At first glance, the thought of earning an online Executive MBA program may be confusing. How is this program different than the traditional online MBA programs that are so prevalent today? Most professionals don’t understand the difference and so choose the MBA program as it seems easier to get accepted, especially for pre-service professionals.

The Executive MBA is not for everyone. It was specifically built as an accelerated online program aimed at management professionals in the business world; these people tend to have about a decade of business experience before obtaining this degree. It is a flexible degree that compacts a comprehensive curriculum into two years or less so that students can show the fruits of their labor in less time than it would normally take to complete a traditional MBA program.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Time to Completion

  • Less Than 2 Years: 1 point
  • 20 Months or Less: 2 points
  • 18 Months or Less: 3 points
  • 16 Months or Less: 4 points
  • 14 Months or Less: 5 points
  • 12 Months or Less: 6 points

Graduate Tuition

  • Less Than $20,000: 1 point
  • Less Than $15,000: 2 points
  • Less Than $10,000: 3 points
  • Less Than $5,000: 4 points

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item

Presence of an Online Student Support Network– 1 point

Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Executive MBA Online Programs

Beginning with an initial pool of 50 colleges and universities offering an accelerated online executive master of business administration, our editors sought to identify the 25 best EMBAs online with a completion time of two years or less. To accomplish this, we first applied a tuition filter, eliminating schools with costs of over $30,000 per year. We then applied the rating and ranking methodology above, using data from the National Center for Education Statistics and each program’s website. In the case of a tie, the more affordable school received the higher ranking.

 

#25—University of Hawaii-Manoa

Honolulu, Hawaii

Executive MBA Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 22 Months

Points: 4

The accelerated online executive MBA program from the University of Hawaii-Manoa is a cohort-based offering designed to be completed within 22 months.  The flexible program features an engaging synchronous content delivery method as well as two distinct concentrations:

  • Healthcare Management
  • Travel Industry

Despite which specialization they choose, enrolled students will take core classes such as:

  • Micro and Macro-economic Foundations for Managers
  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior
  • Digital Transformation with Information Systems and Technology
  • Business Policy and Strategy

As a culminating element, students will also participate in an MBA Consulting Practicum. The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited the University of Hawaii-Manoa to award this fully online executive MBA. It has been ranked among the country’s top national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $15,912

#24—Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Online Executive MBA

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 20 Months

Points: 5

Loyola University Chicago offers its online executive MBA program through the Quinlan School of Business. The program is technically a hybrid offering, requiring face-to-face class meetings every other weekend. Students enrolled in the program will take 16 courses centered around six different areas of emphasis:

  • Business Fundamentals
  • Business Analytics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • International Business

Specific course titles comprising the curriculum for the program include:

  • Financial Statements Analysis
  • Managerial Statistics
  • Business Ethics and Values
  • Organization Change and Development

Loyola University Chicago is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online EMBA program among the top 25 such programs in the nation.

Graduate Tuition: $18,594

#23—University of Virginia

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Executive MBA Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 21 Months

Points: 5

The accelerated online EMBA from the University of Virginia is offered through its nationally acclaimed Darden School of Business. Technically a hybrid program, it is comprised of a combination of online courses and on-campus residencies. The EMBA’s core curriculum features course titles such as:

  • Global Economies and Markets
  • Financial Management and Policies
  • Business Ethics
  • Operations Management

In addition, enrolled students will choose from among elective classes like:

  • Real Estate Finance and Development
  • Entrepreneurial Thinking
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Design Thinking

The University of Virginia has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the accelerated EMBA online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the program among the top 15 such programs nationwide.

Graduate Tuition: $16,578

#22—Bethel University

McKenzie, Tennessee

MBA Online: Executive Concentration

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 21 Months

Points: 5

The accelerated online EMBA from Bethel University is a 36-credit hour program that can be completed within just 21 months of study. No GMAT is required for admission. Once enrolled, students will take core business classes, such as:

  • Strategy and Managerial Decision-Making
  • Organizational Development
  • Managerial Economics
  • Business Ethics

Students may also choose from elective courses, including:

  • Management Information Systems
  • Leadership
  • Human Resource Management
  • Managerial Finance

An organizational development project is also required for successful program completion. Bethel University holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the best national universities in the United States.

