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The Leadership MBA Program Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

  • Lake Forest, IL
  • Private
  • Suburban
  • 42%58%
    student ratio
  • 734
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • July 1
    fall application deadline
  • Not Reported
    acceptance rate
  • 6 Degrees
    degrees offered


Who We Are

Since 1946, nearly 8,000 experienced professionals have chosen the Lake Forest Leadership MBA program -- at campuses in Schaumburg and Lake Forest, and on site at leading area companies -- because they were looking for more than just graduate business credentials. They were looking for experiences that were practical, relevant, exciting and collaborative, and that would give them the knowledge, attitudes, habits, skills, and network to take them to new heights in their business careers.

As an independent, accredited, not-for-profit business management school, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) puts students' educational interests first. The Lake Forest Leadership MBA was designed to help students rise higher. Because Lake Forest focuses on the experienced professional, the school has created its program to address what working professionals say is most important in MBA educations.

In addition to the Lake Forest Leadership MBA program, LFGSM also offers graduate-level leadership certificates, and the new 100% online Immersion MBA (iMBA) program -- the only MBA program in the world that offers a virtual reality, scenario-based experience with integrated career development and application/service assignments. For more information about LFGSM's offerings, interested individuals should visit

Strictly Business Right from the Start

At LFGSM, the school is all business -- and it has been from the very start. A pioneer of the practical business education model, LFGSM was originally founded through a partnership of leading Chicago-area businesses. To this day, providing graduate business education is all the school does. So meeting educational needs has the school's full attention.

Since its founding, LFGSM has strengthened and expanded its ties to the business community through affiliations with such leading companies as Abbott Laboratories, Ace Hardware Corporation, Allstate Insurance Company, Baxter, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Brunswick Corporation, CDW, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Grainger, Hospira, HSBC, Komatsu America Corporation, Kraft Foods Inc., Motorola, Inc., True Value Company, Walgreens, and WMS Gaming -- to name just a few.

Those looking for a serious Chicago MBA program have come to the right place with LFGSM.

LFGSM Campuses & Locations

The Lake Forest Leadership MBA program is offered in face-to-face format at 2 conveniently located campuses in Schaumburg and Lake Forest, and starting in September 2012, the Leadership MBA curriculum will also be available online. Programs at these locations are open to all qualified professionals. LFGSM also delivers the Leadership MBA program on site in other locations to accommodate corporate client requirements.

The Lake Forest Leadership MBA Program

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) is a leading business graduate school in the Chicago area. Earning an MBA from LFGSM can help a professional to solve business problems more effectively, to sharpen leadership skills and professional presence, and to meet career goals.

At LFGSM, students will learn from experience -- the extensive business experiences of faculty members, the average 14 years professional experience of classmates, the immediate experience of applying new learning to current workplace challenges, and LFGSM's 66 years of experience providing graduate business education. With all this experience in small, dynamic classes, students get practical knowledge they can use right away.

The MBA Program is Structured to Fit Students' Lives

The Lake Forest Leadership MBA provides students with a broad knowledge base in the areas that are critical for success in today's business environment. LFGSM understands the demands of working professionals, so its programs are structured to meet students' needs for convenience. The Lake Forest Leadership MBA program is available on weeknights, weekdays, Saturdays, and online, and can be completed at students' own pace in as few as 18 months.

LFGSM's flexible attendance policy allows students to attend other instructors' courses or locations if they have travel or life conflicts. In addition, Leadership MBA students go at their own pace, taking 1 or 2 courses and flexing their academic schedules to fit with their busy lives. Students are allowed up to 6 years to finish their graduation requirements. But, for students who want to earn their Lake Forest MBA quickly, students can earn their degrees in as little as 18 months.

The Coursework is Challenging, but Working with LFGSM Is Not

Lake Forest prides itself on the personal touch and will be responsive to students' needs as working professionals. LFGSM has resources and staff members available to answer students' questions and assist them every step of the way. And from the moment students inquire about the program, they are welcomed into the community of business leaders, through which they will immediately expand their professional networks in powerful ways. To get to know LFGSM better, interested individuals should schedule admissions interviews or reserve seats at an upcoming MBA Preview by visiting

Lake Forest Leadership MBA Curriculum

LFGSM optimizes students' MBA experiences by helping them gain the competence they need to become business leaders, and the confidence to apply their new learning and skills to their unique workplace challenges. The school does this through its distinctive, 3-point approach to management education called "Leadership Learning." This "preparation with a purpose" readies students for greater workplace success through development of their competence, confidence, and ability to make significant contributions to their organizations.

