by James Yellowlees

The interest in MBA programs continues to grow, but the selection of programs has become daunting. The term “MBA” has become somewhat of a mantra, but what is it and what does it involve?

Generally, MBA holders are viewed as having mastered core areas of business administration and are, therefore, consid­ered to be more able to handle important management positions. Therefore, many MBA program graduates are able to improve their employment prospects at management and executive levels. Their compensation levels generally rise accord­ingly, as well.

This last point is important, as entrants to MBA programs will shell out US $20,000 to $120,00 in tuition alone in the one to two-year intensive study peri­ods they are about to embark upon.

MBA Students

Most MBA programs prefer to accept mature students, or those who have worked for at least a few years, preferably in a management or executive position.

The traditional two-year, full-time study-at-the-campus MBA still exists but, as prospective participants are increasing­ly less able to devote so much time to MBA study, a number of alternatives have appeared.

These include: One-year intensive programs, Executive MBA programs that allow students to continue to work while they study, online learning and blended approaches that combine on-campus and online learning.


For prospective MBA program partic­ipants in Japan, the immediate tasks are: getting a good GMAT test score, getting an acceptable TOEFL test score (if English is not the candidate’s first language), selecting the programs of interest, apply­ing to them and, if there is time, doing course-related Pre-MBA preparatory work.

For the tests and application assis­tance, two well-known names provide good services in Japan: the Princeton Review and Kaplan Japan.

The Princeton Review Japan office is conveniently located near the south exit of Shibuya Station in Tokyo. Native English-speaker counselors are able to provide individual advice on suggested test preparations, program selections and program application procedures. Princeton Review is also able to assist with LSAT test preparation (for law school).

Both individual and group study and preparation options are available. Princeton Review also offers mobile instruction in Japanese.

Princeton Review Japan president Tadashi Yokoyama noted that currently about 10 percent of the students are non-Japanese and that he hopes to boost this percentage.

Contact: The Princeton Review of Japan: Tel 3463-1343, Fax 3463-2208, e-mail: [email protected].

Kaplan Education Center Japan offers similar preparatory counseling and instruction at its well-situated location within Sogetsu Hall in Akasaka in Tokyo and at its central location in Nagoya.

According to Executive Director Kenji Hirama, Kaplan has self-study options that are quite popular. Generally, students get counseling on the best approach to take for preparatory courses and self-study, based on their needs, objectives, time availability and budget. Kaplan in the U.S. recently merged with the Arthur D. Little School, so the Japan operations are able to act as feeders into that MBA program.

Students are also able to access the considerable online resources that Kaplan has gathered globally.

Contact: Kaplan Education Center Japan: Tel 0120-025600, Fax 3403-3546, e-mail: [email protected].

In terms of Executive MBA programs that can be accessed in Japan, Temple University Japan (TUJ) and the MBA Japan Program run by McGill University on the Sophia University Yotsuya campus provide the most accessible options for foreign residents.

Temple University Japan

Temple University Japan (TUJ) was established in Tokyo in 1982 to offer an American education for students in Japan. It is a branch campus of Temple University in Philadelphia.

Executive MBA Program

Temple University Japan’s Executive MBA allows execu­tives to maintain job responsibilities while completing their degree entirely in Tokyo. Classes are held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Each year’s enroll­ment is limited to a maximum of 30 students in order to opti­mize discussion and interaction among students and faculty. The program begins each year in mid-May and runs for two years.

TUJ’s Executive MBA Pro­gram is accredited by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). The program was rated by The Financial Times as one of the top 50 EMBA programs in the world (ranked No. 32 in Octo­ber 2001).

According to program director Sharon Rasul, the pro­gram is designed to develop leadership, communication, plus analytical, organizational and decision-making skills. Team­work is also a key component of the program and participants are required to work in small groups to develop projects.

Contact: Temple University Japan, Executive MBA (EMBA), Tel 5441-9871, Fax 5441-9822, e-mail: [email protected].

McGill University— The MBA Japan Program

The McGill University MBA Japan Program is hosted on the Yotsuya campus of Sophia University in central Tokyo. McGill is a highly rated Canadian university and its MBA program is well regarded for its overall level and interna­tional flavor.

Program Director Scott Maltby noted that the Japan program attracts a varied group of mainly Tokyo-based working professionals. This program is also a two-year Executive MBA program that allows participants to work while they study.

Contact: McGill University MBA Japan Program: Tel/Fax 5215-1383, e-mail: [email protected].

The following U.S.- and Canadian-based MBA programs have indicated a strong interest in recruiting students from Japan (both Japanese and other nationalities).

The Anderson School at UCLA

The Anderson School at UCLA offers MBA students strong academic preparation and a quality program at a well-known institution. The MBA program focuses on developing: an awareness of the global, tech­nological and competitive forces shaping business, analytical problem solving skills that directly relate to critical business issues, developing sound judg­ment and decision-making skills.

An interesting aspect is an emphasis on understanding the role of information and commu­nication technologies in business and management.

Anderson MBAs with inter­national interests may select from among several programs that focus on global business activity including:

(1) The two-year Spanish Fellows Program enables partici­pants to gain in-depth exposure to international business prac­tices, culture and language while studying at a graduate manage­ment school in Latin America or Spain.

(2) MBA Enterprise Corps recruits recent MBA graduates to collaborate in the management of developing enterprises, principal­ly in emerging democracies.

Another interesting aspect is the Field Study Program (12 units), a six-month investigation conducted during the second year that fields teams of three to five MBA students and their fac­ulty adviser to conduct a major strategic consulting project.

