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If you’re considering getting your MBA, you might be asking yourself this question: Is an executive MBA program the same as an MBA program?

The simple answer is yes. Whether you decide on a full-time, part-time or executive MBA program, you’ll end up with the same master of business administration degree. However, an executive MBA program differs from traditional MBA programs in a few key ways.

Student Makeup

One of the largest differences between MBA and EMBA programs is the students themselves. At Kellogg, EMBA students have an average work experience of 14 years, whereas the average part-time student enters with 6.5 years of work experience and the average full-time student has 3-7 years. The typical age for a Kellogg executive student is 38.

Age and work experience aside, your typical EMBA student has extensive expertise in their field and is looking to broaden their perspective. In an executive MBA class, you’ll learn as much from your peers as your professors; your classmates’ industry- and function-specific wisdom augments the curriculum.


If you’re like many busy executive students, in order to have time, you need to schedule time.

EMBA programs are modeled specifically for busy executives based on this concept. EMBA students take classes over the weekend 1-2 times per month. This intensive course structure allows you to focus entirely on your studies. The program is an immersive experience that allows you to get much of your coursework done during class weekends and reserve your work week for your career, family and personal life. And with everything from accommodations, meals and snacks provided in the same building as your classes, you’ll enjoy truly distraction-free learning.

Curriculum Structure

Full-time and part-time MBA programs usually allow students to select classes and define a major or concentration. In the Kellogg EMBA program, students take the courses at the same time as their peers, which allows them to form deep bonds with their classmates and study group members. Taking core courses in all fields of business also develops a broader management perspective. Ultimately, you’ll be able to understand and lead a wide variety of teams within your organization. In your second year, you’ll be afforded more flexibility and can take elective courses in topics of interest to you.

In addition, classes are typically taught at more of a macro level than part-time or full-time programs, because EMBA students are seasoned professionals. Students are ready for a focus on executive decision-making, strategy and global business.

Direction and Goals

Executive MBA students enter as successful managers, directors and CEOs. They’ve already found success, and they’re looking to gain perspective that will help them move beyond success to significance. As one student, James B. Rosseau EMP98 described his classmates, they “could use their MBA to make more money, but so what? [Instead they] want to contribute to society and make the world a better place.”

Have more questions about Kellogg’s executive MBA program? Contact admissions or tweet us your questions at @InsideKellogg!

Think the Kellogg executive MBA program may be right for you? Download the EMBA brochure or apply today. If you don’t think the EMBA program is the right fit for you, you may want to look into Kellogg’s Part-Time Program.