Frequently Asked Questions

Overall Program

The Professional MBA program option (PMBA) is a 24-month hybrid program. The curriculum focuses on the core management concepts of leadership, finance, and marketing, with an emphasis on global business, business analytics, innovation, and strategy. PMBA's hybrid format blends 60% in-class and 40% online instruction, and is team-based with students collaborating virtually in between class meetings.

Students attend in-person classes all day Friday and Saturday for one weekend per month, rotating between Virginia Tech's Richmond and Roanoke centers. Students complete coursework online in between these sessions.

Virginia Tech is committed to offering an AACSB-accredited MBA Program with quality and performance expectations. The Pamplin College of Business is one of only 5% of business schools internationally accredited by this prestigious, international accreditation body. Read more about the AACSB accreditation.

The diploma recieved is a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The Professional designation refers only to the program format. All Virginia Tech MBA program options — Evening, Executive, and Professional — confer the same MBA degree.

The PMBA curriculum is carefully planned for the student cohort to take all classes together over the 24-month program. Students may take an optional study abroad course offered by Virginia Tech or a partner institution, however the credits will not apply towards the MBA degree.

In a recent survey, our students and alumni cited these reasons for pursuing an MBA:

  • Improve my management skills
  • Advance my career more quickly
  • Learn new business skills
  • Have a more fulfilling/satisfying career
  • Improve my leadership skills

In order to maintan a connection between our students and Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg, the PMBA program hosts orientation and one class weekend in Blacksburg. 

PMBA program staff are present to meet with students at the Richmond and Roanoke centers on the Friday of each class weekend.

PMBA program staff attend the monthly class meetings to provide in-person academic support and class management. Each PMBA cohort elects class representatives who meet with the MBA Director to discuss new ideas and any concerns.

Admissions

The application and supporting documents are submitted online through Virginia Tech's Graduate School. More information can be found on our Admissions page.

Because the program is cohort-based, meaning all students take the same classes at the same time, only a fall entry date is available.

Yes, applicants must have a minimum of three years professional, full-time work experience to enter the program. Typically our students average 9-11 years of work experience.

Because the PMBA program is cohort-based with a very unique structure, it is extremely difficult to accept transfer credits, even from other Virginia Tech MBA programs. We will review each request on a case-by-case basis.

The average scores for PMBA students are GMAT 600 and GRE 154. Test scores serve as a benchmark to ensure students possess the critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills necessary for graduate study. Waiver requests are considered if applicaints meet specific criteria detailed on the  GMAT/GRE Waiver Request Form.

Students are expected to utilize quantitative and analytical skills in the program. To feel confident in quantitative coursework, we suggest taking advantage of the MBA Math program offered after admission.

Yes, and we encourage all Virginia Tech employees interested in the PMBA program to make an appointment with us to discuss the full details of these special considerations. As a University employee, you are eligible for benefits which can help defray some of the costs of the PMBA program. Additional information can be found here.

The Admissions Committee considers all aspects of an application including professional work experience. If your undergraduate GPA is below a 3.0, a strong GMAT/GRE score will support your application and demonstrate evidence of your ability to succeed academically.

Yes, we encourage prospective students to arrange a class visit and engage with current students. We can also connect you with a PMBA alumnus to discuss their experience.

Tuition, Fees, & Financial Aid

The Board of Visitors for Virginia Tech establishes the tuition for the PMBA program annually. Once the tuition is established, program tuition and fees are firm for both years of the program. The annual changes affect only the incoming cohort. The most updated information on tuition is located here.

Each professor selects their own course materials, however $150 per class is a reasonable estimate for materials. We anticipate that this estimate will fluctuate across terms depending upon the materials chosen and the bookstore or retail source from which students purchase or rent the materials. Students are responsible for travel and lodging expenses. Preferred hotel rates are available in Richmond and Roanoke.

Financial Aid is available for federal loans through the Virginia Tech Financial Aid office. The Professional MBA program now offers merit-based scholarships. More information can be found here.

Professional MBA staff will provide you with a letter detailing the tuition and fees for your employer upon admittance to the program. If required, staff can also provide an official letter detailing your grades at the end of each term.

Virginia Tech's Bursar's Office provides information on sponsored billing if your employer pays benefits directly on your behalf.

Classroom Experience

The MBA program office will host a one-day orientation in August prior to classes starting. During orientation, you can expect to meet your classmates, MBA administration, alumni, and faculty. In the past we have held a case workshop to familiarize students with case study method and how to analyze a case.

