The Best Executive MBA Programs

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Executive MBA programs (EMBA) and online executive MBA programs are becoming increasingly accessible and convenient through some of the very best online schools. Executive MBA programs usually target working adults and non-traditional students, those who are employed but desire to advance in their careers and improve their earning power. The EMBAC membership survey reports the average age of EMBA students is 38, and that these respondents can boast, on average, 9 years of management experience.

Typically, executive MBA programs require students to attend classes on campus on a regularly scheduled basis. Some programs meet once or twice a month. Many of the programs include week-long residencies, and some include international residencies or an international trip. Executive MBA programs typically require 20–25 hours of study time per week outside of class meetings. A select number of universities also offer fully online Executive MBA programs.

Executive MBA Program Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following programs based on the quality of the program and the types of courses offered as well as the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation.

The Best Executive MBA Degree Programs

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4

Duke University 

Durham, NC

About this school

Founded in 1924, Duke enrolls more than 15,000 students annually across 10 schools and colleges. Its Fuqua School of Business was founded in 1969 and offers graduate programs with varied schedule options, including daytime, accelerated, weekend, and global MBAs.

In the executive MBA program, learners acquire general management training within a global context. The degree comprises 17 courses, including 10 core classes, three global business dynamics classes, and four elective courses. Core courses cover managerial economics, statistical models, and strategy foundations. Students can also choose a concentration in energy and environment, entrepreneurship and innovation, finance, marketing, or strategy.

The MBA program begins in July and launches with a two-week orientation at the Durham campus. Over the next 19-21 months, enrollees complete a one-week residency within each of the six terms in a different international location. During the final term, the residencies take place at Durham. Students can complete a concentration in seven terms. 

Applicants must submit college transcripts, answers to essay questions, standardized test scores, and resumes detailing their professional experience. Most candidates have 5-20 years of professional experience. 

5

University of California – Los Angeles 

Los Angeles, CA

About this school

Founded in 1919, UCLA now enrolls nearly 45,000 students every year on its two main campuses and in 150 departments and programs. The Anderson School of Management offers business degrees for graduate students at different levels, plus access to eight educational centers.

The executive MBA program trains professionals to make data-based decisions, communicate effectively, and lead their organizations ethically and responsibly. Courses include organizational behavior, economic analysis, and marketing strategy and policy. The program concludes with a strategic management capstone course.

Enrollees typically begin in the fall, completing Friday and Saturday courses on campus, bi-weekly or monthly, with some online instruction. Learners have more delivery options for electives, studying on Sundays or in blocks throughout the summer. The degree typically runs throughout six quarters or 22 months and includes a one-week international residency. 

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They also need at least eight years of work experience, including five years of management experience. Candidates also submit standardized test scores and answers to essay questions. 

6

Columbia University 

New York City, NY

About this school

As the oldest college in New York and one of the oldest in the country, Columbia enrolls more than 33,000 students across 20 schools and colleges every year. Since 1916, the Columbia School of Business has offered graduate students a variety of programs.

In the executive MBA program, learners can expand their career prospects and expertise in the global business landscape. The 60-credit degree includes core training in managerial statistics and economics, strategy formulation, organizational change, and marketing and management strategy. The remaining credits are earned through electives. 

Degree-seekers can choose to take classes every Saturday or every Friday and Saturday to complete their degrees in 20-24 months or 5-6 terms. Courses begin in May or August, and enrollees complete residency blocks at the start of their first two semesters. Students can also choose a global option to study in London and Hong Kong.

Applicants must submit transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, answers to essay questions, and a sponsorship letter from their current employer. On average, Columbia's MBA students possess nine years of professional experience. 

7

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Chapel Hill, NC

About this school

Founded in 1789, today UNC-Chapel Hill enrolls more than 30,000 students in over 240 programs and 14 schools and colleges every year. Its Kenan-Flagler Business School -- founded in 1919 -- offers five MBA options.

In the executive MBA program, students can advance their careers or transition into new roles. The degree features 16 core courses, including leadership, corporate strategy, and ethical aspects of management. Learners also complete electives, which include global opportunities. They can pursue concentrations in finance, marketing, strategy and leadership, and strategy and entrepreneurship.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, MBA students complete their degrees through weekend residency classes and asynchronous online study. They may also choose a weekday evening option. Enrollees typically complete the program within 20 months. 

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree and five years of professional experience, though at least eight years is preferred. Candidates also need to submit answers to essay questions and GMAT or GRE scores. They should possess leadership experience and business fundamentals training. 

