Frequently Asked Questions
Similarities between EMBM and EMBA:
- Target group: (future or current) executives and managers of companies who already have professional experience; in particular, applicants without an economic background;
- Objective: To accelerate one's career; as a so-called 'terminal degree', a subsequent doctorate or scientific career is usually not the primary goal;
- Contents: 'Theory-Practice-Transfer' (application to own professional practice) from a (strategic) management point of view; application-oriented (in contrast to, for example, scientific/research-oriented Master's programs (e.g. M.Sc.);
- Forms of learning: Blended Learning; Attendance phases and distance learning phases; increased use of case studies;
- Structure: modular (subject areas in blocks instead of spread over the semester); part-time;
Differences between EMBM and EMBA:
- EMBA: general management studies; rather broad than deep; 'Business & Management in a nutshell': An overview of the entire business administration spectrum from a management point of view is conveyed; usually figureheads of (private or outsourced) business schools; Language of instruction usually English; Participants from all areas of the company; due to the internationality partly GMAT or other tests as an admission criterion for a better comparison of the degrees;
- EMBM: specialized management studies; other corporate functions (e.g human resources, financing; accounting, taxation) are kept rather short in favor of a specialization in (business-to-business) marketing; despite the fundamental application orientation located at a research university; teaching language German; participants often work in the field of marketing (or wish to switch to marketing);
Advantages and disadvantages of EMBM and EMBA:
- EMBA: no specialization in particular; typically suitable for already specialized long-term managers (e.g. engineers in middle management) without an economic background who want to advance to the top management of large international companies; 'general management knowledge' basically enables application in a wide variety of management functions and companies; important: should be awarded if possible by accredited business schools represented in international rankings (but then often quite expensive, since private business schools often have to co-finance large, profit-oriented organizational structures, especially marketing departments, through the fees); often close proximity to commercial enterprises (which can partly result in career advantages, but these companies have partly also influence on the program’s content); MBA degree internationally renowned; especially in Germany partly very 'young' universities and programs (positive: e.g. very flexible, high service orientation, managed as companies; negative: e.g. ambiguity about future reputation/existence; sometimes strong compromises regarding academic demands in favor of application orientation, especially since the last financial crisis increasing criticism of the 'moral compass' of MBA graduates, actual teachability of leadership qualities and soft skills within these MBA programs is disputable (see e.g. Henry Mintzberg);
- EMBM: expert knowledge acquired through specialization prepares in particular for leadership function in (business-to-business) marketing; is located at the Department of Economics of the Research University FU Berlin, therefore very close to science ('theory-practice-transfer', application of the latest findings from economic research to practical cases); Renown and (alumni) network of a long-established, internationally recognized research university; 37th anniversary of the EMBM (constant further development); Balance between application orientation and academic requirements through system accreditation of the FU Berlin; in addition to general management knowledge, intensive teaching of very specific marketing instruments and methods ; since the fees at state universities are primarily intended to finance the non-consecutive, continuing education Master's degree programs themselves, the fees are rather low compared to profit-oriented private business schools; EMBM as an academic degree is not an internationally renowned 'brand';
You should also know that the MBA is always a generalist management degree and something like a brand, especially in the USA and Great Britain.
Although there is now often the possibility to give the MBA program a personal touch, for example through specialization subjects, the original idea of 'General Management' persists. The international MBA accreditation agencies (AACSB; AMBA, EQUIS/EFMD) therefore take great care in their guidelines to maintain this. The fact that there are some 'MBAs with specialization' in the rest of Europe and especially in Germany (e.g. 'MBA in Real Estate Management', etc.) is therefore often based on ignorance or misunderstandings. Such offers would usually not receive MBA-specific accreditation and would rather cause astonishment, especially in English-speaking countries.
Another point why the EMBM is very similar to an EMBA is that the term 'marketing' is not only about advertising and the marketing of products and services, but about a holistic, market-oriented management of companies. As a task of corporate management, marketing therefore includes the vast majority of corporate functions.