Built to Advance Careers

At Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, the curriculum is grounded in extensive research with 600 business professionals and executives into what they look for in high-potential managers today. With the new skills and knowledge students will gain in the Lake Forest Leadership MBA program, they will become more effective business leaders and the kind of manager that gets noticed.

In today's environment, students must be ready not only to adapt to change, but also to create change. This requires a well-rounded business professional whose perspective goes beyond a single department or functional area to encompass a greater understanding of the organization's overall strategies and goals.

LFGSM's research has established 3 core traits of high-potential leaders and managers:

1. Successful business leaders must have a fundamental understanding of all aspects of their organizations' businesses.

2. Successful business leaders must be able to communicate, negotiate, and work with people at all levels throughout their organizations.

3. Most importantly, to consistently rise in their organizations, successful business leaders must deliver results.

The competencies below define these core traits of success and provide the roadmap for what students will learn in the Lake Forest Leadership MBA program. By determining the most relevant key business competencies, the school has created a curriculum that is truly designed for today's managers and tomorrow's leaders.

Core Traits of Business Success

Successful business leaders must know the business, and must:

- Know what drives the organization

- Have working knowledge of core functions

- Think strategically

Successful business leaders must relate to people, meaning they must:

- Lead, manage, and communicate confidently at all levels

- Know how to lead and work in a team

- Develop individual presence

Successful business leaders must deliver results, and therefore must:

- Understand risk and take action accordingly

- Be innovative

- Make decisions within ethical principles

- Provide value to stakeholders

Why Choose the Lake Forest Leadership MBA Program?

As an independent, accredited, not-for-profit organization, LFGSM puts students' educational interests first. Because the school focuses on the working professional, it has designed its program around what working professionals say is most important in an MBA education. The combined strengths of curriculum, faculty, students, and administration set LFGSM apart from other Chicago business schools.

- LFGSM's broad, general management curriculum will provide students with the conceptual perspectives, the functional skills, and the practical tools to lead or manage almost any type of business situation. The contemporary content of the courses means students' Lake Forest MBAs will be relevant to the issues they face today.

- Students will benefit from direct access to LFGSM's 100% practitioner faculty of industry leaders and successful business professionals who make important decisions for leading Chicago-area companies every day. They are in touch with current business issues, and bring a wealth of business knowledge -- both theoretical and practical -- to the classroom.

- At LFGSM, students won't interact with inexperienced teaching assistants or research-focused professors with expertise in theory but not in practice. They will learn and understand how business executives become business leaders.

- Students will be challenged by and partner with experienced professional classmates in small, dynamic classroom settings that stimulate creative problem solving and skill development.

- Students' Lake Forest MBA learning will be immediately applicable to their current workplace challenges, so they can leverage their learning investments right away, and throughout their MBA careers. Students won't find this high level of meaningfulness, practicality, and business relevance at every Chicago business school; but at LFGSM, it's what is taught every day.

- The Leadership MBA is 4 credentials in 1. As students progress through the program's 13 core courses and 3 electives, they earn 3 leadership certificates and their MBAs. This certificate-style sequence allows students to add meaningful credentials to their resumes well before their MBA degree graduation.

- Students will experience being treated professionally -- with interest and responsiveness -- by an approachable, collaborative organization solely focused on developing stronger business leaders.

Interested individuals should contact LFGSM today to learn more about why Lake Forest Graduate School of Management has been a top Chicago business school since 1946.

For even more information, interested individuals should visit

Lake Forest Leadership MBA Program Overview

The Lake Forest Leadership MBA is a general management business degree, providing a broad knowledge base in the areas that are critical for success in today's business environment. Timely business topics are incorporated into a curriculum which includes accounting, business management and policy, communications, economics, finance, marketing, organizational development, and strategy.

The Lake Forest MBA offers a broad knowledge base in the areas that are critical for success in today's business environment. The general management MBA requires 13 core units plus three elective units.

Lake Forest Leadership MBA students may enroll in any elective course at any campus location, provided that course prerequisites have been met. Visit for a complete listing of LFGSM's 24 elective offerings.

The typical course sequence begins with Business Fundamentals, which consists of four self-paced, online modules to be completed before the first core course. As Leadership MBA students progress through the program's 13 core courses and 3 electives to earn their MBA degree, they also will earn three leadership certificates (Certificates in Change Management, Management Analytics, and Strategy and Execution. This certificate-style sequence allows students to add meaningful credentials to their resumes well before their MBA degree graduation. The Leadership MBA program typically concludes with a capstone course in Strategic Management.

