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Top MBA, Executive MBA and Executive Education Programs

Top MBA, Executive MBA and Executive Education Programs

Jane Porter & Geoff Gloeckler | Business Week

Not everyone has a year or two to devote to a full-time MBA program. Here’s the best in part-time MBA, executive MBA, and executive education programs.

Anyone who has considered a full-time MBA program already knows about the ugly economics. Tuition and living expenses can set you back more than a year’s salary, and taking two years off adds another two—in all, more than 300 large for a top program.

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That’s why many managers opt for one of three basic alternatives: an executive MBA program, typically offered on weekends and designed for senior managers; a part-time degree program, designed for mid-level managers and offered in a nights-and-weekends format; and executive education, shorter nondegree courses that in many cases are created for specific corporate clients. BusinessWeek has been ranking executive MBA and executive education programs since the 1990s, and this year we are launching a new ranking of part-time MBA programs as well.

To find out what it takes to create an extraordinary program, we decided to delve deeply into three of our top-ranked schools. In their own unique ways, all are attempting to give part-time students something akin to a full-time MBA experience by being global, hands-on, and academically rigorous.

At the University of California at Los Angeles’ Anderson School of Management—our top part-time MBA program nationally—we discovered a school that challenges students to apply everything they have learned in a final project that takes them well outside their comfort zones. At Harvard Business School, one of the top executive education programs in the open enrollment category, we found an already successful program in the midst of a game-changing overhaul, with a new array of programs targeting every level of the corporate hierarchy. And over at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, our longtime No. 1 executive MBA program, we found a program where the customer is king and teamwork is part of the school’s DNA.

Three Top-Ranked Schools:

1. U.C.L.A.

2. Harvard

3. Northwestern