Poets & Quants for Executives

U.S. News’ 2013 Ranking of EMBAs

by John A. Byrne on

US_News_Grad_2014_3_12_13U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 ranking of the best Executive MBA programs in the U.S. feels a little bit like a television rerun.

For the third consecutive year, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School topped the list of the best, followed by No. 2 University of Chicago’s Booth School and No. 3 Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

With the exception of only one school, the University of Southern California’s Marshall School, which slipped to 11th from 10th place a year ago, the top ten look pretty much the same as well. Columbia Business School, the largest prestige player in the EMBA market, moved up one spot into a fourth place tie with Duke University’s Fuqua School.

New York University’s Stern School exchanged places with UCLA’s Anderson School, with Stern picking up one place to finish sixth while UCLA ranked seventh. The only school in the top ten to climb two places was the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School which took ninth place, up from 11 in 2012. UNC’s two-place rise is most likely the result of its new online MBA program which has boosted the school’s overall profile in the executive space.

BIGGEST WINNERS: WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY & SOUTHERN METHODIST

This year’s biggest EMBA winners are Washington University’s Olin School, whose Executive MBA offering rose five places to finish 14th, and Southern Methodist University’s Cox School, whose EMBA jumped six spots to rank 15th. On the other hand, Marquette University plunged nine places to rank 24th, while Cornell University’s Johnson School dropped six spots to end up at 19th.

The U.S. News ranking, published yesterday (March 12, 2013), is based entirely on a survey of business school deans and MBA directors. The magazine said its survey to those school administrators had a response rate of 43%, though U.S. News failed to report how many officials were in the sample or what percentage of them filled out the section listing and ranking EMBA programs. So this specialty list differs significantly from U.S. News’ overall ranking for the best full-time MBA programs which uses many more metrics, from average GMAT and GPA scores of enrolled students to starting salaries and bonuses.

STANFORD ON THE LIST EVEN THOUGH IT DOESN’T HAVE AN EMBA

For yet another year, U.S. News’ list included Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, even though Stanford does not have an Executive MBA program. Instead, it has a one-year, full-time Sloan program for experienced managers, but that is not considered an EMBA program. The school’s inclusion is a strong reminder to users of the ranking not to take it too seriously.

The deans and MBA directors U.S. News asked to name and rank EMBA programs have no direct knowledge of these programs at other schools. They largely select schools on their overall reputations–which is how Stanford ends up on the list. (One other note: As a marketing ploy, U.S. News claims this is a 2014 ranking to give it greater shelf life. It is based on 2012 data and released in 2013 which is why we label it a 2013 ranking.)

There are other weird anomalies here as well and most of the oddest results occur toward the end of the list where the data gets very thin. If you were to believe this ranking, then you would have to agree with U.S. News that Cornell University’s EMBA program is no better than the one at Santa Clara University, Seattle University, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and Xavier University in Cincinnati. After all, U.S. News’ ranks all four of the Executive MBA programs at those schools 19th.

How could these schools possibly tie with Cornell for having one of the best EMBA programs in the U.S.? We offer two theories. One reason why Cornell slipped six places is more likely due to its unpopularity among rival MBA directors who are less than happy with the school’s EMBA partnership with Queen’s School of Business in Canada. The Cornell-Queen’s program now competes with local and regional business schools in 23 different markets, ranging from San Jose, CA, to Portland, OR, largely via a videoconferencing model that has raised eyebrows among other schools which have lost quality applicants to a bigger brand that is using technology to siphon off students they otherwise would get.

THE-YOU-SCRATCH-MY-BACK-I’LL-SCRATCH-YOURS RANKING

A cynic also might be tempted to point out that Seattle, St. Joseph’s, Xavier and Marquette, which U.S. News ranks at 24th just behind the four schools tied at 19, are all Catholic, Jesuit universities. In all liklihood, the deans or MBA directors of these schools all voted for themselves to get their schools on the U.S. News’ list. This you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-your-back approach is the only way that such third-tier business schools would be able to make the list over other more worthy EMBA programs.

This is less of a problem toward the top of the list where greater numbers of business school officials cast votes for the highest ranked EMBA programs. So the top dozen or so EMBA programs cited by U.S. News looks like a pretty credible list of the best in the U.S.

(See following page for our table of U.S. News’ top 25 Executive MBA programs)

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  • FutureEMBAstudent

    As a prospective EMBA candidate, I found this to be an Interesting article, but am disturbed by USN. I think the USN methodology seems frought with peril and is so inconsistent with their mehodology for Full-Time programs. Giving likely very biased school Deans the power to decide the outcome is a strange way for USN to guide interested applicants?? – Not very factual – just opinon?? I would go by BW and P&Q and WSJ. Better yet, I look most closely at the full-time rankings – it is the same degree…I think it is silly in some ways to rank them all separately. A Columbia MBA degree is a Columbia MBA degree – it does not matter to me what format you achieved it in.
    The results confirm the worst. Having Stanford included even though it does not have an EMBA program is outright strange? Seems they are discrediting themselves by puttiing this out. MIT at #17 is odd. Cornell at #19 is laughable. Cornell is ranked #8 on the highly credible P&Q composite ranking which assesses all of the major rankings results all at once.
    Incidentally, the Cornell-Queen’s eMBA program is a dual-degree partnership (an MBA is earned from each University). Also, the content is delivered by real-time/live and FULLY interactive VIDEO Conferencing and NOT teleconferencing as mentioned. Over 40% of the program is also actually live on campus. It is an outstanding program and one of my top choices. And if, as the article suggests, other Deans are nervous about it – they should be, it is fantastic, having recently visited a Boardroom to see what it was like.
    Cheers!
    Also, it is not unique. Notre Dame also offers a similar option for its excellent EMBA program.

