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Poets & Quants Top Business Schools

IE Business School


Location: Maria de Molina, 11 Madrid, Spain 28006

Admissions Office: +34 91 568 96 00



IE Business School

When it comes to business school rankings, the general belief is that they are pretty stable over time. The tops schools rarely move in any big fashion and it’s almost impossible to crack into a top ten position. But that general rule doesn’t apply to Madrid’s highly innovative IE Business School.

Little more than a decade ago, in 2002, the school was ranked 35th on The Financial Times’ global MBA list and ninth in Europe behind Italy’s SDA Bocconi, Britain’s Oxford and Cambridge, and Spain’s IESE. Six years later, IE cracked the top ten of the FT ranking, placing eighth worldwide and third in Europe behind only London Business School and INSEAD. Ever since, IE Business School  has ranked as high as sixth and never lower than eighth place worldwide.

The rise can largely be attributed to a highly market-oriented strategy that caught some rivals by surprise. IE doesn’t play by the normal rules of academia. The school’s leadership is entrepreneurial and innovative, pioneering degrees and programs that meet the demands of the marketplace–not of tenured professors who despise change. The school was among the first in the world, for example, to offer an online MBA program.

IE offers a full-time, one-year MBA program in Madrid, Spain. To help students discover their unique talents, up to 40% of the IE International MBA can be tailored to the students’ professional and personal goals, and there are many opportunities to work with real companies in both the corporate and startup world. Throughout the program students are trained in Professional Fitness, which focuses on career strategy, world-class leadership and workplace behavior. The academic curriculum provides students not only with standard MBA courses but also classes that go beyond business, such as Critical Management Thinking and Innovation and Design. Finally, students can choose one of two innovation Labs and a vast range of electives, consulting projects, international study-travel opportunities, and dual degrees options with Yale, MIT, Brown, or Tufts.

As an institution founded by entrepreneurs, IE believes that business school should be a place for talented professionals to cultivate the entrepreneurial thinking needed to bring meaningful change to existing companies or new ventures. Therefore, IE offers students the chance to apply for admission to its own internal startup incubator, the Venture Lab, where students have a dedicated space to work and can get academic credit for creating their own businesses.

The school also boasts what is arguably the most prestigious Global MBA Online degree available, entering four cohorts a year of 32 students each, three in English and one in Spanish.

Latest Up-to-Date MBA Rankings:

Poets&Quants (2014): 4 (non-U.S.)
BusinessWeek (2013): 2 (international)
Forbes (2013): 5 (international)
Financial Times (2015): 12 (global)
The Economist: (2013) 50 (global), 15 (Europe)

Rankings Analysis: As noted earlier, IE has managed to do what very few business schools have done: crack into the top ten of a widely watched global MBA ranking. PoetsandQuants’ composite ranking for the school is revealing. When you combine all the results of the most influential rankings in the world, IE still comes out very high–fourth among schools outside the U.S. That ranking does not include the recently published 2015 list by The Financial Times which saw IE slip three spots to a global rank of 12. IE showed very well in both Businessweek and Forbes 2013 rankings, placing second and fourth, respectively.

As one Class of 2012 graduate told BusinessWeek on the magazine’s survey: “IE Business School is unique because it’s a global top-ten school but the students, alumni, and faculty are down-to-earth, interesting, and genuinely nice people. The personality of IE is what really drew me to their MBA program over the others I was considering. I also like the entrepreneurial spirit at IE. My experiences there taught me how to solve problems creatively, a skill that is useful both in a big firm setting and in small firm/start-up business environments.”

