Cornell Moves Its Metro EMBA To New York’s Roosevelt Island

Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is moving its Metro NY EMBA to the university’s new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island starting in the summer of 2019

Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is moving its Executive MBA Metro NY program to the university’s new Cornell Tech campus in New York City. This year’s entering EMBA class will start the program this summer in the Tata Innovation Center on Roosevelt Island.

After holding classes at an IBM conference center in Palisades, N.Y., for nearly two decades, Cornell believes the move will make it easier for New York City professionals to take advantage of the program. “This is an opportunity to capitalize on our investment in the Cornell Tech campus,” says Mark Nelson, dean of the Johnson Graduate School. “The convenience of going to Cornell Tech will be higher for those in the New York metro area. We anticipate that as a result, we will have a program that is even more selective if anything.”

No major changes in the 22-month-long curriculum are expected as a result of the move, though the focus on innovation and technology on the Roosevelt campus will inevitably have some impact on program content. “I don’t think it is going to shift dramatically,” adds Nelson about the EMBA curriculum. 


Mark Nelson, dean of Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management

“The second year project is focused on innovation and then a global project. We have had faculty based at the Cornell Tech campus teaching already so it will make accessing those faculty more convenient and it also enables us to more conveniently access our alumni community and the New York City business community. You can do things like conveniently bring in a lunchtime speaker, with a stop on the F train or a tram ride. So our connectivity will increase.”

The program’s curriculum remains focused on general management with a menu of courses that include Innovation and New Venture Creation, Advanced Strategic Analysis, Designing Data Products, Product & Brand Strategies, Valuation, Investment Banking Essentials, and the Cornell Management Simulation.

Cornell’s EMBA also will retain its current alternating weekend schedule in the new location. Students show up on Saturday morning and attend classes through lunchtime on Sunday. The experience also includes four residential sessions on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, N.Y. “The Saturday-Sunday aspect of this program has been a long time draw,” explains Nelson. “Students don’t have to miss work. There are also a few residential sessions and an offsite where they will do a week of material face to face.”


EMBA students won’t spend their Saturday nights on Cornell Tech’s student dorm building called the House which is meant for full-time students. “What we’ve arranged is for a four-star hotel called the Bentley and that will house students for the stayover,” says Nelson. “It’s not on the island but near the tram stop. Think of it as a short walk and a tram stop to get there. What’s nice about that is that it puts students in a chunk of Manhattan where there are a lot of restaurants and recreational stuff. We’ll have group dinners and events and then students will be able to go out in small groups and enjoy the opportunities that are in that area of town.”

The move also puts Cornell’s top EMBA program, one of four now offered by the school, in more direct competition with the New York City-based EMBA offerings by Columbia Business School and New York University’s Stern School of Business. The current price tag for Cornell’s EMBA program is $182,708, compared with Columbia’s $202,080 and NYU’s $194,876. In U.S. News’ 2018 ranking of EMBA programs, a list based solely on the magazine’s peer assessment surveys, Cornell ranked 12th, while Columbia placed fourth and NYU Stern finished seventh.

Cornell enrolled 70 students in its EMBA Metro NY Class of 2020, with an average age of 36 and average work experience of 11 years. Some 30% of the class already boast advanced degrees. While the largest industry represented in the class is financial services, accounting for 26% of the students, the program attracts a diverse group of execs. Some 17% hail from retail, manufacturing and consumer goods, 16% from consulting, 11% from healthcare and pharma, with 10% each from technology and real estate. About 6% of the class works in education, government or nonprofit organizations.


That same mix of diversity is expected to continue. Says Nelson: “I don’t think we are talking about a shift in the type of person in the program, but mainly the move will make the program more convenient and selective.” In the Class of 2020, 59% of the EMBA students live in New York, with 26% in New Jersey, 6% in Connecticut, and 3% from Pennsylvania.

The Metro NY offering is one of four EMBA programs at Cornell. The school also has the $143,718 Cornell Executive MBA Americas, a partnership with Canada’s Queens University that is 17 months long with classes held every other weekend via video conferencing in i20 cities in the U.S. and Canada. That program also includes three residential sessions on the campuses of both Cornell and Queen’s.

Cornell also offers an Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership also based on the Cornell Tech campus that is 20 months long and ends with dual degrees from Johnson and the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. The Class of 2020 includes 47 students, with an average age of 38 and 12 years of work experience. And finally, Cornell has a collaborative EMBA program with the PBC School of Finance at Tsinghua University in Beijing that is delivered in English and Chinese Mandarin. 

“We think the EMBA market is pretty strong,” adds Nelson. “The payoff of an EMBA is pretty clear and unchanging. Frankly, these have been programs that have been very popular and we’ve been excited about how they’re done. We feel like we’ve got the model down.“

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