The full-time MBA program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania attracts thousands of applications each year—the Class of 2020, for example, was built from a total of 6,245 applications. But for applicants who have already gained lengthy work and leadership experience, the school’s Executive MBA (EMBA) Program may be a better fit. Wharton’s EMBA Class of 2021 is decidedly diverse, featuring 236 participants from 26 countries with an average of 12 years of work experience and an average age of 36.
The 24-month Wharton EMBA program follows largely the same curriculum as its full-time counterpart, but it allows participants to continue to work full time throughout their studies. The program is offered at Wharton’s Philadelphia and San Francisco campuses, and students can switch locations in their second year or take a semester of elective classes on the other campus if space is available. Each incoming class is typically split equally between the Philadelphia campus (120 within the Class of 2021) and the San Francisco campus (116 within the Class of 2021).
The program kicks off with a week-long orientation program at the Philadelphia campus, which all EMBA students attend. After the orientation, classes take place at both campuses on Fridays and Saturdays every other week, in addition to a number of three-day weekends. Students typically spend 20 to 25 hours per week between class meetings studying, including remote collaboration sessions with their study teams.
The EMBA core curriculum is divided into three parts: Leadership Essentials, which features three courses, including “Responsibility in Global Management”; Analytic Foundations, which also comprises three courses, including “Regression Analysis for Business”; and Business Foundations, an eight-module course featuring such themes as “Marketing Management,” “Fundamentals of Financial and Managerial Accounting,” and “Macroeconomics and the Global Economic Environment.” In their second year, students choose from a plethora of elective courses, which amount to nearly half of the program’s 19 credit units. Although students are not required to follow a major course of study, they can choose from the 19 majors offered by Wharton.
In the second year of the program, students take part in the EMBA Global Business Week, a seven-day trip consisting of company visits, lectures, and learning about the culture at one of five available international locations. The most recent class that participated in Global Business Week chose from such locations as Cuba, Spain, China, and South Africa. The EMBA program also offers Global Modular Courses, which are short and intensive workshops hosted in various locations focusing on locally relevant topics. Past courses have included “Conducting Business in Emerging Economies” in Colombia, “Competitive Advantage in the Leisure Industry” in Portugal and Spain, and “Sustainable Growth in ASEAN” in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
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.