Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for applications?

We have a rolling admission process so we review applications as they are received. We strongly encourage applicants to apply early.

Your admission requirements include “relevant work experience.” What qualifies as relevant work experience? 

Relevant work experience is an important admission requirement because our MBA students will contribute to one another’s learning as well as learn from each other. Relevant work experience includes:

  • Increasing levels of responsibility
  • Responsible line, staff, or project responsibility
  • Planning, organizing, leading, controlling, evaluating functions
  • Functional/business knowledge as part of the job description
  • Interaction with management departments/functions, or external audiences outside own area of responsibility
This doesn't look like other MBA programs I'm considering. What makes an MBA an MBA?

No two MBA's are alike. Business schools design their programs to meet the needs of their stakeholders – employers, students, the community – based on their vision of graduate business education. In designing this program, Alverno business faculty studied the literature on graduate business education, reviewed other MBA programs, met with community business professionals, and drew upon their own extensive experience as business educators.

The Alverno MBA builds the foundation and provides for the immediate practice of knowledge and abilities needed to lead, manage, create, and compete in the global marketplace. Learning is based on Alverno’s internationally acclaimed teaching, ability-based curriculum, and assessment methods for adult students to achieve their personal and professional goals.

You say this program is for “growth-oriented, high potential individuals…who aspire to greater influence and impact.” How do I know if this is right for me?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you determine whether this MBA program is the right one for you. Do you want to…

  • Learn to ask the right questions?
  • Engage in a transformative experience?
  • Continually learn from faculty, colleagues, and personal feedback?
  • Develop your business acumen?
  • Develop personal leadership?
  • Execute with excellence?

If your answer to these questions is a resounding “yes,” then there is a good fit between your goals and the design of this MBA program.

Do I need an undergraduate business degree to be admitted to the program?

No. All applicants accepted into the program bring with them relevant business or organizational experience that creates a rich learning environment for everyone. From the very beginning with the Integrated Management course, students work in teams and benefit from one another’s diverse experiences and expertise. This course introduces non-business undergraduates to the critical concepts, principles, and skills needed as a foundation for subsequent coursework. For participants with an undergraduate business major, the course provides an opportunity to review, integrate, and share their prior learning in new ways.

Why don’t you require the GMAT? How do you know whether applicants are qualified to take on the challenges of a graduate program?

Alverno faculty believe the GMAT creates a barrier for busy professionals interested in advancing their careers through graduate business education. After a careful review of the literature, faculty followed the example of some of the best business schools in the country, and decided not to require the GMAT as an admissions requirement. Instead, faculty drew upon their extensive experience with assessment methods to create a carefully designed portfolio assessment that is used along with other evidence to evaluate applicants.

Who is in the program?

The Alverno MBA targets a mix of students with relevant business experience who can share their work experiences with faculty and students and apply their learning immediately in the workplace. This is the foundation for our student-faculty learning community and provides the opportunity to develop lasting personal and professional networks. Students represent a cross-section of business functions and industries and have varied academic and business backgrounds. Our goal is to reflect the Milwaukee area social and business demographics in each class.

I have an undergraduate business degree and lots of business experience. Why do I have to take the Integrated Management course?

Integrated Management is the foundation course for all MBA students. It is unique in its interdisciplinary focus and approach to business problem solving. For participants with an undergraduate business major, the course provides an opportunity to review, integrate, and share their prior learning in new ways.

Through case studies, simulations, and integrating assessments students link knowing and doing. Since students work in teams, the course is also an important element in building professional networks that will grow and develop throughout the program. 

Since your MBA doesn’t have the traditional accounting, finance, and other business courses I see offered by other MBA programs, how do I learn these subjects in the Alverno MBA?  

The simple answer to your question is that Alverno business faculty, in designing the Alverno MBA, has distributed the content you would find in these traditional courses across our five six-semester hour required MBA courses. You develop your understanding and ability to apply this knowledge in a developmental way as it is needed. Imagine the textbooks from traditional MBA courses set out before you on a table. By the time you complete the Alverno MBA, you will have studied the material covered in these texts and mastered the same body of knowledge as other MBA graduates. 

What do you mean when you say “the Alverno MBA is REAL”?

REAL - Relevant Experiential Active Learning - represents carefully designed on and off campus experiences that are integrated into the MBA program. They focus and extend other classroom experiences and engage students from across the MBA program in the issues and complex problems encountered in today’s business environment. For example, students may explore attracting and developing the most talented people in a changing labor market or evaluate strategies to implement the most effective performance measurement models in their own organizations. They may visit a local business to see a benchmark process or system in action. Or, they may role play to negotiate difficult compensation or contractual situations in domestic and global contexts. The Alverno MBA provides a unique experience bringing together students, faculty, and others as a learning community.

Why are required courses 6 credits each and when do they meet?

The MBA required courses (MGT 600, 610, 620, 630, and 640) meet all day Saturday on every-other-weekend. They are designed as 6 credit courses to provide large blocks of time for learning activities such as site visits, simulations, integrating assessments, panel presentations, and guest speakers.

What days do classes meet?

Full-time graduate students take 6 or more semester hours of course work each semester. We expect most students will take a required course each semester.

The required courses meet every other Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters. The electives are offered during the first summer in a hybrid of classroom and online instruction. The final core course is offered the second summer - also in a hybrid format.

What time commitment is required in your MBA program?

The time commitment can vary greatly depending on the individual student. Each required course meets for 8 hours on Saturday every other weekend during the semester (8 sessions in total) and all students come together for a one-half day final assessment session on the Saturday following the last class (this is referred to as “external assessment” on the Academic Calendar).

MBA programs require a significant commitment of time outside of class and the Alverno MBA is no different in this regard. This time will vary depending on the course, your academic and professional background, and the specific assignments. It is safe to assume you should allow at least 12-20 hours per week for reading, reflection, and preparation of assignments.

How do MBA students manage their time to meet the time commitment expected by the program?  

Our MBA students generally have demanding fulltime jobs and many also have other professional, family, and social obligations that place demands on their time. Here are some of the strategies students use to ensure they devote quality time to their studies:

  • Set aside a period, say 2 hours, each day to read, reflect, and work on assignments. This might be “quiet” early morning time for early risers or late evening time for “night owls.”
  • Allocate large blocks of weekend time to study. For students in class all day Saturday, this may mean spending Friday evening and a portion of Sunday reading, reflecting, and working on assignments. On non-class weekends, set aside Saturday and a portion of Sunday for studying.
  • Develop a hybrid approach (some evening and some weekend time) that adjusts to work and family schedules. The important point is to systematically plan for the time and calendar it.
How can I finance my MBA education? 

The Alverno College Financial Aid office can assist you in exploring these and other strategies for financing your professional education:

Employer tuition reimbursement. Check with the appropriate personnel in your organization to see if this option is available to you. If needed, we can contact your employer to explain our program in relationship to other area programs.

Scholarships and grants. Conduct an internet search to identify scholarship and grant opportunities. Include “MBA” as one of your search criteria.

Federal loans. All students are eligible for federal Stafford loans through the Federal Family Educational Loan Program.

Private loans. Contact local banks for further information about financing your graduate education.

Veterans benefits. Visit for further information. Contact the Alverno College Financial Aid office by telephone at 414-382-6046 or 800-938-3401, by e-mail at, and visit their web page for further information and links to financial aid web sites.

My question is…

If you have a question not addressed here, please contact us and we will reply as quickly as possible: 414-382-6100 or