Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Founder
GMAT 700, GPA 3.12
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Immigrant Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Ms. Education Non-profit
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Fintech Entrepreneur
GMAT 710, GPA 3.04
Yale | Ms. Business Start-Up
GRE 312, GPA 3.6
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Cornell Hopeful
GMAT Targeting 700+, GPA 2.5
INSEAD | Mr. Aerospace Manufacturer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Big Fish, Small Pond
GMAT 790, GPA 3.88
Said Business School | Ms. Ordinary Applicant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.37
Tuck | Mr. Crisis Line Counselor
GMAT 700, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. Banking To Startup
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Digital Engineer
GMAT 700, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. M&A Post-Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. IB/PE To Fintech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.14
USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
Wharton | Mr. Master’s To MBA
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. First-Time MBA
GRE 332, GPA 3.3
USC Marshall | Mr. Versatile Entrepreneur
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
HEC Paris | Ms. Public Health
Chicago Booth | Mr. Music Into Numbers
GMAT 730, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Top Salesman
GMAT 610, GPA 4.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. Latino Insurance
GMAT 730, GPA 8.5 / 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB/FinTech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
INSEAD | Mr. Sailor in Suit
GMAT 740, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tesla Intern
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6

Top 50 Non-U.S. MBA Programs of 2011

INSEAD claims first place in 2011 Poets&Quants’ ranking of best MBA programs outside the U.S.

INSEAD nudged aside London Business School to claim first place in Poets&Quants’ 2011 ranking of the world’s best MBA programs outside the U.S. INSEAD, the self-proclaimed “business school for the world,” switched places with London, moving up from a ranking of second last year.

INSEAD’s new standing is an early and welcome victory for Dipak Jain, the former dean of the Kellogg School of Management who took over the reins at INSEAD last March. Jain is no stranger to rankings success, having led Kellogg back to a number one ranking in the influential BusinessWeek survey during this eight-year stint as the school’s leader from 2001 to 2009.

For years, INSEAD–with its campuses in Fontainebleau, France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi–had long been considered the best business school in Europe. But rankings by The Financial Times and The Economist have helped to erode the school’s reputation for providing the best MBA experience outside of Harvard, Stanford and a handful of other U.S. programs.

Since 2004, when the Financial Times had INSEAD and London in a dead tie for fourth place in its influential global ranking, the Financial Times has ranked London ahead of INSEAD for seven consecutive years. Prior to the 2004 tie, INSEAD had been above London for three straight years. The Financial Times currently has London Business School’s MBA program in a dead tie for the best in the world with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. A year earlier, London was the British newspaper’s undisputed number one winner.


Spain, meantime, solidified itself as a country that has become something of a European hub for managment education. Three of the top six schools on the list are in Spain, including IE Business School in Madrid which rose two spots to finish in third place. Not far behind are IESE Business School and ESADE, respectively ranked fifth and sixth for having the best full-time MBA programs outside the U.S.

Four of the top programs are in the United Kingdom, while France can rightly claim a pair of the best MBA programs while Switzerland has one. Other schools whose MBA programs ranked in the top ten of the list are IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, which placed fourth, No. 7 University of Cambridge’s Judge School, No. 8. École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris, more popularly known as HEC Paris, No. 9 Oxford University’s Said School, and No. 10. Cranfield University.

There were few dramatic year-over-year changes in the top 30, although several new schools emerged on full list of the 50 best MBA programs outside the U.S. Among the schools making their debut on the list were the National University of Singapore with a rank of 16th, while the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad claimed a ranking of 27th.

This new P&Q list is a composite of four major MBA rankings published by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Economist, The Financial Times, and Forbes. The ranking takes into account a massive wealth of quantitative and qualitative data captured in these major lists, from surveys of corporate recruiters, MBA graduates, deans and faculty publication records to median GPA and GMAT scores of entering students as well as the latest salary and employment statistics of alumni.

By blending these rankings using a system that takes into account each of their strengths as well as their flaws, we’ve come up with what is arguably the most authoritative ranking of MBA programs ever published. The list, which includes the recently released 2011 rankings by Forbes, The Financial Times, and The Economist, tends to eliminate anomalies and other statistical distortions that often occur in one ranking or another. In any case, the ranking measures the overall quality and reputation of the flagship full-time MBA programs at the schools, rather than the schools themselves.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.