    • JohnAByrne

      Thanks for weighing in with some very thoughtful and helpful comments. First off, you are right about the Cornell-Queen’s program. It is videoconferencing and NOT teleconferencing. I fixed this error in the story. And I do agree that in general it’s best to go by the overall MBA ranking which more fully reflects the brand value of an individual school. EMBA rankings generally help to exclude schools without executive programs and may give users some additional information that is valuable–especially when they reflect data on satisfaction levels by recent graduates (BusinessWeek).

      • FutureEMBAstudent

        Thank you for your prompt reply…very much appreciated! I felt very passionate about the Cornell-Queen’s EMBA program after my visit to a Boardroom and discussions with program administrators and current and past partcipants. Accordingly, I was curious if you feel positively about the program as well?
        Many thanks…
        Cheers

        • JohnAByrne

          I am positive about the program, but not entirely sure about the cost/value proposition. Sounds like I need to do some more homework on this and have a much closer look at the program. Will do. Stay tuned.

          • FutureEMBAstudent

            Thank you for the feedback – glad to hear you think positively about it! I would greatly appreciate any deeper dive that you do on the Program…Cheers again!

    • nio

      If one is to include Stanford, I think that the best program out there is HBS’s PLD program. Its an extremely popular program and attracts very high caliber people taught from the very best professors of HBS

      • FutureEMBAstudent

        @ nio,
        Thanks for the comment. BTW and first, I have personally decided to join the Cornell-Queen’s EMBA program and am super excited. Thanks to those in the Program and from outside who helped form that decision. Despite a number of silly barbs from some posters here (no effect on me), it is the program that I am most excited about and it best fits my life and objectives. BTW, having lived overseas for a number of years, Queen’s University is a potent brand overseas (despite people in the US admitedly not being aware of it) and I love the idea of having an MBA degree from both Cornell and Queen’s each that I can use as I see fit over my future, when, where, and as appropriate.
        Now – Thanks for your comments – so Stanford was not on my list, but obviously a superb program. I am looking for an executive format program that lets me preserve my current job, which I am very much interested in improving and trying to grow further within my organization – Stanford would require me to leave – and so is not a good fit. Additionally, at approximately 40 yrs old, I am and a far stronger fit with eMBA class profiles than the Stanford program class profile. Lastly, I am looking for an MBA credential and Stanford is not an MBA, but I recognize given that it is Stanford that this likely does not matter to many, but it does to me.
        I agree completely that the Harvard PLD program has a terrific reputation – and some great heavyweight professors supporting it, like Clayton Christensen. I also had a close friend complete the Program who loved it. However, he already had an MBA degree from earlier in life and so obtaining this credential and ultimately HBS alumni status was a great continuing education strategy for him, however for me, I am absolutely committed to obtaining an MBA Degree versus a certificate – and I will not compromise on that even for Harvard. Just my perspective – I recognize and respect that others will and do think differently and I respect that fully.
        Thx again…

        • hbsfun

          PLD’s popularity and prestige is so high, that it outranks the majority of top EMBA programs (with probably the Exception of the Stanfort SF and Wharton EMBA, not sure about MIT though). It doesnt matter that it does not carry the “MBA” brand, however, the rigor, intensity and practical isights of the program are unparalleled. I strongly think that HBS has “predicted” that education is being disrupted and therefore PLD is on the forefront of disruptive innovation, whose pioneer is Clay Christensen (and professor at PLD program). They know what they are doing and they are ahead of all of the schools in the same manner they were ahead of all schools when they first established the standard of the MBA degree back in 1908: a quote from wikipedia “In 1908, the Graduate School of Business Administration (GSBA) at Harvard University established; it offered the world’s first MBA program, with a faculty of 15 plus 33 regular students and 47 special students”…HBS’s history of innovation continues. I honestly believe that the MBA is on the downfall- this is something that P&Q has also demosntrated through the stats that it has been providing every now and then. The post MBA salaries are not the same as they used to be as well. PS I am an MIT Sloan Graduate.

          • FutureEMBAstudent

            Thanks for the post. However, I disagree with the notion that the MBA is in decline. I think the PLD is a fantastic capstone and continuing educational tool but a Certificate will not replace an MBA degree – unless you already took an MBA earlier in life and then of course, why get an Executive MBA, a six month certificate program from some of the best minds would be a great enhancement.
            My close friend/co-worker who did the PLD advised me strongly that the PLD was an incredible experience and worth every penny BUT he also shared that it is NOT a replacement for the education he gained from his prior MBA and that it does not approach the amount of content learned in an quality MBA program.
            Did u earn an MBA prior to participating in the PLD (assuming u did the PLD)? Seems like people I have spoken with do not exactly view it as a substitute. I know some that are pursuing specialized degrees in risk management or data analytical that are considering the PLD as a supplement but again some of them already took an MBA earlier…thx

          • hbsfun

            HBS mentoins PLD “an alternative to an Executive MBA” which catters to the EMBA market while differentiating itself. I am an MIT grad and considering doing the PLD. I heard its tougher to get in than almost all EMBA programs (with the exception of Stanford SF I was told). It is not 6 month program. The core program is 7 months but in order to obtain HBS alumni status, you need to complete further coursework which may extend for up to 5 years. As for the pure MBA, its definitely in a free fall (and therefore the proliferation of EMBAs which are ujustifiably insanely expensive) – have you read P&Q analysis on this? Its everywhere. As for PLD, who would not love to have Clay Christensen as his professor; or Robert Kaplan…and with few electives, you may chose Michael Porters class or some classes of other renowed faculty. I think its the very best you can find aroung combining prrestige, top education, and time out of work. I salute HBS for this.

