An Online Executive MBA (EMBA) is a program similar to an Online MBA program but specifically designed for executives and senior managers active in the workforce. An Online EMBA program enables executives to earn their degrees while keeping their existing leadership roles in an organization. Online EMBA students are often senior in their fields and required to possess years of work experience before entering the program. For prospective students looking for the best Online Executive MBA programs in the country, this consensus ranking lists the top 25 available today.
Online Executive MBA Programs
The majority of Online EMBA programs are set in a hybrid format. They are usually comprised of classroom sessions on evenings and weekends, online classes and lessons, and the occasional full-day workshop. Equal to a full-time MBA in scope and requirements, an online EMBA program can last 24 months. Graduate students in EMBA programs come away with enhanced skills to advance their leadership, decision-making, and vision-casting within their organizations. They also receive the credential of a master’s degree and the benefits of an alumni network. Since most students are also working while pursuing their Online EMBA programs, they can apply the management techniques and best practices learned to real-life situations. Here is a ranking of the best Online EMBA programs in the nation.
This 2021 ranking of the top Online Executive MBA programs is a consensus ranking, meaning it combines the ranking data from five of the most respected MBA ranking systems: The Economist, U.S. News and World Report, The Financial Times, Forbes, and Bloomberg Businessweek. Each Online EMBA program’s ranking data was averaged and placed on a 100-point scale to find the Consensus Score.
University of VirginiaDarden School of Business
The University of Virginia delivers an online Executive MBA at the Darden School of Business. This best of the best program is led by world-class instructors. Virginia’s Executive MBA degree features a convenient and flexible hybrid structure of online and classroom engagement that allows business leaders to earn the Darden MBA while not missing a beat within their careers. Simply put, Darden’s Executive MBA is designed with the life of the business student in mind. Coursework is delivered through distance learning, global residencies, leadership meetings, and weekend sessions. Within each of these educational settings, all top-notch classes are taught by the esteemed Darden faculty. The business school’s case method Executive MBA courses mirror how business is done in the real world — across functional units within a firm, across firms in the value chain, and throughout all realms of global business. This integration across disciplines helps online EMBA students develop the CEO’s enterprise perspective. It is no mystery as to why the Financial Times has recently named Darden the top business school in general management.
Duke UniversityFuqua School of Business
Duke University features an online Global Executive MBA at the Fuqua School of Business. Fuqua values business leaders’ lifetime successes, providing an interdisciplinary foundation that supports their careers over the long term. Enrolled students study the same general management curriculum featured in every other Duke MBA program. The core of this executive program spans all the functional areas of today’s business. Electives within the curriculum deepen graduate students’ knowledge of the discipline of their choice or broaden their understanding across a broad set of subjects. All students can concentrate or earn certificates in a chosen business field. Duke’s Global Executive difference comes from the business school’s focus on developing a business leader’s global awareness. Candidates take two multi-term courses that expose them to issues in international commerce. Through a combination of experiential learning and classroom work, these courses have learners explore how market dynamics and firms drive the world economy while learning how to adapt your leadership style to different cultural contexts. All students choosing this degree experience a Duke University education that includes a faculty’s commitment to high-quality teaching.
Michigan State UniversityEli Broad College of Business
The Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University offers an online EMBA. Students enrolled in this distance program can transform their high potential into high performance. Business leaders wanting to rise to the C-suite in their current firm or explore new horizons will discover that this 20-month Executive MBA program will give them the tools, knowledge, and network they need to advance their career goals. The two format options of this degree include the Traditional Executive MBA, which meets in-person every other weekend each month, and the Executive MBA Flex, which meets in-person one weekend each month with online coursework to supplement the curriculum. Broad’s EMBA Flex option fuses professional and personal flexibility with classroom-based, team-oriented meetings. Enrolled students come together one weekend each month and complete the remainder of their course load online. Michigan State’s Flex degree retains the heritage, value, impact, and ROI of the traditional program. This team-based degree from Broad is an excellent program in executive education.
