Liautaud Request Information

Is your Chicago-area corporation interested in an MBA program to fit your business needs? Click here for more information about our custom programs.

Accelerated, Cohort MBA Program

At the University of Illinois at Chicago, our CMBA programs focus on creating new knowledge and providing practical solutions to challenges that confront the constantly changing global business environment. Drawing upon the range of backgrounds of our student body and UIC's strength as one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the U.S., we are committed to developing well-rounded leaders with the practical knowledge, skills, and values to compete effectively in the global marketplace.  


Building on our strengths as a major research university and our location near the heart of Chicago’s business district, the Master of Business Administration program at the University of Illinois offers you the opportunity to learn the latest business theories in an environment where the application and practice of business are closely integrated into your studies. The city of Chicago provides not only a stimulating living environment, but also a living laboratory for the study of business. Students in UIC’s CMBA programs engage in case studies, business simulations, and projects. They propose new companies and compete for venture capital support, including in UIC’s own C2V event. They not only learn about business-- they learn how to apply their knowledge to business.

The CMBA Programs truly offers a world-class education in a world-class city. We welcome your interest and look forward to receiving your application.


CMBA Programs

The CMBA Programs are developed to meet the needs of professionals who wish to further their careers by earning their MBA degree from an AACSB-accredited program and complete the program within a year.

Since 1996, the CMBA Programs have allowed students to complete their degree in a shorter time frame without sacrificing attention to the learning of fundamental business knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed in today’s local and global competitive environments.  A key advantage of the program is its flexibility in tailoring the MBA degree to a specific area of interest: a customized curriculum focusing in either Strategic and International Business Management or Financial Markets & Risk Management develops a full range of contemporary management skills and cultural awareness that equip students to compete effectively in today's global business environment.

As part of the College of Business Administration, students of the CMBA Programs have both corporate and academic advantages. Located in Chicago, one of the top ten economically influential cities in the world, students have access to UIC's close ties with major financial and corporate resources within walking distance from campus. Students also benefit from close collaboration with renowned UIC faculty.  

Degree Overview

CMBA Programs are one year full-time degree programs.

Students enter the program with a group (called a cohort). All students in a given cohort take the same courses at the same time throughout the program. The academic plan for each cohort is constructed by the CMBA Office. 

Each cohort follows one of two academic tracks:  Strategic and International Business Management (SIM) or Financial Markets and Risk Management (FMRM).

The relatively shorter time frame of this program is achieved by making the program somewhat more intensive than the traditional full-time MBA programs and by reducing the amount of breaks between semesters. 

The SIM and FMRM focuses are tracked and scheduled independent of the university calendar to allow students to complete the program within 12 calendar months. Each start date has its own academic focus.

Areas of Focus

Strategic and International Business Management Focus

The MBA program with a focus in Strategic and International Business Management seeks to foster an understanding of international business practices and culture together with knowledge of the core functional areas of business and to allow students to develop their judgment and ability in applying this knowledge in a global business environment.

Ideal candidates for the CMBA Programs are young professionals who have already begun their careers and find it difficult to be away from the workplace for more than one year.

Advanced courses (minimum of 30 credit hours); representative courses include:

  • Business Law
  • International Management
  • International Marketing
  • Managerial Communications
  • Business Ethics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Logistics Management
  • Macro and International Economics
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Negotiation Strategy
  • Strategic Management
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Product Development/Consumer Behavior
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global Leadership

Financial Markets and Risk Management Focus

The CMBA Programs with a focus in Financial Markets and Risk Management is designed to further careers of financial professionals by enhancing their understanding of financial markets, risk management, and the operation of financial institutions in the dynamic global economy.  Drawing on the resources of the financial community of Chicago, the program provides up-to-date knowledge in the theory and practice of financial markets and risk management.

The FMRM program derives a unique advantage from its prime location in the city of Chicago, which is home to the world’s largest options exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange; the world’s largest futures exchanges, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group; and the third largest stock exchange in the United States, the Chicago Stock Exchange. In addition to these institutions, many large multinational securities and futures firms have offices in the city. This environment provides students with many opportunities to interact with leading experts in the industry and to become acquainted with the most advanced technology in the field. 

