The Professional MBA (PMBA) degree program is a 54-credit hour program available for working professionals that is completed in the evenings or with special-format weekend classes. The expectation is that the student will complete 48 semester credits of course work in the PMBA curriculum with Olin graduate faculty. The additional credits (beyond the 48-credit minimum) may be taken with Olin faculty; alternatively, they may be transfer credits (a maximum of 9 credits from another ACCSB-accredited business program), or they may be approved graduate courses taken in other colleges of Washington University (a maximum of 6 credits). If the student is transferring the maximum of 9 credits, they will be expected to complete the remaining 45 semester credits of course work in the PMBA curriculum with Olin graduate faculty.
Candidates for the MBA degree must complete the prescribed courses for the degree within a seven-year period. Exceptions to graduation requirements may be made in individual cases with approval of the Academic Review Committee. Every candidate for a degree must indicate their intent to graduate by filing an Intent to Graduate form via WebSTAC near the beginning of the semester in which the degree is to be conferred. All MBA graduates — whether full-time, part-time (PMBA) or executive (EMBA) — receive the same Washington University Olin MBA diploma upon completion of the program.
The PMBA consists of 27 core required credits and 27 elective credits. The first semester is reserved for required credits only; after the first semester, the student may add additional electives (assuming they have met the prerequisites) to accelerate their degree. Since the PMBA is a part-time program, students must take fewer than 10 credits each semester to maintain their part-time status and part-time tuition charges. Exceptions may be requested for an occasional overload (10.5 credits) by contacting the academic advisor. PMBA students pay by the credit; full-time MBA students have a set tuition charge that remains the same whether they are taking 10 credits or 19.
The first four semesters of core courses are taught in a lockstep fashion. After the first four semesters, students may decide to speed up or slow down (while keeping in mind the seven-year time frame) to make maximum use of their company’s reimbursement policy. Ours is a cohort approach that includes small groups within the cohort. Each entering cohort is given a number that will identify the group throughout the program. Within the cohort, students are assigned to four- or five-person teams. These teams will stay together throughout the first four semesters of the core courses. Students will form their own teams for any electives that they take.
GO! Orientation Program
Students begin the PMBA with a four-day immersion program that starts with an introduction and reception on a Thursday evening. Friday will include a discussion of the nuts and bolts of the program as well as two regular three-hour classes. On Saturday, students will have one three-hour class and a team-building exercise, and this is followed on Sunday by one additional class and the student’s business professional photo session. Other than the final core class (the capstone), this will be the only time students are required to attend class on the weekend. There will be many electives available that may have a weekend component, but those are chosen by the student and not required.