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Best Executive MBA Programs

As a manager, you might think you are at the top of the game. But many ambitious managers in your situation are not content with the pace at which things are moving. They are signing up for the best executive MBA programs in the world in order to keep the career graph growing. They aren’t content with the steep, though linear trajectories they already have. They are looking for exponential growth. They want to convert the ‘Manager’ tag into ‘CEO’ sooner than their regular HR policies would allow.

If you hope to get to the top of your game, you should check out some of the top Executive MBA programs in USA, India, UK or anywhere that you are currently working. See if it is something that’ll boost your career prospects.

The best part about the top tier Executive MBA programs is that you don’t need to leave your high paying jobs and your senior manager titles. You don’t need to put on the brakes on your career in order to get retrained. After over 10 years of working in stressful jobs, you might already be good at multi-tasking and time management. Use this to your advantage, and add a new activity to your list – getting one of the best Executive MBA program on your resume.

Executive MBA vs full time MBA

Now, don’t get carried away thinking you can have your cake and eat it too. There are some sacrifices you’d need to make when you choose an Executive MBA over a regular Full-time MBA.

You’ll study with some of the best colleagues from many industries, but the immersive experience will be missing. You’ll keep getting your monthly salary in your bank account, but the probability of a radical career change go down significantly. You win some, you lose some in the Executive MBA vs Full-time MBA battle.

Once you’ve done that analysis, it’s time to move on to learning more about the top Executive MBA programs in your region.

Best executive MBA programs

We have referred to some of the best Executive MBA rankings published by Financial Times, BusinessWeek, U.S. News, Wall Street Journal. Poets & Quants has an interesting take on Executive MBA rankings. It takes the leading Exec MBA rankings and assigns weights to come up with composite EMBA rankings.

When you look at those EMBA rankings (and the reader comments and reactions that follow), you might wonder why eighty percent of the bschools are from USA. You might also wonder why 3 out of the 4 top Executive MBA rankings are published by American publications. Are the top Executive MBA programs in USA getting extra luurrve for that reason?

There may be many such questions to which we don’t have concrete answers.

So, given the greater uncertainty around the EMBA ranking criteria and methodology, for our list, we’ve decided to skip the Executive MBA rankings and just focus on the bschool names and their locations.

Here’s a list of the best executive MBA programs in USA, UK, France, and across the world.

Best Executive MBA in Canada

Western Ontario (Ivey) Canada
Queen’s Canada


Best Executive MBA in Europe (UK, Spain, France, Switzerland)

IE Business School Spain
IESE Business School Spain
IMD Switzerland
London Business School UK
Oxford (Said) UK


Best Executive MBA programs in Asia

Chinese Univ. Hong Kong Hong Kong


Best Executive MBA in India


If you are wondering why the one year full-time MBA programs offered by ISB Hyderabad / Mohali (PGP), IIMA PGPX, IIMB EPGP, IIMC PGPX, XLRI GMP et al are not listed as the best executive MBA courses in India, that’s because these are regular full-time MBA programs and not Executive MBA.

Read this post –> Executive MBA vs MBA for Executives – The Big Indian Confusion

Best Executive MBA courses in USA

Pennsylvania (Wharton) USA
Chicago (Booth) USA
Northwestern (Kellogg) USA
Columbia USA
New York (Stern) USA
UCLA (Anderson) USA
Michigan (Ross) USA
Cornell (Johnson) USA
Texas-Austin (McCombs) USA
Southern Cal (Marshall) USA
UNC (Kenan-Flagler) USA
Duke (Fuqua) USA
Washington (Olin) USA
Emory (Goizueta) USA
Ohio State (Fisher) USA
Maryland (Smith) USA
Thunderbird USA
UC-Irvine (Merage) USA
Vanderbilt (Owen) USA
Rice (Jones) USA
Illinois-Urbana Champaign USA
Notre Dame (Mendoza) USA
UC-Berkeley (Haas) USA
Arizona State (Carey) USA
Boston University USA
Rutgers University USA
Georgetown (McDonough) USA
Cornell/Queen’s USA
Texas-Dallas USA
Minnesota (Carlson) USA
Texas A&M (Mays) USA
Fordham USA
Pittsburgh (Katz) USA
Georgia (Terry) USA
Temple (Fox) USA
Rochester (Simon) USA
Tulane (Freeman) USA
Georgia Tech (Scheller) USA
SUNY-Buffalo USA
Denver (Daniels) USA

There are many more top Executive MBA programs that we haven’t listed here. Selecting Executive MBA courses is less complicated compared to full-time MBA because you are restricted to a smaller geographic circle. You’ll have to select a program that allows you to attend to your professional and academic responsibilities.