The EMBM not only conveys business know-how such as marketing and sales knowledge, which you need for the successful marketing of products or services to business customers, but also the fundamentals of strategy, management and controlling.
Basically, there is no 'better' or 'worse' here. It all depends on what personal preferences you have and what goals you pursue.
On our website you will find the logos of companies in which our alumni work, in which they have partly developed leadership roles with the help of the EMBM degree and/or which have actively supported employees financially or otherwise in completing the EMBM program. To a lesser extent, these are also companies in which either external lecturers are or have been active and with which case studies or the like have been developed in this context in the past. The logo collection is primarily used to give applicants a first impression of the companies, industries and areas in which 'typical' EMBM students worked in the past. However, these are not companies that actively recruit new employees under the EMBM program. Moreover, there is no direct influence of the companies on the content of the EMBM program.
The EMBM program is aimed at executives and all those who want to become one. In the same way, the program is also suitable for people who are looking for a career change or a new job. The program is intended to contribute to the advanced education of young marketing managers in manufacturing industries, in the service sector and in start-ups. The study program is designed for professionals with an undergraduate degree. Potential positions and fields of activity would be in particular: managing directors, managers and (leading) employees from distribution/sales, marketing, field/office staff, key account management, product management, customer service/CRM as well as managing directors and (senior) employees from IT consultancies, management consultancies, marketing agencies and software houses.
In view of the uncertainty about the course of the corona crisis, we have taken measures for the current and upcoming academic year of the EMBM. The 38the class of the EMBM will start as usual. As an alternative to the on site seminars in Berlin, there will be the opportunity to participate in online seminars should the situation require it. By means of a variety of teaching methods and interactive online learning formats, we have succeeded in creating an innovative and virtual educational environment that also ensures a comprehensive study experience online.
The most important requirements for admission are as follows:
- University degree (usually at least a bachelor's degree after 4 years of full-time study), proven by the certificate/transcript (incl. courses and grades) of the university degree and certificate of the acquired university degree
- Proven professional experience of at least one year after the first university degree, preferably in the marketing of products or services to business customers, certified by the current and/or possible former employer
- When graduating from a foreign university: Proof of the required documents
- Transcript of records of your university degree and/or certificate of the higher education degree obtained (in German or English)
- Employer's certificate(s) regarding work experience (usually at least one year after graduation, in German or English)
- Task to explain your motivation
- Curriculum vitae in tabular form
- Knowledge of English
With the admission criterion of at least one year of professional experience, it is usually important that you gained this experience after the first degree, ideally (but not necessarily) in the marketing of products or services in the business-to-business sector. If the work experience comes from another area, leadership experience is certainly helpful. You should then submit these as detailed as possible, for example in the form of a job reference, with the application. In this case, it would also be important that you explain in detail (but on a maximum of 3 pages) in your letter of motivation again and as part of the answer to the "Key Questions on Motivation" to what extent the EMBM program would support you on your own personal path and in achieving your professional goals. You can find these key questions under "Explain your Motivation & Statistics" here.
In general, in addition to a first university degree of usually at least four years (or 240 ECTS), applicants only have to prove professional experience of at least one year after the first university degree.
A certificate from your employer confirming one year of full employment would therefore in principle be sufficient to meet the admission criterion 'professional experience' and to complete your application on this point.
However, in certain circumstances, it is helpful to provide further information and activities, in particular if:
- there is only proof of at least three years of university studies (or 180 ECTS) and
- there are significantly more qualified applicants than study places.
No, the EMBM is aimed in particular at applicants without an economic background. Anyone who sees their professional future in the marketing of products or services to business customers is in the right place with us. The EMBM program conveys - scientifically sound and at the same time practical - business know-how that must be mastered for this purpose: marketing and sales knowledge as well as fundamentals in strategy, management and controlling.
Foreign students of the EMBM usually do not apply for a normal student visa, as it is a part-time, advanced education program and not a full-time study program. Accordingly, a simple tourist visa or a visa "for multiple entry" should be sufficient for participation in the four face-to-face seminars. However, it is important to know that only the embassy can make an authoritative statement about this and we have hardly any influence here.
