2023 marks the first year ESCP Business School has secured the top spot after placing second in the ranking for five years in a row.
French business schools have retained their dominance in the Master in Finance rankings, which lists the best 55 pre-experience Master in Finance degrees (MiF) worldwide. Out of the top 10, five programs are all based in France, including HEC Paris, ESSEC Business School, Skema Business School. and EDHEC Business School.
Here’s our breakdown of the world's best Masters in Finance programs:
Best Masters in Finance | The Winners
ESCP Business School has nudged its way to the top spot of the FT's Master in Finance ranking, switching places with HEC Paris after an 11 year stint in first place.
This is due to the school ranking first for its careers services and alumni network as well as 96% of its alumni respondents citing that they have achieved their aims since graduating.
Master in Finance graduate salaries are also important to the rankings, holding the highest weighting of 16%. On average, graduates from the ESCP Business School Master in Finance program go on to earn an impressive salary of $158,176 three years after graduating. That's a 63% increase compared with their previous earnings.
The highest average salary however is earned by graduates from China's Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management with the figure sitting at a hugely impressive $205,387. This year, Tsinghua has risen to fifth place after placing seventh in 2022. It is also the only non-European in the top 10.
HEC Paris, ranked second, also boasts impressive salary stats with a 120% salary increase, the highest on the list. This equals an average of $175,703 three years after graduating.
Beyond the top 10, Europe continues to lead the way in the MiF rankings. Of the top 20 programs, 17 are European, with the remaining spots held by three Chinese schools including Peking University Guanghua and Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance at SJTU who placed second and third respectively for highest salaries.
The University of St Gallen in Switzerland has also risen in the ranks from 14th to sixth place this year.
However, the school that has climbed the most—by 11 places—is ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management, now placing 23rd.
Just five US programs appear in the rankings. The highest is a new entrant, the University of Southern California: Marshall, placing 31st.
MIT Sloan is notably missing from the ranking after placing ninth in 2022.
World's best Masters in Finance programs | Breakdown
Based on the FT’s ranking metrics, the best Masters in Finance programs in the world for overall salary three years on from graduation are Tsinghua, where graduates earn $205,387. This is followed by Peking University: Guanghua where grads earn $191,477 and Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance at SJTU where the figure stands at $186,161.
The top school for salary in Europe is HEC Paris.
The FT ranks Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI) top for career progression, followed by Warwick Business School and ESCP. For the fifth time in a row, ESCP’s career service ranks higher than any other school.
The surveys of graduates also revealed that bettering their career opportunities was one of the primary reasons for embarking on a master’s program, as well as increased salaries.
In terms of the diversity of the Master in Finance cohort, the FT credits business schools for the number of women and international students. The University of Oxford: Said soared to the top with 100% international students. The school has also achieved gender parity with 56% female student on its MiF program.
However, the highest number of female MiF students can be found at another UK business school, Durham University Business School which has 63%.
For the first time this year, the Financial Times credits schools for transparency on their carbon emissions and net zero targets. SDA Bocconi in Milan ranks first followed by IE in Madrid and Rotterdam School of Management.
The top business school for value for money is the University of St Gallen.
The FT’s MiF rankings are calculated based on survey responses from alumni who graduated pre-experience programs three years ago, along with school data. Alumni responses make up 58% of each school's score, with school data constituting the remaining 42%.
Schools are ranked using 16 different categories, broadly covering areas including salary and career progression, diversity, international opportunities, and faculty expertise.
The FT also usually ranks the best post-experience programs based on graduate respondents from later in their careers. However, this year there was insufficient data.