          • hbsfun

            Also in your argumentation “it does not approach the amount of content learned in an quality MBA program” I would like to ad than in a typical MBA/EMBA program you go over marketing/economics/etc 101 classes and who needs this beginner classes? Its a total waste of time and money and presicely thats why PLD is shorter- its 100% practical going into the “meat” from day 1.

          • FutureEMBAstudent

            You have done your research and are certainly passionate. Good luck to you – as I am sure with you will gain admission with such entusiasm and an MIT background to boot.
            It is great to be excited about something…I am also super excited about my plans which I have determined best match my own needs and goals. Wish you the best…

          • johndabot

            Thank you for bringing the PLD subject here hbsfun. I have a BSc Eng from MIT and have applied to the PLD for but I was told I am on waiting list due to huge demand. Since, as it appears to be the case, you have made deep research on the PLD program, could you share more insights on this? For instance, how do recruiters view it? What access to resources from HBS you got and what are the overall long term benefits vis a vis a traditional EMBA program? I have heard that its an outstanding program and the chair was recently replaced by Professor Michael Tushman which I hear was chairing HBS’s AMP. I was more inclined to follow the PLD instead of an EMBA because of the unparalleled reputation of HBS, excellent faculty and practical curriculum. I also hear that many graduates manage to easily change jobs after completion of the PLD program. I would appreciate your thoughts and share your research on this. Thanks.

          • FutureEMBAstudent

            Besides cost/expense, and if HBS is your target and you are ok with a Certificate instead of a degree, than why is PLD favored over say their GMP program? The GMP curriculum also looks compelling – and you finish with HBS alumni status right away instead of having to find your way back to take additional credits to achieve alumni status later. Also, another question is, how do other HBS graduates look at HBS alumni who did not earn a degree (MBA), but a certificate – do you REALLY get the respect deserved from HBS MBA alumni? I could see the bonding with fellow PLD participants or GMP etc but what about the whole HBS universe? Lastly, would it not be masterful and superior if HBS just credentialed these certificate programs with a degree – call it a Master of Management instead of an MBA, but if they are willing to grant alumni status than why not call it a degree? Great offerings, just concerns I would have…

          • Inee

            The reason HBS does not offer an EMBA program (even though highly profitable) is to protect the value of its MBA degree. This is also why they don’t offer a masters degree in management. In other words, there are no shortcuts to earn a Harvard MBA. There are many ways to achieve alumni status at Harvard. Just go to Harvard Extension school and get a master degree there. Similarly, you can go to School of Continuing Education at Columbia and get a masters degree and become a Columbia alum. The problem with these degrees (including PLD certificate) is that it doesn’t take long before people figure out that you have a non traditional degree and you constantly have to explain what it is. And these degrees usually don’t carry much weight or command respect in the real world.

          • FutureEMBAStudent

            Good points – when you say “these degrees usually don’t carry much weight or command much respect in the real world” – do you specifically mean certficates like PLD or GMP at HBS or degrees like from an extension school? Just wanted to make sure I undersand…thx

          • Inee

            Any degrees granted by extension or continuing education schools “and” any type of certificates including certificates issued by the one and only Harvard Business school. At the end of day, certificates are just certificates.

          • FutureEMBAstudent

            Thx – We agree fully.

          • dave

            Let me disagree. PLD is extremely well regarded in the recruitment world and its very competitive to get into. Far more competitive than most EMBA programs and the professors are the very best HBS has. It has been repeatedly mentioned in P&Q that the MBA is losing a lot of ground. For instance on the front page of P&Q there is a discussion about the MBA degree demise “Columbia Dean Makes Case For EMBA- Believes traditional MBA degree will decline..” While HBS agreeably doesn’t want to kill its traditional MBA brand (remember that HBS has been the pioneer of the MBA degree) its now pioneering the “degree” of the next generation: the PLD. It is commensurate to the requirements and needs of a highly competitive world. It attracts top class students who do not want to ruin their career progression. I have heard that PLD is so competitive to get in to that it may take a couple of years for a good candidate to manage to get a seat in class… I know its very bad news for traditional EMBA holders but the PLD will eventually ruin the traditional EMBA market, hence the “alternative to an EMBA”. The only program I could consider replacing it with is the Stanford Sloan Fellows program and nothing else…I know it hurts some people a lot but reality is reality. btw I quote “Executive MBAs seem to change the delivery mechanism, but not necessarily the content, whereas I think PLD offers a new and better curriculum. My expectations have been met and exceeded every step of the way.”

            David Klug, Senior Associate
            Morgan Stanley, U.S.

          • FutureEMBAstudent

            We agree – the PLD is highly regarded. I think we only disagree on certificate versus degree. And I think this is a personal decision – personally I would rather have a degree, but again that is personal. You obviously disagree – no problem. This is what makes a market-place. Debating about which is better – a high quality eMBA or PLD is silly – they are both excellent. Interested parties will decide what is best for themselves…it is certainly not my place to make that judgement for anyone but myself and we both have.
            As to the Columbia Dean, IMO he made a clear case in favor of the EMBA (and also PLD although not expressly) – but he is not trashing an MBA degree really at all – just the format in which it is earned. Afterall, an EMBA (which he touts) is not a special degree – the degree received is an MBA, the “E” is just denoting the format in which it was earned…which he favors. But that is only one opinion – does not mean it is accurate either…
            Congrats to U on PLD – great choice…

          • hbsfun

            obviously you must be either a reject from PLD or you really have no idea what you are talking about

          • hbsfun

            I think employment opportunities are great. I would not like to get into the benefits as they have been mentioned numerous times. Its an HBS brand and very few manage to get it into their CVs. Unfortunately, some people here who hold EMBAs from other schools appear to be very unhappy with the PLD offering. I urge these people to apply to the program and lets see how easy it is to get in. Sorry to say but it is killing the EMBA market. If you wanna do something serious with extraordinary education and value in terms of career progression, networking, prestige, etc. go for it and do not listen to other comments here which are being made for the sole purpose of intentionally diminishing the brand of PLD.

