Business Schools






        Wharton Launches First Online Executive MBA Among M7 Business Schools

        The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is launching an online executive MBA program, the first among the elite M7 institutions that dominate business school rankings

        The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which topped the Financial Times MBA ranking in 2022, has today announced the launch of its first ever online Executive MBA program. 

        The Global MBA Program for Executives (EMBA) is an extension of Wharton's current EMBA degree, which teaches 230 professionals each year. It will introduce an online cohort to the program for the first time. 

        The updated EMBA will offer students around the world the chance to study under the same faculty as those on the Full-time MBA. EMBA and full-time graduates will also earn the same degree.

        Wharton is the first of the elite M7 Business Schools—a group of US institutions including the likes of Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management—to offer an online format for an Executive MBA degree. 

        The 22-month EMBA is set to launch in May 2023, with applications now open. Brian Bushee, Wharton’s senior vice-dean of teaching and learning, says the program brings new opportunities.

        “We aim to bring together our most diverse cohort of learners yet,” he says.

        Wharton Online Executive MBA: A first for the M7 

        While there are online learning opportunities available among the M7 schools—Stanford offers an online program aimed at business innovators, Harvard offers a wide-ranging series of online micro-courses—there are currently no online M7 MBA degrees.

        The Global MBA Program for Executives will be the first among the elite group, extending the current Wharton Executive MBA program to a worldwide cohort.

        The curriculum is split between 75% online and 25% in-person teaching. All classes are synchronous, meaning students will attend live classes delivered in either the early morning or late evening, to account for different time zones.

        The in-person portion of the program is set to be delivered during a series of ‘residential weeks’ taught at the school’s campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco. In-person international learning trips will also be part of the curriculum.

        “The cohort is 25% in-person, 75% live online with professors, but 100% a Wharton MBA,” says Brian.

        Describing the type of students Wharton aims to target, he says: “professionals whose location, work, or personal situations preclude them from extensive travel but who share a passion for learning from Wharton faculty and from each other.”

        Why is Wharton launching an Online Executive MBA now? 

        Like most schools across the globe, Wharton spent much of the last two years teaching its MBA programs via either online or hybrid formats. In that time, the school says, faculty developed the skills to effectively teach an EMBA program online. 

        “The past two and a half years have proven that high-quality academic programs can successfully extend beyond the traditional in-person classroom experience,” says Erika James, dean of the school.  

        Wharton faculty will alter their class content for the new program, to ensure it is suitable for a more global audience. The school says it has also invested in new technologies to enhance the student experience.

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