Executive MBA

Program Features

Xavier’s 16-month Executive MBA (EMBA) is designed to allow busy professionals to achieve the degree in an effective and efficient way. Classes meet two times per month on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The program provides 

  • An in-depth study and analysis of some of the world’s most important emerging markets including an immersive international business trip
  • The solutions industries are developing when facing disruptive business models (and how to lead disruption in your organization)
  • Experience working amongst and with high-caliber professionals from across industries on real-world, client-facing strategy projects
  • The study of 21st century strategic business models and processes
  • Identification of strategic implications and ability to understand the underlying financial drivers in today’s financial markets
  • A survey of today’s emerging technologies

What is an EMBA?

An EMBA is a graduate degree program designed for experienced professionals who are looking to polish the managerial and leadership skills they already possess. Classroom discussions are on a higher level and the focus of the coursework is experiential, enabling you to take your career, and your company, to the next level.

EMBA programs and traditional full-time MBA programs have similar core curriculums, so you can expect to take foundational business classes like finance, statistics, management and accounting. EMBA courses and discussions, however, go beyond the basics and are tailored to the needs of experienced business leaders.

EMBA programs typically have cohort-based curriculums that range in length from 16 months to two years. Courses often occur on the weekends and weeknights, enabling students to continue working full-time while earning their degree.

EMBA students generally have a higher level of business and leadership experience than traditional MBA students, and, as working professionals, they’re able to immediately apply what they learn in the classroom to their workplace setting.

What does EMBA stand for?

EMBA stands for Executive Master in Business Administration. It is a graduate degree program for individuals with business experience who are looking to earn their MBA in a fast-paced setting with other working professionals.

Is it worth it to get an EMBA?

According to the 2019 Executive MBA Council Student Exit Survey (https://embac.org/research-in-context.html), EMBA students received a 13.5 percent increase in their salaries after graduating from their programs. In addition, 40 percent of students who completed the survey earned a promotion during the program, while 53 percent reported increased responsibilities.

The average salary and bonus package at program start for students who responded to the survey was $205,008. By the end of the program, the reported average salary and bonus package rose to $232,663.

Aside from higher earnings, promotions and increased job satisfaction, EMBA students graduate from the program with a deep knowledge of

  • The world’s most important emerging markets
  • The solutions industries are developing when facing disruptive business models (and how to lead disruption in your organization)
  • Experience working amongst and with high-caliber professionals from across industries on real-world, client-facing strategy projects
  • The study of 21st century strategic business models and processes
  • Identification of strategic implications and ability to understand the underlying financial drivers in today’s financial markets
  • A survey of today’s emerging technologies

What can I do with an EMBA?

An EMBA will help you make a bigger and better impact inside your business or organization. It will help supplement and polish your already-existing managerial and leadership skills, expose you to other business leaders in your area and give you a better understanding of business models and processes. In addition, many EMBA students report benefiting from higher salaries and increased leadership roles by the time the graduate.

How do you get your employer to pay for your EMBA?

Most EMBA students self-fund their education, however some have their tuition covered partially or fully by their employers. It’s best to first understand your company’s tuition reimbursement policy.Talk to your HR department or review your company handbook. Some companies will cover some or all tuition, while others will reimburse you for tuition costs. Many companies who sponsor individuals require a few years’ commitment after finishing the program as well. Be sure that any commitments you may be asked to make align with your future career goals.

There are many different programs for individuals looking to study business at the graduate level, including EMBA, full-time MBA, part-time MBA and online MBA. It’s important to know the differences between programs to so you can earn your degree in a way that works best for you.

What is the difference between an EMBA and an MBA?

While EMBA programs and MBA programs have similar curriculums, there are a few key differences. Generally, the biggest distinguishing feature of an EMBA will be the students you’re going through the program with. EMBA students are high achieving individuals who are currently working within a leadership of managerial capacity at a business or organization. They’re ready to discuss the basics and nuances of business and immediately apply it to their workplaces.

EMBA programs also typically employ a cohort-based model of learning, allowing students to form deep connections with each other and other business leaders in their area.

Other differences include:

EMBA - Generally need five years or more of managerial or corporate leadership experience, but may have less.
MBA - Can apply directly out of undergraduate school.

