Interestingly, three out of the top six business schools in America do not offer Executive MBA programs. Seeing as Executive MBAs provide a large stream of revenue to other business schools, it seems odd that Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Dartmouth’s Tuck School, have all chosen to opt out. An article in BNET (“Why Harvard, Stanford & Tuck Shun the Executive MBA”) provides insight into why an Executive MBA program is not the right fit for every university.
Harvard, Stanford and Tuck feel that a part-time Executive MBA program would just be a watered down version of their existing full-time degrees. The dean of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Paul Danos, explains, “Tuck considered such programs over the years, but we always pulled back for several reasons, including the possible dilution effect on the full-time program and the possible loss of focus.”
Jim Aisner, director of media relations at Harvard, is of the same opinion as Danos. He feels that the part-time nature of an Executive MBA program does not fit into the kind of educational experience Harvard wishes to offer its students: “Our MBA program is a two-year immersion experience—all the more so because most of our students reside on campus. We don’t think the benefits of this kind of experience can be accomplished in a program that would bring students here for only a few days at a time each week.”
According to Dean Garth Saloner, Stanford decided not to start an Executive MBA program because he felt it would take away from the “small student body size and personal attention” that is part of “the Stanford experience.”
However, it is important not to overlook the programs that these business schools do offer for Executives. Harvard has its Advanced Management Program (AMP), which has existed since 1945. The AMP is a $64,000, eight-week program that brings executives to campus in the summer to study. Harvard also offers many courses for executive education, and although they do not grant MBAs, they can still get you an executive education certificate.
Stanford offers a 10.5-month Sloan Masters Program for executives, which awards an MS in management science. Additionally they are beginning to offer a new 20-week, certificate evening program, the Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, for working professionals in engineering and the sciences.
Tuck has executive courses, but they are also working on a new program with Dartmouth Medical School for professionals in healthcare. The new degree will combine face-to-face learning with long distance learning technology to offer a master’s in Health Care Delivery Science.
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