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Esade Business School Executive MBA Review: Class Profile, Cost, Curriculum

Find out more about Esade Business School’s Executive MBA as we dive deep into the program’s class profile, cost, and curriculum with exclusive insights from EMBA students and faculty


Tue Dec 29 2020

Leaders studying for an Executive MBA in the current climate know all too well how the lessons of COVID-19 will carry throughout their careers. Executives will be managing teams in new ways and leading companies through remote work—leadership, just like the EMBA, has to adapt.

Esade Business School in Barcelona has responded to the COVID-19 world of work by adapting their EMBA to suit changing students needs. Esade EMBA students can now choose between two monthly formats, bimonthly and weekly course structures to support their busy schedules, as well as online and on-campus learning.

BusinessBecause spoke to EMBA students and faculty to find out more about Esade Business School's Executive MBA.

Who is the Esade EMBA for?

Esade’s EMBA is a 20-month, part-time program for experienced professionals. 

The minimum requirement for admission is four years of work experience, but many students have more and are typically in management positions in their organizations.

Michele Quintano, associate dean of the Executive MBA, says students are exposed to changing contexts and learn frameworks and methodologies that help them optimize their decisions in the workplace.

“Students will enhance the attitudes and capabilities needed for effective and responsible leadership,” he adds.

The super-flexible format of the Esade EMBA is well-suited for professionals with busy work lives. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michele says Esade has introduced a hybrid learning model and a set of extra virtual activities that have enabled students to maintain their engagement with their course and class community from home. 

“The online courses replicated the content delivered in a face-to-face format," he says.

Diana Augustin, a current EMBA candidate and senior manager for global brand and marketing at E.ON, says the program’s online format works in her favor.

“I can just finish my work, and then in the next second log on to the livestream and start the lecture,” she says. “It's much more convenient.”

Esade EMBA Class Profile

Esade’s EMBA takes students from across the globe to learn alongside each other, creating an international environment both in person and online. EMBA candidates in 2020 came from 31 countries.

The EMBA class consists of 31% women and 69% men, with an average age of 34 and on average 10 years of professional experience pre-EMBA.

Candidates have a range of academic backgrounds too: 40% from engineering, 30% from economics and management, and 16% from health sciences. 14% come with an academic history of humanities and social sciences.


Cost and admissions 

The total tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year is €65,300 ($80,576), with the fee covering everything from academic rights and education materials to accommodation and registration costs for electives abroad. There is a €135 ($166) application fee.

Esade require a university degree, advanced English language, and proof of a minimum four years work experience. The admissions process is outlined in four stages:

Stage 1 – Admissions Application 

Stage 2 – Required Documentation 

Stage 3 – Admissions test and English examination score

Stage 4 – Personal interview with Esade’s Admissions Committee

Esade require candidates to take their admissions test (TAE) upon application. An exam based on mathematical knowledge and verbal reasoning in either Spanish or English, the test is for any candidates who do not take the GMAT.

There is no minimum GMAT or GRE score needed by candidates, however the current average is 660 for the GMAT and 160.162 for the GRE.

Esade EMBA Students & Network 

EMBA alum Jean-Eudes Birgby calls the program: "A personal and professional transformational experience.

“Life is a succession of challenges and some of them are failures. But I can say that this experience with Esade is truly an achievement," he says.

Jean-Eudes previously worked as an intelligent transportation system project manager with emovis before the EMBA. He is now a project manager with ABERTIS group after completing his EMBA in 2018.

“Esade’s executive MBA is diversity,” says another 2018 Esade EMBA alum, Alexey Kultyshkin.

He notes how the EMBA class were diverse not only in professional background, but in culture too. Previously based in Russia working in IT, Alexey realized didn’t have the skills he needed to be a manager. He discovered the path for him was an EMBA. “Now I understand better how my company works,” he says.

Alexey is an architecture and security director at Atos, a French multinational information technology service and consulting company.

Esade prides itself on its alumni network, with over 65,000 professionals in 118 countries.


Esade EMBA: Curriculum & Professors 

The Esade EMBA has three core phases: awareness, build, and connect. Within each phase students take a combination of compulsory subjects from developing a strategic mindset, geopolitics, corporate finance, and growth & environmental sustainability.

Following the core phases is a specialization module and exchange. Candidates choose between elective subjects that best fit their career goals or a three-month international exchange.

From monthly formats based at either the Madrid or Barcelona campus and delivered in Spanish or English, to bimonthly and even weekly formats, there is an EMBA option for all professionals.

“Whether you study online or offline, we guarantee the same level of interaction, delivery, and learning rigor," Michele concludes.

0e961fcb2d1e5bf2fa0ed43748336ca0677bba1b.png The Esade Executive MBA, ranked among the world's best EMBAs by QS, provides experienced candidates with a super-flexible study experience.