8

University of Michigan 

Ann Arbor, MI

About this school

Founded in 1817, U-M enrolls more than 47,000 students annually across 19 schools and colleges, including the business school. The Stephen M. Ross School of Business offers 14 programs for students at all levels, including six MBA options for graduate students with diverse scheduling and training needs.

In the executive MBA program, learners acquire leadership training in core courses, such as business analytics, strategic thinking, and statistics for executives. In each of the five terms, degree-seekers focus on a leadership theme, including personal growth, resilience, innovation, executive presence, and defining vision. 

Enrollees can choose to take classes at the Ann Arbor or Los Angeles campuses. On both campuses, classes begin in August and take place once per month. The rest of the training runs online. At the beginning of the program, students participate in extended on-campus residencies. Learners can complete the degree in 21 months.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree and submit answers to essay questions and an employer sponsorship letter. U-M does not require GMAT or GRE scores, but it does require candidates to have quantitative and analytical skills.

9

University of Southern California 

Los Angeles, CA

About this school

First opened in 1880, USC enrolls more than 48,000 students annually across 23 schools and colleges. Its Marshall School of Business -- founded in 1920 -- offers a variety of business-related programs, including five MBA degree options for learners with varying scheduling needs. 

Designed for working professionals, the executive MBA program integrates common managerial situations into its curriculum. These break down into 10 themes, covering topics like top management perspectives, the role of the senior executive, and strategic planning for growth. 

MBA students at USC take classes on campus every other Friday and Saturday. They also complete residencies, including a six-day residency in the beginning, a five-day international residency during year two, and a two-day residency to complete the program. Most students graduate within 22 months. 

Applicants need a bachelor's degree and must submit GRE or GMAT scores and application essays. By the end of the program, graduates develop a global and entrepreneurial mindset, gain knowledge of business enterprises, and understand how to motivate high-performing teams.

10

New York University 

New York City, NY

About this school

Founded in 1831, NYU enrolls more than 50,000 students annually in its 19 schools and colleges, including its business school. The Leonard N. Stern School of Business offers programs across several academic levels. Aspiring MBA students can choose from five study options to accommodate their schedules. 

The executive MBA program is designed for experienced professionals looking to advance their careers and expand their networks. The 60-credit degree comprises core and elective courses, including classes in business law, management, and marketing. Enrollees can specialize in finance, management, financial instruments and markets, supply chain management and global sourcing, and leadership.

MBA students can start in August or January and earn their degrees within 22 months, completing classes every other Friday and Saturday. At the beginning of the program, learners attend a one-week orientation residency. They also attend a mandatory international residency during the first year and can add another residency in their second year. 

Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree and at least six years of professional experience. They also need to submit essay answers. NYU does not require GMAT or GRE scores.

11

University of California, Berkeley 

Berkeley, CA

About this school

Founded in 1868, Berkeley enrolls more than 41,000 students annually in over 350 programs and 14 schools and colleges. One of the oldest business schools in the country, the Haas School of Business offers certificates and degrees for its diverse student body, including three MBA programs with a variety of scheduling options. 

The executive MBA program emphasizes four academic pillars: leadership, strategy, entrepreneurship, and finance. The 21-course program features core training in creating effective organizations, global economic environment, and data analysis for management. The degree also uses immersion experiences to provide practical training to students.

Students begin the program in the fall and complete five-course sessions during each of the five terms. Typically, degree-seekers take classes on Thursday through Saturday every three weeks. Enrollees complete core courses in the first three terms and electives in the final two terms. Following this schedule, they can graduate within 19 months. For field immersions, learners can travel to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, or other locations as arranged.

Applicants must submit college transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, and answers to essay questions. While Berkeley admits a wide range of students, the median MBA learner has 13 years of professional experience. 

12

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Cambridge, MA

About this school

Founded in 1861, MIT enrolls more than 11,000 students annually across six schools and colleges. The Sloan School of Management, which was founded in 1914, offers MBA study options for students with different scheduling needs. 

Designed for mid-career professionals, the executive MBA program allows students to hone their innovation and leadership skills and build their professional networks. The degree comprises courses in both core training and electives, emphasizing data-driven analytics and management fundamentals. Core courses include competitive strategy, leadership and integrative management, and data and decisions. 

MBA students at MIT take classes on Friday and Saturday every three weeks to complete the degree within 20 months. They also complete a one-week module every six months and a one-week international project trip. The program uses a series of action learning activities and environments for practical learning, including applied projects and its campus and global labs.

