Top 10 EMBA Programs for Proportion of Female Students 2018 |

Top 10 EMBA Programs for Proportion of Female Students 2018

By Julia G

Updated March 8, 2021 Updated March 8, 2021

According to the Executive MBA Council, just 30 percent of all executive MBA (EMBA) students last year were women. This number may sound low, but it is in fact a record high, and although there’s a long way to go until gender parity, several EMBA programs deserve great credit for increasing their proportion of female students.

There are several reasons usually given for the gender disparity on EMBA programs. Most often cited is the fact that family and household duties often fall to women, so the work-life balance can make it hard for women to pursue an EMBA. This is exacerbated by the fact that the age that people generally pursue an EMBA often coincides with women starting and raising families.

Another potential setback for women who want to pursue an EMBA is that these programs are often extremely expensive. As the gender pay gap means women generally earn less than men, the high fees for an EMBA may be more daunting for women.

Michael Desiderio, executive director of EMBAC, speaking to, emphasizes the need for diversity in the EMBA world:

“Gender diversity in the classroom leads to diverse thinking; diverse thinking leads to better business solutions. The business community is in need of more women in leadership roles and EMBA programs are designed to help develop leaders.”

As well as ranking the best EMBA programs around the world, the QS EMBA Rankings 2018 also collected data on the percentage of women enrolled on each of the ranked executive MBA programs. Check out which programs are making strides in the right direction.

You can see the overall Global EMBA rankings here, and the Joint Rankings here.

=9) University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics and the University of Louisville

university of louisville

Proportion of women: 47 percent

Joint EMBA ranking: 24

Unsurprisingly, given the high proportion of female students, this joint program offered by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville (pictured), scores highly in the joint programs ranking for diversity.

The 20-month program meets every other weekend on Fridays and Saturdays, with terms scheduled in both Lexington and Louisville. Participants also attend a 12-day international Public Policy study trip. Offering access to the considerable alumni base of both universities, the tuition fees for this program are $67,500, including textbooks, most meals on class days, a personal computing device for use and to keep after the program is over, plus accommodation for the international residency.

=9) Suffolk University Sawyer Business School

suffolk sawyer

Proportion of women: 47 percent

Global EMBA ranking: 101-110

Located in the educational hotspot of Boston, the 16-month EMBA program at Suffolk scores highly in this year’s EMBA ranking for executive profile, career outcomes, and diversity.

It consists of 12 courses and four travel seminars, conducted both in America and a travel seminar abroad. On the travel seminars you can go abroad for seven to 10 days, visiting a variety of businesses from global headquarters to small start-ups.

Tuition is $1,794 per credit, with students completing around 45 credits over the course of the program.

8) Grenoble Ecole de Management

grenoble ecole

Proportion of women: 48 percent

Global EMBA ranking: 64

While this EMBA is offered by the French school Grenoble Ecole de Management (pictured), teaching takes place in either Tbilisi, Georgia, or Moscow, Russia. The Moscow course is taught 75 percent in English and 25 percent in Russian, which is something you’ll need to consider before applying if you can’t understand Russian.

The course takes 22 months to complete on campus at weekends (in either Tbilisi or Moscow), followed by a final management project, with optional intensive weeks of study in Grenoble.

=6) Hofstra University Frank G. Zarb School of Business

hofstra campus

Proportion of women: 50 percent

Global EMBA ranking: 111+

Located in Hempstead, New York State, this course (the first in our countdown to have an equal split between male and female students) lasts 18 months and combines the convenience of online learning with on-site classes held twice a month.

The small class sizes of around 20 students mean you become very close to your cohort, forming essential personal and professional relationships.

The all-inclusive tuition of $88,500 covers instructional materials, texts, software, class day catering, and an international experience (including airfare, hotel and meals during the trip).

=6) Athens University of Economics and Business

aueb building

Proportion of women: 50 percent

Global EMBA ranking: =67

Also boasting an equal number of male and female students is the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), located in Athens, Greece.

The 22-26 month course has an average course attendance of twice a week. Students are required to undertake an Integrated Impact Project, usually executed in teams of three-five students. In this project you work with a real company to strategically address a business issue.

There is an opportunity to learn Greek on the course, with trips to ancient sites to get a grounding in ancient civilization, history, and culture of Greece. The tuition fee is €12,000 (US$14,683) for EU students, with an additional €1,500 (US$1,830) for international students.

