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A customizable and flexible program to think outside the box

The International MBA at IE is designed for those who can think outside the box and challenge conventional thinking. To increase your competitiveness, in just one year the program helps you act upon your ideas and offers ongoing feedback that focuses on you and your individual career aspirations.

IE’s innovative pedagogy pushes traditional classroom boundaries in order to be most effective and relevant to you and your career in an evolving world of business. To help you develop faster, 45% of the program can be tailored to your individual, personal, and professional goals.

Furthermore, the program emphasizes important universal skills, such as critical thinking, communication, interpersonal skills, and collaboration. Finally, the IE International MBA encourages all students to develop their entrepreneurial thinking so that they can be competitive in any industry or new venture.

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The IMBA Program

(For more detailed information use our interactive graphic below)

Core Period

Phase based on “Labs”. An experiential learning through challenges, workshops and multimedia tools.

“The Core Period – Understand and go-beyong the Basics”

  • 1. Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset
    • Entrepreneurial Management I
    • Entrepreneurial Management II
  • 2. Mastering Business Fundamentals
    • Financial Accounting
    • Managerial Economics
    • Managerial Decision Making
    • Managerial Accounting
    • Corporate Finance
  • 3. Integrating General Management Perspectives
    • Marketing Management
    • Leading People & Teams
    • Strategy
    • Operations Management
  • 4. Thinking Beyond Business
    • Innovation in a Digital World
    • Critical Management Thinking
    • Business, Government & Society

Lab Period

After the Core Period, you will choose one of two accelerated Labs directly matching your own professional goal: Do you want to create maximum impact within an existing company or do you want to start your own business? The highly innovative Labs Period marks a disruptive approach to business education by fostering integrative thinking and experiential, challenge-based learning. The idea is to enrich the core curriculum with uniquely packaged, relevant and hands-on input that you would otherwise not get in an MBA program.

In the Business Impact Lab, you focus on developing your integrative skills and cross-disciplinary management perspectives to be ready to create real impact from day 1 in any organization you will join post-MBA. You acquire the tools to question the status quo and to implement transformational ideas in a corporate setting. There are real challenges by real companies, but your solutions may be anything but ordinary. Critical knowledge areas include…

  • Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Corporate Business Model Innovation
  • Mastering the Big Data Challenge
  • Strategy Implementation
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance and Board Dynamics


In the Start-up Lab, you will be immersed in an incubator-like atmosphere together with other peers who want to start their own venture. Real entrepreneurs know that a start-up consists of a series of experiments with painful trial-and-error iterations. In this Lab, we prepare you for this challenge in a uniquely hands-on, inspiring and safe learning environment. It is the catalyst that will help you excel later in the Venture Lab during the Elective Period. Critical knowledge areas include…

  • Navigating the Startup Ecosystem
  • Mastering the Entrepreneur’s Toolbox
  • Startup Mechanics & Entrepreneurial Readiness
  • From Zero to Product: Towards a MVP
  • Growth Hacking & Generating Market Traction
  • From Bootstrapping to Series A Funding


For students interested in social responsibility and social enterprise, there is also a Social Impact Lab option available.

Elective periode

To further enable you to pursue your passions, to deepen your understandings and to finalize your career focuses, the Elective Period at the end of the program offers a wide variety of customization options. Customization options* include among others:

  • Initial choice of 150 different Electives Courses: Cluster your electives based on trends, track and your individual career focus
  • Consulting Projects: Take advantage of IE’s partnership with the Wharton School of Business and consult with a company, or take part in our own competitive IE Consulting Project
  • World Unplugged: Maximize your learning at one of our partner Schools around the world for 3 months or 1 week
  • Global Network Week: Learn side-by-side with students from other elite business schools as a part of the Global Network for Advanced Management convened by Yale University
  • IMBA in Practice: Implement what you have learned in a 7 to 10 week long internship
  • Social Impact Project: Undergo a transformative leadership development program in South Africa, Peru and Brazil
  • Venture Lab: Incubate your start-up idea and take advantage of the high-quality “deal flow” within our global network of investors
  • IE Dual Degrees: A dual degree from IE can offer you a competitive differentiation and the opportunity to display a sharp focus and an airtight commitment to two fields of study, as well as a clear understanding of your career goals and the desire to be one of the leading contributors in your chosen industry and function. Explore IE Dual Degree options here.

Professional Fitness

To help you identify and work toward your career goals, you will be enrolled in a Professional Fitness program once a week along with the core curriculum. Professional Fitness contains two elements: Career Fitness and Behavioral Fitness.

Career Fitness

To equip you with the necessary tools and help you build a career strategy to succeed in an increasingly complex and competitive job market, IE has developed a unique “Career Fitness” program that focuses on 4 milestones. Some of the corresponding activities include:


Behavioral Fitness

Leading yourself and others is fundamentally about behavior; and behaviors happen moment by moment across every workday. Well-trained behaviors are what will drive your own performance, the performance of your teams, and ultimately your career.

Ask any senior manager, entrepreneur, or recruiter about professional success and they’ll say that beyond being good at your specific area of work, success is driven by the quality of the behaviors and attitudes that you bring to your work.

Behavioral Fitness is an integrated leadership training program designed to help you develop a foundation of the critical behaviors necessary to support your long-term professional success. No one becomes physically fit by going to the gym for a few days, and no professional should expect to be behaviorally fit by spending a few hours learning about skills like listening, teamwork, or decision making. It takes focus and practice day after day, moment by moment.


The Behavioral Fitness training is designed to turn your time in the International MBA into a “gym” where you can practice new and more productive workplace behaviors. It is about transforming yourself, and it is also about learning how to lead others to do the same.

1.Communicating for Success

  • Effectively communicate your ideas, proposals and plans to win over any audience

2.Building High-Performance Teams

  • Understand the conditions that drive team performance, and how you can contribute your best as a member of a team

3. Hacking Habits

  • Implement a neuroscience-based framework to make sustainable improvements in your professional behaviors 

4. Assessing & Developing People

  • Develop the management skills to help others perform at its best

5.Influencing & Persuading

  • Fine-tune your ability to construct convincing stories and arguments to drive action and change

6.Creating a Leadership Vision

  • Envision the leader you want to be, and develop a trajectory to realize your vision


Additional Program Elements


The pre-program will be available online about one month before the program starts. Pre-program courses include Careers, Financial Accounting and Quantitative Methods. 

Spanish Classes

You have the option to attend a free, four-week intensive Spanish course just before the program, and you may continue with optional language classes throughout the program.

Integrative Exercise

Your learning culminates in a final Integrative Exercise in front of a faculty jury. You may choose between a final case study, an Impact Project with a company or your Venture Lab Project.

IMBA Unplugged

After the Integrative Exercise, students can apply for IMBA Unplugged, which includes, long exchange options, a postacademic internship or dual-degree and 1+1 options at Yale, MIT, Brown, Tufts and other IE master programs depending on the intake.

IE Dual Degrees

A dual degree from IE can offer you a competitive differentiation and the opportunity to display a sharp focus and an airtight commitment to two fields of study, as well as a clear understanding of your career goals and the desire to be one of the leading contributors in your chosen industry and function. Explore IE Dual Degree options here.