Applicants need at least 10 years of professional experience. They also must submit essays, a statement of purpose, and transcripts from all colleges previously attended. Candidates do not need to submit GMAT scores unless requested.

13

Cornell University 

Ithaca, NY

About this school

Founded in 1865, Cornell enrolls more than 24,000 students every year across its 15 schools and colleges, including the business college. The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, founded in 1946, now offers 19 programs, including more than 10 graduate and MBA programs to accommodate different student types and schedules. 

Cornell offers four executive MBA programs (EMBA): the EMBA Americas program, the EMBA metro New York program, the Cornell-Tsinghua finance MBA program, and the EMBA and MS in healthcare leadership dual degree. All programs prepare professionals for higher levels of management, providing 60 credits of core and elective courses. While curricula vary between programs, all EMBAs include applied projects that may require international travel.

Depending on program choice, students can start in June or July and complete their EMBAs in 17-22 months. Classes take place every other Saturday and Sunday and feature four residential immersions. 

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree. They also need to submit application essays and reference letters. On average, accepted EMBA students have 12 years of full-time professional experience. Cornell does not require GRE or GMAT scores. 

14

Southern Methodist University 

Dallas, TX

About this school

Founded in 1911, SMU now enrolls more than 12,000 students annually across its nine schools and colleges. Since 1920, its Edwin L. Cox School of Business has offered programs for learners at different levels, now including joint degrees, specialized master's degrees, and six MBA options. 

During the 48-credit executive MBA program, students gain knowledge and practical experience in foundational business disciplines in the first year and delve into policy-level aspects in the second year. Some of the core courses include operations management, executive leadership, and strategic cost analysis. Degree-seekers complete the program with electives. 

At SMU, enrollees join their cohorts in August and work through five semesters or 21 months of training. They attend campus approximately two weekends per month, with classes running on Fridays and Saturdays, and Fridays typically running for half the day. In the second year, learners participate in a global study trip to two international cities.

Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree and eight years of professional experience. Candidates should hold management or ownership positions when applying. SMU does not require GRE or GMAT scores.

15

University of Texas at Austin 

Austin, TX

About this school

Founded in 1833, UT Austin enrolls more than 51,000 students every year across 18 schools and colleges. The McCombs School of Business offers more than 15 programs for students from various disciplines and academic levels. Depending on their scheduling needs, MBA learners can choose from three program options. 

Designed for experienced professionals, the executive MBA program emphasizes applicable business management skills and expertise. The program features core training in managerial statistics, strategic innovation, and legal and ethical environments for business. Enrollees also enroll in six elective credits.

At UT Austin, classes take place on campus on alternating weekends, running all day on Friday and Saturday. In addition to classroom learning, degree-seekers can participate in four executive seminars, a leadership program, a distinguished speaker series, and an optional three-day campus residency. 

Applicants need eight years of professional experience. They also need to submit college transcripts, essay question responses, letters of recommendation, and GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment scores. Enrollees can access career advising, coaching, and education from the UT Austin career advancement team. 

16

University of Notre Dame 

Notre Dame, IN

About this school

Founded in 1842, ND enrolls more than 12,000 students annually across its eight colleges and schools. The Mendoza College of Business features bachelor's programs, specialized master's programs, and five MBA programs that accommodate many different career goals. 

ND offers executive MBA programs at its Indiana campus and its Chicago location. Both degrees emphasize three components: leadership, fundamentals, and strategy. As part of the core curriculum, the 50-credit executive MBA programs feature signature courses in executive integral leadership, strategic foresight, and international systems thinking.

In the Indiana program, students begin in August and attend classes Thursday through Saturday, once per month, for 22 months. In the Chicago program, classes start in January and run every other Friday and Saturday for 17 months. Both options include a week-long orientation at the beginning and a week-long international immersion later in the program.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree and five years of professional management experience and must submit GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment scores. They also need a recommendation or letter of support from a supervisor.

17

Yale University 

New Haven, CT

About this school

Established in 1701, making it one of the oldest schools in the country, Yale offers more than 100 programs across 14 schools and colleges. In the Yale School of Management, students can access specialized master's programs, joint degrees, and MBAs designed for both full-time students and working professionals. 

The executive MBA program offers core training with a leadership emphasis. Each core course focuses on a different organizational perspective, such as the investor, the workforce, and the executive. The program also features advanced management courses in policy design and managerial controls, a leadership development practicum, and a focus on asset management, healthcare, and sustainability.

Yale students attend classes on Friday and Saturday every other weekend to complete the program in 22 months. The program kicks off with a two-week residency. Learners participate in a week-long international residency during the first year and a one-week, on-campus residency during the second year. 

