Washington University’s Olin Business School yesterday (Feb. 20) said it will offer its 20-month-long Executive MBA program in Denver beginning in September.
Washington is the latest school to open an EMBA program outside its metro area, following the success of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School in Miami as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Babson College in San Francisco. The University of Michigan’s Ross School recently opened a new EMBA program in Los Angeles.
Washington University’s entry into the Denver metro market will put it into competition with at three three rival offerings from the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado. Washington’s on-the-ground strategy in Denver also puts it into competition with reputable online programs, such as the University of North Carolina’s MBA@UNC program.
OLIN’S PROGRAM IS PRICED AT 28.9% HIGHER THAN EXISTING EMBA LEADER IN MARKET
Daniels College’s EMBA program is an 18-month effort priced at $77,160, including airfare and lodging for both an international travel seminar and a weekend sailing retreat in San Diego aboard a 28-foot sailboat. The price even includes a new iPad loaded with all the program’s instructional materials. Poets&Quants’ currently ranks the Daniels program as the 55th best EMBA in the U.S.
Colorado State’s 21-month program attracts just 20 to 22 students a class and is currently priced at $59,940, including airfare and lodging for a ten-day global immersion trip. The University of Colorado’s 18-month program, delivered in downtown Denver, costs $65,000, including travel and lodging for a nine-day international business trip and a three-day retreat.
Washington is coming into the Denver market with the highest price tag, 28.9% above the current price leader in the market and 44.8% more than Colorado State’s offering. Washington’s hefty $108,500 price, moreover, does not include airfare for an international residency in Shanghai, China.
A BET THAT ITS HIGHER RANKING WILL MATTER IN DENVER
The school is obviously hoping that students will agree to pay substantially more for an EMBA degree from a higher-ranked business school and EMBA program. Though Olin’s publicity materials prominently mention a No. 2 ranking from The Wall Street Journal for its EMBA program, that ranking is already three years old and is considered significantly flawed. Poets&Quants’ currently ranks Washington’s EMBA program 15th in the nation.
Washington said it was attracted to the Denver market by “the growth and entrepreneurial spirit” of the city and its business environment. “With the access to a brand-name degree well-proven to be a passport to success for so many of our alumni all over the globe, Denver executives will no longer need to get on a plane to pursue their career acceleration aspirations that only a top-ranked program can provide,” said Panos Kouvelis, director of Executive Programs at Olin in a statement.
Classes, which will meet once a month, will begin Sept. 15 at a location to be announced. The program also boasts three residencies, two in St. Louis and one in Shanghai. Classes will be held locally in Denver for the first half of the program and at the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis during the second half, giving executives the opportunity to share the classroom with the St. Louis cohort.
PROGRAM FORMATS DIFFER FOR EACH OF THE FOUR MAJOR PLAYERS IN MARKET
Each of Denver’s major programs offer the EMBA degree on significantly different schedules. The new Olin program features three-day sessions of classes once a month on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Daniels’ program is the more typical EMBA format of alternating Fridays and Saturdays. The University of Colorado has a one full day a week format on alternating Fridays and Saturdays, while Colorado State’s classes take place on alternating weeknights, start at 4:30 p.m. and end by 8:30 with a catered dinner.
Olin said that all courses will be taught by its full-time, tenured faculty. For classes held in Denver, Olin professors will travel to the city, giving both Denver and St. Louis cohorts the same academic experience.
A two-week international residency in Shanghai will be taught in conjunction with Washington University’s partner institution in China, Fudan University.
The Washington University Executive MBA program staff will host two information sessions in Denver, at 6 p.m. March 6 and April 23 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Cherry Creek. Additional dates will be added between May and August.