University of RochesterSimon Business School
An online Executive MBA is available at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. This stellar program has been specifically designed to help working professionals no matter their career objectives. The curriculum prepares graduate students for the next phase of their career, helps them promote change in their organizations, increases their business performance, and can even help them redefine their personal goals. Enrolled students learn alongside other equally ambitious business leaders from various backgrounds and industries. All students are taught by experienced professors whose insights and research findings are highly sought after by industry and the media worldwide. Program candidates can expect to see first-hand how successful business is performed around the globe. As one of the longest-running Executive MBA programs globally, Simon Business School has many satisfied customers who have gone on to affect business in tangible ways. This executive program is one degree you will want to take note of.
Emory UniversityGoizueta Business School
Emory University’s Goizueta Business School provides an online Executive MBA. Enrolled students within this program brush up on business foundations and dive deep on business strategy concepts applicable to a broad range of industries. When distance learners aren’t learning from expert instructors or trading ideas with classroom peers, they immerse themselves into learning experiences like global study trips, policy trips to DC, or executive skills workshops in Atlanta. In just a year and a half, it all culminates in an EMBA that takes graduate students higher, further, and beyond. Program designers have infused leadership training into every corner of this Executive MBA program. Business leaders sharpen their management and leadership skills in real-time within each rigorous course, getting leadership guidance from contributing executives and respected alumni. Career counselors also provide ongoing feedback and coaching on enrolled students’ performance as leaders throughout the EMBA program. This Executive MBA at Goizueta is the perfect fit for business students needing the best in executive education.
University of GeorgiaTerry College of Business
An online Executive MBA is available at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. This incredible business degree allows graduate students to earn their MBA, energize their careers, and focus on their future. Enrolled students in the Georgia Executive MBA develop approaches and skill sets that empower them to redefine their approach to executive leadership. As classes are held in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Terry Executive Education Center, business leaders build relationships and collaborate with other experienced professionals who thrive within inclusive and diverse learning environments. The Economist has ranked this program as a top ten U.S.-based public program. Students can earn their MBA in 18 months through a combination of online learning, weekend sessions, and immersive residency weeks. This program also features a unique approach with international exposure through a mid-program residency. Students are encouraged to make life-long, mutually beneficial connections with other business students and a worldwide network of over 70,000 Terry College alumni as they pursue this top-shelf degree in business.
University of PittsburghCollege of Business Administration and Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
An online Executive MBA in Healthcare is offered at the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration. During times of challenge and uncertainty, our nation needs exceptional leaders who can guide our healthcare institutions. Pitt’s Executive MBA in Healthcare is designed to enable and empower leaders to inspire confidence, think critically, and make informed decisions. Established healthcare professionals and physician leaders seeking to advance their career need to be confident they have chosen a premier Executive MBA that addresses the unique and rapidly evolving issues they face as leaders in healthcare. Besides having a rigorous curriculum, this program is flexible as it enables students to balance the demands of MBA-level coursework with personal needs and nonstop professional responsibilities. The Katz Executive MBA in Healthcare guides graduate students as they shape the healthcare system, prepare for the future of healthcare, and manage the equity, quality, efficiency, and delivery of healthcare. Each cohort for this exceptional program begins in May.
University of California, Los AngelesAnderson School of Management
An online Executive MBA is currently available at the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management. Enrolled students can learn and network with peers who inspire them. The program’s greatest strength is the talented and accomplished executives who make up each EMBA cohort. As members of this visionary group, business students take on critical new roles that challenge them to adopt different ways of thinking. With weekend classes and flexible scheduling, EMBA students accomplish more than they ever thought possible in less than two years. The need for leaders who communicate effectively in today’s global situation is more critical than ever. Executives who make data-based decisions and have strong foundations in business are what it takes to lead organizations in the best direction. Within this Executive MBA from UCLA, graduate students learn new business strategies from world-renowned instructors. EMBA’s mini-board model ensures that cohorts are represented by experts in entrepreneurship/health care/law, accounting/finance, sales/marketing, and technology/engineering. Program designers have thought of everything a business leader needs.