Graduate Tuition: $11,034

#21—Marquette University

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Online Executive MBA

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 17 Months

Points: 6

The accelerated online EMBA program from Marquette University takes just 17 months to complete. Coursework for the program is primarily online but enrolled students will meet on campus every other Saturday. Required courses comprising the curriculum for the program include:

  • Accounting for Managerial Decisions
  • Strategic and International Marketing
  • Ethical and Societal Issues in Business
  • Leading People and Change in Organizations

The program also features an international business trip. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Marquette University to confer the accelerated EMBA online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the program among the top 20 executive MBA degree plans in the United States.

Graduate Tuition: $21,060

#20—Ohio University

Athens, Ohio

Online MBA in Executive Management

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 24 Months

Points: 6

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Telecommunications Online for 2018

The convenient online accelerated EMBA program from Ohio University requires just one on-campus residency for the Leadership Development Program (LDP). The remainder of the program can be completed online within just two years of study. Core courses comprising the program’s comprehensive curriculum include:

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategic Use of Information Systems
  • Accounting for Executives

In addition to taking core MBA courses, students enrolled in the Executive Management concentration will take specialty courses such as:

  • Leadership and Change Management
  • Prescriptive Analytics
  • Ethics in Leadership

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Ohio University to award the executive MBA online. Its online MBA program has been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $9,444

#19—University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

EMBA Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 24 Months

Points: 6

The University of Arkansas offers a primarily online accelerated executive Master of Business Administration program through its Sam M. Walton College of Business. In addition to online coursework, students are also required to attend campus once per month. The curriculum for the program is versatile and features five distinct concentration options:

  • Business Analytics
  • Finance
  • Retail
  • Supply Chain
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Sample course titles include:

  • Economics of Management and Strategy
  • Financial Statement Analysis for Executives
  • Quantitative Methods and Decision Making
  • Leadership for Managing Behavior in Organizations

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Arkansas to confer the online EMBA. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university’s business school among the 45 best in the country.

Graduate Tuition: $7,752

#18—University of North Alabama

Florence, Alabama

Online MBA: Executive Concentration

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 2 Years

Points: 6

The University of North Alabama offers one of the most flexible accelerated online EMBA programs in our ranking. Students can opt to complete the program fully online or via a blended learning model, and no GMAT is required for admission. The curriculum for the program requires just 34 credit hours of coursework, including course titles such as:

  • Accounting Information for Strategic Decision Making
  • Strategic Microeconomic Analysis for Managers
  • Business Ethics and Responsibility in a Global Economy
  • Information Systems Design and Project Management

The University of North Alabama is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to confer the online accelerated executive MBA. The school’s online MBA program has been highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $6,660

#17—Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Online Executive MBA in Banking and Financial Institutions

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 24 Months

Points: 6

The online accelerated executive MBA offering from Sam Houston State University is a unique online EMBA in Banking and Financial Institutions. The two-year curriculum for the program requires core courses such as:

  • Managerial Communication
  • Problems in Administrative Finance
  • Selected Topics in Money, Capital, and Security Markets
  • Services Management and Marketing

A comprehensive examination or capstone course is also required before graduation. Sam Houston State holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the online EMBA. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university’s online MBA programs among the top 100 nationwide.

Graduate Tuition: $5,765

#16—Texas Southern University

Huntsville, Texas

Executive MBA Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 24 Months

Points: 6

The two-year accelerated online executive Master of Business Administration program from Texas Southern University is offered through its Jesse H. Jones School of Business. One of the more convenient and flexible options in our ranking, the program is delivered entirely online, and no GMAT is required for admission. The curriculum for the program is also customizable featuring two concentrations:

  • General Business
  • Energy Finance

Sample course titles comprising the 36-credit hour degree plan include:

  • Managerial Communication
  • Strategic Marketing Management
  • Organizational and Management Theory
  • Information Technology

A capstone course in Global Strategic Management is also required before graduation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Texas Southern University to confer the accelerated EMBA online. The program itself is separately accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Graduate Tuition: $5,487

#15—Creighton University

Omaha, Nebraska

Online Executive Healthcare MBA

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 18 Months

Points: 7

Creighton University’s unique, accelerated EMBA online program is designed specifically for executives working in the field of healthcare. Technically a hybrid offering, the program features four on-campus residencies. Once enrolled, students will follow a 45-credit hour degree plan, including courses such as:

  • Legal and Ethical Considerations in Healthcare Management
  • Quality and Performance Improvement in Healthcare
  • Management of Human Resources in Healthcare
  • Executive Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Independent study options are also available, and a capstone is required. Creighton University is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award the accelerated online EMBA. The executive healthcare MBA program is also separately accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online MBA program as one of the country’s top 35.

