Executive MBA Programs Online
A master’s of business administration (MBA) equips graduates with a valuable skill-set, paying thought to general strategies for success in management or entrepreneurship. Experienced professionals with high leadership aspirations, however, might consider earning an executive MBA (EMBA)—a degree which may even be sponsored by an employer.
In general, traditional MBA programs are designed for students who currently possess a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field, and who already have some work experience. EMBAs, in contrast, are specifically tailored for students who are not only interested in top leadership roles, but also are relatively established in their careers. Of course, there are other differences that distinguish a traditional MBA from an EMBA program. For one, the admissions requirements for EMBA programs are often more rigid than they are for MBA degrees, which may engender a more competitive atmosphere; for example, students in the MBA program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania scored, on average, between 570 and 760 on the GMAT, while the EMBA students had a range of 640-760. Furthermore, students in the MBA program had an average work experience of four years, while those in the EMBA had been working for an average of 11 years before beginning their degree.
The two types of programs also share some similarities, including the time it takes to complete each degree. For example, students at the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech can complete an EMBA in 17 months—a similar time frame to a traditional MBA program. In addition, the EMBA and MBA curricula may boast significant overlap, depending on the institution.
Ultimately, EMBA programs attract seasoned business professionals and these days, one need not live close to a campus to complete these studies. In fact, there’s a growing number of reputable business schools bringing their EMBA programs online to accommodate working professionals, people living far away from campuses, or those with other time commitments.
This guide explores eight reputable online EMBA programs, as well as three well-known professors leading courses at these institutions.
Featured Online Executive MBA Programs
The Carson College of Business at Washington State University offers an online executive MBA program that was ranked 12th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2018). It’s also considered a Tier One program by CEO Magazine. Students in this 44-credit-hour program can graduate in 18 months or longer, and can expect to take courses on subjects such as business analytics, financial management, marketing management, administrative control, and information systems analysis, among others. The program is delivered 100 percent online, although students also have the option of attending a leadership conference and/or completing international field study, as well.
|Location: Pullman, WA|
|Expected Time to Completion: 18 months|
|Estimated Tuition: $51,678.92|
The Howard University School of Business offers an online executive MBA program that students can complete in as few as 18 months of full-time study. Students in this program must complete 42 credit-hours on subjects such as financial accounting, financial management, strategic communications, managerial accounting, and applied economics for executives, among a number of others. Although much of the coursework is delivered online, students are required to participate in an intensive three-week orientation prior to the start of the first semester.
|Location: Washington DC|
|Expected Time to Completion: 18 months|
|Estimated Tuition: $65,900|
Students at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University have the opportunity to complete an online EMBA program in as few as 19 months. Much of this program can be completed online, although students are required to attend a five-day launch week on Purdue’s campus at the beginning of their studies, as well as quarterly on-campus residencies spanning the duration of the program, each of which lasts one to two weeks. This 48-credit-hour program covers courses on accounting, business analytics, managerial economics, and managing behavior in organizations, among others, and allows students to complete a number of immersive and functional electives, as well.
|Location: Lafayette, IN|
|Expected Time to Completion: 19 months|
|Estimated Tuition: $85,000|
At the Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology, students are able to complete an online EMBA in four semesters over the course of 17 months. This 47-credit-hour program allows for either a fall or winter start date, and students take classes on executive leadership, systems support for operations, business simulation, and strategic thinking, among a number of other topics. Much of the program can be completed entirely online, although all students are required to attend a three-day on-campus orientation session before classes begin. In addition, students must also attend an international seminar, which is a seven–to-ten-day business and cultural educational trip near the end of the program.
|Location: Rochester, NY|
|Expected Time to Completion: 17 months|
|Estimated Tuition: $78,000|
Students in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas have the opportunity to complete a hybrid executive MBA degree that takes approximately 24 months. This 38-credit-hour program allows students to focus on certain areas of study, including supply chains, finance, business analytics, innovation and entrepreneurship, and retail. Most of the program can be completed online, although each month students are required to participate in one on-campus interaction that takes place on a Saturday.
|Location: Fayetteville, AK|
|Expected Time to Completion: 24 months|
|Estimated Tuition: $21,779.32 (excluding fees)|
The College of Business at the University of Nevada – Reno offers an online executive MBA program that was ranked among the top 35 in the nation in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report. This 36-credit-hour program takes two years to complete, and includes core courses on statistics for decision-making, economics of the firm, marketing management, and financial management, among others, as well as breadth courses in personal branding, seminar managerial accounting, and strategic management for executives. The entire program is offered online; indeed, while students have the option to take proctored exams on campus, they may also do so via the online program Examity.
|Location: Reno, NV|
|Expected Time to Completion: Two years|
|Estimated Tuition: $30,000|
At the College of Business at the University of North Alabama, students have the opportunity to complete an online EMBA program. This 34-credit-hour program covers a wide array of courses, including those on global business, strategic microeconomic analysis for managers, foundations of business, leadership and MBA essentials, strategic marketing analysis and concepts, and analytical tools for strategic decision-making, among a number of others. Three start dates are offered throughout the year—August, January, and June—and the entirety of the program can be completed online, taking between 12 and 30 months, depending on the course of study.
|Location: Florence, AL|
|Accreditation: AACSB and ACBSP|
|Expected Time to Completion: 12 – 30 months|
|Estimated Tuition: $14,450 (not including course fees)|
The University of Wyoming College of Business offers an online EMBA program that can be completed 100 percent online. This 30-credit program offers one start date per year in the fall, and generally takes two years to complete. Applicants must have at least five years of work experience in order to gain admission, including three or more in a supervisory or managerial role. Additionally, students who do not possess a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field may still gain admission, although they may also be required to take a number of prerequisite courses, including management and organization, introduction to marketing, corporate finance, managerial economics, and production and operations management.
|Location: Laramie, WY|
|Expected Time to Completion: Two years|
|Estimated Tuition: $22,500|
Professors to Know in Online Executive MBA Programs
Business schools with online EMBA programs are led by many talented, experienced professionals. Here are three standout educators from schools with highly regarded distance-based executive MBAs.
Dr. Allison J. Bryant is an associate professor within the School of Business at Howard University, where she also serves as the chair of the Department of Information Systems & Supply Chain Management. Her research focuses on online health information, human information-searching behavior, diversity of the information technology workforce, and the socio-cultural impact of technology. Notably, her work appears in a number of impactful peer-reviewed publications, including the Health Systems Journal, the International Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications, and the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing.
Dr. Ananth Iyer is a senior associate dean at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, where he also works as the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair in Operations Management. Dr. Iyer is also the current director of the Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises (DCMME) and the Global Supply Chain Management Initiative (GSCMI). He is the author of four books, including a textbook on managing supply chains, as well as trade books on Toyota Supply Chains. Furthermore, Dr. Iyer served as the president of the MSOM Society of INFORMS in 2001-03.
Dr. Chip Hunter is the dean of the Carson College of Business at Washington State University. In recognition of his research and leadership, he was recently elected vice-president of the Industry Studies Association. He has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and presentations. His work has been featured in Perspectives on Work, the Academy of Management Journal, and the International Journal of Human Resource Management, among other estimable publications.