The Top 8 Hybrid Programs in Executive Education

A growing number of executive MBA programs are available online, a clear draw being the greater flexibility online learning offers over traditional face-to-face education modalities. Remote learning can be self-paced, is typically available anywhere the internet can be accessed, and it offers numerous resources for students, like online forums and research tools. All these conveniences are a big plus for those seeking to gain a degree while maintaining a demanding career.

However, for many students, there’s a potential cost that comes with losing the face-to-face experience of group learning. A growing body of research suggests that study support groups, group-learning, and physical interaction all improve learning outcomes and contribute to a more positive academic experience. These benefits are arguably much more important for EMBA programs, which have curricula that frequently emphasize human interaction, teamwork, and networking.

Hybrid EMBA programs offer a middle-ground option: they combine convenience with the benefits of in-person interaction. As the term suggests, hybrid programs blend online learning with more traditional face-to-face teaching methods, including on-campus lectures, group projects, immersion trips, and workplace consulting projects.

If this balance of convenience and interpersonal enrichment appeals to you, there are a wide range of highly rated, hybrid EMBA programs to consider.

Oklahoma Price EMBA in Energy

Targeting mid-career professionals working in the energy industry, this 15-month hybrid EMBA program combines online coursework (constituting 70% of the degree’s study requirement) with three one-week residencies. These on-site residencies offer students both networking opportunities and direct interaction with industry practitioners.

The Oklahoma Price EMBA in Energy provides:

  • Industry-Specific Content: Because the program exclusively focuses on energy industry issues, students gain access to an expert-led faculty and in-depth analysis of contemporary and specific issues that affect the global sector.
  • An International Residency: The Price EMBA emphasizes understanding the global energy industry, and the regulatory, legislative, and financial decisions that underpin it. The course’s international module gives students direct engagement with international energy companies and the issues they face. The program takes place in various locations across Europe, and the cost of the trip is included in the tuition for the program.

Pace University Executive MBA

HybridPace University’s 20-month Executive MBA program combines online modules (comprising 60% of the curriculum) with a face-to-face component of classroom learning and direct company experience. The program’s strong emphasis on experiential learning is reinforced by small student cohort sizes and a focus on solving real-world business problems.

Notable aspects of the Pace University Executive MBA include:

  • An Orientation Residency: The Pace EMBA’s week-long residency is designed to equip new students with accelerated insight into the program’s instructional platform, research resources, faculty, and team problem-solving approach.
  • A Business Management Simulation: The program’s capstone course includes an intricately simulated management challenge. The assignment, which places student teams in a competitive simulated marketplace, offers a practical insight into optimizing performance while managing risk.

Pace University Masters in Finance for Professionals

The Pace University Masters in Finance is a 12-month course built around an even distribution of online coursework and face-to-face learning (in the form of 7 residency weekends). Designed for people currently working in business or finance, the course enhances students’ knowledge of emerging finance trends while challenging them to solve actual problems facing the industry today.

The Pace University Masters in Finance for Professionals offers:

  • A Firm Grounding in Investment and Portfolio Theory: The program elaborates on a process for the detailed financial analysis of a market or industry. This strong finance focus equips students with leading investment insights, from conventional risk analysis to the nuances of behavioral finance.
  • A finance industry residency: The course also provides finance industry residency opportunities to its students — and practical workplace exposure to real-world finance management decision-making.

Want to get ahead before the semester starts? Check out book recommendations for business leaders.


Culverhouse College of Business Executive MBA

Another course providing an even blend of online and face-to-face instruction, the Culverhouse College of Business Executive MBA program is delivered over 21 months and challenges students with a program that’s designed to foster leadership qualities.

Defining features of the Culverhouse College of Business Executive MBA include:

  • International Study: The final semester of the course includes an international trip, where students broaden their practical understanding of the global economy through meetings with business and government leaders abroad.
  • Flexible Learning Options: Course participation options are flexible. The syllabus can be delivered through monthly intensive sessions on campus or via a more conventional class format.

Saint Mary’s Executive MBA

While the Saint Mary’s Executive MBA program is a hybrid degree program, this course places a greater emphasis on face-to-face teaching. Around 40% of the course is delivered online. The 18-month course is, therefore, better suited to students with greater time flexibility, or those students who prefer direct interaction over online instruction.

The Saint Mary’s Executive MBA offers:

  • Small-Team Decision-Making: This course emphasizes teamwork and collegiate problem-solving, and is an effective option  for students seeking a supportive learning environment.
  • Two EMBA Course Tracks: Saint Mary’s offers two EMBA programs. The conventional EMBA is for seasoned professionals seeking to expand their leadership acumen. The Global EMBA program has a strong focus on corporate ethics, fostering a humanitarian approach to management practices worldwide.

Denver Executive MBA

The Denver Executive MBA is delivered over 21 months and also focuses on face-to-face learning. Approximately 40% of the syllabus is completed online, although some flexibility is built into the program, and the actual amount of online instruction may vary.

The hallmark of Denver Executive MBA is its flexibility, which is demonstrated through the following qualities:

  • Five Start Dates: Students can start the program at various points in the year, with study commencement dates in August, October, January, March, and May.
  • Corporate Partner Benefits: Students working with listed corporate partners may qualify for tuition discounts.
  • Extensive Specialization Opportunities: A wide range of modules are offered, allowing students to pursue a highly-targeted education track that’s tailored to their interests. Courses are available that cover topics including digital marketing, managing human capital, real estate finance, information management, business ethics, and more.

Auburn Executive MBA

hybridThe Auburn Executive MBA is a 21-month program with 30% of its content delivered via self-paced online learning modules. The program provides a robust foundation in management principles, with an additional focus on supporting students to deliver improved on-the-job performance while taking the course.

Features of the Auburn Executive MBA include:

  • Foundation Bridging Courses: The Auburn Executive MBA offers a suite of non-credit bridging courses in accounting, economics, marketing, finance, and statistics.
  • A Regular Schedule of Residencies: The course includes five residencies. This schedule of regular on-campus attendance gives remote students a strong professional network by course completion.
  • Three Unique Concentrations: The Auburn Executive MBA offers three concentrations: healthcare, leadership, and operations. These allow students to tailor their education path to best suit their professional needs.

The UNC Executive MBA

The UNC Executive EMBA is a 20-month program with a strong curriculum focus on leadership development. The online component ranges from 30% (with either of the course’s two on-campus options) or 100% if a student completes the program online. The content leans heavily toward relationship-building and team-based learning.

The UNC Executive MBA curriculum offers:

  • Three Delivery Options: The program can be taken in evening, weekend, and online classroom formats.
  • Practical International Experience: The UNC Executive MBA provides a global education initiative, where students can participate in residencies with a range of international companies.

It’s challenging to balance the demands of your career with your academic pursuits, but with strategic planning, you can make the most of your educational experience while also advancing your career. An executive education has a significant ROI that makes the tuition and time commitment well worth it. Ivy Exec members report salary increases between 23%-110% after graduating from one of the programs that are listed above. To learn more about online, hybrid, and on-site programs, visit Ivy Exec’s 2019 Executive MBA Rankings.


Get a sneak preview of online learning by attending a free webinar with Ivy Exec.


Mark Lambert

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