          • Inee

            I think you just proved why people should avoid novelty programs such as PLD because you’ll end up spending so much time and energy defending the program for the rest of your life (and no I didn’t get rejected from PLD because I’ve never heard of this program and have no desire to get a certificate from Harvrad). I’m not sure how PLD can kill the EMBA market since EMBA results in a MBA degree (remember there is no such thing as EMBA degree) whereas PLD results in a.. certificate. Unless MBA degree becomes obsolete, EMBA market (just like full time MBA, accelerated MBA, part time MBA, etc) will be just fine. Let’s talk when Harvard decides to make PLD a degree rather than a certificate. I heard this site offers various free certificates http://www.freeprintablecertificates.net/category/funny

          • hbsfun

            Now I am 100% convinced that you are a PLD reject…PLD is the next generation degree. on the contrary. I do not spend much time and energy defending the program. You try too hard to diminish the program in the eyes of the readers with 0 success. HBS is HBS .. remember. When you manage to finally get admitted to PLD lets talk…

          • hbsfun

            Just out of curiosity Inee. Where did you graduate from? I smell you got an EMBA somewhere?

            PS. I am an MIT graduate FYI

          • Birchtree

            Based on your strong writing style and passionate arguments, I think you and I may have dialogued on this before (you with a different screen name) and had a great and spirited debate about the plusses and minuses of eMBA’s and of the PLD…you are a great supporter of the program and understandbly so…

            When you say that you are a MIT grad – in our past conversations you indicated that you had an MBA from MIT…and then pursued the PLD in later years to bolster your tool-kit.

            If I am accurate – I think that it is tough to advise people to pass on an MBA for a Certificate, whether or not in an Executive format, if they have never had those foundational courses that may be second nature to those who already have an MBA.

            If I am wrong in my memory – sorry in advance…
            Thanks and Best…

          • hbsfun

            Birchtree, I am not the guy you are referring to though I have read most of the comments related to EMBA programs as well as the HBS innovative program “PLD”. There are so many MIT graduates I know who wish to pursue the PLD. Don’t forget that both schools are located in Cambridge. I also know people with a PhD from MIT who pursued the PLD. PLD is not the kind of “certificate” you may have in mind. PLD is the future generation “degree”. When HBS first launched the MBA in 1908, nobody knew about it. The HBS MBA was getting a lot of criticism by people who attended other schools with Science degrees (most probably). In a similar manner, PLD, 100 years later, is disrupting the market and given the significant debate about the program, it probably attracts a lot of attention. Again, the only program I would probably compare it against would be the Stanford Sloan Fellows which I hear that it is also a spectacular program. My suggestion: if people wanna feel comfortable with the “MBA” tag then go this way. For forward looking people looking at the next generation “degrees” HBS is the way. Besides, the HBS brand is unbeatable.

          • Birchtree

            Cool – Thx…and best to you

          • morisson

            hbsfun, I am a Yale graduate (law) and considering several options, amongst them: HBS PLD, MIT Sloan Fellows, Stanford Sloan Fellows. Which one do you think would boost my career/marketability? I am also looking at several interesting combinations such as the PLD + CFA or PLD + MSc from Stern School. I have a friend at Korn Ferry who highly recommended me to apply to HBS but would also like your view. I very much like the fact that HBS’s PLD is the “Alternative to an Executive MBA”, meaning that its directly competing against the EMBA world. I have also heard that the HBS network is the very best in the world. The same for its career resources. Thanks, Joe.

          • J

            morisson = hbsfun

          • hbsfun

            The EMBA is a very light version of an MBA and is not considered at all at par from recruiters! Did you see the pathetic selectivity rates of EMBA programs? Basically, you have $$$$$ and you get in thats it!! Recruiters know about it and it doesn’t help that much to get another job. Its your career achievements and xp that do help. HBS has realised it and therefore has launched the PLD. First, its far more selective to get into compared to EMBA programs, second, you do not waste your time with 101 classes in Marketing, Finance, Accounting and all these baby theories costing you thousands of $$$ for the first year, etc, third your network potential is unparalleled and last, the HBS brand is unbeatable.

          • Birchtree

            You are certainly passionate about all of this – and I do respect that BTW. Your focus on selectivity though, while understandable on the one hand is a bit misplaced for two reasons IMO only:

            1) Many top eMBA programs offer pre-screening to prospective applicants and so if an appicant receives a less than enthusiastic response to a pre-screening – they will be unlikely applicants – so the admit rates obviously trend higher because you see a much higher proportion of very likely admits applying versus unlikelys…

            2) At around 35 – 45 yrs old on average, I do not believe many eMBA prospects are all that concerned with selectivty – IMO, they are way more interested at the prospect of learning and the overall quality/brand of institution/University behind the degree. I have not any conversations in my cohort about selectivity – more of an undergraduate college confidential thing I think???

