20 Best MBA Programs in the World

Global MBA Rankings

Stanford campus
Stanford. Michael Layefsky / Getty Images

The best MBA programs in the world equip their students with the skills and support necessary to launch and/or advance a business career. Each of the MBA programs on this list provides rigorous coursework, experienced professors, extensive career support, and a global perspective.

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Founded in 1925, Stanford Graduate School of Business is located in Stanford, California. The school's two-year full-time MBA program provides students with a world-class general management education. The curriculum encourages innovation and collaboration. Each student is also required to participate in a global experience. Some of the options that are available to students include Global Management Immersion Experience (GMIX), faculty-led Global Seminars, Global Study Trips and self-directed experiences, such as a global internship or an independent study course.

London Business School

Located in London in the United Kingdom, London Business School is widely believed to be the best non-U.S. business school. The MBA program is not only prestigious, it also offers flexibility that can't be found in every program. Students can choose customize the curriculum based on their desired career path and complete the program in 15, 18 or 21 months. London Business School also offers many unique opportunities, including a Global Business Experience and an Entrepreneurship Summer School.

Harvard Business School

Established in 1908, Harvard Business School is one of the most recognized names in business education. The full-time MBA program at Harvard Business School places a heavy emphasis on real world experience. Students learn through the case method, which allows them to evaluate real business scenarios and decide how they would respond to the types of problems and challenges facing today's businesses. They also participate in personal leadership activities and team-based projects. Harvard Business School is located in Boston, Massachusetts but has global research centers located all over the world. It takes two years of full-time study to complete the MBA program.

INSEAD

INSEAD is not as old as some of the other schools on this list (it was founded in 1957), but it is consistently ranked among the best business schools in the world. The school has campuses in Fontainebleau, France (Europe campus), the Buona Vista district of the city-state of Singapore (Asia campus), and Abu Dhabi (Middle East campus). Students choose their preferred campus at the time of application, but can choose to spend one of three periods studying at another campus. INSEAD offers an accelerated full-time MBA program that takes just 10 months to complete. The curriculum is rigorous and places an emphasis on management preparation.

The Wharton School

Along with Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Wharton School is consistently ranked among the best U.S. business schools. The Wharton School was established in 1881 and is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The MBA program provides good preparation in general business and leadership, but it is known primarily as a finance school. It takes approximately 20 months to complete the Wharton MBA program. Students can choose from nearly 20 majors and customize their education by picking and choosing from more than 200 electives.

Columbia Business School

Established in 1916, Columbia Business School is located in New York City. It is one of just six Ivy League business schools in the world and is known for being highly selective. The Columbia Business School MBA program takes approximately two years of full-time study to complete. Courses teach business theory that is applicable to real-world business situations. Students are encouraged to learn from the faculty as well as their peers. The MBA program has a core curriculum, but students are allowed to choose a specialization so that they can graduate with knowledge in an area that matches their career goals.

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Located in the Hyde Park area of Chicago, Illinois, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business was established in 1898. It is the second oldest business school in the United States. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business MBA program combines theory and experiential learning to teach students how to analyze problems and create solutions. The school offers above average preparation in economics. The school has produced more Nobel Laureates in the Economic Sciences than any other business school. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business MBA program takes two years of full-time study to complete and consists of 20 classes and an experiential leadership development program.

University of Cambridge Judge Business School

Formerly known as the Judge Institute for Management Studies, the University of Cambridge Judge Business School was established in 1990 and is widely recognized as one of the best business schools in the world. The school's full-time MBA program, often called the Cambridge MBA, is a rigorous program that takes just one year to complete. The University of Cambridge Judge Business School seeks to prepare students to lead teams on a global scale. Students participate in a lot of class discussions and participate in a Global Consulting Project requires them to consult for client companies and make touch business decisions with real outcomes.

University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business

Founded in 1898, the University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business, also known as Berkeley Haas, is one of the oldest business schools in the world. The full-time MBA program at Berkeley Haas is 21-month program. The curriculum has a heavy focus on management and leadership fundamentals. Students take 12 required courses and then choose electives to tailor their education to their chosen career path. They also get the opportunity to participate in team projects and leadership development opportunities.

