An Executive MBA is an MBA. “Students earn the same MBA degree, and classes have the same rigor and requirements that are found in full-time and part-time MBA programs, says Patty Keegan, Associate Dean, Executive MBA Program North America, at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “At many schools, the same faculty members teach in all MBA Programs.”
The Master of Business Administration is a master’s degree in business administration (management). The MBA degree originated in the United States in the early 20th century when the country industrialized and companies sought scientific approaches to management. The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and operations in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy.
Executive MBA (EMBA) programs developed to meet the educational needs of managers and executives, allowing students to earn an MBA (or another business-related graduate degree) in two years or less while working full-time. Participants come from every type and size of organization – profit, nonprofit, government – representing a variety of industries. EMBA students typically have a higher level of work experience, often 10 years or more, compared to other MBA students.
While Executive MBA programs are sometimes, mistakenly, thought of as part-time programs, their schedules are generally not aligned with the evenings and weekends nature of part-time programs. Executive MBA programs can more accurately be described as “modular” programs, which do require the student to be away from work from time to time, but still allow him or her to work full-time.
Executive MBA programs were initially started as employer-sponsored programs, but almost 50% of EMBA candidates now are self-funded. Since these programs do require the candidate to be away from work (typically between 40 and 60 days over the duration of the program), approval from the employer is required even in the case of self-funded candidates.
The Executive MBA Council was formed in 1981 to accredit schools of business offering EMBA degrees worldwide. The Council has strategic partnerships with Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), Association of MBAs (AMBA), European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD/EQUIS), and Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).