For students who seek a deeper dive into a particular area of study, LFGSM offers five in-demand specializations: Finance, Global Business, Healthcare Management, Marketing and Organizational Behavior.

Regardless of the electives or the specializations students may choose, the unique benefit of a Lake Forest Leadership MBA degree is the access it provides to new knowledge, skills, and contacts outside students' own areas of expertise. For a business professional who wants to broaden his or her perspectives and rise higher in his or her organizations and careers, earning an LFGSM MBA is the perfect choice.

Meet the Lake Forest Leadership MBA Faculty

Lake Forest's MBA curriculum is delivered by a 100% practitioner faculty of industry leaders and successful professionals, many of whom are entrusted with major P&L responsibility. Having an average of 27 years of professional experience, they are uniquely qualified to deliver compelling, contemporary course content, and will bring experience that can only come from making real decisions that affect real companies.

LFGSM's faculty members have a wide range of job titles and represent a wide array of organizations, industries and functions, many from the Fortune 500. They are Controllers, Partners, Vice Presidents, Directors, Consultants, and CEOs. But what they have in common is the ability to facilitate student learning through analysis, discussion, and experiential learning techniques. They have extensive practical experiences in the subject areas they teach, along with broad understandings of various industries and strong desires to share their knowledge with the next generation of business leaders. Most of all, they're here because they love to teach.

This means that Lake Forest MBA students receive business education from business leaders who will support theories with real business examples and contemporary applications, not from teaching assistants or research-focused professors.

The Lake Forest Leadership MBA Classroom Experience: Lake Forest Leadership MBA Class Sessions Are Dynamic and Interactive

LFGSM is a distinctive MBA school in the Chicago area. Its Leadership MBA class sizes are small. They average 22 students but never exceed 30 in a campus-based class or 25 in an online class, so students benefit from direct access to faculty members, along with close collaboration and interaction with classmates. The extensive professional experience of students creates dynamic classroom discussions and promotes creative problem solving. Students tell LFGSM that the interaction and camaraderie with their classmates is one of the most valuable experiences in the Lake Forest Leadership MBA program.

Lake Forest recognizes the value that organizations place on managers who work well on cross-functional and ad hoc teams. LFGSM's Leadership MBA coursework requires both team projects and individual study. By forming study groups and participating in team projects, students will develop and improve their abilities to assume various and important roles, and interact within any given business situation.

The wealth of students' diversity, experience, perspectives, and skills contributes directly to students' learning experiences through LFGSM's collaborative approach. The school's faculty members teach using a wide range of teaching methodologies that enhance their experiential learning and improve retention. Whether students attend Leadership MBA classes at one of LFGSM's flagship campuses, a satellite or corporate location, or online, students will benefit by learning from facilitated discussions, case studies, computer simulations and exercises, role-play, team projects, and presentations, and be able to apply the classroom learning to current workplace projects.

LFGSM's exceptional approach to the Lake Forest Leadership MBA classroom experience is what makes Lake Forest Graduate School of Management one of the Chicago area's leading MBA schools.

Lake Forest Leadership MBA Global Business Opportunities

For students interested in gaining hands-on global business experience, the Lake Forest Leadership MBA program is the right place.

At Lake Forest, students can specialize in global business, or they can take as many or as few global business courses as they would like. In each course, students will:

- Work, study, and live in selected global cities for up to 2 weeks, depending on the course

- Examine the region's economic climate in meetings with the senior management of local and multinational businesses and financial institutions

- Examine the region's political environment through visits with local government officials

- Become familiar with the region's culture and its impact on conducting global business

- Complete a consulting project in the local market by analyzing a problem or opportunity, and developing a business solution

- Personally present business solutions to a panel of local academics, business representatives, and clients for their evaluation

- Gain insight into the challenges facing global business and acquire new understanding of business as it relates to their organizations

All courses are taught by Lake Forest MBA faculty members who have business experience in the region, and by faculty members from in-country university partners. Fundamental to each course are students' hands-on, in-country consulting projects for area businesses, and regional presentations by prominent businesses, as well as political, financial, and labor leaders chosen for their expertise in global issues.

Current in-country global business courses are:

- Global Practicum: Europe

- Global Practicum: Asia

- Global Practicum: Latin America

Applying to the Lake Forest Leadership MBA Program: Admissions Philosophy

At LFGSM, the coursework is challenging, but the experience of working with the school isn't. LFGSM's admissions process is streamlined and highly personalized, and its admissions representatives are available to assist potential students every step of the way.

