15 Best Online Executive MBA Degrees for 2021

Executive MBA online programs offer the skills managers and supervisors need to be able to move to the next level when the opportunity arises. The benefits of earning an executive MBA online are extensive. Not only does this type of program allow you to keep your existing job, but it also gives you an opportunity to work toward advancing your career while you are still in school. Many MBA programs, including those for executives, qualify for employee education reimbursement programs. This is one perk that many employers will offer to individuals who commit to staying on the payroll for several years to come.

Choosing an accredited executive MBA degree online is easy if you know what your goals are and are ready to go to work to achieve them. Being able to work on your courses online allows you the convenience of immediately putting the skills you learn to the test. It’s important to look for executive MBA programs that give you the option to choose specific courses related to your current profession.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Executive MBA Programs

Students looking for an online EMBA know what they’re looking for, so the editors at Great Business Schools want to give them information about the best programs in the US. Only accredited, reputable colleges and universities are featured. Programs are ranked according to their cost, potential salary, and reputation, using data from IPEDS and Niche. 

1. Duke University

Duke University’s Fuqua Business School offers one of the best online executive MBA programs with its hybrid delivered Global EMBA degree that offers five concentrations. Duke’s best online EMBA programs include these academic tracks – finance, innovation/entrepreneurship, strategy, marketing, or energy/environment. Students enrolled in these best executive MBA online programs from Duke University complete month-long intensives to meet program requirements. These best executive MBA programs online offered by Duke University require degree candidates to complete fourteen classes to finish 42 semester credits.

Duke University was established by Methodists and Quakers as the Brown School in 1838. The university’s campus covers more than 7,500 acres and is home to approximately 15,150 undergraduate and graduate degree students.  

Highlight Duke University holds the distinction of being the 2nd largest of all employers in the state of North Carolina and generates the most Churchill Scholars behind Harvard & Princeton.
Degree Global EMBA

2. Purdue University

Krannert Management School at Purdue University offers one of the Midwest’s best online EMBA programs that is completed in only nineteen months. Degree candidates enrolled in these best online executive MBA programs are only required to complete six residencies that are one or two weeks long – five in West Lafayette and one international location. These best executive MBA programs online offer working professionals the opportunity to further their education while working full time. Purdue University’s these best executive MBA online programs require the completion of 48 semester credits.

Purdue University is the Indiana flagship university that was founded in 1869. Purdue University maintains multiple campuses and serves approximately 42,950 students, the second largest body of students throughout the Hoosier state. 

Highlight Purdue University is ranked among the top five schools in the nation for innovation, according to US News and World Report.
Degree EMBA

3. James Madison University

James Madison University offers one of the best executive MBA online programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia with its Executive Leadership MBA program. Degree candidates enrolled in James Madison University’s best executive MBA programs online will be required to complete 42 credit units to graduate. Coursework for James Madison University’s best online executive MBA programs includes foundations of marketing leadership, strategic management, business law, and statistical analysis for decision making, to name a few. Additionally, students enrolled in these best online EMBA programs must also complete a capstone executive leadership course. This hybrid program requires a once a month on-campus residency.

James Madison University was established as a state teacher’s and industrial school exclusively for women in 1908. The school’s small-city campus in Northern Virginia is home to approximately 22,150 undergraduate and graduate students. 

Highlight US News and World Report recognizes JMU as the second-best master’s level school in the southern US.
Degree MBA – Executive Leadership

4. University of Colorado Denver

The University of Colorado Denver offers an Executive MBA degree program in Health Administration that is ranked among the best executive MBA online programs in the nation. Additionally, UC Denver’s best executive MBA programs online are recognized as the 2nd oldest of CAHME accredited degree programs in the Rocky Mountain vicinity. Degree candidates can complete one of these best online executive MBA programs, mostly online, with 2-week residencies required during each year. Finally, UC Denver’s best online EMBA programs require a total of 48 credit units to be completed in approximately two years.

The University of Colorado’s Denver campus was established in 1912. Additionally, UC Denver maintains an academic facility in Aurora, Colorado. UC Denver’s campuses are home to approximately 24,850 students. 

Highlight the University of Colorado is recognized as one of the top employers in the greater Metro area of Denver.
Degree Health Administration EMBA

5. University of Missouri

The University of Missouri’s Trulaski Business College offers one of Missouri’s best online EMBA programs by providing an executive MBA degree that can be complete 75% online. The University of Missouri’s best online executive MBA programs has an average class size of 31, with an average age of students about 37 years old. These best executive MBA programs online are completed in two years, with one summer session between years 1 and 2. The residency requirement for Mizzou’s best executive MBA online programs includes eight on-campus weekend participations.

The University of Missouri was established as a result of the Morrill Land Grant College Act in 1839. Additionally, Mizzou is the largest institution of higher education in the state. 

