The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, is likely best known for its full-time MBA program, which welcomes approximately in its incoming class each year. However, a full-time, two-year program is not necessarily the best option for all aspiring MBAs—especially those who already have extensive work experience and perhaps are responsible for leading a team. The Berkeley Haas Evening and Weekend MBA (EWMBA) program is designed for established professionals who wish to remain in their roles while enhancing their leadership skills and earning an MBA. From 2014 to 2019, the Haas EWMBA was ranked the number one part-time MBA program in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, though it now stands at number two in the publication’s 2020 survey.
The Berkeley Haas EWMBA program is highly customizable: students can elect to take classes in the evenings or on the weekends, as best fits their schedule, and can finish their degree in two and a half or three years, though even longer options are available as needed. Students who opt to pursue their studies in the evening take core classes two nights a week (either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday), while elective courses are given Monday through Thursday. For the weekend option, classes are presented on Saturdays, with core courses requiring full days for the initial three semesters and electives demanding a slightly lighter workload. Each class of EWMBA students includes roughly the same number of individuals as the full-time MBA program—275 in the class that matriculated in fall 2018, for example. While the median years of work experience varies with each class, the median for the students who enrolled in 2018 was seven. Every incoming class is divided into cohorts of 70 students who take all core courses together and who are further divided into study teams of approximately five individuals for tackling the course work. The EWMBA curriculum consists of 22 units of core courses, such as “Macroeconomics,” “Leadership Communication,” and “Ethics and Responsibility in Business,” and 20 units of electives, the first of which can be taken in the summer of students’ first year.
The sense of community at Haas is integrated into the EWMBA curriculum in the form of three programs: WE Launch, the weekend-long mandatory student orientation; WE Innovate, a two-day retreat typically hosted in Napa Valley in which students apply what they have learned from their initial core courses; and WE Lead, an opportunity just before graduation intended for reflection and celebration. Haas’s global focus is evident in its learning opportunities outside the country, which include participating in an international exchange after completing one’s core courses, seminars in international business, and the International Business Development (IBD) program, which is touted on the Haas website as the school’s “signature international MBA experience.” The IBD program connects students with real companies and consists of classroom teamwork and a two-week visit to the client company’s country.
Combining a demanding job with part-time MBA studies can be challenging, but the effort involved can confer notable advantages—not only in the professional doors an MBA typically opens and the leadership skills gained but also in the relationships established with classmates and faculty members. If you are considering applying to a part-time MBA program, sign up for a free 30-minute consultation with one of our Senior Consultants to get valuable information on starting your journey.