CEMS Programme Overview
The current CEMS course programme at all CEMS universities is available at www.cems.org.
For further information concerning the CEMS MIM curriculum, also refer to the CEMS student guide and graduation rules at www.cems.org
The total workload of the CEMS MIM curriculum is 66 ECTS. The minimum workload per term during the official CEMS year is 24 ECTS; courses, skill seminars, block seminars, and business projects included.
Block Seminar and Global Citizenship Seminar
The Block Seminars are intensive one-week seminars on innovative management topics, which are the official start of the one-year CEMS MIM curriculum. Students from all CEMS institutions gather at different locations all over the world for the Block Seminars held by interdisciplinary inter-university teacher teams. Block Seminars convey what we call the "CEMS spirit" as they are an exceptional opportunity for students to combine intellectual challenge and socialising with peers from all over CEMS.
Depending on when the autumn term begins at different CEMS institutions, Block Seminars can take place between the end of August and early October. The Block Seminar is a mandatory element of the programme and can under no condition be postponed. Students will need to make sure that they will be able to attend one at the beginning of the programme. A slot is reserved for all students at their autumn term school. Applications for transfer to a different location is open in May and is coordinated centrally through the CEMS database. Students interested in the transfer must consult with their autumn term school in order to avoid mandatory class overlaps. The Block Seminar accounts for 3 ECTS.
The Global Citizenship Seminar (GCS) is a two-day course, which takes place at the beginning of the spring term. The GCS is an experiential learning component of the CEMS MIM, which brings together representatives from Corporate and/or Social Partners, professors, and students. Depending on the spring term starting date at different CEMS institutions, GCS can take place between January and early-April. As the GCS is a mandatory element of the programme that can under no circumstances be postponed, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that they will be able to attend a GCS at the beginning of the spring term. Contrary to the Block Seminar, no specific re-allocation of places is foreseen for the GLS. Schools may include a social event in connection with the GCS, likewise participation can be declared mandatory. The GCS accounts for 1 ECTS.
Please note: both seminars may include a fee.
Students spend one semester abroad at another CEMS university, either the autumn term or the spring term. For further information please see the section CEMS Term Abroad.
The academic focus of the CEMS programme replies to the educational needs of CEMS students and the talent needs of CEMS companies. It reflects the unique
character of the CEMS organisation. Thus, CEMS courses build the bridge between university education and the business world and are international in dimension. CEMS students must pass CEMS courses accounting for 45 ECTS in the MIM programme.
During the autumn term, students have to successfully complete a mandatory CEMS core course in the field of Global Strategy while during the spring term, students have to successfully complete a mandatory CEMS core course in the field of Global Leadership. These courses are offered exclusively to CEMS students.
The remaining CEMS courses are a selection of the best courses with an international management profile chosen from the portfolio of the member institutions. By choosing these courses, students are enabled to pursue their home Master specialisation(s).
Certain CEMS courses taken at the HSG will automatically be credited towards the HSG Master's degree. Details can be found in the "CEMS credit transfer rules and guidelines" which can be downloaded on StudentWeb.
The following flexibility rules may apply:
- CEMS electives accounting for a maximum of 7.5 ECTS can be substituted by the CEMS Research Project.
- CEMS courses and Skill Seminars accounting for a maximum of 15 ECTS may be taken outside the official MIM year, i.e. one year before the start or one year after the end of the CEMS MIM year.
- After application of above flexibility rules, students must successfully pass a minimum of 24 ECTS per term, and will be able to credit no more than 37.5 ECTS per term. This includes courses, Block Seminar, Global Leadership Seminar, Skill Seminars and Business Project.
A list of CEMS courses offered at all CEMS institutions can be found at www.cems.org.
Within the CEMS MIM curriculum, Business Projects are designed as a real-life learning experience for students. International student teams solve a real business problem for a company as a one semester part-time assignment, tutored by a company representative and a professor in parallel. The Business Project is a consultancy-like project and accounts for 15 ECTS. The student teams work independently and present their results to the company in a final report and an oral presentation. Each CEMS student must do a Business Project during the spring term.
CEMS students have to attend four Skill Seminar days (2 ECTS). 1 day = 8 hours = 0.5 ECTS. The Skill Seminars in practical skills give students the essential acquirements to work effectively in an international management environment. Emphasis is placed on skills such as communication, teamwork, negotiation, presentation and intercultural skills. Skill Seminars are often offered in close cooperation with companies and can be taken any time during the CEMS studies.
CEMS Research Project
The Research Project is an optional programme element which can replace CEMS elective credits up to a maximum of 7.5 ECTS. It can lead to the thesis for the home studies, but a Master's thesis cannot be validated for a Research Project. The student is responsible for finding the professor and the topic – and for having the project approved by the Academic Director of the home institution. The report is graded by the tutoring professor at either the home or host institution.