Highlight The Columbia campus is the flagship school of the state’s university system.
Degree EMBA

6. University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas’s Walton Business College offers an executive MBA program that is ranked among the best online EMBA programs offered in Arkansas and neighboring areas. U of A’s best online executive MBA programs require a monthly campus visit throughout the program to meet the graduate program’s requirements. The innovative curriculum within U of A’s best executive MBA programs online involves the completion of 38 credit hours over two years. Classes for these best executive MBA online programs include supply chain management, analytics and visualization, strategic management, and leadership and managing behavior in organizations, to name a few.

The University of Arkansas was established in 1871 as a public, land-grant institution of higher education. The Fayetteville campus and U of A’s online platform serve approximately 27,450 students. 

Highlight The Fayetteville campus overlooks the Ozark Mountains as in nicknamed the ‘Hill.’
Degree EMBA

7. University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma’s Price Business College offers an Energy Executive MBA program that is ranked among the best executive MBA online programs available in Oklahoma. UO’s best executive MBA programs online is a primarily distance learning model that takes fifteen months to complete. Students enrolled in the University of Oklahoma’s best online executive MBA programs are ranked tenth in the Southwest by Ivy Exec’s EMBA rankings. Coursework for U of A’s best online EMBA programs includes energy economics strategic management, data analytics, and corporate finance, among others.

The University of Oklahoma is the state’s flagship campus for Oklahoma that was established in 1890. The school is a research institution of higher education with a student enrollment that exceeds 27,950 students. 

Highlight The University of Oklahoma’s athletes have won several national championships in football, women’s softball, and gymnastics, among others.
Degree Energy EMBA

8. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management offers one of Arizona’s best online EMBA programs with its flexible scheduled executive Master of Business Administration degree. UA’s best online executive MBA programs require two residency days each month throughout the program. Students typically complete these best executive MBA programs online in about 21 months. Classes for these best executive MBA online programs include leadership in organizations, economics for managers, business strategy, and advanced negotiations, to name a few.

The University of Arizona was established in 1885 and is the state’s flagship and a land-grant institution of higher education. More than 45,450 students attend classes offered by the university’s nineteen schools. 

Highlight The University of Arizona holds the distinction of being the first institution of higher education established in the Arizona Territory.
Degree EMBA

9. University of North Alabama

The Business College at the University of North Alabama offers an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree program that is ranked among the best online EMBA programs in the state of Alabama. These best online executive MBA programs are also available on the school’s Florence campus. These best executive MBA programs online are nationally ranked and quite affordable in terms of MBA tuition fees. Most students enrolled in UNA’s best executive MBA online programs are mid-career professionals who wish to develop their soft and hard managerial skills.

The University of North Alabama (North Alabama) was established in 1830 as a state-supported normal school known as the LaGrange College. Currently, the school’s distance learning platform and Florence campus serve approximately 8,150 students. 

Highlight The University of North Alabama holds the distinction of being the first teachers’ college to the south of the Ohio River devoted to teacher’s education.
Degree EMBA

10. University of Nevada Reno

The University of Nevada Reno offers one of Nevada’s best online EMBA programs with its exclusively online executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree program. Students enrolled in UN Reno’s best executive MBA programs online must complete twelve classes across a 24-month timeframe. The Princeton Review and US News rank UN Reno’s best executive MBA online programs among the top 50 in the country. These 36-credit best online executive MBA programs include coursework in managerial accounting, managing organizations in a global economy, and information & communications technology in organizations, among others.

The University of Nevada, in Reno, was founded under the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1874. The school’s campus in Reno is home to approximately 21,450 students. 

Highlight The University of Nevada in Reno is home to one of the most powerful lasers on any campus in the nation.
Degree EMBA

11. University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Hawaiiat Manoa’s Shidler Business College offers an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program that is recognized among the best online EMBA programs in the education online marketplace. Degree candidates enrolled in UH Manoa’s best executive MBA programs online will complete the degree program in 22 months. UH Manoa’s best executive MBA online programs offer academic concentrations in the travel industry or health care. Core coursework for the University of Hawaii’s best online executive MBA programs includes data analytics, marketing management, and accounting for decision-makers, among others.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa was founded in 1907 as the state of Hawaii’s flagship campus and land-grant school. Additionally, UH Manoa holds designations as a sun-grant, sea-grant, and space grant higher learning institution with a student enrollment of approximately 17,550 students. 

Highlight The campus in Manoa is located within Manoa Valley.
Degree EMBA

12. University of St Thomas

The University of St Thomas’s Opus Business College offers an executive MBA degree program that is available mostly online and recognized to be one of the best online executive MBA programs in Minnesota and neighboring states. Students in these best executive MBA online programs are required to meet on campus two days each month to explore the school’s experiential learning model. These best executive MBA programs online can be completed in less than two years. Classes for UST’s best online EMBA programs include decision-making for executive, executive leadership, ethics and leadership, and strategic management, to name a few.