            3) As to recruiters, they know about pre-secreening from point 1 and also firms looking for experienced hires, like an eMBA graduate, are typically not very concerned with college selectivity??? The MBA degree from a highly credible school is a checklist credential in many cases from my experience. Most eMBA candidates are not competing for the same jobs with the FT MBAs – different points of career completely in most cases?
            Thx – just my thoughts

          • Poet

            The further coursework for alumni status that you refer to is only 2 additional weeks, so that still only 7 months of actual study

  • Patricia

    I attended an MBA session for that Queens-Cornell executive MBA and I thought it was a boondoggle. First off they have their own GMAT type entry exam that they administer, you don’t need an undergraduate degree and it is by video conferencing. It was also very expensive and seemed just a cash grab. Anyone can get in if you apply and pay. Personally I think it brings down the value of the degree overall and the two schools involved.

    • Birchtree

      As a current participant in the Cornell-Queen’s EMBA Program, I am sorry that you feel so very differently than I and so many in my cohort do – as this has experience has been life changing for me and far exceeded my expectations. Everyone is entitled to their opinion however and so I respect yours. However, I question whether you are genuine – most would not insult a program like this one as you have who have pure intentions IMO – perhaps you have some axe to grind? And you are factually incorrect and uneven in your judgements which makes my suspicion meter ring loudly.

      As to your points specifically, since facts are always better than opinions – Most top US EMBA programs (I am US based) now do no require the GMAT anymore – since the average age of participants is often in the 35-40 range, taking a standardized test has been determined not to be indicative of academic capability. MIT, Northwestern Kellogg, Duke, Michigan Ross,Chicago Booth (by waiver), NYU Stern, and Virginia Darden (by waiver) as examples no longer require the GMAT, as does Cornell and the Cornell-Queen’s EMBA programs.

      Also, the no undergraduate degree comment is laughable…many top schools indicate that they will evaluate candidates with exceptional backgrounds even without a degree. (Like Bill Gates as an example – what school would not admit). However, the reality is that everyone in the Program not only has an undergraduate degree but almost 40% have advanced degrees as well – again making this comment leads me to believe you have an axe to grind.

      I am sorry that you did not see what so many others have determined is an excellent opportunity. My cohort is comprised of students working for top companies whose participation in the Cornell-Queen’s program is supported by or sponsored by their companies – such as:

      Apple, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Coca Cola, SalesForce.com, Disney, lulu lemon, Dell Computer, Biogen, PWC, and T-Mobile as just a few examples.

      Clearly, you have picked up on something that so many others and their companies have missed…but again everyone is entitled to their opinion – I am just sorry that you did not see it more positively.

      Best of luck in your future endeavors.

      • Jim

        I call bs on this program, Queens quite frankly is overrated and located in Kingston Ontario (hardly a hotbed of management). Cornell is the name here and they are foolish to pair with Queens, as an American it is who cares. As well, Cornell has many online certificates which are high school like in difficulty. There is no way a video degree can match a rigorous regular MBA program. This program will not be around in ten years in my opinion, it is a lightweight resume filler that when matched up makes no sense. This program makes it too easy for someone to earn an MBA and I know several people that were admitted without undergraduate degrees.

        Executive MBA’s are silly now and more for those short on credibility, a good manager does not need an MBA. Most decent companies of size have their own in-house short courses ( GE, IBM, Xerox ). I tend to think of these executive programs as fluff now with better coffee and muffins and at best decent networking. The latter clearly does not justify the expense and EMBA programs now admit thin management experience to help with pay the freight.

        • Karl Valley

          It’s called “cognitive dissonance”. You did not do an EMBA, and therefore, you need to discount the value of an EMBA. What you learn in a good EMBA is also to be more open-minded to other ideas, career paths, and preferences.

        • Birchtree

          @ Jim.
          Respect the opinion, but obviously we FULLy disagree on this topic. I also call BS – as you say! I suspect you may also enjoy watching the big game from your couch and yelling at the players how they should have executed that last series – or perhaps when you are not driving but someone else is. It is simple to crticize things which you have formed opinions about but actually do not truly know about.
          Actually, in truth, at approximately 40 years old now, I thought exactly like you about 3 0r 4 years ago and basically for my whole professional career prior to that period. I figured Executive MBAs are not real or not rigorous etc. But my career began to evolve from that of a specialist in my field into a more and more general management role – where I began to manage the specialists etc. It was an evolution for me and one which I increasingly found that I lacked both the actual experience in doing and the technical/academic background. I determined that I needed to expand my tool kit to be the most effective I could be for our shareholders. I started a long research process into part time and Executive MBAs and ultimately found that from an academic standpoint and logistical standpoint, that the Cornell-Queen’s Program was the best suited for ME – this does not mean for everyone else. Like many in the program, I selected this program over others for which I was admitted to and would again in a heart-beat.
          With two young kids, and a very busy professional life – trying to find a program that offered the logistics and balance necessary is tricky.
          Additionally, like many in this program, we were attracted to both the Cornell and Queen’s brands. Cornell ranked #7 in BW and Queen’s #4 in BW outside of the US. They are excellent business schools despite your most strident attempts to bash them – do not understand your hatred. Becuase Dartmouth Tuck is in the isloated management and commerce hotbed of Hanover, NH – does this somehow make it a irrelevant? Does not make sense?
          I like almost 40% of classmates already has a prior Masters’ degree – your focus and assertion on the no undergraduate degree comment is really silly. The people in this Program are the most extraordinary folks I have met – amazingly talented as managers and truly brilliant in the class room. The workload is incredibly challenging – but it is very much worth it when you keep your eye on the prize.
          I and others have worked my *** off on school work for this program and you having never done so might be well served not to insult such efforts – it has been painfully tough and a tremendous strain on my family and work – and your bashing it without any realy knowledge ror stake or skin in the game, is insulting.
          What is the prize? An MBA from Cornell University and a separate MBA from Queen’s University. Two world class MBA degrees. And despite, your best attempts to bash two great Universitys’ – Cornell and Queen’s – each school only grants one MBA degree to their graduates. This MBA degree can be earned in several different formats depending on your point in life ..including the Cornell-Queen’s EMBA. This is not something taken lightly by either University.
          Also, your attempt to link Cornell’s non-degree certificate offerings designed for community enhancement and outreach to one of their degree programs is far-fetched.
          I wish you the best and am sorry that we disagree on this…
          Cheers!