University of Tennessee, KnoxvilleHaslam College of Business
The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, provides an online Physician Executive MBA. Program designers understand that working physicians face new challenges in our healthcare system that require a business acumen not found in the traditional medical school curriculum. This PEMBA at the Haslam College of Business prepares students to push healthcare forward with a quality suite of business principles. In less than twelve months, this PEMBA will equip enrolled students with valuable business insights to help them become informed healthcare leaders. The Physician Executive MBA is perfect for full-time physicians with medical doctorates (MD or DO) who plan to continue working while pursuing their degree. On average, this program accepts 40 students each cohort round. Qualified applicants to the Physician Executive MBA will have at least five years of professional experience and have demonstrated leadership experience. This remarkable degree equips students with sought-after skills in healthcare.
Texas Christian UniversityNeeley School of Business
Texas Christian University provides an online Executive MBA at the Neeley School of Business. This exceptional business program is designed to turn graduate students into strategic leaders who inspire teams, make good decisions quickly, and learn constantly. Through a comprehensive understanding of business and themselves, graduates of this degree become more than relevant-they become vital. The curriculum is delivered through weekend classes that enable distance learners to take what they learn in class and immediately apply it to work. TCU Neeley is personal in many ways: getting close to classmates and getting personal attention from instructors to go deep with one-on-one leadership coaching. While every class enjoys the same vital curriculum, professors approach the curriculum based on individual groups of students and the unique issues they face in their daily work. TCU Neeley students become close to over thirty leading business professionals within a variety of industries. This degree provides a lot for today’s business students.
University of MiamiHerbert Business School
The Herbert Business School at the University of Miami provides an hybrid Global Executive MBA program. Program designers believe that it’s time to explore the mega-trends, big ideas, and issues that matter and shape how business is done worldwide. Miami’s Global EMBA helps graduate students understand the opportunities and problems within an executive’s region and how these interact within a broader, global context. The program’s curriculum gives distance learners the insight, framework, strategic leadership skill, support ecosystem, and real-world credibility to forge ahead while creating the next stage in an international career with vision, confidence, and determination. Students enrolled in the Global Executive MBA program join a unique, prestigious network of global business leaders. Many candidates have undergraduate degrees in various fields with substantial work experience. They are interested in expanding their world vision and building a worldwide network. This global executive program is a must for a serious business leader.
Purdue UniversityKrannert School of Management
The Krannert School of Management at Purdue University currently features an online Executive MBA. This stellar program at Purdue has provided educational advances for working professionals for over 35 years. The university’s first EMBA class was enrolled in 1983. This program features top Krannert speakers and instructors renowned for their business expertise. It is ranked among the top executive programs in the world. Enrolled students can complete their EMBA while remaining employed full-time and attending in-person classes for just one or two weeks each quarter. Purdue’s hybrid format gives graduate students the best of both worlds with online flexibility and enhanced learning and networking with other executive professionals from across the U.S. and world. This high-performing EMBA focuses on the educational needs of talented managers and managers-to-be while concentrating class time into six residencies of one-to-two weeks. Five of these residencies take place at Purdue, and one is held at an international location. Residencies are scheduled over the 19 months of the program. This executive education has what it takes.
University of ArizonaEller College of Management
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona provides an online Executive MBA. Business school leaders understand the demands on today’s executives—and understand just as well how to vault business leaders’ careers to new heights on a schedule that works for them at multiple stages of their professional journeys. Eller’s flexible hybrid format brings executive graduate students together for two intensive days of on-campus coursework each month, in addition to the online courses that complete the 21-month experience. Active professionals in leadership roles wanting to lift the limits on how far they can go will discover that this Executive MBA fills every expectation—then raises them higher. Enrolled students get the in-depth experience, connections, and knowledge they need to take on new roles and responsibilities. This program is reserved for accomplished professionals and senior-level managers. It bypasses some of the basics and dives right into the leadership skills critical to success. Graduates of this program emerge with a multi-faceted mastery of the many components that drive business today.
