The ability to combine valuable theory with practical experience determines the reach of sound training, while adhering to ever-higher quality standards. The FAAP-mba program at the School of Management has taken this idea to an extreme.

Since it was introduced (in August 1998), the course has posed its main objective as training business leaders capable of taking on more responsibilities in ultracompetitive scenarios and markets. Having graduated more than 200 students (all now in supervisory positions, or managers, or directors), FAAP's mba is recognized as one of the best in Brazil. In 2002 and also in 2003, it was ranked fourth of the top mba courses in Brazil in a survey conducted by the business magazine VocÍ S/A, published by Editora Abril. In 2005, Latin Trade magazine described it as the only Brazilian ranking among the continent's top schools. Recognition is the fruit of a sound project that is consistent in form and content. The FAAP-mba includes 700 classroom hours over four semesters with different modules. In addition to the obligatory disciplines there are modules for elective disciplines. Another valuable experience on the course is an international module on the campus of the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque (us). Once this stage has been completed, specialization modules have two areas of concentration: finances and marketing. The credibility and success of FAAP's mba also have to do with its faculty of both Brazilian and foreign professors - 44 percent hold doctorates and 34 percent, master's degrees. All members of the teaching staff have more than ten years' market experience in executive positions or consulting work, which explains their success in combining theory and practice.

In addition to the disciplines taught, FAAP-mba poses a set of activities to be performed during the course, including visits to companies; seminars and panels; and group work on a case study guided by a professor, compiling a real-life business plan, or doing research.

Working in groups of up to three students, students write a monograph as the conclusion of the course, to be presented at a public session before an examining board composed of the advisor and two other professors.

Since the second semester of 2005, the FAAP-mba program has been developing the Advanced Strategy and Geopolitics Studies Course with highly qualified professors from the Schools of Brazil's Armed Forces High Command. The aim is to identify ways in which strategy can boost performance for organizations, seeing strategy as a link between a company and its internal and external environments for intervention. In-depth examination of Brazilian macroeconomics strategic planning is included. Participants are graduates and executives from organizations in several sectors, as well as leading professors from the schools at FAAP. The Institution plans to set up a specific strategic studies center to disseminate these concepts across the different levels of higher education and continuing education.