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by Vault Education Editors | October 01, 2010


This week, The Wall Street Journal released its biannual ranking of the Top 25 Executive MBA Programs. Since the economic crisis, EMBA programs have done a lot of changing. Fewer employers have been able to sponsor students earning the degree, and more students are looking to change careers rather than advance at their current employer (35 percent said a career change was their biggest reason for pursuing an EMBA; only 29 percent said getting a promotion). Clearly, EMBA programs are being pulled in two different directions. When companies do sponsor their executives, they expect a clear return on investment; and students expect better career coaching and recruiting opportunities, especially since more and more are paying their own way (36 percent this year). So how was WSJ able to balance these two factions in their ranking? By creating two.

Top 10 EMBA Programs

  1. The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania)
  2. Olin Business School (Washington University in St. Louis)
  3. Thunderbird
  4. Marshall School of Business (University of Southern California)
  5. Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University)
  6. Mendoza College of Business (University of Notre Dame)
  7. Stern School of Business (New York University)
  8. The Johnson School (Cornell University)
  9. Columbia Business School NY Program
  10. Kenan-Flagler Business School (University of North Carolina)

The Wharton School came out on top overall, up from No. 2 in 2008. The school has increased both its elective curriculum (for companies looking for their execs to specialize) and career counseling (for students hoping to change careers). Based purely on business and management skills (from the graduate perspective), Thunderbird is No. 1. Based on corporate skills (from the employer perspective), the Kellogg School of Management leads the pack.


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