Course Schedules
EMBA - Courses are typically scheduled during weekends and weeknights to accommodate business leaders who work full-time.
MBA - Full-time program course schedules are generally offered during the daytime. Part-time programs may offer courses during the weekend and on weeknights.

Program Length
EMBA - can take anywhere from 16 months to two years.
MBA - can take anywhere from two to four years, depending on whether you’re going full-time or part-time.

EMBA - EMBA students typically work full time and hold positions in management and corporate leadership.
MBA - MBA students can work full-time or part-time, or they might be full-time students. They may have entry-mid level experience, or none at all.

Who can apply for an EMBA?

EMBA program applicants typically work full time and have managerial and leadership experience. They already have earned an undergraduate degree and are looking to polish their skills to make their companies and organizations better.

Does it matter what your first degree is in?

Students in EMBA programs have many different undergraduate degrees, including BSBAs, BAs, BSs and BFAs, or a combination of these. Regardless of your undergraduate degree, there will be an assumption that you have a foundational knowledge of common business practices, including finance, economics and marketing. Prerequisite courses can help you can foundational knowledge in these topics.

What are the prerequisite courses?

Qualifications for EMBA programs vary by institution. Speak with an admission counselor to get details about prerequisite courses specific to individual programs. Common prerequisite courses for many EMBA programs include:

  • Business Math
  • Business Economics
  • Statistics
  • Marketing
  • Finance

Financing Your Education

Your financial needs are integral to selecting the right MBA program. It's important to explore all possible avenues to assist you in this endeavor.

Learn More Options


The program is built around creating a strong cohort of students each year, all of whom will bring a unique perspective to the classroom and an innate desire to learn. Our application process is built on analysis of each candidate's professional experience and potential to both learn and contribute within the structure of the program. The program begins one time per year in the fall semester, and our goal is to admit between 15 and 20 students annually.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year and will be accepted until Aug. 15; however, we will begin considering scholarship requests as of May 1. Priority will be given to those students who have applied and been accepted by this date.

Please note: Individuals with significant professional experience who have not obtained an undergraduate degree can be considered for admission into the Xavier Executive MBA program.

You will be considered for admission when all application materials have been received. A completed application should be submitted via our online Application Management System and include the following:

  • Resume listing complete professional work history and showcasing career progression
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, sent directly from the institution (electronic transcripts are accepted)
  • Organizational chart, including a brief summary of the organization's business activities and your specific duties
  • Professional letters of recommendation (2) prepared by someone familiar with your qualifications and capacity for MBA study
  • Essay speaking to your interest in the program and what unique knowledge and experiences you believe you can contribute to the program. You may also include any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you. The essay should be no longer than 2-3 pages, double-spaced.

These application materials will be reviewed within one to two weeks of receipt. Those candidates the Admissions Committee believes to have the potential for admission into the program will be invited for an on-campus interview with the Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs, the EMBA Director and EMBA faculty.

Apply Now


The EMBA is Xavier’s most fast-paced MBA program, designed to allow busy professionals to achieve the degree in an effective, but efficient way. Classes meet two times per month (every other weekend) on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., for 16 months.

Participants experience a transformative immersion in business, guided by elite faculty from academia and the business community. What you learn today, you will apply tomorrow.

The program consists of 22 business courses for a total of 50 credit hours. You will attend these classes with the same group of professionals, from the first day to the last. The close interaction among classmates and faculty promotes the importance of team and creates relationships that will last a lifetime.

Experiential Education

The Xavier Executive MBA is one of the oldest in the country, founded in 1978 by the first Williams College of Business Dean Thomas Hailstones.  Since its inception, the program has been rooted in academic excellence and experiential learning. 

During the 16-month program, students participate in real-world integrative consulting projects with regional companies, providing recommendations for corporate growth. Hands-on consulting projects make up 8.5 credit hours, and other courses during the program include various forms of experiential learning.

  • BUAD 751 – A 12-week course in which students apply an integrated approach of classwork from Strategy, Finance, and Marketing to develop a strategic recommendation for a local small business ($1M - $10M in annual sales).
  • BUAD 752/754 – A 6-month Capstone project with a different set of client companies and requiring a full-scale internal and external analysis. Students identify, select, plan, and provide an implementation strategy to senior management.

