Executive MBA (EMBA) programs are geared toward enhancing the careers of working executives, many of whom are company sponsored. These programs are for professionals who are already specialists in a field or industry and need to hone their general management skills to continue up the corporate ladder.

  • Enrollment is often tied to a new or anticipated promotion.
  • Students' professional experience and expertise become part of the fabric of the curriculum.
  • Classes typically meet on Fridays and Saturdays, usually on alternate weekends, over two academic years.
  • EMBA programs offer full immersion, with learning outside the classroom and extensive faculty and student/team interaction.

EMBA Programs Differ from Full-Time Programs

  • Because they are fully employed, EMBA students do not hold internships between their first and second years of school.
  • University scholarships are generally not available for EMBA students, but loan programs such as the Graduate Management Admission Council's MBA LOANS are.
  • There is limited or no opportunity to specialize. Students all take the same general management curriculum at the same time, rather than core courses one year and electives the next.

Executive MBA Advantages

EMBA programs have several advantages for executives who need career-broadening management training:

  • They feature a well-constructed curriculum of several courses in each of the major business disciplines.
  • They usually do not require permanent relocation, making them good for those who can travel virtually anywhere on a regular basis.
  • EMBAs earn their degree in two years or less, faster than their part-time counterparts.

Executive MBA Limitations

EMBA programs require a high level of commitment from the students, their families, and their employers.

  • Most EMBA students put in 80 to 100 hours a week between job and school.
  • Employers must agree to give EMBA students time off from work to attend classes.
  • Because classroom time can be squeezed into four days per month, absences from class are not tolerated.

In addition, company-sponsored EMBA students generally do not take part in career services activities to avoid a conflict of interest.