The power of differences

Considering an EMBA - EMBA or MBA?

It’s a question on the mind of almost everyone who considers a graduate business degree: What is the difference between all those MBA Programs?

Indeed, most schools offer more than one type of MBA Program – common programs include the full-time MBA, part-time MBA, and Executive MBA. The full-time MBA program resembles its name – it is a full-time commitment with most classes scheduled during the day. Students in part-time MBA programs generally attend classes at night as their schedule allows, which increases the time it takes them to earn the degree.

Enter the Executive MBA Program, an option for business leaders who want to keep working full time but also benefit from the advantages of an MBA program.

The Executive MBA is an MBA: Students receive an MBA education, and, in the vast majority of cases, an MBA degree. In many programs, core classes are the same, no matter the MBA program. But, EMBA Programs differ from full-time and part-time MBA programs in several important ways:

  • Format. EMBA Programs allow business leaders to receive their MBA in two years or less while continuing to work full time. Format options vary from program to program and include all-day classes once a week, monthly or bimonthly weeklong bocks of classes, and many other variations. Most EMBA Programs tend to begin in August, followed by September and January as the other most popular entering times. For start times of programs, visit Search and Compare.
  • Cohort. Generally, EMBA students enter the program, complete classes, and graduate with the same group of students, known as a cohort. Cohorts often turn into a valuable lifelong network that students can tap long after they receive their degree.
  • Services. To address the needs of busy professionals, EMBA Programs offer services that other programs may not. Services for students also will vary by program, but many services, such as taking care of registration, providing meals during classes, and supplying books, are considered staples of the EMBA experience.
  • Opportunities. EMBA Programs emphasize applied learning, leadership and personal skill development, and a global mindset.


Director, Client Engagement

When she decided to return to college, Sue McGinnis considered both a part-time MBA and an Executive MBA.

“The part-time MBA might have taken five years to complete,” says McGinnis, director of client engagement at Ameriprise. “I wondered if this was a good way for me to learn. I couldn’t see dragging myself to classes in the evening after work, and I wanted to be with peers who had significant experience.”

In the end, the decision to choose EMBA seemed clear. “I was attracted to a learning environment with outstanding professors, experienced executives, and a condensed schedule.”