1. Kempten University of Applied Sciences
  2. Professional School of Business & Technology
  3. Courses
  4. Master’s degrees
  5. International Business Management & Leadership
  6. MBA for Officers

Officers’ gateway to civilian working life: Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA)

Are you an officer about to complete your period of military service within the next two years? If so, now’s the right time to start thinking about your transition to civilian employment.

In particular, Kempten’s MBA in International Business Management & Leadership and the compact version International Management Programme (IMP) focus heavily on practical application and enable you to continuously develop your personal leadership skills. Both options will aid your career after completing service as an officer.

Outstanding, high-quality features

The outstanding qualities of this MBA are its international dimension, flexible schedule and mixture of civilian and military participants. Attending seminars alongside civilians and international students on a public campus will give you valuable insights into working in the free economy and an international environment. The MBA programme for Officers and the compact IMP are both carefully designed to teach the cutting-edge skills in leadership and strategy expected from managers nowadays. The fact that lectures are conducted in English and coupled with study periods in Australia, Thailand or South Africa is greatly to your advantage.

Please address any questions to:

Josef Auer

Tel. +41 (0)31 324 94 80

Special features of the professional part-time MBA for Officers in Kempten

We want to afford maximum flexibility to officers wishing to study for an MBA in Kempten – so that foreign deployments, for example, won’t block progress with studies thanks to the option of making up for any missed seminars later on. Former officers are on hand to answer any questions and offer advice.

This is what makes the MBA in Kempten specially suited for officers:



Officers’ varying experiences and military backgrounds, their range of academic qualifications, diverse military training and different career aspirations are reflected in the maximum flexibility we have built into the MBA programme for Officers, with the ultimate aim of ensuring maximum benefit for every participant.

You can commence your MBA up to two years before retiring from military service. As we always run four parallel MBA groups, each subject is taught twice a year – so there’s always a chance to catch up on seminars if other commitments (e.g. courses, foreign deployment) clash with the envisaged schedule of one to two years.

Participants can select the most suitable elective and compulsory modules on the MBA to pursue their professional aspirations. In addition, there is a choice of partner universities for your period of study abroad and you also get to pick the company or organisation with which you wish to complete your master’s thesis.

Participants who are keen to move seamlessly to a company outside the German Armed Forces can opt for just Level 1 of the programme to gain the Certificate in Management. A full MBA can still be attained at a later date by completing the remaining courses as a part-time professional student on one of the various master’s programmes.


The Level 1 begins in your choice of March or September each year. We recommend commencing Level 1 one to two years before you retire from military service.

The advanced course (Level 2) runs from April to June each year – generally three months before you leave service. The Forces’ Vocational Training Services (“BFDs”) have confirmed that participants on this programme can be released from duties for the three months prior to leaving service for the purpose of completing the studies required to round off the MBA programme (subject to their superior’s agreement).

The period of study abroad (Level 3) takes place in September and October. We recommend that participants start working on their master’s thesis after that. This will avoid any significant delay compared to other officers leaving service on 30 June.

By then, you will have completed almost all the requirements for your MBA, while significantly improving your language, personal and intercultural skills. You will be superbly equipped for mastering the new challenges of a civilian career.

Starting dates:

Starting dates for Level 1: March or September

Starting date for Level 2–4: April of the year in which you leave military service until March of the following year

Dual MBA

Combining MBA & vocational experience

During Level 2, you have the option of completing a three-to-six-month internship in a company of your choice between January and June, ideally in a department related to your particular major.

You will spend two to three weeks on campus during the practical period to study your major subjects alongside the civilians on the MBA programme. The practical experience you will have gained by this point will help you contribute to topical discussions.

There is always the option of working on a company project during the internship that can be counted towards your studies. You can also choose to participate in the project week at Kempten, tackling practical company projects during this time. In addition, you can work on assignments in your major subjects and your master’s thesis while at the company. The Professional School is breaking new ground on the German market with its cooperative (“dual”) MBA programme, so we are delighted to be able to offer you this rare opportunity.

Benefits of the Dual MBA

  • You acquire extensive practical and vocationally relevant knowledge in a company of your choice.
  • You get to link the theoretical context of your major subjects with practice.
  • You will be able to discuss your experiences directly with your fellow civilian participants.
  • You benefit from getting involved in the company’s structures, processes and project activities.
  • You acquire key practical expertise.
  • You heighten your employment and career prospects.
  • You get to enter your chosen line of work earlier for the smoothest transition between studying and launching your career.

BFD funding

The fees for this programme are fully reimbursable by the German Armed Forces’ Vocational Training Services (BFD). This also applies partially to accommodation and travel expenses in Germany and elsewhere, even if you want to write your master’s thesis abroad.

Funding rates

  • Level 1: € 9,000
  • Level 2-4: € 7,900 (including training in making applications)

Your Vocational Training Services can inform you about funding. Please get in touch with them directly to discuss your particular options


Guidance by former officers

Both the Director of Studies and the Programme Manager, Professor Martin Göbl and Josef Auer, are ex-officers. They are familiar with your situation and can therefore offer excellent guidance in deciding how to make the transition into your civilian career.

Please feel free to get in touch if you require further information or would like one-to-one advice.

Contact details:

Josef Auer
Programme Manager

Tel.: +49 (0)162 973 6307

Professor Martin Göbl
Director of Studies

Tel. +49 (0)831 2532-154

  • I made a conscious decision to study on campus at the Professional School. I preferred this to distance learning on the basis that you don’t have to work your way through heaps of papers at home, but instead reap the benefits from high-intensity guided learning. Even the part-time blocks are rather like full-time study. The lectures you attend during a 3-day weekend seminar almost equate to a full-time quota of two hours per week throughout a regular semester. This fitted the way I work very well. The preparatory reading was meaningful and compact.

