The Most Innovative Global MBA Programs

Duke MBA – Cross Continent program—A 16-month program tailored for younger managers and executives with a minimum of three years of work experience (versus the 10-year minimum for Duke’s Global Executive MBA.) The average age of a student in this program is 30, eight years younger than the average in the Global EMBA experience).  Students study in London, Dubai, New Delhi, St. Petersburg, Shanghai/Kunshan, and on Duke’s home campus in Durham, N.C. In between those residencies, you’ll study and learn via the Internet in regularly scheduled distance learning sessions. Typically, 35% of the students are non-U.S.

Format: Divided up into six terms (with an optional seventh for student desiring a concentration), the program launches in July with pre-reading assignments that lead to the first residency in China’s Shanghai/Kunshan from Aug. 5 to Aug. 19th. The second term residency is based in London from Oct. 21 through Oct. 30th. A few months later, in mid-January, students travel to Dubai for a week of study. Next up: A residency in New Delhi from April 12 through April 22nd. Term five boasts another international residency, in all probability St. Petersburg, from June 29th to July 8th. Finally, the program concludes back in Durham with a Sept. 21 through Oct. 5th residency before graduation in May the following year. Duke throws about six to eight hours a day of class work with faculty in each residency. The distance learning portion of the program features weekly virtual class sessions and discussion boards.

Cost: $125,400 for class starting in 2011, includes tuition, books, class materials, lodging and meals while attending six residential sessions. Excludes cost of transportation and a required $1,500 laptop computer.


EMBA Global Asia – A three-way partnership among Columbia Business School in New York, London Business School in London, and the University of Hong Kong. Classes are held in Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, and New York as well as other global business centers for international seminars and assignments. The 20-month program, which can be completed in just 16 months, entered its inaugural class in May of 2009.

Format: Students attend five-day “study blocks” starting in June in Hong Kong from a Wednesday to a Sunday. In July, they then move to London for a Monday-through-Friday block and to New York for another Monday-to-Friday of classes. The first term ends in August with a final study block in Hong Kong from a Thursday to a Sunday. Terms two and three are more of the same, with a Monday-through-Friday stretch in Shanghai. The final two terms are made up of electives that you can choose from any of the three schools, along with an independent research course and an international assignment or seminar. The latter part of the program is offered on location in Europe, China, South Africa, South America and India.

Cost: $127,990 for tuition, textbooks and most accommodations. If you do more than one international assignment or seminar in your last two terms, there is an additional cost of $4,000 per assignment or seminar. Airfare is not included in the total.

INSEAD Global Executive MBA – INSEAD has two versions of this program, a 14-month experience that starts in October and includes six weeks on its European campus in Fontainebleu, France, with four weeks on its Asian campus in Singapore, and one additional week at either of these two locales or a Middle Eastern campus. The Middle East version is a 15-month-long program that starts in November and features eight weeks on INSEAD’s Abu Dhabi campus, two weeks in Singapore, and a week in France. Students also will spend one extra week on either the Asian or European campus.

Format: INSEAD divides its program up in modular period head every six to seven weeks. Each of these on-campus periods are of at least one week in duration, typically starting on Monday morning through Saturday lunch, or a maximum of two weeks. Students will spend 12 weeks in total on campus, but also do significant work between those sessions. INSEAD says the total workload takes up 17 full weeks.

Cost: $129,000, includes tuition, academic materials, lunches, and some dinners. Excludes accommodations, transportation, and individual dinners.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.