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#45 IE-SMU MBA Admissions Chat with Gregor Halff & Lieven Demeester

IE-SMU MBA Gregor Halff

Professor Gregor Halff

“IE and SMU together said there’s a market for people who can’t uproot themselves, that don’t have easy access to top-tier business schools and this is how we can combine forces and spread greater fairness through Asia-Pacific.”

Most of the top-ranked business schools in Asia are in Singapore and Hong Kong. But what if you can’t afford to leave your job or city to pursue your MBA? IE Business School and Singapore Management University (SMU) have teamed up to help such professionals in South East Asia and launched a 10-month blended MBA, which combines residential segments in Singapore and Madrid with weekly online classes and forum discussions.

Most people (including myself) consider “online MBAs” a way for business schools to scale their offering and make more money. But after speaking to Dr. Gregor Halff, Associate Dean of General Management Programs at SMU, and Dr. Lieven Demeester, IE-SMU MBA Academic Director, I learned that students can expect as much – if not more – time spent with professors than in a traditional face-to-face MBA format. Gregor calls this small-group learning supported by technology; the expected class size is 30 students.

Graduates are awarded a joint-degree from IE and SMU and get access to both schools’ alumni networks and career services. At 74,900 SGD, the tuition is 20% more than SMU’s MBA program, but also 30% less than IE’s MBA program. Students take 18 core courses, 3 courses focused on management in Asia, and must complete a real-world 10-month consulting project with teammates.

Darren’s take: this blended program is ideal for professionals in SE Asia who a) don’t want to leave their job and b) want get a high-touch, top-tier joint MBA degree in just 10 months. 

IE SMU MBA Academic Director Lieven Demeester

Professor Lieven Demeester

Touch MBA’s IE-SMU MBA Essentials

Program Highlights (1:30)

  • IE Business School founded in 1973. SMU was established in 2000 and launched its first MBA program in 2008.
  • 1 intakes/year in Sep
  • Length: 10 months
  • Four 3-day residential segments at SMU in Singapore, One 3-day residential segment at IE’s Madrid campus
  • ~30 participants/intake
  • Participants should expect to work 25-30 hours/week
  • IE MBA ranked #13 by Financial Times 2014
  • Accredited by AMBA, EQUIS

Admissions (15:30)

  • Rolling admissions from Jan – Aug
  • Expected avg GMAT: 650-680, applicants can also take IE or SMU Admissions Test
  • Expected avg age: 30, avg work experience: 5-6 years (min 3 years of experience)
  • Min TOEFL 100 (internet), Min IELTS: 7

Financing (20:28)

  • Tuition: 74,900 SGD
  • Scholarships cover up to 30% of tuition, and are awarded for Leadership, Community Impact, Entrepreneurship, Diversity, and Academic Excellence

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