5) Purdue University Krannert School of Management and Tilburg University TIAS School for Business and Society

purdue campus

Proportion of women: 52 percent

Joint EMBA ranking: 18

The IMM Global Executive MBA is a joint program offered by Purdue University Krannert School of Management (Indiana, USA) (pictured) and TIAS School for Business and Society at Tilburg University (The Netherlands). It is the first program on our countdown to have a higher proportion of women than men, and scores highly in the EMBA rankings for executive profile and diversity.

The 19-month long course, requiring 48 credit hours, is divided into a five-day launch week in the US plus five two-week residencies, with online learning between modules.

This is a truly global EMBA, as you have the opportunity to study in seven countries on four continents, with other partner schools based in Tianjin (China), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Milan (Italy) and Vilnius (Lithuania).

The tuition fees of $90,000 includes foreign residency (excluding airfare), textbooks, housing, and most meals.

4) Mercer University Stetson School of Business and Economics

mercer stetson

Proportion of women: 54 percent

Global EMBA ranking: 111+

The Mercer Professional MBA for Innovation is designed for current and aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs. The accelerated 16-month program comprises of Saturday classes every two weeks, plus three class retreats covering specific business topics. There is also the opportunity for a week-long business residency in a major business market, such as Silicon Valley or Wall Street.

The tuition fees for the Atlanta (GA) based program are $42,500, including air travel, meals, and lodging during the business residency, some lodging and meals during retreats, access to campus facilities, classroom materials, and technical support.

=2) Singapore Management University Lee Kong Chian School of Business

smu building

Proportion of women: 57 percent

Global EMBA ranking: 42

The highest ranking global program on this countdown is the EMBA offered by Singapore’s SMU (Lee Kong Chian), which has an impressive proportion of women on its course. In the global rankings, it achieved a perfect score for executive profile, with over half the class composed of c-suite executives, and high scores in thought leadership and diversity.

It offers week-long study stints with three other world-leading universities, including the world’s number one school in this year’s EMBA ranking - Wharton Business School - and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.

The course is divided into nine weeks of classes over 12 months, requiring 40 days out of office spread across two years. The tuition for the course is US$113,924, which includes study materials, meals during residential segments, and accommodation in the USA, India, and China.

The course requires at least 10 years’ work experience, and also offers a ‘Women in Business’ scholarship, awarding exceptional women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership capabilities or potential in their professional or personal endeavors.

=2) BI Norwegian Business School and Fudan University

fudan uni

Proportion of women: 57 percent

Joint EMBA ranking: 17

This joint program offered by BI Norwegian Business School and Fudan University (pictured) achieved high scores for employer reputation and diversity, and has 57 percent women in its current EMBA class.

The English-taught part-time MBA program based in Shanghai aims to combine the Nordic business mindset of innovation and egalitarianism with the growing dominance of China in the business world. The two-year course consists of 15 modules of four days each. All 11 core modules are taught in Shanghai at Fudan, aside from the last module, which is taught in Norway.

Students undertake four electives, where you can choose from a list of nine modules- three international, and six taught in Shanghai. The international modules are taught in some of the world’s best business schools like Berkeley Haas, and IE Business School.

An entrance exam is required for admission, and the tuition of 368,000RMB (approx. US$58,260) includes orientation accommodation expenses and accommodation expenses for the required course in Norway.

1) University of Nottingham

nottingham uni

Proportion of women: 60 percent

Global EMBA ranking: 89

Top of our list of EMBA courses with the highest proportion of women is the program at the University of Nottingham, which has double the average percentage of women on EMBA programs.

The program takes between two and four years to complete, with modules typically running for one week, and there are opportunities to learn at Nottingham’s campuses in Malaysia and Singapore.

There are also optional international business study tours, at either Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, or in China for a week to learn about the essentials of doing business in China.

An attractive element of the EMBA at Nottingham is The Ingenuity Lab, the university’s facility for business start-ups, which helps with networking and raising funds, preparing its students for entrepreneurial success.

The tuition fees are the same for UK, EU and international students, £24,975 (approx. US$34,837), and students are guaranteed single occupancy postgraduate university accommodation if required (not included in tuition fees).

This article was originally published in April 2018 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Julia is a writer for, publishing articles for business students and graduates across the world. A native Londoner, she holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA in Classical Studies & English from Newcastle University.