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The Immersion MBA Program (iMBA) Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

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


Who We Are

At Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM), the sole mission is to provide practical, relevant, exciting, and collaborative business education to working professionals. Using the most effective and innovative delivery methods, the school's 100% business-leader faculty delivers its signature "learn from experience" business education to students through LFGSM's Chicago-area campus-based Leadership MBA program, leadership development programs, corporate-sponsored MBA programs, and now, the 100% online Immersion MBA ( iMBA) program.

LFGSM has been a trusted MBA provider for 66 years. A pioneer of the practical business education model, LFGSM was founded in 1946 through a partnership of leading Chicago-area businesses. To this day, providing graduate business education is all the school does. So, meeting students' educational needs has the school's full attention. In fact, LFGSM is the only completely independent graduate business school in the Chicago region that is accredited, not-for-profit, and solely focused on business. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, LFGSM is authorized to grant Master's degrees by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. LFGSM's MBA alumni network of successful business professionals is more than 8,000 strong and growing.

A Convenient, Flexible, 100% Online Interactive MBA

The Lake Forest iMBA is a unique virtual-reality MBA program that immerses aspiring leaders in simulated workplace scenarios to rapidly develop critical business skills. iMBA graduates receive the same diplomas as campus-based students, with no reference to "online." That means students walk away with powerful credentials as well as meaningful experiences.

The iMBA is delivered in a faculty supervised, virtual-reality, on-the-job-training context to maximize professional competencies. Students learn from classic and contemporary readings, case studies, peers, volunteer business mentors, and practicing professionals. iMBA courses are very distinct from other online courses. They use advanced technologies comparable to virtual world and gaming applications that allow students to become new employees in a virtual reality company designed around an actual manufacturing company.

As a fully online program, the iMBA is ideal for busy, working students who are mobile and have constantly changing schedules that make it hard to commit to a campus-based graduate program. With the Lake Forest iMBA, students get all the convenience and flexibility of accessing course materials, participating in business scenarios (modules), and collaborating with classmates and instructors from wherever they may be. And for students who live in remote regions where the quality of an established "bricks and mortar" MBA program has always been out of reach, the time has come: The Lake Forest iMBA is just a click away. To learn more about the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management iMBA, view a program demo or fill out an inquiry form, interested students should visit or contact an enrollment counselor at 800-890-7340.

The Lake Forest iMBA Experience

The Lake Forest iMBA is a 100% online, part-time MBA program that is immersive and impactful. The key letter in the iMBA is the 'i' -- it stands for immersion. It also stands for impactful. In fact, the iMBA is the only MBA program in the world that offers a virtual reality, scenario-based experience with integrated career development and application/service assignments. Students interested in a truly engaging online MBA program need look no further.

Students' entire iMBA experiences takes place inside one company. The company, Central Products Company, is a virtual reality clone of a real firm, with real products, real customers, real competitors, real opportunities, real failures and real people. Students will be trainees participating in the executive development program of that company. During their iMBA experiences, students will work in more than 10 departments and learn the key functions of business by doing. Each course they take will be in one of the departments of the company. For example, students will learn marketing in the marketing department, reporting to the Marketing Manager.

Each course, in each department, comprises several learning modules. There are 10-12 modules for each 8-week course. In most courses, students will need no text books. But students will have 400-600 pages of reading assigned by their managers, related to some issue the company is facing. If students show mastery of a module, they will be allowed to go on to the next. If they fail to show mastery, they will receive performance appraisals and be required to repeat the module.

Their participation, progress, and performance will be monitored closely and evaluated by one or more LFGSM instructors, who can see their work in real time. These business-leader instructors will interact with students regularly, facilitating discussion forums, pushing them to be their best. Students' 100% online experiences will be 75% virtual reality and 25% online discussion to help them apply lessons to their jobs. There are no boring webinars or lengthy lectures -- just a no-nonsense, roll-up-your-sleeves, scenario-based MBA that will change careers.