- Your completed Enrollment Application, if you are not yet enrolled at Freie Universität Berlin or Application to Change Programs, if you are already enrolled at Freie Universität Berlin and wish to change programs
- The admission note (Zulassungsbescheid) and your acceptance of the study place (Studyplatzannahmeerklärung)
- Original and copy of an identity document showing the full name and, if possible, the current semester address (for identity cards: front and back)
- an officially certified copy of your degree certificate (or copy including original) (transcript of records & certificate)
- an officially certified copy (or copy and original) of your university entrance qualification (Abitur or equivalent), if applicable an official translation, if your Abitur certificate was issued in a language other than German or English
- Proof of health insurance for the university or a copy of the certificate of exemption from compulsory insurance by a German statutory health insurance provider
- Certificate of exmatriculation from your last German university attended
- Knowledge of English
- Proof of payment of the contributions and fees in the amount of 17,000 euros (including semester fee) or in the case of installment payment proof of the first partial amount.
In total, there are 30 study places per year at EMBM. These places are given to those applicants who meet the entry requirements. If there are more qualified applicants than study places, a ranking is created. Among others, the final grade of the first degree, the length of professional experience, management activities, the proximity of the current activity to the study contents, the letter of motivation and the goals of the applicants play a role here. Overall, however, the chances are good that you will receive a study place if you meet the admission requirements.
The application period for the 38th year (starting from October 2022) ends on 15.07.2022. If there are still free places, there will be another application round with an application deadline of 31.08.2022 . Successful applicants will not receive their admission notes until expiration of the application deadline, i.e. after the Admissions Office of Freie Universität has received all applications and has been able to evaluate all complete documents conclusively. After this initial evaluation by the Admissions Office, an Admissions Committee, consisting of the responsible staff and professors at the EMBM, will make the final decisions regarding the applications and admissions. Thus, the admission notes for applications received by 15 July 2022 will be mailed after the expiration of the application deadline, probably in August 2022.
For applications received by 15 July 2022, you will probably not receive a final and legally valid admission note until August 2022. Compared to other study programs, the notification is therefore mailed relatively late. However, in order to increase your planning security, you will receive an unofficial notification from us beforehand, which, however, has no legal effect.
The tuition fees of €17,000 for the first year of study of the EMBM program include the following services in addition to the semester fees and contributions:
- Personal study supervision by a scientific staff member
- All teaching texts of the degree program in digitized form
- A detailed study guide and structured literature references to work on the submission assignments
- Written assessments of the written assignments and the master's thesis
- Participation in the four seminars of the degree program
- All seminar documents in digitized form (e.g. lecture notes and case studies)
- Participation in the module examinations
- Exercises and e-trainings on the learning platform "Blackboard" for exam preparation
- Free coffee breaks and lunches during the seminars
Please differentiate between the following costs:
- the 'tuition fees' (17,000 € for the EMBM),
- the so-called 'semester fees and contributions' (in the current semester 312.89 €, this changes sometimes slightly from semester to semester), which are included in the 'tuition fees' of 17,000 € for the first year of study (standard period of study).
The bill can be split into a company bill and a personal bill if your employer only pays part of your tuition fees. In this case, please also state in your application your employer’s billing address and contact details and the amount of the respective shares of the participation fee that you or your employer will cover.
The seminars of the EMBM of Freie Universität Berlin are generally recognized in the federal states of Berlin and Hamburg. On request, we create regular and standard certificates of participation for our participants, as many are supported by their employers either financially or at least temporally, i.e. with the possibility of educational leave. As you are legally entitled to 10 days of educational leave within 2 years, you could cover a total of four face-to-face seminars, such as the classroom seminar I in 2022 and another seminar in 2023, with educational leave. Of course, there is always the possibility that you negotiate with your employer to grant you, in addition to the educational leave, further leave for the other seminars. The process is usually as follows: You to apply for educational leave with your employer, usually through an internal company form or an informal letter. Your employer must then apply for the reimbursement of your training days with the Federal Employment Agency. At the end of each seminar, you receive the mentioned certificate of participation from us and present it to your employer. You would then have to ask your employer for further details on the process.