Tuition & Fees: $76,800
Average GMAT: 680
GMAT Range: 640-760
Average GPA: NA
Acceptance Rate: 33%

Full-Time Enrollment: 440
International: 89%
Female: 29%
Minority: NA
Mean Age: 28

Mean Base Salary: $102,500
Median Signing Bonus: NA
Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers at Graduation: 30%
Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers Three Months Later: 90%

Class of 2012 Top Employers:

McKinsey: 11
Johnson & Johnson: 7
Grupo Telefonica: 7
Accenture: 7
PriceWaterhouseCoopers: 6

Where the Class of 2012 Went to Work:

Financial Services: 19%
Consulting: 18%
Consumer Products: 14%

Annual Tuition: $76,800

Median GMAT: 670

GMAT Range (mid-80%): 600-770

Acceptance Rate: 25%

Full-Time Enrollment: 440

International: 91%

Female: 31%

Male: 69%

Mean Age: 29

From IE Business School:

Madrid’s IE Business School is one of the world’s leading higher education institutions and has been ranked No.1 in Europe by Financial Times in 2013 and 2014. A pioneer in business education, IE educates tomorrow’s business leaders following the values of entrepreneurial spirit, diversity, innovation and social responsibility, all inherent throughout our institution.  In addition, IE is a pioneer in top-class Distance Learning.

IE Business School offers a number of programs in full-time and part-time formats, for young talent, professionals and executives.  Our program portfolio includes the Master in Management, a number of Finance Master Programs, and MBAs.

The MBA programs include the International MBA, one of the top MBA programs in international rankings in Europe and worldwide.  This full-time 13-month program is a conscious decision made to minimize time away from students’ professional career while offering far more than just the average Master in Business Administration.  In addition to the strong academic core, several additional possibilities allow students to enhance and customize their experience.

Our other MBAs follow part-time formats:

-The Global MBA and Executive MBA, that have a duration of 15 months and can be followed from anywhere in the world, as they combine residential periods in our Madrid campus with interactive online learning. They focus both on the development of hard skills (through a core MBA curriculum) and on soft skills, including leadership, teamwork, negotiation and responsibility

– The Global Executive MBA, is a program for executives with more than 10 years of experience that follows our Blended learning methodology, combining online periods and face-to-face periods in Spain, USA, Brazil and Singapore.

-The IE Brown Executive MBA, a joint degree program taught in connection with Brown University, which combines management with liberal arts, and combines online periods with face-to-face periods in Spain, USA, and South Africa.

Complementing IE’s extensive portfolio of Master degree programs, the Executive Education division offers training courses for executives through its seminars, conferences, forums, corporate training programs and consulting, building on IE’s commitment to providing outstanding education and training across the various phases of your career.

The IE campus is based in the center of Madrid and allows students the opportunity to experience everything this great city has to offer. Madrid boasts a long list of museums, parks and gardens; palaces, modern and historic architecture, as well as having a great nightlife and being a very modern and friendly city. In addition, with more than 90 nationalities represented on campus at any given time, the IE Experience is a truly international one. Visit us on the web at

Student testimonials:

“IE has given me the curriculum, colleagues and courage to confidently envision and explore different life possibilities”

-Virgil F. Esguerra, Philippines, Class of 2013, Global Emerging Markets Strategist (Merrill Lynch)

“If you have and idea, IE provides you with all the tools and help that you need to make the business plan, meet the right people and launch your new venture!”

Anne-Laure Tremblay, United Kingdom, Class of 2014, Current full-time student

“IE Business School is an incredible melting pot of people and ideas, based in the heart of one of the great European cities. We’ve had an innovation and entrepreneurial focus for a while now – those are the I and e in IE, after all – and with the new startup incubator here, things are going to get even more interesting.”

– Aditya Anupkumar,   India, Current full-time student.

“A year in Madrid was truly a lifetime experience. I met amazing people, lived in an amazing city, studied at an amazing school and got an amazing job after graduating.

As time goes by I realize that the International MBA at IE Business School was one of the best investments that I have made in my life. This experience gave me energy, self-confidence and a drive to go forward.”

– George Makaridze,  Georgia, Class of 2009, Deputy Head of International Business (Bank of Georgia)

“A key differentiator in my MBA experience at IE Business School was the incredible opportunity to work on business plan development with female entrepreneurs from Africa with the potential to make a difference in their respective countries. The chance to put newly acquired skills into practice for such a rewarding cause was priceless!”

-Angela Nantulya, Uganda, Class of 2008

“IE is all about the people you meet. Together you learn and grow, supporting each other along the way, and together celebrating our successes – a true start of lifelong friendships.”

– Anna Kompaniyets, Ukraine, Class of 2012, Senior Marketing Manager for Growth and Emerging Markets, Burger King.

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