Read this related post:
Is Executive MBA (EMBA) worth it or not?
Executive MBA ROI and salaries in USA, Canada, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia
Executive MBA: How Priti got into Columbia with a 570 GMAT score
Michigan Ross Executive MBA after MS in USA
Chicago Booth Executive MBA admit for Indian Architect
Best Part-time MBA in California: UCLA Anderson (FEMBA) and Berkeley Haas

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

28 thoughts on “Best Executive MBA Programs”

  1. Executive MBA in India is a waste of time and money. Ignore. You will end up disappointed.

    Executive MBA programs from Virginia (Darden), INSEAD or London Business School are good. You may expect some change in your trajectory. But again, they are expensive. Check if your employer can sponsor you. Most of the candidates in these programs are sponsored.

  2. Are the PGPx courses in India (A, B, C, ISB) really executive MBA courses, coz EMBA programs are part time to meet executive needs? Confused to see them listed as “Best Executive MBAs in India” – seems a paradoxical statement

  3. @MBA Hopeful: Thanks for sharing your views. Any specific reasons why you feel so strongly about the value of Executive MBA in India. Some good, objective, balanced perspectives would help folks reading this and wondering which way to go.

    @Jigs: There is no paradox. The full-time 1 year MBA programs in India (like PGPX) are NOT Executive MBA programs, and therefore not included in the list.
    ISB and IIMs offer part-time management programs as well, with varying durations and formats.
    For instance, ISB PGP is a regular full-time MBA, while PGPMAX is an Executive MBA equivalent. IIMs lump many of these under Management Development Programs.

    While publishing the list, I was secretly hoping that the confusion doesn’t seep into this list. But from your comment, seems like it has. Thanks for highlighting it. We’ve simplified the list and moved the paragraph explaining the difference higher up. Let me know if it still looks confusing.

    • Is there anyway to opt for EMBA from oxford while we are at bangalore, any provisions to do it online or do we need to work in the U.K. in order to opt for an EMBA?

  4. Dear Sumeet Kumar,
    Myself Rajesh Malani (45) is a Chartered Accountant practicing in SURAT since last 22 Years in the area of I.Tax, Audit, Business / Management Consulting and Project Financing from Banking Institutions. My client base includes lower to medium level Businessmen. There are 3 CAs in my Family already working with me. I have completed my CA securing 6th Rank in India in 1991and also completed Company Secretary Exam securing 2nd Rank in India. Since last few years i have started feeling that i need to scale up myself in terms of my activity level / thinking level in any of the following ways:-
    (1) I want to penetrate into the League of Big Clients by providing them some Big / Innovative ideas.
    (2) I may also join some Big Business Houses as an entrepreneur with my Experience / Knowledge / Managerial skill.
    (3) I may start some new / innovative venture of my own.
    Pl. guide me whether the Exe MBA / 1Yr MBA is going to help me to achieve my new Goal and if, yes, then which are the best suitable to me.

  5. Sumeet kumar??? Sirji, yeh sahab kaun hai?

    I’ll pretend my self esteem wasn’t completely shattered by that and move on.

    A one year MBA in India or abroad can help. But your goals need to have more clarity. Right now your plans seem all over the place, as they are going from penetration (point 1) to innovation (point 3).

    You’ve done brilliantly in the CA and CS exams. Need some more focus here too, bro.

  6. Date: 10th July 2013,

    Dear Mr. Sameer Kamat,

    yes, I agree that I am confused regarding the direction of scaling up. I want to know whether the Executive MBA (1 Yr) Program will help me:-
    1.To shape me for future plan of action
    2.To scale up in thinking process / managerial skill,
    3.To focus on any particular venture to achieve the desired Goal.

  7. Rajesh: To a limited extent (compared to full-time programs) all those points are possible. But keep your expectations from these programs in check. Expecting too much will cause disappointment.

  8. Hi Sameer,

    I am a working professional with 9.5 years of experience. Looking to pursue a one year MBA program (executive or Full time). As is the case with many, I am confused on the where, what, which etc. Can you share some pointers on how to get started on this.

    Ganesh K S

  9. Ganesh: For full-time MBA, an easy filter to start off with is the geography where you want to work. The choice of schools will be influenced by that.
    For executive MBA programs, you are bound by where you are currently working.

  10. Hi Sameer,
    I am a practicing doctor for the past 16 years and apart from this I am also managing a50 bedded hospital in india.Last year I had this opportunity to work in one of the leading corporate hospitals in northerner india as a medical superitendent and this brought in me a feeling that in order to understand the whole system ,I need to equip myself with a mba.I am planning to enroll myself in the PGMAX programme offered by ISB.My question to you is that unlike other executives who opt for this programme have loads of corporate expeirence which I don’t have and will in any way hinder my getting a good management post in the healthcare sector after completion of the course

  11. Hi Sameer,

    This is Siddharth Shah. I have 8 + years of experience in IT Project Management, Consulting, Delivery and Support with a big IT Org. I have played substantial roles in Pre Sales and client engagement and with all modesty can claim to have good communication skills. I have the distinct experience of working in three different geographies across India, Europe and North America.