Working closely with man­agement, the teams define and analyze difficult organizational and competitive problems and make recommendations for action through written and oral presentations.

Contact: MBA Admissions, Tel 1-310-825-6944, Fax 1-310-825-8528, e-mail: [email protected].

Fuqua School of Business

The Duke MBA-Daytime program is the traditional, on-campus MBA that takes two years to earn.

The Duke MBA-Global Executive program is geared for managers with 12-plus years of working experience who have or will soon have significant global responsibilities in their compa­ny. It combines traditional class­room with Internet-enabled dis­tance teaching that allows stu­dents to maintain their current jobs while attending Fuqua.

The Duke MBA-Cross Con­tinent allows high-potential managers with three to nine years work experience to earn an internationally focused MBA degree from Duke University in a program that minimizes the disruption of careers and person­al lives. This 20-month program combines face-to-face teaching on campuses in Durham, N.C., and Frankfurt, Germany, with highly interactive, Internet-enabled distance learning. It is designed to be completed from anywhere in the world while stu­dents continue full-time employ­ment.

Contact: The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University: Tel 1-919-660-7705, Fax 1-919-681-8026, e-mail: [email protected].

The Drucker MBA Program

The Drucker School is locat­ed in Claremont, California, and attracts students who are consid­ered leaders in their fields or those who want to develop lead­ership skills. As Peter Drucker is renowned as a management “guru,” the program generally sells itself. Participants are also generally interested in manage­ment philosophy and the con­cept of management as a liberal art.

The Drucker School’s MBA program was ranked 20th nationally in the General Management category in the U.S. News 8c World Report’s 2001 rankings.

The Drucker Executive MBA program is best for experi­enced managers seeking knowledge renewal. The executive pro­gram also offers the only part time Ph.D. program in the U.S.

The Certificate Series is eight-to-12 unit concentrations in leadership, strategy and non­profit management and is designed for executives who are seeking new knowledge but don’t necessarily need a degree.

The Master of Science in Financial Engineering is a pro­gram dedicated to the use of analytical tools in assessing and managing business risk and is offered in conjunction with the Claremont Graduate University math department.

The Ph.D. in Management program is designed to allow advanced students to participate in an ongoing program of knowledge creation at the Drucker School. The program is intensive with high expectations for publication and scholarly contribution and the objective is “to create and disseminate knowledge relevant to critical issues affecting management practice worldwide.”

Contact: The Drucker School: Tel 1-909-607-7810, Fax 1-909-607-9104, e-mail [email protected].

Alliant Int’l University

Alliant International Uni­versity (AIU) in San Diego pres­ents an interesting option, as it is the home of the Ansoff Institute. Igor Ansoff, head of the institute is known as the “Father of Strate­gic Management.”

A distinguished faculty of international educators and U.S.-born educators with significant international experience leads AIU’s United States Inter­national College of Business (USICB). USICB attracts stu­dents from more than 100 nations. Its curriculum is designed for future leaders of businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations who will need to know how to conduct business in any setting, worldwide.

Assistant Dean Dr. Ali Abu-Rahma noted that, “The truly international environment we have created here is unparal­leled.”

USICB offers its Strategic Management certification pro­gram in collaboration with the University of California, San Diego. Alumni of the program include the former president of Guam University, the president of Azusa Pacific University, deans of business at several international universities and business consultants in many countries.

USICB offers the following degrees:

•Master in Business Admin­istration MBA,

•Master in International Business Administration MIBA,

•Doctorate in Business Administration DBA.

The unique Strategic Management units include strategic responses to turbulent environments, management design and management of organizational transformations, management of technological creativity and innovation, contributors to strategic management, transna­tional strategic management.

AIU offers scholarships for new domestic and international graduate students who are enrolling in the MBA/MIBA program at the San Diego cam­pus.

Contact: Office of Admis­sions, Alliant International University, Tel 1-858-635-4772, Fax 1-858-635-4739, e-mail: [email protected].

Southern New Hampshire University MBA Program

Southern New Hampshire University is a small, private university located about one hour north of Boston in the small city of Manchester. It provides a lower-cost option. The student population is only 1,800 and the campus and sur­rounding community are very friendly.

The MBA program is a 14-course degree that allows for certified specialization in the following relevant areas:

Accounting—Information Technology, Database Manage­ment and Design.

Finance—International Business, Human Resource Management Marketing, Oper­ations Management, School Business Administration, Health Administration Train­ing and Development, Telecommunications and Net­working and Sport Manage­ment.

Contact: International Admissions, Southern New Hampshire University MBA Program, Tel 1-603-645-9603, Fax 1-603-645-9629, e-mail [email protected].

Schulich School of Business MBA Program, York University in Toronto, Canada

Artist's rendering of new facilities at York University in Toront

The Schulich School MBA program provides a high quality and affordable alternative in Canada’s largest business cen­ter. Program Director Charmaine Courtis noted that Schulich is a global business school that features multiple strategic partnerships worldwide. The Schulich MBA pro­gram was rated No. 1 in 2001 by Canadian Business magazine and Forbes magazine recently ranked Schulich among the world’s best business schools for return on investment. This was based on both value of edu­cation relative to tuition costs and to the quality of employ­ment opportunities that pro­gram graduates enjoy.

Contact: Schulich School of Business, York University: Tel 1-416-736-5059, Fax 1-416-650-8174:  e-mail: [email protected].

This is only a brief overview of the wide world of Pre-MBA and MBA program options that are available, but I hope that this will help interest­ed readers begin their search for the right program and prepara­tion.


James Yellowlees, Ph.D. is the president & CEO of Global, a Tokyo-based education/training consulting firm.