Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an Executive MBA (EMBA) program?
Q: What sets the WSU Executive MBA apart?
Q: What is the difference between an "executive" and "traditional" MBA?
Q: What does "accreditation" mean to a business student?
Q: What type of time commitment is involved?
Q: What degree will I earn when I graduate from the Executive MBA program?
Q: How will an Executive MBA degree impact my career?
Q: What's the program length?
Q: Who are EMBA students?

What is an Executive MBA program?
An Executive MBA (EMBA) program provides an opportunity for experienced professionals to obtain a master's degree in Business Administration on a schedule that reduces disruption of work. Members of each class begin the program at the same point, move through the curriculum together, and complete the degree requirements for graduation as a group.

At Wichita State University, EMBA students complete their degrees in 20 months. During that period, they gain a wide range of new skills and sharpen their analytical abilities by combining course work with day-to-day professional experiences. To assure optimum benefits to the student, the small class size and structure help promote interaction between the faculty and students.

A unique aspect of our EMBA program is the collective professional experience of its participants that greatly enriches the educational environment. We use a team approach to allow for the sharing of diverse perspectives on various topics. This interaction results in a challenging, stimulating learning experience that provides for maximum return on time and resources invested.

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What sets the WSU Executive MBA apart?
The Barton School of Business offers the only fully accredited Executive MBA in Kansas. In the interest of offering the most professional, quality business programs possible, WSU's Barton School of Business has achieved accreditation from the International Association for Management Education (AACSB). The AACSB is the premier accrediting agency for business administration and management degree programs.

In graduate business education, the Barton School is also a member of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

Subjects areas in the EMBA program are the same as those taught in the traditional MBA program, but the EMBA curriculum also includes Seminar Topic courses in Executive Leadership, Negotiations, Human Resource Managemen, Innovation Management, New Product Development and Corporate Entrepreneurship. The extensive professional experience of the participants and unique structure of the program allow a maximum amount of course material in an accelerated timetable.

In addition, WSU employs senior doctoral faculty experienced in teaching, research, and consulting as instructors to give students the most current knowledge in the fields of business.

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What is the difference between an Executive MBA (EMBA) and MBA?
In an EMBA classroom environment, you can expect a high level of interaction between the students and professor. This is not a professor lecturer / student listener type of classroom. You will probably learn as much from your classmates in discussion as from your professor.

Additionally, the EMBA faculty is selected based not only on their current research in their field, but also their real-life experience outside the classroom.

Another key difference between the two degrees is the structure of the program. Since the EMBA is a lockstep program, each student will complete the 20 months following a prescribed sequence of courses. The total credit hours for completion of the degree are 30, whatever your undergraduate degree program. The program requires that each candidate have a minimum of five years' professional / managerial experience. Therefore, we assume conceptual business knowledge through practice rather than previous course work. Click here for a comparison chart.

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What does "accreditation" mean to a business student?
The Barton School of Business is the only business school in south central Kansas accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Our program is the only AACSB accredited EMBA program in Kansas. What this means to a business student is the assurance that Wichita State University's Barton School of Business is meeting the same standard of excellence in business education as the most prestigious business schools in the United States.

Since the AACSB was organized in 1916, its membership consists of more than 650 U.S. educational institutions, more than 100 international educational associations and approximately 70 business, government and nonprofit institutions. Out of this membership, 300 members have affirmed their commitment to educational quality through the achievement of accreditation.

accreditation ensures quality and promotes continuous improvement in undergraduate and graduate education for business. As the largest business school in the state, the Barton School of Business is proud of this distinction of accreditation. It is our commitment to be on the cutting edge in all facets of business so that we give our students a competitive advantage in their career field.

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What type of time committment is involved?
The WSU Executive MBA program is structured for a professional's schedule. Students meet on select Saturdays for 20 months. The program does not require you to be away from the office during regular business hours, except during the required international trip. EMBA students find themselves invigorated to be back in the classroom with their professional and intellectual peers, where they can share the challenge of learning new methods and means for managing the business of doing business.

Success in professional life demands a substantial and regular commitment of time, and it is no different in an EMBA program. Our students have estimated that they spend between 15 and 20 hours per week for some combination of class work, computer and research efforts and course assignments. This considerable time commitment requires a high level of motivation and dedication from the student as well as the support of your family and employer.

Other students and the EMBA program staff are also your advocates for your success!

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What degree will I earn when I graduate from the Executive MBA program?
You will earn the widely recognized Master of Business Administration degree. Your diploma will also read "Executive MBA Program." This assures that, first and foremost, your degree has a distinct meaning to everyone. The designation of 'Executive MBA program' just gives additional differentiation to the type of degree program you completed.

Employers that we work with in identifying high potential employees recognize the difference in an executive versus a traditional MBA. In fact, they use this program as a tool in their corporate succession planning. The WSU Executive MBA is definitely not an abbreviated MBA program, but an accelerated one.

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How will an Executive MBA degree impact my career?
An EMBA degree reflects a sophisticated level of knowledge and skills concerning a wide range of contemporary management topics. It also implies a well-developed understanding of strategic thinking and planning in a globally competitive world. Professionally, an EMBA provides the skills needed to gain additional management responsibility.

For the entrepreneur, the knowledge gained in earning an EMBA can make the difference between success and failure in a highly competitive environment.

What's the program length?
The Executive MBA is a 20-month program, that meets every other Saturday.

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Who are EMBA students?
EMBA students have been in their respective careers for at least 5 years (the average is 15 years professional experience with 8 of those being in management). The average age is 40.

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