Executive MBA Requirements You Should Know About

Wondering if an Executive MBA (EMBA) degree might be right for you? Executive MBA programs let business professionals integrate their career experiences with classroom instruction. EMBAs aim to unlock the full potential of executives as leaders, managers, and problem solvers. Unsure of Executive MBA requirements? Executive MBAs cater to students who already have substantial work experience and seek to build their knowledge of business intricacies and nuances. That means EMBA applicants must meet different criteria from regular MBA applicants.

Programs like the Washington State University Executive MBA Online, designed to accommodate busy executive schedules, allow experienced professionals to earn an advanced degree without interrupting their careers.

Executive MBA Admission Requirements

Every EMBA program has its own admission requirements when it comes to work experience, test scores, statements of purpose, etc. Nonetheless, admission committees tend to look for specific criteria that help indicate an applicant’s suitability for an EMBA program.

EMBAs focus on expanding the leadership and managerial capacities of professionals who are well into their careers. That means students who enter these programs should already have extensive real-world experience. This allows them to participate in classroom discussions at a higher level, as well as share sophisticated and mature insights unique to more seasoned professionals.

EMBA applicants must demonstrate a record of significant leadership and career progression to admission committees. Applicants also need to show tangible accomplishments in their jobs, such as successful projects that produced quantifiable results. By providing a comprehensive resume and a well-thought-out statement of purpose, EMBAs can showcase their achievements, vision, goals, and make a case for their admission into an EMBA program.

Some EMBAs require GRE/GMAT scores for admission. However, many EMBA programs do not, or they will waive the requirement if applicants have sufficient work experience. EMBA admission committees tend to care more about an applicant’s performance in the business world over their performance on a test. 

Establish a Financial Plan for Executive MBA Tuition

While EMBA tuition varies between universities, data from the 2020 EMBAC Membership Program Survey shows that students pay $82,883 on average for their EMBAs. Coming up with a way to pay such a sum takes careful planning.

Many companies recognize the value of offering a fully paid EMBA to retain high-level employees and invest in their talent. For less than the cost of a typical consulting contract, organizations can prepare an existing executive to advance in the company. Almost half of EMBA students get their degrees fully or partially paid for by their employers, according to the 2020 EMBAC Membership Program Survey

It’s worth noting, however, that most companies that provide this job perk require a work commitment of several years after degree completion, so this option might not work for people thinking of changing careers.

In addition to employer sponsorships, students can receive scholarships or fellowships to help defray EMBA expenses. In fact, the 2020 EMBAC Membership Program Survey found that 60.3 percent of EMBA programs provide such assistance.

Deadlines for many scholarships and fellowships fall between October and February, the same time most graduate school applications are due for the following school year. That means to take advantage of these opportunities, starting the search and application process early is a good idea.

Student loans and aid packages can also factor into plans to cover EMBA tuition. While some prospective students may hesitate to take out loans, it’s important to remember that the cost of an Executive MBA can pay off in the long run. EMBA graduates typically earn 14% more after completing their programs, according to the 2020 EMBAC Student Exit Survey. The survey also found that 39% of EMBA students receive promotions even before they complete their programs.

Have Business Experience

Executive MBA requirements consider an applicant’s professional background, including management experience. Admission committees want to ensure students can keep up with their fellow classmates, as well as enrich learning environments populated by individuals advanced in their careers.

Before applying to an EMBA program, professionals should keep in mind that although regular MBAs average about four years of work experience, data from the EMBAC Program Survey shows EMBAs average about 14 years of work experience. Additionally, EMBAs have on average almost nine years of managerial experience.

Commit to Your Education

EMBAs make intense demands on a person’s time and energy. In many ways, these programs can become like a second full-time job. EMBA students need to devote at least 20 plus hours a week to their coursework. This may mean delivering a key presentation to the C-suite, studying for a final, and preparing a school project on the same day.

To successfully complete an EMBA, it’s essential that prospective students understand the commitment it requires. While in the program, time once devoted to hobbies and friends may have to be spent managing homework, study hours, and other responsibilities.

Find a Work-Life Balance

While EMBA programs require students to make tradeoffs, a work-life balance is crucial to success as a student, professional, and family member. A healthy balance is a key to thriving in all of these spheres.

Communication plays a key role. Keeping people at work informed of school obligations and arranging for colleagues to step in as necessary can help things go more smoothly. Communicating with and reaching out to family members for support can also help EMBA students keep their lives at home afloat and get the most out of their programs.

Integrate Your Education with Your Career

How can EMBA programs produce graduates with only a part-time commitment for two years? Because the average EMBA candidate already has nine years of real-world management experience. With that kind of background, students can absorb and apply concepts quickly. Continuing to work while studying is also an advantage. Each day at the office becomes an extension of the classroom, as real-world challenges and opportunities bring textbook concepts into sharp focus and invite application as well as experimentation.

If you’re interested in learning high-level strategic skills, advancing in your career, and bringing a fresh vision to your current challenges at work, these flexible programs deserve consideration.

Professionals who meet Executive MBA requirements stand to benefit considerably from pursuing the degree. Discover how can help executives expand their potential as leaders in the business world.

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