Top 10 MBA Programs in the World

MBA sign

The QS Global MBA Rankings 2018 ranks business schools around the world. The rankings are based on a total of 13 criteria form the basis of five key indicators: Employability; entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes; return on investment; thought leadership; and diversity.

The top 10 business schools in the Global MBA Rankings 2018 are:

1. Harvard  Graduate School of Business, US

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Harvard is the highest-ranked business school in the world this year. One of the world’s most elite universities, Harvard is also the originator of the MBA - the school ran the first course in 1908. For criteria-specific rankings, Harvard leads in employability and comes in at second place for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes. Despite falling lower than many of the top European schools in terms of diversity, the institution still tops the ranking overall.

2. INSEAD, France

Second on our list is INSEAD. INSEAD was the first institution to offer the MBA in Europe. It was also the first institution to offer a one-year MBA, as opposed to the standard two-year model in the US. In individual criteria, INSEAD is third for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, sixth for thought leadership, eighth for employability and 10th for return on investment - one of the few top institutions to rank highly in that specific criterium.

3. HEC Paris, France

HEC Paris is the second French institution on this list, and third overall. The famous institution is among the most selective of the grandes écoles, and for good reason. Along with Harvard, it tops the polls in terms of employability and also comes first for diversity - with an international student rate of 92%.

4. Stanford Graduate School of Business, US

Stanford is the most selective institution in the US, with more applications per spot than any other business school in the country. Famed for its tech-savvy alumni and the starting point of many of the world’s biggest tech enterprises, the university comes fourth in our global ranking. According to our ranking criteria, the institution leads the world in entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes and comes in 10th for thought leadership.

5. London Business School, UK

London Business School is the first UK institution in the top 10 this year. The school is based in one of the world’s main financial capitals, with 100% of the world's leading financial institutions represented in the city, and three quarters of the top 500 global companies using it as their base. It comes third for employability this year, fourth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, seventh for thought leadership and 12th for diversity.

6. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, US

Sixth in this year’s global top 10 is Wharton. The world’s oldest business school was founded in 1881 and is part of the M7 - an elite group of US MBA programs. The institution ranked third for thought leadership, fourth for employability, and ninth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes.

7. MIT Sloan School of Management, US

Sloan is one of the most selective business schools in the world, with alumni including the seventh UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan; Bill Ford, Chairman of the Ford Motor Company; and Cary Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. The institution is seventh in our global ranking: It ranks ninth for employability, eighth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and first for thought leadership (unsurprising, given the institution’s focus on innovation).

8. Columbia Business School, US

As the only Ivy League business school based in New York, Columbia has a significant competitive edge on other schools in the US. New York is the financial capital of the world and studying at Columbia offers unrivalled access to the city. The institution is eighth in our global ranking. For employability, it ranks at sixth place and is 10th for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes.

9. Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK

The second UK-based business school on this list, Saïd, is the business school of the world’s oldest English-language university - the University of Oxford. It has the largest intake of any graduate business school in the country. Ninth in our ranking, the institution is placed 11th in the world for diversity and second for thought leadership.

10. IE Business School, Spain

This prestigious institution is based in Spain, making it the fifth European institution to make it into the top 10. It’s a highly diverse school, coming 10th for diversity – alongside HEC Paris, the only school in this list to rank in the top 10 for this criteria. The institution also came sixth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes and 14th for employability.

Infographic for the world's top 10 MBAs


Amelia Hopkins
Written by Amelia Hopkins

Amelia Hopkins is a writer for TopMBA, covering the latest news in business and business education. A graduate of the University of Leeds and Yorkshire native, she enjoys reading, travelling and talking incessantly about the countryside.

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