This MBA Insider info comes from Sharon Barrett, Director of Working Professional and Executive MBA Admissions.

If you compare the class profiles of our Executive MBA with our Professional MBAs– Evening MBA, MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, and MBA at Houston programs– the differences can seem obvious. But there’s actually a broad grey area, where many professionals could fit well into either the Executive MBA or one of our Professional MBAs.

In the end, it’s a very personal decision about where to submit your application. But remember, it’s a two part process. You decide where you belong and the admissions committee agrees on the fit. Here is some advice on how to make an informed choice about which Working Professional MBA program to choose.

Consider Your Level & Years of Work Experience 

Average work experience for the MBA Programs:

Program 80% Range Minimum
Professional MBA 3-10.5 years 2 years
Executive MBA 9-21 years 8 years

While people with the minimum eight years of experience do join the Executive MBA, there are relatively few. Executive MBA candidates become more competitive closer to ten years of work experience. On the other side, Professional MBA candidates must have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience, and candidates get competitive with closer to four years. The admissions committee doesn’t simply count the years but evaluates the level and quality of your work experience– the impact you’ve made in your organization, advancement in your role or responsibilities, and unique accomplishments.

Generally, students in the Executive MBA have managed people and budgets. Some rose to this level sooner in their careers than others. If you work in a small organization, your responsibilities can elevate very quickly. There are many manager level employees in the Professional MBA programs as well, but also quite a few individual contributors.

Executive MBA candidates on the low end of work experience and unsure of whether or not they would be a fit, should request a resume review. A short chat with a member of the admissions committee can allay any doubts about whether or not your work experience is appropriate and/or competitive.

Attend an Event to Gauge Your Fit

There’s no better way to self-assess than to meet us, chat with students or alumni, or sit in on an actual MBA class. You can sign up now for upcoming MBA events.  The Executive, Houston, & Dallas/Fort Worth programs are not taking applications until later summer, so please check back periodically for those events.

Our events give you the opportunity to hear program details from our admissions team, participate in Q&A panels with alumni, chat with current students, and even sit in on classes, which is recommended for anyone looking to apply. During class visits you’ll witness the collaborative and team-based environment that’s a big part of the fabric here at McCombs. Please check our events throughout the late summer and fall for these dates.

Texas McCombs MBAs are collegial, yet competitive. And the program you join will define your close-knit, professional network while in the program and beyond. Strategic thought about where you begin your relationship with the MBA network sets you off on the right foot for your career goals beyond the program. Reach out to us with any questions.

Good luck & Hook ‘Em!