For senior-level executives in and around the D.C. metro area, there’s a new executive MBA program coming to town. NYU Stern announced today (September 12) that its New York-based program will be expanded to Washington, D.C.
The school says the decision to introduce a D.C. offering was a result of market demand — and convenience.
“Washington, D.C. was a natural market for our executive MBA program expansion, given the interest expressed by local business leaders for more convenient access to Stern’s professors and academic coursework,” said Raghu Sundaram, vice dean for MBA programs, in a school announcement.
CENTRALLY LOCATED IN THE HEART OF WASHINGTON
In an interview with Poets&Quants, Sundaram elaborated on why Washington was an easy choice. For one thing, the school already has a building where classes will be held: the Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center, the facility opened by NYU in the heart of D.C. in 2012.
Not only is the center centrally located — four blocks from the Capitol building and 15 minutes from the airport and Union Station — but it also allows the program’s structure and infrastructure to be entirely owned by NYU and Stern. That’s something Sundaram points to as an important factor in deciding to take the EMBA to a new region. He adds that the proximity from New York to Washington makes for relatively short commute for professors who teach in the program.
And what about the competition? In terms of the EMBA market in the D.C. region, Sundaram declines to comment on specific schools, but notes that Stern’s program — ranked No. 4 by U.S. News & World Report — will instantly be the big kid on the block. “No other school in the D.C. area is ranked anywhere close to us,” he says.
SIMILAR CURRICULUM, BUT FOR $25,000 LESS
At $165,000, the cost of the new program is roughly $25,000 less than the one in New York, Sundaram says. Compared to other schools in the area, though, Stern’s D.C. EMBA is pricey: about $27,000 more than the comparable program at Georgetown’s McDonough School and about $45,000 more than the EMBA at the University of Maryland’s Smith School.
While it’s $25,000 less than its sibling in New York, the DC program’s format will be nearly identical — with a couple of key differences. Remaining intact are the cohort-based, lockstep format during the first year, as well as the faculty who teach in the program. The 10-course core curriculum will be relatively unchanged, and there is a one-week international experience in both programs. At 22 months, both programs fall just under two years; however, the D.C. iteration will require less of a time commitment, convening just once a month on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as opposed to every other weekend on Fridays and Saturdays. New class intakes will only be once per year, in August, to start off, but may increase to twice per year as the program grows, Sundaram says. Finally, the most noticeable difference: the second year of the D.C. program will offer just two specialty tracks, Finance & Analytics and Leadership & Strategy. New York students can choose up to three specializations from a suite that consists of a dozen options.
Sundaram said that despite this last difference the D.C. program shouldn’t be looked at as limited or of lesser value. Many of the specialization options, he notes, are rolled into the Finance & Analytics and Leadership & Strategy tracks. “Flexibility is not lost, but we’re making the program more lockstep in the second year, which enables us to focus students on specific areas in which they want to study at greater depth,” he says.
The first class for the D.C. program will be admitted in August 2018. Stern is aiming for an inaugural incoming class of about 40 students and a profile that’s similar to its current class, Sundaram says.
“Right now we have an average age of 38, 10-12 years management experience, and about five years of senior management experience,” he says. “About 15% is composed of healthcare professionals, which is also big in the D.C. area. We‘re hoping to gain professionals from varied industries and backgrounds.”
To get in, prospective students must submit an application and be interviewed by the school. “There is an extensive interview process to understand students’ background and skills. It’s a meeting of the minds to ensure that expected outcomes are aligned,” Sundaram says.
Stern’s new D.C. offering will be its third EMBA program. In addition to the New York program, the school has a TRIUM Global EMBA that is jointly issued with London School of Economics and HEC Paris School of Management.