Applicants need a bachelor's degree and five years of post-undergraduate professional experience. Candidates also need to submit GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment scores, along with application essays and professional recommendations. 

18

William Marsh Rice University 

Houston, TX

About this school

Opened in 1912, Rice enrolls more than 7,000 students annually across its eight schools and colleges. Its Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business offers several Ph.D. and master's programs, including MBA programs for students with different schedules and experience levels. 

Designed for experienced working professionals, the executive MBA program offers a flexible schedule. The program features core training in global strategy, markets and institutions, and business analytics. Learners then fill out their schedules with electives from over 100 options. 

MBA students at Rice attend class on campus every other Friday and Saturday. Each of the two academic years in the 22-month program begins and ends with a five-day intensive that fosters an executive mindset. In the final year, degree-seekers attend an overseas intensive. 

Each applicant must provide college transcripts, essays, professional recommendations, and a resume. They also need to submit GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment scores, unless they received a waiver. While Rice accepts a wide variety of applicants, the average MBA student has five and a half years of professional experience. 

19

Georgetown University 

Washington, DC

About this school

As the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the country, Georgetown enrolls more than 19,000 students annually across its nine schools and colleges, including the Robert E. McDonough School of Business. 

In the executive MBA program, students start their training with business fundamentals before delving into advanced courses that explore the connections between business and geopolitics. Some of the core training includes courses in decision analytics, new ventures, and global political economy. Learners complete the 19-course curriculum by choosing seven electives.

At Georgetown, students can complete their degree within 20 months, attending classes on campus every other Friday and Saturday beginning in August. They also participate in two week-long residencies on campus, along with a global business experience at an international location and a global capstone residency.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree and eight years of professional experience. They must also demonstrate leadership qualities and submit application essays and letters of recommendation and employer support. Candidates may need to submit GRE or GMAT scores.

20

Rutgers University - New Brunswick 

New Brunswick, NJ

About this school

Rutgers is the largest public university in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan region, enrolling around 70,000 students every year. The school comprises 29 schools and colleges, including the Rutgers Business School, which offers bachelor's programs, specialty master's degrees, and MBA options.

In the executive MBA program, experienced professionals can grow into industry leaders. The 57-credit program comprises 45 core and 12 elective credits. Core training covers topics in aggregate economic analysis, powerhouse advantage, and international business. By taking three electives in one area, learners can create concentrations in areas like finance, supply chain management, and marketing.

MBA classes run from September through May, and enrollees attend campus on Saturdays and Sundays every other week. Every semester begins with a week-long campus residence, and learners can graduate within 20 months. Degree-seekers can also attend a 10-day summer program in China.

Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree and approximately 10 years of full-time professional experience. Candidates should also demonstrate leadership potential and may need to submit GRE, GMAT, or Executive Assessment scores. 

21

Washington University in St. Louis 

Saint Louis, MO

About this school

Founded in 1853, Washington University enrolls more than 14,000 students every year across its 300 programs and seven schools and colleges. The Olin Business School, founded in 1917, offers 11 programs, including undergraduate, specialized master's, and doctoral programs. The school also offers five MBA programs for students with varying schedules and interests. 

The 60-credit executive MBA program emphasizes leadership and data-driven decision-making throughout its curriculum. In the core program, learners take courses in market and consumer focus, creative thinking, and growth and sustainability. Degree-seekers also receive 10 hours of professional leadership coaching. 

At Washington University, classes start in September, with enrollees attending three-day sessions on Thursday through Saturday every month for 20 months. The MBA features three residencies, including an orientation and leadership week, a business of policy residency, and an international management residency. 

Applicants must demonstrate that they occupy a professional leadership position and have the extensive professional experience and education necessary to complete graduate-level business training. Candidates may need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Washington University also offers executive MBAs in Shanghai and Mumbai.

22

Emory University 

Atlanta, GA

About this school

Founded in 1836, Emory enrolls more than 15,000 students across 11 colleges and schools every year. Its Goizueta Business School offers 15 programs at various levels, along with five MBA programs. 

The executive MBA program combines three major elements: core business acumen, immersions, and electives. The 51-credit program includes core training in managerial finance, decision analytics, and process and system management. Learners complete 24 credits worth of electives, choosing from 20 course options. They can also choose from concentrations in finance, healthcare management, leadership, strategy, and general management.

