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Registration and more information


Admission requirements

  • Complete online application.
  • Have earned a four-year bachelor’s degree.
  • Official transcripts from each college or university at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 credit hours of the undergraduate coursework or any previous work in a master’s program.
  • Names and email addresses of two references for letters of recommendations within the online application.
  • Current resume, describing the applicant’s professional experience.
  • Essay addressing the following topics:
  • Explain your professional goals and how the MBA degree will help you achieve them.
  • Write a paragraph or two describing what you gained professionally and/or personally from the experiences detailed on your resu

Start date: September 2023

Dear Prospective MBA student

Thank you for considering the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that Illinois State University offers in Panama City, Panama in a dual degree agreement with Quality Leadership University. We are confident that our successful program will help you to advance your academic and professional career.

Choosing the right MBA program for you may be a challenging task, but we believe that the joint MBA program between Illinois State University and Quality Leadership University is a very viable choice for many. Our program is competitive in terms of the quality, reputation, flexibility, location, and cost. We offer an AACSB-accredited curriculum delivered by an excellent group of dedicated faculty in a state-of-the art facility with cutting-edge technology.

Our program has been consistently recognized as one of the best by prestigious institutions such as The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, and Aspen Institute. In particular, The Princeton Review has ranked the Illinois State University MBA Program as one of the best business schools every year since 2007.

The College of Business

The College of Business is among the elite top 2 percent of business schools in the world to have both business and accounting accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

Illinois State ranked among the Top 75 in Bloomberg Businessweek’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools in 2016 -one of only three public business schools in Illinois to make the list. Illinois State College of Business is listed as one of the best in the Midwest by The Princeton Review and its Part-Time MBA is listed as one of the best in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

The Sales Education Foundation consistently ranks Illinois State’s Professional Sales Program among the top programs in the world.

Illinois State´s insurance program was ranked No. 11 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report 2017. Illinois State is one of 43 business schools nationally recognized by the International Risk Management Institute Inc. Business Insurance recognizes Illinois State´s undergraduate risk management and insurance program as the forth largest in The United States.

The College of Business was one of the first participants in the United Nations -sponsored Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, a framework for academic institutions to advance socially responsible corporate behavior.

Illinois State touts the highest Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam pass rate for public universities in Illinois.

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Founded in 1857 Illinois State University is the first public university of Illinois and Abraham Lincoln acted as the attorney for the board. Illinois State University’s campus is in the twin-city community of Bloomington-Normal near the geographic center of the state, 137 miles southwest of Chicago and 164 miles northeast of St. Louis.  The University is one of 12 public universities in Illinois. Its academic departments offer more than 160 major/minor options in the Colleges of Applied Science and Technology, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Fine Arts, and Mennonite College of Nursing. The Graduate School coordinates 41 master’s, specialist, and doctoral programs. The University´s academic programs are supported by the service and collections of Milner Library, which contains more than three million holdings and special collections.

Illinois State is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The total enrollment is 21,039 students. More than 58% of undergraduate students come from the Chicago area and undergraduate and graduate students from 46 states and territories and 72 different countries. The University conferred 5,392 degrees in 2016. The University has 3,552 employees from which 1,210 are departmental faculty.

Illinois State made U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 ranking of America’s best public national universities, at No. 78, based on academic quality and excellence. Additionally, Illinois State was ranked by College Factual as the 22nd Best College for the Money out of 1,200 universities across the United States. The University’s College Town in Bloomington-Normal ranks as one of the top 10 college towns in the United States based on its quality of life and arts and entertainment opportunities.

The MBA Program

The prestigious MBA Program offered by Illinois State University’s College of Business and Quality Leadership University´s QLU Business School in Panama City, Republic of Panama starts cohorts of students every august.

Benefits and Advantages:

  • Dual degree from two prestigious universities.
  • At a fraction of the cost.
  • Offered completely in Panama City, Panama.
  • Executive schedule format to accommodate professionals who work full time.
  • Taught completely in English.
  • Modular format with courses scheduled every other week in the evenings.
  • All professors hold Ph.D.s from prestigious universities and have significant professional, teaching and research experience.
  • Program approved in Panama with Resolution No. CTF-79-2012.
  • Program accredited by AACSB International.
  • Universities accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of The United States and National Council of Evaluation and Accreditation of Panamanian Universities (CONEAUPA).
  • Excellent group of students from Panama, Latin America and the world who work in the most prestigious national, regional and multinational companies in Panama.

MBA Program Structure

Pre-MBA Business Foundation Requirements

Admission to the Illinois State University MBA program is open to qualified students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in any undergraduate discipline. Students admitted without sufficient academic preparation in one of more business areas will be required to acquire the necessary background by either passing a proficiency exam or completing the equivalent online pre-MBA course offered through the program. The required business area proficiencies include:

  • Fundamentals of Economics
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Financial Accounting
  • Principles of Management
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Math and Statistical Concepts – Graduate
  • Understanding Corporate Finance
  • Business Law Essentials

Fourteen core courses (42 credit hours)

  • Contemporary Business Perspectives and Leadership Skills
  • Fundaments of Strategic Decision Making
  • Applied Tools for Business Decision Making
  • Management Information Systems: Organizational and Technological Issues
  • Advanced Marketing Management
  • Management Accounting
  • Analysis of Organizational Behavior
  • Financial Management
  • Operations and Quality Management
  • Advance Integrated Marketing Communication
  • Project Management Fundamentals
  • Advanced Corporate Finance
  • Product Development Management (entrepreneurship)
  • Advanced Organizational Strategy