The Top Executive MBA Programs in North America 2019 |

The Top Executive MBA Programs in North America 2019

By Niamh O

Updated April 15, 2019 Updated April 15, 2019

The Wharton School has been ranked the best business school for studying an executive MBA in North America for the second year running in the QS EMBA Rankings by Region 2019.

Released today, the QS Global EMBA Rankings 2019 reveal the top executive MBA programs around the world, as well as providing a regional breakdown to help you find a top school near you. The rankings also include a separate table of the best joint programs.

You can find out more about the methodology used to produce the rankings here.

The top 10 executive MBA programs in North America can be seen below:


                                                  EMBA Rankings by Region 2019: North America






The Wharton School

MBA for Executives

Philadelphia (PA), San Francisco (CA)


MIT Sloan School of Management

Executive MBA

Cambridge (MA)


The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Executive MBA

Chicago (IL), London, Hong Kong


The Kellogg School of Management

Executive MBA

Evanston (IL), Miami (FL)


Haas School of Business

Executive MBA

Berkeley (CA)


UCLA Anderson School of Management

Executive MBA

Los Angeles (CA)


Yale School of Management

MBA for Executives

New Haven (CT)


Columbia Business School

Executive MBA-NY

New York (NY)


NYU Stern School of Business

Executive MBA

New York (NY)


The Fuqua School of Business

Global Executive MBA

Durham (NC), Santiago, Shanghai, Berlin, New Delhi


10) The Fuqua School of Business

Duke Fuqua

Starting off our run-down of the top 10 EMBA programs in North America is Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which scored highly for both employer reputation and diversity, two of the indicators used to compile the ranking.

The EMBA program is 18 months in duration, with Class of 2020 students paying US$148,000 in tuition. The high cost is off-set by the solid 48 percent salary increase enjoyed by graduates.

The 2019 class has 48 students (the smallest number in the top 10), with an age range of 25-54, an average of nearly 10 years’ work experience and around six years’ managerial experience. 12 percent of the cohort have C-Suite experience.

33 percent of the class are female, 19 percent entered the program already in possession of an advanced degree, and 38.3 percent have international citizenship.

9) NYU Stern School of Business

NYU Stern School of Business

Situated a stone’s throw away from the financial heart of the US, NYU Stern is one of two New York institutions featured in the top 10. Stern’s program scored very highly for employer reputation and thought leadership in particular.

Stern’s EMBA program is intimate with only 62 students, who have an average of 13 years’ work experience, and seven years’ managerial experience. Of the class, 32 percent are female, 30 percent have an international background, and 40 percent hold an advanced graduate degree.

The 22-month program costs US$194,876, with graduates earning a 30 percent salary increase.

8) Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School

Also located in New York is Columbia Business School, the eighth best place to study an executive MBA in North America.

Columbia’s flagship Executive MBA program can be completed either through the 20-month Friday/Saturday option, or the 24-month Saturday schedule.

Columbia’s EMBA program scored very highly for employer reputation, thought leadership and diversity in this year’s ranking. The current cohort is made up of 137 students, 35 percent women and 28 percent international students.

Students enter the program with an average of nine years’ work experience, and four years’ managerial experience. Fees for students this year are US$208,680, with a noted 20 percent salary increase for graduates when they return to work.

7) Yale School of Management

Yale SOM

Yale School of Management’s EMBA is the next on our list, having been awarded a perfect score for career outcomes and been ranked as the third most diverse executive MBA program.

The program starts with a two-week in-residence session, then classes are held every other weekend on Friday and Saturday for 22 months.

Yale SOM’s Class of 2020 has 71 students, with an average of 12 years’ work experience, as well as five years’ managerial experience. The cohort boasts 35 percent women and 38 percent international students, with 17 nationalities represented in total.

The program costs US$187,500, however, graduates receive the highest salary increase of our top 10 North American programs – an astonishing 103 percent.

6) UCLA (Anderson)

UCLA Anderson

Next, we venture to LA’s Anderson School of Management, which scored very highly in three metrics: employer reputation, thought leadership, and career outcomes.

