Discover the 10 Best Executive MBA Programs

·6 min read

Executive MBAs can give your career a boost.

Some individuals may not have the time to put their careers on hold to earn an MBA, but an executive MBA can help them boost their career while working. Executive MBA programs supply individuals with the skill set they want from a traditional MBA program but with increased flexibility and leadership training. These programs are typically designed for business leaders who already have an abundance of impressive work experience but who wish to prepare themselves for higher-level executive positions. Here are the top 10 executive MBA programs as ranked by U.S. News.

10. University of California--Los Angeles (Anderson)

Location: Los Angeles

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 18 (tie)

Fact: According to UCLA, the goal of its executive MBA program is to equip students with the "immediate skills" necessary to rise to a higher level of leadership. The school's 22-month EMBA curriculum allows individualization, since students can supplement required core classes with elective coursework that matches their personal interests, the website states.

Learn more about the Anderson School of Management.

9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 5 (tie)

Fact: According to MIT, its EMBA program is intended for "mid-career executives poised at pivotal junctures in their careers." The program lasts 20 months, with classes every three weeks on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, there is a one-week course module every six months and a week spent on a team project. Students also may elect to go on an "immersive international trip," the school website states.

Learn more about the Sloan School of Management.

8. University of California--Berkeley (Haas)

Location: Berkeley, California

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 7 (tie)

Fact: A quarter of the EMBA coursework at Haas involves experiential learning, according to the school. The EMBA curriculum includes various field immersions where students have an opportunity to hone their business skills. One of these immersions focuses on entrepreneurship and involves spending time in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

Learn more about the Haas School of Business.

7. Duke University (Fuqua) (NC)

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 12

Fact: Duke offers a global EMBA program and a weekend EMBA program. The global option lasts 21 months and includes weeklong residencies in Asia, Latin America and Europe, in addition to courses at Duke's Durham campus. The 22-month weekend program is designed to minimize time away from work and family, so students usually meet once a month and complete one three-day weekend residency each month.

Learn more about the Fuqua School of Business.

6. New York University (Stern)

Location: New York City

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 10 (tie)

Fact: Executive MBA students at NYU select 12 elective classes in their second year, which means that they can customize their curriculum. They also can elect to concentrate on one business discipline or specialize in two or three business fields simultaneously. Potential specializations vary widely, from financial instruments and markets to entrepreneurship and innovation.

Learn more about the Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

5. University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (Ross)

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 13 (tie)

Fact: This B-school encourages prospective EMBA students to send a resume to an admissions officer prior to submitting an application so that the official can provide guidance on whether the program is a good fit. EMBA residencies are held once per month in either Los Angeles or Ann Arbor. There are also two joint residencies that bring the two EMBA cohorts together in Ann Arbor. In between those residencies, students interact virtually with teachers and classmates and complete 20 to 25 hours of coursework per week.

Learn more about the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

4. Columbia University (NY)

Location: New York

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 7 (tie)

Fact: During the first academic year of the Columbia EMBA program, students are divided into clusters, which are peer groups with 30 to 70 classmates who complete all of their core courses together. Within the clusters are smaller groups called "learning teams" that include around five students with diverse backgrounds. The program's structure is intended to encourage cross-disciplinary cooperation.

Learn more about Columbia Business School.

3. Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)

Location: Evanston, Illinois

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 4

Fact: Kellogg executive MBA students have the choice of going to class twice a month at the school's Evanston campus or once a month at its Miami campus. The Evanston option has four intensive weeks while the Miami option has three. Students can opt to begin either two-year program in January or September and primarily are in class on the weekends.

Learn more about the Kellogg School of Management.

2. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

Location: Philadelphia

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 2

Fact: EMBA students may participate in the school's executive coaching and feedback program, which is designed to cultivate leadership skills. Each student must receive written endorsement from his or her organization to participate in the 24-month program, which involves Friday-to-Saturday learning sessions on alternating weekends plus some more extensive sessions. The program includes a one-week global experience, according to the school, which states that nearly 40% of each cohort is "originally from outside the U.S."

Learn more about the Wharton School.

1. University of Chicago (Booth)

Location: Chicago

Overall Best Business Schools rank: 3

Fact: Chicago's program dates back to 1943 and claims to be the world's first executive MBA program. It lasts 21 months. Prospective students are encouraged to take the Graduate Management Admission Council's Executive Assessment, a brief standardized test designed for busy, experienced executives who may not have much time to devote to testing and test prep. Results from this exam may be submitted in lieu of GMAT or GRE scores.

Learn more about the Booth School of Business.

Learn more about the best business schools.

Get advice on applying to business school, and explore the Best Business Schools rankings. Stay up to date on education news by following U.S. News Education on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Here are the top 10 executive MBA programs.

1. University of Chicago (Booth)

2. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

3. Northwestern University (Kellogg)

4. Columbia University

5. University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (Ross)

6. New York University (Stern)

7. Duke University (Fuqua)

8. University of California--Berkeley (Haas)

9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)

10. University of California--Los Angeles (Anderson)

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