Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree, Executive Program

Program Learning Outcomes for the MBA Degree

Upon completing the MBA degree, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding and application of the foundational frameworks and tools of all business disciplines, including accounting, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, and strategic management.
  2. Develop, evaluate, and implement complex business strategies and operational solutions holistically, integrating management principles across the functional areas.
  3. Function effectively in a team setting both as a leader and a contributor.

Requirements for the MBA Degree, Executive Program

The MBA degree is a non-thesis master's degree. For general university requirements, please see Non-Thesis Master's Degrees. For additional requirements, regulations, and procedures for all graduate programs, please see All Graduate Students. Students pursuing the Executive MBA degree must complete:

  • A minimum of 54 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum residency enrollment of one fall or spring semester of full-time graduate study at Rice University.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.00 or higher in all Rice coursework
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.00 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree with a minimum grade of C (2.00 grade points) in each course. 

The program is a lock-step progression in which students take required courses in sequence. The program includes four 5-day intensive executive forums that focus on leadership, strategy, critical decision-making and global management.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this degree program. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the program's academic advisor, or where applicable, the department or program's Director of Graduate Studies. Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the department or program's Official Certifier. Additionally, these must be approved by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.


Total Credit Hours Required for the MBA Degree, Executive Program54

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Elective Requirements 1, 2
Select an additional 12 credit hours from departmental (MGMP, MGMT, or MICO) course offerings at the 500-level or above12
Total Credit Hours54

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the MBA Degree, Executive Program

MBA Admission Requirements

Admission to the MBA degree program is open to students regardless of their undergraduate major, but the program is highly selective and access is limited to those who have performed with distinction across all areas of the application. A bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an accredited undergraduate institution is required. All applicants submit an interview as part of their admission requirements.  

All applicants to the MBA degree program must submit the following:

  • an online application and application fee
  • scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),* or the Executive Assessment (EA)**
  • transcripts from all previously-attended and/or degree-granting institutions
  • resume with complete work history
  • essays
  • letter(s) of recommendation


*Scores from the TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS are also required for international applicants, whose undergraduate degree was from an institution where the primary language of instruction was not English.

**The Executive Assessment (EA) is only accepted for MBA Degree, Executive Program applicants.

Executive MBA Degree Program

In addition to meeting the standards for admission to the other MBA programs, students admitted to the Executive MBA degree program typically have between 15-20 years of relevant work experience with 10 of those being at the management level. 

Academic and Professional Standards

Students must meet both academic and professional standards to continue academic work and to graduate. In accepting admission to the MBA program, all students agree to be governed by the standards and procedures for dismissal or disciplinary action stated below.

Academic Standards

A minimum overall grade point average of 3.00 (B) is required for graduation. All courses taken for the MBA degree (including approved courses taken at the university, but outside the JGSB) are counted in the overall grade point average calculation.

Students with an overall grade point average lower than 3.00 at the end of any semester will be notified of academic standing. Students not meeting the 3.00 requirement will be provided specific instruction and guidance on the next steps specific to their academic situation. In some cases, students may submit an appeal to the JGSB Academic Standards Committee, requesting to be placed on academic probation. The committee reviews all academic cases, and may consult the dean's office for counsel and/or suggestions on proposed handling of the case. The committee will decide, based on the circumstances of the appeal, whether the student may resume studies on academic probation; is to be academically suspended for one semester or an academic year; or is to be dismissed from the MBA program.

Students proposing to return after a period of academic suspension must follow the appropriate procedures outlined in the General Announcements by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to receive permission to be readmitted. If permitted to return, the student will pay the current rate of tuition, based upon the class of students s/he is joining.

Only courses in which a grade of C or above is earned will be counted for credit toward graduation. If students receive a grade below C in a course required for graduation, they must repeat the course. If students receive a grade lower than C in an elective course, they need not repeat the specific course, but they must make up the credit hours. If the required course is not offered again prior to graduation, the student will be permitted to take the course the following academic year, but will be charged the current pro-rated tuition for the program in which the additional coursework is completed.

Students on academic probation must complete all future courses with a grade of C or above and may be considered candidates for student offices by permission only. Students are removed from probation only upon achieving an overall grade point average of at least 3.00.