          • Jim

            I did a real EMBA and not video conferencing and an undergraduate degree was mandatory as was the GMAT. You suffer from cognitive dissonance for delusions re. this Queens program. It is fluff plain and simple given the cost.

          • Birchtree

            Very well thought out and argued – nothing left to do since you have officially weighed in on this program with all of your authority…
            Tremendous reasoning…I am left speechless. Cheers!

          • Ted

            I think the Cornell Queens program is a clever way to earn a top brand MBA (Cornell). Most people will burn the Queens degree as they walk out of the commencement ceremony and just say that they have a Cornell MBA. I do agree that this program dilutes Cornell brand and hopefully Cornell will cancel it soon.

          • Ken

            I don’t think they’ll cancel it. I’m sure it’s a huge cash cow for them.. then again all EMBA programs are cash cows.

        • Roadcycling

          RoadCycling•2 days ago

          +

          Flag as inappropriate

          Disclaimer, I’m a student in the CQEMBA program. I chose Cornell over
          Kellogg, Michigan, and MIT primarily for convenience and the fact that Cornell
          has a great brand name in the real estate space (my field). I did not apply to Wharton EMBA because the average age skews too young for my tastes. I have
          an engineering undergrad degree from a top school and masters in finance from
          another tier one school – both done full time. I took the GMAT and scored
          760. I’m 41-years old with 20-years of real work experience, I feel compelled to write something because a lot of the below regarding Cornell, and CQEMBA specifically, is completely ridiculous.

          Assertion #1: There are a bunch of people in the program without an
          undergrad degree. Reality #1: What, this is crazy. Over 40% of my class have
          masters degrees, PhDs, MDs, JDs, etc. from schools like Dartmouth, Chicago,
          Northwestern, Cornell, Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, etc. I don’t know anyone who
          does not have at least a bachelor’s degree, and most people went to top schools.

          Assertion #2: Pay the money and you will get in and get a degree – tell that
          to the very significant number of people (from great schools and companies) who
          had to “leave” the program for academic reasons. If you are not quantitatively
          strong, I sure hope you hire a tutor or you will struggle. Everything is graded
          on a curve and the other program participants are very strong – a significant
          percentage of people receive Cs, Ds, and Failing (F) grades in the “core”
          courses. The pace is brutal and you will work 15-20 hours per week outside of class. As an FYI, all of the professors are at the top of their fields and almost exclusively have PhDs from top schools like MIT, HBS, etc. Take a look at the Johnson School website, you’ll
          get the picture pretty quickly.

          Assertion #3: CQEMBA is not a real EMBA. The videoconferencing aspect is
          really no different than being in a classroom. You will be cold called, your
          classmates and professors will bite your head off if you make an
          uninformed comment. I actually prefer the videoconferencing aspect due to reasons noted below.

          Complete disclosure – because Cornell’s first EMBA residential is very
          early relative to some of the other schools I considered, I hedged my bet and
          did not decline my second choice school until I met my future CQEMBA classmates. After
          the first day of the first residential session I called my #2 school and told
          them I would not be attending. The reason – most of my classmates are amazing.
          What I really like is that the participants come from such a huge diversity of
          companies – this is possible because of the teleconferencing aspect. As someone
          indicated below, we have people from Apple, Google, Disney, Goldman, JP Morgan,
          Morgan Stanley, Salesforce, Coke, IBM, Microsoft, PE & VC funds, etc.

          Everyone is obviously entitled to their opinion, but please make sure you are informed befor commenting so you don’t perpetuate misinformation. A few years ago BusinessWeek had an extremely active business
          school discussion board; however, the “trolls” took over and rather than deal
          with the silliness, informed people moved away from the platform and now it’s dead. I hope that
          doesn’t happen here. Good luck to everyone exploring EMBA options. As an aside,
          I’m not sure why someone who sees no value in an EMBA would bother posting
          to this discussion.

  • a minor poet mba

    Armed with a Question

    Make time for poetry as you make time for tea
    Roll out the old wooden keg regularly
    Both feet up like books on a shelf
    Thumbing a dozen, toast to your health

    Jar out a window slink through a door
    Abandoning thought as you do a dull chore
    Batting abound lift web-winged else
    No earthen kinship imaginary elf

    Surfacing child that gravity’s born
    Silken wild centuries worn
    Travel rime wind you often resist
    Unravel time as it rips and it twists

    Sewing a seem darn original knews
    A curtain draws its drapery eschews
    Every above is a dawn to its under
    Of what I am certain I certainly wonder

    Now the water is boiling it’s time for tea
    Dull chores wait some yawn patiently
    Jarring a window blinking the door
    Armed with a question, Shall I ask for?

    matthew v brown

    matthew v brown

  • Peter

    John,

    Below needs investigated as it is also happening in the other specialty rankings within US News. If you are putting it out there then investigate it.

