Military veterans are exceptional Executive MBA (EMBA) candidates. Many have held leadership roles while serving their country. This leadership can help them in securing the job placements that help them successfully complete their master’s degrees. Veterans are also diligent and able to handle the busy schedules required of those pursuing an EMBA while also working full time.
Despite the value they can bring to their programs, military veterans are not always a catered-to demographic in business school. According to MBA Data Guru, veterans make up only about four percent of MBA applications, meaning that most businesses schools don’t have a large contingent of active duty or former military students.
Still, there are differences between EMBA programs that want to welcome military veterans and those who don’t. If you’re a military veteran, you want to find a program that demonstrates its interest in attracting and retaining students like you, as well as offering support for this unique and valuable student sector.
Here, we’ll share four EMBA programs that have signaled their commitment to veterans with their transitional programs or financial support.
Rutgers encourages a smooth transition for into civilian careers in business with its Mini-MBA: Business Management for Military and Veterans. Before or during the EMBA program, veterans can also opt into this Mini-MBA, where they learn how to transition the skills and experience gained in the military into civilian entrepreneurial ventures.
Rutgers not only helps veterans connect their competencies to the business world but also encourages them to learn new skills to ease the transition into the world of business. Veterans will also be paired with mentors in the business world to help them transition their skills. This three-credit elective Mini-MBA also counts towards the EMBA degree, so veteran students are always working towards their degrees.
U.S News and World Report ranked Auburn University’s online MBA program as number eight in its list of “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans.” To qualify as a top program, schools must offer the GI Bill, as well as be ranked in the top three quartiles of online MBAs. Students in the EMBA program complete about 30 percent of their coursework online and another 70 percent in-person, so veteran EMBA students can benefit from the excellence of this online MBA education.
Veterans are also welcomed in Auburn’s EMBA in other ways. The school waives its application fee for active duty veterans, as well as allowing veterans to use their VA benefits to cover a significant portion of their yearly tuition fees.
Cornell SC Johnson School of Business is extremely veteran-friendly. Veterans typically start in the business school’s Immersion Program, which helps veterans consider the skills and competencies they need to successfully change their careers. In this program, you’ll take four or five accounting courses, so you’re more familiar with these skills before beginning your internship.
Cornell’s Metro NY program also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program for U.S. Veterans. Each year, the school will accept maximum veterans’ benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This means that you’ll have $26,000 towards your tuition annually in addition to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ matching funds, which add an additional $26,000.
The Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University tailors its Executive Master of Global Management for veterans from admissions to graduation. In 1946, the school founded the Lt. General Barton Kyle Yount Program to help veterans acclimate and excel at Arizona State. After all, the Thunderbird School was originally an airbase.
When you apply, you’ll be connected with a Military Enrollment Liaison who can help you prepare your materials. Once admitted, you’ll be connected to veteran students or alumni, as well as to a Military Assistance Specialist who can help you find useful resources. Further, in collaboration with the Hinrich Foundation, the Thunderbird School offers certain scholarships exclusively for veterans.
Researching Veteran-Focused EMBA Programs
Finding a EMBA program that welcomes you as an active duty or retired veteran is important. Not only do you want to look for a program that welcomes students with military experience, but you also want to find one that offers transitional programs that encourage you to use your military skills in business.
While these four programs are a smart place to start in researching veteran-friendly EMBAs, you may have other factors to consider, as well. “Ivy Exec’s 2020 Best Executive MBA Programs” ranks EMBA programs on factors, like curriculum and prestige, that can be important in choosing an EMBA program. Once you’ve narrowed your list of possible programs, determine how welcoming veterans are in each program by researching each school’s veteran-focused program’s scholarships, courses, and mentorships.