JGSB students may not take courses pass/fail to count toward their degree requirements. JGSB students may audit courses with departmental and professor approval. The courses will not count toward the MBA, but will appear on the transcript.

Professional Standards

MBA students are held to the highest standards of professional conduct expected of managers—standards substantially exceeding those expected of them simply as students. Students may be dismissed or suspended for failure to meet professional standards, as defined in the University Code of Conduct. The dean may place a student on disciplinary probation for unacceptable conduct, giving oral and written notice that future misconduct will lead to filing specific charges. This probationary notice, however, is not required as a precondition for filing specific charges.

Class Attendance Policy

Students are expected to be in class on the first day of each term. The instructor reserves the right to exclude a student from their course who is absent on the first day. Students should refer to the specific attendance policy for each program. This information can be found in the Jones Graduate School of Business Student Handbook, which is referenced below. For special circumstances, students should see the Director of Advising in the Student Program Office and the instructor.

Guidelines for Appealing Academic Dismissal

The Process

A student who wishes to appeal a dismissal should address the following issues in a letter to the Academic Standards Committee. The student must send the letter to the chair of the Academic Standards Committee.

  1. What circumstances led to your academic performance last semester and to what degree were those circumstances beyond your control?
  2. If your performance in a particular course(s) last semester was below par, describe any circumstances specific to that course that explain your performance.
  3. Do you expect the circumstances that created the problems for you last semester to change next semester? If so, how?

Students may include any additional information they deem relevant in the appeal letter.


If the student intends to appeal, the letter to the committee must be filed within one week after receiving a dismissal letter. If a student plans to appeal, he/she should continue to attend classes. It is important to keep up with studies during the appeal process. If the appeal is accepted, the student may continue progress towards the completion of their degree.


Appeals beyond the Academic Standards Committee must go to the dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business, who may seek guidance from other constituents of the school. All decisions rendered by the dean are final.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and amendments govern the records of actions related to appeals.

Grade Appeal Process

Once a course grade has been assigned by an instructor, it is generally considered final and is rarely changed for any reason other than calculation or transcription errors. The procedure below outlines the process by which a student may appeal a course grade.

  1. The student should first pursue any grading question with the instructor following the formal or informal process the instructor has outlined for the course.
  2. If the matter is not resolved in step 1 above, the student must file a written appeal to the instructor and send a copy to the senior associate dean of degree programs. This written appeal must be filed no later than two weeks after the final grade for a course was assigned.
  3. The instructor must schedule a meeting with the student within two weeks of receiving the written appeal to further discuss the appeal with the student. Notice of the appeal time and date will be provided by the instructor to the senior associate dean of degree programs.
  4. If step 3 does not resolve the issue to the satisfaction of both parties, the student may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee by sending a written notice describing the grounds for the appeal within two weeks of the date of the scheduled meeting in step 3.
  5. The Academic Standards Committee will seek out information on the appeal from the instructor and the student and, at its discretion, hold a hearing to further consider the matter. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee will be rendered within 4 weeks of receiving a written notice of appeal (step 4).
  6. Appeals beyond the Academic Standards Committee must go to the dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business, who may seek guidance from other constituents of the school. All decisions rendered by the dean are final.
  7. In the event that the protested grade is necessary for the student to graduate, an accelerated schedule will be followed.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and amendments govern records of these actions.

MBA Elective Course Add/Drop Policy and Procedures

Due to the unique term schedule followed by the Jones Graduate School of Business MBA programs, MBA students have special procedures they must follow to make schedule changes. The Jones Graduate School of Business Registrar Department administers an add/drop policy which allows students to add/drop elective courses at various times throughout the semester.  For all elective courses, student may not add/drop a course after the deadline for the appropriate term.

Withdrawal Policy

A Jones Graduate School of Business student, participating in any offered program, may voluntarily withdraw from school at any time. Upon withdrawal, Rice University applies a sliding scale to tuition, which is noted in the university's Academic Calendar posted on the Rice Office of the Registrar website.