The Research Project can only be done during the CEMS MIM year.
Criteria for the CEMS Research Project
- Issue-focused: dealing with a specific problem, be it a corporate, economic or theoretical problem.
- Internationality: dealing with a question that applies to more than one country.
Internships provide students with the real-life professional learning experience of integrating into an organisation's culture and processes. The main objective is to turn academic experience and theoretical knowledge into a professional, multi-cultural business experience. Internships can take place at a CEMS Corporate Partner, though not compulsory. They can also take place at a non-profit organisation such as in a humanitarian mission, provided that responsibility levels correspond to the CEMS requirements. CEMS Internships must therefore
- cover a consecutive period of at least 8 weeks full-time in the same company (the first 8 weeks of a full-time employment is also accepted),
- be a full-time activity at professional level (first job level) where the student is given one or more challenging projects with a certain degree of autonomy,
- be supervised by a tutor within the company,
- be an intercultural experience and thus need to take place abroad. For CEMS internships, “abroad” is defined as outside the country of the CEMS home institution.
- be during the graduate level of studies, starting with the date when the student fulfilled all official Bachelor's degree study requirements.
The internship can be fulfilled at any time during the graduate period of studies (also prior to CEMS selection) except parallel to the studies during the two CEMS MIM terms.
For validation, the company needs to fill in an online evaluation at the end of the internship.
Students are responsible for finding their own internship. If students wish to receive internship offers by e-mail, they can use the CEMS online job market for students and alumni at www.cems.org.
The "CEMS Internship Guide" gives help and information on internship possibilities, visa and other regulations in each CEMS country. The document is available at www.cems.org/mim/curriculum/internship.
Students planning to graduate in 2021 must start the internship by the beginning of September 2021 at the latest.
All CEMS graduates must have language competence in three languages, one of which is English and another which must be one of the CEMS languages. For the third language requirement a CEMS student is encouraged to step out of their comfort zone. For instance, if a student speaks English and French, the student may then use the third language requirement as an opportunity to discover another language outside of the Indo-European language family group, i.e. Chinese or Arabic.
The minimum language requirements are the following:
Language 1 – English
- Mother tongue or Proficiency
(fulfilled through CEMS MIM entry requirement)
Language 2 – a CEMS language
- Mother tongue or
- B1 oral and written level
Language 3 – any language
- Mother tongue or
- Language course at elementary level with a minimum of 5 ECTS or 60 contact hours
For more detailed information about language assessment, language combinations and preparation please refer to the download section on StudentWeb.
Integration of the CEMS Curriculum into the HSG study structure
Scenario 1: Start of HSG Master programme in the autumn semester
Application for CEMS programme in the autumn semester preceding the start of your Master programme (for HSG Bachelor students only)
Application for CEMS programme in the first autumn semester of your Master programme.
Scenario 2: Start of HSG Master programme in the spring semester
Application for CEMS programme in the autumn semester preceding the start of your Master programme or in the first autumn semester of your Master programme.
Credit transfer of CEMS requirements towards the HSG Master's degree
Some of the CEMS requirements will be credited towards the HSG Master's degree. Details can be found in the 'CEMS credit transfer rules and guidelines' which can be downloaded on Studentweb.
Career Forum /CEMS online job market
The CEMS Career Forum, an exclusive CEMS recruitment and professional networking event, is a highlight event of the year and is held in mid-November.
Students can participate in the Career Forum and in the interviews several times during their CEMS studies. Students are pre-selected for interviews with Corporate Partners prior to the event and upon submission of a formal application. Students are offered the chance to participate in accredited Skill Seminars during the Career Forum. Furthermore, CEMS has an online job market and an online CV database of CEMS students and alumni. These are exclusive for CEMS students, alumni and Corporate Partners and give a unique opportunity for networking, job and internship search.
The graduation ceremony takes place during the CEMS Annual Events which are organised by one of the CEMS institutions each year at the end of November/ beginning of December. To graduate, CEMS students must have successfully completed all mandatory components of the CEMS MIM curriculum including her/his home degree by 30 September of each year at the latest. The graduation must take place maximum 1.5 years after graduation from the home degree. Exceeding the limit of 1.5 years between graduation from the home degree and fulfilment of all CEMS MIM requirements will need to be approved. Also a maximum of 5 years may have passed between the end of the MIM year and graduation from the home degree.
The CEMS MIM certificate will show grades according to the ECTS grading scale “A–F” for Block Seminars, CEMS courses and the Business Project. Language proficiency will be indicated according to the Common European Framework Agreement language levels.