One Year Executive MBA Programs [2024 Guide]

By Joy Cromwelle
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on May 3, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
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Searching for One Year Executive MBA Programs? The 1 Year EMBA offers an excellent opportunity for working students with professional experience.

More and more companies are sending their managers to EMBA (Executive Master of Business Administration) programs to learn innovative and effective leadership skills.

One Year Executive MBA

One year executive MBA programs cut down on the amount of time before these companies can reap the benefits of the knowledge their managers gained through completing the program.

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EMBA programs are not for everyone, though, and can be quite prestigious and selective.

Requirements to Apply

EMBA and one-year MBA programs are designed for working students with professional experience in the field.

Most programs require applicants to currently hold a management position, so unless you have some kind of leadership role in your current company, an EMBA may not be for you.

You might want to consider MBA online programs instead, especially online MBA no GMAT programs, which often have less stringent requirements.

EMBA programs often require the following to apply:

  • Completion of a 4-year undergraduate degree in business or a related field
  • GMAT scores
  • Minimum GPA at an undergraduate institution
  • Minimum number of years of professional work experience
  • Employer recommendation(s) and support
  • Demonstration of career potential
  • Strong academic record

As you can see, you must have great potential as a leader in the business world to apply to an EMBA program.

Sometimes programs will waive the experience requirement if you can show (through your employment track record or endorsements from your current employer) your potential to become a great manager and leader.

Curriculum for One-Year MBA

One Year Executive MBA Curriculum

EMBA curriculums are typically rigorous and focus on leadership potential as well as hot trends in the business world, like global supply chain management.

Some programs culminate in projects that demonstrate students’ implementation of what they learned in their classes. Some even give students the option to travel abroad in order to get acquainted with global business markets.

Most programs are about 20 courses in length and combine longer seminars with shorter class sessions. You will likely begin the program with a cohort of other students and take the same classes with that cohort for the entire duration of your degree.

Courses you might expect to see in an EMBA program include:

  • Leadership Development
  • Teams and Team Management
  • Finance
  • Investments
  • Business Ethics
  • Global/International Business
  • Human Capital Analysis
  • Competition Analysis

You’ll likely review key concepts you learned at the undergraduate level but will learn much more about the complexities of the MBA business world than you ever have before.

Most programs are lock-step, meaning you are required to take certain courses at a certain time. There are often no choices in these programs, but they are designed to be diverse and give you a large breadth of information, hitting on everyone’s interests, over the course of the program.

Online and Hybrid Options

mba student studying online on her computer

Many EMBA programs offer online or hybrid options to their students.

In a hybrid option, students attend most of their classes online but are required to meet their cohort at the university for a number of days over the course of the program for workshops and seminars. This is usually called a “residency requirement” and is often manageable even for people who live out of state.

Fully online courses enable students to remain at home while completing their courses but still provide networking and connection opportunities through video conferencing and other collaborative platforms.

One Year Format

As you can probably imagine, one year online accelerated MBA programs are usually quite intensive, especially since most students maintain a job at the same time. These programs are designed for students who are wholly committed to increasing their knowledge of how to manage a business and its employees.

In a one year executive MBA program, you’ll be expected to pour many hours per week into your studies. You may have to give up responsibilities outside of work as well as any leisure time you have for that entire year.

Though these programs can be difficult, dedicated and focused students can succeed in these fast-paced programs. The fast-paced nature of a one year MBA program can help prepare you for the fast-paced nature of a top management role in the business world.

Degree Value

One Year Executive MBA Degree Value

Some EMBA programs can be pricey, so you might be wondering if it’s even worth it to apply for one. Recent studies and news reports indicate that the value of an EMBA is definitely there.

The Wall Street Journal reported that employers felt the resources and money used to send their employees to EMBA programs were worth the knowledge and training they came back with. Employers also reported that EMBA programs are improving year to year.

The Washington Post reported that a salary increase with an EMBA is almost guaranteed and that EMBA holders typically see a payoff within 18 months of finishing their degree because of that increase.

If you can secure funding from within your company for part or all of your degree, it can help make this an even more worthwhile endeavor. Company sponsorship is a growing trend because companies see the benefits of employees with EMBA degrees.

As an alternative, one year MBA programs may be of interest to you as well.

What Is an Executive MBA for Professionals?

While some ambitious professionals might be asking how they can get ahead, they may want to instead ask, “What is an executive MBA?”

This graduate degree in business administration often leads to more pay potential, promotion opportunities, and even new career endeavors. An executive MBA is a prestigious degree in the field, and earning one can help show employers that you are serious about your role as a leader in the business world.