The University of St. Thomas was founded in 1885 and is a Catholic institution of higher education. The university’s urban campus in Minneapolis is home to approximately 9,750 students. 

Highlight UST is named to honor the medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas.  
Degree EMBA

13. Ohio University

Ohio University’s College of Business offers a No-GMAT executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree program that is ranked among the best online EMBA programs in Ohio. Ohio University’s best executive MBA programs online are available in eight academic tracks, of which the executive MBA is one. These best executive MBA online programs have received accreditation from the AACSB. Additionally, Ohio University’s best online executive MBA programs are nationally ranked by US News and World Report and Fortune Magazine.

Ohio University is a member of the state’s university system that was established in 1804. The school is a space-grant university with multiple campuses that serve approximately 32,950 students. 

Highlight Ohio University holds the honor of being the first institution of higher education that was chartered by Congress and the first in Ohio.
Degree MBA – Executive Management

14. Howard University

Howard University’s Business School offers one of the country’s best online executive MBA programs with an executive Master of Business Administration degree available 100% online. These best executive MBA programs online can be completed in only 1.5 years. Howard University’s best executive MBA online programs have been developed for professionals with at least seven years of professional experience, with five years in a leadership position. Students enrolled in these best online EMBA programs from Howard University are required to complete 14 classes for a total of 42 semester credits. The data-based business curriculum includes financial management, applied economics for executives, and organizational behavior and leadership, among others.

Howard University was established in 1867 (right after the Civil War) and is recognized as an HBCU school. 

Highlight Howard University holds the distinction of offering more than 100-hundred-degree programs – more than any other HBCU school in the nation.
Degree EMBA

15. Saint Mary’s College of California

Saint Mary’s College of California offers one of California’s best online executive MBA programs with its eighteen-month executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree program. Students enrolled in SMC’s best executive MBA programs online graduate and enter the workforce as sales directors, senior project managers, or brand ambassadors, to name a few. Classes for SMC’s best executive MBA online programs include leadership communication, data analytics, and applied economics, among others. These best online EMBA programs are accredited by the AACSB.

Saint Mary’s College of California was established as a Catholic higher learning institution in 1863. The school’s suburban campus in Moraga is home to approximately 3,550 students. 

Highlight SMC maintains the only accredited museum of art in the county of Contra Costa.
Degree EMBA 

Why Should I Get My Executive MBA Online?

Executive MBA online programs give students a chance to study on their own time. As long as deadlines are met in terms of turning in assignments and taking quizzes and tests, students can study at times that best fit into their schedule. Individuals with already tight schedules find it difficult to make time for their classes during traditional school hours. By taking all of their classes online, they are able to study when they have a few extra minutes or when it is easiest for them to retain what they are trying to learn.

Another benefit of choosing an online executive MBA degree program is that the student is not bound by location. They can choose to enroll in whatever college or university they want as long as the program they are looking for is being offered. Remote learning makes it possible for a student to enroll in their favorite university even if it is a thousand miles away. They can also attend class while traveling. 

How Do I Choose an Online EMBA Program?

There are several things to consider when researching accredited online executive MBA programs. Every degree program is different. The key is to find the one that allows you to excel in the industry or field where you are already employed. If you are already working in a managerial or supervisory position, you may already have many of the skills you will need to continue to move up the ladder into an executive position. With the right accredited, online MBA degree program, you will be able to add courses that will fine-tune your degree to provide you with the exact skills and abilities you will require to be successful.

Accredited online executive MBA degree programs offer the most up to date information and technological tools available. When choosing an executive MBA degree program that is both accredited and online, the convenience and knowledge you will receive is well worth the time and effort you will have to put into earning your degree. The rewards you will receive as you move forward with your career will be invaluable. Being able to continue working while you are enrolled in your executive MBA degree program is the best way to gain the experience you need to succeed in your career.

What Can I Do with an Executive MBA?

Executive MBA job opportunities can be found in most industries. Individuals who have been working in a managerial position can use an executive MBA to apply for top positions within their company. The leadership skills that you receive with this advanced MBA will allow you to apply for the highest paying jobs in your company. Executive positions require advanced management skills over and above what is required in lower tiers. As an executive, much of the work you do will be with outside companies. You will also be required to oversee the work of the internal management team.

Earning an executive MBA degree online can make you eligible for CEO or CFO positions within your company. Executives are the top decision-makers within a company and must have exceptional problem-solving skills. You will be the one to have the final say for many of the most important decisions that will be made pertaining to the day to day operations of the company. With an executive MBA, you will be able to move up through the ranks of management rather quickly.

If you choose to change careers, an executive MBA degree will give you an advantage over other candidates who may be applying for the position. Even if you are starting over in a different career field, your executive MBA degree will give you the leadership skills and abilities you will need that will help you move forward as you learn the ropes. 

Carrie Morris
Author

Warren Dahl
Editor-in-Chief