At Emory, students choose between an on-campus format, with classes on alternating Friday evenings and Saturdays, and a hybrid option, with on-campus classes during three weekends per semester and six hours of online classes each week. Enrollees can complete either option in 18 months. Some students accelerate the program and finish in under 16 months. Degree-seekers must complete immersions in Atlanta and at an international location.

Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree and managerial experience. They should also hold current employment in a mid- to senior-level position. Candidates also need to submit essay responses and letters of recommendation, but Emory does not require GRE, GMAT, or Executive Assessment scores.

23

University of Maryland, College Park 

College Park, MD

About this school

As Maryland's flagship university, UMD enrolls more than 41,000 students annually in over 200 programs and 12 schools and colleges. Its Robert H. Smith School of Business offers programs for students across several academic levels, including five MBA programs with differing schedules, locations, and delivery formats.

In the 54-credit executive MBA program, learners acquire advanced leadership skills through personalized executive coaching. The core program includes foundational training in managerial accounting, ethical leadership, and human capital. Enrollees also receive practical training through three action learning projects, plus mastery seminar sessions and a business simulation capstone. 

Classes begin in January and run for 19 months. Learners attend classes bi-weekly, on Fridays and Saturdays. They must also participate in a week-long orientation on campus in the beginning and a week-long residency for the capstone. UMD also offers custom executive coaching and an optional, 10-day, international residency. 

Each applicant must hold bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA\ and eight years of professional experience, including at least three years of management experience. UMD does not require GMAT or GRE scores. 

24

Ohio State University 

Columbus, OH

About this school

Founded in 1870, Ohio State now enrolls more than 68,000 students in over 400 programs across 16 schools and colleges every year. Its Fisher College of Business offers programs across all academic levels, including three MBA programs with various scheduling options. 

The 42-credit executive MBA program uses three pillars of training: the academic curriculum, experiential learning, and executive coaching. Training focuses on leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, global perspectives, data decisions, and creating and sustaining change, including courses in international business and strategy formulation. 

The program begins in December with an immersion week. From there, classes take place over the course of 14 residencies, running from Thursday through Saturday across 17 months. Students also take online training during this time. Degree-seekers also attend two experiential trips, including one that takes place at an international location. 

Applicants need a bachelor's degree and at least seven years of professional experience. They also need to submit professional recommendations and essay responses. Candidates with minimum undergraduate GPAs of 3.0 may receive GRE or GMAT waivers. 

25

Temple University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

Founded in 1884, Temple enrolls more than 40,000 students annually in over 500 programs across 17 schools and colleges. In the Fox School of Business, learners can pursue programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including four MBA programs with varied schedules and delivery formats. 

The executive MBA program emphasizes market-driven training and practical learning. Core courses cover contemporary corporate strategy, managing operations in enterprise, and disruptions and leadership. The program concludes with a strategy formulation capstone. Learners may pursue a dual-degree option to earn an MA in innovation and entrepreneurship.

At Temple, degree-seekers can maintain their work schedules by studying only one weekend per month, still completing their degrees in under 18 months. Online classes and web conferencing fill in the gaps between on-campus classes. The program starts in the fall with a weekend residency.

The average Temple MBA student has more than 10 years of work experience, including five years of management experience. Candidates also need to submit essays and letters of recommendation, and may need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. 

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The Best Online Executive MBA Degree Programs

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4

Temple University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

Founded in 1884, Temple University has grown from a night school to a major research institution that hosts more than 40,000 students annually. Temple's primarily online executive MBA program requires in-person attendance in Philadelphia during one weekend a month for 16 months.

The unique, 48-credit curriculum is designed to mirror an actual workplace, with students working in teams to prepare assignments and presentations. Executive guest speakers and the integration of the latest case studies ensure students receive up-to-date insights on the business industry. Students can pursue an optional concentration in hospitality asset management.

Required courses cover concepts including valuation, business ethics, statistical analysis, and risk management. The program also incorporates a global immersion experience and a final capstone project. Graduates can pursue leadership positions in a variety of industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and tourism.

Prospective students must hold a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and submit a current resume, GMAT scores, transcripts, a statement of goals, and contact information for references. Applicants with AACSB-accredited bachelor's degree, 7-10 years of work experience, or managerial experience may receive a GMAT waiver.

5

Howard University 

Washington, DC

About this school

Howard University is a historically Black university that offers an online executive MBA taught by award-winning faculty. The 42-credit program offers small class sizes, flexible learning options, and completion times as brief as 18 months.

Students complete 14 courses in areas including organizational behavior and leadership, applied economics, entrepreneurship, and strategic communications. Students can optionally participate in a two-week trip to China, India, or South Africa to gain experience in an international business environment.

