Are you interested in advancing your career and positioning yourself at the top of your field? If the answer is yes, you’ve probably considered an MBA.
A Master’s in Business Administration is great for people who are two or five years into their career and are able to take time away to focus on their studies. An executive MBA (EMBA) is geared towards people in more senior positions, who are looking for an online or part-time program that will allow them to maintain their career.
To help, here are the top 10 executive MBA programs in the United States.
1. The Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania
The Wharton School is consistently ranked among the top three MBA programs in the country. Located in Philadelphia or San Francisco, the EMBA program takes place over 24 months on alternating weekends. There’s also a one-week Global Business Week trip, where you’ll have the opportunity to study with classmates outside of the country. There are no formal majors, and the class size is quite exclusive — only around 235 students are accepted per year.
On average, students at the EMBA program have 11 years of work experience when they’re admitted. It’s a fantastic program, but the $210,900 tuition is one of the most expensive in the country. Typically, the median salary of graduates is $125,000.
2. Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University
The other school that consistently vies for first place with Wharton is the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. There are two locations — Evanston, IL and Miami — and you can choose between attending classes either once or twice a month, depending on which campus you choose.
You can balance the two-year program with your work life, but you will be required to attend between three and four intensive weeks, which also includes a global study week. Typically, entering students already have senior or director positions.
The tuition is $201,120. After graduation, students will see an average starting salary of $170,499.
3. Booth School of Business – University of Chicago
Booth School of Business has the prestige of calling itself the very first executive MBA program in the country. They admit around 240 students per year and the analytical curriculum focuses on collaboration and community building.
The Booth School has campuses in Chicago, Hong Kong, and London, which enables a global perspective, especially during the joint sessions when every class gathers together for electives and discussions. There are no majors, and the 21-month program will consider every application, but typically admits students who have a “considerable number of years of work experience.”
Tuition ranges between $167,000 and $194,000, depending on the campus.
4. Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School aims to offer student flexibility when it comes to their EMBA program. You can attend school once a week, twice a month, in five- to six-day blocks, or full-time. Each program ranges between 16 to 24 months in length. They also have partnerships with schools in London and Hong Kong, so you can pursue your education overseas.
All their programs follow the same curriculum. As such, prospective students — who generally have an average of nine years of work experience — can submit applications on a rolling basis. Although students don’t necessarily need to be sponsored by a current employer, they must submit at least two letters of recommendation.
Tuition is $208,680, but the majority of their students are either fully or partially sponsored by employers.
5. Anderson School of Management – UCLA
The EMBA program at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA is a 22-month program that focuses on networking and collaborative problem-solving. As such, all their students are matched with a mini board, a small group of students from a variety of backgrounds that learn together. Classes are held either biweekly or monthly. Plus, students are given accommodation at a conference center in order to maximize study and lecture time.
Entering students typically have 14 years of work experience. The school’s hands-on career development resources help many achieve incredible career goals post-graduation. A lot of the students’ post-graduation success is due to the incredible alumni network.
Fees are $83,996, which covers the entire tuition, meals, and housing during class weekends.
6. Haas School of Business – UC Berkeley
One of the shorter programs we’re profiling today is the 19-month EMBA at the Haas School of Business. It’s a more intensely scheduled program, so it may not work for everyone. But if you’re in the Bay Area and can devote Thursday through Saturday to classes, you’ll finish a bit sooner than the standard 24-month program.
They have two rounds of applications every year, and they only admit a tiny class of 68 students. Most have around 13 years of work experience in fields ranging from technology and electronics to finance and consulting. Around 12 percent of their class comes from the military, which brings an interesting perspective to their private sector peers.
Tuition is $194,000 for the entire program.
7. Yale School of Management
At the Yale School of Management, the curriculum focuses on producing leaders that can evolve and grow along with the rapidly-changing marketplace. They offer core classes, as well as advanced study in the core areas of asset management, health care, and sustainability.
The program is 22 months in length and takes place over alternate weekends on Yale’s New Haven, Connecticut campus. Students also come together for four full in-residence weeks over the course of the program, which includes their Global Network Week overseas. Students can supplement their regular classes with self-directed courses, as well as Global Network Courses, which are online and connect you with peers around the world.
There are three application deadlines and they accept 71 students with an average of 12 years of work experience. Overall tuition is $187,500.
8. NYU Stern School of Business
There are several different program options for EMBA degrees at NYU’s Stern School of Business. They range from 17 months to two years in length and you can choose to study in either New York, Washington, or in a joint program across five different global cities.
Classes are held either bi-weekly or monthly and all focus first on core requirements before branching out to electives. All entering students are paired with a study group, which is intentionally cross-functional and diverse. All students have the opportunity to embark on either one or two international study tours, which serve to introduce them to growing markets and new ways of doing business.
Typically, entering students have 14 years of work experience. There are two admission deadlines per year. Tuition is $194,876.
9. Sloan School of Management – MIT
MIT’s 20-month executive MBA program takes place at their Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They focus on advanced management techniques, as well as applied learning projects that allow students to put their new skills and knowledge into action. Classes are held every three weeks on Fridays and Saturdays, but students will also need to clear their schedule for one week of in-person classes every six months.
On average, MIT EMBA students have 17 years of work experience and are employed full-time while they complete their degree. After they graduate, most students work in software, technology, banking, or healthcare.
Tuition is $178,302, but that does not include hotel expenses for in-person weeks.
10. Fuqua School of Business – Duke University
There are two choices for an EMBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Their Weekend Executive MBA follows a traditional model and takes place over 19 months at their North Carolina campus. You’ll study on campus once a month and online on all other weekends. Students are paired with an online cohort, so you’ll get the benefit of experience without having to travel every weekend. The curriculum focuses on general management, with five unique concentrations that help students develop their specialized skills.
There’s also a Global Executive MBA program, which takes students all over Asia, Latin America, and Europe over the course of the 18-month program.
An executive MBA is a great way to ensure you have the crucial skills to succeed in a competitive business environment. Many people enroll when they’re at or approaching a critical career junction and use the new knowledge they gain to stand out from their peers and secure lucrative contracts and promotions.
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