Graduate Tuition: $16,128

#14—Kent State University

Kent, Ohio

Online MBA (Executive)

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 19 Months

Points: 7

The online accelerated executive MBA program from Kent State University is technically a hybrid option that requires traditional class meetings once per month. Applicants must have a minimum of seven years of related work experience to apply, and students can complete the EMBA program requirements within just 19 months. Sample course titles comprising the program’s curriculum include:

  • Financial Reporting for Executives
  • Applied Statistical Analysis
  • Money & Capital Markets
  • Accounting Information for Executive Action

Kent State is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its accelerated online EMBA program holds separate accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online MBA program among the best in the country.

Graduate Tuition: $11,766

#13—Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

Online Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 21 Months

Points: 7

Technically a hybrid offering, the accelerated online executive MBA program from Auburn University features online coursework combined with brief on-campus meetings. The curriculum for the program is versatile, offering areas of emphasis in the following sub-fields of business administration:

  • Health Care
  • Cybersecurity Management
  • Leadership
  • Operations

Regardless of specialization, students will take core EMBA classes such as:

  • Strategic Analysis and Competitive Environment
  • Information Systems for Competitive Advantage
  • Organizational Leadership, Ethics, and Change
  • Quantitative Decision Making

Auburn University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the online accelerated EMBA. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits the school’s renowned Harbert College of Business. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Auburn’s business school among the top 60 nationwide.

Graduate Tuition: $9,828

#12—University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

EMBA Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 21 Months

Points: 7

Offered through the school’s Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, the accelerated executive MBA online program from the University of Missouri can be completed within 21 months of mostly online study. Courses comprising the program’s curriculum include:

  • Corporate Governance
  • Advanced Managerial Marketing
  • Competitive Marketing Strategy and Brand Management
  • Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship

In addition to online coursework, an international residency is also required. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Missouri to offer the accelerated EMBA online. The program itself also holds accreditation from AACSB International. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university’s graduate business school among the nation’s top 75.

Graduate Tuition: $9,264

#11—Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Executive MBA Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 16 Months

Points: 8

Temple University’s accelerated executive MBA online program is offered through its distinguished Fox School of Business. Though coursework for the program is offered mostly online, students must commit to campus attendance one weekend per month for the program’s duration. The comprehensive 48-credit hour curriculum for the program includes course titles such as:

  • Leading and Managing Teams and Individuals
  • Managing and Developing Human Capital in the Enterprise
  • Individual Organization and Corporate Strategy
  • Enterprise Financial Management

A capstone course sequence is also required before graduation. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has extended institutional accreditation to Temple University to award this accelerated EMBA online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked its business school among the nation’s top 75.

Graduate Tuition: $16,956

#10—University of Toledo

Toledo, Ohio

EMBA Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 12 Months

Points: 8

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Philosophy Online for 2018

One of the most accelerated online executive MBAs in our ranking, the EMBA option from the University of Toledo is offered through its College of Business and Innovation. The program follows a blended learning model and features course titles such as:

  • Analytical Foundations for Executives
  • Legal, and Operational Issues in Doing Business Abroad
  • Accounting Systems for Operational Control & Strategic Management
  • Leadership and Performance Management

A capstone course in Strategic Management is also required for program completion. The University of Toledo has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to confer the online accelerated EMBA credential. U.S. News & World Report has named the school a top national university.

Graduate Tuition: $14,047

#9—Southeastern University

Lakeland, Florida

Online Executive Leadership MBA

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 18 Months

Points: 8

Southeastern University’s fully online accelerated executive MBA program can be completed within just 18 months. The curriculum for the program requires 39 credit hours of coursework, including classes in fundamental business management topics such as:

  • Ethics Stewardship and Legal Environment of Business
  • Global Business Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Information Technology Leadership

Enrolled students will also take executive leadership classes like:

  • Leading Across Cultures
  • Business Strategy and Policy
  • Global Social Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership Philosophy

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Southeastern University to confer the Executive MBA online. The program itself also holds separate accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university’s online MBA program as one of the best in the nation.

Graduate Tuition: $12,810

#8—University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Online Executive Master of Business Administration

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 17 Months

Points: 8

Technically a hybrid offering, the online accelerated EMBA program from the University of Alabama takes 17 months to complete. Offered through the Culverhouse College of Business and the Manderson Graduate School, the AACSB-accredited program features a comprehensive 48-credit hour curriculum with courses spanning topics in leadership, global initiatives, finance, business skills, and more. The Southern Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Alabama to offer this accelerated online executive MBA. According to U.S. News & World Report, the school is home to one of the top 50 graduate business schools in the nation.

