FAQ Full-Time MBA
Why join the Full-time MBA at ESMT Berlin?
The ESMT full-time MBA is a generalist business degree program with a specific mission-led focus on issues of responsible leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The program is a great way to accelerate or switch your career.
The ESMT MBA is divided into five modules. Each module builds on the previous courses and will challenge you to think strategically, initiate creative solutions, and work in dynamic, international teams. There are also multiple opportunities to tailor the program to meet your needs:
- Specialization tracks: Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Managerial Analytics; Strategic Leadership
- Summer term: Industrial and Social Innovation Challenge; Internship; intensive German summer school
- Winter term: electives at ESMT focused on innovation, technology, analytics, sustainable business development, entrepreneurship, and global strategic management; International exchange.
Personal mastery and leadership are woven into the program. The small class size ensures that you constantly reflect on your experience while receiving personalized constructive feedback, and honing your leadership skills. Running alongside the program are multiple opportunities for career development. A structured career curriculum helps you build your corporate and startup capital through networking and opportunities to immerse yourself in the local economy.
In an intense 15 months, you will gain the skills and experience necessary to change your future in Europe or beyond.
Do I need to speak German?
No! English is ESMT´s working and teaching language, and English is widely spoken in Berlin.
German language skills are not required but non-native German speakers who can demonstrate their proficiency will automatically be awarded a scholarship:
- German language level B1/B2 - €1,000
- German language level C1/C2 - €2,000
How long is the program and when does it start?
What commitment is expected?
We expect a high degree of commitment. The program is an intense 15 months and you are required to attend classes five days a week. A typical day starts at 9am and class will run through to 12pm; 12-2pm is time for lunch; and then afternoon class runs from 2-5pm. In addition to around six hours of class per day, you will also need to factor in group work, personal study, and preparation time for future classes.
What rankings and accreditations does ESMT Berlin hold?
ESMT is ranked as the #1 business school in Germany by the Financial Times and #7 in Europe. We are also among the top 1% of business schools in the world to have achieved Triple Crown accreditation - AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS. The "Triple Crown" is the highest distinction of quality for business schools worldwide. Learn more about our accreditation and the latest rankings.
Will I be able to learn German?
Yes, there are multiple opportunities for you to learn German. If you want to establish your career in Germany – particularly outside of Berlin - learning German is strongly advised.
- Before the program starts: we have partnered with GLS Sprachenzentrum Berlin (German Language School Berlin) to offer discounted intensive German language courses before the MBA program begins. Your student visa allows you to come to Germany up to six months before the MBA program starts so you could start German lessons from July. Most students, however, attend from October to December. Email Student Services for more information.
- During your MBA: there are three opportunities to continue your language learning during the program, all of which are offered at no additional costs to you:
- Foundation: from April to July, take part in German language evening classes
- Summer term: choose the 6-week intensive Sommer-Sprachschule
- Electives: sign up for the Business German elective
Will I be able to work and study at the same time?
German regulations permit you to work a maximum of 20 hours per week and maintain your student status. However, the program is intense and, should you need to work, we recommend working fewer hours to prevent your studies being impacted negatively.
What Pre-MBA and Post–MBA courses are available?
Prior to the MBA program, you can choose to enroll in intensive German language courses in Berlin and either start your path to fluency or boost your current level of the language.
After completing all academic requirements of the MBA, you can choose to apply to the Responsible Leaders Fellowship (RLF) and use your skills to give back.
What visa do I need to study in Germany?
As a general rule, nationals of countries outside the EU and who plan to be in Germany for more than 90 days for work or study need to secure a visa before entering the country. Depending on the country, it can take up to six months to issue a student visa. Though the process is often quicker, all admitted students should book an appointment with their local German embassy or mission[LR1] as early as possible.
If you are a graduate of a Chinese or Indian university, there are some additional steps you need to take in order to study at a German university. This process can take up to 6 months to complete. Please visit the appropriate APS website: China (Chinese; Deutsch) India, for further information. We recommend you book an appointment as soon as possible.
Do I need a residence permit?
If you are from outside the EU or EEA, you will need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) soon after arriving in Berlin. This document allows you to live and study in Berlin during the MBA program. The permit also allows you to travel visa-free within the Schengen zone[LR1] for up to 90 days per six-month period (you will still need your passport).