    ”A cynic also might be tempted to point out that Seattle, St. Joseph’s, Xavier and Marquette, which U.S. News ranks at 24th just behind the four schools tied at 19, are all Catholic, Jesuit universities. In all liklihood, the deans or MBA directors of these schools all voted for themselves to get their schools on the U.S. News’ list. This you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-your-back approach is the only way that such third-tier business schools would be able to make the list over other more worthy EMBA programs.”

  • Meopine

    There are 2 things no institution should do: #1. Introduce a degree granting distance learning program, #2. Partner up with no name schools. Guess what, Cornell managed to do both! I feel that Cornell made a short sighted decision and failed to consider long term reputational consequences before starting this program. Why do you think no other half prestigious schools launched similar programs? I mean, the technology is there, you just setup bunch of “conference rooms” around the world and off you go. Even if it might be hugely profitable, other schools don’t do this because schools live and die on reputation and this “video conferencing program” is clearing harming Cornell’s brand (I’m sure Queens is loving it… they got nothing to lose you know..)

    • Rinaldo

      What do you mean by no name schools? Queen’s MBA is consistently rank within the top five schools for MBA education among international business schools.

      BW 2012 Intrernational MBA Ranking:

      1 – University of London

      2 – INSEAD

      3 – IE University

      4 – Queen’s University

      5- University of Oxford
      6 – ESADE

      Secondly, Cornell-Queens program has 40% of the program delivered through residencial sessions and 60% through video conference, which is a fantastic experience and in some aspects more interactive.

      If you follow the industry will find out that this is a very inovative model that is being replicated by several top tier institutions.

      • Meopine

        First, Queen’s was ranked 42 by Poets and Quants and not even ranked by any of the other 4 major rankings.
        Second, I’m glad that you like the video conference format. I’m sure it’s an interesting and convenient experience. My point is that there is a reason why other prestigious schools aren’t doing this (brand protection). Name one decent MBA program that leverages video conferencing format (why do you think Wharton invested millions in setting up its San Fran program instead of putting up few conference centers?)

  • Gilda

    As for the Cornell Queens program, it’s all about supply and demand. If there are people willing to pay $100,000+ for an online, conferencing, remote whatever program, then schools will offer such programs (its a bit surprising that an Ivy league school would do this instead of University of Phoenix or something). I personally know that they tried to launch this program near my home town in Sacramento but I don’t think enough people signed up and they eventually gave up. But I’m sure its popular in remote areas where there are fewer choices.

  • nio

    HBS offers the best program that exists right now and this is the PLD. All other programs are over rated and dramatically expensive while they do not carry the HBS brand (or that of Stanford). Moreover, selectivity for most EMBA programs start at 40%+ and HBS’s PLD is 22%…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-Hill/604199506 Sue Hill

    I find it interesting that all of the ‘bashers’ of the CQEMBA on this thread are mis-informed. Some just a little, some grossly. Queens is the founding program that provided the technology platform for course delivery of the CQ program. Cornell partnered with Queens in order to be able to capitalize on that excellent mode of delivery provided by the conferencing boardroom structure. Queen’s is also ranked highly from an international perspective. (U.S. citizens are often gloatfully ethno-centric (e.g. a comment below about burning the Queen’s degree) and it I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t reflect well on us).

    I am a person with about 30 years of work experience. I worked in a Fortune *1* company for many years, with leaders from all over the world. We hired the best of the best from top schools – including Cornell, Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, Chicago Booth and Northwestern, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge and several schools from India and China as well. We also brought in our own slimmed down versions of short burst 2 week targeted biz-school topic programs from Kellogg, Wharton, etc. for management training. Our HR department created extensive management training programs and I participated in many of them. I developed business plans while in my leadership roles, I executed budgets, developed marketing plans, engaged in product design and development, built customer engagement programs, and personnel hiring models, etc. I had Stanford and MIT Masters’ graduates and Harvard PhD’s reporting to me. I thought perhaps I had really learned so much at my company that I had gained the equivalent of an MBA through experience. Guess what? I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

    I enrolled in the Cornell-Queens program because I moved cross country and am starting a second (encore) career now in a new economic region with different players and different politics. I needed an even stronger edge than my career experience. I love technology and have been in that arena my entire life. With CQ, I saw an innovative technology based model for delivery that doesn’t shortchange the student one iota because you are in a live classroom the entire 8 hours you participate with the other students and faculty, and it delivers a program that reaches across countries and regions – making for a much better experience than a regional only audience. I specifically chose to enroll in the CQ program for the technology based offering and the student-centric model that offers a program for you to attend near your own home base. (I still travel 3.5 hours every class day to attend in the NYC boardroom – NYC: that tiny, remote, out of the way little city where these programs are supposedly held according to one commentor.)

    My husband enrolled in a globally top rated MBA that required he fly every other weekend to his destination and the cost was much higher in $, time and lifestyle. My program at CQ is far superior in content, global exposure, and rigor than his appears to have been (i.e. I can run circles around him on just about any business subject now :)). Both the Cornell and Queen’s faculty are excellent and deliver the same content to the EMBA courses as that in their MBA courses. EMBA content is delivered more rapidly and condensed, but you get the exact same curriculum and same education. You do have to work your buns off to stay on top of it, as you are working full time and often have family responsibilities as well. But that’s the commitment that EMBA participants make. EMBA programs have what post-undergrad fulltime MBA programs don’t – people with experience in the business world who bring that back in to the classroom for highly relevant discussions and shared learning. While working at my company I hired plenty of ‘newly minted graduate students’. Students with MBAs and PhD’s and little work experience under their belts still have a lot to learn. Hiring professionals are now actually looking for more EMBA graduates for that very reason.