Graduate Tuition: $10,780

#7—Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

Online Executive MBA

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 19 Months

Points: 8

The online accelerated executive MBA from Purdue University is technically a hybrid option that requires six in-person residencies over the duration of the 19-month program. The unique 48-credit hour curriculum for the program is designed around six modules, which feature core courses such as:

  • Accounting for Managers
  • Strategic Management
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Change Management

Students also have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of elective classes, including:

  • Compensation and Incentive Systems
  • Innovation and Innovation Management
  • Crisis Management
  • Improving Team Performance

Purdue University holds accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission to confer the accelerated EMBA online. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Purdue’s graduate business school as one of the nation’s best.

Graduate Tuition: $9,208

#6—Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Executive MBA Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 20 Months

Points: 8

Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University offers an accelerated online master of business administration program through its E.J. Ourso College of Business. The Flores Executive MBA features three distinct specialization options:

  • Healthcare Management
  • Analytics
  • Emerging Technology

Regardless of which concentration they choose, all enrolled students will take core courses, including:

  • Managerial Economics
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Data Modeling & Analysis

The remainder of the 36 required credit hours will be comprised of elective and specialization classes. LSU is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to confer the accelerated EMBA online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online MBA programs among the best of their kind nationwide.

Graduate Tuition: $9,132

#5—University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Executive Master of Business Administration Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 16 Months

Points: 9

Technically a hybrid offering, students enrolled in the accelerated online EMBA program from the University of Iowa must attend class meetings four times per month. The robust curriculum for the program includes course titles such as:

  • Accounting/Corporate Financial Reporting
  • Business Analytics
  • Financial Information & Capital Markets
  • Operations and Supply Chain

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Iowa to award the accelerated executive MBA online. The school’s top-ranked Tippie College of Business also holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AABSB).

Graduate Tuition: $10,079

#4—Southeastern Louisiana University

Hammond, Louisiana

Online Executive MBA

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 17 Months

Points: 9

Like many of the accelerated online executive MBA programs in our ranking, the EMBA from Southeastern Louisiana University is a hybrid program that blends traditional and online instruction. The program features an optional Health Care Management concentration and allows students to choose elective classes in either Business or Accounting & Finance. Core courses required for the program include:

  • Managerial Economics
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Business Strategy
  • Financial Management

Southeastern Louisiana University holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the executive MBA online. The program itself is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The school has been ranked among the top 100 regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $6,684

#3—Florida International University

Miami, Florida

Online Executive MBA

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 16 Months

Points: 10

Florida International University’s accelerated executive MBA online program is an affordable option for experienced professionals. The 16-month curriculum for the AACSB-accredited program was developed around six distinct themes:

  • Global Mindset
  • Functional and Technical Tools
  • Critical/Integrative Thinking
  • Big Data/Analytics
  • Professional/Organizational Leadership

Students enrolled in the program will take courses such as:

  • Business Analysis for Decision Making
  • Management of Information Systems
  • Corporate Finance
  • Marketing in a Global Environment

The majority of coursework can be completed online, but some in-person classes are also required, as is an international experience. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited FIU to award this accelerated EMBA online. The school’s online MBA program has been ranked among the top 65 such programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $8,912

#2—Faulkner University

Montgomery, Alabama

Executive Master of Business Administration Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 12 Months

Points: 11

Students enrolled in Faulkner University’s accelerated EMBA online program can complete their degree in just one year of fully online study. The program’s Christian-oriented curriculum consists of just 10 courses, including classes like:

  • Legal Environment of Business
  • International Management Perspectives
  • Management Information Systems
  • Strategic Management

Each course takes just five weeks to complete. Faulkner University is institutionally accredited to offer the online executive MBA credential by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The program itself is separately accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). U.S. News & World Report has ranked Faulkner University among the nation’s leading regional universities in the South.

Graduate Tuition: $10,080

#1—University of North Carolina-Wilmington

Wilmington, North Carolina

Executive MBA Online

Website

Minimum Time to Completion: 12 Months

Points: 13

The highly affordable accelerated online executive MBA program from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington is offered through the Cameron School of Business. Full-time students can complete this 42-credit hour program within just one year of study. Courses comprising the program’s core curriculum include:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Information Analysis and Management
  • Business Law
  • Operations Management

Students must also take two elective classes from options such as the following:

  • International Human Resource Management
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Programming for Analytics
  • Global Strategy and Management

An applied learning residency and international residency are also required before graduation. UNC- Wilmington is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this online credential. The accelerated executive MBA is separately accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online MBA programs among the best in the nation.

