Executive Education

Top EMBA Programs in the West

emba west usa

A growing number of prestigious EMBA programs across the American West are making higher education a possibility at a fraction of the cost of their East Coast counterparts.

With the exception of our top three ranked programs in the West, virtually all of the other EMBA programs in the region came in well under $100,000 for a degree. This, without impinging on the average salary boost that EMBA program participants could expect upon graduation.

  1. The Wharton MBA for Executives San Francisco

East Coast, West Coast—it doesn’t matter. The Wharton School dominates our EMBA rankings nationwide. With a price tag of $192,900 for 24 months, graduates can expect a 24% salary boost after graduation. While impressive, it is worth noting that graduates of the Wharton School’s program on its main campus in Philadelphia saw an average 84% salary boost after graduation, even with the same tuition cost.

  1. The Berkeley MBA for Executives

If you’re looking for a better return on investment than Wharton is offering, Berkeley might be your best bet. Even better, Berkeley requires a comparatively smaller, though still substantial, investment of time and money. Berkeley EMBA program participants can earn their degree and average a 93% salary boost in just 17 months with a price tag of $174,000.

  1. The UCLA Anderson Executive MBA

For $150,000, EMBA program participants at UCLA Anderson can earn their degree in 22 months. With most classes made up of around 75 students, the average member of the UCLA Anderson cohort has 14 years of experience in the workplace.

  1. Executive Master of Global Management—Arizona Cohort

While the Arizona State program came in fourth in the region overall, the school’s global experience came in first. And it’s no surprise: half of the cohort is made up of international students. For $87,500 and a time commitment of 17 months, students can expect an average 45% salary boost after graduation.

  1. The USC Marshall Executive MBA

Although USC Marshall came in at number five on our rankings, the program is punching above its weight on several metrics. Regionally, it ranked number four for career advancement, number four for curriculum and number three for life balance. At $66,840 for the 22-month program, it is about a third of the price of the top program in the region.

Western Region Programs of Note

The UC Irvine Executive MBA is an especially attractive program. The program ranked far higher on several important metrics: UC Irvine came in at number eight for career advancement, life balance, curriculum and global experience. The program also offers a much more balanced gender distribution than many of its competitors. With an average class size of 42, the gender breakdown was about 60% male to 40% female. After graduation, students went on to a wide variety of industries. Around 19% went into technology, 18% went into consumer products and 16% went into financial services.

Todd Cote graduated the EMBA program at UC Irvine in 2015. He is now the National Finance Product Manager for Toyota Financial Services. He credits the program with giving him a new perspective on entrepreneurial challenges.

“The EMBA program was a 21-month journey of new learning through valuable experiences in the classroom and beyond,” Cote says. “Collaborating with the diverse talents of my class taught me how to look at challenges differently. And the network of highly esteemed alumni showed me how to tap into my potential, which has helped me achieve significant gains both professionally and personally.”

The UC Irvine program also offers a unique window into global business affairs with an international trip for each cohort. The class of 2016 will be traveling to Myanmar and Thailand this year.

The University of Colorado makes its debut to our rankings this year. This 21-month program, which is designed for dynamic, working professionals, meets every other weekend on Fridays and Saturdays.

Students of the program are organized into study groups for the duration of the program, which fosters collaboration over course work, and continuity throughout the program.

EMBA students also benefit from a faculty that represents three Graduate Schools which support the program, including the Leeds School of Business in Boulder, the Business School in Denver, and the Graduate School of Business in Colorado Springs. On top of that, the faculty at CU’s program possess real-world business experience and the ability to teach from the executive perspective.

Wayne F. Cascio, distinguished University Professor at the University of Colorado, for example, has served as president of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (1992-1993), Chair of the SHRM Foundation (2007), the HR Division of the Academy of Management (1984), and as a member of the Academy of Management’s Board of Governors (2003-2006).

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