The magic or magnificent seven, known as the M7 business schools, are a group of well-known, elite US business schools, widely regarded as among the best in the world.
At these business schools, you’ll pursue top-ranked MBA and master’s programs, get access to leading professors, transform your career trajectory, and join impressive communities of notable alumni comprising presidents and CEOs.
In 2023, the M7 brought shocks to the Financial Times MBA ranking table as Wharton Business School dramatically dropped out of the ranking and Columbia Business School made history by taking the top spot for the first time in 25 years.
The M7 business schools are highly competitive and require top GMAT scores. MBA graduates from these schools also see their salaries spike and can expect to be sitting on an easy six figures come graduation.
The M7 business schools are: Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Columbia Business School, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Chicago Booth, and MIT Sloan.
If you’re considering an M7 MBA, find out more about the M7 business schools and how their full-time MBA programs compare below.
The M7 Business Schools
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Harvard Business School
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% international: 38
% women: 46
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation*: $235,177
Harvard Business School was founded in 1908 in Boston, Massachusetts, and has produced many notable alumni, including Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, and CEO and founder of Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg.
This year, Harvard Business School ranked fourth in the Financial Times MBA ranking, a slightly lower position than it has held in previous years. The Class of 2024 cohort is the largest amongst the M7, offering the school’s MBA offers candidates a wealth of networking opportunities.
MBA students can expect to earn a massive $245,000 in total compensation straight after graduation (salary + bonuses) and $235k in salary alone after three years.
Harvard MBA Jobs & Salary Review
Harvard MBA Class Profile | Breakdown
Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Class size: 424
% international: 37
% women: 44
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $253,435
Stanford Graduate School of Business was founded in California in 1925 and the school’s MBA class profile boasts an impressive bunch. Graduates from Stanford can expect an average post-MBA salary of $253,425, the highest among the M7 business schools.
The school has produced some very impressive alumni, including Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, Jeffrey Skoll, the first president of eBay, and the UK’s chancellor, Rishi Sunak.
Being a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley, the entrepreneurial vibe around Stanford also makes it a great place for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Stanford MBA Jobs & Salary Review
Stanford MBA Class Profile | Breakdown
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
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Class size: 877
% women: 50
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $238,741**
This 140-year-old institution is based in Pennsylvania and has produced alumni like Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai. Business tycoon, Warren Buffett, is also among the esteemed graduates from Wharton.
In 2023, Wharton was dramatically missing from the Financial Times MBA ranking after failing to gather enough response for the alumni survey, which makes up the largest weighting in the ranking methodology.
Wharton is the only M7 business schools to achieve gender parity amongst its MBA cohort. Wharton MBA grads have the potential to earn upwards of $211,000 three years after graduation.
Columbia Business School
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Class size: 844
% international: 57
% women: 44
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $228,425
In 2023, Columbia Business School was ranked first in the Financial Times MBA ranking for the first time ever after consistently ranking highly in a number of metrics.
Columbia Business School is an Ivy League school as well as a member of the M7, and is located in New York City. This Manhattan institution was founded in 1916 and is one of the oldest business schools in the world. Some of Columbia Business School’s notable MBA alumni include Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, and James P Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley.
Columbia MBA Jobs & Salary Review
Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
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Class size: 503
% international: 38
% women: 48
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $211,718
Located in Chicago, Illinois, Kellogg School of Management was founded in 1908. It was named after generous donor John L Kellogg—the son of the founder of the cereal company—in 1979. Impressive alumni include American senator, John Hoeven, and governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker.
University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
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Class size: 621
% international: 37
% women: 40
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $216,295
The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business is the second oldest business school in America and was founded in 1898. It has been associated with 9 Nobel Laureates in the Economic Sciences. Some of its best-known alumni are financial executive, Susan Wagner, former CEO of The Gillette Company, James L Kilts, and Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.
MIT Sloan School of Management
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Class size: 408
% women: 46
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $207,100
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Sloan was founded in 1914. Attached to MIT, there are plenty of opportunities for MBA students to learn at the intersection between business and technology.
It has produced a selection of well-known and impressive alumni too, like Kofi Annan, Ghanaian Diplomat, Carly Fiorina, former-CEO of Hewlett Packard, and John S Reed, former chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.
Compare the M7 Business Schools
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*Salary data for this article was taken from the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2023, which shows average alumni salary three years after graduation.
**Data from 2022 FT ranking.