IESE Business School

Founded in 1958, IESE Business School is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. The school has campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, New York City and Sao Paulo. The IESE MBA program includes a core curriculum with a focus on business fundamentals, internship programs that are designed to enhance entrepreneurship skills and electives that allows students to tailor their education to their career goals. Students who enroll in the IESE MBA program can choose from a 15-month MBA program or an 18-month MBA program. 

Yale School of Management

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the Yale School of Management (SOM) was established in 1976. Students who enroll in the Yale School of Management MBA program must complete an integrated core curriculum. Each course within the core curriculum teaches management fundamentals, problem solving and ethical thinking. The Yale School of Management calls this approach to business education a "raw case" because it is based on the needs of real world organizations in modern business. The MBA program takes approximately two years of full-time study to complete. 

University of Oxford Said Business School

Formerly known as the Centre for Management Studies, the University of Oxford Said Business School was established in 1965. The University of Oxford Said Business School MBA program, also known as the Oxford MBA, takes one year to complete. The program emphasizes responsible leadership and is known for offering solid preparation in entrepreneurship and global business. Students study within a dynamic research environment and are encouraged to learn how to think logically and lead with purpose.

MIT Sloan School of Management

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the MIT Sloan School of Management was established in 1914. The MIT Sloan MBA program is designed to encourage innovation. The school calls this approach action learning. Students participate in subject-based labs that allow them to apply classroom learning to real world situations. Every MBA student participates in a on-semester core that includes coursework in economics, accounting, leadership communication, business statistics and organizational processes. Students then complete 144 units of electives. The MBA program takes approximately two years of full-time study to complete. 

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Established in 1908, the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management is located in Evanston, Illinois. The MBA curriculum at Kellogg combines a core curriculum that focuses on general management with electives that allow students to customize their education. MBA students are also given the chance to participate in global experiential learning opportunities. Kellogg School of Management has 37 exchange programs across 20 countries. Student can choose from a one-year MBA program and a two-year MBA program. 

China Europe International Business School 

Co-founded by the Chinese government and European Union (EU) in 1994, the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) is known for its academic rigor. It is located in Shanghai, China. Students who enroll in the CEIBS MBA program complete a core that focuses on managerial foundation skills, business fundamentals, and special topics in China management before choosing a concentration in general management, finance or marketing. Students can choose from a one-year program or a two-year program.

Cornell University's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management 

Established in 1946, Cornell University's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, also known as Johnson, is an Ivy League business school located in Ithaca, New York. The school has a performance learning approach that combines classroom learning with practical experiences, such as Kaizen projects. Johnson's MBA program combines a core curriculum with flexible electives that allow for complete customization. Students can choose from a one-year program or a two-year program.

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Established in 1969, Duke University Fuqua School of Business is located in Durham, North Carolina. The MBA program at Fuqua has fewer core courses than most business schools. This approach allows students to begin taking electives sooner than normal. MBA students can customize their education by choosing electives in 14 different concentrations. The Fuqua MBA program takes approximately two years of full-time study to complete.

National University of Singapore Business School

Established in 1965, the National University of Singapore Business School is located in Singapore and is widely recognized as one of the best business schools in the Asia Pacific region. The MBA program at National University of Singapore Business School focuses heavily on global business. It integrates Western business models and Asian leadership tenants. Students take core classes in management and then choose electives to tailor their education. National University of Singapore Business School MBA program takes 17 months of full-time study to complete.

International Institute for Management Development 

Established in 1990, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) is a Swiss business school known for providing top-ranked executive education. It is located in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IMD MBA program is designed to give students a global mindset through a combination of practical experience and thought leadership. While enrolled in the program, students take core courses and apply what they have learned through projects and labs. The IMD MBA program takes one year to complete.

ESADE Business School

Established in 1958, ESADE Business School is a global academic institution that is located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. ESADE employs a flipped-learning methodology. This teaching method allows students to learn basic concepts prior to participating in face-to-face sessions. The ESADE MBA curriculum encourages students to think creatively, customize their education and participate in international experiences. Students can complete the ESADE MBA program in 15, 18 or 21 months.