Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

World's Best Masters & MBA Programs Ranked By QS

Find out which school’s offer the best business master’s and MBA programs in the world, according to QS

By  Thomas Nugent

Wed Sep 23 2020


Global higher and business education analyst, QS Quacquarelli Symonds, has released its 2021 ranking of the best master’s and MBA programs in the world.

The core metrics for the ranking look at employability, entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, return on investment, thought leadership, and class and faculty diversity.

For the Global MBA Ranking 2021, employability has a 40% weighting in a school’s overall score; entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes 15%; return on investment 20%; thought leadership 15%; and class and faculty diversity 10%.

For the business master’s rankings employability has a 35% weighting (30% for the master’s in finance an business analytics ranking); alumni outcomes 15% (20% for the master’s in finance and business analytics ranking); value for money 20%; thought leadership 20%; and class and faculty diversity 10%.

The QS ranking is based on a survey of nearly 37,000 global employers and more than 34,000 global academics. QS also mapped the education paths of 27,831 successful alumni back to specific institutions.

QS Global MBA Ranking

The QS Global MBA Ranking 2021 ranks 258 programs this year from 40 study destinations. Stanford Graduate School of Business comes out on top, sitting in first place behind fellow US powerhouses Wharton, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Harvard Business School, in second, third, and fourth place respectively.

Stanford on top has an overall score of 94.5, scoring a near perfect 100 (99.8) on entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes. The school also scores 98.3 on employability.

The Global MBA ranking is far from a US-only affair, with the top 10 also featuring HEC Paris in fifth, INSEAD in sixth, London Business School in seventh, and IE Business School in ninth. 

QS Master's in Management Ranking

As well as sitting in fifth place in the Global MBA Ranking, HEC Paris sits atop the pile in QS’s ranking of the best master's in management programs in 2021, for its MSc in Strategic Management degree.

HEC Paris’ program scores a perfect 100 in value for money, thought leadership, and alumni outcomes. It also scores a 98.5 for employability. Second-place London Business School also scores 100 for alumni outcomes, and pushes HEC Paris close in thought leadership, with a score of 98.6.

The top 10 is a story of European dominance in the field. London Business School is in second place, followed by ESSEC Business School (third), Esade Business School (fourth), and Copenhagen Business School (fifth).

QS Master's in Finance Ranking

The strength of European business schools’ master’s programs is further evident when you look at QS’s rank of master's in finance degrees.

The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is in first place, followed by London Business School in second. HEC Paris continues its strong showing across the rankings, coming in fourth place.

Saïd Business School’s strength is evident across the different metrics used by QS. The school scores 100 in thought leadership; 98.6 in value for money; 99.9 for employability; and 99.8 for alumni outcomes.

There are also a few US business schools putting pressure on their European counterparts in the top 10. MIT Sloan is in joint second place, Berkeley Haas is in sixth, and UCLA Anderson is in joint seventh place.

QS Master's in Business Analytics Ranking

Master's in Business Analytics programs have been growing in popularity in recent years as companies grapple with increasing digitalization.

This year, MIT Sloan’s Master in Business Analytics program takes the crown in the QS rankings. The school scores a measly 60.7 in diversity, but 100 for thought leadership and alumni outcomes, as well as 98.9 for employability and 95.6 for value for money.

The top 10 highlights the competition between business schools offering the program both in the US and Europe.

UCLA Anderson is in second place, and the joint program between ESSEC and CentraleSupélec is in third. The top 10 is completed by ESCP Business School (fourth), Imperial College Business School (fifth), Texas McCombs (sixth), USC Marshall (seventh), ESADE Business School (eighth), Alliance Manchester Business School (ninth), and McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Mangement (10th).

Next Read:

World’s Best Online MBA Programs | QS