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EMBA program ranks 20th

Anne-Marie Woods | Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Executive MBA program (EMBA) of the Mendoza College of Business ranked 20th in the BusinessWeek biennial survey of the world’s top 25 executive programs, and the Executive Education certificate programs ranked 19th in a separate survey by the magazine.

“This is a public measure of what we do,” director of executive education Sharon Keane said.  “It doesn’t drive our strategy or decisions, but it’s an affirmation of the work we’re doing.”

The EMBA is a 21-month program geared toward executives who want to advance their education while continuing to work full-time. Additionally, a condensed 17-month version of the program is offered in downtown Chicago. According to Mendoza’s Web site, the program focuses on integral, values-based leadership as well as international immersion experience and customized studies.

“These leaders are charged with managing and leading through so much complexity,” Keane said.  “Our programs are a way for them to manage complexity, enhancing their knowledge and skill. 

Notre Dame’s EMBA program received an “A+” in teaching, an “A” in curriculum and a “B” in support, according to the BusinessWeek survey, which described the program as having “a strong focus on ethics and principled leadership.”

The Executive MBA program rankings are given every other year and are based on three separate surveys of EMBA graduates as well as a poll of EMBA program directors. Various measures, including teaching quality, career services and curriculum, factor into the ranking.

Graduates praised the quality of professors and guest speakers, as well as the ethics-based curriculum, especially amid public scrutiny of corporate management and headlines targeting failed leadership.

“There is this ethical approach steeped in our curriculum that has always been important,” Keane said. “This is where so many businesses have gone astray, but we need to lead with integrity.”

Central to the EMBA’s mission is a renewed focus on service to the community and leadership values, Keane said.

“More and more people are seeing the value in personal integrity and an emphasis on serving the greater good and organizational effectiveness,” Keane said. “Business can be a force for good in the world, and that is a large part of what Notre Dame is all about.”
The Notre Dame EMBA program was not ranked in 2007, but held the No. 20 spot in 2005. 

Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania Executive MBA programs held the top three spots in BusinessWeek’s survey.