MIT, Chicago, Yale, UCLA & Wharton Excel In New Executive MBA Ranking

The Executive MBA program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, a relative newcomer to the EMBA market, tops the list of standalone U.S. programs in the 2022 Financial Times ranking of the best EMBA programs. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Yale School of Management, UCLA Anderson, and Wharton rounded out the top five standalone U.S. programs in a list largely dominated by partnership EMBA offerings.

The annual ranking from the FT has long been something of an oddball list of Executive MBA programs, perhaps one reason why Columbia Business School, with a portfolio of one of the largest programs in the world, and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, with a highly successful EMBA in the D.C. metro area, decline to participate in the exercise. Among this year’s head-scratching oddities is the fact that the FT awards New York University’s exceptional EMBA program with the same rank, 40th, as it does the IBS-Moscow program in Russia, a laughable result.

Nonetheless, some 100 programs are ranked on the new list, topped by the joint EMBA in Hong Kong from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The British newspaper’s methodology has CEIBS in Shangai in second place, followed by the joint program from INSEAD and Tsinghua University, HEC Paris, and ESCP Business School. Overall, MIT Sloan’s program in Boston is ranked seventh best in the world, up ten places from last year, and first among the U.S. standalone programs (see the top-ranked U.S. programs below).


As is often the case in business school rankings, this list provides a roller-coaster ride for many programs. Eight programs in the Top 25 experienced double-digit increases or decreases. UCLA's EMBA with the National University of Singapore soared 18 places to rank 11th this year, up from 29th just a year ago. The programs at UCLA and Wharton both jumped 16 places each to respectively rank 21st and 22nd in the world, up from 37th and 38th in 2021. Arizona State's EMBA in China sunk 11 spots to rank 20th from ninth last year. Even ore stunning, Emory University's Goizueta EMBA went up 27 places to rank 36th best from 63rd in 2021.

The Financial Times' methodology to rank EMBA programs is based on data provided by business schools and by their alumni three years after graduation. For the 2022 ranking, 4,117 alumni completed the survey for a response rate of about 42%.  The ranking takes into account factors including salaries, assessments of career services, aims achieved and the quality of academic research, as well as the gender balance and international diversity of students and faculty. But salary--adjusted for purchasing power parity-- looms large, accounting for 40% of the overall ranking's weight. That is four times the next heavily weighted ranking component: the academic research published by a school's faculty. This list was dominated by U.S. schools, led by Wharton, Chicago: Booth, MIT Sloan, INSEAD, and Northwestern Kellogg.

The adjustment to the pay numbers inflates compensation in countries with larger degrees of poverty or below-western-market rates of pay. Two schools at the top of this ranking also happen to report the highest adjusted alumni salaries: Kellogg-HKUST at $584,197 and CEIBS in Shanghai at $519,782.


On the other hand, when it came to alumni satisfaction, Yale School of Management ranked first in the aims achieved category, with 84% of the responding alumni telling the FT that the program helped them achieve their goals. Even so, this category accounts for only a 5% weight in the ranking. IESE Business School in Barcelona and the University of St. Gallen in Switaerland were tied for second place behind Yale on this metric.

The Financial Times noted that EMBA programs based in East Asia "strengthened their positions as leading global providers" despite pandemic and political disruptions. Besides the three most highly ranked programs in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and China/Singapore, another four schools among those ranked 11 or higher have bases in Hong Kong, China, or Singapore: Chicago Booth, Washington University: Olin, Trium’s New York University and UCLA Anderson with the National University of Singapore.

The newspaper also reported that of the 85 programs appearing on both last year's and this year's list, the average salary this year $214,000, just $1k more than last year. Total enrolment at those schools was up slightly to 7,737 this year, with women accounting for over a third of the total and international students slightly over two-fifths.

(See following pages for the full ranking)

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