International Residency

Tuition includes a 10-day international residency experience. The location visited is different each year, and largely driven by the interest and input of students. While many students in the program have traveled international personally and/or professionally, this residency remains one of the most memorable and influential parts of most every student’s experience.

Learning objectives include:

  • Understanding the cultural, economic, political, and business environment of the countries visited.
  • Identifying important issues associated with the global business environment.
  • Achieving a working knowledge of local business practices through direct interaction with local managers and government officials.
  • Exploring the value of different economic models as benchmarks for global business practices.
  • Developing greater appreciation of the many differences and similarities among people living in other parts of the world.

Sample Courses

BLAW 751 (Ethics): - Teaches students to critically assess the legal and ethical implications of business decisions; resolve conflicts between legal and ethical responsibilities in the business context; incorporate legal and regulatory principles into organizational decision-making and strategic planning; integrate the concepts of respect and inclusiveness into decision-making; and identify the ethical path.

BUAD 790 (Corporate Governance): - Explores the factors necessary for overall board effectiveness and considers the relationship between governance and strategy as applied to publicly held corporations, privately owned corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Aspects of corporate governance covered includes the market for corporate control, corporate governance failures, shareholder activism, nonprofit boards, board diversity, board compositions, board structure, international corporate governance, alternative methods of governance, and executive compensation.

ECON 751 (International Microeconomics): - Introduces the economy’s behavior as a whole in today’s globalized economy. Topics include: national output and national income, aggregate demand and supply analysis, economic growth theory, unemployment, inflation, monetary and fiscal policies, trade theory and policy tools, and cultural/ethical issues in international business.

FINC 751 (Financial Strategy): - Applies financial theory to corporate finance decisions and issues in practice. Topics covered include valuation of real and financial assets, the market for corporate control, financing decisions and market efficiency, dividend policy and capital structure.

MKTG 751 (Marketing Strategy): - Provides a senior management level analysis of the major issues in the marketing management function. Class discussions are used to provide an understanding of how companies deliver superior customer value and profitability. Students will have an opportunity to develop strategy analysis skills by applying concepts and methods in case analysis of a variety of U.S. and multinational companies.

Xavier MBA Programs

Main Campus
Choose the schedule that works best for you with our most flexible option. Students can take classes in the evenings.

Go to the MBA Site

Full-Time Day MBA
A one-year, full-time day program designed for exceptional students who have recently completed their undergraduate degrees and want to get a head start on their careers.

Go to the Full Time Day MBA Site

Executive MBA Program
A 16-month program designed for experienced professionals. The discussion is on a higher level and the focus of the coursework is experiential, enabling you to take your career, and your company, to the next level.

Go to the EMBA Site

The Online MBA at Xavier is designed to keep working professionals on track for advancement. By attending classes online, you can earn an MBA in two to three years, at the pace that's right for you.

Go to the Online MBA Site

Non-Degree Programs
Take a class at Xavier as a visiting student or continue your education by pursuing a post-MBA certificate.

View Non-Degree Business Course Options

Tuition and Fees

All for one

Xavier is ranked #1 for its excellent academic reputation among top competitors in the region. Students get the most out of their education, from rigorous classroom studies to experiential learning in the real world.

Capstone Experience

Executive MBA students gathered in a group on the Cintas Center basketball court

The Xavier EMBA program culminates in a capstone that has students working with Cincinnati businesses — from its Fortune 500 companies to local workplaces. Here, students gain experience that they can bring back to their own companies.

Explore the Capstone

International Locales

Students in the Executive MBA program on an international trip

While residencies can be prevalent in graduate school, Xavier’s Executive MBA program takes the experience to a whole new level — or in this case, to whole new locales.

Foreign Businesses

Become a Leader

A photo of Yvette Simpson, who earned her EMBA at Xavier

Yvette Simpson earned her EMBA at Xavier in 2014. She's been a member of the Cincinnati City Council, run for Mayor of Cincinnati, served as a political contributor for ABC News and is currently chief executive of Democracy for America.

Read the Story

Xavier University Named Top 5 in Ohio for MBA Highest Starting Salaries

According to a December 2019 report from Columbus Business First, Xavier University ranks in the top five for highest starting salaries of MBA graduates in Ohio. At an average salary of $81,100, Xavier is comparable to only four other Ohio universities that can boast such success.