Frequently Asked Questions

The INSEAD GEMBA programme - as any INSEAD learning experience - is aimed at a wide range of executives from many different countries, industries, academic and business backgrounds. The diversity in INSEAD classes truly enriches the learning experience, as each student contributes with his or her own culture, perspective and mindset to the issues studied. Moreover, one of the cornerstones of our programme is our emphasis on group work and virtual teams and the importance of sharing best practices. Executive MBA participants are an important source of support to each other, developing close friendships and international professional network.

For related information, see Student Profiles.

Returning to an intense learning environment such as the INSEAD GEMBA, after many years in business, certainly means adjustment and a major time commitment. But it is also a source of renewed inspiration and energy, a real life-changing experience. To make it work, you need to be prepared to invest time and energy in the people and the programme.

Before applying, we suggest that you try the simple “3Ps test” below:

Do you have the full support of your manager and colleagues?
Even if your company is supporting you financially or with unpaid leave, is everyone aware that there is absolutely no flexibility about the dates you will be away?

Will you have the full support of your family or partner? 
Are they aware how long you will be away? Are practical arrangements, such as additional childcare, in place?

Have you fully researched the format of the GEMBA and compared it with other EMBA programmes?
Are you sure this will work for you and your circumstances?

The INSEAD GEMBA programme requires a significant time commitment. This translates to 12 weeks of on-campus modules, and in addition, there is an equivalent of 10 to 12 hours of homework a week.

For more information, see curriculum and Programme Schedule.

Full-time INSEAD faculty constitutes the majority of the GEMBA teaching team. Some faculty are engaged in teaching within the full-time MBA programme as well, and most of them have substantial experience in high-level Executive Education.

For more information, see our list of Faculty Profiles.

No. Our experience has been that our GEMBA offers unique value, even to those participants well versed in a discipline. Plus, the design of the INSEAD GEMBA implies that everyone in the class takes all the courses together, contributing to each others' learning.

There is an exam at the end of each core course and for the electives a variety of evaluation methods will be applied. Final course grades for most courses will be determined by a mix of class participation, projects and exams. For exams, INSEAD grades on a Standard Normal Curve, also called a Z-Curve, with a mean of 3.0.

You will receive a fully accredited and highly recognised Masters in Business Administration degree.

Yes, INSEAD has organised events for GEMBA partners. These are tailor-made for each GEMBA class, so can vary from year to year.

What does the Admissions Committee look for in a competitive application?


We look for participants who will contribute proactively and share the insights they have gained throughout their professional and personal experience. A competitive applicant manages to demonstrate a clear desire for intellectual growth, both in the classroom and through working on group projects.

We select participants who demonstrate cross-cultural understanding and an international outlook.

Finally, admitted candidates have demonstrated their academic capacity to address the intensive, rigorous and challenging EMBA curriculum. Both GMAT and the INSEAD EMBA Admissions Test provide a uniform and standardised way of evaluating candidates to that effect. Academic transcripts and test scores help us determine analytical skills and if a participant would benefit from doing preparatory work for some of the courses, particularly mathematically-based ones.

For related information, please check Admissions Criteria.

Each GEMBA candidate must have corporate endorsement before starting the programme.

Corporate endorsement means: 
Your company acknowledges the necessary time commitment you need to complete the programme. Corporate endorsement does not necessarily mean the employer is paying the full tuition fee for the programme, although some participants are fully or partially financially sponsored for the Executive MBA programme.

You are most welcome to Contact Us to ask any questions you might have or arrange for an on-campus one-on-one meeting with GEMBA staff. You can also meet GEMBA programme advisors at our Events worldwide.

Preparation is strongly encouraged. The best way to prepare is to practise actual GMAT questions (focus on data analysis, data interpretation, communication analysis and critical thinking) and/or working with a 3rd party to prepare. It is wise to practise in a mock testing environment, inclusive of time constraints.

As the GMAT has a broadly similar structure, you can get a feeling for the test structure through looking at GMAT questions. However, the GMAT also tests many areas that the INSEAD Assessment does not, and vice versa. 

It is different. It tests a broader range of aptitudes including allowing a presentation to be made to indicate ability to analyse a business scenario and communicate it. It does NOT require you to spend time on extensive preparation for rule-based mathematics and English grammar correction that would not be used in a business context.

