Professional MBA students are working professionals motivated by a sincere desire to learn management principles in order to advance their career. Most students enter the program with two or more years of professional and/or managerial experience. The average amount of work experience is approximately 8-12 years, but our students have anywhere from 2 to 40 years of professional experience. An undergraduate degree is required, though it need not be a business degree.
Professionally, an MBA provides the skills and knowledge needed to assume higher levels of management responsibility. An MBA degree reflects an advanced level of knowledge and skill in a wide range of contemporary management topics. It also implies a well-developed understanding of strategic thinking, planning, and decision-making. For the entrepreneur, the knowledge gained while earning an MBA can make the difference between success and failure in a highly competitive environment. Furthermore, the MBA provides a credential that is often required or highly preferred for many high-level positions within an organization.
The courses offered are similar to those taught in traditional MBA programs—accounting, finance, statistics, management, marketing, and information technology—but the schedule is uniquely structured so students learn a maximum amount of course material in a challenging but manageable period of time.
Students can begin the program in either January or August and complete their final class session two years later. The class that starts the program in August 2018 will complete the program by May 2020.
The program consists of 72 credit hours which includes 56 of the hours come from MBA core classes and 16 come from electives. For elective classes, you can select from a large number of graduate-level courses offered on campus and through the online MBA program. Go to our Program page for more details.
The program is designed with the working professional in mind. Success in professional life demands a substantial and regular commitment of time, and the same can be said for the Professional MBA. Courses and assignments are both challenging and rewarding. Each team member should allot approximately 15-20 hours per week to attend class, meet with project teams, and complete course assignments and readings. Although the burden is eased by the support of other students, the program does require a high level of motivation and commitment.
Applicants should be working full-time and possess a minimum of one year of full-time professional work experience; they must also have earned a U.S.-equivalent, four-year bachelor’s degree. Completion of the online application, including an updated resume, two letters of reference, a personal statement, and transcripts, is also required. The GMAT or GRE is optional and is not required for admission to the Professional MBA.
The GMAT and GRE are not required for the PMBA program. Applicants have the option of submitting a GMAT or GRE score taken within the last five years. Less-experienced applicants may view this as an opportunity to bolster their application to the Illinois Professional MBA program. A strong test score can also help to overcome a poor academic record.
The application deadlines for January 2018 admission are as follows:

  • May 15, 2018- deadline for maximum scholarship consideration
  • July 15, 2018- deadline for admission consideration and any remaining scholarships that are available or until class is full.

We may still be accepting applications on rolling admissions after the final deadline, depending on available seats. Please contact admissions at mba@illinois.edu or 217-244-7602 for more information.

Yes international candidates may apply if they are fully employed and their current visa allows them to study in the U.S.

Please note that the University of Illinois does not provide visa support to professional international students. An international applicant who requires a student visa would have to apply for admission to our full-time MBA Program. Also, international students in the Professional MBA program would initially be classified as non-Illinois residents. However, international students who have been living and working full-time in the state of Illinois for at least 12 months prior to the start of the academic program should be able to successfully petition for in-state tuition rates.

Your personal statement should be a complete essay that includes a thesis statement, supporting paragraphs and a comprehensive conclusion. The writing prompt in the application asks that you cover your career history, why you want to earn your MBA, how you will be involved in the program and what impact an MBA from Illinois will have on your career. It is important that you convey why you are interested in the Illinois MBA program specifically and how your past skills combined with the degree will set you up for future success.
Credits from courses taken previously are not transferable. The program’s lock-step curriculum has been designed to ensure that your cohort is mutually supportive and networking is maximized.
Although it is not mandatory, students are strongly encouraged to purchase a laptop computer for note taking, group meetings and other class work.
An MBA is an investment in both your career and future success. Considering the high-quality faculty, facilities, and support staff dedicated to the program, the costs are modest in comparison to the benefits. Prospective students are encouraged to submit the merit scholarship essay as part of their application and contact their employers to determine if tuition assistance is available. Students often qualify for loans and financial aid. Visit our Financial Aid page for scholarship and loan information. We also encourage students to consider utilizing the University’s Payment Plan.

MBA Tuition is a flat rate and does not change with the hours you take per semester which makes budgeting easier.  A $1,000 non-refundable enrollment deposit is required at the time of admission. This will be applied to the first semester’s tuition at the time of matriculation.

No. Although many students probably will receive some type of employer assistance, students may pay tuition independently.
The Professional MBA is a self-supporting program, and tuition waivers are not granted for this program (see Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students Rule 51.E).
Classes for the Professional MBA meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. during the fall and spring terms.  During the summer term, students will be able to take electives that meet their needs through our Online MBA classes. All classes except online are held on the Urbana-Champaign campus in the Business Instructional Facility.
The Professional MBA only holds classes on the Urbana-Champaign campus.
Currently, shuttle transportation is provided from Bloomington to campus. The shuttle cost is minimal and it picks up and returns students to the same location.
The University of Illinois only offers one MBA degree but has three different ways to earn that degree. All students in the Professional, full-time and online MBA programs earn their Master of Business Administration degree.
Yes, students in the Professional MBA are provided with opportunities to develop their business careers while in the program. For more details, go to our Career Services page.
A transfer to the full-time program can be considered with submission of a valid GMAT or GRE score and an interview with the admissions team. Transfer admission decisions will be made by the full-time admissions committee.
  • Proposed Program – Business Administration
  • Degree – Business Administration – Part-time MBA
  • Desired Term of Enrollment: Fall 2018
  • Concentration/Field of Specialization: None