Classes are held at the Virginia Tech Richmond Center and the Roanoke Higher Education Center:

  • Roanoke Center
  • 108 North Jefferson Street, Suite 701
  • Roanoke, VA 24016
  • (540) 767-6100
  • http://www.vtrc.vt.edu

No. All classes are taught in person. Professors are required to offer 10 additional hours of course material online in the form of discussion forums, videos, Skype, chat, etc. 

We do not offer online classes because we believe the in-class interaction is vital to the MBA experience. Our students and alumni tell us that they value the ability to interact with their classmates and their faculty almost as much as the content they learned within the classes.

While classes will vary greatly from one faculty member to the next, students can expect a combination of case studies, lectures, simulation, group activities, and classroom discussion. Professors will encourage students to utilize their past and current professional experiences in classroom discussion and assignments.

No. In a graduate-level program, students are expected to reach out to classmates or professors for assistance with challenging material. Study guides are not typically made available, as the expectation for graduate students is higher than for undergraduate students.

Yes, all students are placed into formal groups at the beginning of the program. These groups are very deliberately mixed based on background, industry, work experience, and gender. You will work together as a small group for papers, projects, and presentations through the first year. Between the first and second year, you will be switched into a new small group.

The Professional MBA program draws students from all over the state of Virginia and beyond, requiring all students to travel to some extent to attend classes. Exam weekends are scheduled in both the Richmond and Roanoke locations for the weekend after the last class meeting of each term. However, in order to attempt to minimize the amount of travel required of both students and faculty, two alternative delivery methods are often utilized for final exams in the program:

  • Take-home exams that have a specific deadline but no specified time during which the exam is to be completed. In this format, students are free to complete the exams at their convenience.
  • Take-home exams that must be completed during the scheduled final exam period. In this format, instructors deliver the exams via Blackboard, opening the view to the exam only during the scheduled final exam period. Students must complete the exam within that window of time and submit the exam using the digital drop-box on Blackboard, which will note the time of submission.

University policy permits instructors to give in-class examinations should they choose to do so. At the beginning of each term, the program administrative staff will request each instructor to select an anticipated method of exam delivery and will develop an exam schedule which will be published to all students in the program. Instructors retain the right to change delivery methods at any time during the term. In such cases, they must inform the associate dean of graduate programs of their intention and coordinate a new schedule for final exam delivery with the associate dean and, if necessary, other instructors. Students will be informed at the earliest possible date of any changes in the established schedule.

Some professors never use the software, and some check every paper. Protect yourself by checking all group assignments (even if you did not plagiarize your section, you are still responsible for the paper if your name is on it). There are several free tools available online (such as Grammerly) that allow you to check your own paper prior to submission. Often, plagiarism is unintentional and a result of inappropriately citing work. Plagiarism is the number one reason why students are brought to the Honor Court

Professional MBA students can expect to spend an average of 6-8 hours per class for assignments, team projects and collaborations.

Absence from Classes / Missed Terms

In the event that a decision is made made to close the center due to inclement weather, the information will be made available to students via an e-mail to the PMBA listservs.

If inclement weather is already an issue the night before classes and the center makes the decision to close at that time, staff will immediately email the PMBA listservs so that most students will be able to avoid unnecessary travel.

If inclement weather does not arrive until early the morning of class meetings, any decision on closure will be made no later than 6:30am the day of classes.

The decision to close may differ from Friday to Saturday in order to salvage at least some classroom time. For example, if weather on Friday forces a cancellation, the program may still opt to hold class on Saturday if conditions improve.

In the event that classes are cancelled, program staff will be in touch the following week to announce how the instructors will make up any missed time. It is unlikely that classes will be made up in person, as both instructors and students may have professional or personal plans.

In the course of the two-year program, it is expected that there are minimal or no absences. In the case of an absence, accommodations to make up work must be arranged with each individual professor. There is not a program-wide policy in place because the requirements of each class are different. Missing an entire class weekend is equivalent to missing 1/3 of the in-class time for each course, which could adversely affect one's academic success in the term.

The plan of study for the Professional MBA program is cohort-based and, therefore, it is not possible for a student to miss a class and then take it the next term. Each class is offered only once annually. The classes are also specifically sequenced to gradually build complexity of the subject matter over the two-year period; i.e., prerequisites for future classes, so missing a whole term could affect performance in future classes. In effect, a student would need to wait until the missed term is offered again in the following year to continue. Re-entry to the program may depend on available space at the time that notification of intent to resume studies is made.

In cases of a permanent transfer, graduate credits earned are good for five years at Virginia Tech, but transfer of credits to other institutions is subject to their policies and usually very limited.

Career Services

PMBA students are eligible for various career advising and placement services offered by Virginia Tech MBA Programs, including individual consultations and online resources. Students may also choose to participate in the Career Mentor Network and be paried with an alumnus volunteer to help guide them in their career development.