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Who Are The M7 Business Schools?

The likes of Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton make up the list of the magnificent M7 business schools

By  Imogen Brighty Potts

Mon Mar 15 2021

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.

Many of the M7 business schools snubbed MBA rankings tables, like the Economist and the Financial Times, in 2021. But one year out of the rankings won’t harm the reputation of these schools.

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

Harvard Business School


©HarvardBusinessSchool / via Facebook

Class size: 732
% international: 33
% women: 44
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation*: $210,110

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.

Prior to opting out of the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking this year, Harvard Business School was ranked first in the world. MBA students can expect to earn a massive $230,000 in total compensation straight after graduation (salary + bonuses) and $210k 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: 436
% international: 35
% women: 47
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $222,625

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 $222,626, 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: 916
% international: 19
% women: 41
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $211,543

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

Wharton has the largest MBA cohort among the M7 business schools, with a class size of 916 students offering the school’s MBA offers candidates a wealth of networking opportunities. They also have the potential to earn upwards of $210,000 three years after graduation. 

Columbia Business School


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Class size: 782
% international: 44
% women: 40
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $202,238

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: 559
% international: 26
% women: 40
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $186,438

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: 30
% women: 38
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $191,679

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: 484
% international: 33
% women: 38
Average MBA salary 3 years after graduation: $197,177

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

Next Read:

M7 MBA | Which M7 Business School Should You Choose?

*Salary data for this article was taken from the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020, which shows average alumni salary three years after graduation.