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Learn more about our Aerospace & Defense MBA program.


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The Aerospace & Defense MBA is designed to provide a new depth of perspective of the aerospace & defense industry, to increase your ability to lead teams forward and transform your career, and to magnify your ability to improve processes, drive efficiency, and think critically. You’ll study core business concepts and advanced business strategy alongside classmates with meaningful aerospace and defense expertise. All in less than one year!

An MBA in One Year

Complete a rigorous and renowned MBA with limited time away from the office in 11 months. We teach our program in the context of the aerospace and defense industry so that you can immediately understand the application of new business principles and focus on mastering the content.

Applied Learning

Gain momentum in your career when you develop new business competencies through hands-on learning. Immersive and industry-specific coursework like the Organizational Action Project deliver direct value to your organization and allow you to connect course content to the real-world.

Industry Connections

Create a lifelong network of aerospace and defense sector professionals with collective decades of insights and experience to share. You’ll form valuable connections with leaders at every level and from across the country, all while sharing and establishing a new depth of perspective.

Personalized Coaching

Become a transformational leader with the support of a personalized leadership development coach. As an ADMBA student, you will participate in extensive leadership assessments to identify your strengths as a leader today and create a customized plan to reach your individual leadership goals.


Most Relevant Executive MBA Worldwide

2018 Economist WhichMBA


Facilities and Program Support

2020 Financial Times


Best Public Graduate Business School

2021 U.S. News & World Report


Our Aerospace and Defense MBA (ADMBA) participants thrive in the Haslam learning environment because of the breadth of industry experience students bring to the program. A shared understanding of the challenges unique to the aerospace and defense sector means that students can collaborate and share valuable best practices.

To maintain an intimate learning environment, our program is typically limited to 30-35 students. Program participants represent organizations including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon Technologies, Elbit Systems of America, BAE Systems, Collins Aerospace, Delta, Garmin, Northrop Grumman, NASA, the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and more. From early career to senior career leaders, we pride ourselves on offering a diverse cohort experience that includes students at each stage of the professional development pipeline.

As a designated 2021-2022 Military Friendly Gold School and Military Spouse Friendly School, our program also offers a broad range of resources to support students in the military and their families as they pursue their educational goals.


Percentage of Aerospace & Defense MBA alum promoted within two years of graduation


Total Aerospace & Defense MBA alumni leading the industry forward, including 200 senior leaders at DoD Depots


Years since founding, making this program the longest-running aerospace and defense-focused MBA in the world

“We are learning to solve real world problems, while applying more efficiency and effectiveness to our projects.”

Kenita Rainey
Aerospace & Defense MBA, Class of 2018
Site Executive, Program Director
BAE Systems


Participants complete the Aerospace & Defense MBA in a single calendar year. The average time commitment is 20 hours per week for readings, assignments and distance learning. Assignments relate directly to the work you perform in your job to help you best retain the information, immediately apply new concepts and return value to your organization. At the end of your year in the Aerospace & Defense MBA, you’re prepared to go further in your career and make a positive impact within your organization.


Invaluable learning takes place during five residence periods throughout the year. Our residence periods are an in-person opportunity to meet with professors, collaborate with your peers and solidify course concepts in action-oriented assignments. Four residence periods take place at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and one takes place near the headquarters of a major aerospace and defense organization.

Academic Year 2024

  • RP1: January 11-18, 2025: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • RP2: April 5-12, 2025: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • RP3: June 15-21, 2025: Industry Immersion
  • RP4: September 13-20, 2025: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • RP5: December 13-19, 2025: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Graduation Date: December 19, 2025


Between residence periods you will participate in virtual Distance Learning (DL) sessions, complete relevant and applied assignments and work on your year-long Organizational Action Project (OAP). This combination of in-person residencies, online sessions and direct application of concepts to your work provides the rigor to allow for the program’s compressed duration.

2023 Cohort Distance Learning Sessions:

  • Selected Thursdays from 7-10 p.m. ET


During the program, Aerospace & Defense MBA candidates participate in an Organizational Action Project (OAP) targeting areas for growth and issues of major importance to their organization. Each student designs their own project and works in concert with their organization’s leadership team and a faculty member with expertise in the field most central to the project topic.