Graduate Tuition: $4,719

About Executive MBA Programs

Most business students are familiar with the Master of Business Administration, or MBA, credential. These coveted business degrees prepare students for top leadership positions in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Traditional MBA programs are often full-time degree plans that require students to devote most of their time and energy to their studies for two years.

What, then, is an executive Master of Business Administration degree program? Often called EMBAs, these MBA alternatives are designed specifically for students with extensive management experience who wish to return to school to earn an MBA credential.  Unlike a standard MBA program, the EMBA enables students to complete degree requirements on a part-time basis while keeping their day jobs as busy executives. EMBA students usually take classes on the weekends or in the evenings to satisfy degree requirements.

About Accelerated Online Executive MBA Programs

Executive master of business administration programs are inherently flexible as they are designed to meet working professionals’ scheduling needs. Accelerated online EMBA programs take the convenience of an executive MBA to the next level, however. These degree plans enable students to complete the requirements for their MBA credential either partially or entirely online. Moreover, these programs’ curricula are condensed, enabling students to finish their programs in two years or less. Some of the most accelerated EMBA online programs can be completed in just a year. Prospective EMBA students find the brevity of such programs appealing as they can finish their MBAs and get on with their careers.

Types of Accelerated EMBA Online Programs

When considering accelerated online executive MBA offerings, it’s important to understand that these programs are not identical. In fact, there can be some significant differences from one program to the next. Below, we discuss some of the different types of accelerated executive MBA online options.

Hybrid Versus 100% Online Accelerated EMBAs

Many of the programs in this ranking of accelerated online executive MBA options are actually hybrid programs. That means that enrolled students will be required to attend at least one on-campus meeting. In some cases, in-person classes are held regularly throughout the duration of the program. Students who desire the maximum level of flexibility may prefer a fully online accelerated EMBA. These programs are conducted entirely online and do not require campus attendance.

Synchronous Versus Asynchronous Accelerated Online EMBAs

Accelerated online executive MBA programs may also differ in terms of content delivery methods. Generally speaking, these programs will be either synchronous or asynchronous in nature. Synchronous online EMBA programs are more structured and require specific log-in times for required class meetings. Asynchronous EMBA online offerings, on the other hand, are more flexible and allow students to complete coursework at their own pace. Some online executive MBA programs combine synchronous and asynchronous elements.

Accelerated Online Executive Master of Business Administration: Admissions

The admissions requirements for EMBA programs are similar to those for traditional MBA programs, but there are some differences. Perhaps the most obvious distinction has to do with the applicant’s prior experience in the field. While MBA candidates are generally expected to have some experience in the corporate world, executive MBA applicants must have significantly more. Some of the top EMBA programs require students to have 10-plus years of prior management experience.

Another differentiating factor among MBA versus EMBA admissions is entrance exam scores. While the vast majority of MBA programs will require applicants to submit Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores, this is not always the case for executive MBA schools. In the case of accelerated online EMBA programs, this test requirement is often waived.

As a prospective EMBA online candidate, you can expect various other admissions requirements, however. For example, you’ll most likely need a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. Your undergraduate GPA will be considered an indicator of your success in the program. Other requirements may include:

  • A professional resume
  • A letter of recommendation (preferably from your current employer)
  • A personal statement or essay

Curriculum for Accelerated Online Executive Master of Business Administration Programs

Curriculum requirements for an accelerated online executive MBA program will include anywhere from 30 to 50 credit hours of coursework, depending on the college or university you attend. Most of this coursework will be comprised of core courses addressing advanced topics in fundamental areas of business, such as marketing, economics, operations, and leadership, for example.

Core EMBA Courses

Some core course titles taken from actual accelerated online EMBA programs are listed below for reference.