Lake Forest iMBA Program Overview

The iMBA is a 12-course program (44 semester credit hours) that culminates with a capstone experience. Typically, the Lake Forest iMBA program takes 11 terms (22 months) to complete. Students may take 2 courses at a time to complete the degree in one year if enough students are available to form an accelerated cohort. Courses that are 4 semester credit hours take 8 weeks to complete. The first course (1 credit hour, pass/fail) is 3 weeks in length. The iMBA also includes a powerful 3-credit-hour course in career development. In addition, 2 optional courses can be added to achieve specializations in Global Business. To view full course descriptions, interested students should visit

There are 6 primary processes of learning in each iMBA course:

1. Observation of the Central Products Company managers' and employees' work, and the work of fellow students.

2. Explanation through training and instruction by the Central Department manager, the faculty mentor, and assigned readings.

3. Application of the student's knowledge to problems and case studies within the Central Products Company and the market and industry context. These are assigned by the manager or faculty members.

4. Coaching through feedback, instruction, and correction by the practitioner mentor and faculty member when the student is not getting things quite right or additional perspective is deemed necessary. The student also receives real-time feedback from the courseware's "performance gauge" and periodic performance appraisals. Students' relationships with volunteer business leader mentors also gives them access to important feedback about their educational experiences and their career plans, and their ongoing work in the 3-credit-hour career development course sets them up for long-term success.

5. Testing and review is accomplished through both the Central Products Company context and through more traditional-looking tests (competency hurdles) at the end of each module.

6. Contextualizing is completed through the cohort mentoring experience where students interact with one another and learn from practicing professionals about practical business and ethical issues.

The iMBA Curriculum: Built to Advance Your Career, Open New Opportunities

Individuals who are looking for advancement within their organizations, or for new career opportunities, have come to the right place. Companies today want to hire people who have "been there" and "done that" when it comes to the basic functions of a corporation. Companies are looking not just for people with MBA credentials, but for men and women whose career and educational experiences have been practical, hands-on, contemporary and broad.

LFGSM has surveyed and interviewed more than 600 Chicago executives and professionals to find out what they look for in high-potential managers. They told us they look for people who:

- Know the business

- Relate to people

- Deliver results

LFGSM's curriculum and its teaching methodologies are built upon these 3 core competencies.

The Lake Forest iMBA will expose students to areas of business in which they might currently have no experience or expertise at all. It will take them far beyond the focus of their undergraduate degrees. It will take them to places they've never been, and open many new doors. Along the way, they will discover the powerful benefits of being members of the Lake Forest Graduate School business community -- through which they will gain access to 8,000 successful alumni, 750 current students, and 140 business-leader faculty members. LFGSM also offers career development for its iMBA students (a whole course dedicated to career growth!), as well as optional career services and the chance to be mentored by a volunteer business leader.

Why Choose the Lake Forest iMBA Program?

For students looking for a serious, innovative and fully online MBA program, the Lake Forest iMBA is the solution. The Lake Forest iMBA is the only MBA program in the world that offers a virtual reality, scenario-based experience with integrated career development and application/service assignments.

The Lake Forest iMBA is the perfect choice for those who are seeking:

- Advancement within organizations or new career opportunities.

- To learn by doing.

- The convenience and flexibility of an online MBA.

- To earn degrees from a recognized, not-for-profit, accredited institution.

As an independent, accredited, not-for-profit organization, LFGSM puts its students' educational interests first. Because the school focuses on the working professional, it has designed its programs around what working professionals say is most important in an MBA education. The combined strengths of its curriculum, faculty members, students, and administration set all of its graduate business programs apart from other 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 courses means students' Lake Forest MBAs will be relevant to the issues they face today.

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

- 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 professionals become business leaders.

- Students will be challenged by and partner with classmates in an interactive, virtual environment that stimulates creative problem solving and skill development while simulating real-world business scenarios.

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

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

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

To learn more about the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management iMBA, view a program demo or fill out an inquiry form, interested individuals should visit or contact an enrollment counselor at 800-890-7340.

Who is the "typical" iMBA student?

The Lake Forest iMBA program attracts men and women from all over North America, with a variety of professional and academic backgrounds. They have a broad spectrum of undergraduate degree concentrations -- from business management to history to engineering to marketing, and everything in between. And they work in many different industries, like healthcare, manufacturing, banking, technology and the military. Most iMBA students have between 1 to 4 years of professional work experience, and they come to the program with a variety of financial situations (e.g., with or without employer tuition reimbursement).

