EMBA Program Curriculum
The program is split into 2 modules: the Foundation Stage (4 months) and the Mastery ...


The program is split into 2 modules: the Foundation Stage (4 months) and the Mastery Stage (8 months).

Foundation Stage ( – December 2017 ):

The main goal of this stage is for participants to understand basic management theories and to acquire key analytical tools and leadership skills that are required for proceeding to the Mastery Stage. The Foundation Stage will also provide participants the opportunity to network with each other and acquire knowledge based on their respective experiences.

The Foundation Stage begins with a Launch Pad session commencing September 4th, 2017, which consists of an intensive two-week program to be held on the ICS campus in Tokyo. During this time, participants will:

  • Attend a one-day team building exercises to acquaint themselves with each other, so that participants will be able to share their views and learnings with each other. This session is a good opportunity for participants to begin to build valuable, long-lasting relationships, which will be an asset in the future.
  • Attend speeches and lectures from business leaders of major Japanese corporations to learn about different facets of management and leadership from experienced executives.
  • Begin their study of the "foundational" theories through 60 sessions, plus 12 sessions of Management Fundamentals (2 credits/session) that provide common management knowledge, and 22 sessions to commence their coverage of the Core Courses. The Core Courses are the ten compulsory courses that participants need to complete before moving on to the Mastery Stage.

Following the Launch Pad, the delivery of the foundational theories, tools and skills are then continued through seven weekend classes offered via a combination of residential classes in Tokyo and virtual classes over the period of September to December. These weekend classes will comprise of 42 two-hour sessions in total and will cover the ten Core Courses. Please refer to the "Core Courses" tab for further information on the content of these classes.

At the conclusion of the Foundation Stage, participants will sit examinations in order to qualify for the Mastery Stage.

Mastery Stage ( January 2018 – August 2018 ):

The main goal of this stage is for the participants to effectively apply the theories, tools and skills learned during the Foundation Stage to real world business challenges and opportunities. Befitting the program's focus on real world applications, this stage comprises two-thirds of the total EMBA program.

Launch Pad and the Capstone Project

This stage begins with a week-long residential program on the ICS campus in Tokyo in early January ("Mastery Launch Pad"). During this time, participants will determine a theme for their individual strategy-based project ("Capstone Project"), which is the key deliverable for this Mastery stage. The Capstone Project will require each participant to develop a plan to solve a business problem or exploit a business opportunity that is relevant to each participant's sponsoring organization. Each participant will decide on the theme of their Capstone Project (with input from faculty), pursuant to guidelines provided by ICS. Participants will present the progress of their Capstone Projects to other participants and faculty at Mastery Forums offered over four weekends in January to May. They will then have the opportunity to refine their work based on feedback provided to them during these sessions. At the end of the program, participants are expected to present the conclusions of their Capstone Projects to their sponsoring organizations. For further information on the Capstone Project, please to "The Capstone Project" tab.

The Mastery Launch Pad is designed to prepare managers for the Capstone Project by bringing tools together from the Foundation Stage in an interdisciplinary way to see important business issues from various angles. For example, a merger or acquisition will be explored in terms of financial considerations, strategic considerations, as well as in terms of implementation. This Launch Pad will also offer sessions on Business Model Canvas and Problem-solving, from a consulting perspective, to provide frameworks for thinking about complex, systemic issues. Altogether, the goal of the Mastery Launch Pad is to prepare participants to apply concepts to their own projects in a meaningful and inter-disciplinary way.

Immersion Activities

Another key aspect of the Mastery Stage is the Immersion Activities, where students will have the opportunity to travel overseas to three different locations to gain first-hand experience in learning about current issues in doing business in a global economy. The Immersion Activities are comprised of two Global Immersion Experiences ("GIE") and one Global Network Week ("GNW"). The GIE and GNW curricula are designed to expose participants to the complexities of global business, in person and in context. They are also designed to provide insights into emerging trends in global business. Each of these one-week experiences is a rich opportunity for students to explore the dynamic business environment in one major region of the world.

The first GIE will be held in February 2018 and will comprise of a week-long field trip to Bangalore, India. Participants will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges of doing business in a developing economy, including best practices to address these challenges.

The second GIE will be held in April 2018 and will comprise of a week-long field trip to Silicon Valley, USA. Participants will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the impact of disruptive technology on business from the forerunners of the technology revolution.

The GNW will be held in June 2018, during the Global Network Week. During this period, participants will have the opportunity to spend one week in intensive classes held at selected GNAM (Global Network for Advanced Management) partner schools. This will allow participants to learn about and experience global viewpoints through direct interaction and group-based project work with participants of elite EMBA programs worldwide.

For more information on the above activities, please refer to "The Immersion Activities" tab.

Leadership Circles (throughout the academic year):

ICS recognizes that one of the key benefits of an EMBA program are the relationships that participants build with each other and with faculty members. To facilitate this relationship building, an engagement process known as Leadership Circles will be employed throughout the academic year. The purpose of the Leadership Circles is to enable participants to bond and create a sense of community (as per the Japanese concept of “ba”). Leadership Circles have been used successfully in many EMBA programs and in numerous multinational mergers and are a proven method of building “ba”. This is done through the sharing of stories among participants and the giving and receiving of feedback, which can only be done via questions or relating of personal experiences. No advice can be given. Through sharing our stories, we build trust. In addition, participants receive the great advice of a sounding board.