The Williams College of Business


What is the difference between an EMBA and an MBA?

While Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) programs and Master of Business Administration (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.

Differences between EMBA programs and MBA programs 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.

Cohort experience
EMBA - Most often, yes
MBA - No

Learn more about Xavier's EMBA program

Learn more about Xavier's MBA programs