Prior to graduation, all degree candidates must complete a strategic management capstone, culminating in a presentation of their findings before a panel of faculty and top industry professionals.

Executive MBA applicants need at least seven years of work experience, including five in management or a senior leadership role. They must also submit a resume, a statement of interest, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. GMAT or GRE scores are recommended but not required.

6

Howard University 

Washington, DC

About this school

Distance learners can choose from more than 80 certificates and degrees at Louisiana State University, including one of the nation's best executive MBA programs. The 36-credit program operates on a flexible, 20-month schedule. Students complete online coursework, on-campus residencies, and international immersion opportunities.

Most coursework takes place online in an asynchronous format, but students must meet on campus during one weekend per month. All students complete 15 credits of required core courses, including managerial economics, competitive strategy, and financial accounting. Students can customize the degree through one of three concentrations:

  • Analytics
  • Emerging technology
  • Healthcare management

The program emphasizes real-world learning through partnerships with local mission-based organizations, startups, and small enterprises in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Site visits, individual coaching sessions, and team activities provide additional leadership and professional development opportunities.

The executive MBA program accepts applications on a rolling basis for a spring semester start date. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and three years of post-baccalaureate work experience. They must also submit a current resume, GMAT or GRE scores, a personal statement, and two letters of reference.

7

Louisiana State University 

Baton Rouge, LA

About this school

The University of Miami offers seven online graduate degrees, including an online executive MBA designed for senior executives, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. The 17-month program combines live online course sessions with nine on-campus residencies. The program features a learning-by-doing curriculum, allowing students to engage in simulations, roleplay, and case studies.

Eleven required courses cover themes like strategic decision-making, cross-cultural leadership, operations management, and innovation. Students also gain experience with real-world business challenges through three integrated consulting projects.

Applicants must supply a current resume, transcripts, and one letter of recommendation. Several rounds of admission occur for each new cohort, including a preferred deadline for scholarship consideration. Accepted students bring an average of 14 years of work experience to UM's executive MBA program.

8

University of Miami 

Coral Gables, FL

About this school

More than 2,100 students enroll in Ohio University's online graduate programs each year. The school's online MBA offers eight concentrations, including executive management. The 12-course, 35-credit program prepares graduates for business leadership careers.

Core MBA courses cover concepts in managerial finance, operations management, and accounting for executives. The executive management concentration includes three required courses: prescriptive analytics, leadership and change management, and ethics in leadership.

Most courses are asynchronous, but the program requires occasional live lectures. All online MBA students also attend one, weekend-long professional development workshop on campus.

Applicants need a regionally accredited bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and at least two years of professional experience. They must also submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, and a goals statement.

9

Ohio University 

Athens, OH

About this school

Washington State University offers 20 online undergraduate majors and 12 online graduate degrees, including an online executive MBA program. Online students gain access to career counseling, e-tutoring, archived webinars, and a reimbursement program.

The fully online executive MBA takes 18 months to complete. Each course lasts five weeks and allows students to choose between asynchronous and synchronous formats. Learners can also complete an optional, 10-day international business trip.

Courses cover topics like financial business tools, strategic leadership, global business, and management. Students craft a business plan as part of their final capstone. Graduates can work as chief executives, human resource managers, healthcare administrators, and financial managers.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and at least five years of management experience. They must also submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, a letter of organizational support, and a statement of purpose.

10

Washington State University 

Pullman, WA

About this school

The state's first institution of higher education, the University of Nevada-Reno offers online degrees and certificates in more than a dozen disciplines, including business administration. The school's online executive MBA program features a cohort model.

The 36-credit program includes classes like statistics for decision-making, financial reporting and analysis, economics of the firm, and marketing management. During a personal branding course, students learn to build and market content through social media.

Courses feature a mostly asynchronous format, but students need reliable access to a webcam and microphone for occasional live sessions. Graduates are prepared to lead organizations and manage unpredictable business environments.

Applicants to the online executive MBA program need a bachelor's degree in any major with a minimum 2.75 GPA and at least five years of work experience. They must also submit transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.

11

University of Nevada-Reno 

Reno, NV

About this school

The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers a primarily online executive MBA that features a synchronous format, allowing students and faculty to interact in real time.

Over 22 months, students complete 48 credits of coursework designed to sharpen skills in business, strategy, and leadership. Core courses include micro- and macroeconomic foundations for managers, marketing management, and accounting for decision-making. The program also offers concentrations in healthcare management and travel industry management.