Can my residence permit be extended after the MBA?
Yes. After graduating from the program you can extend your residence permit for up to 18 months.
Does ESMT offer on-campus housing?
ESMT does not offer on campus student housing. Most students live within a journey time of 25 minutes or less from campus. Through our student services platform, current students and alumni share relevant housing information with all incoming students.
Can I contact current students?
Our full-time MBA student ambassadors are here to help you understand what it means to study at ESMT Berlin and to be part of the MBA experience. Whether you want to learn more about classes, internships or simply what life as a student in Berlin is like – our ambassadors are here to answer any questions you may have. Get in touch[LR1] with them and remember tell them a bit about yourself, and what you are interested in knowing more about.
What student clubs can I join?
There are many student clubs active on campus, covering a vast variety of topics such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, investment, women in leadership, and many more. All students are welcome to join and take part in initiatives.
Am I a "good fit” for the Full-time MBA?
The program is designed for those who have strong professional experience in any field and feel ready to move to broader business-wide leadership responsibility.
You are a good fit if you are:
- Ready to seize your future and accelerate your career in Europe or beyond
- Aligned with our values of community, curiosity, courage, and rigor
- Excited to join an MBA program where you can tailor your academic journey to meet your needs
- Committed to your learning and development, and are ready to support others in theirs
We want a diverse group of professionals who share our values, want to be part of our mission to develop responsible leaders, and who will thrive academically, personally, and professionally in the MBA program. We therefore strive to achieve a fit between what our program has to offer and what you need for your professional advancement and self-development.
What do you look for when you evaluate an application?
When evaluating your application, we are looking for a diverse group of professionals who share the school’s mission and who will succeed academically and professionally in the MBA program. Each detail of your application is considered and we specifically seek:
- Excellent analytical ability, both quantitative and qualitative
- International outlook, intercultural competence, and a responsible approach to business
- Proven teamwork skills in stressful situations
- Leadership potential, especially for high-performance career growth in a global environment
- Willingness to learn from others in a collegial environment
What are the application requirements for the Full-time MBA program?
To apply to the program you will need to meet all of the following requirements:
- At least three years of consecutive postgraduate, professional experience
- An undergraduate, or first university, degree (bachelor)
- Strong GMAT or GRE scores (the average GMAT score is 640)
- Proof of English proficiency (if applicable)
What do I need to prepare for my application?
To begin the admissions process, you will need to submit an online application. The application is easy to follow, and will ask you for the following information:
- An up to date CV showing at least three years of postgraduate professional experience
- At least one professional recommendation
- Answers to the following questions (max 250 words per essay)
- Describe your specific career aspirations and your reason for pursuing an MBA at ESMT Berlin.
- The values of ESMT Berlin are community, curiosity, courage, and rigor: which of these values resonates most with you and why?
- You can invite one guest for dinner, be they living, dead, fictional, or other. Who would you invite and why?
- Optional: Is there any other information, not covered in the application, that you would like us to know about you?
- Transcripts of your undergraduate degree detailing courses and grades
- A valid GMAT or GRE score
- €50 application fee
If you want to be considered for a scholarship you will also need to prepare short responses to the relevant scholarship question(s). Applications for scholarship are part of your program application.
What are the GMAT or GRE requirements?
A GMAT or GRE score is required; we do not offer waivers.
Is there a minimum GMAT or GRE score?
We do not have a specific minimum for GMAT or GRE scores. As a guide, the most recent average scores were 640 on the GMAT, and 160Q/160V on the GRE.
Is there a minimum GPA for admission to the Full-time MBA?
There is no minimum GPA requirement and we encourage applicants from all fields of study to apply. If your undergraduate degree was in a non-quantitative subject, we use your GMAT or GRE score to assess your quantitative abilities.
If you have a low GPA and are concerned, please get in touch with the Admissions team.
What professional recommendations are needed?
When you apply to the program you need to provide at least one professional recommendation, preferably two. Ideally, recommendations should be written by current or recent supervisors. Referees should be able to comment on your job performance and we look for thorough and supportive letters that detail the tasks you undertook and include specific examples rather than general statements.