Howard UniversitySchool of Business
Howard University’s School of Business provides an online Executive MBA. This distinguished executive program draws upon the legacy of one of the country’s top business schools. The online EMBA is designed to fortify experienced professionals’ development with the technical skills they need to build and strengthen their positions as senior leadership while effecting organizational change throughout diverse business environments. Built and instructed by an award-winning staff, this EMBA’s curriculum gives graduate students the framework to conduct data-based business analyses, lead high-performing teams, and make informed financial decisions. While being immersed in high-level business topics and curriculum, enrolled students also gain an applied understanding of accounting, finance, innovative business practices, and management through international experiences and the Strategic Management Capstone. Graduates of this EMBA program are prepared to lead in a global marketplace among the corporate elite. This executive degree is designed to offer unique experiences and features not found elsewhere.
University of Colorado BoulderLeeds School of Business
The University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business features an online Executive MBA. Program architects understand how today’s businesses face unprecedented challenges. Today’s business leaders need sophisticated strategies to meet these challenges and allow their organizations to thrive. The Leeds Executive MBA delivers the innovative business skills and knowledge top executives can immediately use to strengthen their company’s competitive advantage—while achieving leadership growth that accelerates their career trajectory. The program’s unique delivery format features residency periods in the Colorado mountains and Boulder. These short residencies allow students to build strong relationships with their cohort and faculty while garnering sophisticated business skills. Between residencies, instructors leverage technology for instruction while providing the flexibility distance learners need to continue meeting the demands of their careers and personal lives. Enrichment opportunities outside the classroom include workshops, networking events, and professional development coaching. This stellar 21-month program focuses on leadership, inclusion, and innovation.
University of AlabamaCulverhouse College of Business
The Culverhouse College of Business at the University of Alabama provides an online Executive MBA. Program designers know all too well that today’s business professionals earning an MBA work hard to manage education, family, and an ever-growing work schedule. With that in mind, the EMBA at UA offers a convenient blended-instruction structure for earning this MBA in two locations: Huntsville and Tuscaloosa, AL. Program alumni call their experience in the EMBA Program valuable, life-changing, challenging, and transformative. Instructors bring together a group of highly successful professionals, managers, and executives across the broad spectrum of industry and job positions for students within this EMBA program. This program aims to provide the opportunities and tools to drive more success for students, alumni, and their organizations. The curriculum emphasizes leadership and improved business skills to further professional and personal ambitions. UA’s EMBA offers a top-notch executive education at an attractive price.
University of OklahomaMichael F. Price College of Business
The University of Oklahoma Michael F. Price College of Business provides an online Executive MBA in Energy. Today’s current clean energy transition targets net-zero carbon emissions within the next thirty years. While technology’s role is ubiquitous, at the core of this transition are carbon emissions reduction, alternative and renewable energies, and electrification. The coming change will affect all energy firms and organizations. This EMBA in Energy program features new and revised courses as it prepares its students to manage this transition better and secure the upcoming opportunities. Courses within this exciting degree include Energy Policy and Regulations, Economics of the Energy Value Chain and Technology & Innovation, Supply Chain Management, Energy and Environment I, Accounting, Financial Markets and Securities, and Derivatives and Energy Trading. Through the Executive MBA in Energy, graduate students have access to resources previously unavailable to them. This EMBA in Energy also offers an accelerated Executive Coaching service to complement the program’s rigorous curriculum. With so much going for it, it is no wonder why this EMBA is one of the best in the nation.
