IMD, or the International Institute for Management Development, was formed in 1990 after the evolution and mergers of Geneva’s CEI (Centre d’Etudes Industrielles) and Lausanne’s IMEDE (Institut pour l’Etude des Méthodes). It is located on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, but in 2015, the school also expanded into Southeast Asia when it opened its Executive Learning Center in Singapore.
The school offers an MBA degree program for younger professionals, with a minimum of three years of work experience. More experienced professionals may prefer the EMBA program, which is designed for candidates with company support and at least 10 years of business experience.
What is the tuition for IMD’s MBA program?
The tuition for IMD’s MBA program is CHF 95,000 per year.
What is the average GMAT score for admission to IMD's MBA program?
The average GMAT score for the incoming class at IMD is 680. IMD tells candidates to aim for a score above 630.
Does the IMD MBA program accept the GRE?
Yes. The IMD MBA program has accepted the GRE for a few years now.
What is the minimum number of years of work experience required for admission to IMD's MBA program?
IMD requires a minimum of 3 years of work experience.
What is the average number of years of work experience for admission to IMD's MBA program? (or, What is the average age of an IMD MBA student?)
The average number of years of work experience among students in IMD's MBA program is 3-8.
What is the average starting salary for graduates of the IMD MBA program?
The average starting salary for IMD MBA graduates is $126,565.
How long is IMD's full-time MBA program?
IMD offers a 1 year MBA program.
What are the application deadlines for IMD's MBA program?
IMD's MBA application deadlines are February 1, May 1, July 1 and September 1 for entry in 2022.
What percent of IMD MBA students are women?
The percentage of the class at IMD that are women is 35%.
Real-World Innovation Challenge
Akio Tokura, MBA 2022, Japan
IMD maintains a small class size of ~90 students annually, and the Class of 2021 is comprised of 98. Women make up 35% of the class, and 39 different nationalities are represented. The Class of 2021 matriculated with an average of seven years of work experience.
In regard to educational background, engineering was the most popular undergraduate major, as 31% had pursued it. Twenty-four percent earned their undergraduate degrees in business and commerce, and another 23% had studied finance and economics. Nine percent have a background in social sciences and 7% came from an IT and computer science background. The average GMAT score for IMD lands at 680.
IMD gives its applicants the choice of applying in one of four admissions rounds that fall on the first day of February, May, July and September. The school’s application requirements include completing the online application form and submitting two confidential letters of recommendation, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, uploaded transcripts, 3 years of work experience and a $200 (CHF 200) application fee. Applicants must also report their GRE or GMAT scores; the school notes that candidates typically average a 680, and they recommend scoring at least a 630 on the GMAT. TOEFL scores are also required for applicants who have not studied in English or if it is not their native language.
After the initial application, qualified candidates are invited for an on- or off-campus assessment day, during which IMD will evaluate each candidate’s English-language abilities. (Note: Phone interviews are not an option.) In its applicants, IMD seeks individuals with leadership potential, international perspective, strong interpersonal skills, steady career growth, academic ability, and strong values and integrity.
IMD has designed a special pre-application form called “Assess Your Chances” to assess potential candidates’ general fit with its program, which requires a new myIMD account login.
Online Application Form
Minimum Three Years Work Experience
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution
Official GRE or GMAT
Two letters of recommendation
$200 (CHF 200) Application Fee
Essay Topic Analysis
IMD LiveWire and DecisionWire
IMD’s 47 faculty members and dean balance teaching, research, and collaboration with international firms to keep current with the latest business trends. The faculty represent 25 different nationalities and teach across 13 disciplines, including strategy (the largest represented field), finance, innovation, interpersonal leadership, marketing, operations and more.
The IMD full-time MBA is a one-year program broken into three sections as well as a pre-program. The latter, called My MBA, runs from October to December and includes assessments and an immersion course. Business fundamentals are taught during the first section from January to June, covering business and society, operations, and strategy. Subsequently, from August to November, candidates study company engagement projects, join discovery expeditions, and build experience with international consulting projects (ICPs). The third and final section provides students with an opportunity to refine their career knowledge with electives.
MBA candidates are tasked with analyzing industries, marketing, and building business plans as well as conducting organization audits and considering new venture financing proposals. Throughout the year, assignments include group projects, integrative exercises, and individual exams. Meanwhile, the school’s corporate projects ensure direct client contact to understand current business issues and provide opportunities to network.
Students have a choice of five areas of electives to choose from: digital, finance, strategy, sustainability, and leadership & communications. Each group of electives are selected according to individualized interests, with courses designed for specific skill and knowledge development that fit each student’s immediate career targets. Through IMD’s personal and leadership building, MBA candidates will undergo peer reviews, classroom and off-campus interactions; meet with a psychoanalyst; and have time for individual reflection. These elements help shed light on issues such as group performance, navigating organizational scenarios, and how an individual’s own moral compass impacts decisions.
