QS Global MBA Rankings 2018 Out Now: An Overview | TopMBA.com

QS Global MBA Rankings 2018 Out Now: An Overview

By Phil Cottrell

Updated May 27, 2019 Updated May 27, 2019

The QS Global MBA Rankings 2018 have now been released and represent the most comprehensive MBA ranking that QS has complied to date. We have been producing MBA rankings since the early 1990s, albeit in a pared-down single-indicator format (employability), before adding a second (academics) in recent years. 

The QS Global Employer Survey and the QS Global Academic Survey are still used to determine a program’s ranking, this year attracting over 40,000 and 75,000 responses respectively, from employers and academics all over the globe. To these, we have added a wealth of data, drawn from verified school-provided statistics, an assessment of the academic affiliations of over 49,000 CEOs, executives, board members and entrepreneurs, and a calculation of the average return on investment enjoyed by graduates.

The end goal is a more robust ranking.

This data allowed us to assess schools across five key indicators, with various weightings, and has helped us to produce the most evolved rankings we have ever released. The key indicators and the weightings are: ‘Employability’ (40%), Entrepreneurship and Alumni Outcomes’ (15%), ‘Return on Investment’ (20%), ‘Thought Leadership’ (15%) and ‘Class & Faculty Diversity’ (10%). 


Discover the methodology behind the QS Global MBA Rankings 2018

For more details on how we calculated the ranking of a program, take a look at our Global MBA Rankings 2018 Methodology.


So who came out on top this year?


United States

Established US business schools dominate the Global MBA Rankings 2018. US schools occupy five of the top 10, and 12 of the top 20 positions in the rankings, with Harvard Business School coming out on top of yet another ranking.

While Harvard might not be the most diverse business school in the world (=23rd), it managed to seal the top spot by scoring the most marks possible for employability (=1st), also scoring highly in entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes (=2nd) and thought leadership (=10th).

Occupying positions in the global top 10 are the familiar names of Stanford Graduate School of Business (4th), scoring top marks on the entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes indicator, The Wharton School (6th), MIT Sloan School of Management (7th), which topped the global list for thought leadership, and Columbia Business School (8th).

See the full US rankings here



Two Canadian business schools make the top 50 in the Global MBA Rankings 2018. The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management (43rd), just coming in ahead of Ivey Business School (48th).  

Ivey also performed well in terms of entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes (37th), and scored highly in terms of employability (32nd), just one place ahead of Smith School of Business at Queen’s University (88th overall) for this key indicator.

Canadian schools are very much at the forefront of thought leadership, with the Rotman School of Management ranking highly for the indicator (24th) and UBC Sauder just behind (27th). McGill University wasn’t far back either (45th), with Ivey just outside the top 50 (51st).

When it comes to diversity, Canadian business schools also perform strongly on the global stage with The Schulich School of Business (20th) and Rotman School of Management (30th).

Take a closer look at the top 10 Canadian MBA programs.



It’s a very strong showing for European business schools in the Global MBA Rankings 2018. In fact, European institutions occupy five of the top 10 positions. Topping the European list is INSEAD (2nd in the global top 10), closely followed by its French counterpart HEC Paris (3rd globally). Also, included in the global top 10 are London Business School (5th), Saïd Business School (9th) and IE Business School (10th).

The top-scoring school in the Global MBA Rankings 2018’s diversity indicator is HEC Paris. In fact, the top 15 schools, in terms of diversity, can all be found within Europe (18 of top 20).

In terms of return on investment, it’s another European business school that tops the global list. Imperial College Business School in the UK holds that title, edging out two other European schools, Mannheim Business School in Germany and Durham University Business School in the UK.

Discover the full European rankings here.


Asia, Australia & New Zealand

The Global MBA Rankings 2018 highlight the strength in depth of MBA programs across the Asia-Pacific region. All of the top 10 institutions in the region also appear in the global top 100.

Topping the Asia, Australia & New Zealand list is the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) which also ranks at 28th in the world. The school ranks first for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes in Asia-Pacific.

Squeezed out into 2nd place is Melbourne Business School (34th globally), closely followed by the University of Hong Kong (38th globally). The University of Hong Kong also provides the best return on investment in the region.

And it’s another Hong Kong institution that tops one of the other main indicators in the region. In terms of thought leadership, it is the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) that comes out on top. It is also placed 7th overall in the region and 56th overall in the Global MBA Rankings 2018.

See the top 10 MBA programs in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.


Latin America

While Latin American schools might not be able to boast the established institutions found in North America or Europe, the region still has a number of world-class MBA programs to offer. The highest-ranked business school in Latin America is Mexico’s EGADE Business School (84th globally). Within the region, it is ranked as the top school in terms of thought leadership, as well as entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes.

Joining EGADE in the global top 100 is Costa Rica’s INCAE Business School (=94th), and tops the region’s ranking in terms of employability. 

If the focus is more on return on investment then Peru’s ESAN is a top choice. The oldest business school in the region is 4th in the region overall.

Take a look at the top 10 Latin American programs

This article was originally published in November 2017 . It was last updated in May 2019

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