Anderson’s class has 137 students, with students averaging 14 years’ work experience and nine years’ management experience. 30 percent of the cohort have C-Suite experience (the highest percentage in the top 10). 

The cohort also boasts 14 nationalities, with 21 percent of students hailing from abroad. Nearly a third of the class (30 percent) are female.

As classes are on the weekends with flexible scheduling (either biweekly or monthly), you’ll complete your EMBA in just 22 months. Past electives cover a broad range of topics including entrepreneurship, macroeconomics and management communication.

Fees for the two-year program are estimated at US$163,000.

5) Haas School of Business

Haas School of Business

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Berkeley Haas scored a perfect 100 for thought leadership on its executive MBA program.   

The EMBA program at Haas promises a global experience, with an immersive course that will send you to Silicon Valley, Washington, DC, and global business hubs like Shanghai or São Paulo.

There are 72 students in the cohort, of which 39 percent are female students and 14 percent are underrepresented minorities. 11 nationalities are represented in the class, and the students have an average of 14 years’ work experience and nine years’ managerial experience before commencing their studies.

The cost for the 19-month program is US$190,550, with an estimated 29 percent salary increase post-graduation.

4) Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg School of Management

Narrowly missing out on a top three position this year is Kellogg School of Management, although the school does achieve the second-highest score in North America for its reputation among employers.

Every year, EMBA participants at Kellogg congregate in Evanston for Global Network Week, and they’re also required to complete one set of global electives.

Kellogg has the second-smallest class in our table with only 52 students in the cohort. As a group, they meet either one weekend or two weekends a month. Female students make up 26 percent of the class, while 18 percent are international students. The average age of an executive MBA student at Kellogg is 38, while they typically start the program with 14 years’ work experience, and eight years’ managerial experience. 

Students pay US$208,152 for the two-year program. Although this is a hefty price tag, graduates report a 36 percent salary increase on average upon returning to work.

3) Chicago Booth School of Business

Chicago Booth School of Business

And we’ve reached our bronze medallist – Chicago Booth School of Business. Booth created the world’s first Executive MBA program in 1943, so it’s clear to see why the program continues to soar. Booth scored very highly across all indicators, with a near-perfect score for thought leadership.

Booth’s EMBA class has 92 students, with the typical student having an average of 13 years’ work experience and eight years’ managerial experience. 22 percent of the current cohort are female, while there are 46 nationalities represented in the classroom. Upon graduation, students report an average salary increase of 44 percent.

Depending on whether you study Booth’s EMBA program in the US or one of their other campuses, tuition fees will vary. Chicago’s program fees for June 2019 are US$194,000 – which covers three residential weeks in Chicago, one in London, and one in Hong Kong.

2) MIT Sloan School of Business

MIT Sloan School of Management

This year’s runner-up for the title of best executive MBA program in North America is MIT Sloan, which earned a perfect score of 100 for thought leadership and also ranked extremely well for diversity and employer reputation.

The MIT Executive MBA is a 20-month program, with classes once every three weeks. There are four week-long modules, 26 weekend sessions (spaced about three weeks apart) for iterative development, and a one-week international project trip during the capstone Global Labs action learning experience.

The Class of 2020 has 126 students, an average age of 41 and 17 years’ work experience. 16 percent of students have C-Suite experience, while 34 percent are female and 48 percent are international.

Tuition payments (Class of 2021, matriculating October 2019) total $178,302.

1) The Wharton School

The Wharton School

And here we are, our winning program for North America. The Wharton School’s Executive MBA program features a required one-week Global Business Week, and students can also take part in Global Modular Courses at locations such as Israel, India, Brazil and more.

Wharton’s Class of 2020 has 234 students (the largest in the top 10), an average age of 35, 11 years’ work experience, eight years’ managerial experience and a median GMAT score of 700.

Students entering Wharton’s two-year program in May 2019 will pay US$210,900, but no need to worry, as Wharton grads have noted a whopping 84 percent salary increase – not too bad a return for the best EMBA in North America!

This article was originally published in April 2019 .

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Written by

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (;, 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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