The Admissions Committee evaluates its Leadership MBA candidates on the potential they demonstrate to contribute to the MBA program, as well as the MBA program's alignment with the candidate's aspirations. In addition to assessing potential students' individual achievements and experiences, LFGSM focuses on the cumulative impact of students' accomplishments and their business experiences.

The factors used to determine acceptance into the Leadership MBA program include: professional work experience, the admissions interview, current achievements, letters of recommendation, application with personal statement, and previous academic history. LFGSM also looks at potential students' abilities to communicate effectively and their abilities to contribute to classroom discussions on contemporary business challenges. LFGSM does not require the GMAT.

Application Facts and Dates

Whenever students are ready to start their MBAs, there's a chance to enroll just around the corner. In 2012-2013, the Lake Forest Leadership MBA program will offer 5 academic terms: Summer, Fall, Winter I, Winter II, and Spring. Future years will offer 6 academic terms. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

To be eligible for admission, LFGSM requires candidates to hold a US bachelor's degrees or equivalent, and have 4 or more years of professional work experience. In addition, except for daytime Leadership MBA students or students in career transition, candidates must be currently employed full time. No prerequisite courses are needed for the Lake Forest Leadership MBA program, regardless of the applicant's undergraduate degree.

LFGSM values the professional work experience students bring to the classroom. While undergraduate grades are a factor, LFGSM also places a great emphasis on the student's current professional work experience and achievements. For daytime Leadership MBA students, LFGSM will also consider significant volunteer experience. GMAT scores can be used to fulfill admissions requirements, but are not required. Given the collaborative and interactive nature of the Lake Forest Leadership MBA learning experience, the admissions department looks for a student's ability to contribute to classroom discussions on contemporary business.

Each Leadership MBA start date for new students begins with a 1-day (Saturday) Kickoff, where deans and faculty members lead interactive workshops focusing on group dynamics, team building, and assessment of personal skills. The day provides a great opportunity for students to become acquainted and prepares them to begin graduate studies.

Application Instructions

LFGSM recommends that Leadership MBA applicants start their admissions process at least 6 weeks prior to the application deadline. Applications that are received after the application deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Please read below for information regarding the Lake Forest Leadership MBA program application requirements and instructions for applying. Potential students may apply for admission online at

Leadership MBA Admissions Requirements & Check List

To complete their Leadership MBA application file, LFGSM will need from students all of the following:

- Admissions interviews

- Current resumes

- Official academic transcripts

- Two letters of recommendation from professional colleagues

- Completed applications with personal statements

- Third-party transcript evaluations for degrees earned from institutions outside the United States, if applicable

-Official GMAT scores, if applicable. LFGSM does not require the GMAT. Interested students should see the current academic catalog or for details about using the GMAT as an additional qualification for applications.


LFGSM establishes the tuition rate for each academic year in the Spring for the following year. For the current tuition rate, interested students should visit, consult the academic catalo, or ask their admissions advisers.

Students may pay tuition through a combination of many financing options. LFGSM works with each student to assess his or her specific needs and financial situation, and helps students make the best use of employer tuition reimbursement, scholarships, financial aid, payment plans and/or veterans' benefits. To learn more about financing options, interested students should visit


All LFGSM Leadership MBA campuses are modern facilities in thriving corporate environments. In addition to multimedia classrooms, facilities provide dedicated space for student study groups, dining, and computer access. Starting in September, 2012, the Leadership MBA curriculum will also be available online.

Location & Contact

The Leadership MBA Program

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

1905 West Field Court
Lake Forest, IL 60045
United States

Mr. Chris Multhauf

Executive Vice President of Educational Programs and Solutions

Phone: 847-574-5270
Fax: 847-295-3656

Ms. Carolyn Brune

Director of Admissions

Phone: 800-737-4MBA
Fax: 847-295-3656

Contact school now

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Healthcare Management Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Global Business Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Management Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Organizational Behavior Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Marketing Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Finance Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 213
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline July 1st Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline January 5th Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline March 1st Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's Degrees4 years of work experience in field, interview, 2 letters of recommendation
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableFinancial Support for Part-time Students, Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students734
    • Female Percentage42%
    • Male Percentage58%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students734
    • Part-time Percentage100%
    • Full-time Percentage0%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino2%
    • Black / African American5%
    • White / Caucasian45%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native1%
    • Asian12%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander1%
    • Two or more races2%
    • Unknown32%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty136
    • Full-time Percentage0%
    • Part-time Percentage100%
    • Female Percentage30%
    • Male Percentage70%





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