Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton are the world’s most popular MBA programs with the prestigious M7 business schools leading the way, according to new research from MBA.com.
After the M7 schools, INSEAD is the world’s next most popular MBA program, followed by London Business School and Yale School of Management rounding out the top 10.
MBA.com’s list of top full-time MBA programs is based on the number of GMAT scores sent by candidates to each program in the last testing year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021).
US MBA programs are the most popular
Business schools in the United States dominate the top 50, with 27 of the world’s most popular programs offered by US schools. Much of this comes down to brand and the reputation of the MBA degree in the United States.
The US is still the dominant market for MBA programs, with European business schools more renowned for business master’s programs.
The global pool of GMAT takers is dominated by US citizens—over 100,000 GMAT scores were sent out by US citizens in 2020, more than any other region—with candidates showing a preference for domestic programs.
Graduates from top MBA programs in the US can expect to see their salaries as much as double post-graduation, with many achieving a complete career change thanks to their newly acquired management skills and network.
The popularity of US schools also demonstrates the lasting appeal of the traditional two-year MBA for many candidates, with most non-US schools typically offering one-year MBA programs.
Top-ranked MBA programs are not always the most popular
However, the best MBA programs in terms of ranking are not always the most popular, and this is especially noticeable among Asian business schools.
CEIBS, which is ranked seventh globally by the Financial Times, is the 49th most popular MBA program. NUS Business School, ranked 14th by the FT, is the 26th most popular.
These business schools cater to particular profiles of students; those interested in careers in Asia for example. Asian business schools, among others, also accept alternatives to the GMAT, particularly from domestic Asian students. This means they may have received fewer applications from GMAT test takers.
Ultimately, while candidates have a preference for big-name MBA programs in the US, programs in Asia, Europe, and Canada are still very popular.
After INSEAD and LBS, the University of Oxford Saïd Business School and HEC Paris offer the most popular MBA programs in Europe.
The University of Toronto Rotman School of Management offers Canada’s most popular MBA, followed by York University Schulich School of Business and the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business
After INSEAD, which has campuses in France and Singapore, NUS Business School is Asia’s most popular MBA program.
List of top MBA programs
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