University of MissouriRobert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business
An online Executive MBA is currently available at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri. Many potential graduate students evaluating MBA programs are also ambitious executives with a high priority for career fulfillment. Whatever their chosen profession, these executives seek growth and opportunities to become shaped as more competent leaders who impact the world around them. The Trulaske execMBA at the University of Missouri respects and encourages that mindset. Business school leaders have built a program based on what professionals need most out of their executive MBA experience. Trulaske provides expert coaching advice to show candidates how this execMBA degree could help advance a career. Benefits of this advanced degree include a cohort structure, a hybrid format, and an attractive tuition rate. This executive program was designed based on the philosophy that graduate students interested in advancing themselves work best when surrounded by others with similar energy, drive, and intellect. This cohort-based program would be an asset to any executive’s resume.
Auburn UniversityRaymond J. Harbert College of Business
Auburn University offers an online Executive MBA at the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. Program designers understand that at the executive level of one’s career, the competition for promotions is stout. This business degree gives graduate students the chance to set themselves apart with an Executive MBA without putting their careers on hold. Mid- to late-career business professionals will thrive within this distance degree. They need the flexibility of online learning combined with the collaboration of peer-to-peer interaction in the traditional classroom. Auburn’s blended program combines online knowledge with short on-campus residencies. Enrolled students work on team projects with their cohorts from a variety of industries. The diverse perspectives and backgrounds create a unique and demanding classroom experience while building a network of peers from across the nation. This 21-month degree also features an international experience. Most enrolled students have at least eight years of career experience. This incredible Executive MBA program allows students to specialize in Healthcare, Leadership, Operations, or Cybersecurity Management.
Rochester Institute of TechnologySaunders College of Business
The Rochester Institute of Technology Saunders College of Business features an online Executive MBA. This online degree is the perfect option for mid-to-upper level professionals ready to hone their leadership and business management skills to enhance their performance, position themselves for future opportunities, and effectively assume greater responsibilities. Business school surveys and industry research reveal that executive MBA students want more than basic exposure to business theory and management concepts; they want an extreme level of engagement with instructors, business leaders, and especially their peers. This curriculum gives graduate students the chance to discuss, collaborate, argue, and compete with other seasoned managers on topical and strategic issues and projects. This is an essential feature of a rigorous EMBA program with direct and immediate applicability to their professional development. Saunders’ online EMBA program is cohort-based. All students enter the program simultaneously, take identical classes, and move through the program with their cohort. This executive degree has a lot going for it.
Louisiana State UniversityE.J. Ourso College of Business
The E. J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University provides an online Executive MBA. This recently launched Executive MBA Flex format incorporates a hybrid curriculum delivery by blending online learning with robust and challenging campus residencies. Students enrolled in this leadership program also engage in experiential learning opportunities when traveling the world to work on global assignments. The Flores Executive MBA Flex format offers graduate students a combination of five foundational core classes and three customizable core classes. Students looking for customizable options will appreciate concentrations in emerging technology, healthcare management/policy, and analytics. Benefits of this program include GMAT and GRE waivers, on-campus experiential learning opportunities, and real-world networking with local social-mission-based organizations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Graduate students pursuing this Executive MBA Flex work in case study groups to deliver real-world consultative solutions as they solve real-world issues in cultural contexts. This 36-hour, 20-month program offers incredible flexibility and convenience.
Hofstra UniversityFrank G. Zarb School of Business
An online Executive MBA is featured at Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business. The goal of this EMBA program is to allow enrolled students to distinguish themselves as proven leaders. It has been designed for experienced professionals and can be completed in less than a calendar year through efficient online courses and select on-campus classes on Saturdays, both in Hempstead and in New York City. Enrolled students can build on their career achievements with a practical leadership assessment and customized executive coaching. Students also participate in global practicums in places like China, Japan, and South America, where they enjoy hands-on experiences with global economies. There is no GMAT requirement for this program which encourages students to network with high-achieving peers in various industries. This Executive MBA is priced competitively and utilizes a cohort structure for each EMBA class. The all-inclusive tuition rate includes all student fees for computer software, course materials, initial Executive MBA residencies, and hotel and travel costs. This comprehensive business degree has a lot going for it.
