Brown University Offers its First Ever Executive MBA: MBA News |

Brown University Offers its First Ever Executive MBA: MBA News

By QS Contributor

Updated March 19, 2015 Updated March 19, 2015

Brown University is set to launch an executive MBA, joining the ranks of other Ivy League institutions, such as Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania that already offer MBA programs – according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Brown has collaborated with IE Business School in Madrid on an executive MBA program since 2011, but, until now, students received their qualification from IE Business School alone.  However, with this new development, students now stand to receive a qualification from both institutions.

Karen Sibley, dean of the School of Professional Studies at Brown University, is excited about its new offering, saying the executive MBA will “help transform business leaders and have a powerful impact on how business leaders view the world.” Sibley also believes the prospect of studying at an Ivy League institution, as well as what the university terms “enhanced global engagement, visibility and impact”, will entice applicants.

The proposal to add the EMBA to its program list was presented to Brown’s faculty earlier in the year, and secured approval from the institution’s governing body, Brown University Corporation, on Friday. “The course is becoming increasingly valued and respected…by students, faculty and administrators” says Sibley.

New Executive MBA’s broad appeal and unusual course offerings

Since 2011, the existing executive MBA course has attracted an international student body from a variety of professional backgrounds. Two-thirds of the most recent graduating class of 30 were international students, and the number who possessed prior experience in public services was double that of those coming from financial services, the traditional domain of MBA students.

The reason for this may stem from Brown University’s approach of building around its existing strengths, rather than seeking to create an MBA from scratch. Introducing master’s courses in strongly-performing departments is, in the eyes of Sibley, “a very sensible attempt to leverage the talents and capacities that we already have.”

The approach also enables Brown to offer some more unusual MBA-level course offerings. Students can, for instance, delve into the shared history of slavery and capitalism, globalization of the arts and an ethnographic study of the AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa. “This is stuff that MBAs aren’t hearing about in other places,” says Seth Rockman, an associate professor of history at Brown University.

Despite entering the world of MBAs, Sibley stresses that this is not a sign of Brown University’s intention of launching a business school anytime soon, “Brown doesn’t plan to have a business school in the near future…[that would be] crazy.”

This article was originally published in May 2014 . It was last updated in March 2015

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