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Program Structure

Participants complete the Aerospace & Defense MBA in one calendar year while continuing to work, acquiring a broad base of business knowledge and a deep understanding of the aerospace and defense industry. The average time commitment is about 20 hours per week for readings and assignments. Assignments relate directly to work participants perform on the job to help them to increase retention and enhance application of new concepts.

More than 75 percent of the program’s teaching occurs during five one-week residence periods (RPs). Four RPs take place at the University of Tennessee, with one at a rotating location near the headquarters of a major aerospace and defense organization. A total of 18-20 supplemental, distance-learning classes of three hours each are held between sessions.


RPs run from Sunday to Saturday. During each session participants take classes, meet with faculty advisors and leadership development coaches, and work on project teams with peers. Each RP ends with synthesis presentations in which students apply what they have learned in the program to date as part of a focused case study.

In residence period three, at the program’s mid-point, students and faculty convene at a city selected for its breadth of aerospace and defense business activities.


RP Example Schedule
  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Morning Icebreaker & Teambuilding Activities Performance in the A&D Industry Supply Chain Management Economics Financial Statements Theory of Constraints Synthesis of RP Classes Prep
Strategy Case Studies Investment Decisions Marketing Fundamentals
Afternoon Assessment Center Value-Based Management Information Systems Supply Chain Management Business Analytics Financial Statements Synthesis of RP Classes Presentations
Lean Applied to Business Processes Financial Decisions
Evening Welcome Dinner   Guest Speaker   Distance Learning Software Training Synthesis of RP Classes Introduction  

Online Structure

Online distance learning sessions are held for three hours once a week. The entire class gathers online during this time, holding discussions just as it does during the RPs. Sessions also may include guest speakers and participants communicate with each other and faculty between classes regarding assignments. In addition to expanding on information learned during the RPs, these sessions help the class maintain a tight sense of community.

The program also includes asynchronous distance learning for material best delivered through a traditional instructor-centered lecture. Participants may watch these lectures at their convenience and as often as needed to master the content.

Most sessions, whether delivered during an RP, DL, or ADL have an assignment designed to enhance understanding and increase knowledge of the subject. Additional assignments are assigned independent of sessions, to bridge multiple topics and to support holistic learning. 


Academic Year 2020

RP1: January 12-18 (Boot Camp: January 11)
RP2: March 29 - April 4 (Optional Green Belt: April 5)
RP3: June 7-13 (offsite RP)
RP4: September 13-19
RP5: December 5-11

Graduation Ceremony: December 11
Online Distance Learning Sessions: Selected Thursdays 7-10 p.m. EST.

Academic Year 2021

RP1: January 9-16, 2021
RP2: March 27-April 3, 2021 (Optional Green Belt & Innovative Thinking Certification Dates pending)
RP3: June 13-19, 2021 (Industry Immersion)
RP4: September 12-18, 2021
RP5: December 4-10, 2021 

Graduation Ceremony: December 10

Online Distance Learning Sessions: Selected Thursdays 7-10 p.m. EST.