The Top 10 Best Executive MBA Programs

An executive MBA, designed for mid-level to senior managers seeking to optimize their careers and organizational leadership capabilities, is an excellent next step in business education. These executive MBAs are the best ten available today, as noted by ranking sources including the Wall St. Journal, US News and World Report and the Financial Times.

Featured Top-ranked Programs

1. Northcentral University Online MBA
2. Grand Canyon University Online MBA
3. University of North Carolina Online MBA

Ranking the Top 10 Best Online Executive MBA Programs

10. University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business EMBA

Executive summary: The Marshall School of Business executive MBA offers an interdisciplinary approach with the ability to focus on ‘themes’ as areas of topical expertise during the course of study. Three sessions, two in-country and one international, must be attended during the program.

Tuition: $46,781 per year

Unique features: Students can take the program either at USC or in a satellite location in San Diego, on alternating Fridays and Saturdays. Classes are focused on real-life business applications rather than theory, i.e. students do not take pure economics classes, accounting or the like, instead taking interdisciplinary, practical courses. The USC program also emphasizes saving students time in terms of bureaucracy, so the admissions and other administrative processes are centralized and streamlined for students.

9. University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business Executive MBA

Executive summary: One of the oldest business schools in the nation, Haas offers a collaboration-based EMBA with the option for specialized programs as requested by employers.

Tuition: In-state students pay $46,416 per year, while those from out of state pay $53,396

Unique features: Haas students are not only taught skills, but are offered the correct mindset for solving business problems and optimizing leadership. Many industry and organizational partnerships, as well as a location near Silicon Valley, make this a good choice for those in the technology field.

8. University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive MBA

Executive summary: Ross offers a combination of academic knowledge and real-world leadership skills in its executive MBA. Students are taught to excel in a dynamic and ever-changing business environment.

Tuition: In-state tuition is $47,750 per year; out-of-state is $52,750 per year

Unique features: Customized programs are offered at this highly-ranked institution. A diverse faculty with a wide range of corporate connections enables students to glean valuable insights from a variety of disciplines and across industries.

7. The New York University Stern School of Business

Executive summary: With a strength in research, the NYU Stern School of Business cultivates executive MBAs with thorough knowledge of their disciplines.

Tuition: Full-time: $48,320 per year

Unique features: The NYU Stern EMBA has a strong emphasis on global business and requires two study abroad experiences during the course of study. Students are also encouraged and mentored in collaborative settings, with lots of one-to-one attention. The Stern education also seeks to develop a high emotional intelligence quotient in leaders.

6. UCLA Anderson School of Business

Executive summary: This program focuses on producing executives who are capable of taking action that is, above all, effective in a global sphere. The UCLA EMBA looks at both what it means and what it takes to lead an organization. It is a practical and integrated approach to management with a global focus.

Tuition: $45,386 per year for in-state students and $52,580 per year for out-of-state

Unique features: Towards the end of their executive MBA programs, students take on a seven-month field study in which they consult for multinational corporations. Cooperation, collaborative problem-solving and teamwork are emphasized. Uniquely, Anderson also offers a Strategic Management Research Program, in which EMBA students help companies find the next steps in their corporate strategies.

5. Columbia University Business School

Executive summary: Some would say that New York is the beating heart of capitalism. Perhaps Columbia University, then, offers one of the best educations around for executives wanting to master the capitalist game. Entrepreneurship and an interdisciplinary approach to business are emphasized in this two-year weekend program.

Tuition: Full-time: $55,868 per year

Unique features: Students can either take classes every Saturday, or attend Friday and Saturday of every other week. The program is focused on harnessing opportunities in today’s ever-changing global marketplace, teaching students to think strategically on their feet and immediately identify new prospects, product opportunities and verticals for their companies. Columbia’s deep relationship with New York City and its businesses community is an added bonus.

4. Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Executive summary: Geared specifically at global senior executives, the Fuqua EMBA takes into account the nuances of global leadership, from different economic structures to cultural considerations.

Tuition: Full-time: $50,300 per year

Unique features: Fuqua executive MBA students can take their courses from different locations in the world. Concentrations include strategy, marketing, finance, entrepreneurship and energy/the environment. Fuqua also offers a certificate in health sector management. Short sessions are held on location in North Carolina, London, Russia, Dubai, India, China and Thailand, but most learning is done as a distance course. Students must be willing and able to travel to all locations for their sessions.

3. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business

Executive summary: The Kellogg EMBA cultivates expertise in management and is one of the first executive MBA programs in the United States.

Tuition: Full-time: $54,000 per year

Unique features: Geared for those seeking to excel at general management, the Kellogg EMBA enables students to effectively lead entire organizations, no matter how many departments are involved. Teamwork and relationship-building are emphasized, and an extensive alumni network offers ongoing networking opportunities and lectures for alumni only.

2. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Executive summary: Now at nearly 70 years since its founding, the Chicago Booth School of Business executive MBA is the oldest degreee of its kind in the world. The classical “Chicago school of economics” emphasis on analyzing and solving business problems is emphasized in this rigorous program.

Tuition: Full-time: $53,400 per year

Unique features: Booth EMBA students are taught to solve all levels of business problems, from policy to organizational, operational to those dealing with external relations. Students are educated deeply on managerial accounting, statistics and economics. They come out as expert administrators, with the tools needed to conduct a thorough analysis of business conditions, and the confidence to take initiative.

1. The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Executive summary: Continually ranked one of the top EMBA programs in the world, Wharton’s executive MBA offers students one year of a management core curriculum, followed by a year of field-specific electives. Case studies, simulations, discussions, lectures and guest speakers help Wharton students become some of the world’s best-educated executives.

Tuition: $53,926 per year

Unique features: The Wharton executive MBA program is a weekend residential program that lasts two years, and is taught in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Every other weekend, students attend the program on Fridays and Saturdays, in addition to several longer sessions and a week abroad. Students are expected to study for up to 25 hours per week outside of class.

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