In addition to online coursework, students must complete an intensive five-day residency during the beginning of the program and 14 on-campus class sessions in Honolulu. Residents of neighboring islands receive a stipend to help cover roundtrip airfare.

Admission to UH Manoa's executive MBA program requires a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and at least five years of relevant work experience. Applicants must provide a resume; a statement of objectives; two letters of recommendation; and EA, GMAT, or GRE scores.

12

University of Hawaii at Manoa 

Honolulu, HI

About this school

The University of North Carolina-Wilmington offers several online and hybrid degree options, including one of the best executive MBA programs in the nation. Students can complete the 42-credit program in as little as one year.

Core courses cover topics like policy and regulation, financial and managerial accounting, and information technology. Students can pursue a general track or one of four concentrations:

  • Business analytics
  • Finance
  • Healthcare management
  • International business

Students progress through the executive MBA program in small, interactive cohorts. The program requires two on-campus weekend residencies. Students must also participate in a one-week international residency at one of several locations in Europe or Asia.

UNCW considers applications on a rolling basis. Prospective students need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, at least two years of professional experience, and a GMAT score above 500. They must also submit a resume, a cover letter, and two letters of recommendation.

13

University of North Carolina at Wilmington 

Wilmington, NC

About this school

Sam Houston State University offers several dozen online programs, including a unique online executive MBA that prepares graduates for leadership positions in financial institutions and regulatory agencies.

The 36-credit program features mostly online coursework, but students must attend a two-week on-campus residency at the start of each fall semester. Courses include managerial communication; project management; and selected topics in money, capital, and security markets. Students culminate the degree with a comprehensive examination.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts and GMAT scores. Prospective students with a minimum 2.5 GPA may receive a GMAT waiver. Individuals with a bachelor's degree in a non-business field need at least three years of experience in a banking or regulatory position.

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Sam Houston State University 

Huntsville, TX

About this school

California Lutheran University offers an online executive MBA that takes 18 months to complete. The program prepares students to pursue leadership positions in public and private organizations.

The 48-credit program includes eight on-campus courses, seven online courses, and one travel-based course. Core courses cover five areas of expertise: leading operations, managing processes, leading people, leading strategy, and professional advancement and integration. Students can choose from two capstone projects: a comprehensive business plan for a new venture or a consulting project with a local or global organization.

New program cohorts begin each fall and spring. Applicants must submit transcripts, a current resume, GMAT scores, and one professional letter of recommendation. They must also complete an interview with the program director.

15

California Lutheran University 

Thousand Oaks, CA

About this school

Jacksonville University offers more than a dozen online certificates and degrees, including an executive MBA in leadership development designed for mid- to senior-level managers with at least 10 years of work experience.

The 46-credit program includes 12 core courses and a leadership development specialization. The specialization builds knowledge and skills in business analytics, executive communication, and strategic change leadership. Students also complete a one-week international trip, the price of which is included in the program's tuition.

Classes meet at the Jacksonville campus one Friday and Saturday each month, but in-person attendance is not mandatory. Students unable to visit campus can access courses online, choosing from asynchronous and synchronous formats.

Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores, a current resume, a statement of interest, and official transcripts from prior colleges. Applicants with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and an AACSB-accredited business degree receive a GRE/GMAT waiver.

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Jacksonville University 

Jacksonville, FL

About this school

In partnership with General Motors (GM), Northwood University offers an online executive MBA customized to meet the needs of GM's corporate and dealership employees. The 36-credit program takes two years to complete.

Core courses include financial reporting, managing and leading people, and GM process improvement for managers. Students culminate the degree with a capstone project during which they address a critical business problem. The fully online program features asynchronous courses, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

The program offers fall and spring start dates. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also complete an interview and submit a resume or CV, official undergraduate transcripts, and a writing sample.

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Northwood University 

Midland, MI

About this school

The University of North Alabama allows students to complete an executive MBA online in just 12-18 months. The 34-credit fully online program examines topics like strategic economic analysis, responsibility in a global economy, and corporate governance.

Online students receive individualized management mentoring and the opportunity to create a professional development plan according to their own unique strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. The program features mostly asynchronous coursework delivered through Canvas.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA and at least five years of relevant work history demonstrating increasing professional responsibility. Students can begin on one of five start dates per year.

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University of North Alabama 

Florence, AL

About this school

Prairie View A&M University's hybrid executive MBA program includes courses like economics in the global environment, accounting for executives, and executive communication. The 36-credit program also includes an international study abroad excursion, giving students insight into business operations in a global setting.