You are given a business scenario in story format to read and absorb, with some number and background information. You will arrive at a general understanding of what is happening in the scenario and realise what the key points of the case are. You will make a presentation of up to three slides summarising the situation, and what the appropriate challenges and opportunities for the business are. The case will pose three questions that you must answer along the lines described above. A business person with significant experience in presentation will have been prepared for this exercise through their job.

The case presentation need not be prepared for. This is a holistic test of your approach to reviewing a business scenario, and your personal presentation and communication skills will shine in this part of the test. In fact, your individual personal approach will be valued better than a coached one. It is your opportunity to differentiate yourself from other candidates. There is no right or wrong result. The INSEAD Assessment does not look like a traditional consulting case, there is no need to review cases online. It is designed to be readable and understandable by people without a consulting background.

The INSEAD Assessment comprises of 4 sections: Data analysis, data interpretation, communication analysis and critical thinking. For more information, please go to the INSEAD Assessment page.

Essentially there are math problems that test your fluency with numbers and ability to perform business mathematics as part of your job, and verbal problems that test your ability to zero in on the relevant content in logical and opinion pieces. If you do not use mathematics in work frequently, this will be indicated in your resume as well, and INSEAD will make recommendations for pre-EMBA preparation. You should not feel like you have to hit a particular target. The class will be balanced by people of different strengths, the test simply aids the admissions committee to understand your profile better.

On any of our campuses in Fontainebleau, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, on test dates approximately once a month. View all Upcoming Assessment Dates.

No, you need to submit your application to the programme at least 2 weeks before your chosen Assessment date. Once your application has passed pre-screening, you will be able to confirm your place and issue online payment for the Assessment.

The cost to take the INSEAD Assessment is €185 globally (subject to change). Once you have submitted your application indicating that you would like to take the test, your file will be pre-screened and upon the Admissions committee’s approval you will receive an invitation email with instructions on how to register for your preferred assessment date and pay the fee.

Yes, there will be other candidates on the INSEAD Assessment day.

It would take place either in the morning or afternoon. View all Upcoming Assessment Dates. We recommend that you set aside 5 hours for the campus visit and the test. The visit is also a good opportunity for you to get to know INSEAD and the GEMBA programme.

Yes, you may choose another date on the test schedule.

We recommend that you Get in Touch with Us for a discussion once you begin considering the programme. We will be able to help you with a pre-assessment, discuss your needs, and guide you along the process.

The test will be marked and the result is used to indicate the candidate’s relative strengths in quantitative ability, logical and analytical skills and communication skills. The result is not released as the INSEAD test score is not a comparative one, but an indicative one.

You cannot retake the INSEAD Assessment as it is only offered once. If you were not successful, it is up to the Admissions Committee to decide whether you can reapply and what course of actions is needed for you to improve your application.

The Assessment helps the Admissions Committee to gauge your likely performance in an academic and classroom environment, to determine your profile accordingly, and to aid them to propose additional preparation before the EMBA. There is no “weighting”. The most important part of your application remains your track record as a business person and your plan for maximising the EMBA opportunity to develop your career.

Yes, upon application and invitation to the Assessment Day, you will receive detailed information on how to get to our campuses, transportation, accommodation etc.

If you choose to delay submission of your application until the following round of the same intake, your application form details will be saved automatically. Note that access to your form will be temporarily disabled from 00:00am (Central European Time) on the day of the deadline, as the system will shutdown for about four days. Access to your form will resume once the temporary shutdown period ends, so you can continue editing it.

Please bear in mind that if you miss all four rounds of a particular intake, your application form and its entire contents will expire. At this point, you will be required to complete a new application from scratch, for the next intake.

Application: All applications to the INSEAD GEMBA are submitted online. Make sure to thoroughly complete the Application Form, giving accurate and up-to-date information; and take the time to reflect upon and write up the six essays (one of which is optional). You will need to provide us with the required supporting documents including two recommendation letters - ideally from your current or past professional environment. You will also specify in in your application whether you take the GMAT (in which case you need to provide us with your GMAT score) or whether you plan to sit the INSEAD EMBA Admissions Test. View the Application Checklist page for more information.

Admissions Pre-selection: once the application is complete, the Pre-selection Committee decides whether or not to invite you to the next stage – an Admissions interview if you presented a GMAT score or an invitation to take the INSEAD EMBA Admissions test.