Meet the Lake Forest iMBA Faculty

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management has 140 business-leader faculty members, from among whom the iMBA faculty members were carefully chosen. Faculty members in the iMBA program have received special training in coaching and facilitating through the innovative, immersive learning approach of the iMBA. To see a full listing of LFGSM faculty, interested individuals should visit

The 100% business-leader faculty members at LFGSM are truly a cut above the rest. They represent a wide variety of organizations, industries, and functions, and have a wide range of job titles, such as Partner, Vice President, Director, Consultant, and CEO. They work for some of the most powerful companies in Chicago and across the nation.

With business-leader faculty members, theories are supported by real business examples and contemporary applications. This means students get their business education from business leaders, not from teaching assistants or research-focused professors. Faculty members have extensive practical experience in the subject areas they teach and are uniquely qualified to deliver compelling, contemporary course content and to guide students in discussions that are relevant to their day-to-day work experiences. They have in common a strong desire to share their knowledge, facilitate learning, and help students achieve measurable success. But most of all, they're on the faculty at LFGSM because they love to teach.

The iMBA Coursework is Challenging, but Working with Lake Forest Is Not

Lake Forest prides itself on the personal touch and will be responsive to students' needs as working professionals. The school is available to answer questions and assist students every step of the way. And from the moment they inquire about their Lake Forest iMBA program, potential students are welcomed into the community of business leaders, through which they will immediately expand their professional networks in powerful ways. To learn more about the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management iMBA, interested individuals should visit or contact an enrollment counselor at 800-890-7340.

Application Facts and Dates

Students can start their iMBAs during any academic term. Terms typically begin every 8 weeks. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

To be eligible for admission, LFGSM requires a US bachelor's degree or equivalent and a minimum of 1 year of significant full-time or equivalent part-time work experience or internships. Candidates must satisfy all of the admissions criteria, outlined below.

LFGSM values the professional work experience students bring to the classroom. While undergraduate grades and entrance exam (GMAT) scores are a factor, LFGSM also places a great emphasis on the student's current professional work experience and achievements. GMAT scores can be used to fulfill admissions requirements, but are not required of all applicants.

In addition to work experience, the school also evaluates scholastic ability and communication skills. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate their ideas through written words. LFGSM is also interested in understanding a candidate's personal motivations, values, leadership skills, and his or her overall ability to succeed and contribute in a collaborative graduate education program.

Admissions Requirements & Check List

Lake Forest iMBA candidates must submit or satisfy all of the following to complete an Application File:

- Application and personal statement ($75 Application Fee)

- Resume (Reflecting minimum one year of significant work experience)

- Admissions interview

- 2 letters of recommendation

- Undergraduate or graduate transcripts from an accredited institution

- Successful completion of online iMBA orientation (30 to 40 minutes to complete)

- 1 additional requirement, based on years of work experience. Potential candidates should see for a chart of requirements.

In addition, to participate successfully in the iMBA program, students must have unlimited access to the specified computer hardware and software and meet minimum computer requirements. In addition, students must have basic computer skills, including the ability to open and manipulate basic documents, word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation files. Due to the iMBA's use of Flash technology, the virtual corporate experience component of the Lake Forest iMBA experience is not compatible with Apple iPads or iPhones. To review student computing requirements, potential students should visit the iMBA website at


Current tuition for the iMBA program is $850 per credit hour. Some courses are 1 credit hour ($850), while some are 4 credit hours ($3,400). In total, there are 44 credit hours required to complete the MBA degree. A Lake Forest enrollment counselor can provide details about tuition billing dates, payment terms, financial aid options (student loans, employer tuition reimbursement and scholarships), and course drop policies. Upon acceptance to the program, iMBA students will hold their places in the class with a $100 non-refundable enrollment deposit fee, which will be applied to the first term's tuition.

For the most complete information about current tuition rate, scholarships, loans and veterans' benefits, students should speak with an enrollment counselor at 800-890-7340.


The Lake Forest iMBA is a fully online MBA program.

Location & Contact

The Immersion MBA Program (iMBA)

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

Mrs. Carolyn Brune

Director of Admissions

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

Contact school now

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Global Business Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • 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? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Yes
    • 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? Not Reported
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total FacultyNot Reported
    • Full-time PercentageNot Reported
    • Part-time PercentageNot Reported
    • Female Percentage-2147483548%
    • Male Percentage-2147483648%





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