Learners take just one 5- to 8-week course at a time. Students complete most course content online, but they must participate in on-campus sessions during alternate Saturdays throughout the fall and spring semesters and every Saturday during summer semesters.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA and 3-5 years of leadership or managerial experience. They must also submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume.

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Prairie View A&M University 

Prairie View, TX

About this school

Houston Baptist University offers an online executive MBA that students can complete in 11 months. The program combines online courses with five on-campus sessions. Students can choose to complete the on-campus sessions in Houston or New York City.

The 41-credit program covers five main themes: leadership, analytics, resource management, innovation and investments, and strategy. At the end of each module, students apply their knowledge through consulting projects and directed discussions on current global business topics. Students culminate the degree with a one-week international management practicum and a capstone research project.

HBU accepts applications to the executive MBA program on a rolling basis. Prospective students need at least seven years of leadership experience. They must also submit a current resume, two letters of recommendation, and an essay.

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Houston Baptist University 

Houston, TX

About this school

The University of the Cumberlands offers an online executive MBA that accommodates both domestic and international graduate students.

The program includes 21 credits of core courses and nine credits of upper-level business electives. Students also complete a one-credit applied learning practicum each semester. Learners can choose from concentrations in:

  • Accounting
  • Project management
  • Strategic management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Healthcare administration
  • Marketing

The program features mostly online coursework, but students must complete some weekend residency sessions. During residency sessions, students complete presentations, group case studies, networking opportunities, and Q&A lectures with experienced industry professionals.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students interested in the accounting concentration need a bachelor's in accounting or the completion of equivalent accounting studies.

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What is an Executive MBA?

Executive MBA programs provide advanced MBA curricula designed for individuals, including mid-level managers, seeking top-level leadership positions, as well as executives seeking to enhance their leadership skills. Executive MBA programs build on existing knowledge and experience, providing professionals with the concepts and skills to advance in executive leadership. The programs typically cover subjects such as marketing management, operations management, leadership and organizations, negotiation strategies, corporate finance, international business, and more. Classroom discussions focus on subjects like strategic thinking and leadership. The class format may focus, at times, on team projects and case studies.

Catering to the needs of busy professionals, executive MBA programs meet infrequently. This allows students to pursue their education in balance with their personal and professional responsibilities.

What is an Online Executive MBA?

Online executive MBA programs offer the same professional focus as traditional executive MBAs, but with the added flexibility and affordability of online education. Students in online executive MBA programs complete the bulk of their coursework online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous delivery models. Online executive MBA programs typically require a few brief campus visits, and some require international field experiences. Overall, they allow students to earn their EMBA with minimal disruption to their everyday lives.

How long does it take to complete an Executive MBA program?

Many Executive MBA programs take two years to complete. Part-time students may take three to four years to complete the program. Some schools offer accelerated Executive MBA programs (with fewer credits) that students can complete in one year.

What is the difference between an MBA and an Executive MBA?

While an MBA program serves students who may only have earned an undergraduate degree, an executive MBA program meets the needs of mid-career professionals and executives seeking to enhance their skills. Executive MBA programs typically only admit students who are already employed and have significant professional experience. Most students in EMBA programs have arrived there with sponsorship from their employers.

EMBA programs typically skip past some of the introductory material MBA programs cover, since EMBA students have already developed that foundation through their professional experience. Many executive MBA programs focus on the big picture, whereas many MBA programs place a greater emphasis on the academic fundamentals. With an EMBA vs. MBA, the most fundamental difference is the professional background of the students.

Professors in executive MBA programs often spend time serving as facilitators, offering guidance, providing perspectives, and sharing real-world experiences with students. This may contrast professors in traditional MBA programs, who are likely to lean more heavily on academic fundamentals, often through lecture-based instruction.

If a traditional MBA better fits your needs, check out The 50 Best Online MBA Programs.

EMBA Salary Information

Students pursue EMBA programs expecting to advance their careers and increase their salary potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), top executives earned a median salary of $104,980 in 2018. An EMBA can significantly improve an individual's chances of advancing to a top executive role.

Executive MBA Job Opportunities

While some students in EMBA programs may seek a major promotion within their companies after completing their studies, many graduates pursue new jobs and career changes. With an executive MBA, graduates may obtain a top-level position, including chief executive officer, chief operating officer, financial manager, human resources manager, project manager, or company president, for domestic or multinational corporations. Some EMBA graduates use their knowledge to establish their own company. With advanced education in executive leadership, students qualify for some of the highest positions in business.

See Also:What Can I Do with a Business Degree?

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