Group Discussion Topic: Executive MBA vs. Full Time MBA

 | May 18,2011 02:43 pm IST

Today MBA is not merely a two year full time programme. One has varied options to choose from—two year full time MBA, executive MBA and distance MBA.

But which one is better? Let’s have a look at the basic features of a full time MBA and an executive MBA.

Two-year MBA programs
It usually takes two academic years to complete and is more suited for students not working full time. The two year programme is split over four semesters—first two semesters are for core classes, last two semesters students are allowed to customize course work according to their career goals. It is a better option for those looking to obtain skills that will help them in their career and the ones willing to develop a specialized knowledge to switch/start their careers. Compared to other management programmes, two year MBA accept widest variety of academic backgrounds.


Executive MBA
Alike two year, full time MBA, executive MBA is also a residential programme. The admission process for executive MBA is very stringent as it focuses on both academic background and work experience.

One year executive MBA is usually between 11 to 16 months and is designed to save a considerable amount of time. It is perfect for students who wish to pursue specialized study that will help them advance their career. Most one-year MBA programs reduce core requirements and allow customization of courses through electives and concentrations.


One-year MBA programs have highly competitive admission process. Prerequisites include a commendable academic record and work experience.


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Guest on 05/19/11 at 02:38 pm

Today's EMBA market is as varied as the candidates interested in the MBA degree. It is true that there are EMBA programs that last 11-16 months but there are also programs that last 18 months, 24 months and some can continue for a few years.

Business Schools are now realizing that the broader their range of programs the greater the opportunity to fill a need in the market place. This is great news for aspiring MBA students who want to continue to work while they study.

The main thing to remember is that an EMBA program was originally created for working professionals so a pre-requisite is that you have in general a minimum of six years work experience (perhaps less for a few rare programs and often more for the top tier programs). It then becomes a matter of doing your research and seeing what is out there for you. This is a hefty investment so you want to make sure that your choice is the perfect one for you.

One last thing to keep in mind, though the EMBA price tags are usually in the high 5 figures and sometimes even 6 figures range, the ROI (return on investment) for these programs is usually extremely good. According to the latest FT (Financial Times) rankings, top programs offer an ROI period of as little as 1.3 years! An EMBA is one of the best investments you can make in your career and in yourself.

If you are interested in meeting with MBA and EMBA programs in one place at one time, you may want to consider an MBA fair which allows you to do a large amount of research in one afternoon or evening. The QS World MBA Tour comes to India in both Spring and Fall so you may want to check the latest schedule:

Have more questions? As editor of the TopExecutive Guide I work with many of the world's top EMBA programs and would be happy to try to help you out. You can reach me at

Best of luck!
Dawn Bournand
Editor of QS TopExecutive Guide