Poets&Quants Top Business Schools



Contact Information

Boulevard de Constance,
Fontainebleau, France 77305
Admissions Office:
+33 (0)1 6072 4190
School Social Media:

Annual Tuition: €82,000

Full-Time Enrollment: 1055

Female: 34%

Male: 68%

Median GMAT: 707

GMAT Range (mid-80%): 600-780

The profile was last updated on December 27, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact our general manager.

Application Deadlines:
Round 1: September 20th, 2017
Round 2: November 29th, 2017
Round 3: January 24th, 2018
Round 4: March 7th, 2018

With two fully-integrated campuses in Europe and Asia and over 80 different nationalities in the classroom, INSEAD’s accelerated MBA program offers a deep and profound multicultural experience. The MBA program runs in parallel on the school’s campuses in France and Singapore. Students also have the opportunity to visit the campus in Abu Dhabi to take part in an elective course, as well as take advantage of the alliance with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an exchange opportunity with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

The MBA curriculum is designed to quickly and thoroughly prepare students for a career in international business. The first few study periods are based on a structured series of 14 core courses. These courses cover all of the key management disciplines, as well as focusing on the environment in which business takes place. The second half of the program can be customized. Choosing 11 electives from a portfolio of more than 70, students create a unique mix of topics to support individual educational and professional goals. MBA students can pursue a generalist path towards management or concentrate on a specific area, such as finance or entrepreneurship.

Throughout the core curriculum, students work in study groups of five to six. Once students begin their elective courses, groups are no longer predetermined.

Rankings Analysis:

When it comes to rankings, INSEAD is on a roll. The school has finished first in Poets&Quants’ composite international rankings for two years in a row in 2016 and 2015, pushing aside rival European powerhouse London Business School.

INSEAD’s surge is mostly the impact of its first No. 1 ranking from the Financial Times in 2016, an honor repeated in the British newspaper’s 2017 update. It was the first time INSEAD ever topped the FT list. INSEAD managed its repeat-performance by scoring well across most of the Financial Times‘ key metrics, especially those that tend to hurt U.S. schools. On so-called “international mobility,” INSEAD ranked third best vs. Stanford’s 66th and Harvard’s 55th rank. Some 94% of INSEAD’s faculty is deemed “international” versus Stanford’s 38% and Harvard’s 37%, while 96% of INSEAD’s students are considered “international” compared to 40% at Stanford and 35% at Harvard.

INSEAD also killed it when it came to “international course experience,” a metric that rewards MBA programs in which students do exchange programs, study tours, and research projects. INSEAD ranked sixth on this measure, against Harvard’s 46th place finish, despite the fact that HBS has a global immersion requirement for all of its students.

Even when INSEAD wasn’t near the very top of a given FT ranking metric, it wasn’t too far down, either. INSEAD’s weighted salary metric was eighth best at $167,657 (after Stanford, Wharton, Harvard, Columbia, IE, Chicago Booth and UC-Berkeley Haas), and the school did slightly better than Stanford and Wharton with its alums reporting a 95% increase over pre-MBA salaries.

What also helped the school on the P&Q annual list was its No. 1 ranking on the one-year international list put out by Forbes which ranks schools solely on the basis of return-on-investment. And the school moved up one notch to second on Bloomberg Businessweek‘s 2016 international list.

The only place INSEAD declined was on the 2016 Economist ranking. The school slipped two spots, dropping to fourth. But as everyone knows, the Economist ranking is the most unpredictable of all the most influential MBA lists.

What makes INSEAD stand out? As an alum explains, “INSEAD is not just a business school experience, it is a life experience. The intensity of the program both academically and socially forges a very strong bond between classmates, and the dual campus structure and numerous opportunities for travel only serve to reinforce that.”

Student Perspectives:

From INSEAD to Avon Cosmetics

INSEAD has the highest GMAT hurdle rate of any European business school, with an average GMAT score for its latest entering class of 704. That’s a wee bit better than London Business School’s 700 average and considerably better than the 661 average for HEC Paris, another of Europe’s best business schools.