Top Universities to Study an EMBA in Paris |

Top Universities to Study an EMBA in Paris

By Helen Vaudrey

Updated June 23, 2021 Updated June 23, 2021

From history and art, to culture and travel - undertaking your executive MBA in Paris will open more doors to you than just a stellar education.

Paris has plenty to offer executive MBA students. Not only is the city famed for its cuisine and romantic feel, it’s also one of the main financial centres in Europe. As such, business school in Paris can be a great option for those seeking a prestigious executive MBA.

For those who choose to undertake their EMBA programme in Paris, they’ll be studying in the international capital of style, the ‘City of Light’ and the ‘City of Love’, meaning students will find no shortage of things to do during their free time.

Whether you prefer to fill your time between lectures strolling round the Louvre or simply sampling some fine food with your cohort in the famous Latin Quarter, your friends on social media are going to be very jealous.

Situated in central Europe, Paris has close geographic links to some of Europe’s financial superpowers – chiefly the UK and Germany. La Défense is Europe’s largest purpose-built business district. Significant corporations whose headquarters are located at La Défense include Total S.A. – one of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies – and the multinational banking and finance service Société Générale.

Interested? Here is a selection of some of the best Paris schools at which to study an EMBA.

HEC Paris School of Management

HEC Paris is currently ranked number 1 in this year’s QS Global Executive MBA Rankings 2021 – taking the spot from The Wharton School.

The school motto is, “The more you know, the more you dare.” Lecturers encourage students to adopt this value while enrolled at HEC. The EMBA programme at HEC runs for 16 months and covers developments in management science in great detail. Students can choose to major in a variety of programs including: aerospace & aviation, luxury, entrepreneurship & innovation, and innovation & social business, to name but a few.

The HEC Paris executive MBA also enables students to choose tracks that will see them major in classes delivered worldwide. These are currently run in Bangalore, Beijing, Boston, Cape Town, Doha, Hangzhou, Milan, Montreal, Orlando, Paris, São Paulo, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore and Toulouse.

ESSEC Business School

ESSEC Business School in Paris joined forces in executive education with Mannheim Business School, Germany in 2004. The goal continues to be to create an Executive MBA programme with a one-of-a-kind profile that would be one of the best programmes in Europe. 

The immersive executive MBA offers a global outlook. This partnership with Mannheim is intended to reflect Germany and France’s status as the driving forces behind Europe’s economic development.

Students on the ESSEC-Mannheim EMBA can choose between two tracks.

The Europe track in Paris, France and Mannheim, Germany. This track lasts for 18 months consisting of 6-day modules every six week from Tuesday or Wednesday to Sunday noon. Students begin the course in October.

Or EMBA participants can choose the Asia-Pacific track in Singapore – which is 15 months long. This track consists of six-day modules every four to five weeks from Monday to Saturday. Students begin the course in October.

The international element is delivered through tracks –students can study in Paris and in Mannheim by taking one module every six weeks that run Wednesday to Wednesday, alternating between campuses. Students also benefit from partaking of two international residencies in the US and Asia if they choose this option.

Alternatively, students can choose the Paris weekend option – meaning that classes are taught two weekends per month, Fridays and Saturdays, for approximately 28 weekends. This option is more suited to people who wish for a more regulated study regime in terms of location.

EMBA participants are 39 years old on average, with 14 years work experience, 35 percent of students in the cohort are female, and participants hail from more than 20 countries (45 percent are from various European countries, and 36 percent have roots in North or South America, Asia or Africa).

École des Ponts Business School

The École des Ponts Business School is located just 25 minutes from the centre of Paris. The school runs an executive MBA programme in partnership with Fox School of Business at Temple University (the school’s MBA provision is also run in a strategic alliance with Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management). The in-residence course runs for 18 months and is taught one weekend per month for three days. Although students are required to study predominantly in Paris, they will also have the opportunity to study in Brussels, Philadelphia, Shanghai and Silicon Valley.

However, the international scope of École des Ponts Business School does not stop there. Thanks to the schools partnership with Fox, students can also opt to take classes at other partner overseas programmes; including Vietnam, China, Morocco and Poland.

The Solvay-Ponts-Fox Global Executive MBA is an especially attractive programme to employers, as it requires students to tackle a crucial business issue they face in their own company so that they can showcase the skills they have acquired. Students also develop a business plan, giving them the chance to design a business they would really like to start. For some participants, this dream can become a reality, utilizing the school’s facilities.


ISM’s international executive MBA allows students to specialise in three different areas – general management, finance, or entrepreneurship & innovation.

The programme is one-year long, with classes held once a month on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. ISM’s EMBA consists of four online studies, four individual coaching sessions, and 14 group consultation sessions.

During the first semester, students will undertake courses in strategy and a ‘journey of leadership transformation’; in the second semester, students undertake the following courses: a journey of leadership transformation, leading digital transformation, leading change, and innovations.

Students on the ISM EMBA have an average age of 39, 16 years of work experience, and nine years managerial experience.

ISM says EMBA students will benefit from:

  • Ensured networking – working in four different teams with top managers
  • 43 days leadership transformation programme
  • Initiated change in your organisation
  • Preparing a digitisation strategy for your company
  • 360-degree research-based personal leadership profile test, TED-type speech ‘leadership credo pitch’

ISM believes that international experience is essential in creating effective managers in the 21st century. As such, students are offered the opportunity to fulfill their degree requirements through study in Paris, New York, Shanghai, New Delhi, São Paulo, or Cape Town via seminars or e-learning.

ISM executive MBA students have the opportunity to participate in a real consulting project in Cape Town and Johannesburg (South Africa) as opposed to a master’s dissertation. Students work in teams at organisations including Adidas, Elizabeth Arden, Digital HQ, Revlon and more.

Seminars are packaged as two-week programmes so that participants can experience a country’s business policies and culture alongside their compulsory learning. All students are required to complete at least 25 percent of their coursework through face-to-face seminars at one of ISM’s international locations.

The e-learning element to the programme allows students to be flexible with study times. E-learning modules remain open for a one-year period, during which time students can enrol onto a course at any time, after which they have up to three months to complete their required work.

This article was originally published in August 2015 . It was last updated in June 2021

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