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Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership

Organization & Leadership

Frequently Asked Questions









Q: What is the difference between the Executive Masters Program and a traditional or executive MBA?

A: The primary difference between the Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership and an MBA is that the XMA is grounded in organizational psychology and focuses on competencies related to leading organization change in a business context, whereas an MBA is grounded in business and focuses on competencies related to leading a business, of which people and change are only one component.

Both degree programs offer some of each. That is, the Change Leadership program blends business and psychology and includes business courses such as strategy in the curriculum, whereas MBA programs are usually focused on finance and offer some courses in organization behavior.


Q: What happens after I submit my online application?

A: In general, it takes approximately 4-6 weeks from the time you submit your application to receive a response or an invitation to interview from our office.

Q: Why does it take 4-6 weeks?

A: Once your online application is submitted, you'll need a TC Identification Number in order to mail in some of your supplemental materials. This number should be received approximately 3-5 business days after your online application is submitted. Once your materials arrive in the Admission Office, which could take an additional 3-5 business days, they are then processed and distributed to us. Depending on the volume of applications received, this could take approximately 2-3 weeks.

Once the Office of Executive Education receives your file, you'll receive a response or request for an interview from us within 2 weeks.

Q: Are you able to tell me whether all of my application materials have arrived in Admissions?

A: Unfortunately, the College does not have a centralized application system that allows each individual office to monitor the status of incoming applications. Should you have a question on where your application is in the process or whether any materials are missing, please check the Apply Yourself system or contact the Admission Office directly at admission@tc.edu.

Q: Is there any way to speed up the application process?

A: Yes. Only completed application files are sent to our office, so the best thing you can do to ensure the quick processing of your file is to make sure that all materials are submitted in a timely manner and to do so long before the application deadline. Additionally, you should be certain that all College application requirements are met. For example, international transcripts need to be evaluated and verified by World Education Services, and international applicants for whom English is a second-language are required by the college to submit TOEFL scores. You should review the Guide to Admission for additional information on these and other requirements, and ensure that your own materials comply.


Q: What is the cost of the program?

A: The cost of the Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership for the 2019-2020 academic year is approximately $88,450. This includes the 45-credit tuition charge as well as an additional fee to cover the costs associated with the residential weeks of the program and all books, materials, assessments, coaching, on-campus meals and cultural event attendance. Housing and accommodations for modules based in New York City are not included in the program fees.

Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Although scholarships for the program are currently not available, U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for need-based aid from the federal government to attend the program. For more information, please visit the Office of Financial Aid.


Q: Is housing provided for modules in NYC? Are there recommended places to stay?

A: Unfortunately, we are unable to provide housing for the on-campus modules. Those traveling to the city for the program will be able to find accommodations at any of the following preferred locations in and around the Columbia University campus. Although we encourage individuals to remain close to the Morningside Heights neighborhood, additional lodging and hotel accommodations are available throughout the New York City area.

The Lucerne Hotel (off-campus)
201 West 79th Street
New York, NY 10024

Landmark Guest Housing (on-campus)
3041 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Due to the many events that are held throughout New York City, we strongly encourage individuals to book housing accommodations as far in advance as possible. The Office of Residential Services at Teachers College also has a limited number of guest rooms. Please find additional information at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/abouttc/visit.htm?id=Guest+Housing.


Q: If I am currently a Teachers College student, can I transfer any credits?

A: Because the program curriculum is fixed and there are no elective courses, individuals will not be able to transfer credits from other programs or from the Organizational Psychology Masters Program.

Q: How do the modules translate to credits?

A: Each module will range from 12-15 credits. One full content area/course is typically 3 credits.


Q: What is the start and end time of the sessions?

A: The sessions will begin approximately at 8 a.m. and will last into the evening. This does not take into account the cultural events that may take place in the late evening. There is one cultural event per module.

Q: The program is qualified as intensive. What does that mean?

A: During the modules, students will be in session from morning until evening, with the exception of meals and small breaks. This includes weekend days that happen to fall within a particular module (e.g., Saturdays and Sundays).

Q: What types of activities are conducted between the modules?

A: In between the modules, we anticipate individuals will be working approximately 10 hours a week on course-related assignments and action learning projects. While executives are free to manage their own time, there will be monthly virtual check-in sessions in between the modules in order to provide scheduled time for project supervision, teamwork, information sharing, and any additional hot topic lectures. A schedule for all check-in meetings will be provided to executives during the first module.

Q: Is there flexibility to take the modules over the course of 2 or more years (rather than take all four in one year)?

A: No. The curriculum has been designed so that each module builds off of experiences and content from the previous module. In addition, to ensure cohesiveness and continuity among each cohort, we require executives to attend all four sessions in one year, in their anticipated sequence and with their original cohort. Executives are required to attend each module in its entirety and to participate fully in all independent and online learning activities that occur in the liminal spaces between the learning modules.


Q: What types of cultural events can we expect?

A: The cultural events are not cultural with respect to national culture, but rather are opportunities to engage in arts and creativity-based experiences that are meant to illustrate the course topics from a different perspective. These might include but are not limited to attendance at a leaderless orchestra or jazz/improv participation. Our research indicates that people learn best when both the left and right sides of their brain are engaged.

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