With an expansive global network of 65,000 alumni and growing, EMBA candidates are well positioned to make the right contacts to advance their careers.

Esade's management of the coronavirus crisis and the different EMBA formats it offers—four structures for one program—highlights its commitment to the needs and ambitions of EMBA students.


Student Reviews

Esade EMBA




On Campus

Transformative Journey at ESADE Business School

My time at ESADE Business School has been beyond remarkable. From the moment of the application process, the staff has been super helpful and responsive on every single email! The faculty are highly engaging, the peers collaborative and the curriculum cutting-edge, encouraging me to push my own boundaries and broaden my understanding of business. With practical learning at its core, ESADE has provided me with crucial skills for success in the real world. Not only is this school an ideal place to develop yourself; it's also home to so many fantastic opportunities, friendships and growth. If you're ready for change and want to thrive in the business world then this is definitely the university for you!




On Campus

Esade review

As I am just starting off in September, I do not have any hands-on information about the education or the university itself. However, I can tell you about the experience I have had with the admin staff, which was always extremely positive. As I am a scholarship student, I had some hardships with reserving my place as I needed to wait for the result of my scholarship application, otherwise, I would not have been able to attend the university. They kindly offered me to hold my place without paying which was a big help for me. Additionally, any time I had problems with the IT system or any administrative task they would always help me in a day or two.




On Campus

Bachelor Business administration

ESADE University stands as a beacon of academic excellence and innovation. With its dynamic programs, world-class faculty, and vibrant campus culture, ESADE offers a transformative educational experience. From cutting-edge business education to a commitment to societal impact, ESADE surpasses expectations. It's a remarkable institution that nurtures tomorrow's leaders.




On Campus

Excellent education.

ESADE is a quality university, the professors are the best in the area and this is evident in the student's academic progress. Additionally, the university is responsible for providing opportunities to access the world of work. It is a university internationally recognized for its quality and excellence. It is located in the best neighborhood of Barcelona.




On Campus

Excellent teachers and classes and a superb international experience

If you are looking for a law specialization master's degree (LLM) in the non so traditional areas of law, and you are seeking for an international fully enriching experience, ESADE is your best choice. ESADE started as a business school so the MBA and other business degrees are their core. Nonetheless, law education and in particular the specialisation master's (international business law and intellectual property and ICT law) are also on the top Europe's LLM of their fields. They combine an excellent program, with the best teachers available in Barcelona and with a more than enough amount of resources to study and help the student to get initiated in their career field. Also, this is the best international experience out there; personally, I got to share a classroom with other 25 students, where only 6 of them were Spanish, the other 19 including myself were a mixture of different nationalities, especially from Latin American countries.




What an enriching experience!

The program was super complete and touched on all the key points I considered important in a Master of Law, Intellectual Property and Technology. In addition, I was able to take advantage of business, communication, leadership and other disciplines, so important in the training of a complete and multifaceted professional. It is also great that all teachers are lawyers, so they can practice the knowledge they teach us on a daily basis. In this way, they are able to transmit theoretical knowledge to us with a much more practical approach, super useful for our future. In this way, we are able to penetrate the network of contacts in our areas, which can be extremely beneficial for our career. I also believe that the University is really concerned with the students, in helping them in everything they need, which can be demonstrated, for example, in the current pandemic situation, since it has always tried to act in such a way as to harm the students as little as possible, providing the support and compensation that they considered fair. In conclusion, I would like to thank ESADE for providing me with one of the best experiences of my life, in which I have made friends for life, and from which I leave with excellent academic preparation, ready to face the challenges of a professional career.




The online platform and the involvment of students and teachers

The online platform is very agile to work and gives you great flexibility to follow the program. Secondly, I was surprised by the involvement of students and teachers. This has made the program very interesting with links to extensions of the agenda. Quite a good surprise. I would clearly recommend it.




Great class cohesion, superb study location, super professors

I loved the class cohesion with plenty of international students from all over the world. Great to have that mix during a practical business project to do with the local economy of the Costa Brava. Studying in Barcelona is simply amazing, and even though the university is not directly in the center, it is in a really nice part of the city with great views over the old town and the sea. I always enjoyed my walk from the metro station to the school. The professors were nice and motivated, and as classes were small, it allowed a very good learning atmosphere.




Amazing experience!

The professors are qualified, passionate, and dive deeply into the topics while always making class engaging. Hands-on experience with companies to solve real issues - offering a great opportunity to apply the learnings and gain more relevant experience. The study tours and minor class trips are also adding value to the course, along with many career and social events, which help create a good environment. Would highly recommend!




ESADE Business School allows me to build amazing and long-lasting friendships.

ESADE Business School has successfully created an environment where engaged, open-minded, passionate and problem-solving individuals can proliferate both academically and professionally as they establish friendships with students/professionals from all over the world.