    I am currently contemplating to pursue IIM Indore’s PGPMX offered from their Mumbai Campus. This course is only for working executives and coducted on alternate weekends over 2 years. The topics, electives and other details of this course are similar to any residential PGP MBA offered by IIM Indore. The only caveat with this course is its non residential format and classrom schedules( 2 weekends in a month). As one would expect, IIM Indore does not offer placement services for this course as the expectation is to have passouts continue with their employers . However my employer does not recognize this course and does make give any assurance of a post course employee realignment. Secondly IIM Indore would mention on the course certificate ‘Alternate Weekend Course’ when awarded.

    My questions to you are

    1: Acceptance of such a non-residential alternate weekend MBA Grad by the Corporate World as against a Full Time Two Year Conventional MBA Grad
    2: Relevance of this course. Does its alternate weekend style take away any credit even though its being conducted IIM Indore.

    I’d like to get these points discussed before I can dig deeper.


  12. @Amarpreet: Executive MBA programs in India or abroad aren’t designed for career changers. You could reach out to ISB to check your eligibility, but be careful about what you are expecting from the experience.

    @Siddharth: No matter what the brochures say (about syllabus, electives etc), if you manage to get anything more than a knowledge upgrade from Executive MBA, consider it a bonus. A part-time, distance MBA will not get the same respect from the corporate world that has a huge supply of full-time grads waiting in the queue.

  13. hi Sameer,

    My name is babu and i am currently work as a National Manager for Sales for Multinational org. I have a MBA too from Bangalore University ( 1999-2001).

    I am considering INSEAD, ILIPSIE program to propel my thinking & career change in medium to long-term.

    My questions –
    1. Is ILIPSIE industry considered for career prospects
    2.considering a huge investment, does it make sense to take a break and do full time from a MIT or Wharton.

    pls advise.



  14. Hi Sameer,

    I have been going through the discussions on the forum and wanted to ask you something. I am a commerce graduate, 38 years of age with nearly 12 years of experience in sales and business development. I am presently working in a mid level management position.

    Due to certain personal reasons, I have not been able to pursue any management qualification but am considering one now.

    Can you please suggest me some options for executive mba (including distance learning and e-learning courses) at reasonable cost?

    Your advice will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks & Regards,

  15. Sameer,

    I am a Middle-level manager for a team of 15 engineers and staying in Chennai. I am 36 years old ad have total of 16 years experience on heavy and construction Engineering. Whole of my career,I spent in product development.

    I would like to know the Executive MBA options available.Due to personal reason I won;t be able to quit my job and take a full time course.

    May I know the options of pursuing Executive MBA either Part time or remotely.

    Thanks and regards

  16. Hi I am a senior Engineer working in Engineering company and I am a Diploma ( Mech ) ,BE Mech and have 25 years of experience and want to have MBA executive program from Karnataka open University. Can you please let me know Whether it will be useful for my growth for senior positions. or please suggest is ok with KSOU please advice.

  17. sir, what type of executive mba courses which are for 6 months and these are related to distance education and held by iims nd related to airtel company.

  18. Hello, I am a Sr mgr managing operations for an outsourced UK process in a third party contact center. I have an overall 15 years of experience in this industry. I have been thinking to upgrade my skills by taking up a part time MBA more like an online course as my current work responsibilities do not allow me to constantly be off over the weekend, neither am I in situation to leave my job and take up a full time MBA course. I have recently received calls on a following course – Executive Programme in Project Management from IIM, Rohtak and as I was looking at completing PMP certification, I wanted to clarify if this online course from IIM Rohtak is worth taking up instead of PMP. Can you throw some light to help me decide if I should go for this course or consider an alternate option or just go for PMP certification?

  19. Hii am SURAKSHITH am a civil engineer. I went few more details about this executive MBA. I want to know the course structure and the benifits of doing it being a civil engineer and how to purcieve it and any other info relevant..thank you

  20. Dear Sameer,
    I am having around 13 years exp. in top Indian PSU. I have grades 10th 76%, 12th 72%, B.Tech 72% and M. Tech IITK 76%(converted). I am planning to move ahead with MBA/PGPX and leave my job. Whether i will get suitable job/profile opportunity after MBA/PGPX ? Which one will be better , a 2-year MBA or PGPX wrt job opportunity or should i go for MBA abroad (whether they offer schol??). Will I be an odd man out being 40+ ?? Mty exp. is in Supply chain.
    pls advise.


  21. Hello Sameer,

    I am T Roy with 18 yrs experience with B.E. in Mechanical. I am currently working as Project Director in Renewable Power Sector in one of the biggest multinational in the world. Now i feel to lift myself to the next level – general management or other sectors by enhancing my knowledge, education…But not sure exactly which course will help me there.

    Thanks to advise.

  22. Hi Sameer,

    I enjoyed the insightful post – but more than that, I enjoyed your reposes above to the queries/comments. 🙂


  23. Hi
    I am not sure if Sameer still reads the comments coming to this post. But a question for which answer is most welcome from anyone.

    How about the PGPpro from ISB which is launched in 2016 I think. Does it make it to this list?

    br, Kanthaa


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