Executive MBA Courses


Published August 29, 2023

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Executive MBAs teach essential leadership and analysis skills to experienced professionals. Learn about the courses offered in these programs and other requirements.

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Executive MBAs (EMBAs) focus on enrolling professionals with multiple years of work experience that want to earn degrees while maintaining employment. Individuals often choose these programs for their scheduling flexibility, weekend classes, and educational value.

Traditional MBAs and executive MBAs may have identical curricula within universities but differ in pace with part-time enrollment. Executive MBAs continue to grow in popularity. From 2020-2021, the number of applicants for executive MBA courses grew by 17%, according to the Executive MBA Council.

The proportion of women in executive MBA programs has also grown and reached 33.4% in 2021. Graduates with EMBAs earn an average base salary of $127,000, according to Payscale data from July 2023.

This guide covers executive MBA courses, along with additional requirements and frequently asked questions for prospective enrollees.

Executive MBA Curriculum

Executive MBA curricula differ in course offerings and program length. While traditional MBA degrees take 1-2 years, executive MBAs can take 2-4 since they are part time. Attendees take 40-60 credit hours of courses during their enrollment.

Enrollees learn a mixture of hard and soft skills. Future executives and managers can learn the importance of employee development, decision-making, and analysis. EMBAs include a combination of core courses and electives. The following list covers some common executive MBA courses.

Common Executive MBA Courses

  • Corporate Finance

    This course teaches valuation and corporate financial policy principles. Topics include discounted cash flow models, capital asset pricing, and investment decisions in different environments.
  • Regression Analysis

    Professionals can use this type of statistical tool to predict future sales and other variables via historical data. Students learn to use regressions, display results, and determine the validity of models.
  • Financial Accounting

    This class covers basic accounting principles and financial statement analysis. Executive MBA graduates can use this knowledge to assist with managerial planning and decision-making in the future.
  • Negotiation Strategies

    Instructors host mock situations and business dealings to simulate real-world professional scenarios. Coursework covers the fundamentals of negotiation tactics and how to use them in multicultural and multiparty situations.
  • Strategic Crisis Management

    Future managers and executives often encounter stressful situations and emergencies in the workplace. Enrollees learn to handle these situations, communicate with third parties, and overcome regulatory issues.
  • Leadership in Organizations

    Enrollees explore the optimization of organizational structures and how to resolve office politics issues. The course also covers methods to motivate, evaluate, and award employees.
  • Marketing

    Many businesses rely on marketing and obtaining new customers to grow. Classes in this subject discuss target audiences, consumer behavior, and competitive advantages. Individuals may need to present marketing plans to demonstrate their mastery of topics.
  • Professional Responsibility

    Professionals must act responsibly when working within companies and with outside parties. Students learn to think critically about the intended and unintended consequences of their actions and how a free market relies on laws, ethics, and democracy.
  • Entrepreneurial Ventures

    Enrolled EMBA students may already be entrepreneurs or have entrepreneurial ambitions. This course discusses entrepreneurship and how to evaluate potential opportunities. Attendees study the startup process, including marketing and talent acquisition.
  • Global Finance

    This course focuses on the increasingly global nature of business deals. Graduates can determine the value of cross-border deals by using financial principles. This course discusses interest rates, inflation rates, and strategic thinking to determine opportunity feasibility.

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Other Requirements for EMBA Programs

EMBA attendees have additional requirements for graduation beyond taking classes. Students may need to attend global business events or immersive experiences. Global business events allow learners to work with executives in foreign countries to solve local issues. Immersive experiences connect attendees with startups and innovators to learn about launching new businesses.

Enrollees may also need to complete capstone projects. These courses typically require enrollees to create theoretical startups or solve existing business issues. Students often present their finished projects to professors and peers.

Unlike other graduate programs, executive MBAs do not expect students to complete internships or theses. Instead, executive MBA programs require applicants to have a full-time job with a specific amount of work experience. A student's work experience may have occurred in various industries to qualify.

Common Questions About Executive MBA Courses

Is an Executive MBA program hard?

Executive MBAs have a similar difficulty to traditional MBAs and other business-related graduate degrees. Enrollees learn hard and soft skills, pass tests, and potentially participate in events or capstone projects.

What is the typical age for an executive MBA student?

According to the Executive MBA Council, the average age of EMBA enrollees is 38 years old. Executive MBA programs usually require applicants to have significant work experience, which may contribute to the average age of students.

What is the difference between an MBA and an executive MBA?

Executive MBA programs often have the same curriculum as traditional MBA programs but operate through part-time enrollment. EMBA attendees typically work full time and can take advantage of the part-time schedule provided by executive MBA courses.

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