Regular MBA Vs Executive MBA: Which Is Better?

Find out which MBA better suits your interest and skills through a detailed comparison between Regular MBA Vs Executive MBA at

Updated: May 24, 2016 17:36 IST
Regular MBA Vs Executive MBA: Which Is Better?
Regular MBA Vs Executive MBA: Which Is Better?

One fine morning, my friend's daughter, Sana invited me to his home to discuss some points about MBA programs. Sana was on cloud nine after getting the call letter from various b-schools but was not sure whether to opt for Executive MBA or Regular MBA.

The main reason for this dilemma is the experience Sana has with her. Sana has more than 5 years of work experience as an executive. Most B-Schools ask for atleast 5 years of experience for getting enrolled in their Executive MBA programs. The deciding factor between picking a Regular MBA vs. an Executive MBA (EMBA) filters down to how best to juggle with classes with your day job.

Initially EMBA was considered as watered down version of Regular. But with the passage of time situations and compulsions like time constraints and the possibility of continuation in the same job, employers started giving it the due recognition and respect. Now most of the working professionals are more inclined towards Executive MBA as they do not want to quit their job while doing an MBA.

There are numerous recognized MBA and EMBA programmes offered in B-schools around the globe, but students like Sana are not aware of the difference between the two.

EMBA is an executive program which is more or less same in terms of prestige and value, but they are catered in different ways.

Whether students opt for an MBA or an EMBA depends mainly on their current situations. EMBA applicants are generally older and have greater experience. Regular applicants often go for Regular program for immediate career change or are seeking opportunities for career advancement - but the differences between the two goes far beyond the apparent one i.e. age and work experience of applicants.

In this article we will discuss the major differences between Regular MBA vs. Executive MBA. Plus, this article will help you decide which MBA is better for you. The best way to decide is to “gauge out your reason for doing an MBA” and then read below the distinctions between these two programs in order to find out which one works best for you.


Regular MBA

Executive MBA

Work Load


Regular MBA students have full-day rigorous schedule which makes it hard for the students to do a job outside the program.

This is the advantage with EMBA program as students can maintain the balance between their full-time job and attend classes on weekends.




While doing their core business-basics classes, MBA Students can specialize in areas like Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Finance and they can easily choose when to take a class.

Core Classes + Specialization

EMBA students have to attend classes that happen at a faster rate and they study the same curriculum as Regular MBA students. There are fewer electives to choose from but they are structured in such a way so that student attends more classes.

Core Classes

Cost difference

Depending on the reputation of the b-school the cost of doing a Regular MBA is somewhere around 15-20 lacs.

In case of EMBA, usually the employer pays the most of your tution fees, as they are benefitting from the knowledge and skills that their managers are learning. Fee for doing an EMBA program varies from one school to other as they charge 1 lac to 10 lacs, again depending upon the reputation of the b-school.


You can take classes at whichever school you get into

If you are a working professional, then you are limited to area schools


If you are looking for more intensive student experience then you should apply for regular MBA. There are plenty of extracurricular opportunities like fests, groups, communities, student exchange programs etc. in Regular program

For EMBA students, there is very much emphasis on networking within a smaller set of classes, with a bit less interaction with the larger student body. Executive MBA is comparatively less eventful.

Focus of study


When it comes to focus of study, MBA program is more concentrated on areas of business like Marketing and Finance

Executive MBA covers all aspects of industry with a strategic perspective. If you are eyeing some director's titles then you would like to go for an EMBA

Acceptance rates and requirements

There is no such requirement like work experience to do regular MBA program and it is a bit easy to enter as there are plenty of b-schools that offer seats for regular MBA program

It is not easy to get into an EMBA program due to work experience requirements and limited slots.

Student Profile

Usually students from diverse fields like commerce, science, humanities etc. in the age group of 22- 25 yr olds opt for Regular. They are mostly fresher with 0-1 yr of experience.

Working professionals with more than 5 years of experience in the age group of 32-38 yr olds opt for Executive MBA.


2 years (Fixed)

It ranges between 1-3 years

Here is the sneak peak of the Executive MBA programs offered by Top B-Schools in India:





Minimum Work Experience


Notification for Admission


MDI Gurgaon

National Management Program


15 Months

5+ years







12 Months

10+ years




IIM Calcutta



12 Months

5+ years




IIM Ahmedabad



12 Months

6+ years

Rs. 2,700,000



IIM Bangalore



12 months

5 years




IIM Kozhikode



24 months

5 years







21 Months

5+ years

Rs 6,20,000/-






15-24 Months

5 years




So, which MBA program is better, Executive MBA or Regular?

There's no way to answer this question without knowing your exact circumstances and mindset. Whatever course you opt for, it entirely depends on two factors

If you want to boost your career growth and want to switch from one field like for instance from business to finance then you should go for Regular.

But if you want to stick to your job and want to upgrade your skills and knowledge to acquire higher titles in your current organization then you should go for Executive MBA.

EMBA targets business executives with five years’ managerial experience. You can also consider the trade-off between the Regular, more free time yet no income flowing in because you will not be working outside of your summer internships and Executive MBA where you will be working but between family, work, and school. As a result you will not have much of any free time.

With this article we believe that your decisions for the betterment of your career will become more definite and clear. We wish you best of luck for an informed career choice!

Share our article with those who are confused whether to pursue an online MBA. You can also post your comments to share your experience about the confusion that you faced between regular MBA and EMBA programme.

For more MBA Career related updates, keep visiting

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