12. Thunderbird School of Global Management
1 Global Place
Glendale, AZ 85306
Delivered on alternate weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) over 17 months (primarily at the Glendale, Arizona campus, with global residency rotations in China, Russia, the Middle East, Europe & South America), Thunderbird’s Executive MBA-US curriculum is designed to help students develop a sophisticated global understanding of business operations and leadership. The program combines a traditional MBA curriculum with in-depth international and language studies, plus overseas experience and exposure.
Global business considerations – whether economic, political or cultural – are integrated throughout the Thunderbird curriculum. Language instruction in the Executive MBA program is offered in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. To earn the EMBA degree, students must reach a specified level of proficiency in a language that is not their native language.
Application Deadline: Rolling admissions
Latest Up-to-Date Executive MBA Rankings:
2012 Poets&Quants: 12
Rankings Analysis: The Thunderbird School had one of the best showings of any school on the 2012 PoetsandQuantsforExecs’ ranking of EMBA programs, rising six full places to a rank of 12 from 18th a year earlier. The uplift in our composite ranking was based largely on significantly improved standing in both the BusinessWeek and U.S. News rankings that came out in 2011.
U.S. News, which hadn’t ranked Thunderbird at all in the previous year, placed the school 20th on its list of EMBA programs. BusinessWeek, which had relegated Thunderbird to its unnumbered “second-tier” status in 2009, gave the school’s EMBA program a rank of 16th in the world. Those two changes are behind the big six-place gain in the P&Q survey.
The Financial Times, however, had a different view of things. It ranked Thunderbird’s EMBA program 93rd in the world in 2011, down from 55 in 2010. But that 28-place fall wasn’t enough to dislodge the positive impact from BW and U.S. News nor the very favorable third-place ranking given to Thunderbird by The Wall Street Journal in 2010.
As one graduate of the Class of 2011 told BW, “When I looked at schools, I thought the international business focus was somewhat specialized and I was considering a conventional ‘unspecialized’ MBA. In retrospect, I would have wasted my money dearly; the conventional MBA is a dinosaur and the people coming out of it are getting skills that are nostalgic, quaint remnants of a post-WWII era United States. In the program, I visited businesses in Europe, Latin America, India, China, and UAE and learned their methods while also working and applying them here in the US on a company that I founded while in school, using a global team that I formed using what I learned. If you can think of a better EMBA experience, let me know.”