The MBA Program of the University of the Philippines' Virata School of Business aims to help managers gain a distinct advantage in their profession, whether they are in industrial, financial, government or non-profit institutions. The MBA Program is looking for participants with strong academic backgrounds, professional experience, personal maturity and the interest and discipline to develop their managerial and leadership potential. To achieve this goal, the School offers a broad-based program curriculum which hopes to strike a balance between technical training and practical problem-solving, that is founded on current management theories and approaches. It is complemented by case analyses, company/industry studies, business games and other experiential learning methods. A conscious effort has been made to develop a curriculum responsive to the unique features of the Philippine and Asian environments. MBA students engage in an intensive study in current management concepts and techniques through a core curriculum covering the functional areas in business as well as economics, applied mathematics and statistics and behavioral science. Students are encouraged to gain added functional expertise by pursuing elective courses offered at the Virata School of Business on a trimestral basis or in allied graduate units of the University.
Financial institutions undertake the financial sector's mobilization of resources. Crucial to the sector's growth is its managerial manpower. The effort in developing such managers had been through MBA programs that offer elective courses in financial management. However, MBA programs remain mainly oriented toward training generalist business managers. As a result, substantial resources are still expended in non-formal special training in finance. Furthermore, the growing size and complexity of the Philippine finance sector has created the need for a specialized degree program in finance. In accordance with UP's mandate to be at the forefront of learning and advanced education, the University became convinced about the financial services industry's need for a master's program in finance. In June 1995, with the strong representations from prospective students and finance practitioners, UP finance faculty members conceptualized and designed a master's program in finance. This proposal was later refined by the faculty of the Department of Accounting and Finance and by the business community represented by the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) and the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP). Visiting professors from US and Canadian universities with which UP has academic linkages further reviewed the proposed program. All these inputs taken together, led to the final design of the MS Finance Program. Just like the MBA, courses are offered on a trimestral basis.