There are three ways to send this to us:
Do I need to prove English proficiency?
You do not need to prove proficiency if English is your native language or your undergraduate degree was delivered exclusively in English.
If you do need to submit proof, we accept the following tests:
- TOEFL - 95 minimum. If you have taken the TOEFL more than once, we consider your MyBest™ scores on the TOEFL iBT® test, as well as your TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date. The ESMT TOEFL institution code is 8707
- PTE - 64 minimum
- IELTS - 7 minimum
How do I send you the required application documents?
During the application process, you can upload scanned copies of the official documents required. These are your passport, GMAT or GRE scores, proof of English, and detailed transcripts (courses, grades) for all degrees or diplomas you hold.
Do documents need to have an Apostille or be officially translated?
All the official documents uploaded to the online application must show the seals and signatures of the institution from which they were emitted. No apostille is required.
If the detailed transcripts are not in English or German, an official translation is required.
Do you need to see originals of my documents?
As part of the enrollment process, you must present, in person, the originals of your application documents. These are your passport, GMAT or GRE scores, proof of English, and detailed transcripts (courses, grades) for all degrees or diplomas you hold. Note that if your transcripts are not in English or German, an official translation is required.
Once we have checked them, they are immediately returned to you. Please do not send original documents to us before you arrive on campus to begin your studies.
What are the Full-time MBA application deadlines?
What is the tuition fee?
Tuition and fees for the full-time MBA are €49,000 and they are paid in three installments. Rated highly by the Financial Times for value for money, graduates typically recoup the tuition fee in 14 months.
To confirm your enrollment and reserve your place in the class, you will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of €4,000 no later than four weeks after receiving your enrollment offer. This deposit will be deducted from future tuition payments.
The remaining tuition fees are to be paid in two equal installments at the start of the program (January) and in July of the same year.
What scholarships are available?
ESMT’s MBA scholarships have been designed to help you make your international business career a reality. With more than 28 scholarships available, outstanding MBA applicants are welcome at ESMT Berlin.
Scholarships are allocated based on academic excellence, personal and professional achievement, leadership potential, and superior interpersonal skills. Only self-funded MBA candidates are eligible and scholarships only apply to tuition fees.
You can apply for up to three scholarships as part of your online application but note that you can only be awarded a maximum of one applied-for scholarship. Details are available on the Scholarships page.
What funding options are available?
other countries while US citizens may apply for Title IV student and GI Bill loans. More information is available on our funding pages.
What does the tuition fee cover?
The tuition fee covers all program courses, teaching materials, books, orientation, and career support; it excludes travel costs for study trips or exchange.
How much should I budget for living costs?
In addition to tuition, you should budget enough money for living costs. We estimate average living costs – per month – to be:
- Health insurance (required): €40 (private) to €90 (public)
- Rent: €400-800 (private room) or €1,000+ (apartment)
- Food: €200
- Transport: €65
- Mobile phone: €35
- Sport, leisure, culture: €75
All students enrolled at a German university must have health insurance coverage. Confirmation is needed before we can officially enroll you at ESMT.
What career support do you offer?
Running in parallel to your formal learning experience is a structured career curriculum designed to help you prepare, explore, and connect with your post-MBA future.
The Career Services team is here to support, advise, and guide you as you explore your future after the MBA. They will help you to prepare for your next career, explore options, and connect with future employers.
You will also work with a career coach one-on-one. They will help you translate what is happening in the classroom to your personal situation and goals, and design an employment strategy that matches your ambitions.
Being an active member of one of our student clubs will give you another opportunity to meet with potential employers and recruiters, and connect with business leaders from an array of different sectors.
Do you find summer internships for students?
No, responsibility for securing your summer internship is yours. However, the Careers team will support your internship search by helping identify potential internship positions and sharing contacts and leads.
Where do Full-time MBA graduates work?
How easy is it get a work visa when I graduate?
Graduates of ESMT Berlin automatically qualify for an 18-month work visa in Germany for which no employer support is needed.
MBA students are very international and over 85% of them stay in Germany to work after graduation. This is because of friendly visa regulations, quality of life, and our reputation for bringing top international management talent to Germany, Europe’s strongest economy.