Jones Graduate School of Business Student Handbook

Generally, the Jones Graduate School of Business adheres to the academic regulations of Rice University. However, the Jones Graduate School of Business MBA program has unique policies and procedures that vary from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regarding, but not limited to, leave of absence, withdrawals and readmission, add/drop, and academic dismissal. A copy of the handbook is available on Campus Groups.

Financial Aid

Jones Graduate School of Business scholarships are awarded at the point of admission and are based on the merit of the application. Financial assistance is generally awarded one academic year at a time. Continuation of assistance depends on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in accordance with Academic and Professional Standards of performance, professional behavior, and is subject to the availability of funds. Academic or disciplinary probation, suspension, or general failure to maintain academic pace will result in the removal of all forms of financial assistance (i.e. scholarship, employment, Federal/State student loans, etc.). Students have the right to appeal the suspension. All appeals will be reviewed by a committee.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Jones Graduate School of Business website:

Opportunities for the MBA Degree, Executive Program

Independent Study

Minimum Hours Requirement

Each credit of independent study should contain approximately as much time content as a one-credit course at Jones Graduate School of Business, which is 12 hours of class time, plus an average of at least 24–36 outside-class hours, for a minimum total of 36–48 hours of work. Independent study projects can be accommodated in increments of 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, or 3.0 credit hours; 3.0 credit independent study projects are rarely approved. Occasionally, a group independent study project may arise, though most independent studies are undertaken by individual students.

The number of credits for an independent study must be determined at the beginning of a project. Increases to the number of project credit hours after the project overview has been filed with the Jones Graduate School of Business associate registrar must be approved by the Academic Standards Committee. The committee will rely on input from sponsoring faculty in making its decision about ex post credit increases. Requests to increase the number of project credit hours must be made before the end of the second week of classes in the term in which the project begins.


No student may take more than three credit hours of independent study during the course of the MBA program without the approval of the Academic Standards Committee. If an independent study is proposed that would cause a student to exceed the 3.0 credit limit, the Academic Standards Committee will select two faculty members, other than the faculty member who will supervise the project, within the area most closely related to the study’s academic content to review and approve the study. Independent study exceeding 3.0 credits in total should consider current policies restricting use of independent study as well as the incremental value of additional independent study in light of past independent studies. If the study does not align with any of the Jones Graduate School of Business academic groups, the Academic Standards Committee will perform the review and make the final approval decision.

Independent study projects are for academic credit, not for hire. Students may not earn credit for paid work.

Faculty Sponsorship

Independent study projects normally are sponsored only by full-time Jones Graduate School of Business faculty; faculty typically sponsor projects only in their area of expertise. Students wanting sponsorship by a part-time faculty member must submit a project overview to the Academic Standards Committee and obtain the committee’s approval before the term in which the project is to begin.

Common Requirements

The goal of independent study projects is to advance or deepen a student’s knowledge or competency in a business discipline or activity.

To facilitate these goals, independent study projects generally fall into two broad categories:

  1. directed reading and study resulting in a research paper, or
  2. an experiential or hands-on project resulting in an outcome such as an empirical analysis with an executive summary of the “deliverable.”

While the content of individual independent study projects are at the discretion of a student and the sponsoring faculty member, to ensure relatively equal workloads per unit of independent study credit and some common requirements across independent study projects, students and/or sponsoring faculty should:

  1. Prepare and submit to the Jones Graduate School of Business associate registrar an overview of the independent study project with number of project credits, anticipated final results, and a broad timeline of anticipated project milestones.
  2. Meet to discuss the project, after the initial agreement on the project scope, at least once every two to three weeks.
  3. Prepare a final paper (in the case of directed reading and research projects) or complete a concrete deliverable (for example, computer program, survey results, empirical analyses, etc.) together with an executive summary of the project (in the case of experiential projects).
  4. File a copy of each student’s final paper, or executive summary, with the Jones Graduate School of Business associate registrar.


Independent study applications are available for interested students on Campus Groups. Completed independent study applications must be approved by the senior associate dean of academic affairs. Completed and approved applications are due to the Jones Graduate School of Business associate registrar by the first week of the term in which the project will be completed. The student will be registered for MGMT 700/MGMT 800 independent study for the appropriate credit amount, only when the appropriate permissions have been obtained.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Jones Graduate School of Business website: