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IESE Business School

IESE Business School Spain
In 1957 the first steps were taken towards the creation of IESE, which was founded in 1958 in Barcelona as the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. Initially, the school offered an array of executive education programs for managers, at a time when the concept of executive education was scarcely known outside of the United States. The establishment of these programs, aimed mainly at experienced business leaders, constituted a landmark in the history of executive education in Europe. Since then, more than 32,000 people have taken part in such programs.

Europe's First Two-Year MBA

The school launched its MBA program in 1964, under the guidance of an advisory committee set up by Harvard Business School and IESE. It became the first two-year MBA program in Europe, drawing students from all over the world. The Harvard-IESE Committee continues to meet annually to discuss matters of mutual interest and relevance.


Courses Offered

a) The International Bi-lingual MBA

The IESE MBA program takes an integrated, multidisciplinary and practical approach to business issues featuring group work in multinational teams and class-room sessions centered on case discussions and lectures.  Ethics, entrepreneurship, e-business and communications skills receive marked emphasis. With students from over 55 countries, the program is highly international in character and content. 

  • Length of program: 19 months (September-June; October-June)
  • Number of students: 430 (average 215 intake per year)
  • Applications to places: 7:1
  • Average age upon entering: 27
  • Average years of work experience: 4,2
  • Students from abroad: 80% (56+ countries represented)
  • Female students: 28%
  • Student-Teacher ratio: 4:1
  • Average GMAT score: 673
  • Program Highlights: Bi-lingual, exchange program, corporate internship

b) The Global Executive MBA

In June 2001, IESE launched its Global Executive MBA.  Offered in seven, 2-week modules over 16 months, the Global Executive MBA deals with globalization and e-business issues in a general management context, as well as teaching the management of people for success in today’s economy. Five of the seven modules take place at IESE in Spain, (Barcelona & Madrid), one module in Shanghai at the China Europe International Business School, and another in Silicon Valley in co-operation with leading high-tech companies.The program offers participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in the dynamic and distinctly different business cultures of Asia, Europe and the United States.

In September 2008 IESE launched a new monthly format to its Global Executive MBA. Imparted in six modules of 3 months each, participants only have to leave the office for one week every month for greater flexibility. This format lasts 22 months and is based in Barcelona, Madrid, Hyderabad (India) and New York. When not meeting in-session, participants are linked virtually to the school and each other through a state-of-the-art technology platform.  Participants share ideas and interact with faculty and classmates in an interconnected global community through live chats, on-line case discussions, asynchronous bulletin boards and the latest video-conferencing techniques.  

Participants have on average 12 years of professional experience and hold responsible positions with major corporations and new business ventures around the world.

  • Countries represented: 27
  • Participants from abroad: 88 %
  • Average age:38
  • Average years of work experience:12 (7 at management level)

Some companies represented: American Express, Apple Computer, Accenture, AUDI, BASF, EADS, Johnson & Johnson, Mattel Europe, Nokia, Volkswagen, Porsche.

c) Executive MBA


The EMBA is a part-time program with a clear international focus, offered at IESE's Madrid and Barcelona campus.more than 25 years ago, IESE created an Executive MBA program to meet the needs of working executives. IESE has an extensive network of alumni who hold high-level positions in Spain and around the world.

The Executive MBA at IESE is internationally-focused and bilingual (Spanish-English). Course material is provided in both languages and two program formats are offered to accommodate our students' personal and professional differences: weekly and bi-weekly. The program is offered in the IESE campus in Madrid (weekly and bi-weekly format) and in Barcelona (weekly). The last intensive week will be held at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai.


IESE Quick Facts

  • IESE MBA was ranked #1 in Europe (The Economist -UK, 2009)

  • Bilingual program: Spanish and English.
  • Intensive use of case method.
  • International week at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai (China).
  • Team work: Students from each year are divided into heterogeneous teams comprised of students with differing experiences and professional backgrounds.
  • IESE's Global campus is a technological platform of e-learning complimented by classroom education.

IESE has campuses in Barcelona and Madrid, a center in New York City and offices in Munich and Sao Paulo. IESE offers programs on four continents, in countries including Spain, Germany, Brazil, China, the United States, India, Kenya and Poland.

IESE Business School


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