The decision to return to school for an Executive Master of Business Administration, or EMBA, degree is an important one. The curriculum is rigorous, but the degree will ultimately help you hone valuable leadership skills, focus on your long term career goals, and secure your place as a high level employee or executive.
Since the EMBA degree is available online and can be completed by those with traditional work schedules, it is a good option for professionals who want to advance their education and careers without drastically changing their lives.
The Top EMBA Programs for Busy Professionals
Looking for a great school with a quality Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program? See the programs that top our list:
University of Nevada — Reno
The Executive Online MBA degree offered by the University of Nevada, Reno ranks No. 1 in graduation rates for students taking an online MBA program. It was ranked at #33 by U.S. News and World Report in their 2018 annual ranking of best online programs. The program was designed to fit the lifestyles of business professionals who would find it difficult to take courses on campus.
The program consists of 12-courses offered over two years. The online environment is designed to allow students to build relationships with fellow cohorts starting the EMBA curriculum at the same time. The school makes it possible for all of them to communicate freely about coursework and projects worked on as part of the program.
Students must complete two courses during each semester held during the Fall, Spring, and Summer, submitting completed coursework online for each 12-week class. EMBA students should expect to take at least one proctored examination per class.
Admissions to the University of Nevada, Reno EMBA program requires students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university. They must have a GPA of at least 2.75 out of 4.0 and have five or more years of work experience outside of any internships.
Tuition for each semester comes to a total of $30,000. Students can make installment payments during each semester of $5,000 to help manage the costs of the program. They can also apply for financial aid through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
University of California-Irvine
The University of California-Irvine is a research institution located in Orange County, Ca. This school offers a highly regarded graduate program at the Paul Merage School of Business, including a 21-month EMBA program provided in an every 3-weekend format. It is intended for students currently employed as managers, executives, and directors who wish to develop skills like agility, creative thinking, and anticipating opportunities in emerging technologies.
The Paul Mirage School of Business consistently ranks among the top accredited business schools in the country. It also ranks No. 5 among having students obtain employment within 90 days of graduating and No. 1 in the percentage of women among its faculty and students. The average age of students is around 40 years old, with most having an average of 16 years of work experience.
Classes for the program begin each September and are offered for seven consecutive quarters, including a single summer, for students wishing to pursue their EMBA full-time. The school holds classes on Fridays from 3:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Basic courses provide education in topics based around business foundations, elective flexibility in pursuing professional goals, and immersive business experiences. Students can also specialize in three different tracks: Digital Transformation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Real Estate and Urban Development.
Admission requirements for the school include providing official transcripts from any institutions from where the student received their undergraduate degree. Students must also submit two letters of recommendation, two essays, a current resume, undergo a personal interview, and receive an executive assessment.
Total tuitions costs for the program came to $113,211 as of the 2017-2018 school year. Students should keep checking for changes in tuition costs for each school year.
Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX offers a 36-course online EMBA program. It emphasizes banking and finance, helping graduates move up into leadership positions within those industries. The program focuses on assisting students in learning to make decisions within the environment of a dynamic financial institution.
It is a competitive program, with slots limited to 25 students per year. Students must agree to attend a two-week residency at the start of the fall semester. Students can then complete the 18 hours of coursework required each year 100 percent online. Sam Houston also coordinates with the Graduate School of Banking at SMU, located in Dallas, Texas, to allow graduates of that program to take up to nine hours of coursework towards an Executive MBA.
Students looking to apply to the online EMBA program must provide an official transcript from an accredited four-year institution. Those without a four-year degree must be able to prove they have at least three years of professional experience working in a regulatory or banking position. Applicants must also submit a copy of their current resume and make themselves available for an in-person or telephone interview with one of the EMBA academic advisors from the university.
Total costs for the online EMBA program come to $36,000 for domestic students. International students can expect to pay $52,000. A payment of $18,000 for domestic students or $26,000 for international students is due by June 1st of each academic year. These fees cover the cost of tuition, additional course fees, books, and housing for the two-week required residency period.
Colorado State University — Global Campus
The EMBA program offered by Colorado State University’s global campus covers five semesters, including one summer. It is ideal for Colorado business professionals looking for the convenience of online learning while still having the chance to have face-to-face interactions with fellow students and teachers. Students will spend 60 percent of their time on-campus during Saturday meetings in Denver, and 40 percent completing online learning.
Students must complete 36 credits worth of core curriculum along with six elective credits. They will cover subjects like leadership, marketing, business analysis, information technology, e-business, strategic management, and team dynamics. Participants in the EMBA program will also travel overseas and take a tour of international companies, giving them a global perspective on business functions.
Applicants to the program must have an undergraduate degree and have maintained a degree of at least 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale. They must also have at least eight years of professional work experience. International applicants must show proof of having achieved a minimum TOEFL score of 86, an IELTS score of at least 6.5, or a PTA score of at least 58.
Tuition costs as of 2018 came to $1,831 per credit hour. Completion of the entire 42-credit curriculum would come to around $76,902.
University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill
This university was founded in 1789 and is a public institution located in Chapel Hill, NC. The school ranked at No. 30 in the 2019 list of Best National Universities, according to U.S. News and World Report. The EMBA program offered by the Kenan-Flagler Business School ranks among the top 10 nationally, with their professors rating an “A” by Bloomberg Business based on classroom impact.
UNC-Chapel Hill’s EMBA program fosters collaboration among its students in the hopes of helping them build lasting relationships that extend out into the real business world. Students can participate in either the evening program, which takes 24 months to complete or the evening program, which takes 20 months to complete. Both build foundational knowledge in core curriculum while providing a variety of electives that target their interests.
Students also have the option of pursuing the Global OneMBA track. It teaches students how to leverage leadership on a global level by encouraging participation in diverse teams that expand their knowledge of markets around the world. Students can choose from four different countries and immerse themselves in a new culture that provides practical experience that participants can apply to real-world scenarios.
Students must have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of professional experience before applying to the program. They must provide a GMAT or GRE score unless they qualify for a waiver. The school also looks at an applicant’s demonstrated leadership and communication skills.
Prospective EMBA participants must also demonstrate basic business knowledge in subjects like economics, accounting, statistics, and finance. They must also show their proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint along with competence executing statistical and financial functions.
Students would be responsible for $88,608 in costs for the program upon entry into the October 2019 evening MBA program, payable in six installments over a 24-month program. The weekend MBA program costs would be $119, 305, payable in five installments, during the 20-month program. The totals include tuition, books, meals, and any needed overnight accommodations.
Pursuing an EMBA Degree
The best executive masters of business administration degree programs offer the flexibility that working professionals need coupled with a rigorous curriculum that can help them hone important skills. The degree programs tend to cater to professionals who have experience in leadership roles and want to advance even further.