  • Business Ethics
  • Managerial Economics
  • Global Business Leadership
  • Corporate Financial Strategy
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Business Law
  • Organizational Behavior

EMBA Elective/Specialization Classes

As an accelerated online EMBA student, you may take fewer elective or specialization classes than a traditional MBA student. Still, these types of courses will comprise a small portion of your coursework. Some examples are listed below:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Mastering Social Media and Digital Marketing
  • Coaching and Mentoring

Popular Concentrations for Executive MBA Degree Programs

Specialization options are less common for EMBA students than traditional MBA candidates, but they do exist. Below, we discuss some of the common specialization options found in an online accelerated EMBA program:

Healthcare Management: An accelerated online EMBA with a specialization in Healthcare Management prepares students for the unique challenges of hospital administration. Courses comprising the curriculum for such a program may include:

  • Service Line Development
  • Healthcare Reform and the Future of the American Healthcare System
  • Accreditation Audit
  • Healthcare Data and Analytics

Information Systems

An online accelerated executive MBA in Information Systems bridges the fields of management and information technology. Courses in this concentration may include:

  • Information Systems Design and Development
  • Database Management Systems
  • Networking Concepts and Applications
  • Systems Analysis, Planning, and Control

Business Analytics

Accelerated EMBA online candidates with interest in data-driven decision making may benefit from a concentration in Business Analytics. Students specializing in this popular sub-field of business administration may take courses such as:

  • Decision Modeling
  • Decision Technologies in Manufacturing & Operations Management
  • Visual Analytics
  • Multivariate Data Analysis

International Business

Students interested in conducting business on a global scale should consider an online executive MBA with a concentration in International Business. Such a specialization will require coursework such as the following:

  • Comparative Business Systems and Cross-Cultural Management
  • Advanced Topics in International Business
  • International Financial Policy
  • Economics of Global Inequality and Poverty

Finance

An accelerated online EMBA with a specialization in Finance can open doors to numerous positions in the business world, including chief financial officer, investment manager, financial advisor, budget analyst, and more. Students enrolled in such a concentration should expect to take classes such as:

  • Financial Strategy and Business Decisions
  • International Corporate Finance
  • Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
  • Short-Term Financial Management

Most Frequently-Searched Online EMBA Programs

University of Nevada-Reno: The University of Nevada-Reno offers a fully online accelerated executive MBA program designed to be completed within two years. The program has been ranked among the top 60 online MBA programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Howard University: The accelerated online EMBA offering from Howard University can be completed in as few as 18 months. The 42-credit hour curriculum for the program emphasizes data-driven business analysis.

Louisiana State University: The Executive MBA Flex program from Louisiana State University blends online learning with traditional instruction for a flexible, yet engaging curriculum. Students can complete the EMBA within two years of part-time study.

University of Virginia: The University of Virginia offers both an online executive MBA and an online global executive MBA through its Darden School of Business. Classes are synchronous in nature in order to facilitate maximum engagement.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Affordable Accelerated Online MBA Programs

Before you embark on an online accelerated executive MBA program, it’s wise to get as much information as possible. Below, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about these types of MBAs. Keep in mind that the information we provide here is general in nature and not meant to replace advice from a school’s admission counselor or other official representatives.

Q: How much does an online executive MBA cost?

A: Tuition expenses for accelerated online EMBAs can vary widely and will ultimately depend on the college or university you attend. Affordable online executive MBAs can cost as little as $5,000 per year or less, while less economical options may cost upwards of $50,000 or more annually.

Q: How quickly can I complete my accelerated online EMBA program?

A: Completion times for accelerated EMBA online programs vary. The shortest time to completion featured in our ranking is 11 months.

Q: What is the best online executive MBA for working professionals?

A: While there is no single best online EMBA program for everyone, it is possible to discover the ideal program for you by considering certain programmatic features. Consider, for example, cost, curriculum, scheduling options, and accreditation.

Q: Can I get an online executive MBA without GMAT scores?

A: Yes. Many accelerated online EMBA programs waive GMAT scores.

Q: Are fully online accelerated executive MBA programs available?

A: Yes. While many programs labeled as online EMBAs are technically hybrid options, some 100% online executive MBAs are available.

Career Questions About Online Accelerated EMBA Degrees

Q: What career prospects will I have with an executive master of business administration?

A: An online EMBA enables graduates to advance in their current careers or pivot towards a new occupation. Some job titles commonly associated with an executive MBA include:

  • Human Resources Director
  • Program Manager
  • Director of Sales
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Brand Ambassador
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer

Q: How much will I make with an EMBA?

A: Your exact salary will vary depending on numerous factors such as your degree specifications, employer, and job responsibilities. However, PayScale reports the average annual wage for professionals with an executive MBA to be just over $117,000 per year.

Q: Are EMBA careers in demand?

A: Yes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupations for top executives are currently growing about as fast as average.

Q: What professional associations should I join with an executive MBA?

A: There are numerous professional associations and organizations for EMBA students and graduates. Some of the most well-known are listed below:

  • American Management Association (AMA)
  • Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
  • American Marketing Association (AMA)
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI)

This concludes our ranking of the Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Executive MBA Programs Online.

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