An Executive Master’s of Business Administration can be a beneficial program for seasoned business professionals and managers looking for an even greater comprehension and understanding of the concepts and practices that result in leadership success at the executive level. Many EMBA programs feature an even more rigorous curriculum, higher standards, and greater academic accountability than their traditional MBA program counterparts. Generally speaking, Executive MBA students are working professionals with often a decade or more of managerial experience who are looking to apply business concepts within the scope of their current professional work environment. Since many of these professionals already have the responsibility of overseeing organizations and personnel, the executive programs offered by many of the nation’s top schools offer flexible scheduling of courses to work around these demands. It is very common for an EMBA program to be designed as a hybrid experience allowing its students to benefit from on-campus learning and international residencies. Another common component of a program such as this involves cohort-based curriculums and work groups that are established and remain a cohesive unit throughout the term of the program. While residencies and demanding coursework does put a higher level of responsibility on the distance learner, a benefit to such circumstances is the ability for the professional to apply many of the concepts learned in the classroom to the office in real time.
One of the most common admission requirements for an EMBA is the submission of a GMAT score. Designed by the Graduate Management Admission Council, the GMAT has been a tool business schools have used for over 60 years to determine if a student is best-prepared for the challenges of higher education. As GMAC explains, “The GMAT exam will help you stand out during the admissions process. The GMAT exam is the most widely used and trusted indicator of academic success in MBA and other graduate business degree programs. In fact, 9 out of 10 MBA admissions decisions are made using a GMAT score.” It is commonly recommended that students needing to take the GMAT begin preparing between two and four months before the test date.
A vital part of the acceptance process for an EMBA program is the interview between candidate and business school committee. This typically takes place once a student has submitted all transcripts, test scores, statements of purpose, resume, and any other resources the business school may request. Once the admissions committee has reviewed these materials an interview is conducted so both parties can get a better understanding of the unknowns and see if there is a good fit between program and student. The interview is a way for the committee to be able to evaluate the candidate’s readiness for the demands of higher education. Character traits are discussed and the committee may attempt to forecast a student’s competence as a team player and organization leader. The time frame from application submission to final acceptance could take as few as six weeks or over three months depending on a business school’s procedures.
Some of the nation’s best Online Executive MBA programs clearly state the selective nature within their admissions process. Duke University, for example, offers a Global Executive MBA within the Fuqua School of Business featuring an elite accreditation and high marks for student satisfaction. The business school encourages students to email and/or call the admissions office as a first step to have any questions answered about the program. “Because ‘fit’ is so important when deciding on an MBA program, we encourage you to determine if your story and motivations are a good match for Fuqua—and vice versa.” The Fuqua School of Business recommends students to have at least five years of professional experience, show competency through a high GMAT score, and submit materials like a current resume, essays, letters of recommendation, and letters of support from current employers. These materials are then utilized as support resources during the candidate’s interview and acceptance process.