The 2018 Best Executive MBA Program Rankings

2018 executive mba rankings announced by Ivy Exec

For the third consecutive year, we proudly announce the launch of our 2018 Best Executive MBA Programs ranking.

In its third iteration, these rankings have not only grown in scale of participation, but also in terms of recognition. To create these rankings, Ivy Exec surveyed approximately 6,000 top-level professionals from our community (~20% sample size growth over 2017), to learn about 250+ Executive MBA programs around the world. For this year’s rankings, 168 made the final list of programs executives consider as top prospects when contemplating an EMBA degree.

Ivy Exec’s goal in releasing these annual EMBA program rankings is to support its members and the broader, global professional community, in making better-informed decisions when selecting the best-fit EMBA program for themselves. Pursuing an EMBA is a significant investment of time, not to mention money, so these rankings may help a professional make a strong determination, based on factors our community deems important for differentiating among top Executive MBA offerings.

The rankings are the result of a valuable, perception-based study, which compiles scores in the areas of Prestige, Career Advancement, Curriculum, Global Experience, and Life balance, to determine their overall ranking amongst programs both regionally and globally.

We are pleased to release these 168 programs, which epitomize the best of what the globe offers for executive education and professional advancement. As a subset of the broader rankings of solo programs, we also ranked the top 28 joint EMBA programs globally.

#1 – INSEAD Global Executive MBA

For the second straight year, The INSEAD Global Executive MBA occupies the top spot in our global ranking. It was ranked #1 for Prestige, Career Advancement, Curriculum, and Global Experience. It also received the #1 spot for the European regional ranking.

One of the distinguishing features of INSEAD’s EMBA program is its Leadership Development Programme (LDP), which goes beyond the academic content to help its students develop themselves as the instruments of leadership. Students are assigned a coach for the duration of their program, enabling individualized support from seasoned mentors who can appreciate both the personal and professional challenges students might face. This is complemented by group coaching, which acts in effect as a laboratory within which new leadership behaviors can be attempted and honed.

The Top 10 Globally Ranked Programs

2017 saw the debut of regional rankings, which allowed executives to consider the programs they might most likely attend as a function of proximity. This update to the rankings methodology, which impacted overall global ranking per school, had some interesting effects on the 2016 rankings. Now in the second year including this measure, we are seeing early signs of stability in the results. The top 5 programs remain the same in 2018 except for a notable change — the Wharton MBA for Executives (Philadelphia) jumped three positions from 7th in 2017 to 4th position this year. Unchanged in their slots are (#1) INSEAD, (#2) The Kellogg Executive MBA Program, (#3) Chicago Booth Executive MBA, and (#5) London Business School Executive MBA.

Another noteworthy shuffle saw Columbia Business School Executive MBA Program move from 10th to 6th position, followed by (#7) Duke Global Executive MBA — down one spot from 2017. (#8) The IMD Executive MBA reversed positions from 2016’s order with (#9) The Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. Rounding out the top 10 and making its first entry into this stratum is (#10) MIT’s Executive MBA Program.

Like any top 10 list, the programs who rise to this level enjoy almost universal positive regard in how they can impact one’s intellectual and leadership capacities toward career advancement. This said, there are several more programs of note in these rankings that also enjoy strong brand value and recognition in the executive education marketplace.

Highlights of 168 EMBA Programs from Around the Globe:

In addition to the perception-based and qualitative data gathered to make these rankings, the individual program profiles contained therein also provide robust, hard data that will aid executives not only in understanding simple things such as cost of attendance, but also information regarding international travel within programs, cohort size & demographics, and even average post-degree salary increase to help you truly begin to calculate your ROI.

Drilling down from the global view, here are some notable programs from around the world, by region:

In addition to the best EMBA programs by region, we also ranked the 28 best Global Joint EMBA programs. The top 5 joint programs are:

  1. EMBA-Global Americas and Europe (Columbia University & London Business School)
  2. Kellogg-HKUST EMBA Program (Northwestern University & Hong Kong Univ. of Science and Technology)
  3. TRIUM Global Executive MBA (New York University & London School of Economics & HEC Paris School of Management)
  4. The Executive MBA Americas (Queen’s University & Cornell University)
  5. Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program (Northwestern University & WHU)

Other notable programs include the (#10) Global OneMBA (GEMBA) (UNC, Xiamen University & RSM & EGADE & FGV-EAESP), (#11) The IE Global Executive MBA. To view the full list of 28 joint programs, click here.

If an Executive MBA is potentially in your future, we are confident that this ranking will help you make the best decision to support your professional growth and advancement.

About the Author

Nii Ato is the Senior Content Manager at Ivy Exec, following four years on the front lines providing day-to-day career and resume advice to our members. When not creating or sourcing content to support member-advancement -- he plays left mid-field for Arsenal [in his mind].