The Best Chicago Metro Executive MBA Programs

How do the best EMBA programs stack up against each other in the Chicago market?

  • The most expensive program in the market? Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management now charges $159,000 in tuition and fees for its executive MBA.
  • The cheapest? The $47,000 EMBA program at Northern Illinois University. That price tag is well below the average going rate for the degree which is $73,217 according to the latest stats from the Executive MBA Council.
  • The shortest path to the MBA is the University of Notre Dame’s 17-month program delivered on alternating Friday-Saturdays at the school’s Chicago Commons building in downtown Chicago on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Jackson Dr.
  • Northwestern has the largest contingent of international students in its EMBA program: 32%.
  • Loyola University has the largest percentage of women of any EMBA program in the area: 31%.
  • The oldest students are at the University of Illinois where the average age of an EMBA participant is 41 years.
  • The highest ranked program in the region is at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. PoetsandQuants ranks this highly innovative program second best in the world, with Northwestern’s Kellogg right behind it at number three.
  • Northwestern also draws the highest percentage of students who already boast advanced degrees: 38%.
  • Which school’s graduates have the highest salaries three years after getting their executive degree? According to The Financial Times, it’s Northwestern EMBAs who report average salary of $238,155 vs. $219,736 for Chicago Booth alums.
  • In a 2008 Wall Street Journal study of return-on-investment from Executive MBA programs, Chicago and Northwestern EMBA grads received the highest initial pay raises—20%. Only one other school in the survey equaled that increase in salary—Columbia Business School’s partnership program with London Business School.

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.