Columbia, University of Hong Kong and London Business School Top Joint EMBA Program Ranking |

Columbia, University of Hong Kong and London Business School Top Joint EMBA Program Ranking

By Julia G

Updated January 8, 2019 Updated January 8, 2019

Columbia Business School, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and London Business School’s (LBS) joint EMBA program (EMBA-Global Asia) has been ranked the best joint EMBA program in the QS EMBA Rankings 2018.

Released today, the QS EMBA Rankings 2018 feature a ranking of the best EMBA programs globally and by region. In addition, a separate ranking lists the best joint executive MBA programs offered by multiple schools. You can find out more about the methodology used to produce the rankings here.

The top 10 joint programs can be seen below.

QS EMBA Rankings 2018: Joint Programs







EMBA-Global Asia

London, New York (NY), Hong Kong



Executive MBA

Hong Kong, Chicago, Miami (FL)



Executive MBA

Beijing, Singapore, Fontainebleau, Abu Dhabi



Global EMBA

London, New York (NY), Paris, Shanghai



Executive MBA

London, New York (NY)



Executive MBA

Toronto, Miami (FL)



Executive MBA

Los Angeles (CA), Singapore



Executive MBA

Vallendar, Düsseldorf, Chicago (IL), Miami, Toronto



Global Executive MBA

Washington (DC), Barcelona, Madrid



Executive MBA

Mannheim, Paris, Singapore



Joint EMBA programs are offered between two or more business schools, with candidates graduating with an MBA degree from each university. They offer direct international exposure, as although most EMBA programs in our global rankings have international trips as part of the course, joint EMBA programs take you across the globe throughout, often between continents.

Joint programs increase your resources, for example, you can leave a program with access to multiple alumni networks, as well as receiving teaching from more than just one expert faculty. The international and collaborative aspect of these programs mirrors the growing global, borderless nature of the business world.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given its importance as a region to global business, Europe is the most-represented region in the above top 10. Eight European locations are represented across these top joint EMBA programs. After Europe, North America is the next most common, with six cities represented, and then Asia with four.

One Middle Eastern location is represented, thanks to INSEAD’s Abu Dhabi campus. Unsurprisingly, the cities with the greatest representation include global business hubs London, New York, and Singapore, which each feature three times in the top 10. Interestingly, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is the most represented business school in the top 10, with three joint programs making the cut.

Leading the way, however, is the combined program offered by Columbia, HKU and LBS. This program achieved a perfect score of 100 in three out of five ranking indicators: employer reputation, career outcomes and diversity. An impressive 41 percent of the program’s current students are women, while 24 different nationalities are represented across the intake.

The Columbia/HKU/LBS program takes between 16 and 20 months to complete, depending on elective choices. It is split into 19 four- or five-day concentrated teaching periods, approximately once a month, spread over five terms. The core courses are primarily taught in Hong Kong, with blocks also taking place in London and New York (with the added opportunity to undertake electives in other countries).

The total cost of the Columbia/HKU/LBS program is US$175,000, which includes tuition, course materials, accommodation in New York, London, and Hong Kong, plus some meals and extra-curricular activities.

The joint program offered by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is this year’s second-best performer in the joint programs ranking. The course achieved this position thanks to a perfect score in three out of five ranking indicators: employer reputation, executive profile and career outcomes, and it only finished behind Columbia/HKU/LBS by the narrowest of margins.

The 18-month long Kellogg/HKUST program includes 18 weekends and two live-in week modules in Hong Kong, a 10-day live-in module in Chicago, and global elective weeks in six partner school campuses around the world. It costs $175,500, which includes all tuition, course materials, accommodation and meals for all weekends at HKUST and the live-in sessions at HKUST and Kellogg. Fees also cover one mandatory global elective week.

According to the school, the average number of years of work experience among its EMBA students is 16 years, while 76 percent of the EMBA class are classified as international students.

Placed immediately behind the Kellogg/HKUST program in third place is the joint program offered by INSEAD and Tsinghua University. It achieved this ranking thanks to a perfect score in the highest weighted ranking indicator, employer reputation.

This program takes place across INSEAD’s three campuses in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Fontainebleau, as well as Tsinghua’s campus in Beijing. The program is made up of 12 weeks on campus (six weeks in Beijing, three weeks in Singapore, two weeks in Fontainebleau and one week in Abu Dhabi), spread across 18 months, and costs US$125,000. The average EMBA student here has less work experience than the students on the Kellogg/HKUST program (just 12) but there is a higher proportion of female students (26 compared to 21 percent at Kellogg/HKUST).

An EMBA alumni’s perspective

The joint EMBA program offered by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville in the US is ranked 24th in this year’s ranking. David P. Jude graduated from this EMBA program in 2016 and now works as an executive director at the Kentucky State Police Foundation.

Of his joint program experience, he says: “Both schools combined the best instructors into their curriculum resulting in an incredible curriculum and a lasting relationship with instructors and students.  In comparison to other EMBA programs, this unique setup was unequaled.

“I didn’t expect to develop such close and lasting relationships with the instructors. Regardless of the university, the professors were engaged, made themselves available at any needed time and genuinely were interested in our success and longevity. I feel I gained a much deeper understanding of international business and connectivity across the globe.”

This article was originally published in April 2018 . It was last updated in January 2019

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Written by

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.


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