Why the World’s Number One Business School Thinks an EMBA is Worthwhile | TopMBA.com

Why the World’s Number One Business School Thinks an EMBA is Worthwhile

By Niamh O

Updated October 7, 2020 Updated October 7, 2020

The Wharton School earned the number one spot in the QS Global EMBA Rankings 2020, meaning the institution is the best place in the world to study an executive MBA for the third year in a row.

Given the school’s superlative performance, we thought it fruitful to get in touch with the EMBA team at Wharton to find out what makes its executive MBA so successful.

What do you think sets the executive MBA program at Wharton apart from competitors?

Wharton’s MBA program for executives has the same admissions and graduation requirements as its full-time MBA program. Our students are in class with Wharton professors the same number of credit hours as the school’s full-time MBA students and, therefore, earn the Wharton MBA with all of the same rigor. Thus, our program attracts high-achieving professionals from around the country and the world. 

We have two campuses – Philadelphia & San Francisco – with many opportunities for bicoastal interaction, and we have developed many activities connecting the campuses, and promote the diversity of our student body. 

The Wharton MBA for executives offers more course electives than any business school in the world, enabling students to tailor their academic experience to the area(s) that meet their interest, while our additional offerings in executive coaching, leadership development and management communications prepare students for leadership roles. 

Our global modular courses and global business week provide students with numerous opportunities throughout the program to study and experience how business is being conducted in other parts of the world.

Wharton’s EMBA scored a perfect score for two indicators in our ranking: career outcomes and thought leadership. Why do you think career opportunities for EMBA students and graduates from Wharton are so high? Is there a particular element to the program that makes grads more attractive to employers?

Students remain fully employed throughout the two-year program, but they’re attending Wharton to gain the knowledge to take their career wherever they choose.

The program’s goal is to give students the tools to manage their careers and network over the course of their professional lives.

We have dedicated career directors who help students identify the most appropriate career path through assessment, exploration, and networking. The directors support our students as they build a strategic roadmap to execute their career plan, which could include growth within their organization; job change; career change (industry or functional); or entrepreneurship.

Program support also includes: one-on-one coaching, topical workshops, group work, executive speakers, alumni panels, industry and career function talks and visits.

What are your thoughts on rankings? How do you feel prospective EMBA students should use rankings to help them decide on what program is best for them?

While rankings can be helpful to narrow down a list of schools of interest, they should not be used as the sole deciding factor. Each ranking is unique – measuring different criteria – so it is important to know what each one is analyzing and the data behind it. Visiting the program(s) and speaking to its students and alumni is absolutely essential during a search.


Are there any changes that have been made to the program since last year? And are there many changes in the pipeline for the future of the program?

The program continually evolves. Recently there have been many additional opportunities to travel to and study in other countries around the world. One example is last year’s addition of a trip to Sweden and Finland studying customer-centric marketing, while upcoming destinations include the new option of studying in Japan.

A FinTech course was added as an elective this year, and in San Francisco, we also added an experiential course which focuses on marketing analytics while using live case studies with Electronic Arts and Google.


This article was originally published in March 2019 and was most recently updated in June 2020 to include new rankings data.

This article was originally published in May 2019 . It was last updated in October 2020

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Written by

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  


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