How to Master Your Future - MBA and MSc Programs at the Vienna University of Technology

bridges vol. 14, July 2007 / Institutions & Organizations


by Elisabeth Hartlieb

MBA and MSc Programs are more popular than ever. Long before the general hype about postgraduate studies emerged, the Vienna University of Technology was already developing and offering their own programs. For example, the university's postgraduate real estate program has been in place for almost 20 years. At first, only certification programs were offered, but these were adjusted to the international academic degrees in the late '90s, and then responded to the 2002 change in the academic law, which permitted universities to offer continuing education courses.

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Almost 200 years of historical development

Main Building TU Vienna

In 2005 the heads of the Vienna University of Technology founded the Continuing Education Center (CEC), whose vision, "Innovation is our Business - your competent partner for continuing education," has been successfully pursued ever since. By establishing a network connecting the individual faculties, the Vienna University of Technology has combined its existing areas of expertise, resulting in unique synergy effects and offering a nourishing ground for innovations. The CEC presents a wide range of postgraduate education programs, customized to the needs of graduates with technical or scientific backgrounds as well as to the requirements of companies. In addition, cooperation with selected external partners and universities abroad ensures continued expansion and internationalization.

The history of the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) reaches back almost 200 years, to its 1815 founding as the imperial royal (kaiserlich königlich) Polytechnic Institute. Nowadays, the TU Vienna is the largest university in Austria in the field of technology and natural sciences. Thanks to its state-of-the-art research, teaching, and learning environments, it is among the best technical universities in Europe. A detailed founding history, written in German, can be found on the TU Vienna Web site.


The Continuing Education Center, located in the heart of Vienna, Austria, is easily reached via public transport such as metro, bus, or streetcar. International students especially appreciate the excellent location and enjoy the proximity of the "Naschmarkt," a market with a 400-year-old history and a unique mixture of Austrian traditions and oriental influences. The Vienna State Opera is also nearby, and students are within walking distance of the city center where the famous St. Stephen's Cathedral is located.

Time for a first resumé

Wooden Apartment Buildings

When the CEC looks back at its first two years of operation, the main responsibilities have been constantly monitoring and enhancing the program quality and broadening the portfolio. The high quality of the programs is also affirmed by external institutions like the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which accredited the MSc Real Estate Development and Valuation Program. Some discontinued programs have been thoroughly updated and relaunched, such as Building Science and Technology, which is now offered as MSc Urban Wood. New groundbreaking programs have been developed - for example, Regulation, an MBA program that the CEC introduced worldwide for the first time and will start in March 2008. The program objective is to enable participants not only to understand the complex economic and legal questions of utility regulation but also to solve regulatory problems. Therefore practical problems from real-world projects will be used to study the typical regulatory process.

Areas of expertise

The Continuing Education Center is organized into three entities:

The Engineering School exclusively offers MSc Programs, such as:

The Business Schoolconcentrates on MBA Programs and currently offers, or soon will offer, the following programs:

The TU College is the third part of the CEC and its additional programs complete the product portfolio of the Continuing Education Center:

"QIAO" - Chinese Symbol for Bridge

Over 200 national and international faculty members ensure high quality and praxis-oriented teaching for the 260 students currently enrolled. As some programs are starting for the first time this fall, the number of students and faculty members is expected to rise quickly. Participants from all over the world are attracted to the programs, not only students from various European countries, but other nationalities including Japan, Uruguay, Iran, US, China, Guatemala, and Taiwan.

Out of 15 programs, 10 are already offered in English. But because of the international interest and demand, the CEC wants to switch to English as the main language for all their programs. This would enable further cooperation and exchanges with international academic institutions, as is done already with European universities in Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Slovakia, and American universities like Baruch College, New York, the Weatherhead School of Management, Cleveland, and Oakland University in Michigan.


Before launching a new program, accurate market research must be conducted. Based on the market demand, the curriculum for a new program is carefully developed with experts from TU Vienna and external specialists. Many of the collaborations that are established during the launching phase of a program continue afterwards. Besides its international academic partners, the CEC has close cooperation with The Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the attorneys at law Dorda Brugger Jordis, The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Energiepark Bruck/Leitha in Austria, and the Energy Center in Bratislava, Slovakia. The latter two are partners for the MSc program Renewable Energy in Central and Eastern Europe, which was awarded the Energy Globe in 2005. The Energy Globe is "The World Award for Sustainability" and one of today's most acknowledged and prestigious awards in the field of environment.

Managing the management

Univ.Prof.Dr. Adolf Stepan

A staff of 20 highly qualified and motivated people runs the CEC. o.University Prof. Dr. Adolf Stepan, who received the 1975 Theodor-Körner-Preis, has been dean of the CEC since 2005. His career has included positions as visiting professor in Bielefeld, Germany, and Bratislava, Slovakia; member of the advisory board in one of the largest non-university research institutions in Austria, the Joanneum Research ; and director of the Department of Management and Economics at the Danube University of Krems, Austria. Prof. Stepan is also co-editor of Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft , a business administration magazine, and Health Care Management Science (HCMS); director of the Department of Industrial Business Administration and Competition ; founding member of the Entrepreneurplatform of the Vienna Universities; and executive board member of "TUcareer ", the career center of TU Vienna.

Going global

Due to globalization one of CEC's flagship programs is "Mergers & Acquisitions." The program is designed to show the interplay between the basic evaluation and the equity evaluation of a business, the capital markets, and their institutions. Its goal is to convey and deepen the required knowledge to predict the chances for success of an M&A project. Students learn to understand the most important steps in a Mergers & Acquisitions undertaking, finally allowing them to take responsibility for such projects. The target group comprises persons potentially involved in M&A ventures, who would like to gain theoretical knowledge and insight into the practical engineering of M&A projects and the role and work of merger control authorities.

Due to programs of high international interest like Executive MBA Mergers and Acquisitions, the CEC is engaging more and more in international marketing activities. The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times are just two of the publications where ads for the CEC can be found. Due to the large distances involved, it may be quite difficult for international students to attend the information sessions held in Vienna regarding the various programs. For that reason, the CEC decided to participate in various MBA fairs, the latest ones being in Kiev, Ukraine, and in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Alternatively, interested students can obtain more information about the various programs at the CEC home page. Most programs are presented in modules and have a part-time structure, suiting the needs of students with full-time employment. Tuition fees for the MBA and MSc Programs vary from €11,500 to €28,000, excluding travel and accommodations. The CEC offers a variety of scholarships for its programs. Admission deadlines vary from program to program and can be found on the program's Web sites.

For further information please contact:
Continuing Education Center
Vienna University of Technology
Operngasse 11/017
1040 Vienna

Phone: 0043-58801-41701
Fax: 0043-58801-41799
E-mail office(at)



The author Elisabeth Hartlieb is a student at the Innsbruck University School of Management.