When the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business brought its highly rated Executive MBA Program to Los Angeles in 2012, skeptics abounded. After all, the EMBA market in the LA metro area was home to several branded business schools, not least of which was UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. At the time, UCLA’s EMBA option was even rated slightly higher than Michigan’s prestige program in Ann Arbor.
Yet, Ross was coming into the market with an alternative that was then priced some $22,000 more than the cost of the programs at UCLA or the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and more than twice as much as San Diego State University charged for its Executive MBA.
But Ross, whose full-time MBA consistently ranks above UCLA, has proved the skeptics wrong. Its Executive MBA now outranks UCLA’s offering, with a recent U.S. News ranking of fifth versus UCLA’s tenth place finish. That makes Ross the highest ranked Executive MBA program in the market.
And while it is still the priciest EMBA in Los Angeles, the premium over the resident UCLA brand is a mere $2,000, with Ross’ price tag of $173,500 for non-Michigan residents versus UCLA’s $171,354. And yet, the sticker price of the Ross EMBA includes two week-long residencies in Ann Arbor with students from the school’s home base Executive MBA.
‘THE MICHIGAN MODEL OF LEADERSHIP’ — IN L.A.
Whether in Los Angeles or Ann Arbor, the school offers a challenging and differentiated curriculum in a 21-month format, with classes held once a month, usually on Thursdays through Saturdays. The school’s veteran faculty fly into LA for the class sessions. At the core of the experience is Ross’ hands-on, experiential learning assignment in the program’s ExecMAP — a project immersion course that offers students an opportunity to explore a parallel industry or functional role in the U.S. or abroad. A highlight of the program, ExecMAP is a signature highlight from a business school that has led the movement toward experiential learning.
Past ExecMAP projects have been completed for a wide range of companies and organizations, such as Microsoft, Disney, Bridgstone, Nestle, Mattel, Dow and Teach For America. Leadership training is also offered through Ross’ Leadership Development Program that’s woven into the curriculum and stretched over all five terms. This leadership training is based on the Michigan Model of Leadership, which was recognized by the Financial Times as one of the 40 most important frameworks in the history of business. With courses, workshops, personal coaching and speakers on topics such as personal growth, leading change and innovation, resilience and thriving, and managing the external environments, this program helps students to exercise and define their unique leadership styles.
Meant to build on students’ prior knowledge and work experience, this program is designed for those who want to level up in their careers and learn to navigate challenging business environments. Ross goes beyond the business basics in its core curriculum, delivered in 12 courses that range from Business Analytics and Statistics for Executives to Strategic Thinking and Competitive Analysis. Unlike many EMBA programs, Ross puts more electives–15–in the program than core classes. Those electives offer deep dives in a myriad number of topics and disciplines from Strategic Marketing for the Digital Age and Personal and Organizational Leadership to Corporate Financial Strategy.
The sequencing of the coursework is laid out in a timeline that is helpful to see exactly what classes you’ll be taking and ow they build on each other (see table below).
TIMELINE OF COURSEWORK FOR A ROSS EXECUTIVE MBA STUDENT
Like most other EMBA programs, the career outcomes for students can be immediate. Almost half–48%–of the students receive a promotion while in the program, and 90% of them receive a salary increase within 18 months of graduating.
To gain admission into the program, there are four application deadlines each year, with the final being May 1. A GMAT or GRE exam score is not required bur is optional as it is for all the programs in the LA metro area. Applications are reviewed as received, with prospective candidates notified within four to six weeks after applying. An interview is required, and all other application information can be found here.