Executive Education

What Is a Joint EMBA Program—And Should You Attend One?

Executive MBA

A joint EMBA program offers the best of all worlds. Students can take advantage of the resources and networks between multiple world-class universities, and they’re exposed to an internationally focused agenda. There are also opportunities to travel and apply the instruction material to various economic, cultural, and political landscapes.

Here’s why our members at Ivy Exec enroll in joint EMBA programs—and which programs they rate the highest.

Why Should You Consider a Joint EMBA Program?

  • Resources: The key to a joint EMBA program is the ability to pool resources. Students gain access to the top minds, research, and curriculum offered at two highly regarded institutions instead of just one.
  • Alumni Network: Joint EMBA programs also give graduates a combined alumni network, which will enhance their reach and career opportunities beyond what can otherwise be expected from a solo program.
  • Innovation: Collaborative business schools can be more receptive to freely exchanging ideas across national borders. They commonly have innovative curriculums, as well as professors who can teach across cultural divides.
  • Financial Sense: A joint EMBA program has financial incentives too. With a joint program, you’ll receive two EMBAs instead of just one.

According to our Joint Executive MBA Rankings for 2019, several programs stand out among Ivy Exec members: the EMBA-Global Americas and Europe program offered by Columbia Business School and London Business School, and The Executive MBA Americas offered by Cornell University and Queen’s University. Here are some highlights from those programs.

EMBA-Global Americas and Europe

Two of the most prestigious business schools in the world—Columbia Business School and London Business School—come together to offer the #1 ranked joint EMBA program: EMBA-Global Americas and Europe. It’s designed to help students create a global-minded future in business with an international network to match. With classes held in both London and New York City, students of the EMBA-Global program will offers insight into two of the world’s leading financial cities.

Alumni Network

Graduates of the EMBA-Global Americas and Europe program gain access to an alumni network of more than 82,000, between both London Business School and Columbia Business School. About 94% of this cohort are international, and finance, manufacturing, and consulting are the top three most-represented industries among the student population.


The curriculum is taught in intensive four- or five-day blocks with classes alternating between locations. Students complete all their core work during the first year, building a foundational understanding in Financial Accounting, Leadership and Organizational Change, and Marketing Strategy.

Joint EMBA

Then in the second year, students can choose from an extensive portfolio of electives, including:

  • Managing Change
  • Risk Management
  • Value Investing
  • International Finance
  • Globalization and Markets
  • Customer Centric Innovation

There’s also an international seminar where students meet with senior industry leaders worldwide and consult on real-life business problems. Previous assignments have taken place in Buenos Aires, Munich, Beijing, Athens, Tel Aviv, Cape Town, and more.

The Executive MBA Americas

The Executive MBA Americas is another EMBA program with strong reviews from Ivy Exec members. Students earn their degrees from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management in New York and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. But students don’t have to travel to those locations to study. Boardroom classes are held throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico in Atlanta, Houston, Ithaca, Los Angeles, Seattle, Calgary, Mexico City, Lima, Santiago, and other North American cities.

Alumni Network

EMBA Americas graduates belong to a network of more than 34,000 alumni between both the Johnson and Smith classes. Over 154 countries worldwide are represented among graduates from the program, and about 51% of students have origins outside the US. Finance, energy, telecommunications, engineering, and manufacturing are the largest sectors among the student body.


The curriculum includes general management courses alongside custom case studies. It’s designed to provide a broad management education within an international context. In the first year, students learn about management fundamentals, strategic thinking, entrepreneurship, leadership, and more.

The following topics are covered in the core curriculum:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Successfully Implementing a Strategic Plan
  • Evaluating International Market Opportunities
  • Managing New Technologies
  • Optimizing Employee Relationships
  • Building Collaborative Relationships

Outside the core coursework, students also participate in two long-term assignments: a New Venture Project and Global Business Project. In the New Venture Project, students create an entrepreneurial business plan. For the Global Business Project, students analyze a topic that affects the contemporary international market. 

Choosing a Joint EMBA Program

A globally focused, joint EMBA program is ideal for students who don’t want to choose one location but instead want the best of multiple universities. There are many advantages to a joint EMBA, including accessibility to more resources, a larger alumni network, and a more internationally diverse cohort. The key is to choose the program that fits your needs based off the curriculum, class location, and faculty. To learn more about Ivy Exec’s study of 300 EMBA programs worldwide, visit the 2019 Executive MBA Rankings page. The results reflect the opinions of over 5,957 members who participated in our survey.

About the Author

Kelly Vo is a full-time freelance writer specializing in digital marketing, personal development, and content creation. A social media and brand development expert, you can find Kelly at http://kevowriting.com/ where she helps businesses and executives develop their authentic voice.