Since 2017, our ADMBA graduates routinely generate $17 million or more in revenue growth or cost reduction to employers through their Organizational Action Projects.


To support the development of holistic and strategic leaders in the aerospace and defense sector, our ADMBA offers each student an individualized leadership development plan. Students work with a dedicated coach to identify both their strengths and areas for growth while exploring models of leadership in an industry unlike any other.

Leadership Development Plans also include:

  • Personal assessments
  • 360-degree feedback
  • Group exercises
  • Role playing

Peer-to-peer relationships contribute significantly to leadership development throughout the program. Students spend a year in near constant communication and collaboration with other senior aerospace and defense leaders, exchanging ideas and best practices. Alumni often cite these relationships with their classmates as one of the most pivotal aspects of the program, and one that endures long after graduation.


As active researchers, consultants and practitioners, the Aerospace & Defense MBA faculty challenge and prepare program participants to bring creative solutions to an industry in search of efficiency. Haslam faculty members are nationally and internationally respected subject-matter experts and thought leaders in industry.

Mitch Addis

Mitch Addis

Executive Development Pro

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John Bell

John Bell

Daniel & Karen Myers Faculty Scholar, Stewart Bartley Family Faculty Research Fellow, Director of Supply Chain Management Ph.D. Program, Ratledge Professor of Supply Chain Management

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Missie Bowers

Missie Bowers

Beaman Professor in Business, Associate Professor

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Randy V. Bradley

Randy Bradley

Associate Professor, Haslam Family Faculty Research Fellow

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Benjamin Compton

Benjamin Compton

Senior Lecturer, Assistant Department Head

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Pam Donovan

Pam Donovan

Clinical Assistant Professor

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Daniel Flint

Daniel Flint

Regal Entertainment Group Professor

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Jericho Hawkins

Jericho Hawkins

Program Coordinator

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Alex Miller

Alex Miller

William B. Stokely Chair in Management, Director, Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness

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Lane Morris

Michael (Lane) Morris

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies & Student Affairs and John W. Fisher Professor of Innovative Learning

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Angel Norman

Angel Norman

Senior Lecturer

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William Peterson

William Peterson


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Byron Risner

Byron Risner

Director of Aerospace & Defense Partnerships

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Ben Skipper

Ben Skipper

Executive Director of Aerospace and Defense Executive Programs

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Mandyam Srinivasan

Mandyam Srinivasan

Professor Emeritus

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James Wansley

James Wansley

Professor Emeritus

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Lynn Youngs

Lynn Youngs

Senior Lecturer and Executive Director of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

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Our Aerospace & Defense MBA offers more than the foundational areas of a traditional MBA. Informed by trends in the field and taught in the context of your workplace, our ADMBA curriculum prepares you to take clear and effective action in the aerospace and defense sector. The industry-driven focus areas and frequent opportunities to engage with highly successful leaders empower you to transform business knowledge into action from day one in the program. Your growth in the classroom is supported and reinforced through an individualized leadership development plan, which you will complete under the guidance of a dedicated coach.


Master Business Acumen

Aerospace & Defense MBA graduates will be able to identify areas for organizational growth and implement business best practices in accounting, finance, leadership and more to transform and improve day-to-day operations.

Build Collaboration

Aerospace & Defense MBA graduates will be able to apply the principles of team leadership to eliminate departmental silos and create professional environments that drive cooperation and cross-functional information sharing.

Address Real-World Problems

Aerospace & Defense MBA graduates will be able to leverage the outcomes and lessons learned from applied research projects to design and carry out strategic improvements to organizational challenges.

Lead Strategically

Aerospace & Defense MBA graduates will be able to recognize their individual strengths as leaders to empower those around them and achieve organizational milestones.

Focus on Results

Aerospace & Defense MBA graduates will be able to translate business theory into action in the workplace, with particular emphasis on creating specific and measurable benchmarks, deliverables and outcomes.


A key component of the ADMBA program is introducing students to how industry titans and executives lead both their teams and the industry. Our program has a record of producing exceptional industry talent, and attracts many of the sector’s most successful and respected leaders.


The Aerospace & Defense MBA takes less than one year to complete, starting in January and ending in December.

Should pandemic conditions affect candidates’ ability to travel, alternative residence period sites will be selected that are compatible with ADMBA student travel needs and class profile.