    Participating in the CQEMBA has been a fantastic experience for me in that it has filled in gaps, showed me foundational principles that drove why we did what we did in my business environment, and enabled me to start my own company with much more knowledge and confidence than I would have had in the past – with a much higher probability of success.

    Nope, there were no “special home made GMATs” or standard GMATs for that matter to enroll in the CQEMBA. Reasons for that are cited in another comment that explains it well and notes that most higher ed institutions are moving away from standardized testing scores for entrance criteria. Undergrad transcripts, surveys about work experience, interviews and responses to some specific questions are part of the entrance application. Same as MIT and Wharton. (Except Wharton still does use the GMAT in addition to all of the above). No fluff here. Standard practice.

    All in all – I am very happy with the quality of education I’m getting and the price is slightly less than at Wharton or MIT, which is nice. I will proudly list my Cornell MBA *and* my Queens MBA as credentials when I graduate. I hope my classmates do the same.

    • Jae

      Hi. I do see the value in not having to go to Ithaca or Canada to attend classes. My question is, if the goal is to make it convenient for working professionals, why not just offer a web based program to completely eliminate commute hassles? I ask because you mentioned that you still have to commute 3+ hours to get to the boardroom. Besides the opportunity to meet few classmates in person, what additional benefits does the boardroom setting/technology offer that cannot be replicated using a PC? (web conferencing software are pretty good these days so I’m genuinely curious). Thanks.

      • Cee10

        The boardroom session is just to get around the online stigma. Understandably Cornell does not want to say it has an online mba. The original Queens emba has pure online element (in addition to boardroom and residential sessions) but CQ removed the online piece so it can market its program as non online. If you are interested, Cornell does offer a traditional emba program near Nyc but it’s more expensive.

      • Scott

        Queen’s EMBA (I don’t think the CQEMBA has the option yet) now offers an extended “desktop” option. Instead of attending the traditional boardroom, our team were given a Polycom set up that mimicked the boardroom communication infrastructure. Double display panels on on screen, one showing slides the second the professor with live two way audio video link. We were able to attend class along side the boardroom teams from our home/office. Our seven team members telecommuted from Bermuda, Ontario, Alberta, Cambridge Bay (Arctic Circle) and Vancouver. Our experience was equal or better then the boardroom teams as we did not lose even 15 minutes commuting. Our only challenge was planning none class meetings due to the 5 hour time difference spread. The technology was awesome as it was no difference from sitting in class other than you raised your hand electronically when you needed to ask a question.

  • RoadCycling

    Disclaimer, I’m a student in the CQEMBA program. I chose Cornell over
    Kellogg, Michigan, and MIT primarily for convenience and the fact that Cornell
    has a great brand name in the real estate space (my field). I did not apply to Wharton EMBA because the average age skews too young for my tastes. I have
    an engineering undergrad degree from a top school and masters in finance from
    another tier one school – both done full time. I took the GMAT and scored
    760. I’m 41-years old with 20-years of real work experience, I feel compelled to write something because a lot of the below regarding Cornell, and CQEMBA specifically, is completely ridiculous.

    Assertion #1: There are a bunch of people in the program without an
    undergrad degree. Reality #1: What, this is crazy. Over 40% of my class have
    masters degrees, PhDs, MDs, JDs, etc. from schools like Dartmouth, Chicago,
    Northwestern, Cornell, Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, etc. I don’t know anyone who
    does not have at least a bachelor’s degree, and most people went to top schools.

    Assertion #2: Pay the money and you will get in and get a degree – tell that
    to the very significant number of people (from great schools and companies) who
    had to “leave” the program for academic reasons. If you are not quantitatively
    strong, I sure hope you hire a tutor or you will struggle. Everything is graded
    on a curve and the other program participants are very strong – a significant
    percentage of people receive Cs, Ds, and Failing (F) grades in the “core”
    courses. The pace is brutal and you will work 15-20 hours per week outside of class. As an FYI, all of the professors are at the top of their fields and almost exclusively have PhDs from top schools like MIT, HBS, etc. Take a look at the Johnson School website, you’ll
    get the picture pretty quickly.

    Assertion #3: CQEMBA is not a real EMBA. The videoconferencing aspect is
    really no different than being in a classroom. You will be cold called, your
    classmates and professors will bite your head off if you make an
    uninformed comment. I actually prefer the videoconferencing aspect due to reasons noted below.

    Complete disclosure – because Cornell’s first EMBA residential is very
    early relative to some of the other schools I considered, I hedged my bet and
    did not decline my second choice school until I met my future CQEMBA classmates. After
    the first day of the first residential session I called my #2 school and told
    them I would not be attending. The reason – most of my classmates are amazing.
    What I really like is that the participants come from such a huge diversity of
    companies – this is possible because of the teleconferencing aspect. As someone
    indicated below, we have people from Apple, Google, Disney, Goldman, JP Morgan,
    Morgan Stanley, Salesforce, Coke, IBM, Microsoft, PE & VC funds, etc.

    Everyone is obviously entitled to their opinion, but please make sure you are informed befor commenting so you don’t perpetuate misinformation. A few years ago BusinessWeek had an extremely active business
    school discussion board; however, the “trolls” took over and rather than deal
    with the silliness, informed people moved away from the platform and now it’s dead. I hope that
    doesn’t happen here. Good luck to everyone exploring EMBA options. As an aside,
    I’m not sure why someone who sees no value in an EMBA would bother posting
    to this discussion.

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