Brandeis UniversityHeller School for Social Policy and Management
An online Executive MBA for Physicians is delivered at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. This 16-month hybrid program combines in-person and online coursework and is designed for practicing MDs, DPMs, DOs, DMDs, and DDSs. Perfect for meeting the needs and schedules of active physicians, this AACSB-accredited program combines the medical expertise these professionals hone daily on the job with new skills and knowledge in critical areas. The curriculum includes relevant information ranging from economics and health policy to operational systems management, healthcare innovation, and high-performance leadership. CME credit is available for on-campus sessions. Heller’s accelerated 16-month program combines online learning with four 10-day classroom sessions in January and May. Benefits of this program in healthcare include access to elite Brandeis instructors and a streamlined application process that features no GMAT requirement. Upon completing this program, graduate students will have the skills to create and lead management initiatives in patient care, fiscal insight, and organizational strength.
Temple UniversityFox School of Business
The Fox School of Business at Temple University provides an online Executive MBA. Program designers understand that it takes more than just a robust business curriculum to be seen as a remarkably transformative MBA program. The Fox Executive MBA includes a diverse population of executives for top-level networking opportunities within an immersive, collaborative learning structure that won’t disrupt graduate students’ professional priorities. Enrolled learners will thrive while taking classes conveniently offered at Center City Philadelphia at Convene. The hands-on learning experiences and market-driven courses are delivered by world-class and award-winning leaders in business and education. Suppose a solid curriculum is what you’re after. In that case, you will be please to know the Fox Executive MBA features a variety of courses that are revised each cohort to remain relevant to the current developments in the business world. Instructors may integrate new international experiences, executive guest speakers, or the latest case studies into their coursework—giving graduate students the tools to place themselves at the front line of business expertise. Graduate students looking to advance in business leadership will benefit from this degree.
University of Colorado DenverBusiness School
An online Executive MBA is available through the Business School at the University of Colorado Denver. This stellar business degree has been designed for executives who need to sharpen their skills with minimal career disruption. The business school balances a solid quantitative core with a significant focus on leadership and strategy, giving graduate students the analytical skills required to make sound business decisions. Professionals near the school’s campus can get their degree in the heart of Denver while working with world-class instructors and senior business executives. Executive MBA classmates are active professionals from diverse backgrounds, functional areas, and phases of their careers. Enrolled students are sure to be exposed to critical conversations and experiences. The top-shelf coursework, connections, and networking opportunities within this program provide immediate, real-time impact on an organization and career. This Executive MBA meets the needs of experienced professionals while offering them the best in leadership training.
There are several reasons why an Online EMBA is a great move for your career. Business educators designed the Online EMBA to help business leaders hone and bolster their management skills. For years, seasoned business leaders have realized that, although they are experienced managers, there remain aspects of business that they would like to understand better and skills they would like to develop.
Executives interested in increasing their leadership knowledge and skills sometimes take the time to enroll in a graduate business program, despite their active schedules and heavy workloads. But as these full-time managers have acquired significant work experience and are already applying the essentials of business to their careers, they often find themselves looking for benefits of advanced business courses that deal with the intricacies of various management and leadership issues. They usually prefer graduate business programs known as Executive MBA programs that are perfect for leaders like themselves.
What Is an Executive MBA?
Unlike traditional full-time MBA programs that ambitious young professionals often pursue, Executive MBA programs focus less on business basics and more on business nuance and higher-level leadership training. While a conventional MBA prepares budding professionals to enter management careers, the EMBA is designed to teach current leaders how to be more effective managers.
According to the Executive MBA Council, a nonprofit entity of business schools that feature Executive MBA programs, the typical Executive MBA student is 38 years old and has approximately 14 years of work experience, including eight to ten years of management experience. Because this type of graduate student tends to have significant professional obligations, EMBA course schedules are typically designed to accommodate demanding positions, with classes on weekends, weeknights, and online learning. Class sessions sometimes last for long periods, which can compress coursework into a fewer number of days than a traditional MBA program often requires.