    To sum up, this advanced study programme includes full-time and part-time blocks providing intensive contact with lecturers, but it doesn’t take up too much of your free time.

    - Daniel Uhleman (alumnus)
  • I am glad that I opted for the MBA in Kempten. The fact that it’s not an “officers-only MBA” but has mixed groups comprising civilians, international students and former officers meant I was able to form varied networks and learn from other participants’ experience. The practical focus of the study programme enabled me to gain a fully rounded insight into business. Courses on the MBA such as “Leading Self” advanced my personal development and prepared me for the transition to free enterprise.

    - Rene Pehlemann (alumnus)
  • Kempten Professional School showed me on the MBA what personal development through studying really means. Through self-reflection; interaction with other experienced people from different backgrounds, religions and cultures; broadening my horizons to other countries, businesses and mindsets – and above all, encouraging me to flourish as a human being.

    - Daniel Augsten (alumnus)

FAQs for the professional part-time MBA for Officers in Kempten

Is there a marked difference between officers and civilian participants?

Yes, there is. Officers tend to be more disciplined. In addition, they often adopt a different approach to tackling case studies and seeking solutions. In some cases, a lack of practical experience is evident. On the other hand, precisely when it comes to aspects of leadership, officers actually have a great deal more experience and skills and thus  prove extremely competent in discussions.

Is it true that officers attend a separate course without civilian participants?

No. All seminars are conducted in mixed classes.

Your MBA is conducted entirely in English, which I don’t speak very well. Is that going to cause me problems?

No, not at all – quite the opposite. Experience with our participants has shown that particularly those who were weaker in English to start with improved their language skills incredibly quickly – and were often very surprised by their own success. This immersive experience meant they quickly learned business English and terminology.

Do officers with extensive experience in leadership really need to study a major in this subject?

Yes, they really do, as prospective employers expect outstanding performance in this respect precisely from former officers – and there are actually significant differences in leadership between business and the military. This makes it extremely important for you to be aware of them. We will help you to utilise the basis of experience that you have built up in the military to improve and keep on developing your expertise. We will not only reveal the elements that you can transfer to your civilian career, but also pinpoint the aspects that need changing and transforming to sharpen your professional acumen.

Do you stipulate the topics and companies for our master’s thesis / company project?

No, because you should be free to determine your own success. However, we will assist you with this process and help you as much as possible.

Why do you offer Australia and South Africa for the study periods abroad?

We chose South Africa for the condensed course and Australia for its outstanding quality. The two options provide entirely different intercultural experiences.

This ties in entirely with our philosophy that besides studying you should also interact with the country and its people to fully benefit from this valuable experience abroad. For this reason, we have taken great care to select options that not only give you the opportunity to attend high-quality courses, but also to live in an environment that encourages you to make contact with locals. Our choices of Cape Town in South Africa and Brisbane in Australia, which lies on the Gold Coast close to the Great Barrier Reef, Are carefully designed to offer you a bona fide “Foreign Venture” while also ensuring it’s a carefree and relaxed experience. 

I cannot and do not wish to spend several months abroad. Is there any other option?

Yes. There is always the option of spending two weeks in South Africa. However, it has to be said that this pathway means you will miss out on a large part of such extremely valuable foreign experience. On the other hand, this course is more quickly completed, allowing you to return sooner to Germany to write your master’s thesis.

Is this just another Khaki-MBA?

No, it’s not. Our university is entirely independent from the German Armed Forces, which also applies to our MBA programme. Of course, we carefully reflect your special circumstances and distinctive professional background. In addition, some of our team members are also former officers, hence in many respects we are positively disposed towards the German Armed Forces. We have also accrued a considerable wealth of experience in dealing with the Forces’ Vocational Training Services (BFD). 

Is the application training offered by Kempten comparable with the Kienbaum seminar run by the BFD?

No, we focus on training people how to apply for positions abroad. Applications abroad and completing your master’s thesis or company project in a different country present special challenges that we are keen to carefully prepare you for, which is why we channel our efforts in this direction. The training we provide augments rather than replicates the Kienbaum seminar. We focus on the specifics of application processes for positions abroad and build upon the Kienbaum training.

Is there any sense in choosing an MBA with an integrated period of study abroad if I only intend to work in Germany?

Once you reach a certain level and beyond, almost every managerial position calls for international experience and pristine English, as either your customers or your suppliers are more than likely to be from abroad. It is crucial for you to have such experience, otherwise you will struggle to work successfully in an international environment. You might respond that you have completed numerous deployments abroad with the military. Rightly so, but the irrefutable fact remains that international business is an entirely different matter, and managers require considerable experience in this precise field nowadays. 

Why is it important to go for an accredited MBA?

In Germany, people often aren’t entirely aware of the quality of an MBA and how it differs from a master’s degree programme, with the title “MBA” also being misappropriated for marketing purposes. Only those degree programmes that are EQUAL-accredited in accordance with European regulations qualify to be considered as “genuine” MBAs, containing high-calibre subject matter across the full spectrum of business administration and a period of study abroad, all taught and examined in English. For this reason, prospective MBA students should carefully scrutinise the content and quality of any degree programme. Compliance with these stringent requirements is signified by the “EPAS” seal of quality.

The Professional School of Business & Technology at Kempten University of Applied Sciences has therefore set the highest of standards meet these exacting demands. Officers retiring from the German Armed Forces stand to benefit particularly from these exceptional assets and impeccable quality.