France’s EDHEC Business School Launches An Online MBA

EDHEC Dean Emmanuel Métais Wants To Lead On Climate And Impact

EDHEC’s campus in Nice, France. Courtesy photo

EDHEC Business School in France announced this week (March 18) the launch of a new MBA, 100% online. It will have two intakes per year, the first beginning this fall with another in spring. Each will enroll about 20 students.

The program was developed by EDHEC Online, the school’s digital learning platform developed in 2018, well before the pandemic supercharged online and hybrid MBAs. The platform already offers three Master of Science degrees (Data Management & Business Analytics, International Business Management, and Corporate Finance) as well as a variety of online certificates and MOOCs.

EDHEC’s online MBA will include 18 months of core business courses while reinforcing two topics throughout: sustainability and digital transformation, including generative AI, says Loick Menvielle, director of the EDHEC Online MBA.

Students will then complete a 3-month consulting project working with CEOs on a sustainability or digital challenge. They then can choose a three-month specialization track in either Strategic Foresight & Innovation or Finance of Climate Change & Sustainable Investing.

Students will have access to EDHEC’s LEAD360 leadership and professional development program as well as personalized career counseling.


For its online MBA, EDHEC is creating a series of “digital learning expeditions,” says Menvielle. These are modeled after the in-person company visits of a traditional MBA experience, but created so students can take virtual tours from their homes or offices. EDHEC is working with journalists to design company specific narrative arcs and filming sites with several cameras to show different angles mimicking a walk through a campus.

As an example, they created one such webinar for a data company, starting in the office of the general manager, moving along through the building to a data scientist to talk about his role and challenges, and then to the legal office where an attorney explained compliance issues. They did the same at a famous hotel so students can learn about reducing waste and other challenges for the hospitality industry.

“It gives the ability to illustrate tangible things, which is very impactful and concrete. The traditional webinar is very static. You sit in front of your screen and you explain different things,” Menvielle says. “Here, we are trying to maintain a high level of engagement to provide a new type of experience compared to the traditional webinar.”

More learning expeditions will be developed as the program develops.

Online MBA students will also use the e-learning platform of the FOME Alliance, of which EDHEC Online is a founding member. The alliance is made up of 12 top-ranked business schools – including Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, ESMT Berlin, Esade Executive Education and others – working to accelerate EdTech and improve online and hybrid business education.

To enhance online learning, FOME has developed tools such as “social learning” to help students from different continents effectively work together. Its “adaptive learning” component uses AI to customize learning modules to each student. Its mobile-first courses allow students to engage from anywhere, even in a train or subway.


The online MBA format combines weekly live virtual classes with asynchronous assignments and group work.

The program is working with several EDHEC research centers to create up-to-date content on immediate business challenges. For example, The EDHEC Risk Climate Impact Institute will craft lessons on green finance in creating a more sustainable economy. EDHEC Criminal Risks Management Chair will cover the mechanics of the black market and topics like human trafficking, money laundering, and cybercrime. And, the Foresight Innovation & Transformation Chair will help participants develop a long-term economic vision that considers AI advances and innovative new business models.

“We want to provide a program that is very student centric. We pay attention to the workload, we pay attention to the ability to succeed during the learning journey,” Menvielle says. “An online MBA is time consuming, and you are trying to live three different lives at once: You have your professional life, your personal life, and your student life. We believe our program is well balanced between the three.”


The 24-month online version will be one of four MBA programs offered at EDHEC. The French business school with campuses in Nice and Paris, France, London and Singapore already offers an in-person Global MBA which takes about 10 months to complete. It also offers an Executive MBA and Executive MBA in Healthcare Innovation and Technology, both of which are part-time programs taking between 16 and 19 months.

Compared to leading online MBAs in Europe, EDHEC’s program is competitively priced at €39,000, or about $42,348. That’s significantly lower than the two top ranked online programs in the Financial Times’ latest ranking: IE Business School’s comes in at about €60,000 (~$65,000) while Imperial College in London’s is £42,600 (~$54,000).

The Global Online MBA at UK’s Warwick Business School, meanwhile, is £39,450, while ESMT Berlin’s is €28,000.

Compared to U.S. programs, EDHEC’s online MBA is a bonafide bargain. Eight of the top 10 online MBA programs ranked by Poets&Quants in 2023 cost more than $80,000. At Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, ranked No. 5 for U.S. programs, an online MBA costs $146,916.


EDHEC’s online MBA joins a growing list of virtual MBAs in Europe and elsewhere. This includes Spain’s IE Business School which launched the continent’s first online MBA in 2001 as a blended program combining in-person sessions and digital content.

In March 2021, ESMT Berlin launched an online MBA for about $30,000.

Just last month, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad launched an online MBA program with a mix of in-person and virtual instruction. It is the biggest of the IIM schools to do so.

Learn more about the EDHEC online MBA here.

Learn about online MBAs at Poets&Quants’ Online MBA Admissions Event April 16-17.


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