Should You Pursue a Part-Time MBA or an Executive MBA? 3 Things to Consider as You Make Your Business School Decision

Posted by Graduate Management Admission Council on Oct 22, 2019 7:00:00 AM

If you’re working and considering pursuing an MBA, you may be trying to choose between a Part-Time MBA (PTMBA) and an Executive MBA (EMBA). On the surface, these two graduate business degrees look very similar. They are both offered part-time, they both appeal to those who work full-time, and they both lead to an MBA.

However, there are also important differences between them. To  find out which may suit you best, here is a look at three things to consider when choosing between them.

1. For a graduate business school candidate with lots of experience, the EMBA may be a better fit

The biggest difference between PTMBAs and EMBAs is the type of student the programs accommodate.  An EMBA is geared towards professionals in the middle of their careers and may already have some managerial or executive experience. Our own research has found that 63% of EMBA applicants have 10 years or more  professional experience.

A PTMBA, on the other hand, is geared more towards those who are a bit earlier in their career paths. While more experienced professionals can also benefit from a PTMBA, this program tends to appeal to those who are looking for a more traditional college or university experience. Because students in a PTMBA often have less work experience; the curriculum typically addresses foundational concepts more than the EMBA does.

Are you interested in learning more about EMBAs? Find out more at What is an Executive Master’s Degree?

2. A Part-Time MBA is similar to a Full-Time MBA

Another significant difference between a PTMBA and an EMBA is how each relates to a Full-Time MBA. In fact, a PTMBA is similar to a Full Time MBA. The courses and subject matter are generally the same, with one of the few differences being that a PTMBA is done on a part-time schedule. An EMBA is different from a traditional MBA. As mentioned, because just about every graduate business school candidate who enrolls in an EMBA will already have significant work experience, there is less focus on introductory coursework. Instead, the program exposes you to more advanced concepts that can help you accelerate your career without focusing too much on concepts that you may already have learned on the job.

3. Know how the admissions processes differ—and how they are the same

The admissions process for the PTMBA and EMBA differ slightly. Almost all EMBAs place a high value on applicants having work experience, especially in senior management or executive positions. With a PTMBA, however, there is much more variance from one business school to the next in terms of what they want to see in applicants. Some PTMBAs may want candidates who have a few years of relevant work experience, whereas for others work experience is not a requirement.

In either case, a graduate business school assessment like the Executive Assessment can help. Many EMBAs and numerous PTMBAs use the Executive Assessment in their admissions policies because it appeals specifically to working professionals. In fact, the Executive Assessment takes only 90 minutes to take and requires only minimal preparation. You can even complete the Executive Assessment before deciding whether you want to complete an EMBA or PTMBA. That way, you’ll have completed an important prerequisite regardless of which program you choose. Check out which EMBA and PTMBA programs accept the Executive Assessment. If you are looking to apply to either an EMBA or a PTMBA, the Executive Assessment can be an important part of your application process.


Are you looking to apply to business school?

Find out how a business career advancement test like the Executive Assessment can help.

Topics: Executive Assessment, Executive MBA, Part-time MBA, PTMBA, EMBA

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