The Top 5 EMBA Programs: Which Schedule is Right for You?

Posted By SWatts on Mar 28, 2014 |

From The Staff of MBA
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The Top 5 EMBA Programs: Which Schedule is Right for You?

All of the top executive MBA programs offer schedules that are flexible for professionals. For EMBAs, the best schools understand that continuing down an undisturbed career path can be just as important – if not more important – than pursuing an MBA. Each school’s EMBA schedules have been carefully crafted to take into consideration commuting time, strategic location, ability to provide top-rate education, and ability to provide a work-life balance. Read on to find out which school’s schedule might be best for you.


The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton EMBA takes place over a 24-month period. Classes meet on alternate weekends on Friday/Saturday, with several extended sessions and a 1-week international study trip, where students venture with their cohort to a foreign country to witness firsthand business growth, entrepreneurship, market dynamics, and other aspects of business building. Locations are offered on the home Philadelphia campus, as well as in San Francisco, the gateway to the Pacific. That said, Wharton EMBA students are required to travel to Philadelphia or San Francisco on alternate weekends to attend classes. The weekend schedule typically begins on 8 a.m. Saturday mornings and concludes by 4 p.m. on Saturday, giving students enough time to book a flight or travel home on Saturday afternoon or Sunday. Additionally, students in the residential EMBA program form tight bonds as they not only learn together, but also live together on campus.

Schedule: Alternate weekends Friday/Saturday

Times: 8 a.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday

Global Requirements: 1-week international study trip

Locations: San Francisco and Philadelphia


Columbia Business School at Columbia University

Columbia offers working professionals five EMBA program options. The first EMBA option is the Friday/Saturday Program, where students who cannot take a large part of time away from work can meet on alternate weekends, completing the program in a total of 20 months at the New York campus. Second, the Saturday Program meets every Saturday over the course of 24 months at the New York campus and is the same as the Friday/Saturday Program except aimed toward those wish to enhance their career education but cannot take time away from the work week. In addition to these two staple programs, Columbia offers three additional global and partner programs. Among these programs is the EMBA-Global Program, taught in partnership with London Business School (LBS). The EMBA-Global Asia Program similarly runs in a partnership with LBS and the University of Hong Kong, allowing students to travel between Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, and New York under the same guidelines as the EMBA-Global Program. Finally, CBS’ most recently launched program is the EMBA-Global Americas Program, which allows students to travel between CBS’ New York campus, Silicon Valley, and Latin America.

Friday/Saturday Program: Meets alternate weekends Friday/Saturday in New York

Saturday Program: Meets every Saturday in New York

EMBA Americas: Meets once a month, primarily in New York. During the first year, students will have one weeklong meeting in Silicon Valley, Toronto, and São Paulo

EMBA Global Americas and Europe: Meets monthly, alternating between London and New York

EMBA Global Asia: Meets monthly, primarily in Hong Kong, as well as Shanghai, London and New York


Sloan School of Management at MIT

The Sloan schedule has been crafted to give the busy executive a flexible curriculum without sacrificing a well-rounded experience. Classes typically meet once every three weeks for a total of 26 weekend sessions for hands-on skills development, and a one-week international project trip during the capstone Global Organizations Lab (GO-Lab) action learning experience. Students also take four six- to nine-day executive modules, spread six months apart, featuring topics such as Leadership and Integrative Management, Innovation Driven Entrepreneurial Advantage, Leading in a Global Context, and Leading Complex Organizations. Through these modules, students form close bonds with fellow future leaders and professors, creating lifelong links to the MIT community.

Schedule: Friday/Saturday sessions, generally three weeks apart; electives offered Wednesdays/Thursdays or Fridays/Saturdays

Global Requirements: Global Organizations Lab (GO-Lab), a one-week project trip to multiple company sites worldwide

Other Requirements: Four executive modules, six to nine days long and spread six months apart

Locations: MIT home campus


Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago

Booth offers its students classes on three continents: North America, Asia and Europe. Booth EMBA students have the option to choose between four campuses: the Chicago campus, the London campus, the Singapore campus, and the new Hong Kong campus. The first cohort for the Hong Kong campus will begin in June of 2014. All students attend global study trips during the first quarter of study, spending three weeks in Chicago, one in London, and one in Singapore. For the remaining six quarters, students take primarily weekend courses at their home campus while occasionally traveling to Chicago for an elective session and convocation with all executive students.

Schedule: Weekend schedules change by location

Global Requirements: Three weeks in Chicago, one in London, and one in Singapore

Locations: Chicago, London, Singapore, Hong Kong 


Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Kellogg offers four schedules for its students: home campus in Evanston, starting either in January or September; or home campus in Miami, starting either in January or September. For the Evanston sessions, classes meet twice monthly, while classes meet monthly for the Miami sessions. In addition to this, all students commit to Residential Weeks at their home campus. The first “Live-In” week is at the beginning of the first academic year, when each class comes together for an intense week of study. In addition to Live-In week, students also participate in an International Live-In week. Kellogg EMBA students join at the Evanston campus with students from Kellogg partner schools to create an international learning experience. Throughout the week, students manage crises, negotiate and learn cultural competence. No matter your workload or personal schedule, Kellogg provides the flexibility in its schedule to cater to each student’s work-life balance.

Schedule/Times: One weekend per month from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning for the Miami option; two weekends per month from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening for the January start in Evanston; two weekends per month from Friday afternoon to Sunday noon for the September start in Evanston

Other Requirements: Three weeks live-in required for the Miami options; four weeks live-in required for the January start in Evanston; four weeks live-in for the September start in Evanston

Locations: Miami or Evanston