Getting the Inside Scoop on Wharton’s Executive MBA Curriculum

In addition to information receptions around the world, prospective students  can learn about Wharton’s executive MBA program through frequent Webinars. In a recent Webinar on our curriculum, Vice Dean Peggy Bishop Lane discussed the EMBA program’s format and fielded questions from participants. In case you missed it, here’s an edited portion of her talk:

This is a two-year program and it’s important to note that it’s the same MBA curriculum as our full-time MBA degree. That isn’t just words. It really is the same courses, content, and faculty. It’s important to us as an institution and also to our students because they earn the same degree whether it’s in the EMBA program in Philadelphia or San Francisco or in the full-time program.

The main difference is how you complete the curriculum. In the EMBA program, you come to campus every other week, usually on Fridays and Saturdays. Another difference is your classmates. In the executive program, your classmates generally have 10 years or more of work experience compared to an average of four to six years in the full-time program. That makes for a different classroom experience.

In your first year, you focus on the core curriculum. This is where you get the foundations of your business education. I think of it in three buckets. The first bucket involves acquiring the tools you need to move forward. These are classes like statistics and microeconomics, which you’ll use as you get into other classes. The second bucket involves leadership courses in which you’ll learn what makes a good team and leader as well as communication skills. The third bucket includes business fundamentals. These are topics like management, marketing, finance, accounting and operations. You’ll take approximately two courses within each topic to gain a broad understanding of each area.

You’ll take electives in your second year when you can dig deep into a topic, and even select a major. Or you can continue thinking about your studies in a broader way and take electives in different areas. You also can do both – you can take as many as 10 electives so you can dig deep and still dabble in other areas.

During the program, EMBA students participate in a coaching program. It’s designed for students to have interactions with their coach when they are one-third of the way through their first year and continues for approximately a year. Students meet with their coach either virtually or in person to talk about career goals and ways to achieve those goals.

We also have global opportunities. In the second year, all students take an international trip together to study a topic in another part of the world. And we offer a Global Consulting Practicum where you can work with a group of Wharton students as well as a group of students at a university in another part of the world.

In our Global Modular Courses, we take a group of 30-60 students to another country to look at a particular topic. A good example is our course on conflict resolution in Rwanda where students really get a different perspective as to what conflict is and ways to work together to find resolution.

In addition, the global element comes from who is sitting in the room with you. Our students come from all over the world and work around the world so having those perspectives in the classroom really enhances what the faculty are teaching.

What sets us apart? Our community and camaraderie. This is a residential program so students stay in the same hotel. They dine, study and have fun together.  It’s those shared experiences that create lifelong bonds. As important as the academic experience is, those relationships will stay with you. That makes an incredibly strong alumni community.

To view the full Webinar, click here.

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