Why HBS, Stanford & Tuck Shun the EMBA

Tuck Dean Danos

Saloner doesn’t believe a shorter executive version would allow the school to deliver the same experience. Adds Saloner: “The EMBA is certainly one way to receive a grounding in management education, but for now we believe that the full-time, two-year Stanford MBA is a very transforming experience for students in terms of their way of thinking, the impact they are able to have in their lives, acquiring analytical skills, and the lifelong relationships they develop with each other and faculty here.”

It’s pretty much the same story at Harvard. “In the HBS learning model, the importance of day-to-day interaction between professors and students as well as students and students, both inside and outside the classroom, is essential,” says Jim Aisner, director of media relations. “Thus, our MBA program is a two-year immersion experience—all the more so because most of our students reside on campus. We don’t think the benefits of this kind of experience can be accomplished in a program that would bring students here for only a few days at a time each week.”

Of course, Harvard does have its well-known Advanced Management Program (AMP) which brings executives on campus for a full eight weeks at a cost of $64,000. It’s likely that a Harvard Executive MBA program would greatly limit the audience for school’s AMP program which has been running since 1945. The school, of course, also has a large menu of other executive education courses–though none of them involve the granting of the MBA degree. “For executives,” adds Aisner, “we offer a large and varied portfolio of executive education certificate programs that focus on both general management and specialized topics, lasting from several days to a number of weeks and taught by full-time HBS faculty members.”

Stanford, on the other hand, continues to offer a 10.5-month Sloan Masters Program, which awards an MS in management science, for seasoned executives. Saloner also notes that this year Stanford also launched a new 20-week, certificate evening program, the Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, for non-business working professionals in engineering and the sciences as well as for graduate students. “This is a compelling way to bring working professionals and non–business graduate students together to learn business fundamentals while they investigate, evaluate, and actualize their ideas,” says Saloner. “If we were to one day offer an EMBA it would only be because we thought we had figured out how to offer the same level of personal transformation that we believe we achieve in our full-time MBA program.”

Tuck, meantime, is planning to offer a new hybrid program, with face-to-face learning blended with distance learning technology, to working professionals in health care. The degree will be a master’s in Health Care Delivery Science, which will be a joint venture between the Dartmouth Medical School and Tuck.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.