University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Chicago's Gleacher Center downtown is the home of Booth's Executive MBA program.

Chicago’s Gleacher Center downtown is the home of Booth’s Executive MBA program.

University of Chicago

Booth School of Business

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue

Chicago, IL 60637

Admissions: 312-464-8750



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Application Deadline: Rolling admissions

This is the granddaddy of all Executive MBA programs, which debuted in the midst of World War II in 1943. Building on that rich history, Chicago’s Booth School of Business offers a world-class program taught by some of the best business academics anywhere. The general management curriculum at Booth, with its emphasis on strategy and leadership, is designed to refresh, expand, and strengthen students’ grounding in the fundamental disciplines of business.

A unique strength of the program is that it boasts three campuses on three continents–downtown Chicago, London, and Singapore, making this a true global adventure that helps you build an enduring international network. The 270 admitted students–90 from each of the three locales–begin the program together in late June at Chicago Hyde Park campus. “The very first day, we bring them to Rockefeller Chapel, our dean welcomes them, and then we have them envision themselves here in that very same space 21 months later walking down the aisle receiving their degrees,” says Patty Keegan, associate dean of the EMBA program at Chicago. “It’s a terrific ceremony. Then, they go to school. They take a leadership course, financial accounting and microeconomics that week. We end the week with a terrific cruise out on Lake Michigan for bonding until everyone returns to their home campus.”

During the 21-month program, students take 15 of the 17 courses together with their colleagues. Each student then selects two electives from a limited menu that has included such topics as entrepreneurship, private equity, options and futures, advanced marketing, and creative leadership. Students may also earn a concentration in finance or strategy through two additional courses during the week before graduation for an extra fee of $6,000. If you decide to earn a concentration, an additional week of classes are required.

During the second summer of the program, students from the three campuses work and study together as part of four one-week international exchange sessions. A total of four weeks–25% of the program–is spent working with students from the other two campuses. There are two sessions in Chicago and one each in London and Hong Kong. Don’t think you’ll be on vacation in Europe and Asia. During those sessions, classes meet Monday through Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. with a break for lunch and some study time.

At a time when most business schools are forging loose partnerships with other institutions to go global more quickly, Chicago remains committed to its original objective of using the same core faculty, based in Chicago, to deliver the programs in the three locations, a point of distinction recently made by new Booth Dean Sunil Kumar. In an interview with Poets&Quants, the former Stanford B-school professor said, “I completely subscribe to Chicago’s strategy of doing it on its own, not merely because it is a differentiating factor but primarily because the value of this institution has always been that it has had the highest academic standards. In some sense it’s easier to guarantee that by yourself. That does, of course, constrain our scale. It would take quite a bit to move me off this position that maintaining quality goes first.”

Chicago strives to avoid the creation (whether actual or perceived) of three sets of faculty who are specific to any one location. ‘‘As soon as you separate faculty for a long period of time, they no longer operate as ‘one,’ and you see a decrease in both collegiality and collaboration,’’ notes former associate dean Bill Kooser in a recent AACSB report that singled out this program as one of the more innovative global MBA offerings.

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