The 2018 Best Executive MBA Programs in Europe

Some of the best business schools in the world are located in the United States. There are Ivy League universities and notable schools peppered across the country, but America isn’t the only place to earn an executive MBA (or EMBA). Europe is home to a variety of prestigious EMBA programs, some of which may be a better fit for your ambitions – especially if you want to work abroad, deal internationally, or work for a company that operates in a variety of different markets.

Here are some of the top executive MBA programs in Europe from Ivy Exec’s 2018 Best Executive MBA Programs ranking. Have a look. You might find a program that works for you.

The IE Global Executive MBA

The IE Global Executive MBA is one option. The 15-month program is offered through the IE Business School at IE University in Madrid, Spain. The IE Global Executive MBA is designed for professionals who need to manage transnational operations. With this in mind, the program requires five residential periods as well as online classes. It involves a mixture of online courses and face-to-face classes in locations as diverse as Los Angeles, Madrid, Sao Paulo, and Singapore. The split is 60 to 40, respectively, and the average class size is 38.

Applicants are required to have a minimum of five years of work experience and some professional international experience – however, that is the minimum. The average EMBA student there has 10 years of experience. Top student industries include banking, finance, professional services, energy, construction, transportation, and automotive. IE University is a well-established business school. It boasts more than 50,000 alumni.

IESE Global Executive MBA

Also consider the IESE Global Executive MBA from the University of Navarra’s IESE Business School in Spain. It is ranked 6th in its region for prestige, 4th for career advancement, 6th for curriculum, and 4th for global experience. The program takes sixteen months to complete and spans four continents.

There are two track options – American and European. However, both include coursework in Barcelona. Also, both IESE Global Executive MBA tracks are comprised of 50% classroom time, 25% online coursework, and 25% experience-based learning.

The average class size with the IESE Global Executive MBA is 60 students and they bring an average of 15 years of work experience to the table. Top student industries include manufacturing, financial services, consulting, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals. More than 45,000 people have graduated from the IESE Business School so the alumni network is extensive.

The INSEAD Global Executive MBA

The INSEAD Global Executive MBA is based in Fontainebleau, France. It is ranked number one in its region amongst EMBA programs for prestige, career advancement, curriculum, and global experience. There are three possible tracks. The Asia EMBA program requires several modules that last between four and 11 days, taken over the course of 17 months. It involves a total of 53 days of classroom study. The Middle East EMBA from INSEAD can be completed in 15 months. The modules last up to two weeks but it still requires only 53 classroom days to complete. The Europe EMBA is the quickest option from INSEAD at 14 months however, its modules last up to two weeks and a total of 63 days of classroom time are needed.

The average class size in the INSEAD Global Executive MBA program is 235 students and they have 13 years of work experience on average. Top student industries include financial services, energy, chemicals, telecommunications, media, manufacturing, and retail. There are more than 54,000 INSEAD alumni worldwide.

London Business School Executive MBA

The London Business School Executive MBA from LBS is also worth a look. The program is ranked 2nd in Europe and 5th in the world. Within its region, it is ranked 2nd for prestige, 2nd for career advancement, 3rd for curriculum, and 2nd for global experience. The 20-month program has two options. The London Business School Executive MBA has a London program that meets on Fridays and Saturdays, every other week while the LBS EMBA Dubai program meets in modules that last four to five days. These take place every month in Dubai although some visits to London are required. In either case, the London Business School Executive MBA is 100% classroom taught.

The average class size is 70 students and the average length of work experience before beginning the program is 12 years. Top student industries include finance, oil and gas, energy, IT, telecommunications, consulting, and construction. There are more than 42,000 IESE Business School alumni in the world.

As you consider different programs for your Executive MBA, remember to think outside the box – and outside your home country. Earning your EMBA in Europe is great way to expose yourself to transnational operations and management while providing an opportunity to study at some of the most prestigious business schools in the world.


Ivy Exec’s goal in releasing its 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 Executive MBA program for themselves. Pursuing an EMBA is a significant investment of time, not to mention money, so these rankings may help a professional consider potential ROI ahead of time.

About the Author

Renee Ann Butler is a business writer whose writing has appeared in numerous outlets related to finance and investing, from TheStreet to SCORE. She has an MBA, degrees in psychology, and over 15 years of experience working with hedge funds and startups.