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6 Best Business Schools In The US Promoting Diversity And Inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion are core business practices. Find out the top six US business schools promoting DEI principles

Fri May 3 2024

Choosing a business school aligned with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles can help future-proof your career in today’s job market.

With recent studies finding a positive correlation between profitability and diversity in the workplace, selecting a business school that equips graduates to lead with a focus on DEI is crucial.

Prospective student priorities are evolving in line with this. A recent survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) outlined that more than half of business school applicants wouldn’t consider a school that lacked sustainability, equity, and inclusion practices. 

So, what are the best business schools in the US that promote diversity and inclusion? Here we summarize the top six:

1) The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Wharton, boasting the world’s leading MBA program, offers a specialized MBA major in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Beyond core MBA classes, students tackle the challenges involved in creating and sustaining organizations rooted in DEI practices.

To foster a more inclusive environment and provide students with career guidance, leadership training, and financial aid where needed, Wharton hosts various financial support programs and student-led organizations such as the African American MBA Association (AAMBA) and the Wharton Women in Business (WWIB) club.

The Center for Leadership and Change Management is also launching an initiative to support research on under-represented minorities in the workplace, with a particular focus on women of color. 

Read the Wharton MBA Jobs and Salary Review

2) Columbia Business School

Close collaboration between Columbia Business School and nonprofit organizations such as the Forté Foundation and the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM) aims to support students from underrepresented groups pursuing their MBA degrees.

This is reflected in the 2023 entering MBA class, which had a significant representation of women (44%), international students (47%), and minority students of US origin (43%).

Student-led groups such as Cluster Q, the school’s LGBT business association, offer support and networking opportunities for minority students, collaborating with the Office of Admissions to host social and professional events.

Read the Columbia MBA Jobs and Salary Review

3) MIT Sloan School of Management

MIT Sloan School of Management extends its DEI approach to faculty members and academics, releasing annual progress reports to track their progress.

Just under two-thirds of staff members across the school have completed training to challenge unconscious bias, known as the Open + Inclusive initiative. Many faculty members have also integrated a DEI-focused approach into their coursework to equip future business leaders to build inclusive workplaces.

For students, the DEI office organizes a series of events and career workshops dedicated to addressing the needs of underrepresented students and alumni. This includes “RealTalk” sessions which provide students and faculty members with a safe space for open dialogue about their experiences at MIT Sloan.

Read more about MIT Sloan’s MBA Class profile

4) Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business prioritizes diversity with initiatives such as the IDEAL dashboard, a university-wide tool tracking diversity trends across students, faculty, and staff.

Data on the MBA class of 2025 demonstrates a significant representation of international students (36%), women (46%), and US students of color, which account for half of the class. The school’s commitment to diversifying the curriculum has also proved effective in recent student surveys, where approximately 90% of MBA, Master of Science and PhD students agree that their course encourages various viewpoints in class discussions.

Outside the classroom, organizations such as the Black Business Students Association, the Pride Club, and the Women in Management Club provide networking opportunities and career resources for underrepresented students.

Read all about Stanford’s MBA Class profile

5) University of Virginia Darden School of Business

At Darden, a public diversity dashboard reveals the school’s progress in diversity initiatives, put in place for students and staff members alike.

One such school-wide female-led initiative is Women@Darden, which brings together a supportive network of women across admissions, faculty, alumni, and current students, with an emphasis on women’s issues in business and enhancing the classroom experience for women.

Student-led groups such as Graduate Women in Business, the Black Business Student Association (BBSA), and the Asia Business Club foster community engagement and career mobility for underrepresented groups in business through events like career workshops and gala nights.

For faculty and staff, the “Inclusive Darden” training program aims to promote a lasting culture of inclusivity throughout the school.

Check out the Darden MBA Class Profile 

6) Dartmouth Tuck School of Business

DEI initiatives at Tuck School of Business range from on-campus Black hair care services, dedicated events for LGBTQIA+ Heritage month, and a Diversity Entrepreneurship Program.

This program, run in collaboration with the Tuck Center of Entrepreneurship, pairs MBA students with participants from the Diversity Business Program to tackle entrepreneurial challenges with a DEI approach.

Tuck also addresses real-world inclusion through the Workplace Inclusion Initiative, where students, researchers, staff, and alumni convene to discuss challenges and solutions to creating diverse workplaces.

As the business world increasingly prioritizes DEI, choosing a business school that promotes diversity and inclusion in the curriculum and the broader community can make all the difference in your b-school experience and career success.