EMBA studies.

Students’ Profile

I do not have an academic background. Can I still apply?

In contrast to other EMBA programs, an academic background is not essential to be considered for the Rochester-Bern EMBA, as long as the student demonstrates over 10 years of managerial and leadership experience in lieu of academic qualifications.

I do not have a financial background. Can I still apply?

While our program is known for its foundation in economics and finance, having a finance background is not a prerequisite. On the contrary, it should be an incentive to challenge yourself to improve your budgeting and resource allocation, understand and assess financial statements and potential risks, and communicate effectively with stakeholders, among others. Our diverse classes reflect a wide range of educational backgrounds, roles and industries: business, economics, engineering, natural sciences, IT, law, medicine or others – in fact, we welcome diversity!

We will gladly connect you with an alumnus/-a with a similar background for a relatable experience and tailored advice.

I do have a financial background, what do I still learn?

Even if you are already a CFO and/or work in the financial services, the program can still be highly beneficial and will position yourself for continued success in your career. Based on our alumni feedback, the finance experts will deepen their knowhow, and gain exposure and knowledge of other functional business areas to further develop themselves as well-rounded managers. From cross-functional areas such as leadership, operations or innovation, our holistic curriculum can help finance experts to contribute more meaningfully to strategic decisions that impact the entire organization.

We will gladly connect to an alumnus/-a with a similar background for relatable experience and tailored advice.

Stays Abroad

What is the added value of the international stays?

International stays can enhance your personal and professional development while fostering student bonding. At a personal level, studying in a foreign country can be a transformative experience, and it contributes to form lasting relationships.

From an academic perspective, it an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge and visit companies in these locations, with companies at the forefront of fields such as manufacturing and science in Rochester; and AI, robotics, and biotechnology in South Korea.

By engaging with local faculty and different teaching styles, you can develop a broader perspective on business education. Besides, you will gain valuable insights into the cultural and social dynamics of these locations as well as the opportunities and challenges that exist in these regions.

Can I bring my family to Rochester and Asia?

While it is certainly possible for students to bring partners and family members along on study trips, it is not recommended as the primary goal is to fully engage in the student experience and focus on studies. That being said, there are ways to make it work. For example, students can arrange for activities and childcare services for their family members while they are in class. This can help to ensure that their loved ones are occupied and enjoying their time while the student is focused on their studies.

Do I have the possibility to work from Rochester?

Working during a study trip can be stressful and distracting. Students may find it difficult to balance their studies with their job responsibilities, leading to a poorer academic experience. However, we acknowledge that some students may need to attend some business calls during their study trip. In this case, we suggest that students agree with their employer to ensure that their work schedule is compatible with their study schedule. It is possible to schedule work around study activities.


Can I work full-time while doing the EMBA?

Our EMBA program is designed to be compatible with a full-time career. However, the program is an intensive program that requires a significant time commitment. To be successful in the program, you will need to be able to balance your workload and set priorities to be able to leave the office every other Friday.

What is the additional workload outside of class?

This depends largely on your capacity and background, as well as your goals and ambitions. Our experience shows that students on average devote between 10 and 15 hours per week on top of class time. Over time, as participants become used to studying again and setting, the hours may decrease. Time investment may vary on the courses, depending on your expertise on the subject matter. For example, those without a finance background may find the first six months more time intensive. Throughout the program, you will be working on diverse and balanced teams -leveraging your strengths will also boost your overall performance!

Any questions left unanswered?

Do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is happy to answer them.