Since the EMBM is a part-time program of study, the workload, with the exception of the face-to-face seminars, is generally designed in such a way that it can be performed outside working hours and within the planned one-year course of study. Please note, however, that the EMBM program has a modular structure and is not structured according to semesters. The usual semesters, as they are common for full-time courses, therefore have only an administrative meaning here. There is therefore no official interruption of studies except for week 52 (turn of the year) and therefore no time free of exams, lectures or learning assignments in this sense. As a result, the study is on the one hand quite intensive, on the other hand it is possible to obtain 60 ECTS credit points for the one-year (= 2-semester) part-time EMBM study corresponding to a one-year full-time study (1 ECTS credit point = 30 hours of work; 30 ECTS per semester = about 900 working hours).
Usually, part-time study programs structured in semesters only award 60 ECTS credit points for 3 semesters (= 1.5 years). More information on the ECTS points system can be found here.
Basically, of course, it is individually very different how much time you need or want to spend especially for self-study, but also for recreation and private life, for example. Many factors play a role (understanding and support from employer/family/partner, previous knowledge, learning type, work situation, self-discipline, living environment, motivation, etc.). Most of our students spend between eight and twelve hours per week studying during the distance learning phases.
You can be admitted to the EMBM program with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with 180 ECTS and would receive a total of 300 ECTS upon successful completion.
For this purpose, you can be credited with 60 ECTS for your proven professional experience, so that you reach the required 300 ECTS. This is particularly possible because EMBM is an explicitly application-oriented course of study, similar to an MBA, but with particular specialization in (business-to-business) marketing. On request, you can receive a separate confirmation of the additional 60 ECTS awarded at the beginning of your studies.
How is this possible? According to the Berlin Higher Education Act (BerlHG) and the examination regulations of the EMBM, competences, knowledge and skills that have been acquired outside the university can be credited. Actually, taking into account the first professional university degree, you would usually need at least 240 ECTS to get the corresponding credit points with a Master's degree of 60 ECTS such as the EMBM.
With regard to face-to-face appointments, it is important to know that "... you need to take into account the information on the time required (...), in particular the active participation during the attendance periods of study”. This means that in addition to the exams and written assignments, you will also receive ECTS credit points for attending the face-to-face seminars (as well as for their preparation and follow-up).
"Insofar as the obligation to participate regularly is laid down for the respective form of teaching and learning, it is a prerequisite for the acquisition of the credit points assigned to the respective module. Regular participation is considered to have occured if at least 85 % of the attendance period provided for in the teaching and learning forms of a module has been attended."
The dates of the face-to-face seminars for the next year are expected to be as follows:
- Classroom Seminar I: 10 - 14 October 2022
- Classroom Seminar II: 16 - 20 January 2023
- Classroom Seminar III: 08 - 11 May 2023
- Classroom Seminar IV: 25 - 29 September 2023
This is a total of 5 days in 2022 and 14 days in 2023. Due to the current situation, however, it is expressly not excluded that some or all face-to-face seminars of the next year will take place completely online, as it is already happening for the current summer semester. In this case, there would be both flexibly available lectures and mandatory online conferences/discussions during the specified dates
Yes, theoretically you can drop out of your studies within the first four weeks after starting your studies and 90 % of the tuition fees will be refunded. After that, we will unfortunately no longer be able to refund your tuition fees. Of course, we would regret this step, but we would also like to guarantee you the highest possible flexibility at this point.
There are various private and public foundations, which are aimed at very different groups and support scholarship holders mostly for special professional or social achievements - not only financially: Foundation Index of the Federal Association of German Foundations, scholarship throughout Europe, scholarship database of the BMBF as well as advancement scholarship for experienced professionals and others.
Students can also finance their studies with a loan. Before you take out a loan, you should definitely get information and compare the different offers. An education loan can be granted via the federal government's education loan program, and the KfW promotional bank also grants KfW student loans. In addition, there are numerous credit institutions under private law.