Other MBA Degree Options
In addition to the one-year full-time MBA, IMD offers an Executive MBA over 15 months, or over a longer period of time depending on the student’s work commitments. No matter the course timeline, students will only be away from his or her office for nine weeks total. For the EMBA program, core business themes run across the entire program, including company assignments, leadership stream, discovery expeditions, and crisis management practice.
Clubs, Conferences and Competitions
With its spectacular view of the Swiss mountains, Lausanne is both scenic and home to rich cultural and sports activities. IMD’s extracurricular opportunities span a variety of interests—professional, social, and educational. From there, student clusters can explore niche topics, and a social committee coordinates class outings like ski trips and summer barbecues. Group sporting events see students and spectators joining the annual MBA Regatta, weekly soccer matches, and marathons.
On campus, students can hear distinguished guest speakers’ latest insights and case studies as well as personal challenges they faced and strategically addressed. During the year, there are specific course-related projects to pursue, including startup projects that invite MBA candidates to help a new high-tech venture develop its business model or move to its next stage. Similarly, students can join company engagement projects at partner companies for up to five weeks during the summer, offering potential employers the opportunity to review candidates’ fit with their firms. For international consulting projects, students complete a strategy assessment and form recommendations for corporate clients and NGOs.
Moreover, several large-scale events bring together IMD students, top-ranking executives and speakers, faculty, and other global business leaders. For example, Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWD) is IMD’s five-day flagship program that’s comprised of at least 20 plenary sessions and topical streams that invite MBA candidates to explore business issues and present findings to a wider audience. Additionally, Discovery Expeditions invite students to take a 10-day trip to such destinations as Dubai, Singapore, China, Japan, Mexico, and the United States, where they can visit companies, join research projects, and engage in discussions on a range of topics.
With only a one-year program, the IMD alumni network grows stronger annually with new members who interact online every day, whether for networking, global collaborations, peer learning, or forums on business topics like entrepreneurship, leadership, healthcare, digital evolution, and more. Alumni clubs also host guest speakers and panel discussions across Switzerland and around the world.
Just blocks from Lake Geneva, IMD’s scenic campus is situated in one of the most picturesque urban areas in Europe. This region of Switzerland has swiftly become one of the world’s top science and technology hubs, and is home to blue-chip companies that interact on a global scale. The city and school offer unique access to executive networking and leadership building opportunities.
The campus includes six main buildings in Lausanne’s Ouchy district, including the landmark historic building La Résidence that serves as IMD’s reception hall and the president’s office. Since 2002, IMD has inaugurated the sleek Executive Learning Center building, the research-oriented Nestlé Building, and the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center, the main conference hall with a 350-seat auditorium. There is no housing available on campus, but the IMD team is available to assist with lodging for the school year.
In recent years, the school has placed specific emphasis on its Career Stream process. In working with recruiters, the dedicated career services team builds close, long-term relationships by understanding each company’s unique culture. For MBA students, the IMD team starts with career audit methodology that helps clarify an individual’s professional profile and transferable skills for switching to another industry, job function, or location. The Career Stream involves personal coaching, refining each student’s development goals, and shaping career plans and strategies. These career services include collaborations with IMD-affiliated internal and external career counselors; practice interviewing and negotiation; job search seminars; panels with global human-resources executives; MBA mentoring partnerships; career fairs; and year-round, off-campus networking events. IMD’s MBA program is regularly ranked among the world’s best, in part due to successful recruiting by companies who appreciate the school’s rigor with candidates, and relevance in the current global business climate.
Healthcare was the most popular industry for the Class of 2020, as 29% entered the field. Manufacturing was second, claiming 18% of the graduates. These fields were followed by technology at 17% and consulting at 12%. Eight percent pursued financial services and another 6% each joined the energy or retail industry.
Seventy-nine percent of IMD students took job opportunities in Europe, by far the most popular destination. Asia was a distant second, taking in 10% of the Class of 2020. Four percent headed to Latin America and the Caribbean, while the Americas, Oceania and Africa each saw 2% of graduates.
The cost of tuition is $103,563.30 (CHF 95,000). IMD structures its tuition and fees to include program and project-related expenses for the MBA year. This includes books; teaching materials; professional coaching and a partner advisor; weekday lunches at IMD; accommodation and travel expenses for IMD-organized projects; costs for executive-program, OWP participation, and off-campus teambuilding. IMD expects average housing and living expenses for a single person to be $39,245 (CHF 36,000).
IMD grants scholarships or loans to about half of its MBA students, and the maximum financial aid amount awarded per student is $85,000 (CHF 85,000). Approximately $1,000,000 (CHF 1,000,000) was awarded in scholarships in 2019. The school strongly advises all candidates to seek external financial-aid support.
Estimated Cost of Attendance
- Tuition & Fees: $103,563.30 (CHF 95,000)
- Estimated Room and Board: $39,245/year (CHF 36,000)
- Total $142,808.30
Ch. de Bellerive 23
P.O. Box 915
CH-1001 Lausanne, Switzerland
Email: [email protected]