Executive MBA holders are trained to effectively lead people so that companies can become as successful as possible.

Who Are EMBAs For?

diverse executive mba students in a classroom

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs are designed for professionals who currently work in any field. Managers and employees with leadership positions are often preferred for EMBA programs.

Admissions representatives typically look for applicants who demonstrate strong leadership potential and have the promise of becoming one of the best in their field. This is why most Executive MBA admissions program require at least 5 years of professional experience and demonstrable leadership skills and qualities.

Most EMBA programs are designed to allow working executives and professionals to remain in their full-time careers. This is different than most MBA programs, where students often attend full time and have no substantial career at the same time.

Since most EMBA students hold leadership positions within their companies and are looking to expand their knowledge through an EMBA program, it’s essential that they remain in those positions.

The ultimate goal is to bring back innovation and enhanced skills to the companies the students are already employed at.

Employer Sponsorship

Because this is one of the ultimate goals of an EMBA student, many employers will sponsor their executive and management employees to attend EMBA programs at little to no cost to the employees.

Most programs require sponsorship or recommendation letters from an applicant’s current employer in order to confirm leadership potential.

Since companies find employees with an EMBA so valuable, many of them are willing to pay the tuition of these sometimes costly programs. Nearly all sectors of employees are represented in EMBA programs, from energy to biotechnology to real estate.

An EMBA is truly a degree for the working, ambitious professional in any field.

What Will You Learn?

mba students listening to their professor during lecture

Now that the basics of an executive MBA have been covered, you might be wondering what exactly the students in an EMBA program actually learn.

Most EMBA programs are designed to be dynamic and mimic real-world experiences.

Like many MBA programs, EMBA programs follow a lock-step curriculum and calendar. A cohort of students begins the program at the same time and completes all coursework and other components together as a team.

Each program has its own set-up to meet the course hour requirement, but most design their course schedules around the lives of the working professionals that are attending it. You likely won’t take more than a course or two at any given time, giving you the opportunity to devote enough time to your career.

The required course work typically covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Global Management
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Corporate Finance
  • Leadership and Team Development
  • Microeconomics
  • Innovation
  • Product Development
  • Risk and Crisis Management

The courses in an EMBA program delve deeper into the basics that one might learn in an MBA program or in a job position as a manager.

Many EMBA programs require a travel component in which students can learn more about global markets and international business. This is also a great way for the cohort to travel and work together as a team, a key component of an EMBA program.

Some programs also allow students to choose an MBA concentration, like Finance, Entrepreneurship, or Marketing, to suit their specific MBA career paths.

Why Get an EMBA Online?

emba student studying on his computer

An EMBA is possible to earn online through an accredited institution. What is an executive MBA online program like? You should be able to get the same rigorous and dynamic training as you would in a traditional program.

Online programs are cropping up more often these days. They are designed to help students to save time and money in comparison to programs that require students to report to on-campus locations a certain number of times per month or year.

Many online programs still offer (or require) travel experiences in the form of weekend workshops and seminars or longer international trips.

A handful of EMBA online programs have designed their programs to be completed within one year’s time, eliminating the traditional two-year commitment that most EMBA programs require.

Career Boost

According to The Wall Street Journal, both employees and employers often find immense value in an EMBA. In particular, employers who hold an EMBA themselves are often supportive of their employees earning one too.

The Washington Post reports that most EMBA graduates see an increase in their salary potential.

If your employer steps up and pays for all or part of your program, there may be nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

How Long Are Executive MBA Programs?

Executive MBA Programs

Executive MBA programs are usually designed to last 1-2 years. Online options are typically faster and more flexible than on-campus options, but some students prefer the personal interaction they can get with professors and their peers in traditional classes.

Can You Complete an MBA in 1 Year?

Yes, it is possible to complete an MBA in 1 year. One of the best options for fast-tracking your MBA is by enrolling in an online program.

Which MBA Program Is Best?

It depends on what works best for you in regards to program length, flexibility, cost, experience, and other needs. The Executive MBA programs to look out for, though, are those delivered through regionally accredited universities.

Business programs that are also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) are often highly recommended as well.

Is an Executive MBA Worth It?

Is an Executive MBA Worth It

Yes, an Executive MBA is worth it for many students.

Jobs in the management field are projected to grow at a rate of 9% in the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Even if you’ve been building your career for a few years, earning your MBA may give you an extra boost for attaining future roles. It might also increase your salary by 35-60%, according to studies from various universities.

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