Executive master's degree

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Executive Master (EM) or Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) is an advanced level of master's degree designed specially for mid-career executive professionals. Common titles of the degree are executive master of arts, executive master of science or area specific titles like executive master of business administration, executive master of communication or Executive Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management (MASHLM) etc.


Executive master's programs are usually attended by full-time working professionals, therefore the programs are scheduled to match this condition. Most executive master's programs run several full days (not more than a week) per month for the period of two or three years.[1] According to the Bologna system, program participants are required to gain 60 ECTS to complete the degree.


Executive Master of Science in Communication[edit]

Executive Master of Science in Communication (EMScom, MScom) is designed for corporate communication professionals with a significant experience in the sphere. EMScom programs run on the same level as EMBA and usually consist of short learning sessions, evenly distributed throughout the total number of years required (for example: 7-day-sessions every two months during two years). Courses: Typically, one third of the program will cover general management topics (as in general EMBA). The other two thirds deal with the whole bandwidth of themes specific to corporate communication. Required topics in general management include:

  • Research Methods
  • Statistics
  • Transportation Management
  • Scenario Planning
  • Project Strategy
  • Strategic Planning
  • Organizational Behaviour
  • Corporate strategic management
  • Marketing management
  • Financial management
  • Leadership

Theme specific courses include:

  • Communication law
  • Delivery of Humanitarian Assistance
  • Supply Chain Modeling for Humanitarian Operations
  • Digital communication
  • Media theory and management
  • Brand management
  • Change management
  • Organizational identity and reputation management
  • Advertising management
  • Financial and investor relations
  • Stakeholder management
  • Crisis management
  • Public affairs
  • Sponsoring and marketing partnerships


Applicants for an executive master program must have:

  • Bachelor's degree;
  • 4-15 years of work experience in their area of study;
  • Leadership potential

Admission requirements may slightly differ from country to country.[2] Some universities may require GMAT, GRE or other standardized mathematical test scores.[3]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The number of credits required for graduation within the Bologna process is 60 ECTS. The number, however, may differ from one credit system to another. By the end of the program participants of the program are required to have completed a thesis or a field project, on which they should usually spend 350–500 hours.[4]


There are several universities in Europe, offering EMScom or an equivalent program. In 1999 Università della Svizzera italiana, also known as University of Lugano, launched the first Executive Master of Science in Communication program in Switzerland. Working language of the program is English and in 2006 the same Università della Svizzera italiana launched new Executive Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management MASHLM[5] for professionals who work in International Organizations, NGOs and International Development Agencies. The Technical University of Munich offers EMBA in German and English. In France an equivalent program is offered by the Paris-Sorbonne University in French. The Rotterdam School of Management offers Master of Corporate Communication on an executive level in the Netherlands. Universitat Politéctina de Catalonia offers Master of IT Project Management since 2011. The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, offers an Executive Master in Armed Conflict programme since 2011.


The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Melbourne offers Australia's only Executive Master of Arts.[6] The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) offers an Executive Master of Public Administration proram in collaboration with various universities in Australia and New Zealand.[7]


  1. ^ Bologna Process: Swiss National Report 2007-2008
  2. ^ Interview with the Head of USI Executive Master of Science in Communication program
  3. ^ Azusa Pacific University admission requirements
  4. ^ Interview with Head of the USI EMSCom program
  5. ^ "MASHLM". 
  6. ^ http://www.arts.unimelb.edu.au/graduate/ema/
  7. ^ http://www.anzsog.edu.au/programs/executive-master-of-public-administration/empa-2013