Advanced courses (minimum of 30 credit hours); representative courses include: 

  • Investments
  • Portfolio Analysis
  • Equities
  • Futures
  • Options
  • Fixed Income
  • Risk Management
  • Applied Portfolio Management
  • Wealth Management
  • Statistics for Financial Markets
  • Business Ethics
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Managerial Communications
  • Strategic Management 
  • Money and Banking


For application dates and requirements, visit Liautaud Admissions

Criteria for Candidates

To be considered for admission to the program, individuals should have:

  • A bachelor’s degree with satisfactory grades
  • Strong English language skills
  • Strong analytical and quantitative skills
  • Appropriate professional experience (over three years preferred)

Additionally, for the Financial Markets & Risk Management focus, prior study of calculus and statistics is highly recommended. 

These minimum criteria only qualify a candidate for consideration and do not guarantee an offer of admission.

Contact Us

Contact Information for Individual Applicants
Contact Liautaud Admissions
Phone: (312) 996-4573 or (877) 622-8421 (toll free)

Contact Information for Corporate/International Partners
815 W. Van Buren Street, 
Suite 410
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: (312) 413-2105
(312) 412-2316

Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday - 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Friday - 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.


Q: How do the CMBA Programs differ from other MBA programs at UIC?

A: All students earning an MBA degree from UIC must meet the same academic requirements and receive the same diploma irrespective of the program format.

However, traditional campus MBA programs are typically designed for students to study full time over a two-year period or part time over an extended period while still employed. Students individually choose their courses to meet the degree requirements, including an advanced area of study.

In contrast, our students go through the program together as a cohort— allowing the entire degree program to be tailored to the needs of the group, including sequence, delivery and selection of advanced courses or the development of special topic courses. To accomplish program goals, the CMBA Programs Office, working with the sponsoring organization, may modify instructional schedules and the selection of advanced courses after the program begins.

Q: How do I apply?

A: Students apply through a sponsoring organization or corporation working in partnership with UIC. Individual applicants should apply through UIC LGSB open enrollment.

Q: What areas of focus do you offer in the CMBA Programs?

A: We currently offer areas of focus in Strategic and International Business Management and Financial Markets & Risk Management.

Other areas of focus are offered and new areas may be developed based on expressions of interest from sponsoring organizations. The college has areas of particular strength in strategy, finance, accounting and entrepreneurship. Please contact our office directly for more information.

The CMBA Programs are based in a major public urban research university, which allows these programs to draw on the breadth and depth of faculty in the College of Business Administration and on the broader expertise and resources of the university. The programs additionally utilize the resources of the city of Chicago and the metropolitan area.

These resources from diverse sources allow us to design a program tailored to the needs of your corporation or organization. For example, students with a local government focus are taught by faculty in the urban planning department and visit municipal governments as part of their program.

Q: How are the programs structured?

A: All of the university's MBA Programs require a minimum of 54 semester hours of credit in approved course work, including the successful completion of all core courses.

Courses for the CMBA Programs are scheduled in a number of modules varying in length over the 12-month period. There is one major vacation break at the end of December.

Course work in the CMBA Programs is scheduled to allow students to complete program requirements in 12 months. The program area of focus is tailored to the needs of the particular cohort.

For custom programs designed for Chicago-area corporations,  programs are custom delivered according to participating employees' needs and schedule. This practice extends value to part-time MBA students who need a time-efficient program to balance work, study and family obligations. The concentration or area of focus is chosen in collaboration with your corporate leaders based upon strategic company objectives.

Q: How is it possible to complete the degree program in 12 months?

A: The relatively shorter timeframe for the CMBA Programs is achieved by making the program somewhat more intensive than traditional full-time MBA programs and by greatly reducing the amount of vacation time. Instead of four terms of study spread over 16 to 21 months in a typical 2-year program, our International Managers programs require a slightly more demanding course load: all degree requirements are completed in approximately 49 weeks of study within the 12 months of the program. 

aacsb-accreditedLess than 5 percent of the world’s business schools have achieved AACSB accreditation, which involves a process of rigorous internal review and evaluation plus external validation.

An AACSB accredited MBA program meets high standards of quality—in the students they accept, the faculty who teach, the subject content of the curriculum, and the teaching techniques utilized.