Frequently Asked Questions


How are admissions determined?

The Executive MBA admissions applications forms indicate the standards used by the Shidler College to determine admission to the program. Note that admission is not based solely on quantitative criteria such as prior grade-point average (GPA) or IELTS/TOEFL scores. Rather, the admissions committee looks at the whole person, especially prior work experience and the results of the admissions interview.

When are admissions decisions made?

The practice of the Shidler College and the University of Hawaiʻi Graduate Division is to make admissions decisions as soon as the complete application has been received by the admissions committee in Hawaiʻi. For the Vietnam Executive MBA program (VEMBA), this takes a little longer than other programs because of the time required to validate the transcripts of prior academic work and to have the results of the interview and essay transmitted and reviewed.

What admissions decisions are made?

Upon receipt of the applicant’s completed admissions dossier (including all supporting documents as required), the admissions committee may decide as follows:

  • Immediate acceptance to the program.
  • Rejection of acceptance to the program.
  • Deferred acceptance to the program conditional on further review by the admissions committee.

What is the English Language requirement for admission to the MBA for Executives in Vietnam?

Students must earn a minimum TOEFL iBT 61 (or IELTS equivalent of 5.5) to be eligible for admission to the VEMBA program. In rare cases a TOEFL between 55 and 60 (IELTS 5.0) could be considered if the candidate is very strong on all other criteria: prior grades, work experience, personal interview and essay test. Any student who does not earn a TOEFL iBT score of 100 (or IELTS equivalence of 7.0) will be required to take two English courses that are offered in parallel in the VEMBA program.

Financial Aid

Am I eligible for scholarships even though I am not a U.S. citizen?

The current tuition fee offered for VEMBA has been substantially subsidized, 23,040 USD compared to 54,480 USD. If you are accepted to join the program, it also means you have a more than 50% scholarship.

English Courses by UH English Language Institute (ELI)

Who will be required to enroll in the English Courses?

Any admitted student whose TOEFL iBT score is between 61 and 99 (or IELTS overall band between 5.5 and 6.5) will be required to take the two English courses offered by the University of Hawaii English Language Institute (ELI).

Do I have to retake the TOEFL or IELTS once I have been admitted to the program?

No. Once you have been admitted to the program you do not need to take the TOEFL or IELTS again but you are required to pass the 2 English courses 

When are the two English courses (ELI) offered?

ELI 1 will be offered in the first Fall semester of the program.

ELI 2 (online) will be offered in the first Spring semester of the program.

What is the tuition of the ELI courses?

The ELI tuition is $550 x 2 courses.

Will these courses be graded?

Yes. Students who need to take ELI courses must earn a grade B or better in each ELI course.

What if a student does not pass the ELI courses with a B or CR?

If this occurs, University of Hawaiʻi regulations do not permit that student to graduate until the student has successfully completed the ELI courses

Teaching Methodologies and Grading

What are the typical teaching styles at the VEMBA program?

UH Shidler faculty members are diverse in their training and skills. The teaching styles reflect this diversity. Some classes will predominantly have lectures and discussions; some will be very case-focused. Some will involve experiential learning. Some will have all of these. Regardless of the teaching style, the faculty are experienced and committed to your learning. The faculty brings real-world experience to the classroom through their own knowledge but also from the students.

How are grades determined?

The University of Hawaiʻi, and thus the Shidler College of Business, uses a standard United States 4.0 grading system (A, B, C, D, or F), including plus and minus grades. In graduate work, a student must maintain a B or better grade-point average in order to continue with the program and to graduate. A grade lower than a C- must be retaken at the student’s expense.

Academic Issues

What if I have to miss some class time?

Students may not miss more than 12 hours classroom time in any VEMBA course and receive a grade higher than a “C” for that course regardless of their work on course assignments. Any student who misses more than 18 hours of classroom time (equivalent to 50% of the class time) in any VEMBA course will not receive credit for the course.

What if I miss an entire course?

Students may miss only one core course and continue in the program, taking all other core courses and electives. However, the missed core course must be made up as follows:

  1. By taking the course in the next VEMBA cohort;
  2. By taking the same course in the other Vietnam location. The Faculty Director must approve and the request must be made in advance.

Where can I find more details on academic procedures such as grade disputes?

The detailed Student Handbook has information on topics such as academic procedures and grade disputes. Students are given the handbook at the beginning of the VEMBA program.