In the case of governmental travel warnings or restrictions, we may utilize an online or hybrid modality for some aspects of the program; however, we will diligently pursue on-site learning experiences when possible.

Interested candidates are encouraged to speak with our recruiter to discuss the program and the fit with your career goals and years of professional work experience.

Step 1

Begin your application at

  1. Start by indicating whether you are a new, returning or current student under “Admission Type.”
  2. Scroll down to choose “Aerospace & Defense MBA” under “Program”
  3. Choose the next spring semester under “Select Term”
  4. Click “Save Your Selection”

Step 2

Review and complete the following application components:

  • A resume
  • Two references (with email addresses)
  • Transcripts (for all schools attended)
  • $60 non-refundable application fee
  • One admissions essay addressing the following prompts:
    • Please provide a brief description of your organization and longer description of your role, including responsibilities, reporting relationships and budgetary scope
    • Please describe the critical challenges facing your organization and how these challenges impact your role
    • Please describe your motivation for pursuing an MBA
    • Please describe your plan for balancing your various commitments (work, school, family, etc.) while earning your MBA

Yes. The 2024 payment schedule is:

  • Nonrefundable advance program fee: $1,000 (paid 15 days after admission to confirm
  • First installment due end of Spring Semester 2024: $24,000
  • Second installment due end of Summer Semester 2024: $24,500
  • Final installment due end of Fall Semester 2024 $24,500

Tuition may also be paid in a lump sum at the start of the first semester. Contact us about accommodations for company billing requirements or yearly educational tuition reimbursement caps.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a designated 2021-2022 Military Friendly Gold School and 2021-2022 Military Spouse Friendly School due to the expansive support available for the military community and their families at UT. Talk to an enrollment advisor for more information.

Learn more about UT’s Military Veteran Services.

The ADMBA offers one start date per year in mid-January.

Aerospace & Defense MBA applicants should have the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; 2.7 min GPA (exceptions may be available for minimum GPA)
  • Proof of significant professional achievement and increasing responsibility
  • Endorsement from a supporting employer
  • Evidence of business acumen
  • Ability to create positive change within their organization

The total program fee for the Aerospace & Defense MBA is $74,000 (Subject to final
approval by the UTK Board of Trustees.) The program fee includes:

  • All university tuition and fees
  • Books and materials, including course-specific software
  • Technical support for all software
  • Local transportation to and from classes and special events during residence periods
  • Two catered meals most days during residence periods

*Note that if using VA benefits, textbooks and meals are not included in tuition. Contact the Office of Veterans Services for more details.

The program fee does not include:

  • Laptop computer (if needed, you can purchase a laptop at a discount through the UT Computer Store)
  • Travel to and from residence periods
  • Lodging during residence periods

*UT reserves the right to adjust tuition and fees when deemed necessary. These are set by the UT Board of Trustees in June/July of each year.

Yes. Many applicants’ employers provide full or partial financial assistance, as the Aerospace & Defense MBA assignments relate directly to work and improve employee performance and retention. Organizations can be billed directly for their tuition support as well.

We accept international applicants to the ADMBA program. International applicants with transcripts from institutions outside of the United States must submit transcripts to be translated and evaluated by a NACES accredited evaluation institution (for example WES). A full list of accredited evaluation institutions can be found at

International applicants may also be required to submit results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum score requirements for admission to the program are a total score of 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT), or a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS.

TOEFL or IELTS scores are considered valid if taken within two years from the application date. Applicants may be exempt from the English Certification requirement if English is an official language in the applicant’s country of citizenship, according to standards published by the Graduate School, or if English is the primary language of instruction at the institution in which the applicant received an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree, or on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Admissions Committee.


The Aerospace & Defense MBA admissions team reviews applications on a rolling basis, meaning that applicants are evaluated for a seat in our program in the order we receive completed applications. While there are no hard dates for this program, we encourage you to submit your application early in the cycle to be among the first considered for admission to the ADMBA. In addition to taking advantage of priority review for our selective program, proactive applicants may receive an expedited admissions decision and early consideration for merit-based funding.


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Are you ready to commit to becoming a more strategic leader with the Haslam College of Business? Request more information or contact an enrollment advisor to learn more about the Aerospace & Defense MBA.

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