Admissions Decision: once interview reports (for GMAT score holders) or test and panel results (for INSEAD test-takers) are received, final decisions are made by the Admissions Committee and notifications are sent to candidates by e-mail within ten days of the interview or of the INSEAD EMBA Admissions test date.

No, the Admissions process is the same whichever GEMBA section you apply for.

The INSEAD GEMBA programme operates a staged Admissions process. However, we are continually receiving and reviewing applications. It is strongly recommended to apply early. Application deadlines are different for each GEMBA section as classes start at different dates for each section.

Should you wish to take the INSEAD EMBA Admissions test, you must submit your application at least two weeks prior to the test date.

The INSEAD GEMBA programmes should be regarded as a win-win proposal for sponsoring companies.
The company invests in developing your skills and rewarding your ambitions. While broadening your managerial skills, you continue to contribute to the company, and your job performance is strengthened by the programme's applicable content and enriched by interactions with INSEAD faculty and sharing best practices with an international group of peers. For more information on company sponsorships, see Sponsoring Companies.

Comparing costs is not always as easy as it appears. While the GEMBA programme may appear to be more expensive than the full-time MBA programme at INSEAD, it's important to take the following into account:

The cost of the GEMBA programmes covers tuition and fees, all required instructional materials, books and computing charges and selected meals. (It does not include transport, accommodation and dinners.) There is no real opportunity cost since you can complete the GEMBA programme without leaving your job — unlike the full-time programme. View the current Tuition Fees for the GEMBA programme.

Nearly half of the GEMBA participants receive some financial support from their sponsoring companies. The remainder is roughly balanced between self-funding and partial corporate funding, although these proportions fluctuate by year.

Yes, we do have scholarships available. Please see our Scholarships page for more information.

INSEAD does not provide a placement service. However, the INSEAD EMBA Career Development team offers support in career management strategy and delivers professional development advice.

Our dedicated EMBA Career Development team provides individual career advice sessions and access to career coaches. They also conduct workshops on campus or via WebEx on topics like CV writing, interviews skills, cover letter, strategy on job search etc. and publish a CV book (for self-sponsored participants). Furthermore, the Career Development team maintains dedicated online resources such as an EMBA career intranet website and an INSEAD recruitment platform with specific job postings for EMBAs. For more information, please visit the Career Development page.

Participants have access as soon as the programme starts and up until graduation. After graduation, they become alumni and fall into the remit of the Alumni Career Development Centre offering a life-long support.

Participants who are sponsored for more than 51% of the tuition fee have limited access to the Career Development offerings. Should you wish to gain full access to all offerings, you will need to provide us with an agreement letter from your company.

We do not have official data collected. However, we do follow up closely with alumni and the general trend is that within 12-18 months after graduation, participants have evolved within their career, either internally or externally.

An EMBA programme is a learning and development programme. It is not a job search programme and each participant is fully in charge of his/her career. Having earned such a prestigious degree is definitely a competitive advantage; however, it will not guarantee a new job after the EMBA. Our Career Development team will be here to support you with job search strategy during the programme, and many participants say that the professional and personal advise they receive through the INSEAD network of classmates and alumni has been invaluable in planning their next career move.

EMBAs are senior professionals and one of their strengths is the experience they bring (functional and /or sectorial). A complete career change (function and sector and geography) will be highly unlikely at their level, and not recommended.

Companies hardly recruit EMBA participants solely because of the EMBA degree. They recruit specific profiles, with specific experiences and skills. Candidates will be recruited because of their experience, their skills, and the added value they can bring to the organisation. Few recruiters are coming on campus for EMBAs only. Companies interested in hiring experienced and senior individuals will prefer to engage with EMBA participants on a one-to-one basis, targeting specific profiles and relevant experience, rather than an entire class. This does not mean that companies are not active with INSEAD when it comes to EMBAs, but rather that their approach is different as compared to the big recruitment drives of the full-time MBA programme.

Many recruiters require experience, or at least very strong knowledge, of the region when participants are coming from abroad. This is specifically true for Asia, a little less for the Middle East. However, being based in the target region when looking for a job is close to compulsory. An additional challenge for Europe is that more and more countries are implementing increasingly restrictive visa policies (for example the UK), making it difficult for non-EU nationals to find work in Europe. Finally, in many European countries, speaking the local language is a must.


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