The structure may differ, but the academic diploma EMBA students receive after finishing their degree is usually identical to the credential granted to on-campus MBA students. Business schools may include the word “Executive” in the formal degree’s description. The main difference between a traditional MBA and an online EMBA program is the type of graduate student that the program targets. Online EMBAs are tailored to the needs of experienced business professionals unwilling to put their careers on hold while they pursue graduate education.
What Can I Expect to Pay for an EMBA?
The price of an Online EMBA varies, and there are as many affordable programs out there as there are pricier options. EMBAC’s 2019 Membership Program Survey reports that the average price of an EMBA is over $82,000. However, many business schools across the nation charge significantly more than the national average rate. Among the EMBA programs that were evaluated in the U.S. News Best Executive MBA Programs, the price of an EMBA can exceed $100,000, and occasionally, at highly prestigious B-schools, tuition can surpass $200,000.
While their employers entirely or partially sponsor some EMBA students, others are responsible for financing their education. EMBAC also reports that it is becoming increasingly more common for EMBA students to self-fund their advanced degrees. In 2019, over 50% of EMBA students were funding their degrees, up from 2015’s 41%.
Full corporate sponsorships for EMBA students are fewer than they used to be. The demand, however, for an EMBA is on the rise, according to EMBAC. The group notes that the number of EMBA program applicants has increased by over 30% since 2015.
As for the return on investment, the average EMBA holder received a 13% increase in compensation between the beginning and end of their EMBA, according to the 2019 EMBAC Student Exit Survey. Forty percent of students reported receiving a promotion during their EMBA pursuit.
How Do Executive MBA programs Compare to Other MBAs?
The lessons within Executive MBA coursework tend to reflect those of traditional MBA programs. The core curriculum is often the same. Enrolled students take finance and accounting and all the subjects one would think of within a mainstream MBA. However, a vital distinction between an EMBA and a traditional MBA is the nuance and tone of classroom discussions. The level of discussion, when dealing with business cases, tends to be at an elite level in EMBA courses. This is due to executive students possessing more real-world experience. Additionally, some business schools offer courses only available to EMBA students.
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management offers various electives available only to Executive MBA students, including 52 electives in 14 countries. Kellogg’s Executive MBA offerings include courses on multiple topics, including the top reasons for leadership successes and failures.
One advantage of an EMBA is that graduate students can immediately apply the concepts learned in class at their workplaces and C-suites in real-time. EMBA instructors work hard to deliver lessons that are theoretically proven and practically applied. Courses may address marketing frameworks and customer needs that students can incorporate into their jobs the next day. Some students have completed a course like Mergers & Acquisitions and are ready to build their organizations or initiate a leveraged buyout.
Executive MBA students are usually trying to refine the job skills they already possess. In contrast, traditional MBA students attempt to lay the foundation for obtaining a leadership role or are interested in switching careers. Practically speaking, the main difference is that an MBA is as much about the process as a result. In contrast, an executive MBA is specifically about meeting a set of goals in the quickest amount of time, says Patrick Sweeney, author of the business book “Fear Is Fuel: The Surprising Power to Help You Find Purpose, Passion, and Performance.”
Sweeney reports that Executive MBA programs are as rewarding as they are demanding. He warns future Executive MBA candidates that they have significantly less time for personal activities when pursuing their degrees. They should not expect to start a business or plan a nomadic vacation during the time, he says.
Many Online Executive MBA programs run year-round. Online and in-class EMBAs differ significantly from part-time MBAs as part-time students can take a class, take a semester off, and come back to take another class when it’s conducive to a schedule.
That kind of flexibility may not be available in Online Executive MBA programs as many are lock-step programs, meaning students start with a group and end with the same group. In between, they might take unique electives, but they stay with that same peer group for most of the program.
As you can see, an Online EMBA is a solid choice for business leaders interested in acquiring a degree that opens doors to senior and C-level business leadership.